The A-Team and Gartner Have a Lot in Common

I hope I am not dating myself when I quote one of my childhood tv-heroes: “I love it when a plan comes together!” – Hannibal Smith from The A-Team said it well. And that is how I felt when I read the latest Gartner Report 2017 Strategic Roadmap for Storage. Not only do I agree with Gartner’s findings, but I also agree with their recommendations. My team at ioFABRIC nailed this one and we saw it coming three years ago.

Here are Gartner’s recommendations with my comments on what this really means in the industry:

  1. Deploy self-managing storage solutions that reduce reliance on storage experts and external management tools.
  2. Select storage arrays and data management solutions that automate common daily operations and tightly integrate with broader management frameworks.
  3. Map business priorities and outcomes to IT key performance indicators to guide strategic roadmaps for storage projects.
  4. Align the vision of the data center storage and data protection infrastructure with the vision of applications/workloads location and mobility.
  5. Reskill staff and/or hire additional staff to create IT concierge capabilities in the storage team. Create an agile tiger team to work closely with business teams to deliver projects quickly.

What Gartner’s Recommendations Mean for You

Use SDS to foresee problems before they happen

Software-defined storage in its true sense should accomplish #1 and 2 by reducing reliance on already over burdened storage admins.

SDS, if properly built, should include artificial intelligence (AI) that not only simplifies the storage admin’s life by automating common daily operations, but also removes storage silos so all storage is united under a common framework with one management console.

If your current storage system can’t be managed from a single pane of glass, then you need to rethink your storage strategy.

Gone are the days when a storage admin is reacting to problems. ioFABRIC believes that  storage admins are a valuable resource in short supply, and should be used for strategic purposes rather than firefighting.

Set and stick with objectives

Gartner’s 3rd recommendation is about setting objectives – and that should include on a per-workload basis! ioFABRIC’s approach to storage has always been about objectives and deciding “how big, how fast, and how secure” you want your storage to be.

Because ioFABRIC intelligently automates storage to meet those objectives, it is easy for you to map business goals with IT goals.

Know where your data is

Gartner’s 4th recommendation is about data location and mobility. Spoiler alert–This is going to become the next big thing in storage. I agree with Gartner that data center storage and protection must be aligned with the location and mobility of data.

With ioFABRIC, you can specify where your data can reside and set limits on it. For example, you can set certain data to remain onsite or to not leave the country. This particular feature of ioFABRIC will be more important as companies become GDPR compliant.

Make storage simple

The final recommendation from Gartner is to reskill or hire new staff to create IT concierge capabilities.

ioFABRIC’s AI engine will certainly free up time for the IT staff. I don’t know any storage admin that wouldn’t want extra time to offer additional services to the company.

We know the admins that are using ioFABRIC are less stressed, less overloaded, and overall better enabled to respond to additional IT duties.

So once again, I salute Gartner for their report and Hannibal Smith from The A-Team for great childhood memories.

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