We asked a storage engineer what challenges he saw in the storage industry. Take a look at his response below:

Q: What challenges do you see in the storage industry?

A: One challenge that I see right now is there is a constant, I would say, battle between the system engineers and the developers for any particular company. At the end, they tend to work together pretty well if the environment allows it. I have been in environments where the DVA’s and they System Admins, the Storage Admins, and Linux Admins all work together in pretty good harmony. However, what I am seeing is, in the application environment, the engineers that are writing the code and that are managing these applications don’t tend to take into account what the true responsibilities of the System Engineer are.

There is a giant gap between where system engineering ends and where development begins. If those two groups could start to come together more seamlessly, it would drive forward the progress of these organizations.
How is that going to happen? I am sure that many of you have heard the term “Dev/Ops,” which is basically you’ve got an IT operations role that is engaging more and more in development activities so as to basically provide the vehicle for the development team to be able to focus on what’s important to them on their core competencies while the operations environment continue to provide an efficient environment and ensure up-time, and these different things are the responsibilities of the System Admin.

Developers will write code and deploy it to their environments. Then, all of a sudden the system breaks. Then, I think it’s a matter of accountability. Many groups are not willing to take responsibility and be accountable for their respective environments. You’ll see, for example, a developer who I just did a code deployment and now the environment is breaking, but they may point the finger at the System Admin and say, “Hey, something changed on the OS and it’s causing my application not to work.”

I’ve seen this time and time again and it’s a constant battle between the two groups and who is responsible for fixing this. We only have limited visibility into the application and so it’s very difficult for someone that’s, let’s say, a Linux Admin or a Storage Admin to look at trace logs from a Java Web Application and tell them, “Hey, there’s your problem.”