Intelligent Data Centres Issue 40 - Page 66

DEEP DIVE

WE ‘ DEEP DIVE ’ WITH PETER DONNELLY , DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTS AT ATTO TECHNOLOGY , WHO TELLS US ABOUT LIFE

INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE .

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What would you describe as your most memorable achievement in the data centre industry ?
Making the jump from a sales position into product management is a pretty special memory . Understanding what customers needed was always important to me and leveraging those skills in very different ways was difficult . I was suddenly working directly with software and hardware engineers who ask pointed questions and don ’ t suffer fools . Engineering was one of my customers , though , and I needed to figure out how to navigate and build those new relationships . It ’ s made me better at what I do . It ’ s also helped me bring more value to my company . Our projects run more smoothly and we ’ re able to compete more effectively .
What first made you think of a career in technology / data centres ?
I lucked into it . I started in a completely different industry in R & D and , eventually , technical sales . The idea of a data centre was just starting to take shape and it looked fascinating to me . I certainly didn ’ t realise just how far things would go at the time , but I definitely sensed that what I saw was going to change how we worked and played . I never looked back and have never regretted it . I get to work with really smart people creating new things every day .
What style of management philosophy do you employ in your current position ?
Hire good people , get them what they need to work effectively – and then stay out of their way . I ’ m a huge fan of trying to give my team the space that they need to work at their peak performance and I ’ m finding that most of the time the best questions for me to ask are ‘ what ’ s getting in the way of getting this done ?’ and then ‘ what do you need from me to remove those obstacles ?’ It empowers my team to think creatively and problem solve . They ’ re way smarter than me and can come up with better answers . Also , it frees me up to work on the issues that really need my attention .
What do you think is the current hot talking point within the data centre space ?
Disaggregation . For years , it seemed that all people wanted to talk about was how hyperconverged architectures were the ultimate solution for the data centre . What we ’ re finding now , though , is that this one-size-fits-all approach isn ’ t necessarily the best or even the most cost-effective way to look at the data centre . Organisations should consider taking and storage out of the box and scaling that independently , as well as placing these resources closer to where they are needed . People are starting to see the benefit of seeing the data centre in this more evolved way – and reaping the benefits .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
I think the biggest thing has been to re-establish boundaries between work and home life . For the past few years , as we ’ ve worked primarily in our home offices , it was tough to separate the two worlds . Recently , I ’ ve got back into the groove of walking outside more and spending time at the gym . It gets me out of the house and there ’ s nothing like working up a sweat to reset your brain .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
We ’ re heavily investing in developing enabling technologies for enterprise NVMe storage solutions , as well as expanding on
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