Mar 7, 2007

Business Lessons from “Buff Bill”

Two years ago, I had put together a fun video for our Sales kick-off event. I wanted to illustrate several use cases and the derived benefits from using Cassatt Collage to manage your data center. The video featured Cassatt employees and Bill Coleman, our CEO, as “Buff Bill,” head of Buff Bill’s Boards and Bikes. The video was definitely fun to make and somewhat funny (as in, “don’t quit your day job” kind of funny). In the video, Buff Bill used Collage to:

  1. Quickly integrate the IT systems of a recent acquisition.
  2. Shift the distribution of computing resources between different web portals based on seasonal demand.
  3. Respond quickly to increased workload by ramping up capacity as needed and in advance of new sales promotions.

The video featured Mukund as the poor sys admin who had to miss a Blink182 concert to bring new systems online-- but that was before he started managing his data center with Collage. After Mukund started managing his systems with Collage, he had way more free time—enough time to party with his friends and even take in a Linkin Park concert with Buff Bill.

Although we didn’t win any awards in the Sundance Film Festival (no surprises there), Buff Bill tackled some of the same challenges facing our customers today. One of our recent customers has achieved the top spot in their industry, and their only means to grow top-line revenue is through acquisitions. Their biggest headache has been integrating the IT systems of the acquired company. They are planning to use Cassatt Collage to manage all their IT systems so that they can quickly integrate newly acquired companies.

Another large customer faces predictable traffic spikes at different times during the week. Certain web properties are accessed almost exclusively on the weekend, whereas other business-related web properties are most active during the weekdays. We’re talking with them about using Collage to shift resources dynamically between their different web properties so that they can reduce their CapEx and OpEx.

One of these days I might post the Buff Bill video on YouTube. (I’ve been forbidden by our CFO, Karen. That almost sounds like a challenge to me, but I do like my paychecks.) In the meantime, you should check out Bill's thoughts on utility computing and what data centers may look like in the future. Recently, Bill was interviewed by Laurianne McLaughlin , the technical editor of CIO Magazine. Bill talked about a future where phone companies will run your data center. You can read about it in Laurianne’s blog. It’s a very interesting read, even though it's not as funny as my video.

1 comment:

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