So many things… so little time

Have you see the tsunami of changes lately? And the word tsunami is maybe not truly expressing hat ii see, but you get the point right? So, Vmware buys Niciria, Cisco invest in Parallel, Citrix acquired Sharefile, EMC acquired Watch4Net, Netapp brings a low entry “Flexpod” named ExpressPod, BYOD is the name of the game in 2013…

This is truly the most exciting moment in IT! Have you ever seen so much activity? Not me. This is what dematerialized datacenters strategies brings to the market space for our very own Consumerization of IT or in other words what the human species is capable of generating when you initiate ideas: it simply takes it to the next level. Aren’t we a beautiful species LOL

So I have chosen a topic.

Data management, or also called “ILM” for Information Life Cycle Management.

As it relates to the newest trends, relates to storage, networking, platform computing, virtualization, in other words, what the cloud is all about.

Ouch! I said it! The word… the cloud word!

Well friends, this is what all this is about. Providing us with what we want and need as species: consume, and really fulfilling our appetite for information, knowledge and “need to know”. While not totally “green” if you really take the time to look deep inside the offer, overall this is really a green initiative, allowing a more centralized way to locate or place the source of the “not so green enablers”, and in a sense it make sense… but I am deviating from the subject… my apologies.

So what about ILM? Well, that’s simple and confusing at the same time (really what’s new in that… we are working in IT no?? LOL), and I will try to summarize it the best way I can. ILM empowers organizations in understanding where and how their data is stored and consumed, which in return, allows deeper analysis on Capex investment to get a better Opex control, for the ultimate goal of providing the decision makers with the right tools to make the right decision, that we’ll ultimately, will execute on, and in return will allow organizations to be financially healthy, proactively positioned in the market space, and drive revenues while maximizing the funds invested.

That was pretty good I think. Now what enables this business requirement? Well, that’s simple: a series of gears working together, a perfect engine well tuned, that you may also call “Converged datacenter”. The offers are more and more simple to operate, simpler to assemble, better, strong, faster! Think about vBlock, or Flexpod to name just these two. In reality this is something that we have been doing for more than a decade now: assemble storage, network and compute power supporting an hypervizor. So what’s new?? Well reference architectures! Vouched, signed with “their own blood”, manufacturers are coming together to better align a cloud conversation, simplify the acquisition process, allow IT staff to execute on their tasks in a more standardized way, to allow at the end a clearer path to data management, and enable users, you and I, to access the information we need and want from anywhere, anytime on any device.

BUT, because there a BUT, this simplified way of doing things created a major challenge, and that challenge is what organizations are or will be facing in the next 3-5 years if not earlier based on the adoption momentum… How do we size the required hardware to make sure, we are not getting called on a saturday at 3am because someone decided to consume an information on the weekend and is unable to find the right information needed or experience no service on the data he or she wishes to consume.

If I can allow myself a little joke, and I apology if I offend anyone (I hope not: THIS IS A JOKE OK??), could we say the following: would you please do me a favor?? Saturday is made to focus on what we don’t have time for on a weekly basis: ourselves. So drop the keyboard! 🙂

But more seriously, how do we make sure this does not happen? Well that is confusing, and it lays around a very tight architecture and strong design and a clear strategy (ouf! That was big words in one phrase…)

What do I mean by a tight architecture? Easy: work with reference architecture! Why? They will insure the data you are tasked to work with to be enabled and properly surrounded by those same manufacturers wanting to serve you better, making your life easier when ILM will kick in. So get them involved, or better work with your dedicated Reseller, as these resellers should be taking the time to look, not at the gears, but the business challenges you wish to face and help you make a decision or take a direction that will meet the most demanding requirements: resellers are there for YOU, (at least they should, and that is another conversation). So in terms of architectures let’s make sure we do not look at one silo of the datacenter but at the overall picture, and make sure we align all needs, ALL PIECES together, that relates to a strong manufacturers alliance’s and align your business and/or requirements, for a few years ahead.

Now, what a strong design hides? Well, a strong design, takes into consideration the various LOB (Lines of business) and they requirements; how will they be using the tight architectures you have put together for the organization. How will they create content, consume, store, access, and work on a daily basis. They are the most critical piece of the equation, as they will be ultimately the ones adopting your architectures or rejecting them, and we don’t want that (the rejection part… ). So understanding them is a crucial part of the activities you’ll need to execute on, because at the end of the day, they will be the first reason why you’ll have to implement a strong ILM policy. They will need access to that same data they have stored a few months or years ago, and they can’t wait: that’s the cloud my friend: right here right now, nothing else!

So design with holistic minds: don’t miss anything. From creation, to management, to storage, to business needs. You will need, in a strong design, to forecast the “un-forecastable”, and that my friends is something challenging and scary. So work with your tight architectures, and, depending on your very own need, align with a, either modular, or granular solution that will provide you with the agility you need.

So how does that relates to clear strategy? In my opinion, I only can work on a tight architecture to get a strong design if, and only if, the roadmap is clear ahead of me and I understand where I need to go. Seems simple, but is a daily battle in my field. Why? Let’s be honest with eachother a little: had you heard ILM before? Had you even had that conversation in your organization? Or simply are you facing this challenge? Maybe not, but get ready; the consumerization of IT is here to stay and will not diminish with time; it will increase my friends, trust me on that one. Our very own organization has been the victim of that, and the lesson learned in daily applied to our customers. Read on the article where our CIO chats about the SaaS challenges he faced (http://epubs.itworldcanada.com/i/104930/20). To enable a clear strategy you’ll need to understand and make others understand that it is an important part of that same equation I was talking about earlier. Much like E=MC2, ILM is a combination and a resultant of a clear strategy.

Hoping I did not confuse you too much, but if you have questions, reach out. You may also want to follow me, if you’re a twitter at @sccyul

Cheers my friends!

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About florenttastet

As an IT professional and leader, my objective is to help an organization grow its IT department with new and innovative technologies in order to have production at the most efficient level ensuring the right alignment in the deployment of such technologies through a precise Professional Services results in a extraordinary experience for the customer. Team member of multiple projects, I have developed a strict work ethic allowing development of superior communication skills, as well as the ability to multi-task and meet precise deadlines. As an IT veteran with a broad background in consulting, management, strategy, sales and business development, I have developed an deep expertise in virtulization using VMware and Citrix products with a strong skillset on Storage Arrays (HP, EMC, Netapp, Nimble & IBM). I have also developed a Security practice through CheckPoints NGX R65-R66 (CCSA obtained) and Cisco PIX-ASA product line. Specialties: Microsoft infrastructure products; Monitoring HPOV, SCOM, CiscoWorks, Firewalls: checkpoint, PIX and ASA. Virtualization with VMware (ESX through vSphere & View/Horizon), Microsoft (Hyper-V server, VDI and App-V), Citrix (Xenserver, XenDesktop, Xenapp), Storage (EMC, HP, Netapp, Nimble & IBM), Reference Architectures and Converged Datacenters (vSPEX, Flexpod, vBlock, PureFlex & HP Matrix)
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