Man the Equipment or Equip the Man (or Woman)

Man the Equipment or Equip the Man (or Woman)

In my days as an IT manager there were times that operators and admins effectively had to be near or around the system to keep it working. When we fielded these systems we would have to send a team to “Man the equipment”. When a new boss with prior military experience came in he was appalled by the idea of manning equipment and said, “We equip the Man! We don’t man equipment.”

His point was that the person is the one with the work objective and the equipment is a tool to accomplish the mission objective. The statement has stuck with me; because in my experience the majority of the storage industry continues to expect people to man the equipment. At RackTop we want to enable our customers to easily utilize their data and equip them with the information they need so they can operate their business and achieve there organizational objectives.

Our vision at RackTop is to provide the world with effortless data storage, security, and utilization. We provide our customers with a data ecosystem that eliminates the tedious and unrewarding work associated with managing storage for the enterprise.

With typical storage purchase decisions customers worry about performance and capacity first, will the new system have the performance required to run my applications and will capacity scale with me or will I outgrow it before I can to get a new storage system? Then while installing the new storage there can be a litany of decisions to make in order to optimize the system for capacity and performance. Typically the settings are set and forget until you start to get close to capacity or performance degrades to the point where someone complains. That isn’t fun and certainly isn’t efficient.

With our software defined storage solution, BrickStor, we are using system generated data about how you are using the storage appliance to make recommendations to you about optimal settings and in some cases automatically tuning the system for maximum performance and efficiency. BrickStor has the ability to look at your data from the bottom of the stack as a block on disk all the way up the stack to the application layer. This complete picture enables informed decisions and event driven actions. Imagine you receive the system in October and you are using it and all is well; then in January an upgrade to a major software application changes the way it writes to storage. Do you want to have to go look at the storage to see that things changed and study the dynamics or would you like for your storage to tell you that changes in block size for that data set have been made that have improved performance and aligned IO. With our software defined storage there are a lot of tunable settings. We can use initial templates based on your workload and then let the system adjust and equalize to your specific workload. The result is a high performing storage solution that reduces your cost of ownership with a potential savings greater than the cost of the appliance itself.

This is just one example in how we are making our data ecosystem both smart and autonomous. Data storage is just a part of the data ecosystem. We are creating an environment for business where you can put your data to work for you instead of working for your data. The ecosystem uses system generated data and analytics that minimize human intervention and take the guess work and experimenting out of enterprise storage that make it so inefficient. We want to equip you with your data so that you have a competitive advantage over your competition.

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