Agile management changes the business

Solidfire_291116

The 20th century model of business management had anything of consequence being decided at the top. Big leaders appoint little leaders, competition for power is constricting change, work is assigned and control is paramount.

The trouble with this 20th-century model is that it’s 20th-century – it has trouble competing with agile 21st-century businesses. The 21st-century business is a fast adapter and customer centricity is the driver for change and a disrupter for growth.

The older model has the company at the centre, with customers in orbit to be manipulated. In contrast, the modern, agile business model has the customer at the heart with the company in orbit, looking for ways to delight the customer.

In the latter kind of business, everyone in the organisation understands how their work contributes to the focus on the customer.

In agile management:

  •  Leaders see themselves and act as enablers rather than controllers
  •  Work is coordinated through structured, customer-focused practices, not bureaucracy
  •  Leaders model transparency and continuous improvement
  •  Communication is open and conversational, rather than top-down and hierarchical.

Manufacturing is in the early stage of adopting agile management. However, this trend will speed up as physical products become more software-driven and part of the Internet of Things – more and more devices and appliances becoming cyber-connected.

In other sectors, the debate is already over, with attention on improving agile methodologies, learning how to apply them across different teams, and reconciling team goals, practices and values with company goals, values and practices.

One of the United Kingdom’s leading hotel, restaurant and coffee shop operators, which boasts 45,000 employees, recently upgraded its IT systems to become more agile.

The new system gave it a flexible platform, enabling the company to be responsive and adaptable to its market and to other business demands. As a result, its business systems are more easily and widely available and suffer less downtime, and the company is more efficient and productive.

At the heart of this success is the efficient management of data – the traditional data centre just couldn’t cut it.

Next generation data centres are leading the way in enabling agile business management and SolidFire, an all-flash array, is empowering enterprises to adapt to massive IT changes. Even as little as two years ago, solid disk providers didn’t see an all-flash system like SolidFire as a threat, because of its cost. But prices have fallen and are still falling, and all-flash storage offers powerful advantages.

It keeps up with radical change because it can be expanded with no downtime and no need for reconfiguration and it offers faster access to data.

Let’s compare a traditional system with SolidFire:

Traditional System SolidFire
Single tenant Multi-tenant
Isolated workloads Mixed workloads
Dedicated infrastructure Shared infrastructure
Scale-up Scale-out
Manual administration Automation

Next generation data storage has to be at the heart of making your business agile. Download our infographic to see how SolidFire can help you.

 

The new data storage model for radical IT innovation

Solidfire_251116You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT), in which almost every device or appliance is connected to the Internet. The collective intelligence that can be gained from these devices will forever change the activities and lives of businesses and consumers everywhere.

It is probable that IoT will impact not just connected devices, but many devices that are unconnected yet still have a current running through them.

We’re not going to get into the details of that in this article, but the point is simply this: everything you’ve heard about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – like the explosion in IoT, cloud computing and Big Data – is likely to prove an understatement.

Recent research from Gartner shows that almost 50 percent of businesses have invested in Big Data initiatives, but most are not getting the best out of their expenditure. The reason: insufficient planning or structure around how to find what they need from the data, and how to best use it.

Given the pace and scale of technological change, that’s understandable. But what can you do about it?

Some traditional companies are now getting advice on how to revamp their IT systems and workplaces so they can leverage the vast computing resources of the Cloud – so they have a chance to keep up with newer, faster-moving businesses.

Businesses struggling to find what they need from huge information flows may take some encouragement from Google. The company has announced the development of an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that it says represents the biggest shift in computing since the appearance of the smartphone.

The company says its massive search database, which now holds about 17 billion facts, will help its AI engine answer queries.

But even when that kind of technology filters down to more general use, it will still be a poor idea to let AI deal with a random assortment of information. A modern, versatile storage system will be needed to provide the dedicated, blistering performance requirement to get the most benefit from any kind of search in an acceptable time frame – whether AI or something else.

Solidfire is a storage system ideal for businesses wanting to ease the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s an all-flash array system, meaning it has no spinning disks. This offers a number of major advantages:

  • Install only the capacity you need and expand at any time with no downtime and no reconfiguration
  • Ensure rapid data access: Input-output per second (IOPS) can range from terabytes to multiple petabytes
  • Have mixed node and protocol clusters.

In addition, Solidfire provides complete automation, guaranteed quality of service, data assurance (including self-healing drive and node rebuilds) and global efficiency.

Solidfire provides a solid foundation for manipulating and processing the data now being generated in the digital age. And when that foundation is solid, you can make good decisions with confidence – and gain an edge on those who continue to operate in a new world using outdated technology.

Make sure your business is ready. See the infographic here.

My journey from the frontline in Defence to one in IT.

Peter Traynor (2)

Peter Traynor, Service Desk Team Leader, ACT is the next employee in a short series of interviews where he tells us about his varied career history prior to joining the business, making the transition from life in the armed forces to one as a civilian and how working at Fujitsu has had a positive impact on both his working and personal life. Read his story below:

I have been working at Fujitsu for just over 13 months, starting off as a Service Desk Analyst and recently being promoted to Service Desk Team Leader. I am based at the ICT customer service desk in Mitchell, ACT. My typical day to day duties consist of managing my 12 person team, ensuring that they are adhering to their allotted time constraints and collectively that we are meeting our service level agreements.

Prior to making the move to Fujitsu, I have had an exciting and extremely varied career history, I worked in several industries including security and warehousing, before joining the defence forces when I was 27 as a Rifleman, where I served for six and a half years. I am still an active reservist.

I have to admit that I didn’t find the transition from military life to one as a civilian that difficult. The hardest part of the process was adjusting my expectations to suit the situation. My manager and the training team at Fujitsu were pivotal in helping me have a smooth transition, adjust to an IT environment and succeed in the role I’m currently in.

I love working for Fujitsu. What the company offers with regards to career development and training is unmatched across the industry. The people are another major contributing factor, overall a fantastic and extremely rewarding organisation to work for. I personally love being given the opportunity to recruit and train my team, watch them grow and move on to be successful in their relevant fields within the business.

Outside of work, I love to train, bike ride and bush walk. I am also an avid gamer who has dabbled in some programming. A career at Fujitsu allows me to enjoy all of these things in my personal life.

For more information on careers within Fujitsu Oceania, please visit: Fujitsu Careers.

 

The Big Data challenge has an answer in SolidFire

SolidfireIn 2014, about 35% of computer users accessed the cloud, according to the UK Office for National Statistics. That figure has since almost doubled and within three years, 86% of workloads are expected to be processed in cloud data centres.

The quantity of data is doubling every 18 months too and the forecasts are that data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. Individuals today create 70% of all data. Enterprises store 80%.

The World Economic Forum has identified six software and services megatrends and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is under way now.

The growth in Big Data is challenging with respect to finding what information is relevant to you, and making sense of it. This is part of the disruption that Big Data is at the heart of.

However, these challenges also present opportunities. For example, data analytics is leading to insights into virtually any field you can think of.

Not long ago a biotech company used data analytics to sort through GBs of data – leading them to isolate 23 optimal genes. And that led to the first gender-specific diagnostic tests for heart disease. Technologies such as SolidFire help to make developments such as these possible. Solidfire offers specific advantages for data storage requirements both now and in the future with the following attributes:

  • Agility: With SolidFire, enterprises can support specific solutions and adapt on the go to multiple workload environments, without affecting the performance of existing applications.
  • Reliability: A key requirement for next generation data centres is repeatable, predictable performance. With SolidFire, businesses can specify and guarantee minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS (input output per second) for individual storage volumes on the fly, independent of capacity.
  • Automation: SolidFire not only has application programme interfaces (APIs) for automating storage management, but also offers automation of every storage function of the array from the API. Data availability is also highly automated.
  • Easy scalability: The Quality of Service (QoS) performance-virtualisation of resources is SolidFire patented. This technology allows businesses to manage storage performance independently from storage capacity. Because of this, SolidFire can deliver predictable storage performance to thousands of applications within a shared infrastructure. This architecture also allows linear scale-out of capacity and performance, as nodes are added. This gives scaling up to 3.4 petabytes of effective capacity and a potential 7.5 million guaranteed IOPS.
  • Redundancy: SolidFire’s architecture does away with sharing of any hardware component in the system. Connectivity between nodes is redundant, so anything in the cluster can fail, and the system will still run. If one or more nodes fail, SolidFire automatically rebuilds redundant data across the other nodes in minutes, restoring full redundancy while maintaining all guaranteed QoS settings.

Remember, without control and the ability to scale, performance is just a Band-Aid!  See a summary of what SolidFire offers by viewing this infographic.

My transition from a career in the Defence Forces to the corporate world.

Pentagon Commences Sexual Assault Awareness And Prevention MonthTransitioning from a military career to civilian life can be a daunting prospect, however people like Samantha Anderson, Services Manager at Fujitsu, can prove that career progression can continue across employers.  Samantha’s story is the first of a series of interviews we will feature showing how people have made a successful transition with positive impacts on their working and personal lives. Read Samantha’s story below:

I have been with Fujitsu for over 6 years, starting out in 2010 as a Systems Integrator, I have had several roles within the business to the one which I’m currently in, Services Manager for defence contracts. Prior to joining Fujitsu, I worked in BEA systems and served as a systems administrator within the Australian Defence Forces for 10 years. I was based in several locations during this time including Sydney, Toowoomba in Queensland and Darwin.

Moving from a career in the Defence Forces to one in ICT didn’t come without its challenges. There are stark differences between the business and military worlds. That being said, most of my transitioning was done with BEA systems, so joining Fujitsu was a much easier experience, coupled with the fact that my work involves contracting into defence makes it more comfortable for me. The thing I most enjoy about working for Fujitsu is career development and the opportunities for promotion I have been given, all within a relatively short space of time. Hard work is recognised and rewarded within the business. In my role itself, I love the variety it brings, meeting new people, travelling to various locations across ACT and working with my fantastic team of staff day and daily.

My advice for anyone considering a move from a defence career to one in Fujitsu would be to take the leap. Moving to a company who works closely, with and understands Defence makes it all a much easier and less daunting experience. It also helps when there are other employees who have made the move that you can relate to. Since joining Fujitsu my work life balance has been restored, working a normal 35-40 hour week enables me to spend quality time with my family and I’ve recently got back to the gym too.

For more information on careers within Fujitsu Oceania, please visit: Fujitsu Careers

 

Future-storage solutions must be adaptable and flexible

Blog 4 pic

Business managers used to look at data and ask, “How cheaply can we store this stuff?” Not now, though. Now the question is likely to be, “How fast can we get this processed and get the analysis back?”

There’s more data, and more pressure on making sense out of it all.

Consider that 90% of all data in existence originates from the past two years. There is a 65% growth of data a year, which equals 100% growth every 18 months. In other words, we are talking about exabytes, zettabytes of data, and even yottabytes pretty soon, and we’ve pretty much gone past recognising any real boundaries on capacity.

The vast quantities of data involved with mobile devices, smart sensors, the Internet of Things, connected vehicles and more, demand solutions that go beyond adding rows upon rows of last-generation hardware and software to crunch digits. Performance agility and flexibility now are crucial parts of platform architecture.

In 2009, all-flash storage was thought to be a niche installation that would stay like that. Disk economics was too good to be threatened by another medium.

Seven years later we see that all-flash arrays will replace Tier 1 and 2 computer architecture solutions, and (possibly) Tier 3. The future for disk is going to be archival data.

Fujitsu are there now with SolidFire. Our all-flash array can be customised – in size by scaling out, whether four nodes or 100; in capacity, from 20 terabytes to many petabytes; in speed, from 200k IOPS (input output per second), to millions.

With SolidFire and its Quality of Service (QoS) architecture, both SQL (Structured Query Language) and NoSQL (Not only SQL) database workloads run properly without unnecessary expenditure. That’s because SolidFire allows you to create your system to specifically meet your capacity and performance demands.

At the same time, SolidFire is adaptable and flexible. For example, its Quality of Service controls make it simple to mix and match almost any workload types within the shared infrastructure while maintaining predictable performance to each application.

Administrators can choose to run many instances of one type of workload or run any combination of block storage workloads without compromising performance.

Scalable databases, including read-heavy and write-heavy instances, can go onto SolidFire and be protected with QoS.

Do you need to create dozens of distributed web application instances using a rapid cloning process, and then double the number of workloads quickly and without affecting the performance and availability of the running instances?

Not a problem.

Or you might want to stage a production database to a test/development environment, while it’s running, without slowing the performance of the workload.

Easy as.

To learn more about how SolidFire is the all-rounder you need for your future storage needs, read the white paper.

Revolution causes disruption in information technology

Blog image man

Most people we know are busy with all the usual stuff of daily life – unaware there is a huge revolution going on.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is right now.

The increasing fusion of the physical and digital worlds at the heart of this revolution can be seen in connected cars, smart homes, increasing types of intelligent devices, growing numbers of sensors, and so on.

This revolution is not a change, it’s a disruption.

In the midst of this disruption, data centres, although still collecting and processing more data than ever, are becoming defined not by hardware, but by software. But they must still have the right hardware. When it comes to computing power, the agile aggregation of performance is vital.

In agile aggregation, development is not linear, with one end result, but happens by advances, stage by stage, all the time. Managers and leaders also need accurate and quick information, and agile business intelligence gives them what they need.

The upshot? Today’s data centres work best with all-modular, virtualised industry-standard servers. Just as well, as new models of data storage are critical to riding out any disruption.

As all-flash arrays become the default option in IT storage, Fujitsu are launching a new era with our flash-first model, with SolidFire and Netapp.

This all-flash array is a solid state storage disk system, meaning it has multiple flash memory drives instead of spinning disk drives. It has no moving parts and can transfer data much faster than traditional electro-mechanical disk drives.

Software-defined systems meet the almost unimaginable demands of hyper-scale storage.

High density will be a feature of servers in hyper-scale setups, saving money and cutting costs. SolidFire is all-modular, so it can meet the needs of small business, yet has hyper-scale functionality, so it can deal with huge demands.

SolidFire also:

  • reduces power consumption
  • increases the dissipation of heat, and
  • offers extreme flexibility and dynamism in network connectivity.

SolidFire’s scale-out architecture, Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities and hardware compatibility-guarantee give our customers what they need. These include:

Scale out: From tens of terabytes to multiple petabytes. Non-disruptive, no downtime scaling.

Complete automation: Comprehensive application programme interfaces and cloud-based monitoring. Instant provisioning. Automatic data distribution and load balancing.

Guaranteed Quality of Service: Independent control of storage performance and capacity. Real-time performance management. Fine-grain QoS settings (faster transactions).

Data assurance: 256-bit encryption at rest. Self-healing drive and node rebuilds. Rapid, space-efficient snapshots and clones. Real-time replication.

Global efficiencies: Inline and post-process compression. Always-on de-duplication (eliminating unnecessary information). No performance impact. Global thin provisioning (total user capacity allocated only as virtual storage; actual physical disk capacity allocated as and when needed).

To learn more about using SolidFire and being ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution disruption, check out this white paper.

Acceleration of IT breakthroughs surprises businesses

Blog 2 Pic

It could be argued that the Third Industrial Revolution is over and we are embarking on the fourth. This is supported by the velocity, scope and impact of current IT breakthroughs.

Global CEOs and senior business executives say that the acceleration of innovation and the speed of disruption are hard to understand or anticipate and are a source of constant surprise (responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution).

Recently the World Economic Forum identified six software and services megatrends:

  • Technologies that are worn or implanted, allowing people to interact with objects and each other in new ways.
  • Rapid decline in the size and cost of computing and connectivity, and availability everywhere of storage.
  • Smaller, cheaper and smarter sensors virtually everywhere.
  • Rapid advances in the ability of software to learn and evolve, built on the rise of Big Data for decision-making, and the influence of artificial intelligence and robotics on decision-making and jobs.
  • The internet driving a shift towards networks and platform-based social and economic models. The blockchain, for example, allows competitors to share a tamper-proof digital ledger without a need for a central authority.
  • Physical objects being “printed” from raw materials (six megatrends).

You can see that the common element of the megatrends is digitalisation and that fast and efficient data centres will play an important role in enabling these emerging technologies. I would like to assure you that Fujitsu is ready.  For example, our new digital business platform, MetaArc, incorporates the latest technology for The Cloud, mobile, Big Data and the Internet of Things to integrate and orchestrate the delivery of diverse IT workloads (Fujitsu MetaArc).

We can deliver a ‘next generation’ data centre leveraging among other things, the Solidfire flash-only storage solution. This offers ground-breaking architecture, blazing speed, unprecedented automation and can be expanded live without affecting clients.

Access to technology is going to spread like wildfire as costs keep falling. Already billions of people and things are connected by mobile devices all generating data and in addition, radical innovation is taking place and more rapidly.

Business models in all industries will be shaken up. Existing IT systems will struggle to cope, unless enterprises upgrade in time. For example, an estimated 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years, and the amount of information created by businesses is doubling every 1.2 years (technology and deep shift tipping points).

A comparison between traditional legacy IT infrastructure and NGDC shows the superiority of Solidfire: Single tenant v. multi-tenant; isolated workloads v. mixed workloads; dedicated infrastructure v. shared infrastructure; scale-up v. scale-out (performance maintained); pre-arranged extra capacity v. capacity on demand; hardware-defined v. software defined; project-based v. self-service; and manual administration v. automation.

Working with NetApp we have created an interesting Infographic that sets the scene for the Fourth Industrial Revolution with a view to how you can prepare your data centre for the future with Solidfire.  Download the infographic to find out more.

Healthy Cloud Strategy, Healthy Business! Measure your wellbeing on the cloud maturity index today.

CloudSelf-assessment allows organisations to measure the health of their cloud strategy against best practice and similar entities.

When it comes to digital transformation, cloud computing is the first step on the journey, and organisations are faced with a multitude of options and directions to take. With support from Microsoft, Fujitsu has developed a self-assessment tool to help organisations to measure the ‘health and maturity’ of their cloud strategy when compared to established best practice and a benchmark of similar entities.

Participants in the Cloud Maturity Index can take a short self-assessment that is based on the Open Data Centre Alliance’s Cloud Maturity Model. At the completion of the survey they will get a reading on where they sit in terms of their overall ‘Cloud Maturity Index’.

The output from the self-assessment can be valuable for use in future planning and development of ICT strategy.

The first 90 respondents will also receive a customised report that analyses their current cloud state and provides recommendations to support the development of a balanced cloud strategy and roadmap. The report will be compiled by the independent research firm Capitalis.

This self-assessment is accessible by clicking here and will only take approximately 7 minutes to complete.

For more information about the Open Data Centre Alliance’s Cloud Maturity Model see: https://opendatacenteralliance.org

 

Fujitsu is set to showcase latest global innovations at ITS World Congress 2016.

Inside of a Car Driving in a Tunnel iStock_000002809232Large

Fujitsu is exhibiting at this year’s ITS World Congress, which is being held in Melbourne’s convention and exhibition centre from Monday 10th – Friday 14th October 2016. The overall theme of this year’s congress is ‘ITS – Enhancing Liveable Cities and Communities’ with an expected number of visitors estimated at 7,000. Fujitsu will be located at booth number 709, which will be situated within the Japan Pavilion.

Specifically Fujitsu will be focusing the offerings exhibited around the theme of ‘Human Centric Innovation – Driving Liveable Society’. Over the duration of the 5 days, there will be a number of exhibitions, vision introductions and physical demonstrations provided by Fujitsu. The three key areas of exhibition include; Drive Recorder ‘G500’ Series, which is based around collecting vehicle information. SPATIOWL which focuses on location based services for public and private transport and Mobility IoT Platform, which is the service platform to provide mobility related services.

There will also be a host of ground breaking demonstrations of this latest technology, with some of the most exciting being a driver drowsiness detector, safer driver and driver monitoring and real time dynamic map updates, to name a few.

Fujitsu would like to encourage anyone attending the event over the coming days to visit the exhibition within the Japan Pavilion and speak to a friendly industry expert who will be on hand to assist with any questions you may have or further information that may be required.