like in Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Symantec asks…just what has IT ever done for us?

When I read about the incredible work that Symantec Granite Labs have achieved, for some reason my head went straight to one of my favourite sketches from the classic ‘Life of Brian’, here’s the link so you can see what I’m talking about. This is my first blog post about a NetApp customer, but when I saw the details on this one I was just so amazed by the new outcomes they’d created for the business that I had to write about it.

Symantec’s lab environments had been very silo’d in their nature, run by different product groups which was creating big challenges for them in terms of the speed that they could setup customer environments for test and development or support. The knock on effect from this was they weren’t able to deliver the service and response times that their business had to have, compounding this was a challenge from the CEO to reduce costs.

To solve this problem they built Symantec Granite Labs…before I tell you about the solution here’s what they achieved, in a Life of Brian style…

What has IT ever done for us?
Saved us tens of millions of dollars over three years through more efficient use of resources for lab environments and reduced the time required to deploy test lab environments from 2 weeks to 15 minutes

Well apart from those, what has IT done for us?
They Enabled better collaboration among engineering and QA teams, making them more effective, Improved customer satisfaction and speed time to resolution and Consolidated 14 lab hosting facilities in the United States down to 2

Okay, so apart from the massive cost savings, the huge increase in response times, the improved customer satisfaction, the consolidation of lab facilities…what has IT done for us?
Eliminated more than 37,000 weeks of effort that previously would have been spent on manually provisioning lab environments, reclaimed 70% of engineering time to invest in customer satisfaction activities rather than infrastructure support and expanded private clouds into new geographies by using dense, scalable building blocks


The Granite Labs project is a highly virtualised, Symantecscalable private cloud based on FlexPod, even with it’s significant size it’s not a collection of loosely coupled pods that would increase the complexity of management. Rather the FlexPod acts as one seamless system on a single VMware cloud instance providing massive flexibility when it comes to the changing requirements of the labs and with that comes huge efficiencies. For a lot more details on this, head to the landing page for this Epic story and read the details and watch the video I think it would be hard to not be impressed by what this group have achieved.

I write a lot about the impact that I believe IT can have on the business that it supports, both in my other posts on this blog, such as this one, and on Forbes and CIO. It’s true that IT is going through one of the most fundamental, significant and rapid changes that I’ve seen in my 20 years working in the industry. But rather than fear this, which is often a natural reaction to change, when I see these kind of case studies, the impact they have created and the sheer excitement that the Granite Labs team must have felt as they were working on this, I become ever more enthusiastic about the exciting times and opportunities that lie ahead for the IT teams that embrace this kind of change and make it happen inside their own companies.

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