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Back home for the weekend…………..

December 13th, 2008 No comments

After a week of traveling to various cities…..glad I am back home tonight for the weekend. Boston trip was great and fruitful, while the travel was overkilling, the actual excitment of meeting with customer and potentially being able to close the deal was great…..


Spent some time reading quite a few blogs today. 

There is a good blog posted from Dave at NetApp  http://blogs.netapp.com/dave/2008/12/management-less.html, highlighting the management corelation to todays IT world with Hernando Cortez from the 16th century. 

A Blog posted by Chuck Hollis http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2008/12/do-you-really-need-a-san.html about DO YOU REALLY NEED A SAN. A brillantly written blog defending EMC strategy and why your storage is not going anywhere……

Technical Blog from Diwakar http://www.emcstorageinfo.com/2008/12/clariion-disk-format-structure.html explaining the Clariion Disk Structure and the importance of the 520 bytes of format style it has. 

The above 3 were the picks of the day…..

Windows vs Mac (My Lenovo Thinkpad vs a Mac Book, can i really upgrade to a MAC)

December 12th, 2008 No comments

What a day……..got back home late last night from Atlanta, had to go to office early morning today for some meetings. Wrapped up all by 4 PM and left to go to Boston at 6 PM. With the northeast storm system moving in, by the time I got to the hotel atleast after a 6 hour nasty rain / ice drive….

 

So I got a call about 2 weeks ago from the EVP of Sales and Marketing at the company asking to see if there was anything we can do to get him a MAC rather than him using an IBM Thinkpad (now Lenovo). It was really the first time I heard that from someone who has been a Windows fan for years or rather a request from one of the top Execs at the company.

Oh….the reason people come to me to ask about a new laptop / desktop is because I head the IT Operations: have responsibilities for Security, Networking, Applications, Software’s, Databases, Hardware (Servers, Desktops, Laptops). So I have been a big fan of IBM Thinkpad laptops, every laptop we buy is absolutely an IBM now Lenovo Thinkpad T Series.

Last weekend I was travelling to NC to meet up with my family. During the visit, I helped my Uncle fix atleast 4 of his PC’s in his Office, and he went to tell me all the problems he has been having with it.

My cousin in NC has been using a Thinkpad T 41 for 5 years now and it’s really time for her to upgrade her laptop. So she just wanted to buy a Mac book and nothing else. We went to the apple store to purchase the 13 inch Mac book. Once we brought it home, I got to play with it for couple of days to setup stuff, etc, it was great!!!!

I have been a windows person myself for the past 7 years since I entered the computer industry. All we run at the office is a windows based environment. Never thought there would be anything else good and better than this. I just upgraded my T43 to a T500 (I believe it’s a replacement model for a T61). I love it (or maybe I loved it the first couple of months). All my home Desktops and laptops are windows based.

So now past weekend my wife tells me, if we could look at purchasing a Mac book for her rather than upgrading her PC, I conservatively said, let’s think about it. She bought an iPhone about 8 months ago and she loves it. I had a chance to play with it earlier in the days when she purchased it (or we used our Amex Platinum Points to buy it).

My Lenovo Thinkpad T500 is great, but about couple of weeks ago (I have it only for 2 months now), I started having this issue with it where it would freeze up and the only way to recover it would be to restart it. The last several days, it has been so bad that I have restarted my laptop atleast 14 times.

After all these reboots, at least one think I learned is that my outlook is freezing it up for some reason. How can you run your pc and work without running your email program. Tried installing windows patches, tried installing office patches, but nothing.

I am really getting very frustrated at this point and really want to look at purchasing a MAC book. Will have to give my T500 back to the company. Also will possibly get my wife a Mac book for Christmas this year. But the challenge I have is everything we have it windows based, there are several programs like Microsoft money etc I use that are absolutely not available on a Mac platform. But I think initially with running parallels or bootcamp, I will be able to get around it. Most of the other programs we use at office all have MAC versions like blackberry, office, etc, so I believe overall we should be okay. It will be challenging to do Windows Administration using a MAC though, but with remote desktop life might be easy.

Anyways, I think it’s time for me to wish myself good luck and see if this is really feasible to upgrade myself to a MAC book………

Concentration of Storage Machines based on Geographic Locations

December 11th, 2008 No comments

So when I created this blog using Blogger, I had a chance to review Google Analytics (data for the visitors is collected and analyzed). The beauty of it is you can track your visitors based on geographic locations, concentrations and importantly what data the user wants to read. Based on this we are now able to find where most of the Storage is located in the world. Also Analytics, Lijit and Feedburner will give you search terms used by your users to reach to your site, which does tell you, what your reader reads, what info he is interested in and if he likes what he reads based on the time he spends on the page.

 

So based on all the visits, here is a very important piece of information related to Storage Concentrations in the World.

 

The most concentration of Storage machines is possibly on the East Coast of US. Following that is the Bay Area in California and then Dallas Metro. Other states do seem to have a fair share of Storage Machines but I believe the above 3 would be where we might have at least 20 to 30% of all the storage worldwide. States like Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Hawaii and Alaska seem to have the least concentration of Storage in the US.

 

Internationally, a lot of hits seem to come from UK, around the London Metro. Most of the storage related hits are from Western Europe, including Sweden, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This is another large chuck of the business for the Storage OEM’s.

 

After that area, the most EMC, STK, Hitachi related hits come in from South East Asia, India topping the list – Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi (I believe that would be because of outsourced Storage Administration there), next is Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and China. In China the most concentration is around Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

 

Another important area for Storage concentration is in Middle East, a ton of keyword searches from Dubai (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. Believe it or not, Iran and Iraq is where they have Symmetrix and Clariions as well.

 

Next in the list is beautiful Australia, but hits for symcli and clariion related searches are limited to Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. I have been to Australia several times, and a ton of EMC concentration is around Sydney and Melbourne, with some large banks in Melbourne housing data to some world renowned US based companies located in Sydney, it’s one of the big EMC markets.

 

Lastly on the list is South America, with most of the hits limited from Brazil and Venezuela. I seldom see hits or storage related key word searches coming in from Africa, if any it would be limited to South Africa and Botswana.  

 

Again you think of the visits above and you wonder, if we ever travel internationally, isn’t it pretty much limited to these geographic areas. I believe at this time, the rest of the world where we don’t see a big activity is where we need to create storage awareness.

 

Since the blogs I write are about multiple OEM’s, hits are relative to those technologies. I am sure this data will be good for EMC, NetApps, HDS, 3Par, PillarData, SUN Storage and other Storage folks to develop market strategies based on geographic locations.

 

If marketing guys need any data, please feel free to email me. Be more than glad to share. 

About me, this blog, my work, the ideas and vision…

December 6th, 2008 19 comments

Greetings from Cold New Jersey today!!!!

Had a long busy week: To sum up some of the activities, Pre Sales Conference calls with Customers, some team review meetings, some new employee interviews, management meetings, meetings with internal marketing teams for documentation creation, vendor meetings with some technology solution providers and had to attend 3 escalation calls.

It was action packed week but the matter of truth is, it was great, it keeps the adrenaline going.

With some travel restrictions in place, atleast the good thing is, I get to spend some quality time in the office taking care of normal day to day business. Next week is again back to travelling going Atlantic City, Atlanta and Boston. All for customer meetings, partner training and win some new business.

Sometimes staying away from the family is not the best thing either. We live in NJ and my wife is a stay home mother these days taking care of our 3 year old daughter.

Bio:

With more than 7 Years of IT experience, Devang is currently the Director of Technology Solutions and IT Operations. Devang has held several positions in the past including Sr. Systems Engineer, Sr. Network Engineer, Technical Support Manager, Director of Storage Support & Operations. He has been responsible for creating and managing worldwide technical support teams, technology solutions team, operations management, service delivery, pre and post sales support, marketing and business planning. In his current role Devang oversees multiple aspects of the Technology Solutions Group that works with various Multinational and Fortune 500 companies providing them infrastructure services. Along with various industry certifications, Devang holds a Bachelor of Science from South Gujarat University, India and a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

Blogging:

This blog started as more of a project to put some technical information together. I never thought I would be able to write so much or be able to think creatively to put this information together. Started writing some small articles on the internal company blog to see how I did, now it takes about an hour or two to write a major blog article. Also about 8 months ago when I started the Data Storage Professionals group on Linkedin, I really thought there should be a place for all the group members to go and read technical information regarding Storage. I would eventually like to add more modules on to the blog allowing users to post updates, discussions, jobs, etc.

Since I started writing blogs on this site, I came across blogs of Chuck Hollis from EMC, Dave’s Blog from NetApp, EMC Storage Product Info from Diwakar, Information Playground from Steve Todd, Storage Architect from Chris Evans and StorageMojo from Robin Harris.

Believe it or not, I really like articles from Chuck Hollis even though the industry has been a critic of him, he does have futuristic ideas and his blogs are very pro EMC.

The drawback reading most of the bloggers is everyone pretty much talks about the technology or the OEM they work for and not necessarily say positive things about other bloggers from competition OEM’s technology.

Chris Evans is really good on the Storage Architect Blog, Diwakar is very technical on the EMC Storage Product Info Blog and I enjoy reading his blogs. Robin Harris doesn’t have to say good about any of the OEM’s, but it is good to read an independent person.

Couple of weeks ago, from Chris Evans’ Blog I ran into the blog of Martin Glassborow, the StorageBod. I have been really impressed by his writings.

So when I started blogging I decided I wanted to keep this blog about technical data rather than talking about industry storage throat cutting practices or write positive or negative about other bloggers.

So far I have kept a positive approach on my thoughts and have pretty much stayed with my ideas of where I would like to see this go over the next several months.

I see a lot of visits on this blog from all over the world and have been amazed with the response the readers have given me with comments and / or emails. The subscriptions and visits on the blog go up everyday wanting me to write more about the technology and data I have had experience in over all these years.

With my work schedule at times, it’s very hard for me to be able to think creatively and sit and write something for an hour or so. I normally like to keep my blogging after work hours and on weekends to keep my creative thinking and creative writing going. I have been visiting websites of many technology and solutions providers to understand what and how they work with storage and have been writing some blogs about them as well to describe their practices and solutions.

I had committed myself to write 4 blogs a week, but I rarely have time to do that. I think going forward I will atleast try to keep it to 2 to 3 blogs a week if possible.

One day I ran across youtube storage videos where I saw all these users posting EMC, NETApp, 3Par, Pillar Data, HP EVA, HDS related videos, and I thought it would be a good idea to have a link from my blog to these videos for users to be able to learn and understand these technologies.

Work:

I started working at Telcordia Technologies about 7 years ago, believe it or not as a Network Engineer.  Worked with a great group of people, I had guys in the teams that were the intial group of people that had invented SONET. Every other guy you walk by had a Phd in something or the other. That was short lived and then I moved to Computer Data Source, Inc and have been working there for about 6 years now.

As work started getting busy for me in the early years, new challenges kept on coming and I excelled at all of them, but back in my mind I always had known I had to keep myself creative and abreast with the latest industry trends; while growing both my managerial and technical skills.

The biggest challenge in this industry is to keep a balance with innovativeness, management, sustaining growth, lifestyle improvement, being competitive, building a professional network, get way from repetitive day to day activities and being creative. When you are expecting for such a well balanced and fine tuned work life, things sure become complex and challenging.

Being able to grow in this market has a lot to do with my early childhood, mind set of being in competitions, educational background, my sports background with roller skates, project management skills, technical skills, ideas and vision. A combination of the above has brought me much closer to my goals.

So the storage journey for me started about 5 years ago, believe it or not until the first 4 years, I never even realized I was in the storage industry. Until earlier this year I started meeting up with some Storage Experts, Technology Consultants and Storage Architects. That’s when the light bulb really went on that I had been in this industry working with a ton of customers doing pre sales support, post sales support, creating and writing marketing documents, writing white papers, doing performance analysis, creating a team of worldwide support engineers, growing the business in various countries in different continents, providing training, providing escalation support, managing service delivery through out the world, being able to understand the technology and pitch it to the customers in terms of savings, interfacing developers to help manage and lead the technology, working with financial folks to delivery numbers in terms of profits back to the organization and the knowledge I had gained in this industry was much beyond what I thought I really had. That is when a real shift in my work life began with wanting to do new things that we had never even attempted to do before.

Working for an Independent Service Provider life is always challenging, working with limited technology, limited resources, limited documents, no engineering support and being able to provide services to meet or beat the OEM standards at a fraction of a cost……..it is a big challenge to delivery and keep the business expansion in place.

Now the philosophy has really changed, think working for a Independent Service Provider is great, but the idea is to work with OEM’s on bleeding edge technology to further promote growth in the organization.

These days, I am out on a new venture to do great things, I wish in a long run it all works out. I hate to be cryptic like this, but I believe as we start going to the market with the plans we have and with the work we do, we will be able to become leaders in that vertical market space. Blogging has a lot to do with this change which I realized earlier this year. Now I do feel to be very creative and enthusiastic about the success forthcoming.

Success, Industry, Ideas, Vision:

SUCCESS & GROWTH: Business Vision, Challenges, Innovativeness, Creativity, Teamwork and Goals have everything to do with this. Oh…… I forgot the most important things —- HARDWORK AND PERSISTENCE. Success is not imminent, it comprises of the above, if there is any compromise you will very easily get swayed away from your targets and goals.

Early in the days the team I headed, we all realized these were very important aspects of our success, we kept these things in mind and kept working hard. 5 Years in the making now the business growth is phenomenal, the partnerships we created are a jubilant and the customers we have are our diamonds. Again it wouldn’t have happened without all the components of success and teamwork put together.

The succeed in this market place it is required to work closely and form teamwork not only in the team you head but with other teams (like Sales, Marketing, Engineering) that are key components of your end results.

We kept on achieving targets and setting up new goals that were unreachable, but at the end of the period, we had always exceeded them.

I do want to keep blogging and work with Storage industry leaders to bring some new ideas and visions on the table.

This is a real time for OEM’s to work together to create industry standard practices rather than throat cutting tactics. Customers today are proving that by going way from their homogenous storage to heterogeneous storage platforms. If we do not do anything about it today, this industry will be segmented like the automakers here in US. We sometimes forget the innovations and go after marketing tactics to throw other OEM’s out, may be in a long run it just hurts the industry.

With all new technologies coming out to the market these days, no single OEM can combine all of those together in a single piece of hardware or software neither can the customer use one homogenous technology to solve all their business problems. It is very important to promote and support cross platform technologies to help the customer resolve their pain points…..