Archive for the ‘Data Center Management Advice, Trends, and News’ Category

NVMe, Getting Ready for the 4K Television of Enterprise Storage

Caitlin Gordon

Director, Product Marketing, Storage Division
Caitlin has spent the past eleven years focused on all things storage and data protection, with a focus on enterprise storage. When she is not blogging, Caitlin spends her energy on her other passions as a tech nerd, sports nut and mama bear. With her “free time” (aka when she’s not chasing down one of her two young kids), she’s researching and discussing the latest tech rumors or celebrating/lamenting the latest Boston sports heartbreak/victory. You can also find Caitlin on Twitter (@caitsgordon) and YouTube.

As an unapologetic sports nut and tech nerd, I love it when these worlds collide.  This is exactly what happened while watching my football team play this Sunday when they aired a highlight of the team from 2000.  We were instantly shocked by the quality of the video, which was standard definition.  It’s amazing how quickly we get used to disruptive technology advances that become part of our everyday lives.  It’s easy to forget now, but the introduction and adoption of HDTV circa 2001 was arguably the most impactful technological advance since color television programming first aired in 1953.

As both an AV and IT nerd, what especially struck me here is the parallel in the evolution of television and enterprise storage technology.  The transition from SD (e.g 480i) to HD (e.g. 1080p) is much like the transition from HDD to SSD (don’t mind the similar acronyms!) in enterprise storage.  In both cases, this shift has provided dramatic benefits to consumers and has created a new normal.  We will never go back to spinning disk for enterprise storage and when is the last time you watched any of those hundreds of standard definition channels?  In fact, if your cable company is like mine, SD channels went away years ago to clear bandwidth for even more HD channels.

NSVe

Which brings me to the fun part… what’s next?  The next wave in TV technology, if you believe all the major manufacturers, is 4K… however, this nerd is skeptical (but that’s a different blog for a different day).  When it comes to enterprise storage, the industry buzz about ‘NVMe’ is escalating.  But let’s revisit our TV analogy to examine each of these “next evolutions” a bit more closely.   (more…)

Five Security Lessons We Can Learn From the Theft of the Death Star Plans

Jay Livens

Director, Product Marketing
Jay’s passion is technology. It started when he was a child and used to take apart flashlights and could not remember how to put them back together. You can imagine how that turned out especially when power outages occurred. However, Jay persisted and charted a course through life that included a lengthy stop in the financial services industry. After receiving an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, his path turned towards storage and he had stints with a storage reseller, a storage startup and a couple of big storage companies. After serving in multiple roles, Jay settled on marketing as his future career-path; however, he is not your typical marketer. All things technology intrigue him and he likes to know how things work, not just the marketing stuff, but how stuff really works. At Dell EMC, Jay runs field and channel marketing for the Data Protection and Storage Divisions in the Americas and looks forward to sharing his perspectives on his division, products and life in general.

Last year, I wrote about Six Management Lessons That IT Leaders Can Learn From Darth Vader and with the looming release of Star Wars: Rogue One, it is time to revisit the Star Wars universe.  Rogue One focuses on the theft of the Death Star plans, and in this blog post, I wanted to explore five things that we can learn from the Empire’s lax security practices.

death star

Encryption Matters
In the opening sequence of Star Wars, we see Princess Leia inserting the Death Star plans into R2-D2.  The droid seemingly had no issues reading the data and later projecting 3D holograms of the information.  Unless R2 has some super-secret and highly advanced decryption capability, it would appear that the Death Star plans were not encrypted.  Hmmm, really?  These plans are for the most sophisticated battle station in the universe and the Empire forgets encryption?

Strong encryption limits access to critical data to those who have the encryption key.  This technology adds a layer of security because Rebel scum can only read the data if they have both the source files and the encryption key.  Thus the hacker needs to capture two pieces of data to gain access to private information.   A natural offshoot of this process is that key management is critical and that the most effective security strategies include both strong encryption and highly secure key management.  In a stunning turn of events, the Empire overlooked both of these strategies.

At Dell EMC, we offer a variety of encryption options including solutions for data at rest and in flight. (more…)

A Dell EMC World 2016 Review

Lauren Simpson

Principal Product Marketing Manager
Lauren is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at EMC working on the Experiential Marketing team. She helps drive customer-facing activities including engagement campaigns, events, webinar programs, and tradeshows. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children.

Latest posts by Lauren Simpson (see all)

Although it feels like months ago, Dell EMC World wrapped up on October 20th. The results from all of our activities have trickled in and we now have a holistic view of our Core Technologies performance at the event…and it was stellar!

dew1

The week kicked off with the Executive Summit where two of our products were showcased in the Whisper Suite…shhh! It was an exclusive area where anyone with an approved pass and covered under NDA could enter. The conversations with press, analysts, and customers were driven by our senior product specialists, who ran through product demos and GUI simulators galore.

As the main event came into full swing on Tuesday, the expo hall welcomed over 6,000 attendees to live music, customer experience showcases, a product petting zoo, and countless theater presentations. The hall was packed with folks eager to learn about the new Dell EMC solution offerings. Conversations with our product experts were lengthy, and attendees were hungry for more details about the Core Technologies products. Our hardware was proudly on display, catching the attention of folks walking through the aisles and sparking conversation with our experts.

Attendees, press, and analysts buzzed throughout the convention center to partake in the various activities laid out for them.  There were overwhelmingly positive reviews with the amount of sessions, hands on labs, and booths to visit over the three-day event. The Core Technologies schedule was packed with a “a “Tech Sneak Peek” showcasing the latest release for XtremIO; an interview with TheCUBE and Chris Ratcliffe, and of course the awesome “Dark IT Knight” keynote, where the Data Protection Suite team saved the day. (more…)

Don’t Be a Dodo

Jay Livens

Director, Product Marketing
Jay’s passion is technology. It started when he was a child and used to take apart flashlights and could not remember how to put them back together. You can imagine how that turned out especially when power outages occurred. However, Jay persisted and charted a course through life that included a lengthy stop in the financial services industry. After receiving an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, his path turned towards storage and he had stints with a storage reseller, a storage startup and a couple of big storage companies. After serving in multiple roles, Jay settled on marketing as his future career-path; however, he is not your typical marketer. All things technology intrigue him and he likes to know how things work, not just the marketing stuff, but how stuff really works. At Dell EMC, Jay runs field and channel marketing for the Data Protection and Storage Divisions in the Americas and looks forward to sharing his perspectives on his division, products and life in general.

The Dodo was a flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius near Madagascar.  This unique creature was first sighted in 1598 and was known for its relatively large size (3 feet tall, up to about 50 lbs) and inability to fly.  The Dodo lived a life of tranquility without predators and so it never developed traditional defense mechanisms like flight, a sharp beak or even birthing large flocks of offspring.  (It is interesting to note that each Dodo female only laid one egg which further decreased survivability.)  Tragically, the Dodo was unprepared for the arrival of the ultimate predator – humans.

When sailors arrived on Mauritius they were surprised by the Dodo’s blissful ignorance of the new human threat.  Unfortunately, the Dodo’s would live to regret this choice as many ended up on a platter.  Sadly, by the late 1600s, the Dodos were extinct, and today, they are only remembered in written descriptions, drawings and a few lingering skeletons.
dodo-skeleton

The tale of the Dodo is a cautionary one.  Here is a bird that had adapted to its native environment only to find it changing radically.  Some look back and suggest that the Dodo was vapid or otherwise clueless; however the latest research suggests that it was reasonably intelligent and instead was caught in an impossible situation.

The most important lesson that we can learn from the unfortunate demise of the Dodo bird is that we must always look forward.  It is easy and often more comfortable to focus on past accomplishments or implementations, but limiting ourselves to a backward view puts the future at risk.  By looking forward, we become more agile and flexible and better prepared to deal with the rapidly changing world around us. (more…)

The Customer Experience SmackDown

Scott Delandy

Technical Director, EMC Core Technologies Division
Scott Delandy is Technology Director with EMC’s Core Technology Division (including VMAX, XtremIO, VNX, Data Domain, VPLEX, and RecoverPoint). Scott has been in IT for 25 years and has wide range of expertise across storage, virtualization, mission critical systems, and cloud computing. In his current role, he is responsible for driving strategy and technology alignment across product groups, working with users and partners to accelerate IT transformation initiatives across infrastructure and operations, and managing CTD's Leadership Development Program to identify, mentor, and develop high potential talent. His previous roles include product management, market and technology analysis, and technical field support. Scott is also a member of the EMC Elect social media community, an EMC TV correspondent, and is SPEED certified.

I have spent over 26 years in IT, much of it, meeting and working with customers. It remains the part of the job I continue to enjoy the most. I get to talk about the products we delandy-cex-1develop, the technology that goes into them, and the people who build and support them. But the most valuable parts of these meetings include feedback on the customer’s experience, and how we are doing.

This includes things users like, things they don’t, and things we are missing. The more open and transparent we can be on both sides, the better. We can then take that input and channel it back into the right parts of the organization.

The concept of understanding your customer’s experience is not a new one, and goes across just about every organization and company. So much so, a day called “Customer Experience Day” (AKA CXDay) exists for organizations to thank our customers and the teams of people responsible for servicing them.

No surprise, Dell is an active participant and contributor for this globally recognized event most recently celebrated in October. It included over 30 Dell locations, hundreds of customers, and tens of thousands of team members.  In addition to hearing from our users, team members, and executives, we had a special guest who definitely knows a lot about user experience, John Cena.

delandy-cex-2Most people know John Cena as a superstar WWE athlete, entertainer, and movie star.  Many also know of John’s extensive philanthropy work, including his Make A Wish Foundation support (over 500 Wishes delivered). But what many people were surprised to see was John’s understanding of the business and organizational side of delivering his audience an amazing customer experience.

You may think what does John Cena’s customers and Dell’s customer have in common? The simple answer is they want to be completely satisfied. Otherwise, customers would find other products and services to spend their time and money on. (more…)

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