Condusiv Technologies Blog

Condusiv Technologies Blog

Blogging @Condusiv

The Condusiv blog shares insight into the issues surrounding system and application performance—and how I/O optimization software is breaking new ground in solving those issues.

Mad Men, Awesome Chairs, and a Pretty Big IT Problem

by Robin Izsak 13. March 2014 07:57

Next month Mad Men returns to AMC for its final season. I'll miss it. The show had some great character development, terrific dialogue, and cool cars. But the set design! Oh the set design. I'm a fan of mid-century modern—the sharp angles, clean lines, and wood tones mixed with bold, primary colors. Don Draper's New York apartment and the Sterling Cooper offices are the pinnacle of perfectly curated spaces, designed for maximum form and function. 

Which brings me to Creative Office Pavilion, a large Boston-based firm of workplace consultants, and the primary US dealer of Herman Miller furniture—the undisputed kings of mid-century modern.

I mention all this as an excuse for my daydreaming. During my call with Robert Del Vecchio, Creative Office Pavilion's IT Infrastructure Manager, I was imagining conference rooms filled with Eames chairs of every color, wall clocks reminiscent of Sputnik, and enormously awesome lamps casting warm, non-fluorescent light. But Robert had more important issues to discuss, and discuss we did.

Robert's team supports a large base of business users: designers, mobile CRM users, support staff, accounting, and customer service. But he's also responsible for tons of data and heavy workload generated by an order entry system, CRM application, Lotus Notes, SQL Server, and hundreds of employees constantly accessing architect drawings, massive PowerPoint presentations, and database files. That's a lot of Eames chairs, going to a lot of workplaces, including Harvard University's Innovation Lab and Boston's Spaulding Hospital.

Sluggishness and poor performance had become a constant problem for his users, and Robert's team felt the full force of it—spending more and more time troubleshooting and doing storage health checks. So Robert did what any of us would do when faced with mounting pressure and scrutiny.

He Googled. And stumbled across a software solution that seemed to be the answer to his application performance problems, without requiring any new hardware.


What happened next is more exciting than Don Draper after one too many old-fashioneds.

Read the Creative Office Pavilion case study to learn more.

 

Permission to Fail

by Robin Izsak 20. December 2013 05:38

A few months back, Jerry Baldwin, our CEO, gave me a strange assignment. "We need something different, something fun," he said. "Go write an ebook."

I must have looked puzzled because he went on, "Write what you want, be creative. If I like it, we'll figure out what to do with it. If I don't, it was a nice try."

I think he was serious at the time, but he probably figured I wouldn't get around to it or other projects would take priority. But as far as I was concerned, it was a challenge. And I aimed to come back with something different, and compelling, and relevant, and cool.

This turned out to be an awesome project, not only because I could run wild, but because I had permission to fail, which made all the difference. So in an unselfconscious manner I started typing—thinking about how drastically our lives have changed because of the Internet—the most significant invention of our lifetime.

I'm proud to share the result of this unusual assignment. I hope you get a chance to rise to a similar challenge one of these days: go do something different, you have permission to fail.

Smile, share, and enjoy The Everything Age (A Pop Culture eBook for Geeks).

Tags:

Big Data | Cloud | General | SAN | virtualization | V-Locity | VMware

When Big Data Hurts

by Robin Izsak 5. December 2013 03:38

I recently spoke with Bell Mobility's Adam Moore, a member of the organization's OSS Systems Integration Team. Bell Mobility is Bell Canada's wireless division, employing a multitude of analysts who eat, sleep, and breathe Big Data. They capture metrics and run analytics on call failures, call drops, and call volume—helping the company provide better service to their customers.

Sure we hear a lot about Big Data these days, but we need these catch phrases to talk about abstract concepts. And Big Data is as important as it is abstract: it represents a smarter way to do business, to create value from all this data we have, and to make better decisions. Big Data enables Bell Mobility directors to pinpoint inefficiencies and see where optimization is needed to maintain optimal services to a broad customer base.

So on our call, Adam told me that things had slowed down. His users were dealing with longer and longer SQL query times, which was impacting their ability to do their jobs. Faced with significant data growth and a need for faster delivery of that data to meet SLAs with their users, Adam's team needed a solution to escalating performance problems, like right now. 

In assessing their options, Adam and team conducted an evaluation of V-locity® VM™. The results? A 61% reduction in I/O to the SAN, which led to 98% faster data processing times. And backups? "They used to run at 10MB per minute and sometimes didn't complete at all. Now they run at 60-120MB per minute and complete consistently." 

Read more about the team's success with V-locity in the 
Bell Mobility case study.

Tags:

Big Data | Channel | Cloud | General | Hyper-V | IntelliMemory | IntelliWrite | SAN | SSD, Solid State, Flash | Success Stories | virtualization | V-Locity | VMware

The Notorious 45-Second Query

by Robin Izsak 19. November 2013 05:17

You just clicked OK. Now wait 45 seconds for your query to complete. Now do this a bunch more times until you've compiled all the data you need for a report. And right about now, frustrated, you think about getting a snack and more coffee. 

That's what was happening at SunCoke Energy, as sys admin Chris Mueller's business users started complaining of painfully slow queries and application response.

When the "45-second query" became notorious around the office, Chris and his team started a months' long troubleshooting mission, trying to tune Oracle performance and improve the speed of the business's Cognos VMs. “A bad day for my team is when our people can’t do their jobs—it’s like trying to find a needle-in-a-haystack, troubleshooting for performance.”

After a number of attempts, including consolidating all the VMs and updgrading the SAN, the team brought in V-locity® VM™ and dramatically improved speed—overnight.

Read the SunCoke Energy case study to learn more about their immediate success with V-locity.

Tags:

Big Data | Cloud | General | IntelliMemory | IntelliWrite | SAN | Success Stories | virtualization | V-Locity | VMware

When Speed Matters Most

by Robin Izsak 15. November 2013 05:22

We talk a lot about data around here. Particularly, how to make it perform better, how to make applications respond faster, how to solve some of IT's most formidable challenges around managing increasingly complex data centers.

But nothing compares to the importance of data performance when it comes to patient records and load times in a hospital ER, where every second spent waiting might be a second too long.

I recently spoke with Ryan Barker, Technology Specialist with Hancock Regional Hospital, hoping to get real insight into why speed matters—and I got exactly that. Ryan's users, which consist of ER doctors, nurses—any and all staff who touch the hospital's MEDITECH systems—were complaining of extremely slow load times and the inability to save records. Sometimes in dire situations, like a busy day in the ER.

Read the case study to learn how Hancock Regional used V-locity® VM™ to improve load times from 2 patient records every 7 seconds to 6 records in 4 seconds.

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