## What Equals Four?

By Phil Godwin, VP of Sales, Visual Storage Intelligence®

I hate to brag, but I’m good at math. When people talk numbers – I listen. More importantly, I get it. The reason is I break a problem down to its simplest parts. Then, I solve the problem.
Recently, one of my sons was having trouble with a math problem. This wasn’t your normal type of math problem – this time he already had the right answer. His teacher gave him the answer and wanted him to come up with the simplest way to reach the answer. An example of this is the simplest way get an answer of four is to use the number four (e.g. 4=4).

How we set up a problem determines the result.  You see, my son’s issue was his teacher was deducting points because he wasn’t “parsimoniously” solving the problem. What that means is that he was using too many steps to reach the right answer. After talking it through with him, I soon realized he was setting up the problem wrong. As soon as we figured out that his problem set-up was wrong, we quickly corrected it – and voila – we were able to parsimoniously reach the right answer.  This experience made me realize an important life-lesson: how we set up a problem determines the result.

What’s the point? Weeks later, I was talking to a storage administrator, who told me that he only cares about whether his storage arrays are performing at an optimal level. That is, he is only concerned with getting the “right answer.” As we continued our conversation, I shared my son’s math problem story. This helped him to understand a simple truth – how he sets up his storage arrays determines its performance. He immediately had a “light bulb” moment and wondered how he could better understand the setup of his storage environment.

The big picture. I then began to share that our service, Visual Storage Intelligence®, seeks to not only understand his storage environment performance, but also takes a systems approach. This “big picture” approach will enable him to make sure his storage environment is correctly set up. It does this by analyzing each array for efficiency. Then, it assesses how each array fits into the broader scheme of things. I further explained that this system approach will not only help him buy storage more effectively and use his systems more efficiently, but it would also break the perpetually futile cycle store, ignore and buy more.