Posts Tagged ‘storage


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!


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.

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