Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: LeanTaaS Blog, Progress Blog, Derek Weeks, Mark Herring, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Let's Rethink Our Views of Storage Before It Is Too Late

It is far too easy to focus on one piece of the puzzle and miss the rest

When I was in Radiographer (X-Ray Tech) training in the Army, we were told the cautionary tale of a man who walked into an emergency room with a hatchet in his forehead and blood everywhere. As the staff of the emergency room rushed to treat the man’s very serious head injury, his condition continued to degrade. Blood everywhere, people rushing to and fro, the XRay tech with a portable XRay machine trying to squeeze in while nurses and doctors are working hard to keep the patient alive. And all the frenzied work failed. If you’ve ever been in an ER where a patient dies – particularly one that dies of traumatic injuries rather than long-term illness – it is difficult at best. You want to save everyone, but some people just don’t make it. They’re too injured, or came to the ER too late, or the precise injury is not treatable in the time available. It happens, but no one is in a good mood about it, and everyone is wondering if they could have done something different.

image In US emergency rooms at least, it is very rare that a patient dies and the reason lies in failure of the staff to take some crucial step. There are too many people in the room, too much policy and procedure built up, to fail at that level. And part of that policy and procedure was teaching us the cautionary tale. You see, the tale wasn’t over with the death of the patient. The tale goes on to say that the coroner’s report said the patient died not of a head injury, but of bleeding to death through a knife wound in his back. The story ends with the warning not to focus on the obvious injury so exclusively that you miss the other things going on with the patient. It was a lesson well learned, and I used it to good effect a couple of times in my eight years in Radiography.

Since the introduction of Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) many years ago, the focus of many in the storage space is on managing the amount of data that is being stored on your system, optimizing access times and insuring that files are accessible to those who need them, when they need them. That’s important stuff, our users count upon us to keep their files safe and serve up their unstructured data in a consistent and reliable manner. At this stage of the game we have automated tiering such as that offered by F5’s ARX platform, we have remote storage for some data, we have cloud storage if there is overflow, there are backups, replications, snapshots, and even some cases of Continuous Data Protection… And all of these items focus on getting the data to users when they want in the most reliable manner possible.

But, like our cautionary tale above, it is far too easy to focus on one piece of the puzzle and miss the rest. The rest is that tons of your unstructured data is chaff. Yes indeed, you’ve got some fine golden grains of wheat that you are protecting, but to do so, today it is a common misperception to feel that you have to protect the chaff too. It’s time for you to start pushing back, perhaps past time. The buildup of unnecessary files is costing the organization money and making it more difficult to manage the files that really are important to the day-to-day running of your organization.

image My proposal is simple. Tell business leaders to clean up their act. Only keep what is necessary, stop hoarding files that were  of marginal use when created, and negligible or no use today. We have treated storage as an essentially unlimited resource for long enough, time to say “well yes, but each disk we add to the storage hierarchy increases costs to the organization”. Meet with business leaders and ask them to assign people to go through files. If your organization is like ones I’ve worked at, when someone leaves their entire user folder is kept, almost like a gravestone. Not necessarily touched, just kept. Most of those files aren’t needed at all, and it becomes obvious after a couple of months which those are. So have your business units clean up after themselves. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, IT is not in a position to decide what stays and what goes, only those deeply involved in the running of that bit of the business can make those calls.

The other option is to use whatever storage tiering mechanism you have to shuffle them off to neverland, but again, do you want a system making permanent delete decisions about a file that may not have been touched in two years but (perhaps) the law requires you keep for seven? You can do it, but it will always much better to have users police their own area, if you can.

While focused on availability of files, don’t forget to deal with deletion of unneeded information. And there is a lot of it out there, if the enterprises I’m familiar with are any indication. Recruit business leaders, maybe take them a sample that shows them just how outdated or irrelevant some of their unstructured data is “the football pool for the 1997 season… Is that necessary?” is a good one. Unstructured storage needs are going to continue to grow, mitigated by tiering, enhanced resource utilization, compression, and dedupe, but why bother deduping or even saving a file that was needed for a short time and is now just a waste of space?

No, no it won’t be easy to recruit such help. The business is worried about tomorrow, not last year. But convincing them that this is a necessary step to saving money for more projects tomorrow is part of what IT management does. And if you can convince them, you’ll see a dramatic savings in space that might put off more drastic measures. If you can’t convince them, then you’ll need a way to “get rid of” those files without getting rid of them. Traditional archival storage or a Cloud Storage Gateway are both options in that case, but best to just recruit the help cleaning up the house.


 

 

Follow me on Twitter icon_facebook

AddThis Feed Button Bookmark and Share

Related Articles and Blogs

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Don MacVittie

Don MacVittie is founder of Ingrained Technology, A technical advocacy and software development consultancy. He has experience in application development, architecture, infrastructure, technical writing,DevOps, and IT management. MacVittie holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Michigan University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Google Cloud has been named “Keynote Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Companies come to Google Cloud to transform their businesses. Google Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio – from infrastructure to apps to devices – helps enterprises innovate faster, scale smarter, stay secure, and do more with data than ever before.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vivint to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. As a leading smart home technology provider, Vivint offers home security, energy management, home automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet solutions to more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada. The end result is a smart home solution that sav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Opsani is the leading provider of deployment automation systems for running and scaling traditional enterprise applications on container infrastructure.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nirmata will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nirmata provides a comprehensive platform, for deploying, operating, and optimizing containerized applications across clouds, powered by Kubernetes. Nirmata empowers enterprise DevOps teams by fully automating the complex operations and management of application containers and its underlying ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Opsani to exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. Opsani is creating the next generation of automated continuous deployment tools designed specifically for containers. How is continuous deployment different from continuous integration and continuous delivery? CI/CD tools provide build and test. Continuous Deployment is the means by which...