Winning the Olympic Gold and Modernizing the Data Center shouldn’t be a Flash in the Pan

all-flash-olympicsIt was August 12th. The 100m butterfly finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games glued a nation of 5 million to their television sets as their national swimmer Joseph Schooling competed with the Games’ most medaled and legendary Michael Phelps. Smashing the Olympic, Asian and national records, Schooling became the world’s fastest butterfly specialist and brought home Singapore’s first-ever Olympic Gold medal. Schooling has taught us many valuable lessons. His achievement shows us that we can all achieve our dreams if we set our goals, take actions and stick to the game plan, despite facing challenges and failures along the journey.

What lessons can enterprise IT learn from this success story?

Review and Update Your Business and IT Goals
At the age of 14, Schooling met his idol Michael Phelps in Singapore back in 2008 when the United States Olympic swim team stopped over for a training camp before the Beijing Olympics. Eight years later, he beat his idol with an Olympic record of 50.39 seconds in the 100m butterfly event. Schooling revealed in a local press interview that Phelps helped to inspire him to achieve Olympic glory. His goal is nothing less than a gold medal. With his Olympic dream in mind, Schooling gave himself a higher goal after achieving major milestones.

Many IT professionals have personal goals in their career. But how many know their organization’s business and IT goals? For enterprise IT to achieve success in positively impacting the organization’s business and growth, there must be a strategic goal and plan that motivates every IT personnel. Otherwise, disengaged and unmotivated staff affects IT productivity and staff morale, and even derails your goals.

Most IT organizations have strategic goals to optimize or modernize their data centers through the deployment of virtualization, cloud, software-defined and open platform technologies. With flash drives becoming more affordable over the last few years, compression technologies and business requirement for always-on mission-critical applications, many IT organizations are now looking to modernize their data centers with all flash storage arrays and relegating traditional disk to bulk and archive storage requirements.

If you have not considered an all-flash storage strategy for your data center, this IDC infobrief on global flash technology adoption dated Feb 2016 may change your mind. It concludes that “flash is unlocking innovation and enabling business transformation”.

Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
In swimming, speed and agility are critical. The color of medals is determined by the splits of seconds. To peak one’s performance and prepare for the Olympics, Schooling knew that he had to be mentored by a world-class sports coach and be part of the best swimming team in the world. With a height disadvantage compared to other swimmers, he worked on his powerful kicks which gave him tremendous speed in his swimming strokes and push offs.

In the IT world, scalability, speed and agility gives businesses the competitive advantage. Flash technologies provide the best balance of performance and cost at any scale and for any applications workload. When it comes to applications availability and performance bottlenecks, enterprise IT can consider introducing flash storage to give applications performance a boost. A flash assessment is a comprehensive proposal process to demonstrate the value of buying an all flash solution based on performance impact, operational impact, financial impact and business impact. It highlights areas of storage performance improvements, storage capacity savings, application level improvement and improved overall total cost of ownership. You can assess your storage infrastructure’s current state of health with EMC flash assessment service.

Fuel Your Data Center
Besides working out in the pool, swimmers need to fuel their bodies for optimal performance with proper nutrition and dietary plan. A scientific study revealed that muscle fiber would deteriorate when swimmers stayed out of practice for more than eight days. For every month of staying out of the water, you would require three months to gain back your anaerobic and aerobic levels. You would have lost speed and agility permanently as a result. Olympic swimmers need to be highly disciplined in both their training and dietary regimes in sustaining their peak performance.

When you detect insipient signs of application performance bottlenecks or fatigue, you certainly don’t wish to see a negative impact on the business. Dissatisfied customers may never return due to slow online experience or incomplete transactions.

So don’t let just keep the lights on, fuel your data center with all flash storage!

About the Author: Sebastian Yiang

Product Marketing Consultant, Dell EMC Storage & Data Protection, Asia Pacific and Japan I started out in the IT industry almost 25 years ago as a systems analyst in a large telco within its Internet Service Provider business unit to drive product and business development for consumer and enterprise Internet services. I then had the opportunity to do business development and product marketing for connected consumer electronics, managed hosting and data center services, and storage solutions before I joined EMC. My current role at Dell EMC is product marketing consultant for Data Protection Solutions for Asia Pacific and Japan region. I am based in sunny Singapore and enjoy traveling with my family.