In my years spent in Data Centre Management the perennial challenges were the efficient use of resources, the maintenance of assets, and the ever present lifecycle of moving from old to new infrastructure. The common management messages were – Where is the plan, What is the business impact on customers, What are the risks, What is the contingency, Who is accountable and responsible. There is no doubt in my mind that in the old world, IT did place constraints on the business.
Then users and owners of compute and storage resources had little time to address the efficient use of resources. Keeping the lights on was the main priority, an important job, and it still is! Multiple copies of the same data existed far and wide, while utilisation rates for disk and the dreaded tape often languishing in single figures.
With little time to properly address these issues - delivering efficiency through smart home-grown software was a non-starter. Early attempts at quota systems for storage and compute worked, but often lead to a queue of angry customers banging on the sys-admins door once they had exhausted their budget for the month, usually in the first week. Although it did focus minds that IT was not an infinite resource. However, not good for the soul first thing on the Monday morning when you are trying to design the next iteration of the Data Centre Infrastructure.
Upgrade and efficient migration from old to new infrastructure is one of the most challenging and exciting activities for IT professionals. The goal is always to deliver the cut over from old to new with minimal business impact This process required meticulous planning and testing, often taking many months, with no margin for error. Today many organisations have elevated their IT function from one that was focused on the IT Design , Build and Operate process to one that concentrates on Service Delivery, and Service levels.
Many of these challenges were changed for the better with the launch of DATA ONTAP and today I am looking forward to the announcement from NetApp next week. I am sure that we will see a host of new features that will further improve efficiency, management and scale, ultimately offering new facilities for driving IT Agility.
Definitely One for the diary - Register here - Virtual Event - Liberate your Business from IT Downtime - http://www.netapp.com/us/forms/cdot-launch.aspx?ref_source=bnrcdot-hp
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