Is Life in the Fast Lane All That It’s Cracked Up to Be?

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If House Bill 459 passes the Georgia Senate this spring, starting in July, “slow-poke drivers” on GA highways will be required to get out of the way of faster drivers, else risk being pulled over and ticketed. While bill proponents say the law is all about safety, I wonder.

I just drove an 8-hour stretch on I75 last week from Atlanta to Sarasota, FL, and back, and not once did I encounter a “slow-poke driver” let alone a slow-poke driver who put my life or those of others at risk. Super speeders? Yes. Slow-poke drivers? No.

So, perhaps the bill is just another symptom of a fast world getting even faster. The race to get there (wherever “there” is) faster… and first.

Even in the world of IT, the race to do things faster and easier seems to restart daily, and this applies to those of us on the IT side buying and implementing technology, those on the vendor side developing the technology, as well as those of us straddling both worlds.

But as we all know, faster doesn’t necessarily mean easier—nor does it necessarily mean better or safer… or that you will even win in the end.

In fact, the rush to deploy new technologies can have, and often does have, negative consequences. Similarly, the rush to innovate, particularly for innovation’s sake, can have costly business effects. On the flip side, failing to deploy new technologies or adopt new ways of doing things can have paralyzing business effects.

Without a doubt, keeping pace with technology advances is a delicate dance.

Take cloud. For IT organizations, knowing what do, when to do it and with whom to do it is challenging, to say the least. And while the Dilbert cartoon that’s been circulating on LinkedIn over the past couple of weeks has made many of us chuckle in a “where in this together” kind of way, it also captures a very real picture of the uncertainties life in the cloud can present.

Yes, the pace at which new technologies are coming at us is both exhilarating and a wee-bit scary at times. Market dynamics have changed, and as they have so too have the rules of doing business.

I’ve talked about the shift downstream that organizations that want to compete successfully in today’s digital world are having to make. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes are talking about the new rules of business in their new book Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation. (They’ve proposed a new market adoption model, to replace Roger’s Bell Curve model, that has a whole lot of folks on-line and, my guess is, a whole bunch debating and discussing at business schools talking nation-wide. ) And Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee are talking about life in The Second Machine Age in their book The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

Agree with Dawar or not. Agree with Downes and Nunes or not. Agree with Brynjolfsson and McAfee or not. Agree with me or not. Rapid change is coming.

The question that remains is, will life in the fast lane be all that’s it cracked up to be?

Be sure to check back next week when Guy Churchward shares his thoughts on the coming of The Second Machine Age.

 

 

 

 

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

The Suite Life

 

EMC Data Protection Suite

While waiting for the next polar vortex to bring freezing weather, some backup administrators undoubtedly find themselves daydreaming. Wouldn’t it be nice to teleport yourself to a warm, sunny beach resort until the storm blows over? But then the phone rings and it’s back to reality.

As the amount of data to protect continues to increase every year, administrators often struggle to implement the “best” backup, recovery and archive solutions to meet their current and future needs. If only they had the flexibility to quickly deploy the best solutions across physical and virtual machines at anytime, without calling their sales rep, requesting more funds, and dealing with the purchasing department. Is it just a dream?

Fortunately, there is a solution and it is available today. For many enterprise organizations, the number of virtual servers is outpacing the growth of physical servers. Time to buy new licenses to protect all that critical data on virtual machines? Not necessarily. Recovering data more quickly and easily would be great too, but it’s not in the budget…. Or is it? And the desire to move data from primary storage to other media can improve performance and lower costs. Need new licenses to deploy an archive solution? Maybe not.

The EMC Data Protection Suite won’t teleport you to a sunny, warm beach, but it can help you get there faster. By simplifying the purchase, deployment, and management of data protection software it has never been easier to protect critical data. With the freedom to mix and match solutions across physical and virtual environments, administrators can enjoy real flexibility. And they can meet evolving business needs, while reducing management and costs. Take a look at the Suite and see what it can do for your organization. It could help you free up the time to enjoy that much needed vacation

 

David Garcia
I have been marketing high-tech solutions and gizmos for more than 23 years. Along the way, I’ve held a variety of management roles in marketing, sales and consulting, and have amassed a wealth of storage industry experience, particularly in tape, disk, and deduplication solutions. I earned an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business, and am living life in Irvine, California.

A Strong VSPEX Foundation Is Built On Data Protection!

Readers of my blogs probably know that I am guilty of spending the odd hour or three in a video game. My latest gaming quest is to work my way up the score ladder on the newly launched “VSPEX: The Simple Way To Deploy Your Cloud” game. As of this posting, I am at 20,000 points and aiming for the leader at 35,000! I will have to make some headway during my flights out to VMware PEX. :)

When first finding out about the game and launching it, I found the scoring mechanics interesting. The points you gain correlate with acquiring components to build a VSPEX solution! If you didn’t notice, the first component required for building a VSPEX in the game is Backup.

As I discuss in the video embedded at the top of this post, Backup is often tossed to the wayside when discussing private cloud deployments. This puts your business at a disadvantage before implementation even starts, and at a greater risk of data loss when not planning data protection proactively. We’ll certainly be elaborating more on this topic with VMware PEX attendees next week in San Francisco.

For those of you that will be heading out to VMware PEX you can take a look at a great preview put together by fellow blogger Phil George here.  If you are specifically interested in our boot camp happening on Monday the 10th, you can also get a detailed agenda on Chad Sakac’s PEX Bootcamp Preview post. As Chad mentions, this boot camp will be epic and will include topics like EMC VSPEX, EMC Data Protection, and other incredible technology that EMC is working on in the coming quarters.

Once you are at the show stop by Booth #401 to see where you land on the top score list! We will have the game live in the booth, and I look forward at attempting to beat the high scores!

Alex Almeida

Alex Almeida

Technology Evangelist, Data Protection and Availability Division
My passion for technology started at an early age and has never stopped. Today, I find myself immersed in data protection. Yep, I live, breathe and tweet backup, availability and archive. In fact, nothing short of fully understanding how things work will keep me from digging deeper. But when I’m not evangelizing on the benefits of backup or technology in general, I can be spotted at a New England Revolution game, behind the lens of a camera or listening to my favorite albums on vinyl. In addition to blogging for The Protection Continuum, you can find me on the EMC Community Network. Also, I'm a member of EMC Elect 2014, and I'm active in the New England VMware User Group (NEVMUG) and the Virtualization Technology User Group (VTUG). Let's get technical!

IT Pay Rises As Roles Shift from Back Office to Boardroom

pay-raise

Up, up and away…IT salary and compensation plans are up 5% year-over-year, and are slated to rise another 5% this year, according to TechTarget’s 2013 IT Salary and Careers Survey, released in  December.

Yes, yet more proof that as IT’s center of gravity shifts from the back office to the board room, its value to the business also changes. IT professionals are seen less as cost centers and more as business drivers, and as this happens, IT compensation trends upward.

Fewer companies are “pegging compensation strictly to job position,” writes Linda Lucci, executive editor for SearchCIO. Instead, they are being determined by more traditional business metrics (e.g., economics, industry, culture and ‘financial affordability’ factors), she explains.

In other words, salaries are being tied to business outcomes. This bodes well for IT professionals who get it (i.e., those who understand that their role is strategic first; tactical, second); not so much for those who don’t.

EMH Healthcare‘s IT organization gets it. Walgreen’s CFO gets it. What about you? How do you measure success?

Are you like 18% of TechTarget survey respondents who say they measure success by achieving ROI on projects and technology purchases or are you like the 47% who base success on their ability to help achieve a business goal or outcome?

And what about your company? What business value does it expect from IT/technology projects this year? Is it focused downstream on employee productivity, customer service delivery, etc., or is it focused upstream on product and service creation or delivery?

Do you get it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

NAS Control to Major Tom

106380539Given the exponential growth of unstructured file data along with limited IT budgets and staff, the ability to efficiently backup and recover critical data residing on NAS systems can be a real hassle, to say the least. All-too-familiar challenges include:

  • Full and incremental NDMP backups that exceed backup windows
  • Tedious, multi-step recovery methods
  • Failure-prone tape devices that can be difficult to manage
  • Lengthy backups that hinder NAS consolidation and increase costs.

Fortunately, there are things you can do about these problems. As you evaluate the best way to protect your environment, you’ll want to consider the impact of you existing backup infrastructure on performance, time and cost:

  • Performance: Integrated data deduplication can help improve performance, while significantly reducing network and storage costs. Also, single-step data recovery can help eliminate the hassle of restoring the last good full backup along with subsequent incrementals to reach the desired recovery point.
  • Time: By deploying a backup and recovery solution that can span physical and virtual environments across the entire enterprise, you can significantly reduce the amount of time and resources spent managing your infrastructure. This can free up staff and funds for other IT initiatives and projects.
  • Cost: In addition to reducing the amount of data sent across the network and stored to disk during backup operations, backup data can also be asynchronously replicated offsite daily via existing IP networks for disaster recovery. This eliminates the management, cost, and risk associated with shipping tapes offsite, proving you with peace of mind.

So, if you have room for one more New Year’s resolution (it’s never too late, is it?), promise to learn more about EMC Data Protection Solutions. It’s never been easier to quickly and efficiently protect your NAS environment and everything else across the enterprise!

 

David Garcia
I have been marketing high-tech solutions and gizmos for more than 23 years. Along the way, I’ve held a variety of management roles in marketing, sales and consulting, and have amassed a wealth of storage industry experience, particularly in tape, disk, and deduplication solutions. I earned an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business, and am living life in Irvine, California.