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Author: Tim Anderson

Overcoming the Agent Conundrum in VMware Environments

When server and storage managers out there hear the “A-Word” (Agents) come up in a conversation with a software vendor, they typically cringe, and think to themselves, “Oh great, another set of agents that I have to not only deploy but that I have to manage and track.” In the server world, some agents are unavoidable, like performance/security monitoring, virus and worm detection and prevention etc.

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FalconStor Soars into VMworld with a Passion

Enter FalconStor with its NSS Virtual Appliance, which is the first software vendor to receive this ratification from VMware in the SRM landscape. FalconStor brings a very open approach to this solution. By placing a FalconStor NSS appliance in between the ESX Server’s and the storage farm the solution can now become truly hardware independent as the FalconStor appliance can virtualize some or all of the storage on the back-end.

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Change Management: Data Center Management 101 Part V

Proper change management is not just a process, procedure, or committee but a commitment to excellence in your IT landscape. Those of you who already have some form of change management deployed inside your organization, my applause. Those who do not, I believe you will find this blog extremely useful in helping you understand more about the needs for robust change management in your environment.

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Documenting the Data Center: Data Center Management 101 Part IV

Why is documentation so important to the daily efficient running of your data center and storage environment? There are a slew of reasons I could give you, but the most important one I have found is clarity. I have always noticed that a large percentage of vendors provide either poor documentation on their products or material that appears to be useful, but then have no step by step process on how to install and configure their devices and/or software. Rather what you really needed are the documents that the Professional Services individual has when they do the installation and training.

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“Treat Naming Conventions as Gospel”: Data Center Management 101 Part III

One of the earliest things I’ve learned as I jumped into system management was the importance of standards; not only standards for equipment but also standards surrounding naming conventions. This blog will cover the process around development and implementation of a naming convention standard. As we begin, I am not going to tell you what kind of naming conventions to use, just a guideline to think about when you are developing them. I have been in many large organizations where there have been many heated debates about “xyz” names and so on. It’s extremely important that once a naming convention has been selected that everyone adheres to it as if it were gospel. This will end up being the starting point for your infrastructure organization to ensure equipment can be quickly identified for support, financial, and audit abilities.

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Cable Labeling as Part of Data Center Management Part II

In this blog entry I will discuss the need for proper labeling of cables, servers, and storage hardware. I have been in many data centers over time and have seen extremes from no labeling to everything being labeled. What I will try to assist you with in this blog entry is find a happy medium between the two.
Cable Labeling – The importance here is to ensure that each end of the cable is labeled, as well as any junction box interconnects that may exist for the same portion of glass or copper. This will ensure that when there is a physical plant problem of some kind, it will make it extremely easy for you to locate and run down the issue.

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Data Center Management 101 Part I (Cable Management)

As far as cable management goes there are many schools of thought around this subject, and I will provide you with the ammunition you need to deploy an efficient cable plant, which will go a long way in supporting your environment well into the future. The thing I find interesting is almost none of the storage vendors (Server, Disk, or Switch) provide any real detail around this subject, potentially because everyone’s data centers are different.

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