The announcements are starting to pile up; nothing dramatic yet tho’ but we are probably at the start of the year when most Storage vendors refresh their main product lines and it’s going to be interesting to see the variety of approaches which are taken.
Am I expecting dramatic things from the big boys; almost certainly! Now, it is too soon for the economic downturn to have dramatically impacted what are often very long R&D cycles; so much of what we will see will have been in the labs for a long time. The downturn may have impacted some final feature sets with things like efficiency rising up the stack but these features were well up the list anyway.
When we talk about efficiency what do we mean? We can focus on the amount of storage we can actually use in our array, can we use 50% of that slow SATA disk before performance tails off and it becomes unuseable for anything else? Cheap/=efficient. We could focus on operational efficiency, how many heads does it take to manage your disk? How quickly can we service the business? What level of complexity do we expose to the business, what level of complexity is exposed to the storage administrators.
Actually, I’m expecting the big product announcements to focus on all these things. How do I make SSDs and SATA work efficiently and effectively? Note, SSDs and SATA; not FC! FC as disk technology will head to the toilet and look concerned about it’s prospects of being flushed! How do I automate storage provisioning and tiering? The gravy train for basic storage admin will come off the rails, there will be some delays in this due to the wrong type of rain/snow/leaves but automation will become prevalent.
This with a whole raft of server virtualisation announcements will change the IT Infrastructure environment; I already see server/network admins looking greedily at the storage domain, wanting to take charge of this key part of the infrastructure. I don’t see the currently harassed storage admins looking greedily the other way, I see a lot of wagons starting to go round in circles.
If you work in storage and want to continue to work in storage, it’s time for you to start getting ready for a different world and start to prepare yourselves to move away from Hypers, Metas. LSSs, RDF, PPRC etc, etc; time to get ready to manage more end-to-end. Sure, you’ll still be storage specialists but you’ll need to know a lot more, it’ll be fun!
An old manager of mine used to say ‘A Career isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon’; he was wrong, ‘A Career isn’t a sprint, it’s a series of them’. Had another one who used to say ‘Get focused or get f**ked’; he was more right but you’ve got to worry about the Bokeh, not just the focus!