Today EMC announced support for fully automated storage tiering, or FAST. I know those of you who aren’t technical are wondering what is that, why do I care?
Technical stuff starts here
Most of the data you need to do your job is probably not stored on your laptop or desktop if you work in a company or a big academic setting.
Let’s take email as an example. You may download email to your desktop, but you download it from a server. In big environments the emails don’t live on the server, they are stored on some sort of storage appliance. The IT folks have to figure out the best way to get you your emails from that storage appliance to your inbox. They may also be charged with storing emails for a certain amount of time (for compliance reasons).
In addition to putting the pieces together, the IT team has to think about performance – or how easy it is for you to get your email open every day. Performance is based on tons of stuff (and books have been written on the technical intracies of this..), but very simplisticly performance is this:
how many people are in the environmentat any given time
how much email is being stored
how big the pipe is from the storage to the email server to your inbox
FAST is a way to move the data around based on how its being used to improve performance. If there are emails being stored for compliance reasons, maybe they can be stored on slower, lower performing, cheaper storage. The emails that need to be accesssed currently can be on the fastest, higest performing storage.
That would make performance better, which would make users happy, so you can complain about something else IT preventing you from doing. 🙂
If you want a more technical explanation, head over to Chuck Hollis’ blog. He has a 3-part series that begins here.
Educational twist starts here
I write training for those IT folks who have to implement, support, and build the systems to deliver the performance users expect. They have to build these high performing systems while cutting costs and maintaining compliance. I talked about the gap this causes from an educational point of view a few days ago, and how my organization is providing remedies to close that skills gap.
EMC is building technologies like FAST that will transform the way information infrastructures are built and used by IT organizations. This means keeping IT folks up-to-date on not only how these technologies work now, but how they are being transformed. And IT folks need to learn all of this new stuff while they support existing environments.
Its not an easy task, especially when there are so many groundbreaking changes happening right now in the technical world.
One thing EMC Education does to help keep people up-to-date on these changes to hosts Engineer 2 Engineer webcasts for people who hold a Proven Professional certification. There are two planned for FAST:
- December 16 – Symmetrix V-Max FAST
- December 17 – Celerra FAST
If you are a Proven Professional, all the details of how to sign up (if you missed the email) are in the EMC Proven Professional Community. If you’re not certified yet, come and talk about how FAST impacts your role as an information and storage management professional.
If you’re not technical and you’re still with me, be nice to your IT folks! There is alot going on in their world, and they really are there for you!