Tonight’s Article? An Exam Cliffhanger!

I am busy studying to pass a certification exam scheduled for tomorrow morning. I am reading every document that I can find on the subject matter from the manufacturer, and I am working with a simulator to practice my skills. I have also written up about 70 flash cards with questions on one side and answers on the other. The truth is though that I do not think much of certifications, or to be more accurate certific

Invest In Non-Technical Training

On October 18th I will be giving a presentation at a TechTarget event (details coming next week) on the FlexPod reference architecture and how it can enable companies to build their own private or hybrid cloud infrastructures. I have received formal training on FlexPod architectures from the manufacturer. I have experience designing and operating the components of a FlexPod architecture (in this case VMware vSphere

The Stagnant Calm Before the Storm of Invention

There are two areas of storage that I believe are stagnant: Backups Performance Now I am sure that there are many people who would argue that neither of these areas are stagnant. There are many different backup solutions available right now, and more and more products are emerging on the scene to provide ever increasing IOPs to ensure better and faster storage performance. I cannot deny either of these truths. In

Problems Are Never Removed, They Are Just Delayed

Today I was reading up on various technologies that allow a server attached to shared storage to handle high amounts of I/O locally. These technologies will “eliminate” the performance bottlenecks that systems encounter when shared resources are overwhelmed by today’s modern computing solutions. About 6 years ago I remember reading how centralized storage solutions allowed a server to handle higher amounts of

You Can Either Take a Deep Dive, or Skim a Large Surface, But Tread Water and You Will Drown

In today’s IT world you have to choose: Either you are going to specialize in one area of IT and be on a constant hunt for mastery of that technology, or you remain an active IT generalist constantly learning the basics of many new technologies. You cannot be someone who learns only a handful of technologies and then expect to have a career in IT. Even if your organization is not requiring that you learn new skil

Technical Books Are Not Enough

Any good IT professional probably has a bookshelf/e-reader full of technical books. O’Reilly books on everything from DNS, TCP/IP, Windows, UNIX, Linux, NAS, SAN, and whatever else you can think of are certainly a big part of my personal library. A well written technical book is great! Reading only well written technical books is not so great though. Technology books only cover one half of IT; Technology books ne

Sometimes Free is Expensive

A friend asked me what I thought of the Xen hypervisor this week, and I gave him my opinion of it. Now I will not get into my friend’s business or my opinion of Xen here. One is another person’s private business that he allowed me to be privy to, and the other is a matter of my personal taste influenced by my experiences. What I will share with you today is that one of the reasons that Xen was being con

Old Technology Is Not Bad Technology

Following my last article on how innovation should not be the goal of a good IT shop but rather a consequence of pursuing excellent service I wanted to address another misconception regarding technology: That somehow a technology’s age determines its usefulness. This is a ridiculous misconception. A technology’s usefulness is determined solely by how well it solves a problem. For example, recently I wro

The Siren Call of Innovation

Like mermaids luring sailors to their doom with their hypnotic melodies, the promise of innovation has caused many an IT professional to crash upon the rocks of a failed project. "But IT is supposed to be innovative!" is what some of you are saying. Wrong. Dead wrong. Entrepreneurs should be innovative. Research and development teams should be innovative. Artists should be innovative. IT is supposed to em