The 1932 Ford Coupe. Open wheel, drag style, chromed out to the max. Not only my first dream car, but my first model car kit. I took forever to make sure everything was just in the right place. Endless hours were spent hunched over a plastic sheet with the toxic fumes of enamel paint and plastic model glue hanging in the air, carefully holding each piece to set or painting details with a 00 brush. I still drool at the sight of a ‘Deuce Coupe’ racing down the highway or at a car show.

Through the 1960s the ’32 coupe was frequently hot-rodded. This was back in the days when you could still tweak a carburetor and tune timing by hand. Oh how times have changed. Long gone are the days when teens in the same neighborhood tinkered with autos and swapped tips and tricks in their driveways. We’re now in the era of computer chip tuning, electronic ignition, automatic transmissions and power steering on just about every car. The art of auto tuning has evolved, reserved to a minority with the tools and knowhow that seemed commonplace a generation ago.

The case can be made that IT is headed the same way. Engineers once understood the seemingly arcane “storage math” behind the speeds and feeds of the technology they owned. IT department leaders and their staff had a collective, tribal knowledge of their stuff and the ability to manipulate it. Things are different today. IT leaders are becoming information brokers and a strategic force in business growth.

Virtualized infrastructure, cloud technologies and software-defined solutions are helping companies achieve levels of operation that were only dreamed of about a decade ago. They promise savings around physical capacity and reduced administration while making complex infrastructures somewhat plug and play. At the same time, in-house knowledge of how the underpinnings of these systems is diminished.

The IT industry is getting what we asked for: We wanted things easier, shorter time to market and single-click deployments. Organizations that are willing to adopt these new technologies are able to tune systems and make changes in real time. They’re getting ahead of their competition by employing converged and cloud-based strategies.

As business leaders leverage these new technologies, they realize significant impacts to the bottom line but at the cost of IT being pushed farther away from the equipment they knew so well. We’re trading in the customized stick shift and finely tuned clutch for an automatic transmission that has even better fuel economy. We’re getting business results more intelligently, but there’s more going on under the hood than we realize.

This is a good thing… right? You bet it is!

Instead of being boxed into a purchasing decision that is old before the ROI is met, IT infrastructure can be adapted to fit business needs, often on demand. As a result, there is now an increasing demand for IT leaders to answer questions about performance and capacity, to predict workload, to see trends and to lower costs by optimizing these sophisticated environments. More time is — or should be — spent watching systems and responding to dynamic workloads. But just like the navigation system in any modern luxury car, there’s a world of information to sort through. Today’s challenges around storage capacity planning, reporting, and configuration management can be addressed with tools such as IBM Spectrum Control, IBM Virtual Storage Center, EMC VIPR SRM, HDS CommandSuite, NetApp’s OnCommand Balance and others. Those tools alone aren’t enough. Sirius Storage Services works with our clients’ storage software solutions to ensure proper setup and customization, operation and data collection. When you’re ready to make a change in your environment, we can help you decipher the technical jargon and make sense out of the details reported by your storage monitoring environment. Don’t have one yet? We can help there, too.

Let our engineering team be the tools in your garage to analyze, optimize, deploy and remediate your storage environment. We can help you get a view under the hood of your storage solutions.

The Sirius Storage Solutions practice includes more than 80 engineers who have over 750 years of combined storage experience. Sirius holds the highest status of partnership across storage leaders such as EMC, IBM, NetApp and others. Contact Sirius to speak with one of our storage experts about Storage Optimization Assessments or learn more about our storage offerings by visiting our Storage Solutions page.