David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services https://infocus.dellemc.com DELL EMC Global Services Blog Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:18:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Dell EMC Services Podcasts David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean episodic David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services casey.may@emc.com casey.may@emc.com (David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services) Dell EMC Services Podcasts David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services /wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg https://infocus.dellemc.com Be Ready to Run when your Converged Systems Are https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/a-day-1-operating-model-for-rapid-adoption-of-converged-systems/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/a-day-1-operating-model-for-rapid-adoption-of-converged-systems/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:00:59 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=32075 Many organizations move to converged systems for strategic reasons. For example, they might be looking to simplify overall IT operations, reduce OPEX, move to private cloud or move to hybrid cloud. These organizations are looking to get more value from their converged systems. They’re looking to shift their IT staff focus to solving business problems […]

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Many organizations move to converged systems for strategic reasons. For example, they might be looking to simplify overall IT operations, reduce OPEX, move to private cloud or move to hybrid cloud.

These organizations are looking to get more value from their converged systems. They’re looking to shift their IT staff focus to solving business problems instead of focusing on IT configuration and integration. They want to make overall operations more efficient. They also recognize that people and processes are the key to getting the most value out of the infrastructure. However, changing the operating model is also the biggest challenge.

So, what do you need to do to be operational and get the most business value from your converged infrastructure, on Day 1? You need to think outside the box and adopt a new approach to IT operations, an approach that includes automating operations and organizing around service delivery.

Implement an initial set of IT processes to effectively manage the service delivery lifecycle. Think about things like Service Portfolio Management, Service Catalog Management, Service Asset & Configuration Management, Request Fulfillment and Incident Management.

Define the roles and skills needed to manage service delivery. For example, roles like Service Portfolio Manager, Service Catalog Manager and Request Fulfillment Manager. You also need a set of infrastructure roles that align to your platform, such as Converged Platform Architect, Converged Platform Engineer and Converged Platform Administrator.

Make it easy for users to find, request and consume the services they need through a self-service IaaS service catalog with automated provisioning. Start with a few foundational services like Windows and Linux hosting services.

Based on our extensive experience working with IT operations teams, Dell EMC Services has developed a service to drive the adoption and consumption of converged systems to accelerate business outcomes. Dell EMC Day 1 Operating Model Implementation for Converged Infrastructure implements the IT processes, defines the roles and creates the IaaS service catalog needed to assure operational success with your converged or hyper-converged infrastructure, out of the gate. For both service delivery and infrastructure-focused roles, we outline the skills required for successful execution and can suggest ways in which your teams can develop the skills to perform effectively in these roles.

Twitter Image - VMworld Realize ThemeWant to learn even more? Join us at at VMworld in Las Vegas on August 27-31 and stop by the Dell EMC  booth to see the presentation “Design a Day 1 Operating Model for Rapid Adoption of Converged Systems.”

 

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Uncovering the Hidden Connections: Why Data Center Blueprinting https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/data-center-consulting-blueprinting/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/data-center-consulting-blueprinting/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:00:35 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=31016 “What happened to the mobile phone charging cord?” Every few weeks, I find myself scurrying around the house, trying to find the charging cable for my mobile phone. Actually, it’s the cable to my wife’s phone, which she usually keeps plugged in at a handy location in our kitchen. And when I find my phone’s […]

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“What happened to the mobile phone charging cord?”

Every few weeks, I find myself scurrying around the house, trying to find the charging cable for my mobile phone. Actually, it’s the cable to my wife’s phone, which she usually keeps plugged in at a handy location in our kitchen. And when I find my phone’s power running low, I like to plug into that handy cable. Sometimes, my wife takes the cable to charge her phone in the car. Of course, that’s usually when I realize my phone’s battery is perilously low.  Then I have to run to the other room to dig out my own cable from my backpack.

Well, you may wonder what this has to do with data centers, or you may wonder why I don’t just break down and buy another charging cable or two. The point I’m trying to make with this trivial little example is that when you share infrastructure across multiple application owners, sometimes in the heat of the immediate need you do things that unwittingly complicate life for others.

And in today’s enterprise data centers, with hundreds of applications, some of which have very complex configurations, and thousands of servers, the number of such shared connections is quite large, and the potential for trouble, especially with rapidly-changing application and infrastructure modernization initiatives, is great.

Hey, I think we’re OK, we’ve got a CMDB!

Some of you seasoned data center pros may say, hold on a minute. Isn’t this why we’ve spent years instituting change control disciplines and configuration management databases (CMDBs)? True, and these processes and databases are a great help, but sometimes the rate of change to applications and their underlying infrastructure is much faster than the rate of change in these traditional toolsets.

OK, you say, our data center housekeeping is a bit behind the curve. But that doesn’t really impact the business so it’s no big deal. Well, that may be true in the short-term. However, our experience is that it does become a big deal when you’re embarking on initiatives like data center consolidation, or modernizing applications to cloud-native platforms such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry, or modernizing your data center infrastructure.

In such situations, migrating an application from only part of the server infrastructure that it’s running on, can be risky. You can break the application, causing an interruption of a critical business process and annoying your application stakeholders. Or you can make your application configurations even more complex, with an unwieldy, hard-to-manage mix of older and newer infrastructure.

Don’t worry folks; we’re trained professionals

So you really do need to baseline the interdependencies between your applications and your infrastructure before you start on such a strategic data center initiative. But you may say, this is a big effort, and things may have changed again by the time we finish. Fortunately, today’s automated toolsets can greatly reduce the time and effort it takes to develop such a data center blueprint that documents and inventories applications as well as the underlying server infrastructure and the connections and dependencies among all of them. And keeping track of things as your migration or modernization program continues can also be done in the same automated fashion, minimizing the risks of application breakage or business interruption.

This is why Dell EMC Services advises its clients to conduct such an automated data center blueprinting exercise as a matter of course for such initiatives as data center migration, hybrid cloud deployments, application modernization and data center infrastructure upgrades.

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IT Transformation is like a Lobster Crate Race https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/transformation-like-lobster-crate-race/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/transformation-like-lobster-crate-race/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:00:13 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=27235 For those who don’t live in New England, let’s first define some terms. What is a lobster crate race? This is a common feature of summertime harbor festivals here. I saw one in Camden, Maine. Lobster crates are tethered together and strung across a section of the harbor. Contestants have to run across the crates […]

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For those who don’t live in New England, let’s first define some terms. What is a lobster crate race?

This is a common feature of summertime harbor festivals here. I saw one in Camden, Maine. Lobster crates are tethered together and strung across a section of the harbor. Contestants have to run across the crates without tipping over or falling into the drink. And of course it’s timed. Successful contestants, often children, are fleet of foot and carefully plan their strides to hit the middle of each crate, while keeping their vision ahead to consider the position of the next crate. Unsuccessful contestants spend too much time on one crate, which causes the crate to sink under their weight, or they hit the edge of a crate as they run, causing the crate to tip and spilling the contestant into the water.
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What does this have to do with IT transformation?

First of all, there’s a temptation for many IT organizations to think of their transformation initiative along the lines of a large multi-year software deployment: define requirements, design the architecture, implement the design, and then train your operations team. Such a heavy footprint will cause your transformation initiative to sink at the first crate. Instead, the question is what minimum functions you can get up and running in the first few months to get the valuable feedback from the target consumers and the valuable experience of the architecture and operations teams learning how to work in this new model.

IT folks are also tempted to try to get everything right before releasing anything. While this made sense in former times when even small mistakes could bring down a major application, in today’s fast-paced world of digital business, it bogs down the pace of innovation and learning from the marketplace. You have to make a quick step, keep your feet up and aim for the next milestone. What’s more important than a perfect release is a rapid series of releases with improved functionality and capability with each release. Keep your vision focused on planning a few “crates” (releases) ahead so that you can manage a consistent stride from create to crate.

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Finally, IT has traditionally tried to meet the different needs of every application and business consumer, often with elaborate customization for each particular need. It’s hard to achieve economies of scale when you’re worried about meeting every requirement. In the terms of the lobster crate race, you run the risk of veering too far from the straight, middle course, and you and your initiative can topple off to one side or the other. Instead, think hard about how well different parts of your application portfolio and business unit partners align with the capabilities of your evolving transformation architecture so that you can weave them in at the right time with a minimum of alteration and disruption.

The biggest challenge for many IT organizations in achieving their transformation objectives is not a shortage of technical talent, nor a lack of desire to change to a new model, but rather a lack of understanding of how the traditional IT technical assumptions and mental models are ill-suited for the pace demanded by digital business, and what mental models they now need to embrace to meet these heightened business expectations.

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With the arrival of spring, we in New England, even IT types, are spending more time outdoors. Anyone ready for a lobster crate race?

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Analyzing Real-World Usage Patterns to Design End-User Computing Services https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/michael-fox-end-user-computing-blog/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/michael-fox-end-user-computing-blog/#respond Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:00:10 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=21617 We’ve all heard the industry buzz around the need for IT to transform to become a broker of services to the business. The cost and business agility benefits that coincide with delivering ITaaS are proven and the need to transform is reinforced by the increasing number of external service providers for IT services. But, as […]

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We’ve all heard the industry buzz around the need for IT to transform to become a broker of services to the business. The cost and business agility benefits that coincide with delivering ITaaS are proven and the need to transform is reinforced by the increasing number of external service providers for IT services. But, as organizations are transforming to become brokers of services, what does this mean for the services for business professionals, or “end-users” in the rather nerdy industry parlance? How do these IT consumers  manage the abundance of apps, operating systems, and devices that are consistently changing in their environment?

One of EMC’s Global Services experts on End-User Computing, Michael Fox, sheds light on some of the challenges IT organizations are faced with in managing their end-user services and the incentive they have to transform and upgrade these services.

Today, we live in a world in which everyone is constantly on the move. We work and communicate from planes, trains, and automobiles. We expect seamless access to our devices, data, and applications whenever and wherever we need it. In order to upgrade the end-user experience, IT organizations need to provide this flexible and constant access to users, empower them with device choice, and enable them to be as mobile as they need to be. To do so, it is critical that organizations focus on managing the whole user environment rather than devices. At EMC, our approach to transforming end-user services is to focus on putting the user first and understanding the specific requirements associated with each type of user (e.g. task worker, road warrior). This optimizes end-user services so that users obtain the best experience possible when accessing their devices and apps. Another important element of the EMC approach is to leverage automation and self-service to maximize productivity, IT responsiveness, and end-user experience.

Characterizing users is a critical first step in enabling IT organizations to define the appropriate end-user services for their environment. Modern data analysis techniques allow us to calibrate the applications and usage patterns for individual users, so that design assumptions for end-user computing groups can be validated against real-world usage scenarios. Once these user patterns and requirements are understood, IT organizations can gauge what resources they need in order to transform their end-user environment.

Let’s hear from Michael as he elaborates on how EMC gathers detailed information about each user in order to understand their needs and requirements, and subsequently, what EMC can do with this information.

EMC has seen how the transformation of end-user services and the overall end-user experience greatly benefits IT organizations and propels their journey towards becoming service brokers. End-user transformation reduces TCO, eliminates time-consuming processes, simplifies IT management, and maximizes user productivity with automation and flexible, seamless access from whenever, wherever.

To learn more about EMC’s approach, read the service overview on end-user services here.

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https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/michael-fox-end-user-computing-blog/feed/ 0 We’ve all heard the industry buzz around the need for IT to transform to become a broker of services to the business. The cost and business agility benefits that coincide with delivering ITaaS are proven and the need to transform is reinforced by the i... We’ve all heard the industry buzz around the need for IT to transform to become a broker of services to the business. The cost and business agility benefits that coincide with delivering ITaaS are proven and the need to transform is reinforced by the increasing number of external service providers for IT services. But, as […] David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean
Which Applications Should I Transform? https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/which-applications-should-transform/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/which-applications-should-transform/#respond Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:00:02 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=21134 The IT world is awash in headlines about transforming IT, Cloud, IT-as-a-Service, adopting Hybrid Cloud, increasing agility, and modernizing applications, to list a few. IDC just published new research that underlines the importance of an application-oriented approach to transformation:  this research shows that IT organizations which are furthest in their cloud transformation have focused their […]

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The IT world is awash in headlines about transforming IT, Cloud, IT-as-a-Service, adopting Hybrid Cloud, increasing agility, and modernizing applications, to list a few. IDC just published new research that underlines the importance of an application-oriented approach to transformation:  this research shows that IT organizations which are furthest in their cloud transformation have focused their efforts on application workloads. But with these benefits come challenges:  in a world of limited IT budgets, , how do you decide which applications you are going to transform, migrate or modernize?

Technological advances are cool and exciting but if IT doesn’t understand why and what it wants to transform, IT won’t realize the full benefits. Ultimately, the purpose of IT is to provide information that the business uses to create value and this means an application is involved. That’s the topic of this blog. How can IT align its spending priorities with the business when it has 100s to 1000s of applications to support?

For some perspective, here is Elliot Young, head of EMC Global Services’ Transformation Group, EMEA discussing his approach to transformation with his customers.  He advocates scoring your applications by business criteria as determined by the business.

Regardless of what you are planning and before you act it behooves you to answer some fundamental questions about your application portfolio and be certain the IT investments in the portfolio are aligned with the priorities of the business. Understanding your portfolio can help you gain control and not feel so overwhelmed and overcome with inertia.

Our first step, when working with a customer, is to identify 9 key business criteria as determined by the business. These 9 key business criteria are the things that actually drive the core essence of that particular business. By working out how each application impacts each of those 9 criteria we calculate a score and very quickly assess a large number of applications. Our customers include large financial institutions and global pharmaceutical companies, both of which often have thousands of applications.

EMC’s approach to application classification is unique compared to other professional services organizations. First, we have our own methodology that has been developed specifically for this purpose and second, because it’s underpinned by our application-focused Adaptivity platform, which enables us to very quickly and accurately score each business application. The scoring is undertaken by the business stakeholders themselves using their own criteria. This step is really important – make sure that you get buy in for any kind of future transformation. The Application Classification Advisory Service provides our customers the information and confidence to justify investments in transformation, migration or modernization.

In this clip, Elliott Young describes the situation at one of his customers, in this case a postal service. The results of the Application Classification Advisory Service were a bit of a surprise. Here is Elliott again:

Another customer example is about a large municipal police force with a common problem: limited budget. IT had limited budget for investment and it was critical to make sure that any investment decisions not have an impact on the police force’s core mission. The core mission could be summed up by 9 key criteria. Here are some examples:

  • There should be no harm to members of the public or the police
  • They must be able to detect and disrupt crime and major disorder
  • They must be able to arrest criminals
  • They must be able to respond to major incidents

So by taking the core, critical business drivers we could then, very quickly, assess each application to see how it has an impact against those kinds of drivers. What we found was that there needed to be a special approach taken to core systems that address issues like counterterrorism, rapid response, or the criminal intelligence systems, and with that knowledge, we could then work with the customer to determine the best cases for investment and what the transformation approach should be.

Want to know more?  Check out the overview for EMC Application Classification Advisory Service.

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https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/which-applications-should-transform/feed/ 0 The IT world is awash in headlines about transforming IT, Cloud, IT-as-a-Service, adopting Hybrid Cloud, increasing agility, and modernizing applications, to list a few. IDC just published new research that underlines the importance of an application-o... The IT world is awash in headlines about transforming IT, Cloud, IT-as-a-Service, adopting Hybrid Cloud, increasing agility, and modernizing applications, to list a few. IDC just published new research that underlines the importance of an application-oriented approach to transformation:  this research shows that IT organizations which are furthest in their cloud transformation have focused their […] David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean
Are Your IT Consumers Eager to See What’s in Your Catalog? https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/service-catalog/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/service-catalog/#respond Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:43:50 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=20832 The busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and retailers are eagerly anticipating the rush of commerce. The shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas account for 50% of many retailers’ annual revenues! One of the most common tools that retailers use to heighten their consumers’ expectations is the beautiful shopping catalog. They’ve already […]

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The busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and retailers are eagerly anticipating the rush of commerce. The shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas account for 50% of many retailers’ annual revenues!

6911660493_710d029371_zOne of the most common tools that retailers use to heighten their consumers’ expectations is the beautiful shopping catalog. They’ve already started to arrive at our house this year. When I was a kid, my brothers and I couldn’t wait for the thick Sears Christmas catalog to arrive, with its 50 page toy section full of glossy pictures of the latest delights. 

What does this have to do with IT?

Businesses expect their IT departments to rapidly fulfill service requests, provide clearly documented, standard services at the required service levels, as well as support cost transparency. In other words, it should contain something interesting to the business, not just the “components” that are sitting on IT’s shelves. When IT can’t deliver, business professionals will act on their own, creating a “shadow IT” that undermines IT’s ability to both manage costs and quickly deliver new standardized services.

That’s why service catalogs are so important—not just to IT, but to the business overall. Just the exercise of defining a service catalog forces IT and the business to work together to agree on which services should be made available. Once that’s done, IT can focus on getting really good at delivering those services with a consistent service level every time business users order them.

Effective service catalogs align with the needs of the business and fundamentally change how IT services are presented to business stakeholders. IT is used to thinking in terms of technology cycles and managing information infrastructure, instead of thinking about how to run IT as a business and creating easy-to-understand, business-facing service catalogs.

Let’s hear from Doug Reynolds, one of our most experienced consultants on IT as a service, on how EMC’s unique approach to service catalog design is helping customers:

Many IT organizations struggle with how to build compelling business services.  Rather than trying to come up with a complete set of services for all business consumers, IT should focus on a few sets of consumers and build compelling services for them.  This could mean first targeting the software developers, and coming up with infrastructure services that make their lives easier. Then, instead of the traditional IT approach of saying: “here is what I have” and pushing those services on the business, expanding the dialog to other business users, asking what they need. By taking this approach, IT can create a demand-focused service catalog, rather than a supply-focused one.

When we ask IT executives for their top priorities in the EMC IT Transformation Workshop, we find that service catalogs often top the list of needs. We’ve packaged up what we’ve learned from these engagements in the EMC Service Catalog Strategy and Design service. Because wherever you are in the process of trying to deliver IT as a service, the place to start is working with your business stakeholders to define your strategy and design service catalog that best serves the unique needs of your business.

And now, just in time for the holiday shopping season, you can find the EMC Service Catalog Strategy and Design service, as well as the EMC IT Transformation Workshop, in the EMC Store.

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https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/service-catalog/feed/ 0 The busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and retailers are eagerly anticipating the rush of commerce. The shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas account for 50% of many retailers’ annual revenues! The busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and retailers are eagerly anticipating the rush of commerce. The shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas account for 50% of many retailers’ annual revenues! One of the most common tools that retailers use to heighten their consumers’ expectations is the beautiful shopping catalog. They’ve already […] David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean
Getting Converged Infrastructure Right https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/converged-infrastructure-video-blog/ https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/converged-infrastructure-video-blog/#respond Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:00:41 +0000 https://infocus.dellemc.com/?p=20676 Converged infrastructure platforms have enjoyed great popularity in the last several years.  IT organizations realize that leveraging the tight integration of servers, storage and networks in a converged infrastructure platform frees them for more value-added work of aligning IT services with business requirements and laying a foundation for hybrid cloud. EMC’s experience is that getting […]

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Converged infrastructure platforms have enjoyed great popularity in the last several years.  IT organizations realize that leveraging the tight integration of servers, storage and networks in a converged infrastructure platform frees them for more value-added work of aligning IT services with business requirements and laying a foundation for hybrid cloud.

EMC’s experience is that getting converged infrastructure deployments right has less to do with technology integration and more to do with the operational, organizational, and procedural integration. Since these platforms are pre-configured in the factory, it’s possible to stand up the equipment in hours versus the days or weeks it used to take with traditional infrastructure, so that IT can focus on the value-added applications and processes that will run on the platform.

David Goulden,Chief Executive Officer of EMC Information Infrastructure, recently said that if he were building a data center today, “…converged infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud architecture would be the only way to go.”

So if you’re thinking about deploying a hybrid cloud, you’ll find that you can derive substantial benefits from leveraging a converged infrastructure into your cloud services strategy, IT operational processes, and cloud workload priorities.

But what is it that drives an organization to move to a converged infrastructure platform in the first place? One of EMC’s Global Services consultants, Ed Lynam, has insight into this:

So, successful converged infrastructure deployment is not merely installing the platform in your environment.  It also means aligning processes and  IT services delivered to the business with the new converged infrastructure foundation. Operational processes and toolsets must be optimized for cloud, converged infrastructure platforms must be running the right set of applications, and be ready to deliver hybrid cloud services which the business can readily consume.

Business users will become frustrated if they can’t get the services they need in a timely fashion, which means they’ll go around IT and source services from public cloud providers on their own—creating a “shadow IT” scenario. Once IT can deliver services quickly and efficiently, understand the cost of services and provide charge back or memo back, the specter of shadow IT quickly fades. Converged infrastructure can provide that standardization and streamlining of operations and service delivery.

Want to learn more about ways to accelerate your cloud with converged infrastructure? Visit EMC’s Vblock Enablement Services to understand how to get the most from your Vblock System investment.

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https://infocus.dellemc.com/dave/converged-infrastructure-video-blog/feed/ 0 Converged infrastructure platforms have enjoyed great popularity in the last several years.  IT organizations realize that leveraging the tight integration of servers, storage and networks in a converged infrastructure platform frees them for more valu... Converged infrastructure platforms have enjoyed great popularity in the last several years.  IT organizations realize that leveraging the tight integration of servers, storage and networks in a converged infrastructure platform frees them for more value-added work of aligning IT services with business requirements and laying a foundation for hybrid cloud. EMC’s experience is that getting […] David Buffo – InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services clean