The Loss of Important Knowledge and Acumen Through Perceived Commoditization

I posit that we now have a whole new class of consumer that is completely oblivious to certain hitherto fundamental concepts – and this can lead to poor business decisions and overall sub-optimal execution and results.

I got the idea after a discussion with an ex colleague (that’s now working for a cloud vendor) where he proudly proclaimed that infrastructure is unimportant and uninteresting.

I’ll start generically and shift to IT. The generic aspect of this problem is very interesting, since it’s lowering quality in all sorts of fields.

And never forget: Just because something is widely and easily available doesn’t mean it’s better. It simply means that more people have access to it.

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Lying via Capacity Guarantees

It seems there’s no shortage of creative marketing ways to fool customers these days.

I’ve written before about how to protect against some of the shadier storage business “guarantee” schemes, but a relatively new development has prompted this post.

You see, a rather large vendor-who-shall-not-be-named is now offering a capacity guarantee across their entire storage portfolio, shown right on their website. The interesting part is that their guarantee mentions not just thin provisioning but also snapshots.

Many vendors use thin provisioning in capacity guarantees – it doesn’t make the practice acceptable, merely common like influenza or selfies, only more annoying.

However, no other vendor I’m aware of has the sheer audacity to also count snapshots in their capacity guarantee.

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Media is Not Created Equal and NVMe is Just a Protocol

In this era of over-marketing and misinformation, it can be refreshing to clarify things for customers.

Allow me to be refreshing regarding NVMe 🙂

NVMe is simply a protocol. Just like SCSI is a protocol. NVMe is most assuredly not a media type. Yet, storage vendors keep talking about “NVMe drives” and customers often think those devices are equal as long as “NVMe” is mentioned.

Alas, that’s not how things work…

Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as an NVMe drive. Or, at the very least, calling something an “NVMe drive” isn’t enough to describe what that media is, and it’s especially not enough to describe how fast it may be.

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Why it is Incorrect to use Average Block Size for Storage Performance Benchmarking

Just a quick post to address something many people either get wrong or just live with due to convenience.

In summary: Please, let’s stop using average I/O sizes to characterize storage system performance. It’s wrong and doesn’t describe how the real world works. Using an average number is as bad as using small block 100% read numbers shown in vanity benchmarks. Neither is representative of real life.

Using a single I/O size for benchmarking became a practice for a vanity benchmark and to provide a level playing field to compare multiple products.

But, ultimately, even though the goal of comparing different systems is desirable, using a single I/O size is fundamentally flawed.

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7-Mode to Clustered ONTAP Transition

I normally deal with different aspects of storage (arguably far more exciting) but I thought I would write something to provide some common sense perspective on the current state of 7-Mode to cDOT adoption.

I will tackle the following topics:

  1. cDOT vs 7-Mode capabilities
  2. Claims that not enough customers are moving to cDOT
  3. 7-Mode to cDOT transition is seen by some as difficult and expensive
  4. Some argue it might make sense to look at competitors and move to those instead
  5. What programs and tools are offered by NetApp to make transition easy and quick
  6. Migrating from competitors to cDOT

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