• United States

Wish list for holidays

Dec 18, 20035 mins
Data Center

* A letter to Santa

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you again this year. I am still 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in the storage newsletter, it’s so.” He is an IT director. Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? If there is, please give him this wish list from Papa.

Dear Santa,

I would really like the following for Christmas. If that is not possible, I would be glad to accept them for Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Arbor Day or Midsummer Night’s Eve.

1. A self-configuring storage-area network (SAN), please, with switches from two different vendors and a whole lot of storage from any company I care to choose from when the need arises. I know I asked for this last year Santa – and the year before – but I really, REALLY want it this time around.

2. For storage administrators a real, working cloak of invisibility to wear… just in case the CEO of their company ever figures out that 90% of the time a key revenue system is offline is due to PLANNED downtime.

3. Systems that really self-heal, self-optimize, self-protect and self-configure.  I don’t care if they are called Autonomic Computing, or N1, or Adaptive Infrastructure, but I’d sure like to see these before I get too much older.

4. For my friend K in California, I’d like for a client to say something nice when she actually manages to get people interested in her technology.

5. For IT managers everywhere, an end to that insufferable stream of software patches from Microsoft – and an end to the never-ending necessity of bringing down key apps to accommodate those patches.  And to accommodate the patches that fix those patches…

6. For R in Edmonton, an alternative to all that planned downtime on his SAN.

7. For buyers of storage software and hardware, a sales rep who’s able to explain the rationale underlying his company’s ROI calculations. Hopefully, the rep will work for a vendor sensible enough to share with prospective buyers just what the basic business assumptions in its ROI analysis are.

8. For Keith, more stable systems, and increased security for the building where he stores his data.

9. When I buy several tools from a single vendor, it sure would be nice to have a single user interface across all the products.

10. Get the remaining hold-out companies that have yet to sign up for the SMI-S (Santa: in case you haven’t been paying attention, that’s the Storage Networking Industry Association’s “Storage Management Initiative Specification,” which provides a specified set of interfaces to help vendors achieve interoperable SAN solutions) to subscribe to the standard, and to get their products certified according to SNIA’s new Interoperability Conformance Test Program.

11. The ability to identify the root cause of any problem that appears in my storage environment.  If there is anything I hate more than a snow blizzard, it’s a blizzard of trouble tickets that just tell me there is a problem but give me no hint as to the problem’s cause.

12. Some simple appliances that give managers of small and midsized IT departments some of the same abilities to protect data that enterprise IT managers have in their much larger shops. After all, data is just as important to a smaller company as it is to a larger one.  The numbers may differ, but the degree of criticality is the same.

13. Please do some quick gene-splicing and create for me some new staffers who are much brighter than the ones I have now, and who are guaranteed to work for cheap and who will not make mistakes. (I used to think my team was really good, but we changed some systems last week and the new configurations have crashed a half dozen times even though my guys were careful as they could be when they rewrote the scripts).  If you can’t do this, Santa, I’ll be just as happy if I find some really good automation software in my stocking.

14. As the interrelationship between my IT systems gets more complex, please give me the ability to monitor and analyze the points at which the various systems intersect with one another.  I am convinced it is at these points that my systems are failing.

15. Continue improving the economy, so that all my friends out there can find jobs they enjoy, and so that businesses can continue to enhance their investment in storage infrastructure.

16. The ability to sleep at night (get me any three of the above, and I’m pretty sure this will follow).

Santa, these are reasonably straightforward requests. 

If you will get me the things I ask for, I will be really good for the next four quarters, and I promise to live up to all my service-level agreements and justify each of my purchases with a really great ROI analysis so my chief financial officer can understand what I am doing.

Thanks Santa