I want to lift up a team of Microsoft individuals that you may not know about - the Storage Technology Specialists at Microsoft.
- If you are a Microsoft customer, you likely know who your Microsoft Partner or your Microsoft Account Team is.
- If you are a Microsoft Partner, you should know who your Partner Manager is.
In either scenario, hopefully you feel that you are dealing with some of the sharpest and most motivated customer and partner facing people in the industry. But like everything, there is good news and bad news.
- The good news is that you know who they are and they are good at what they do.
- The bad news, if you want to call it that, is that Microsoft has an incredibly broad and powerful portfolio of products and technologies.
Because of this, the Microsoft field organization has "Technology Specialists" who are deep in a focused area of technologies, who are there to support your ATS, PAM, TAM, or other direct interface with Microsoft. We have specialists in a variety of areas, including Messaging, Databases, Infrastructure, etc. One of those areas is "Storage".
There are also many Microsoft people in Customer Service, Microsoft Consulting Services, IT Pro Evangelists, as well as our partners, who are definitely storage saavy -- but for pre-sales engagements with customers, we wanted to add some additional depth to aid the general Microsoft field. So, several years ago, Microsoft started building a great team of storage experts, with backgrounds in SAN hardware, Backup technologies, IT operations, etc. Storage TS's each cover a defined geography around the world, as well as lending their own areas of expertise to their peers.
One unique challenge that Storage TS's have is bringing together a variety of internal storage technologies and products that come from different Microsoft product groups, including:
- System Center Data Protection Manager -- from the System Center family of management products
- Windows Storage Server & WUDSS -- OEM optimized versions of Windows Server for storage appliances
- NTFS and all the underlying file system technologies - from CFS, Core File System
- the file workload capabilities of the Windows Server and Windows Client OS product(s)
- DFS-R and DFS-N from within the Windows Server OS team
- iSCSI initiator and iSCSI target technologies
There are others, but this is the point -- the Microsoft Storage TS brings all of these technologies together as a single subject matter expert and resource to the Microsoft Account Team or Partner Manager -- so that our customers and partners can better understand all of the storage-centric capabilities that Microsoft brings together.
Over time, we have been consolidating some of these products under a single organization -- the Storage Solutions Division -- which I will blog about separately, but in the meantime ... I wanted you to know that these storage saavy guru's exist, and are available to help you apply all of these offerings to your particular business and technical challenges.
So, if you are looking to deploy a new project within your enterprise that includes (1) Backup & Restore, (2) Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity, (3) High Performing Storage Appliances ... or you just need to get more out of the file sharing capabilities of Windows Server on a large scale - then ask your Microsoft interface to help you engage your regional Storage Specialist.
Oh, and if you know the difference between "iSCSI" and "I am scuzzy" ... between "backing up" and "being ready to restore" (no joke) ... plus or minus several years of block and file technologies, than drop me an email and I will point you to one of the Storage Specialist managers.
And to the Storage TS's who read this blog -- I salute you. Keep up the great work...