Open Up Your Hard Drive and Say AHHHHHH

June 14, 2016 Shane Hill

So if you’re anything like me, as you get older you have to start monitoring your health a little better.  According to the National Institute of Health, regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, like hypertension, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. Now, although I act 16 as much as possible I’m actually 46 so this is starting to be more important to me. When I was REALLY 16, I went to the doctor after I got sick because I healed much quicker. Today if I get sick, THEN go to the doctor, it takes far longer to get healthy again. 

So what the heck does this have to do with technology, you ask? Because servers, storage systems, and switching are prone to health issues just like the human body. When you first put in a VMware server, it’s nice and fresh on the latest release, with the latest service pack, and has had no one in it modifying parameters. Not that any tech geek would get into a VMware server and make changes... We don’t do things like that! But over time, said tech geeks will change things. And new patches come out. And service packs come out. And as drives get older they need to be checked. And the same things happen to SAN’s and Ethernet Switches. 

So do you pull out your server and take it into the server doctor? That would be trying at best if your data center has 100 servers. Or a SAN with 5 Petabyte of storage. So what do you do?

Health Checks! An Arrow SI HealthCheck is a standard Professional Services engagement to diagnose the health of your infrastructure BEFORE it fails or is compromised. How would you like to know about a potential failure scenario on your servers providing a Tier 1 SQL database before it fails? I guarantee your CIO wants to know before that Tier 1 database fails. The interesting thing is that almost every Enterprise customer with a decent data center, at a minimum, pays for at least a yearly health check of the Environmental Systems in their data center such as the Cooling and Power Conditioning systems. But only the smart ones think about a health check of their server, virtualization, storage or networking systems.

So what are the benefits and the deliverables for an Arrow Systems Integration HealthCheck? An example is below:

Benefits-

  • Mitigate future risks by leveraging experienced consultants and proven best practices
  • Optimize Performance
  • Maximize resources through efficiencies
  • Roadmap created for future improvements

 Deliverables-

  • Collect data on the environment
  • Identify potential opportunities to optimize the configuration and improve performance
  • Identify security risks
  • Identify need for critical service packs or upgrades
  • Hold an interactive workshop to facilitate recommendations and best practices

Now, as my 46 year old self has found… checkups won’t protect me from being 16 year old stupid.  But then again, an IT director doesn’t have to worry about his old server getting on a BMX bike and breaking its collarbone either. But he sure needs to worry about that same old server getting a cold. So ask yourself, when’s the last time your server had its temperature taken?

About the Author

Shane  Hill

Practice Manager, Integrated Solutions

Shane Hill leads Arrow Systems Integration’s Servers/Virtualization/Integrated Solutions practice. His team focuses on pre-sales and delivery of next generation data center infrastructures with a UC “twist” to our enterprise customer base. Shane also manages the relationships with OEM’s such as VMware, Oracle, HP, Dell, and Nutanix.

Shane has a 25 year history in telecom, starting in 1991. He started his career as a PBX technician trainee and then a Sales Engineer at Southwestern Bell Telecom. From there he became an end user as a manager of telecom services for one of the world’s largest mobile carriers, then IT Director at an outsourcing Call Center company. He landed at Arrow SI in 2006, as a Strategic Accounts Project Manager before transitioning into the Data Center practices to lead Arrow SI's virtualization efforts.

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