The true NDU

I remember the first time I saw colour TV. I came home from school and sat down to watch my favourite after school show. 10 minutes in and I was asking my parents what was wrong with the TV because it kept changing channel. My father laughed at me.

On closer inspection, I noticed that not only was the massive intricately carved TV box that we bought back from Singapore gone, it was replaced with a smaller simple brown box, that was displaying colour and had my father had a wireless remote in his hand! Wired remotes were still common then.

My world had changed forever. Technology had evolved to enhance my user experience and I loved it.

Over the course of the next 30 or so years I was lucky enough to have experienced several such moments. Enhancements in technology have allowed us to transform the user experience in many areas. How amazing was it when you didn’t have to tie up the telephone line any more to be online!

10 years ago when we wanted to lifecycle storage, we we doing so with storage virtualization and that was awesome, but you run into the problem of how you lifecycle the lifecycle appliance? Then came storage migration at the hypervisor layer which was great for virtualised systems, but not so good for physical.

Last week I had a wow that’s so cool moment, when during the business day we non-disruptively upgraded a customer from our legacy hardware into our new hardware.

You might be saying to yourself – so what, I do that all the time! or everyone can do that, its easy!

I beg to differ. In recent times this has become easier for folks running virtual workloads and for me as a storage guy VMware changed the game by allowing people to non-disruptively move data stores between storage devices. If you had a modern array, the array would also be considerate enough to do most of the heavy lifting for you as VMware created the VAAI APIs that allowed the storage to offload a bunch of the t10 SCSI commands, thus freeing up compute CPU cycles. Old news I know, but there are still legacy storage arrays that don’t support these things.

What I want to be clear on though was that I didn’t have to use any software tools to do this!

The architecture of the Pure Storage array is what allows me to do it. More importantly it allows me to do it without impacting host IO.

The company I was doing the upgrade for is a very sensitive company, with sensitive data and conservative customers. We started the upgrade at 10:30 am and it was complete in a few short hours.

Not only did we swap the storage controllers, but we upgraded the capacity at the same time.

The measure of success was no help desk calls and we were successful.
To be clear, this was done during business hours with a full complement of staff working and apps running.

I love my job. I work for a disruptive company changing the industry of technical storage.

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