As a Solutions Architect (Pre-Sales Engineer) part of my job is not only to help customers keep their environment running at an optimal level but also help the customer understand their environment. This may entail weeks of work to understand application mapping or a couple of hours to understand capacity trends. I’ll focus on the latter and most common requests. In my 19 years of IT, most of them have been spent on the customer side I’ve always tried to partner with an Integrator/VAR I trust. Integrators have helped me keep updated on the latest technology trends, been able to referenced architectures in a similar environment, helped troubleshoot issues and provided analysis of my environment. They would collect logs/data, use some “Magic tools” behind the scenes and several days later present to me great recommendations and wonderful reports about my environment. I would take this new information, put it together with my current knowledge and make some changes or adjustment to my environment. All systems would be performing at peak performance, your “boss” pats you on the back and tells you what a great job you’re doing! Everything is great and the “IT Gods” smile down on you….ok I made up that part about the “boss.” Back to reality, in most cases performance has improved enough and you have a better understanding of your workloads and environment…at least for a few months. In a short amount of time workloads have increased, new applications may have been added, and business objectives may have changed. Time to call the “Integrator” to give you updated reports to help you out. The real help would be for the integrator to give you the “Magical” tools to analyze your own environment because no one knows a customer’s environment better than the customer.
Empowering and educating customers is one of the biggest benefits I’ve seen in a proficient environment. As a Dell/EMC partner, one of my favorite tools to share with customers is “Mitrend.” It gives the customer the flexibility to run assessments on their own time and helps provide a better understanding of their environment on their terms.
MiTrend is an assessment tool (https://mitrend.com) used by partners to help design solutions for the customer. It also identifies trends and provides a broad understanding of your current infrastructure. Once customers are invited to upload data to Mitrend they are provided with detailed instructions on collecting and uploading data, then when the analysis is complete, the customer receives summary reports. The partner receives more detailed reports which can be shared with the customer if needed. The MiAssessments are available for many different platforms including backup applications, email, databases, storage systems and a host of other assessments.