Technology is an art. If you use the wrong cables, servers, storage, switches, routers, etc. you can be sure to have a data center that puts a bad taste in your mouth. You can achieve that bad taste by using poor quality ingredients, by assembling good or bad ingredients in the wrong way, or by designing a great system – but for the wrong purpose. To illustrate that, let’s take a look at another art — cooking.
Cooking is the preparation of a fantastic meal through the perfect blending of raw ingredients, spices, heat, and cold. It is also necessary to know that if you are cooking Asian food as opposed to Mexican food, you are not going to use cayenne pepper or Jalapenos generally. Let’s take this to the extreme and cook up a data center shall we?
- 2 Fresh Wild Caught Salmon Fillets (Skin On One Side)
- AKA: EMC Storage Array & Cisco UCS Servers
- 2 Cedar Planks – Soaked in Water for 2 Hours & 2 Cedar Wraps W/Ties
- AKA: Proper 10GB & FC Network Cabling
- ¼ Cup Soy Sauce
- AKA: Solid Up Line Core Network — Cisco 4500-X Switches
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- AKA: Solid Storage Area Network – Cisco MDS Fiber Channel Switches
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- AKA: Solid & Stable Power
- Salt & Black Pepper
- AKA: A Proper, Well Tested Hypervisor Platform – VMware vSphere Baby
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- AKA: Proper Cable Management & Velcro
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- AKA: A Quality Security Infrastructure – Cisco ASA, FirePOWER, ISE
- 1 BBQ Grill
- AKA: Cisco Nexus Data Center Grade Switches
Now, you can go cheap, with less tried and true, potentially cheaper solutions – even stuff from the new kids on the block. But, what are you risking? When you use oven instead of a grill, you lose the smoked goodness it brings to the dish. When you skip the lemon juice, it leaves your mouth desiring something more – if you do that with your security, are you leaving a gaping hole in your environment? Skip the brown sugar and you have a tart dish that won’t move from plate to mouth very fast – kind of like what happens when you skimp on a good fiber network as opposed to iSCSI over your core network.
The point is, you have to use quality – tried and true ingredients, and mix them in the right proportions to ensure you end up with a data center dish that truly shines. Sure, there are other brands out there besides Cisco, EMC, & VMware that make good products – okay, not sure you can beat VMware on the hypervisor aspect – but they are what I know works well most of the time; and when they don’t they have the knowledge and experience to get the taste back in balance. Go forth – data center well, and enjoy the fruits of your labor for the next three to five years. Do it wrong, you will be making another dish sooner than you like.
For those of you that want to, here is the rest of the recipe:
- Preheat your BBQ grill to 350 (Medium).
- Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, sake, garlic, and lemon juice in a bowl, set aside.
- Place salmon skin side down on a cedar wrap and lightly dust with salt and pepper.
- Place the cedar wrap on a cedar plank. Tie the wrap loosely around the salmon.
- Place the plank directly on the grill and BBQ for 12-15 minutes – covered.
- While cooking, use a spoon to generously cover the salmon with the sauce mixture. This should be done two or three times during cooking, to build up a nice glaze.
- The salmon will flake with a fork when ready.
- Eat & Enjoy.
Just like a good data center, this dish is sure to be mouthwatering!