As we celebrate this one-year anniversary week of the HDS Community it’s a great time to look back and think about some of the big happenings over that time period.
As I did that, along with the fact that today is the superstition-laden Friday the 13th, it reminded me of one interesting episode that made the power of Hitachi technology very real for me this year.
Here’s the story.
I had a fairly central role in the marketing elements for our “Continuous Cloud Infrastructure” launch, which introduced Hitachi Storage Virtualization Operating System and Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 to the world on April 23rd in multiple worldwide events.
So, it was a bit inconvenient when this happened -->
I know my limitations, and I am certainly not an engineer. But when it says “Physical Memory Dump FAILED” I knew enough to realize this was a bad thing.
Now, my tweet was not the smartest, since I wondered where my hard drive went, when it was actually an SSD that went. Gone. Unrecoverable.
(Clearly, marketing Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage which was built for data center needs has spoiled me to the realities of PC-ready SSDs. Well, it was brought back quickly.)
Now, we at HDS run a system wide laptop back-up schema, so I figured, once I sorted that out, I’d get my data back. However, A) what do I do until then? B) what about all the stuff I was actively working on – when on earth was that last backed up? and C) getting the new part for the PC (and one another unrelated HW issue that was in need of fixing) was going to take a few days – days I didn’t feel I had available to be without all my in-progress work.
Luckily, there was a silver-lining, in the form of Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere.
Hopefully you are familiar with the Hitachi Data Systems enterprise file synch and share technology? You can see what industry analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group thinks, here. Of browse around for a bunch more information and videos, here.
I, like most HDS employees, am an active ‘Anywhere’ user. In fact, I had installed it such that my entire My Documents folder (and entire folder-tree structure contained therein) was ALL part of my HCP Anywhere environment.
This means, every time I edit, save, rename, etc. my files, they are automatically synched with the HCP Anywhere server and object-storage back-end.
It means that all I had to do to get to all my in-progress work while my PC was being fixed, was find a browser, login to the HCP Anywhere server, navigate the identical folder structure on my PC and find my files, which were all exactly as I had last edited them.
Or, via my iPhone or iPad – both of which I had clients on and both of which are authenticated through our HCP Anywhere server – I could get, send, review or share any of my files. So I did. And life was OK.
Here's a screen image from within HCP Anywhere on my iPhone, where I am reviewing a relevant Gartner report. Found easily, shared easily.
But I’m no dummy. I know that reality doesn’t always match the marketing and I still had to get all my files BACK to my machine after it was fixed. So the next thing I did was go and find Scott Nyman. I'm not one for remembering actual titles, so to me he’s Chief Product Management Know-It-All for things HCP and HCP Anywhere.
And just as importantly, he’s local. While I’m not in the Waltham, MA office all that often, I sure was during this week as I wanted that PC fixed as soon as possible. Scott is just on the other side of the office.You know, where the cool snacks and ping-pong table are. Near the engineering types.
Find Scott, I did.
My main concerns? How on earth do I get my files BACK to my new machine? What magic will I need to do? Shall I prepare to sacrifice something or someone to the object storage gods?
Well, I approached Scott on a mission and started to machine-gun fire questions at him about the order in which to do things, the process, the concerns, etc.
The problem was, I didn’t think he was seeing the criticality of my situation. You KNOW we have a launch coming, right? I cannot afford to screw this up.
His answer remained the same. “Authenticate on the server again. Install the HCP Anywhere client on your new machine.”
Yes, yes, FINE. But THEN what?
“Let it synch.”
I left, incredulous. I know where you live (at least at work), I thought to myself. There’s nowhere to hide.
By now, I bet you have sorted out the ending. I did what he suggested. I added the “My Documents” twists I had learned from my first install. (You can deploy it to just share “some files” in folders you dictate, but I wasn’t going that route.)
And it synched.
And the files were back. "All files up-to-date."
And that was that.
I could have hugged him and all the ping-pong playing engineers, but alas I had a launch to get back to, so that was (probably wisely) skipped.
We may have installed this technology for productivity and secure file sharing, but it saved my proverbial bacon.
Now, having completely tested fate by writing about an SSD failure on Friday the 13th, I’ll say this. In the next year of blogging on the HDS Community, I hope to have to have plenty more to write about, but hopefully not any more catastrophic personal-productivity-hardware failures.
But if I do, I will probably not freak out quite so badly thanks to Hitachi Content Platform Anywhere.
And by the way, if any or all of this sounds interesting… go check out HCP Anywhere for yourself. Here’s a link to a free 60 day trial.
Happy Friday, 13th or otherwise.