Top 10 things an IT professional dislikes about storage

I did it for years: going into the lab and server room each day to maintain and troubleshoot servers. I stacked servers in racks, managed backups and recovered files. I also got my fair share (actually too many to remember) of calls in the middle of the night when systems went down or worse.

The life of an IT professional or sysadmin is far from glamorous. To paraphrase a famous quote, “hardware is the part of a computer that can be kicked,” but when data is lost or compromised or when the tools necessary to manage and control stored data are cumbersome and complex or when they don’t work (as promised) in your IT environment, life can get hard.

Below, I’ve highlighted my Top 10 list of things that I really, REALLY disliked about those days managing and maintaining storage and outlined simply how DataGravity can help:

The late night call1) Recovering Files at 3:00 AM on a Saturday morning
Data-aware storage includes built in tools and capabilities that enable end-users to recover files quickly and easily on their own. Now, you can really enjoy your sleep.

2) Asking if the Service Desk rep had read the Knowledge Base article before raising the alarm
As part of my job, I had to document basic troubleshooting techniques to secure, find and better manage stored data. Data-aware storage through DataGravity includes a world-class support team and support documentation committed to providing satisfaction.

3) Viruses, Ransom Ware & Microsoft Patches
Nobody knows how important their data is until they don’t have it anymore. There are so many threats to your data, not only from outside but also from inadvertent exposure of data by employees. Data-aware storage helps identify your most sensitive data, can help you track user access to that data and monitor who accesses it in the future.

4) Always asking for more Disk Space
Unless your company is awash in money (which most aren’t) it’s usually not fun asking for more funding to purchase additional storage capacity. Especially, when you don’t have an easy way to find out how much of the data is old or dormant. With data-aware storage on your side, the need to buy more capacity is greatly decreased because integrated tools can help identify dormant data and help determine which data can be moved off primary storage and saved offsite on tape or deleted all together.

More junk5) Backing Up & Replicating People’s Junk
Is backing up somebody’s personal music library really critical to the Business? What about replicating files that haven’t been touched in over 1 year? Data-aware storage from DataGravity provides a view into how much dormant data your have stored and you can see how old the files are or when they were last accessed or changed. Further, by being able to crack open more than 400 different files types, DataGravity can show you just how many MP3s and JPEGs are taking up precious storage space when they could be offloaded onto an employee’s personal storage device.

6) Time Consuming Audits (aka – Busy Work)
Usually when the auditors are in town that means you are going to be at their beckon call to help them find the info they are need. With role-based access, DataGravity provides the ability to allow the auditors to login to the system, find the info they need and run reports; thus allowing you to work on projects that are breathing down your neck.

7) People Not being Prepared for a Meeting
I lost track of how many times I have been to a meeting just to find out coworkers were not prepared. They didn’t look at the project documents we planned to go over in the meeting. DataGravity gives you the ability to see who has been collaborating on project documents as well as know who has read the documents and when.

8) Preparing Monthly Status Reports (aka – more busy work)
Creating status reports can be agonizing, especially when it concerns storage. As a storage admin you typically don’t have direct access to the data you are responsible for administering. So, reporting on who is accessing data, what files are changing, when activity is occurring, where sensitive data is located and why sensitive data is exposed is next to impossible to report on. Data-aware storage makes it easy to answer these questions as well as proactively alerting you when something out of the ordinary happens with your data.

Get it done...now9) Not Being Able to Find What I Need Quickly
How many times have you or a coworker “lost” a file? Why is it faster to search for something on the Internet, than within your own data? With DataGravity it’s as simple as entering the info into the search bar and pressing the find button. Voila! Your data is quickly presented to you and you can determine where your data lives.

10) Reluctance to Improve and Embrace Change
Storage today has become commoditized. However, no longer should storage be solely about bits and bytes and how fast you can read/write them. Storage has to evolve and become smarter and more secure. Data-aware storage from DataGravity has helped our customers think differently about storage and how they secure the data they are responsible for storing.

Now that I am able to help customers deploy DataGravity, I find it astounding how much time, energy and worry data-aware storage can save. With data-aware storage, it’s possible to reclaim precious time, increase productivity and be more proactive in managing data. If you share any of the everyday headaches I outlined above, perhaps it’s time you explored data-aware storage for yourself.

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Gabe Maentz

Gabe serves as a Systems Engineer for DataGravity and is committed to helping our channel partners and customers succeed. Gabe brings over 15 years of Information Technology experience working for leading companies like Dick's Sporting Goods, Kimberly-Clark Corp., and Epic Systems. He was recently recognized as a vExpert for his contributions to the IT community.