Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Paul Simmons, Liz McMillan

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
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...