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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The Well-Behaved Storage System: Automatic Noisy Neighbor Avoidance

This topic is very near and dear to me, and is one of the big reasons I came over to Nimble Storage.

I’ve always believed that storage systems should behave gracefully and predictably under pressure. Automatically. Even under complex and difficult situations.

It sounds like a simple request and it makes a whole lot of sense, but very few storage systems out there actually behave this way. This creates business challenges and increases risk and OpEx.

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Architecture has long term scalability implications for All Flash Appliances

Recently, many vendors announced the availability of large SSDs. It’s not extremely exciting – it’s just a larger storage medium. Sure, it’s really advanced 3D NAND, it’s fast and ultra-reliable, and will allow some nicely dense configurations at a reduced $/GB. Another day in Enterprise Storage Land.

But, ultimately, that’s how drives roll – they get bigger. And in the case of SSD, the roadmaps seem extremely aggressive regarding capacities, with 100TB per device coming.

Then I realized that several vendors don’t have large SSD capacities available.

But why? Why ignore such a seemingly easy and hugely cost-effective way to increase density?

In this post I will attempt to explain why certain architectural decisions may lead to inflexible design constructs that can have long-term flexibility and scalability ramifications.

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