Change can be a bumpy road.I’ve had a number of conversations about my previous post, The Disruption Dilemma. As a result of those conversations, in this post I’m going to explore the role process has on technology adoption and share my thoughts on managing change.To be honest, I used to look at process like I would a very large, ugly spider. Stay well away from it, or try to squash it.It is my past few years at VCE that have helped me to fully appreciate and value the benefits of a good process. My team has gone through both evolution of charter and dramatic increased demand for resources. Without good process, we would have had little chance to be successful.The Need for ProcessThe issue is that disruption, by its very nature, breaks process. When faced with breakage we tend to try to piece it back together like a child with a smashed vase and superglue. The result is something that kind of looks like it did before, and kind of works, but eventually the truth is found out and we are forced to start new. If created new from the beginning, we could have realized a level and speed of return greater than ever imagined.So how do we apply that lesson? A lot of parallels remain between what happened with VoIP and what is happening now with CI. Processes like acquisition, chargeback, change management, and security take on whole new dimensions that cannot be accommodated by the current “way we have always done things.”Change ManagementLet us look at an example in change management. In the VoIP days, the process became overly complex and messy since we used to apply the old process to the new, and we tried to align change windows for the network, the application, security, etc. It was painful, to say the least.The better way is to blow up the process and rethink how we affected change. In that situation, redundancy was our savior. If we built the network so we could change or upgrade individual components in an N+1 manner, we were able to step through the change without affecting the uptime of our voice. The same was true for all the application components, redundant signaling, codecs, and voicemail applications allowed us to upgrade quickly with none, or minimal, downtime.The same concept applies to CI. Once you get multiple customers, each running mission critical applications, it is difficult to align change windows. We need to blow up the current processes and rethink how to leverage technology to support the process – not the other way around. At VCE we have spent a tremendous amount of time building change management processes for the Vblock Systems that are non-disruptive to the applications running on it.As technologists, vendors and end-users, we all need to understand that we are the ones equipped to enable our own success. We can learn from the past and accelerate our future.This topic deserves a much broader discussion, and we invite you to join the conversation on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Mission-critical storage is not just block any more. More and more IT systems that run your business use different types of storage. Did you know that 75% of our top 100 VMAX customers currently deploy file gateways? Deploying a file gateway has traditionally involved both a multistep deployment process and a NAS gateway that needs its own rack on its own floor tile in the data center. In addition, many enterprises have mission-critical file requirements that demand higher levels of availability, security, and business continuity. While the gateway is still a necessity for some customers, others wanted to see an alternative.I worked closely with our developers to examine this particular use case and more efficient methods to solve this challenge. The result is the VMAX 10K Block and File that integrates NAS gateway technology natively into the VMAX frame. It is ideal for customers that need consolidated islands of block and file storage, but want the benefits of a mission-critical array including greater than Five 9s availability, data at rest encryption ([email protected]), and remote mirroring capabilities (SRDF). Building all of this into a single storage solution allows for TCO to decrease up to 30%, while reducing the required floor space by 50%.A perfect real world example of leveraging a file solution on VMAX is Severstal North America, one of the largest steel makers in the U.S. Severstal turned to EMC to help them achieve high availability and faster query results for their Oracle databases and month-end financial reporting.Chris Stahlbaum, IT Infrastructure Manager for Severstal North America, even said in a blog post that “[The VMAX 10K Block and File] was a lifesaver because we were able to move our file shares off an IBM system on its last legs, and onto a more powerful and dependable platform. Users actually noted how crisp and snappy the file shares got after the migration.”Having the right storage infrastructure to support the mission-critical applications on which your business relies continues to be an important decision in overall IT strategy. One size will never fit all needs, so we continue to challenge ourselves to innovate further. Partnering with you to build solutions is absolutely critical as well and we are committed to continuing that habit.What challenges do you want help solving?Learn more about Severstal North America’s EMC journey in this video and customer profile.
BEIJING (AP) — HNA Group, a debt-burdened Chinese airline operator that faced opposition in Washington to its attempt to buy a Wall Street hedge fund during a costly global acquisition spree, says its creditors have asked a court to declare the company bankrupt. HNA said it would cooperate with the court and “actively promote debt disposal.” It gave no details of the company’s status or an indication whether the court agreed to the petition. HNA, which began as a one-plane airline in 1993, was struggling with $75 billion in debt when last year’s shutdown of global travel to fight the coronavirus pandemic devastated its core aviation business.