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To start your Storage transformation, look in the "Mirror"

By Matt Lennie, Transformation Consultant, HP Storage Consulting


“Storage migration and Storage transformation are NOT the same thing,” my Computer Science teacher would have said, had he not retired in 1989, long before these concepts reached the levels of maturity they have today. As I’ve noted before (see my post Start out right on your storage transformation journey), these two concepts are very often confused, when in reality the first should be treated as a subset of the second. Make no mistake, data migration is a complex and time-consuming beast, but it represents only a small part of the effort required for a successful storage transformation.


The right way to tackle data migration is just one of the insights that the HP Storage Transformation Experience Workshop can help companies achieve. The Workshop is designed to stimulate conversation around the many topics which, in our experience, very often derail transformation programmes. During Phase 1 of the workshop (the Mirror phase) we discuss your business’s current environment – where you are today. We use three large graphical panels to encourage conversation around three main topics:


  • Transformation drivers – What has been or is happening in your environment to cause you to think about transformation? Are you aiming to reduce costs, improve reliability, improve service, accelerate time to market?
  • Change considerations – Apart from copying the data from the old arrays, tape library, or archive platform, what else do you have to do to enable users to consume that data? Do you need to change scripts? Re-configure applications?
  • Operational considerations – What should you be thinking about operationally to enable or improve the service offering in the new storage world?


It’s all well and good the IT department listing out all the hosts which connect to the old environment, cross-referencing the attached disks in a spreadsheet, and migrating the hosts as-is to the new environment. But if the main reason for starting the transformation was, say, to address poor storage utilisation or improve business continuity functionality, and the new environment doesn’t support your goal, you’re no further forward.


In large organisations, where the storage and platform support teams often operate in silos – separated sometimes by the walls of buildings, or even by the distance between continents – it’s not uncommon for migration programmes to fail or be delayed by a lack of communication or a clear understanding of specific configurations. And that can cause services to fail, post-migration. For example, I’ve seen several organizations where hosts each had locally developed scripts or applications that utilised the functionality of legacy hardware that was no longer supported in the new environment.


The HP Storage Transformation Experience Workshop brings together the various representatives of IT and the business and encourages a conversation around systems integration, so that there’s a greater likelihood that these potential pitfalls will be uncovered. The Workshop facilitators are transformation experts who know where other organizations have encountered issues, and where to steer the conversation for greatest benefit. There are two facilitators:


  • The Workshop Facilitator: an IT data management consultant with a well-rounded understanding of all elements of the transformation experience. He or she is the main facilitator of the Workshop.
  • The Workshop Co-facilitator: a senior consultant or solution architect with deep knowledge of the key technologies and a well-rounded understanding of all elements of the transformation process. He or she will have wide experience of the specific industry vertical.


In addition to the two facilitators, there’s one other representative from HP present, known as the Scribe. He or she is normally a technical pre-sales person or delivery consultant who has a relationship with the customer and a thorough understanding of the account, as well as the issues that the company faces in its specific industry vertical. The Scribe is responsible for recording the issues and decisions discussed during the workshop. This is a crucial role because it involves documenting all input from the client.


The last panel in the ‘Mirror phase’ is called the Operational Considerations panel. As the name implies, this is where the discussion focuses on the operational processes and procedures that are currently in place – how successful (or unsuccessful) they are, and whether they may need to be amended, removed or even replaced by new processes post-transformation. This may include things like changes to the support documentation, modifications to self-service provisioning, the introduction of compliance archiving, or scheduling of training for support personnel.


The As-Is statements are collected throughout this phase by the Scribe and the Facilitators; the information is entered into a reporting tool and displayed on whiteboards. At the same time, the Facilitators encourage participants to discuss not only what they see as wrong with the current situation, but also their vision for resolving the issues. Working together, we build the To-Be vision, based on what’s causing pain today.


Next phase – the Vision! Stay tuned for my next blog.


Related blogs:


Start out right on your storage transformation journey


A fast track to the best roadmap for your storage transformation

Tags: Storage
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Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.
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  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Andre is a Principal Solutions Architect specialising in enterprise infrastructure consulting with particular focus on enterprise storage, server virtualisation, cloud computing, and IT to Business translation. Andre also holds various University degree's in Information Technology and Business and Administration majoring in Strategic and Organisational Management
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  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
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  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
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  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I've been working in HP since 2007 like IT agent, developer, Web designer and then like Web Project Manager
  • I help clients use service management to create business value for themselves and their customers. I am a senior ITIL examiner and I have written many ITIL books and pocket guides. Find out more at or Follow me on Twitter @StuartRance
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
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