Don’t Go Shopping For More Of The Same

Last week I was working the Coho Data booth at VMworld, and I want to thank everyone who made our first year there a huge success! The booth was extremely busy in a very good way. I never had a chance to attend any of the sessions. That is okay though, because the mission was to get people’s attention and that is what we certainly did. This week I want to address something that I have noticed not only at VMworld,

Of Fish & Ferraris

  Yes, I’m somehow going to connect the two images above into a tale about enterprise storage solutions. Who said that creative writing course in college would never do me any good? A mentor and good friend of mine Dan Harpold told me about his friend who was the sales person for a Ferrari dealership. His friend explained that there were two types of people who came to Ferrari dealerships: Those who can afford

Learn How to Hold a Hammer

I was one of those kids who drove my family nuts building various devices and contraptions at my father’s workbench. At best these devices did not work, and at worst these “experiments” worked exactly as I had intended. My father as a precaution put a lock on his workroom door, but when I realized that if you simply removed the pins from the door’s hinges that… Sorry Dad. If it makes you feel any better I

The Difference Between Fault Tolerance, High Availability, & Disaster Recovery

Three terms that I hear being misused often by IT professionals new to the industry are “fault tolerance”, “high availability”, and “disaster recovery”. Here are some pictures that can help you visualize the differences between each of these terms. Fault tolerant solutions have the ability to keep operating even if a component, or multiple components, should fail. In the picture above the aircraft has

Invest In Your Own Lab

My new position with Atlantis Computing has been an intense and fun experience so far. After a week in Mountain View, CA for the worldwide kick-off event I came back home to a full schedule of meetings with both partners and customers. Although I missed two weeks of blog posts, I assure you that I am now full of fresh ideas for new articles as the dust has begun to settle after my changing companies. As with any ne

Practice the Fundamentals: Build Your Own PC

This weekend I spent upgrading, updating, and reconfiguring my daughter’s and my son’s PCs. For the holidays my children received various films on Blu-Ray discs as gifts. We have a Blu-Ray player in our living room, family room, and my wife’s and mine bedroom. You would think that would be more than enough for a family of four, but imagine the following scenario: Child A wants to watch Blu-Ray A. Child B wan

Know The Limits Before You Hit Them

Imagine that you are hired to inspect, categorize, and stack inventory. You are trained, then tested, and you are capable of processing up to eight items per hour under ideal conditions. You are expected to work eight hours a day, and at the end of each day you are to have processed 48 items. With the goal of processing six items per hour you begin your new occupation. You do your job day after day and the organiza

What To Do Before You Get a Job In IT

Occasionally I am asked by someone what should they, or possibly their child, do to get a job in the IT industry. The question is often asked with the hope that I will suggest a course, book, certificate, or some other finite “do-this-and-get-that” task that upon completion will qualify that person to do IT work. There are many great courses, books, certificates, and other such things that will help a person st

Budgets Are Not Solutions

“We do not have the budget for that.” I hear this a lot in my role as a pre-sales solutions architect. I have no problem with this statement being made. I might be pre-sales, but the price of the solution is not my focus. My role is to evaluate the needs of the business and to explore what technologies will properly address those needs. I then present a design using those technologies to the customer. I also as

The Two Sides of the Problem Coin

IT professionals are in the business of solving problems. If a network is too slow we make it faster. If an application is unreliable we increase its stability. These are the types of technical challenges that our industry has become very proficient at dealing with. Problems are not merely technical in nature though. If everyone agrees that the network is fine as it is then everyone will see no reason to make the n