Archive for the 'Xiotech 2010' Category


Data Progression? Extents of tiering?

After reading Jon Toigo’s blog this weekend, I had to add on in more than a “comment”, as a follow on to the response from a Compellent “architect”.

Jon was addressing, in “Tears of Storage”, a point that is in great controversy in the storage industry and is being blog’ed about constantly (@storagetexan, @storagewonk, @xiotech, to mention a few), that is storage controller comparison and “features” that vendors offer. The “architect’s” response was from a giddy brain washed perspective, and that is, “this is really cool and everyone should have it!”.   

The reality of Data Progression, and lower level tiering in general, is that when they say “data”, it is NOT progressing “data” at all, underlying storage does not understand “data”, it understand bits and blocks of bits, and as such, protects those and should do that VERY well first. To protect “data”, or tier “data”, you should have an understanding of the full value of that underlying data and be able to “progress” or “regress” that data based on it’s value to the user and not to the storage controllers, things such as “Is it the CEO’s email”, in some companies that is important and is the only qualifier and not “did I touch this bit”, this is the “value” a controller cannot put on the data.

This entire story is akin to the outsourcing discussion that was held at a CIO event in Ohio last year (shamefull plug for CIO Practicum), and the outcome of that, and virtually EVERY discussion over “should I outsource” , you outsource something that is made basic and can be done easily and quicker by someone else. Data ILM is not “easy”, it requires a little effort on the part of the data owner (classification and prioritization) and simply ignoring those two points is just throwing your hands up in the air and saying you give up. Application vendors  (backup applications, databases, etc) have those type capabilities AND they actually know how the data is being used!

In a nutshell, Data Progression is a “feature” that a company “sells”, that requires you to buy a license and more storage and let them handle it “seamlessly” in the background (oh, wait, it does take resources to migrate that data?, hmmm), and it only addresses the single point of “when you last touched a block”, which is the least significant of the equation, but, the only one the storage vendor can understand.

Now, when the days of “Intelligent Application driven Storage” comes to play, that will rock! Think about it, letting the application drive the operations based on “their” needs, the tide is turning and the “features” of today will be the 8 tracks of yesterday, passé . But, don’t fret, vendors will come out with new “cool” things for you to spend money on!


Changing Economy of Storage?

After listening to the Wikibon discussion on FCoE yesterday, it really spurred me to piece together a number of things that have been posted as of late relating to storage access and the economies of storage.

I have been in the storage business for longer than I care to discuss, but, it has always revolved around the economies ($ per something, that something usually being capacity), with the economies of reality trailing the actual sale…and subsequently requiring further purchases (or in the cae of a generous vendor, free stuff….that usually doesn’t happen unless it’s t-shirts, mugs or coffee cards), to sustain the “real” need, and that is usually a performance related function (getting that capacity to do something in a timely fashion for the application or user).

In his blog, Tommyt (@StorageTexan) addressed a number of things, but this one specifically addresses where the industry is now regarding the building of a resilient/performing storage solution and moore specifically, PSA describes the realities around the needs that applications have for “data access” and getting that data in a timely fashion.

Rogerk (@storagewonk) has blogged about the confusion in comparing storage vendors and the “race for features”, while applications like databases, OS’s and hypervisors are putting most of those same features core to their function, where they rightly belong as the application or controlling entity is really the “boss”, as it were.

Davidb (@DavidBBlack), the dynamic speaker from Oak (we discovered this so well at Nerdfest 2010) and techno dweeb extrordinaire elucidated the gap that is ever increasing regarding computation and the access of data. This gap will drive the core capabilities of storage (storing, protecting and delivering data when and how fast it’s needed), as Tommy spoke to in his PSA discussion above.

Steves (@mensch45) illustrated how Xiotech is trying to change the game further, by focussing on the P of PSA, and ensuring the rest (storae and protect) happens in an even more reliable fashion while plugging more directly into the application and it’s control/needs.

Rob Peglar (@peglarr) spoke of the current trend in the industry of  “feature creep” and the storage vendors trying to constantly invent the new “feature” they can “sell” on/to, while making everyone want that feature like Apple has sold the world on IPOD’s (yes, I love my IPOD, that is a feature we all NEED); but do we really NEED all those other “features” that the applications/OS’s/backup vendors are integrating anyways?

Where is the rightful place for any of those features? Once reviewing what some of the great collection of minds at Xiotech are creating, you will see that letting the application rule has a lot of merit.


Honesty in the Storage Industry?

Honesty in the storage industry?

Over the past couple months I have had, not less than 20 times, competitors that have given quotes to a prospect/customer that so blatantly does not comply to the very specifics that the customer gave me it would be hysterical if it wasn’t so pitifully sad.

Why would vendors so differently respond to a prospect? I have found it to be only three reasons:

Reason 1: Could those prospects have been deceitful enough to give different vendors different baseline requirements? The most basic answer is, yes, because I have seen that happen, especially when the prospect is already working (be that professionally or personally) with one of the vendors. That being said, I have found, on rare occasions, that can be the case; however; however, in most cases the prospects that we meet with are VERY sincere.

Reason 2: One or more of the vendors truly does not understand the Requests, Needs, or Requirements, as stated by the prospect. With all the strong professionals out there, I am very surprised this happens, but, it does, even when the prospect has professionally administered RFP sessions.

Reason 3: One or more of the vendors is purposely responding  in a nature that will not fulfill the needs, based upon price reasons (trying to hit a price point), lack of capabilities or just to get their feet in the door.

In the 8 years I have been at Xiotech, I (and many in management) have noted that we in the field all to often are way to conservative and we actually lost deals because we are over configuring for storage, capabilities or future needs/presumed requirements. Not trying to be pious or arrogant, because we all want to win deals, but some of us actually enjoy the relationships we have with partners and customers and the longer those relationships exist, the more successful we feel and want to be.

As a prospect, please ensure that you fully understand your requirements (there are honest people out there that will work with you and educate you, truthfully, on capabilities and realities) and ensure that the vendors truly respond according to YOUR needs, not their needs to SELL you something.


Xiotech 2010

Thanks for vocalizing something quite a number of us are feeling, Tommy (@Xio_Tommyt)!

The National Sales meeting in Vegas wasn’t great because of money spent (ironically, Vegas is one of the cheapest places to hold a corp. function), but, because of the attitude and actions of the new Xiotech.

Alan, Jim (@JGM), Steve, Brian (@BrianCReagan) are all dynamic, motivated, intriguing people; but, the people behind them are incredible as well (Richie, Ken, Jeff, Butch, Todd, and the list goes on, sorry if I left anyone out). These “Rockstars”, as affectionately dubbed at Xiotech, are truly people that are respected and admired…and we are seeing why and the fruits of their labors will drive us to make 2010 a very interesting year, indeed.

I, as Tommy has expounded in his awesome blog, also am so impressed with what this team has done to make Xiotech more “known”, and the creative brilliance behind their efforts will be seen.

I would be remiss if I did not say another thing about Nerdfest 2010, it was awesome! The gathering of the brightest minds within Xiotech (and those of us not in the “brightest” category) to make sure we are all on the same page and working “together” to drive to success.

Thanks, Steve, et-al!

So, hold on, we really are out the gates now and I for one am looking forward to 2010!


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 242 other followers