Happy Thanksgiving to Our Loyal Readers

by Administrator on November 25, 2014

turkeyWe have been busy with travel and development, working on a re-boot of the Data Management Institute to coincide with a free on-line video-based training program called Storage Fundamentals which we hope to complete by end of January.  Several sponsors have joined in and we are looking for additional support from the disk array crowd and the flash crowd, in case anyone wants to volunteer.  The financial commitment is minor, but the commitment required to participate in production is key.  We want to include interviews with experts and capture footage of products in use — B-roll footage.  I would also like to get smart customers in front of my camera too.

Additionally, we are working on the next issue of IT-SENSE.org.  The first issue covered Tape Technology and garnered about 6000 visitors per month.  Pretty good.  The next one is on Infrastructure and Data Management.  These are underreported topics despite how important they are to IT service agility and resiliency.

Anyway, Happy T’Day to our readers and stand by to have your proverbial socks blown off by the new DMI.



My Bad…

by Administrator on October 14, 2014

I inadvertently said that our next IT-SENSE webinar was tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon.  It is in fact on Thursday at noon EST.  I am overly energized, I guess, and anxious to get going with this discussion of the vulnerabilities that are being encouraged by agile mainframe data center hype.  Please join us on THURSDAY at noon EST for Business-Savvy Business Continuity for the Agile Mainframe Data Center.  Register HERE or click the picture below…




Thanks, and sorry for the error.


High Noon on Agile Mainframe Data Centers

by Administrator on October 14, 2014

high-noonThe agile mainframe data center idea is being promoted by everyone from CA Technologies to IBM to the many hardware and software peddlers that crowd the increasing number of mainframe oriented events happening around the world these days.  (Yes, I said increasing number, in recognition that mainframes are once again mainstream for a number of reasons including the fact that a Big Blue box weighs and costs less than a high end Dell server.)

Agile was arguably invented in discussions of mainframes, framing the need to expedite the processing of backlogs of application change requests — the bugaboo of mainframe computing cited by those firms that wanted their customers to migrate off of the platform.  Today, I sense that the mainframe is held up as the icon of the server virtualization/hyperconverged computing vendor, who seek nothing less than to achieve the single vendor dominance of a unified software/hardware stack like in the “good old days” of IBM mainframe computing.

There is quite a bit of marketecture in the agile mainframe vision, of course, and a tendency to gloss over the practical requirements for such things as operational continuity that may leave agile strategies and infrastructure MORE prone to catastrophic disaster.

We are going to explore this problem in greater detail this Thursday at “High Noon” (Eastern Time) in a free Brown Bag Webinar program from IT-SENSE.


Register on the IT-SENSE website HERE, or just click on the image above to go to the registration page.  As always, the Brown Bag webinar format will see a 15 minutes presentation, followed by a Between Two LUNs interview with an industry big brain, followed by 15 min of audience Q&A.  This time, our guest is Rebecca Levesque, CEO of 21st Century Software, whose amazing DR/VFI application can help improve the survivability of mission critical mainframe IT ops, whether “agile” or not.

So, pack your Brown Bag Lunch tomorrow and join us for a great discussion of the vulnerabilities of agile mainframes and ways to protect your most mission critical compute platform.



Agile: The Unicorn of Contemporary IT

by Administrator on October 14, 2014

The Agile UnicornThere is nothing wrong with the idea of agile computing.  In fact, I would argue that it reflects a set of values and goals that have defined my role in IT over the years.

Who doesn’t want an IT service that responds quickly to business needs, one that can turn on a dime as the business identifies new opportunities or realizes it has made a misstep?

We always wanted to do that.

Who doesn’t want to provide secure access to applications and data to staff and customers who require it and who are increasingly mobile?  All of us.

Who doesn’t want to deliver the most bang for the buck, to constantly improve service levels while containing or reducing budgetary demands?  Anyone who wants a business to succeed.

So, why are we suddenly raising agility like it is some sort of new idea?  Simply, it is a code phrase, an effort to productize a value, to create a bucket for vendors who want to sell a bunch of hardware or software technology.

Like the six sigma stuff, or ITIL, et al,  I really couldn’t care less about the latest memes in IT business lingo.

I understand them, of course.  But they strike me like the various phraseology that comes into vogue — then just as quickly disappears.  Ultimately, they come to mark a particular time or place.  Remember Valley Girl speak?  How about the phrase, “Wazzuuuup?”  Or “I know, right?”  Agile is like that.  Someday, references to “agile” in the media will provide a nostalgic fix on a time in the early Aughties when the term gained popularity.

There are, of course, some new technologies out there that the agile folks can rightfully claim do or will assist in the realization of the new efficiency.  There always are.

If there is actual evolution in technology, it is the incremental improvement of technology itself and processes for using technology more effectively to deliver improved outcomes measured in terms of greater efficiency and productivity and economy.  Anything that runs in reverse of that is de-evolutionary.

So, in upcoming talks, I am focusing a lot on peeling back the agile onion and helping folks to understand what is really required to evolve IT to the land of unicorns and rainbows.  Hint:  it isn’t simply software-defined processors, networks and/or storage.

The mission is already underway.  Last week, I had some great discussions in Paris, courtesy of TechTarget and LeMagIT, and some private meetings with a large international energy conglomerate on just this subject.  Next week, I will be in London, then two weeks later in New York with Storage Decisions.  I hope the commentary, which runs afoul of a lot of marketecture, finds a willing ear.

At a minimum, I want to start a conversation.



Miss Me?

September 3, 2014

August was a busy month and just whipped by.  I did several webcasts for 1105 Media/Virtualization Review/Redmond Magazine.  Wrote a bunch of articles and columns for the trade press and took a staycation that found me mending and painting and building — basically catching up on the honey-do list. Now that September has arrived, I […]

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Finally, A Sensible Statement About Clouds

July 29, 2014

And from an unexpected source.  A recent comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, Sex Tape, builds a comedic misadventure on the inadvertent upload to a cloud service of a explicit digital video recording made by a middle aged couple seeking to spice up their love life.  After uploading, the husband discovers that he can’t […]

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Heads Down Getting Ready for SHARE 2014

July 29, 2014

I will be talking about Disaster Recovery Requirements in the Agile Mainframe Data Center on Friday, August 8, in Pittsburgh. The talk has been selected for live streaming, so the world will be able to tune in. If you are interested, here is a link to register for SHARE. LINK I am going to count […]

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The Irritation of Storage Tribalism (and Comment Response)

July 9, 2014

I know, I know. As a tech writer and blogger, I should be immune to the occasional pushback from readers who hold views that differ from my own. I usually have a pretty thick skin, but I really hate it when I take the time to respond to commenters only to have the comment facility […]

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Linear Tape File System: The Only Real Software-Defined Storage?

July 8, 2014

  At the IBM Edge 2014 conference in Las Vegas this past May, I had the chance to reconnect with the IBMers most responsible for the development and marketing of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS). I had interviewed Ed Childers, who hails out of IBM Tucson, before. He has been my go-to guy on […]

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Storage for the Tragically Un-Hip

July 2, 2014

  I have been hearing from readers recently who, while complimenting me on my practical articles on topics such as storage efficiency, common sense storage architecture, and so forth, point out that I am covering topics that the “hip and cool” generation of IT folk don’t really care about. For example, I have just completed […]

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