“Sharpen the saw!” Back in the day, when everyone was reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, that was Habit #7. It came from a joke about a lumberjack who was using a dull saw to cut logs and couldn’t stop to sharpen it because he was too busy sawing. The advice was clear: Stop cutting and take time to sharpen your saw to be more effective.

Today, the advice would probably be more like, “Automate the saw, but don’t stop cutting while you do it!”

Data is critical today because it’s at the heart of every business. IT teams work constantly to keep their organization’s data storage environment running, available, and secure. Managing that environment involves many repetitive tasks that take up a lot of the IT team’s time.

As I talk to IT teams about their work, I keep thinking about that lumberjack. These teams are extremely busy provisioning, updating, maintaining, backing up, and securing their storage environments, and it all requires coordination across departments and geographies, often at night and on weekends. That’s a lot of sawing and stress.

Is Your Data Storage Saw Ready?

With all that work, it may make sense to sharpen your data storage saw. That could mean adopting a new technology or adding resources. It could also mean becoming more effective by automating the most important and repetitive tasks. Pure Professional Services and our reseller partners are experts in automation for storage systems and can help make your IT team more effective.

Let’s look at two common automation use cases that Pure Professional Services often encounters when working with IT teams around the globe.

  • High-volume manual provisioning tasks: Storage provisioning is one of the most common and highly repetitive manual tasks executed by IT and storage managers. For large organizations with thousands of servers, this can be a never-ending task as they provision 30 to 40 servers each night.
  • Data resilience and security tasks: Maintaining application-consistent snapshots for backup is a full-stack operation. Even if it doesn’t have to be done every evening, periodically creating an application-consistent backup of production data is a standard best practice for IT organizations. Backup operations like these require coordination at the application, storage infrastructure, and media levels. Data resilience also requires coordination between multiple teams, often over the phone and across time zones. And when backup recovery is required, there’s always a time crunch.

Both of these tasks are routine in that the steps involved are repetitive. But they’re also complex because the data environment itself is complex and because of the coordination required. And, they’re prone to human error.

Pure Professional Services and many of our reseller partners have extensive experience automating data services. We can work with your IT teams to automate your specific use cases in your IT environment. We offer workshops to give you a comprehensive analysis of the current status, a plan for scripting and automation, and the inputs for a cost analysis. Workshops can get your teams moving quickly when you want to do the automation work yourself.

We also offer advisory and implementation services where our teams do the work and hand over a push-button suite of automation applications. The outcomes for these services include:

  • Automation framework strategies within your storage environment
  • Minimization and elimination of tasks requiring routine human intervention
  • Automation processes and scripts for a defined set of tasks in your IT environment
  • Integration of your existing processes with Pure APIs for Microsoft SQL, Oracle, SAP HANA, Epic, and ServiceNow
  • Utilization of open source toolkits, plug-ins, scripting, and SDKs (available in Python and PowerShell)

The Pure1® cloud-based management system also opens up automation at the fleet level with its REST APIs. Pure1 acts as a database for all arrays in your fleet, which allows automation to occur across all the arrays and reduces the need for coordination across teams and geographies.

Data storage systems operate 24x7x365. Automation can not only help make your IT teams more effective but also enable them to take time off to recharge and sharpen their saws without disrupting system processes. Pure Professional Services can help you automate tasks while keeping your data systems running, available, and secure via a proven process, expertise, and tool kits.

When you’re ready to automate your data storage, call Pure Professional Services and see how we can help make you and your team even more effective and efficient. And your data storage saw even sharper.

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