Posts Tagged ‘automation’

Reflection on 2015 Resolutions – When a Triathlon Meets Data Protection

Deanna Hoover

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Deanna Hoover started her IT career over 30 years ago with a focus on software and hardware engineering. She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of different industries and has built a broad skillset ranging from writing machine code in a factory, migration of mainframe to client server, and storage architecture as well as systems and database administration. In August of 2004 Deanna made the move to EMC as a backup, recovery and archive presales SE. Since that time she has managed a Professional Services team and as of current is in marketing for Dell EMC with a focus on virtualization backup and recovery software. In her spare time Deanna enjoys the outdoors and participates in triathlons.

It’s that time of year to reflect back on 2015 and set new goals.  Are you one of the 45% who chose to set resolution goals?  If so, did you honestly stick to your goals? Congratulations if you did! Only 8% were successful in achieving resolution goals.

triathalon and data protectionI barely managed to meet my goal of improving my rankings as a triathlete. In a moment of insanity, I signed up for a half-ironman.  Several months and a few hundred hours of training later, I was race ready.  However, my race had a few glitches, and I wasn’t prepared for the unexpected.

A Triathlon involves swimming, biking and running – in this order.  Each triathlete is typically stronger at one of the 3 sports. For me it is biking.  It is beneficial to know the strengths of the other athletes before race day.   Let me give you an example of why.

The day before the race, we setup our transition areas, which includes, putting our running gear at the location where we dismount our bikes.  I strategically placed my gear to ensure I had a quick exit for my run. Despite that planning, another athlete had researched my previous race results, and learned biking was my strong sport and moved my running shoes.  I got off the bike in first place but it took me three minutes to find my hidden shoes! This gave her a competitive advantage. She finished a couple of minutes ahead of me and won the race.

I learned a couple of lessons in that race that we can apply to Data Protection.

  • I should have held the athlete accountable by turning her into the officials. Data Protection solution needs to be accountable, ensuring data is recoverable no matter what happens or where it lives.
  • One minor mishap affected the overall outcome of my race. A mishap in your Data Protection solution can be detrimental to your business. Reliable Data Protection is more than backup and recovery. It includes protection across the continuum, continuous data protection, and centralized analysis and monitoring.
  • The other athlete was committed to win, albeit unfairly. It is important that your Data Protection vendor be committed to your success for years to come.

Let me ask you, is your Data Protection solution prepared for whatever might happen? (more…)

Your Personal Health Is Like IT: What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

Having been former athletes, my wife and I truly believed we were healthy and in great shape.  We still average at least 6 or 7 hours per week running, cycling, playing soccer, teaching Zumba or TRX or lifting weights.  We’ve worn heart rate monitoring straps for years to enhance performance but the chest-based straps were a pain (literally).  So this year we invested in wrist-based heart rate activity bands.  We still get fairly accurate HR tracking to quantify intensity.  But we also gained additional features, including floors climbed, distance, sleep monitoring, etc.  And we learned a few things in the process….things that required changes to our lifestyle.
healthwearableblogThe same can be said about protecting IT environments.  Administrators generally have access to some details about system health, but often not all components at once, or in real time.  And, much like personal health, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

Think about it for a moment.  I’ll bet your IT environment is not constructed of a single product from a single vendor.  You probably have dozens or hundreds (maybe thousands!) of components and solutions from multiple vendors, and each product type has its own monitoring software.  It’s virtually impossible to monitor each and every component in real time, let alone have visibility into all of them to understand overall status of the environment.  If you’re not proactively monitoring your environment you’re already in trouble.  Being reactive to issues is counterproductive and you’ll end up fighting fires every time a problem occurs.  You simply can’t get an accurate picture of IT health this way!

So the question remains:  what was the most important thing we learned with our HR activity bands?  Simply that we weren’t getting enough sleep.  Well, actually, we were getting enough QUANTITY. We made every attempt to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.  Rather, it was the QUALITY of sleep that was suffering.  Out of the 7 hours of sleep per night, less than 1.5 hours of that was in a deep or REM sleep, which is the type of sleep vital to overall health, daytime alertness, muscle recovery, and much more.  Sleep is your personal health protector, just like your IT infrastructure is the protector of your business data. (more…)

Clearing Up Your Cloud (y) Crystal Ball

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

A colleague of mine recently mentioned that an increasing number of her conversations with customers included discussions on how to optimize and increase the efficiency of their data protection environments.  I faked a yawn since we engage in these conversations every day, but she wasn’t done with her story.

In this case, their concerns included the growing diversity of data protection options, along with multi-site and multi-user solutions, their growing interest in cloud models and the number of stakeholders.  As her backstory neared the end, she asked me the question I now expected:  where did I think MANAGEMENT of data protection is going.  I thought this was a great question.

If we look at what’s been occurring in the industry, the first thing we see is that crucial IT workloads are rapidly shifting from on-premise to cloud-based.  Increasingly, this equates to a hybrid cloud model including private cloud and on-premise components, along with a public cloud component.  We love this model:  Greater flexibility; More IT deployment options;  And, hopefully, lower costs.ThinkstockPhotos-467248618

With cloud IT environments we’re talking about cloud-based services, and orchestration between the private and public components.  Existing best-of-breed data protection management solutions support diverse, heterogeneous on-premise and private cloud environments, and offer role-based access for multiple users, though the IT Administrator is often the power user.  However, effectively managing hybrid cloud-based services requires taking management to the next level.     (more…)

Is Your Data Protection Strategy Spinning Out of Control?

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

data protection solutionWho’s really directing the protection of your business data?  Is it you, the administrator, founded on centralized IT policies, or rather is it based on the dynamic needs of your many stakeholders?  Are industry regulations your guiding principles, which force the occasional all-hands-on-deck audit exercise to verify compliance?  Perhaps the answer is “yes” or “it varies”.

As IT requirements continue to evolve, administrators and business owners need to change the way they consider available data protection solutions while retaining control.  I tend to think of the different types of data protection solutions as the gears on a bike.  I’m sure we all understand the basic principle: by changing gears, the rider can tackle differing terrain and perform the work, i.e. pedaling, efficiently and effectively.  But put the bike in the wrong gear at the wrong time and that hill in front of you just turned into the Col du Tourmalet.

bike_gears (more…)

Are You Ready For the Next IT Fire Drill?

Tom Giuliano

Principal Product Marketing Manager, Data Protection Management Software Solutions
For 17 years, Tom has brought storage, data protection, security and wireless products to market through roles in product marketing, product management and sales. He loves to speak with customers and prospects about their business goals and challenges, their experiences and their needs, and has had a lot of opportunity to do it. Backed with a master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA, Tom is equally comfortable digging into the details with technical personnel as well as translating and delivering the business value story. But honestly – TELLING STORIES is SO much more FUN for him! Tom's current role in product marketing focuses on data protection management solutions and management strategy. He gets to spend his days thinking about how to help you simplify and enhance your experience achieving your data protection objectives. When not driving go-to-market initiatives, identifying unique and creative methods to build product awareness or launching new and innovative offerings, you’ll likely find him cycling, skiing, boating or running. And, who knows, maybe you’ll hear some of more of his interesting experiences in a future post from time to time.

Break GlassYou’re an IT professional.  You could be a backup, storage or VMware administrator, application owner or in a similar role.  Your day is going well.  You believe you’re on top of things.  Then your manager or another business stakeholder calls to inform you that the IT department is being audited. You have 24 hours to answer the following:

  • Are we meeting our service levels?
  • Are our applications and business data recoverable?
  • Which routine changes affect recovery?

Geez!  It would be easier if they asked for a specific bit of information such as whether port UDP 123 is active so your Data Domain can synchronize to a time server.  A quick check into a component element manager could address that one.  But these questions require environment-wide visibility to answer.

Do you know the answers immediately, or know how to get them?  Yes?  Good, you’re in the minority.  But for the balance, your day (and night) just got busy….VERY busy!FireDrill1 (more…)

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