Chris Gaudlip – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Mon, 21 May 2018 15:11:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 3 Guiding Principles for Innovation in Managed Services https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/3-guiding-principles-of-service-innovation/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/3-guiding-principles-of-service-innovation/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:37:20 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=25478 If you are a pilot or an aviation buff, you are familiar with the three rules of being a pilot.  In the event of a situation you must (1) aviate, (2) navigate, and (3) communicate with the crew, passengers and ground control technicians.  This is fantastic advice for the aviation profession; however, what is the […]

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shutterstock_201513563If you are a pilot or an aviation buff, you are familiar with the three rules of being a pilot.  In the event of a situation you must (1) aviate, (2) navigate, and (3) communicate with the crew, passengers and ground control technicians.  This is fantastic advice for the aviation profession; however, what is the similarity to IT services, Data Science and the evolving internet of everything?  In this article I will explain what I have been promoting as my ‘Three Principles of Innovation’.

Unfortunately, our world is filled with tragic events and we often hear the root cause was ‘human error’.   How is this possible when airplanes are some of the most automated and sophisticated machines on earth?  Of course, some of the root-cause analysis recommendations are to automate to an even higher degree.  What is at fault?  It is unfortunately, quite simple.  Automation can be so good at what it does, that human complacency becomes the norm.   We update the processes that failed, create more test cases to run in the simulators, and so forth.  We are introducing human intervention to a process in order to remove human effort (and unfortunately start the entire cycle over again).  It sure seems a little reversed to me.

Automation can be so good at what it does, that human complacency becomes the norm.

Recently, I was presenting to several of our customers and explaining we now have “orchestrators of the orchestrators” and “consolidators of the monitors”.  Think about this for a few seconds and realize what we have done… we have automated each individual component to such a degree that it has become overwhelming for humans to keep it coordinated.  We simplify what has become complicated, we create dashboards of the automation and single pane of glass displays of the coordinators, and we start the cycle over again.  It sure seems a little reversed to me.

Am I issuing a wake-up call to our industry?  Absolutely!  I have begun to initiate some brain-storming sessions with colleagues that challenge the status quo.  Our technology is now using Fully Automated Storage Tiering, multiple alerting consolidation engines, automatic load balancing, pooled resource rebalancing, and the list goes on and on.  This is fantastic and exciting beyond belief to talk about, explore, and work with these technologies.  However, I am involved in services.  We are the pilots of the automation, and we must aviate, navigate and communicate our way through the technology hierarchy.

aviation

This leads me to challenge our skilled staff “pilots” as we evolve our services.  Of course our teams are not landing an A380, but what we are doing is managing the world’s financial entities, supporting life-saving hospital systems and creating Data Lakes for scientists to explore the human Genome and the inner workings of Earth.  Our services teams are designed to handle the level 1, 2 and 3 situations with expertise.  Our customers have come to expect it.  So how do we innovate beyond versus simply allowing automation essentially to fly itself?  To innovate within technical services I am promoting the following guiding principles:

  1. (1), Anticipate.  It is impossible to anticipate every issue that may arise.  However, you must anticipate any number of events from a technology perspective, a process shortcoming, or even a skills gap in our training expertise.  The key here is recognizing it early – not after a catastrophic situation arises when everyone seems to have visibility – but when the check engine light illuminates.  It is exciting to watch our internal transformation to understanding wear signs and friction points earlier and earlier in their lifecycle.  This is innovation.
  2. (2), Concentrate.  I define this principle as an area where disrupting the status quo is encouraged.  Understand what preventative maintenance of your services should entail.  If the check engine light came on in one area, maybe it is just a short timeframe before it comes on in an adjacent one.  Be holistic in your evolution and scrutinize all areas.  Do not be afraid to have a services recall or reset if a service definition is not exactly following proper evolution or its original design principles.  Form small tactical SWAT teams for targeted analysis and hold them accountable for results.  This is innovation.
  3. (3), Initiate. We are evolving at a rapid pace in technology and our services must accelerate at the same pace.  We must employ continuous delivery techniques and evolve to manage data inputs from multiple sources simultaneously versus simply looking at individual alerts.  We must navigate escalations with a process that allows agility to react to changing market conditions, new technology introductions, and customer demands.  All so often we are in fear of failure.  I encourage a fail first/fail fast/fail with knowledge attitude as every failure should be evaluated and used to innovate our service offerings.  The old adage of ‘three steps forward and two steps back’ should be updated with my interpretation.  I interpret it and embrace it as taking one step forward!  The key is to take the step ahead of the check engine light illumination.  This is innovation.

As I meet with customers, their most common questions to me are ‘what’s next?’, ‘what innovation are you bringing to my experience?’ or ‘what is on your roadmap?’  The answer is simple.  Although we are evolving to an even higher degree of exploitation of automation and orchestration with technology, rest assured we are working to an equal or higher degree of human evolution.  I encourage all of us in the services divisions within the industry to aviate, navigate and communicate!

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A CTO’s Guide to the Selfie-Stick https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/a-ctos-guide-to-the-selfie-stick/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/a-ctos-guide-to-the-selfie-stick/#comments Mon, 14 Sep 2015 12:00:15 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=24455 The selfie stick is the latest craze.  But have you thought about what the selfie stick captures?  Perhaps your eyes are closed, your hair is not perfect, or the angle is just not correct…what do you do?  You have the freedom to take a new picture (or 10) and pick the best one.  Now, what […]

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coverThe selfie stick is the latest craze.  But have you thought about what the selfie stick captures?  Perhaps your eyes are closed, your hair is not perfect, or the angle is just not correct…what do you do?  You have the freedom to take a new picture (or 10) and pick the best one.  Now, what if we had a work personality selfie stick?  We could have a professional “do-over”!  We could delete a bad behavior or miscommunication and simply repeat it with a better outcome.  Unfortunately, there are no “do-over” selfie sticks for our personality or personal brand.

We all have seen books on self-help, “how-to’s” or “what to-do” and “what not to-do” in the workplace.  Recently, I began to self-analyze others within my daily interactions.  Self-analyze you ask?  This is my term for placing myself in their shoes and wondering what they can do differently to raise their bar of success, achieve that promotion or simply gain more respect from their peers.  We all want to improve ourselves, but looking inward is sometimes one sided or jaded.  By looking at others and comparing to ourselves, we create many data points and cross references that we can use to improve our own brand.

What I have discovered is anyone can self-analyze.  Listen, talk and watch the reaction of others, analyze them, and – here is the part we all forget – act upon the analysis.  Did that person not allow another to finish their sentence? Are there personality conflicts, and are you below, above or equal to the conversation?  Always be mindful of the respect factor.  You may disagree (even strongly disagree), but don’t allow a personal opinion to influence your outcome of your brand.  Respectful behavior is always paramount.

Am I qualified to analyze or judge anyone else?  Far from it!  But I have recently been on a true “selfie-stick evaluation” of myself.   We are all qualified to be our own critic.  I am sure there are books, psychologist papers, formal studies and analysis to research, but my analysis has discovered a few personality or selfies.  Call it a realization of workplace personalities and behaviors.  These are questions anyone (at any stage of career) can ask themselves for an honest self-reflection.

Businessman with binoculars

Does your “selfie” describe you as one of these?

  • The “it’s always everyone else’s fault” person. There are leaders, followers, and “team of equals”.  If you are a leader, you take ownership of the situation and responsibility for the team’s selfie.  Explain and defend the situation appropriately.  If you are a follower (… and you know if you are) , own up to the situation if it is a negative one – since we all know you will be front and center if there are accolades to be accepted.  If you are a “team of equals”, stand side by side. If it’s everyone else’s fault and not yours chances are that everyone will see that quality and you will not be viewed as a person eligible for advancement.  Believe me, the deflector personality shines brightly in a dark room of contributors.
  • The “find every excuse to be lazy” person. I call this trait the resume builder.  They show up to every meeting, even if optional, but never take an action item.  The perception of continuously engaged, exceptionally busy, however, always has the latest update to give on the project. Most would define lazy as someone who does nothing.  This is the trait of doing everything, with producing the final results of nothing but populating their resume for their next opportunity.
  • The “volunteer for everything that has management visibility” person. This is an interesting one.  Some would call this trait in other terms, but we all know what it is.  If they are going to expend any energy, it must come with a return on investment.  Every action has an equal and opposite reaction for management visibility.  This one is sometimes hard to explain to folks I mentor.  My advice is to be an equal opportunity contributor of effort from subordinates to senior leadership.  If you do a good job, management will recognize.
  • The “respect everyone equally” person. If there is one thing I have learned it is help everyone equally and with equal respect regardless of their hierarchy within the corporate food chain.  You never know who you may report to in the future or how fast the description of your brand can traverse social media.
  • The “wear any hat/do anything that needs doing” person. How often have you heard “that’s not my job or that’s not my area of responsibility”, and I have said it many times.  However, I do find myself trying to answer that one differently.  Responding with “that’s not my area of responsibility, BUT, I do know who has that responsibility and I will get their number for you” is a much more effective approach.  Try it sometime.  It works very well when you make that call to a person and you are trying to research who may know the answer for your next inquiry.
  • The “don’t compete with anyone but myself” person. Who compares their situation to everyone who succeeds around them?  You are angry at a recent promotion.  You are just as qualified, but they received the promotion.  You have a higher standard of work produced, but the other person received a salary increase.  This is where you have to look inward and reflect on the criteria that may have been used.  What type of persona do I reflect back to my management and co-workers when they look at my selfie?  Take a deeper look and improve yourself – you don’t improve comparing yourself to others.  Most Olympic athletes try to better THEIR time with each practice.  They don’t set out to achieve the world record until they achieve their optimal training.  The record is simply a time to beat in competition after they have trained themselves to be their best.

Last year I wrote an article on interviewing that became a 2014 top read blog.  Maybe you just happened to read it and now you are hired!   Congratulations.  However, have you spent this past year learning your roles and responsibilities and engaging your colleagues to become that contributor everyone respects.  No matter if you are a new hire or a seasoned employee, you are building a personal brand (hopefully positive) whether you realize it or not.  So “take a selfie”, look at what you have learned and how you have evolved during this past year or past several years.  It’s time to fine-tune, keep your eyes open, take a different angle, and be the professional  you can be proud of and post to your career social media circle!  And remember, you don’t get a second chance on a work personality selfie if the flash just happened to be off.

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One Stack, Two Stack, Three Stack, Four: A CTO’s Evolution to the Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/one-stack-two-stack-three-stack-four-a-ctos-evolution-to-the-well-run-modular-hybrid-suite/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/one-stack-two-stack-three-stack-four-a-ctos-evolution-to-the-well-run-modular-hybrid-suite/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:57:03 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=23087 The recent passing of Leonard Nimoy, a great inspiration to many, motivated me to write this.  What his simple television character inspired within me can be applied to the industry transformation we are living right now.  As people know me, they might argue that I tend to live in a role on the edge of […]

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The recent passing of Leonard Nimoy, a great inspiration to many, motivated me to write this.  What his simple television character inspired within me can be applied to the industry transformation we are living right now.  As people know me, they might argue that I tend to live in a role on the edge of the Universe.  Some of us may only venture safely into the daily routine of just doing what we have always done, knowing most of the answers, while never leaving the confines of Mother Earth.  Others are on this journey; borrowing the famous Star Trek Opening, “exploring new worlds and boldly going where no one has gone before”.  My day job consists of exploring these new worlds, but calculating when we are close to venturing into the neutral zone and risking the well-being of our customers.

This leads me to my new term: The Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite.  What is this you ask?  We have long talked about the Well-Run Hybrid Cloud with the combination of on-premise and off-premise cloud infrastructures.  Coordinating them into a customer environment is what we specialize in because that is the definition of “Well-Run”.  Simply put, using the best of both worlds to deliver the Universe computing environment.

Enter the new world and one could argue the relatively uncharted black hole of Open Stack.  Of course many businesses (and large ones at that) run their IT on Open Stack from Operating Systems, to orchestration, to any number of capabilities.  However, I would argue these are a smaller percentage of the space time continuum.  The vast majority are still using platform two methodologies or a marketed software suite.  If you think back, the demise of brick and mortar businesses were just a few light years away.  This did not happen; we built the best of both worlds.  Brick and mortar became more efficient, the rigid failed, and the nimble flourished.  We have the same situation with Open Stack.  It will never be the demise of the brick and mortar infrastructure and software suites.  However, it will drive innovation in this space, and the rigid will not survive.  Open Stack will also evolve.  Enter my recommendation to what we are building at EMC, the Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite.

Take the Starship Enterprise, for example.  Its ability to survive, fight the foes, and explore new worlds was its ability to work as a Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite of capabilities.  It was communications, weapons, health, engineering, and Spock’s ability to gather and apply logic that continually saved the ship.  Think of the Starship Enterprise as a Converged Infrastructure and the new Hyper Converged Infrastructures as the Shuttle Craft.  All of their systems are the hardware and software working in unison as a complete solution, and the crew as the Services that apply their methodology and expertise to any situation that arises.

Let’s break this down.  Within EMC Managed Services we break down our capabilities to a Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite into 8 ‘planets’ in what I call the ‘United Federation of Planets’.  These comprise the following as depicted in this diagram:

CG Federation of Planetes Graphic

Let’s take these one at a time.

  1. SLA’s. This can also be called “mutually agreed upon contractual flexibilities”.  We do not follow traditional outsourcing contract methodology.  The industry is evolving; our customers want a respectful relationship and one where a vendor does not ‘stand behind a contract’ but stands with them.  We stand with our customers with what we build and how we maintain it for the ultimate expectations of our customers.  We believe our partner approach is unique.
  2. Process.  Process can also be called “predictable, measurable, and accountable”.  Our processes are constantly evolving to take advantage of technical innovation as well as innovation in methods and thinking.  Process integration is where our technicians become a part of our customer’s staff.  We pride ourselves with this integration methodology as an extension to mutual benefits of our customers.
  3. Transition. As with any people, process and technology integration there must be a transition to the service.  Our proprietary approach to understanding our customers’ requirements, creating the as-is and the to-be environments with mutual agreements allows the service to be seamless and not a traditional ‘cut over’ approach.
  4. Competency. Competency is our continuous evolution of services.  This is the area where best practices are created and then modified into a consumable product to enhance traditional services or to enable new and creative ones.
  5. Consumption. This support area handles traditional capacity planning, demand management, and financial governance processes.  However, a unique approach, and a paradigm shift to traditional up-sells of our competition, we actually work to be transparent in our customer’s consumption of resources.  How to become more efficient with the consumption of people, technical assets and other resources is a charter of this team.  We believe if we can make our customers more efficient, they will understand our partnership approach methodology.
  6. Operations. The heart of our operation is our people.  Technology must be maintained and nurtured to be effective in our customer environments.  I often taught that everyone is the same service provider when everything is running smoothly.  You discover your true friends, partners, and cherished service providers when external events cause problematic situations.  EMC has a long standing tradition to stand side-by-side with our customers for resolution of any problem.  The expertise housed within this division is second to none. One item to note under the traditional operations moniker is the unique approach to automation and orchestration I am witnessing within our labs.  Traditional automation of fault resolution and workload movement because of an equipment failure is the default standard.  However, our teams are taking it to the next level and automating based on service level, workload importance, business requirements and meta data.  I call the effort BAMI for ‘Business Automation w/Meaning and Impact’.
  7. Transformation. Technology changes, business requirements change, evolution and consumer requirements change.  And if one thing is for certain, it’s that change happens.  Whether it is converting to a converged infrastructure, re-platforming an application, or managing an entire data center refurbishment.  This expertise is housed here.
  8. Vtiers. This is our proprietary methodology matching business requirements to technology capabilities in what we call a Vtier methodology.  This is not simply a performance tiering, but a combination of business requirements, financial flexibility, and service level objectives married in unique ways to enable fluid and dynamic consumption of business requirements.  It is delivered via our service methodologies and implemented via our technology.

As you can see, EMC Managed Services has become a Star Ship provider of capabilities, working as a trusted enabler of our customers on behalf of the entire Federation of companies and our partners.  We have worked tirelessly to modularize our capabilities, provide innovation in each of the areas, and enable our customers to realize those benefits.  Are we a technology?  Not at all.  We are a methodology of a Well-Run Modular Hybrid Suite of services and capabilities.

In the words of Leonard Nimoy, we wish all of our customers to “live long and prosper”!   

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The Math is Correct, it’s Simply Wrongly Applied! My Human Transformational Journey https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/math-correct-simply-wrongly-applied-human-transformational-journey/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/math-correct-simply-wrongly-applied-human-transformational-journey/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:00:16 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=22500 As EMC and the Federation companies begin to execute our 2015 plans, this is the perfect time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future.  All of our products are prepared while the people that make it real and bring it to life are also preparing.  This leads me to my human transformation […]

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As EMC and the Federation companies begin to execute our 2015 plans, this is the perfect time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future.  All of our products are prepared while the people that make it real and bring it to life are also preparing.  This leads me to my human transformation story that I am sure others can use in their personal journeys.

You may be a Millennial, Gen X, Gen Y, or if you’re like me, a Gen M or N. This means I have seen a few IT transformations, living through and experiencing Platform -1, 0, 1, 2 and 3. Not to mention, my day job is preparing for the Internet of Everything or what I call Platform Galaxy and Universe.

Since the platform transitions are categorized by the number of users and their associated technology, it is a simple math equation to put a box around them.  It was easy when platform 1 was defined as a single machine and hundreds of users.  When it became unmanageable, smart people scratched their heads and created System Managed Storage and scheduling automation.  We implemented it and we were cool again.

Platform 2 emerged and was in the tens of thousands of users and thousands of machines.  When it became unmanageable, smart people scratched their heads and created virtualization, orchestration, scripting, and workload balancing automation.  We implemented them and we were cool again.

We are now well into the 3rd platform with hundreds of millions of users and the number of computing devices calculate to the decimals of PI.  Smart people are scratching their heads and I am honored to work with them every single day at EMC, VMWare, Pivotal, VCE, RSA and all of our Federation partners.  It is humbling and I hope everyone can experience it a time or two in their careers.  We are still cool!

federation+main+graphic

However, this is simply another wave of evolution, survival of the fittest and dominance of the strongest in the gene pool of technology.  So what does this mean to the human, the technical architect, the creator and manager of these items we use every day?  Unless you are currently reviewing your dream retirement vacation brochure, I can offer a little of what we are currently undertaking as we work on the people side of our technology within EMC Global Services.

Yes, we have number 1 technologies, but it is my colleagues that enable those blinking lights to solve business problems for our customers.  We are touching your everyday life thousands of times per day, in ways you may not be aware of.  Life as we know it could not exist without our technologies.  If we shut off EMC Federation technologies, the Earth would actually stop rotating.  Yes, it’s true!  I have a math calculation to prove it.

So how does this relate to the individual contributor employee?

A visit for me down memory lane starts when I was a mainframe architect.  We thought millions of instructions per second could never run out of capacity.  A human transformation occurred and we had a fork in the journey and a decision to make.  Stay within platform 1 and then become the best in the gene pool.  I thought the math I was using was correct, and then I realized it was wrongly applied.

Living and breathing platform 2, we thought we would never run out of IP addresses. And who would ever need more than a quad core CPU, 16 GB of RAM, or for that matter, disk drives larger than 146 GB?  A human transformation is occurring; we have a fork in the journey and a decision to make.  Stay within platform 2 and then become the best in the gene pool?  Again, I am thinking the math I am using is correct and then I realized it is wrongly applied.

Engage the 3rd platform and we enter cloud computing, containers and disk drives that don’t spin any longer.  Don’t spin?  What about all I have learned about rotational latency, IO density, tiering and shingled memory?  My human transformation is occurring right now.  Again, my math is correct, and I am realizing it’s wrongly applied.

So how do we change the math?  We realize there is no fork in the journey, there is a bend.

Math is absolutes and there must be an answer.  We are solving for the decimal result of PI.  There isn’t one.    We should work out how many decimals we will we accept and calculate before we can see the next bend in the journey.  We are living platform 1, 2 and 3 and we are already seeing Platform Galaxy and Universe with the Internet of Everything. 

We can finally come to terms that our math is correct and instead of working to triple verify the same result; realize it’s wrongly applied.  So what should we do; surrender to a destination and a dead-end road?  Absolutely not!  As you can see in the photo, every road is not paved – it’s OK to go off-road and see what just may be around the next bend.

CG Around the Bend graphic

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Forget Virtual Reality, How About REALity? https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/forget-virtual-reality-reality/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/forget-virtual-reality-reality/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:21:22 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=22344 Many of you have heard my diatribes of The Next Big Thing: “Do this”, “don’t do that”, “modify what you are doing here”, and so on.  As we prepare for 2015, I thought it might be an appropriate time for a discussion on perplexing behaviors.  Recently, I’ve noticed we have entered the age of what […]

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Many of you have heard my diatribes of The Next Big Thing: “Do this”, “don’t do that”, “modify what you are doing here”, and so on.  As we prepare for 2015, I thought it might be an appropriate time for a discussion on perplexing behaviors.  Recently, I’ve noticed we have entered the age of what I term, the virtual reality of subliminal intangibles.  Let me give you a few examples from my recent endeavors:

  • I recently purchased a package with bold letters on the package of ‘20% more’.  20% more of what?  For the same price?  It’s up to me to decide.
  • Everything is ‘new and improved’.  New and improved from where?  And who doesn’t want new and improved?  It’s up to me to decide.
  • “Buy one; get one free… just pay shipping and processing.  Since it used to be shipping and handling, nobody would pay for handling, so it’s changed to processing.  It’s up to me to decide.
  • Pharmaceuticals have been transitioning for some time to maintenance drugs.  A recent commercial stated this as ‘Preventative Health Care’.  This is classic supply and demand.  Create the demand AND then supply.  No one can put a price on your continuing health regime.  Only a certain amount of people contract an illness, however, 100% are eligible for prevention.  It’s up to me to decide.
  • A new 2015 pickup truck has increased its base sticker prices up to ~$3,600 on various models.  Don’t pay any mind to that; ‘it gets better fuel mileage’ and ‘is quieter than previous models’.  Obviously, the new model improvements are valued by the manufacturer up to ~$3,600 in REAL value.  It is up to me to decide.

8 12 14 Matt Feature 2

So how do savvy consumers determine value and innovation in our market segments?  All of our customers come to EMC Federation companies for one thing: solutions to their problems.  It is that simple.  Virtualization, big data analytics, and our vast portfolio of products is market leading and our customers consume our blogs as well as our other social media sites. Every customer wants value for their purchases accompanied by quality and innovative services.  We do this every day at EMC; however, what I have learned recently is there is a diminished focus assigned to understanding them.  Recently, I am asking our customers to calculate intangibles into their total cost of ownership.  I am not saying we don’t welcome competition or to ignore it, I am simply asking to understand and place a value on quality.

Voice your opinion and let us know what and where you deem value.  If I have learned anything, it’s that the expectation varies widely.

Let’s take one recent example: in the assumption that comfortable seats in your car have no value (I tend to differ).  Of course there is no extra charge for ‘comfortable seats’ or a ‘safety and reliability uplift’ that you can point out in a car invoice.  However, it is implied, and certainly has value.  What is comfortable to one person may be uncomfortable to another and simply irrelevant to another.  Everyone appreciates reliability and occupant protection in our vehicles.

This leads me to my point and some guidance when evaluating value in what we do at EMC; our culture, our drive, our DNA, and just ‘what we do’.  We pride ourselves:

  • With dedicated AND available sales, technical, and services teams to your business.  We pride ourselves in being there ‘after the sale’.  It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
  • By being deeply involved in any issue, from performance to something not working as designed until it is resolved.  Simply put, we never take a ‘not our issue’ attitude.  It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
  • We never say no to realistic requirements of our customers.  It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.
  • We will do whatever it takes to do ‘something that has never been done before’ or to use an overused term ‘think out of the box’.  I have countless examples where we have stood side by side with our customers to make their business challenges differentiators to THEIR customers.  It’s up to you to decide how to evaluate this value.

I believe there is a difference between quality and value versus the lowest price.  It’s not always the ‘bottom line’ price that determines the level of product or service received.  Evaluate all aspects of ‘what’s included in the price’ when determining REAL value.  The lowest priced automobile on the market is interesting since most customers never even purchase those cars.  I recommend doing your research, comparing all aspects of the technology, services, and support, and certainly take that very, very long test drive.  You just might put a value on safety and reliability – not to mention the pleasure from that comfortable seat.

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The Loch Ness Monster Has Been Discovered, and It Lives in a Data Lake! https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/loch-ness-monster-discovered-lives-data-lake/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/loch-ness-monster-discovered-lives-data-lake/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:26:57 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=22068 I have read more papers, attended more training, and spoken to more people than I can count on the concept of Data Lakes and analytics.  Is it me, or is it still just a little perplexing?  I tend to think of everything in the most simplest of terms.  Data goes in, data gets blended, and […]

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I have read more papers, attended more training, and spoken to more people than I can count on the concept of Data Lakes and analytics.  Is it me, or is it still just a little perplexing?  I tend to think of everything in the most simplest of terms.  Data goes in, data gets blended, and information (we hope) comes out the other side of the equation.  I call it the “circle of data life”.

Its formula consists as:

“DATAGOZIN” + “DATAGOZAROUND” + “DATAGOZOUT” = “DATAMAGICHAPPENS”

No reasonable discussion of a Data Lake concept can begin without discussing what scientists call the two main types of data: structured and unstructured.  However, I believe there is third category; I have dubbed it ‘yet to be defined’.

I see it this way – structured data is known before the DATAGOZIN step, or at least the fields you want to collect are known.  Unstructured data is not known until processing occurs in the DATAGOZAROUND step.    Both are raw materials that are turned into finished goods in the DATAGOZOUT step.  However, the ‘yet to be defined’ data type is just waiting to have tools processed against it to turn it into a meaningful finished product.  Think of this data as electricity in the 1800’s.  We were not exactly sure what we would use it for, so clearly it fell into the ‘yet to be defined’ category.  I put the Data Lake into this same category.

Its formula consists as:

“DATAGOZIN” + “DATASTAYZAROUND” + “Yet to be defined” = “DATAMAGICHAPPENS”

We tend to discuss a Data Lake concept via the products that act upon data in the various stages.  For example, DATAGOZIN consists of products like Pivotal HD, Greenplum, and Hadoop.  These technologies store the data and preprocess it to remove the impurities that raw materials sometimes have.  Entering the DATAGOZAROUND step begins processing products such as Map Reduce, HIVE and HAWQ.  DATAGOZOUT causes some decision points.  This is determined by just how important SPEED is to your arrival at your DATAMAGICHAPPENS.  Products such as GemFire are for in-memory processing.  Several other products such as Pivotal CF, MongoDB, and others play a role when there is some processing delay that is tolerable in this step.

Its formula consists as:

“DATAGOZIN” + “DATAIZACCELERATED” + “DATAGOZOUT” = “DATAMAGICHAPPENS”

So what does this all mean?  We want the DATAMAGICHAPPENS nirvana.  Simply put, we are turning raw materials into a finished product with the ability to modify the assembly line of information, in real-time, while the consumer is placing items in their shopping cart.   Why do we have stores opening before Black Friday, before Cyber Monday and before “I have spent almost all of my Christmas budget” Tuesday?  It’s about agility, speed, being nimble, and making decisions while the data is most valuable.  Think of the semi-annual Sears Catalog as platform one, the weekly newsprint ads as platform two, and online sales campaigns as platform three. We are now entering the fourth platform of DURING.

What’s next you ask?  We hone our algorithms of predictive analytics and process flow dynamics.  We get smarter, enter the realm of artificial intelligence, AND we build a product or two that use electricity along the way.  And you never know – we may just find there’s an undiscovered creature swimming in the depths of that data lake.

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Be A Lasting Impression https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/lasting-impression/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/lasting-impression/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:52:47 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=21709 Last month I wrote about what not to do during an interview.  The feedback I received was overwhelming, but not as I expected.  The questions I received were related to what I have experienced that made a positive impact.  Were there any behaviors that made a lasting impression on me?  I thought for a while […]

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Last month I wrote about what not to do during an interview.  The feedback I received was overwhelming, but not as I expected.  The questions I received were related to what I have experienced that made a positive impact.  Were there any behaviors that made a lasting impression on me?  I thought for a while and remembered a particularly unique approach that allowed a potential candidate to stand out amongst a crowd.

people line

Several months ago, I had the honor of attending a workshop at MIT in Boston with many of my colleagues.  We attended working sessions with professors and shared discussions on big data analytics, sensor technology, and many other exciting topics.  However, this did not leave the lasting impression.  During a late afternoon workshop, groups of students showcased their research projects.  As I mingled from demonstration to demonstration, I met some of the most incredible students.  Every one of them demonstrated that energy we all know from working in various teams where a few individuals stand out in a crowd.  They are forthcoming with ideas and are not afraid to go to a whiteboard and have their ideas critiqued either positively or negatively. Above all else they are valuable listeners.  They understand that a way to move a project forward is to kick it in many directions before settling on one.

During one of the conversations a student was extremely spirited in the conversation.  He was very engaging and asked me about what I did at EMC.  Since I work within our services division, I explained we are the people skills that surround our technology, and our conversation spooled from there.  As the conversation ended, this student asked if he could give me his business card.  I said absolutely.  As he reached under the table and gave me several ‘Upcoming Graduate’ business cards, I was actually surprised.

Of the 50 plus students I met, he was the only one to do this.  On his card was a picture of himself, his field of study, upcoming graduation year, contact information, etc.

This person maximized the opportunity to showcase their experiment, leveraging it as a chance to share his contact information and make an impression.

He realized his presentation to me was an interview of sorts and an avenue for a future opportunity.  This led me to a few tips:

  • Use every opportunity to build your network of relationships
  • Understand your venue and be polite to ask prior to just handing out a card
  • Be unique, have something that makes you stand out
  • Be aware that every contact made may be a future contact
  • Have something small, at the ready and quick to deliver that is with you at all times

I left that day realizing just how thoughtful he had been to have prepared and printed ‘Upcoming Graduate’ business cards.  Needless to say, he was the one student who created a lasting impression.

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A CTO’s Guide to a Knockout Interview https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/first-first-impression-ctos-guide-knockout-interview/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/first-first-impression-ctos-guide-knockout-interview/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 12:00:41 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=20650 At some point, we all interview for a job, whether we are exploring a promotion within our existing company, searching outside opportunities, or looking for a first job.  There are countless articles, videos, and opinions on resume writing along with the “top tens of what to do” and “not to do” during an interview. I’ve […]

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At some point, we all interview for a job, whether we are exploring a promotion within our existing company, searching outside opportunities, or looking for a first job.  There are countless articles, videos, and opinions on resume writing along with the “top tens of what to do” and “not to do” during an interview.

I’ve participated in many interviews for candidates for many different job roles; I would like to believe I am extremely fair.  I always try to provide meaningful and constructive feedback and I want to use this opportunity to share some thoughts and guidance.  From an interviewer’s perspective, here are a few facts that may surprise (and maybe even ease) a candidate – if only they knew it beforehand!

  • I want YOU to be successful and get an offer.  Remember, we are interviewing for a position we have an opening for and our goal is to hire an energetic and qualified candidate.
  • I am just as nervous to meet you as YOU are to be interviewed.  Of course an interviewer is in a position of power, but that is a misperception.  YOU should be interviewing our position and company or group as much as we are interviewing you.  Remember, for you to be successful and for us to have a strong contributor, it must be an equal bond of contribution.
  • I read your resume only once.  I pick out a few items to discuss that are meaningful and I believe can draw out the real YOU.  Items that match the qualities of the position are key targets.  Read the job description and tailor your resume to some of these areas and think of correlative items that YOU can map to the job description.
  • I think a resume awards you to an interview, the interview and YOU, results in the offer.

In a recent interview, I spoke with someone who ‘had an offer’ based on their paper application. However, it quickly dissolved as the events unfolded. My phone rang at exactly 4:05, and I was free, however, I left it go to voice mail.

You may take this as rude; however, I intentionally let the call go to voice mail as I wanted to evaluate the voice message for professionalism, etc.  You will often have to leave messages in this role and I wanted to hear their approach.

The message was immature and unprofessional.

Candidate: “Hey, this is <name withheld>, you spoke to <name withheld> about me calling you, give me a call… here is my number”.

Strike One.

I called back 10 minutes later.  It was very positive to answer and NOT let it go to voicemail.  However, you must have an energetic hello.  For example, “Hello…this is <name withheld>; I noticed your number and I am very appreciative of your call back” would have sufficed.  The candidates answer was simply “Hello” (and a pause with terrible rustling of the phone).  My mind began to wonder where this person was, since we were to have a scheduled phone conversation…

TIP: Create an interview area aside from your day to day working area.  Be prepared with a quiet room and your headset plugged in. Have a copy of your resume in front of you and write out questions to ask.  Take the call seriously.

And so the conversation began.

Me:  “Please be yourself, I am very excited to talk to you about our position.  How about you tell me a little about yourself and why this position excites you?”

Candidate:  “I am not currently working as it has been very difficult for me.  I took a job at company X, however, the commute was too long and I could not handle the long commute.  This job came up so I applied.”

Strike Two.  All jobs have hardships and you may have to travel, work late hours, commute long distances, deal with difficult people, etc.

TIP:  Explain the positive reason you are no longer there; such as you wanted to dedicate all of your efforts to exploring more appropriate opportunities.  Mention this position appears exactly to what you had been searching for. 

Never use an excuse that is perceived as a job requirement of this job as the reason for leaving your previous one.  Deal with these hardships outside of the interview, and understand what you are willing to accept prior to even applying for any position. 

It will save YOU time and certainly an interviewer will appreciate that as well.  Remember, you must know the expectations of YOU.  

Me:  “I assume you have read our job description; what qualities that you list on your resume would you believe best match those requirements?”

Candidate:  “Well I only have one resume and I am not sure of this jobs specifics…let me think for a minute.  How about this”…and the conversation went on for 45 minutes…

Strike Three.  After all of that time, I was convinced the person was not familiar with the job description.  The lackadaisical attitude is a sign of a less than eager candidate.  A fatal mistake!

After the one hour conversation, I asked if this person had any questions for me.  This was a prime opportunity to ask me questions and convince me to reconsider.

Candidate:  “No, I’m good”.

Unfortunately, Strike Four, and the candidate has lost me…


This leads me into some parting guidance and suggestions:

  • ALWAYS have a few key questions you want to ask.  Even if this is your 4th  interview and you have asked it 3 other times, ask it again.  You may get a different, better, or even a confirmation answer.
  • NEVER underestimate who you are in contact with!  This person may not make you an offer, but they may easily know another division and an opportunity that is an exact match.  Don’t underestimate the amount of referrals within a company from interviews that were great conversations, but may lead to a referral call that may not have been known or listed.  Every interview call is important.
  • Do not try to answer every question if you do not know the answer.  For example, if a technical question is asked and you do not know the answer, say so.  Trying to guess will almost certainly lead to a misstep.  A simple answer of “I do not know, but I am faced with those every day, and I use them to go research or speak to others to find the answer” is appreciated.

Final thought:  Have three resume’s prepared to align to job offers.  I use the approach of Less-Than, Equal-To or Greater-Than.

  • The Equal-To resume aligns your skills, education, and personal desires directly with the job description.
  • The Less-Than one is used if you are under qualified BUT willing to do whatever it takes, and essentially need to convince the employer to take a risk in hiring you.  The hiring manager may choose to get an employee with an advanced degree but at a lower position for future advancement – and you both win.
  • The Greater-Than is used if/when you believe you are over qualified but you are willing to take the position.  You may be over-qualified from an educational perspective but you may still be under qualified from an experience perspective.  Be realistic in your comparison to the job description.  Remember that EVERY hiring manager may have any level of position and once you are hired, you can prove yourself and be first in line for a Greater-Than opportunity.  Always remember, it is much easier to promote a great person than to hire one.

Above all:

  • Be engaging
  • Be spirited
  • Be passionate
  • Be respectful
  • Be YOU

This approach just may put you first, with the First Impression.

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A False Sense of Security https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/false-sense-security/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/false-sense-security/#respond Mon, 06 Oct 2014 12:00:46 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=20372 Customers have lulled themselves into a false sense of security. I have the opportunity to speak with customers daily, and when the conversation evolves to data security, these are usually the responses I receive: “…we have RAID protected data…” “…we have redundant controller architectures…” “…we do replication to another secure facility…” …and the list of […]

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Customers have lulled themselves into a false sense of security.

I have the opportunity to speak with customers daily, and when the conversation evolves to data security, these are usually the responses I receive:

  • “…we have RAID protected data…”
  • “…we have redundant controller architectures…”
  • “…we do replication to another secure facility…”

…and the list of data protection bullet items continues to grow.  In my head, I can only imagine the conversation taking place is something like this:

IT Chief Architect: Hello Ms. Auditor, come on in.
 .  .
Ms. Auditor: Hello Mr. Architect. I am here to do an audit of your data security to report back to our senior leaders.
 .  .
IT Chief Architect: That is fantastic, and I can assure you, all of our data is protected under lock and key, surrounded by the finest chains money can buy, and kept in a very safe non-disclosed location.
 .  .
Ms. Auditor: Well, that is simply fantastic; I feel my audit is complete. I only had three requirements and you have answered them all:
 .  .
 . 9 30 14 Chris table
 .  .
 . Audit score is 100% compliant! I will see you next year and Happy New Year.

 

This is the security protection I find discussed and delivered by some IT shops.  However, as you can see, this vending machine also passes the same “audit” checklist:

CG - False Sense of Security - Image 2

In the backup discipline, leadership usually does not care about a backup, but all of them certainly care about the restoration.  The same holds true within the security discipline.  All is secure and tidy as long as there is no data breach.  The moment the perimeter is compromised, everyone becomes interested in the audit results and asks “how could this have happened?”

Here is what I recommend, take a fresh audit of your questions, not the answers.  You cannot expect valid answers if you have invalid questions.  If you do an annual security survey, or any survey for that matter, it may be wise to never have a repeat question from year to year.  You may just find out a piece of critical data by asking the question in a slightly different angle to poke in areas not explored before.

When I ask customers:

        • How many do data at rest encryption?
        • How many destroy your failed media drives?
        • How many would pass an independent audit… not predicted – but today, right now?

…everyone usually looks around the room…in horror…

With the recent data breaches at major retailers, and ones that take security and data protection to the highest levels, all of us should take some advice and take a renewed look at our questions, not the answers.

Candy anyone?

 

*Credits to Vickie Agolli for the great picture and for playing the role of Ms. Auditor.

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Recipe for an EMC Hybrid Cloud or Cupcakes https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/recipe-emc-hybrid-cloud-cupcakes/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/chris_gaudlip/recipe-emc-hybrid-cloud-cupcakes/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 14:00:04 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=19986 Quick, quick, which one is built with a proven, predefined recipe and which one is built custom? Without any other information you would have answered all of them or maybe none of them.  (Correct answer the one with a cherry on top of course) Think of all of the ingredients that are needed to make cupcakes […]

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Cupcakes

Quick, quick, which one is built with a proven, predefined recipe and which one is built custom? Without any other information you would have answered all of them or maybe none of them.  (Correct answer the one with a cherry on top of course) Think of all of the ingredients that are needed to make cupcakes as the raw materials.  Flour, eggs and milk are the physical infrastructure; the hardware and software needed to make the cupcakes.  The recipe(process) for making the cupcakes considers the perfect baking temperature,measurements of ingredients per batch and any other procedures needed to turn the ingredients into a finished product. Come to think of it baking cupcakes is a lot like building a Hybrid Cloud.  This may seem like a silly analogy but my point is valid.

Much like cupcakes Hybrid Cloud architectures start out with the same raw ingredients.  They are tweaked by each individual baker to their tastes.  They may use egg whites or be vegan.  Cupcakes are a tasty metaphor and they highlight the difference between an ad hoc recipe and a predefined one. An EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC)  is a very specific recipe; proven after many tweaks over the years to deliver the perfect combination of economics, agility and interoperability.  Think of it as the pre-measured cupcake mix you can buy from the grocery store.   It’s pre-measured with proven directions printed right on the box.  It’s repeatable, economical and best of all convenient.

Are ad hoc hybrid clouds a true EMC Hybrid Cloud?  Not exactly. Are they a hybrid cloud? Sure.  Do they have the same taste?  Maybe but you can’t guarantee since they are tailored to an individual’s desire.

The product list is simply that, a product list.  What EMC has done is create prepackaged workflows, and other tools to essentially give the end use a ‘starter kit’ for the most common policies.  The goal of EHC is accelerate time to value by doing the hard work for you.

An EHC has an out of the box recipe currently defined as Greenfield VBLOCK hardware configured with the following software enablement:

EMC Hybrid Cloud v2.5

For those of us who prefer pictures to words…Here is the visual for an EMC Hybrid Cloud recipe:

EMC Hybrid Cloud solution with Vmware V2.5

A Hybrid Cloud On-Prem example may be:

  • VSPEX Converged Infrastructure
  • Previously deployed VBLOCK with highly customized software stacks
  • All deviations and substitutions from the EHC specifications listed above

EMC Hybrid Cloud is a specific, proven solution with integrated components that are tested for interoperability and functionality, backed by EMC and its partners.   It is NOT just any hybrid cloud technology stack solution coupled together that may provide like functionality.Continuing with the cupcake baking analogy and since a picture is worth a thousand words.

messy kitchen  

EMC has done the work, done the testing, done the integration work and delivered the proven recipe.  If you are a bake from scratch, with a pinch of this and a handful of that until you find the consistency of what looks like the perfect batter, by all means enjoy choosing the raw materials you feel most comfortable with.   If you prefer a proven recipe with proven temperatures and step by step directions, then EHC is for you.

Only an EHC specification is the real McCoy, or I should say, cupcakes anyone? Mmmm cupcakes.

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