Taking storage intelligence “outside the box”

Do you have a certain word or phrase that every time you hear it is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard? Sometimes publications, such as TIME magazine, will actually publish a list of banished words or phrases that the nation is simply sick of hearing. In case you were interested, recent lists have included over-publicized terms such as selfie, YOLO (you only live once), and literally (when you really mean figuratively). For me the term that—figuratively—brings tears to my eyes whenever I hear it is “outside the box.”

The original premise for that phrase was so promising: take a seemingly intractable problem and look at it from a different perspective or from a different point of view to find a creative solution. Through over use, however, the idea of outside the box thinking became both trivialized and a bit insulting. Have a problem? Try thinking outside the box. Didn’t work? Oh well, good luck then. It takes a considerable amount of work and effort to find and create unique perspectives and look at problems in new ways. The source of my frustration is that the overuse of the phrase trivialized the hard work that it takes to truly find new perspectives. So what does this have to do with enterprise storage?

Topics: Storage migration storage management cloud storage virtualized storage systems storage virtualization

IBM Edge "Is Breadth Manifest" (Includes Video)

The 2015 edition of IBM’s Edge conference recently took place in Las Vegas. While it lacked some of the showbiz sheen of other big industry events, the feeling of being at a cult reunion was just as strong; and any lack of hype was more than balanced by the focus on links to real world business/societal outcomes that permeated everything. There’s a telling irony in that comment: while many vendors declare lofty goals in their conference descriptors that are sometimes based on spurious - or at best strained – links to eventual value, and then actually talk about products, IBM (as so often) treads a different path: It actually declares that the conference is indeed about infrastructure, but then wraps that iron fist of infrastructure in a beguiling and compelling velvet glove of end-user achievement and proven value. 

Topics: IBM Storage IT Infrastructure IBM Edge storage virtualization

Channeling Positive Thoughts at HP's GPC (includes video)

This month (just slightly ahead of the full-force Spring "show season" that hits in April and May), HP gathered its loyal partner base in Vegas at its Global Partner Conference. My colleague, ESG Senior Partnering Consultant Kevin Rhone, and I were on hand and pulled together another "ESG On Location" video to try to capture some of the key take-aways from our perspectives. 

Topics: HP channel partners storage virtualization

Software-defined Storage by Any Other Name

We conduct quite a bit of research around here at ESG. While all of it helps provide us with insight into the challenges and needs of IT organizations, there is one project in particular, on the future of storage, that seems to come up in my recent conversations more often than the others. We conducted in-depth interviews with multiple IT leaders across a number of industries discussing their thoughts and impressions on a number of emerging technologies, such as the cloud, hyper-converged, and software-defined storage. There was one finding in particular that I wanted to discuss. The results relative to software-defined storage presented a unique paradox…

  • On one hand the topic of software-defined storage generated the most confusion among those interviewed, but…
  • On the other hand, once the concept was explained at a fairly basic level, it seemed to resonate with the vast majority of respondents who seemed to grasp the fact that software-defined storage has the potential to help them address some of their most pressing challenges.

With so many vendors talking about software-defined, often with different definitions, it isn’t much of a surprise that there is a considerable amount of confusion in the industry. What is interesting, however, is that the confusion does not seem to curtail the interest.  I had some time the other day to sit in front of a camera and discuss the state of software-defined storage. In this video I try to help clear up some confusion. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Topics: software-defined storage storage virtualization

Advanced Business Value with Virtualization Strategies

This video captures the state of server virtualization and the impact it is having in adjacent IT initiatives. I also step through desktop virtualization, network virtualization, and storage virtualization and the potential economic impact these strategies have on the business.

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage End-User Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization IT Infrastructure Private Cloud Infrastructure Networking desktop virtualization Server Virtualization storage virtualization