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Traditionally, DBAs and storage administrators are often in conflict regarding storage provisioning and how to resolve storage performance/cost issues. GlassHouse Technologies' Damoulakis views this as a "natural tension and, as long as it is managed properly through open communications and an effective demand planning process, it's not a huge problem." However, he added, "the interesting challenge will be, given changes like virtualization, thin provisioning and solid-state storage, can the storage group build a strong enough argument to alter the tradition-based, risk-averse DBA mindset?"

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO Group in Stillwater, Minn., said that the more DBAs learn about storage, servers and networking, the better they can convey what they need and why; likewise, the more server and storage professionals can learn about apps and the needs of DBAs, "the better they can work together to drive efficiency and boost productivity instead stepping on or inhibiting production."

Simply put, uncertainty and change, if managed appropriately, will lead to new ways of doing things and an increase in productivity. As John Seely Brown, previously chief scientist at Xerox Corp. and now a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, wrote in a recent published interview: "Many breakthroughs today come between disciplines, where multiple disciplines work together."

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BIO: Rich Friedman was formerly senior editor at Storage magazine. He's currently riding his bicycle from St. Augustine, Fla., to San Diego.

This was first published in April 2009

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