By Dave Kaplow
I just replaced my car stereo system with a high-end HD radio and Bluetooth system, thinking that more features and settings would be better. What I found out is that I needed to print out a 75-page manual to learn probably 1,000 control settings. After a week of reading and experimenting, I am now an expert, with a PhD in Auto Sound. The problem is that the rest of my family doesn't want to go to graduate school in this same area of study. So I ended up having to retrain my other family members who drive the car, and I now dread the day that one of them asks me to make a change, because I can't fit a 75-page manual in my glove compartment.
I got to thinking about parallels to my Bluetooth situation in the IT world, and noticed that more performance and features in this space is also sometimes synonymous with more work. Like if you have to add hundreds of lines of customized scripts just to get a swanky new feature or software program or appliance to work in your environment. And the extra work these extra scripts take is not just one-time and upfront: they also have to be maintained over time if your environment changes.
I guess that’s why I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the current product I’m working on, NetApp MetroCluster. For the price point, MetroCluster allows our customers to achieve continuous data availability with very little human involvement, vis-a-vis our competitors. It’s easy to set up, and takes one command to failover to the other side of the HA pair, whether that pair is on the other side of your data center or 100 kilometers away. You certainly don’t have to have a PhD to make it work. (I just had a sinister thought: what happens to those IT folks who experience lost power or a data center fire, who have to then run their hundreds of lines of failover script, only to have it not work properly? I guess, PhD or not, that’s what you’d call a “resume-generating event.”)
Is yours a business where continuous data availability and zero data loss is a necessity? If so, I’d love for you to drop me a line to tell me what you are doing to meet these needs?