Posts Tagged ‘xiotech


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.


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!



Nerdfest 2010 – day 3

Day 3 of Steve Sicola’s Nerdfest 2010

Today has been great discussing everything from existing Emprise 7000 and all corresponding infrastructure, to future products.

The additional tools coming to Xiotech are impressive, to say the least..we’ll leave that there.

Ken Bates, for those who know him, still leaves you with a strong painfull pressure in the back of your head as your brain expands beyond it’s limitations and you can feel something seaping out of your ears as he discusses the formulas of Amdahl’s law, Little’s law; I/O chain, bottleneck analysis, effects of utilization, and more I/o profile than I care to see, for awhile yet…

With the work going on inside of the engineering minds at Xiotech, the coming months will show quite a lot, I am sure (and we all expect!).


Nerdfest 2010 – Day 3

Nerdfest 2010, day 3, and the technology firehose continues.

Today we get to give Architect feedback and then the firehose of knowledge from the likes of Nick Elvester, Paul Dunn, Srini Unnava, Dave “gus”, Ken Bates and Jeff Nicholson. Saving the “fellow” rockstars from COS for last, obviosly!

Open sharing of engineering is awesome, calling these people co-workers is awesome!


David Black ROCKS!

David black playing Bach and Beethoven, dancing on stage and associating the scoring of music to programing.

It’s like the cross between being in church, at a concert, a motivatinoal Seminar and an Amway convention.

Gotta love it!


Xiotech Nerdfest 2010, day 2

Xiotech Nerdfest 2010

The first day of Nerdfest discussed all the history of ISE (the game changing storage element which is the child of the storage rockstars at Xiotech), the day closed with pots and pots of green chili made by Steve Sicola (CTO, Xiotech), awesome chili and needless to say there was plenty of heartburn later that evening.

There was a great futures discussion with Jim McDonald (CSO, Xiotech), Steve, Brian Reagan (SVP Marketing, Xiotech) and others, while the mass quantities of chili were consumed (brownies needed to tame the heat, btw, hot is HOT). The future holds a lot, we will leave it at that.

More history of ISE to come today with eyes on the future!


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