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Although summer is upon us, I’ve been thinking about how NetApp IT has streamlined its service operations to be a well-oiled machine, similar to my skiing experience at a ski resort this past winter.  When I arrived at the resort, a service manager helped me choose the best package for ski rental and lift tickets from the catalog of options.  I was able to quickly purchase my tickets, grab my skis, and jump right on the gondola up the mountain.

Similarly, NetApp IT created a catalog of services for our business users to purchase.  A service manager helps guide users to choose the best option that meets their business needs so they can quickly take advantage of IT resources.  It’s as easy as that.  Our business users do not need to know all the technical details behind the scenes, just as I don’t need to know all the details behind running a ski resort.  However, since I’m a technical engineer, I’m always fascinated at what’s going on when you pull back the curtain.

At a ski resort there are all kinds of activities and people working to ensure that everything runs smoothly.  There are snow cat drivers who groom the mountain and rental associates who wax the skis and adjust bindings.  There are mechanics that keep the lifts in proper maintenance and lift operators who keep the lines moving along.  There are chefs who keep food fresh at the lodge.  Of course, there are ski patrols and emergency staff to keep people safe. They can treat my wounds if I crash.

To keep our IT operations running smoothly, we needed to change our organization to a service delivery model. Storage administrators became known as service engineers, and we created new storage service lines to optimize our technical services for business applications.  Similar to the ski lift engineers and mechanics, we have service line owners responsible for hardware maintenance and software lifecycle management.  We also have service line owners for data protection and tools to ensure automation and nondisruptive operations.  We have storage operations and storage delivery owners to ensure all data keeps flowing.

Most importantly we also have a global command center that’s responsible for providing a fast response during any service disruptions.  Each service line is perpetual, not a project or temporary work. Service line owners meet regularly to ensure integration and coordination across different services. Just like a ski resort, we work as a team to deliver success for our users. And our business is now enjoying consistent access to IT services and rapid delivery-just like skiing full speed down the mountain.

The NetApp-on-NetApp blog series features advice from subject matter experts from NetApp IT who share their real-world experiences using NetApp’s industry-leading storage solutions to support business goals. Want to view learn more about the program? Visit