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For years, the IT industry has been experiencing growth in outsourcing.  Organizations large and small have looked to utilize the promises of lower cost of operation.  Witnessing this trend over time has allowed me to see something emerge that I have long held as truth.  Users have a responsibility to be accountable.  Accountable to the service that they have contracted for, the information provided, the knowledge of the ownership of information, the recoverability,  the usage, and the measurement against established criteria to name a few.  Cloud is no different.  I like to say, “You cannot manage that which you do not measure, and you cannot measure that which you do not know about”.  Nonetheless, countless organizations dive into contracting for a service at one level and demand the service of the levels above that which they have contracted for. Read the rest of this entry »

Deduplication is certainly a hot topic! I have seen many great discussions about deduplication in many different forums. Many of the discussions center around technical specifications.  Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon.  Technical specifications address the applicability of a particular product to a range of uses, sometimes broad but more often narrow in focus.  Deduplication has grown out of many different needs in the industry.  The greatest of these is cost reduction.  Cost reduction in storage, backup, network, and protection (lumping information security with data loss prevention and the like). Read the rest of this entry »

If most everyone agrees that information, not data ( http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=268 ),  is critical to the health of a business, why does information not get protected in accordance with this importance?  Cost containment is absolutely important ( http://blog.engagedconsulting.com/?p=356 ), but at the feet of enormous risk? I have seen  a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul in enterprise environments big and small throughout my years; however, it seems to be getting worse instead of better.  For instance, one organization prioritizes their financial databases as mission critical.  In so doing, the operational recovery (backup) solution was designed with deduplication.  Sounds fundamental, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Much debate has occurred over the priority order of information confidentiality, availability, or integrity.  Which one is more important than the other? It depends. Typical consultative answer right? You cannot blindly say which is more important.  The business situation changes the priorities, albeit minor in altitude.  Not all information is created equal; thus, we cannot blatantly say that it should be treated with the utmost availability, integrity, or confidentiality. Read the rest of this entry »

OK. This post is a bit different than the usual topics I would write about, but it’s one that I feel is worth addressing. On Twitter, there is a (loosely honored) tradition called “Follow Friday”, where you call out the people that you think are worth others following (in case you don’t do Twitter, that is the same as subscribing to a persons “tweets” or messages, OK?). Well, earlier today, I sent a tweet which said:

I am *so* close to unfollowing a few folks for pushing out the same tired, crappy tweets over and over again.

I am about to start a new (loosely honored) tradition of my own called “Unfollow Friday”… complete with it’s own hashtag (#UFF).

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Outsourcing, co-location, leasing, COO / CFO absorption of the CIO role, cloud computing and so on are the topics littered across the landscape of today’s IT world.  Reading an article recently (http://bit.ly/e80vBP) sparked a long running exposed nerve I have endured painfully throughout my career in this industry, IT.  While it is absolutely true that we should not bind ourselves within the boarders of our thought, nor our physical location.  The truth resounds in a deafening roar, “Do not forget the human element!”  People are still a part of this technological world.  Processes certainly support people and are automated by technology; however, this does not take the place of the communion that occurs between people. Read the rest of this entry »

I recently had the pleasure of engaging with a great group of folks on the itSMF Rocky Mountain Local Interest Group (LIG) on Green IT.

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We really need to transform what the American IT workforce is made up of. Instead of teaching COBOL, Pascal, C++, and other elements of technology, we really need to teach how to align business and IT to take advantage of innovation and creative thinking. The way to align business and IT is to focus on the customer experience and the value that they live in that experience.

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In a recent tweet, I wrote:

“There is no magic in standards. The magic is where conformance integrates with how you do business. Anything less is wasted time & money!”

Actually, I’ve been saying that for a long time. It’s been true all along.

Why do I say that? Let’s have a look…

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Technology is not a Plan.  Technology enables a Plan.  A Plan coordinates the people and processes that are then enabled by the technology.  A replication package only “copies” (I realize it does more than copy, but for simplification purposes that’s what we will call it) bits from one location to another one.  How do you decide what to replicate?  How do you decide whether there is corruption?  How do you handle a hardware failure on one or both of the arrays which are involved in the replication during a disaster?  Who declares disaster?  Who makes the decision to purchase an array, if necessary?  How do you communicate between team members if cell phones and land lines are down?  Where do you go to connect if the normal location is inaccessible (blocked off by police, etc.)? Read the rest of this entry »

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