Converged Infrastructure = So What!

Dell, HP and EMC/Cisco have all jumped on the band wagon and been joined by some interesting startups too ( step forward Nutanix)

What is it all about?

A single pre-engineered system that incorporates storage, processing and networks.

Is this new?

No. Isn’t that what you got when you bought from IBM or DEC in the 90’s? And wasn’t this sort of system considered a risk due to vendor tie-in and replaced in favour of open, and more recently, commodity systems?

Nothing is black and white.

It is clear that many big IT shops spend too much time tweaking the hardware ad nauseum which does not add to the bottom-line for the business.

It can be argued that they have felt the need to do this because the right balance between cost, availability and performance come at the expense of good engineering.

The thing is however that hardware has become faster, cheaper and pretty much everything is a commodity CPU these days. Too much time is spent playing with tin while not delivering anything so the infrastructure guys only have themselves to blame for the re-emergence of the pre-built system.

While I want a guarantee of performance and availability the hardware really on matters a little. I want my hardware on the floor quickly and ready for me to run my applications nearly instantaneously; and I want to be able to deploy may applications at the touch of a button. So, sure, Converged might be good but I want self-service and I want it now.

Only you can determine if converged is right for your business. The primary sales propositions are:

  1. we do the engineering to deliver a secure, scalable, high-performance platform
  2. we certify it for specific workloads

The moot point is that you are delivering a ‘service’ and your service is hopefully distinct from that of every other service provider…….

  • so this certification……… is it actually worth anything; does the profile of your lync|UCS|SAP|PaaS mirror what got certified?

I reiterate: converged might be good but I want self-service and I want it now and that is a proposition about software and process automation!

Disclaimer: I  worked for VCE and Digital Equipment.

Leadership

Great businesses always have great leaders.

I am priviliged to have worked for some of the greats in the industry but I have also worked for some who have a lot to learn (and some who unfortunately lack the capacity to become great).

I count Ben Horowitz and Ross Perot amongst the best. They hired well, empowered and gave people stretch goals. They supported and allowed people to acheive (deliver) in the manner that worked for themselves. Criticism was done in private and at the right time and support was always available to help reduce the risk of failure.

Leaders establish the strategy, direction and culture of the company.

Leaders show high levels of  integrity; they do not hide from an inconvenient truth and learn from previous experience.

 

Conversely poor leaders exist in an environment of fear and half-truths;.

Doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get different results is a sign of madness; It is important to learn to identify and move on from a failure; accepting something or someone has failed and learning the lessons of that failure and to move on in a positive manner is a positive management trait. Identify and address the reason for the failure; act in a positive manner and at the right time.

Consider the manager who cannot (will not) hire someone who is clearly exceptional and often better than they; such people are never too far away. Remember people and companies only grow and succeed by virtue of their people; accept help willingly, look to learn from everyone around you, stretch those who work for and with you and be prepared to forgive those who give their all but find that the task is ultimately beyond them (for the time being).

Don’t be afraid of someone elses strengths; embrace those strengths and learn to let them take flight.

If you believe that you, and only you, are qualified to fix every problem in your organisation then you are doomed to failure and more, you are likely the cause of many failures. Identify your strengths, identify those who will help you to become successful and your organisation to thrive and lead.

Belatedly my sixth sense is becoming finely tuned; belatedly!