But here's a less welcome kind of disruption to the progress of storage: the lack of tools. They're better than they were two years ago, but still not good enough.
What's wrong with the current crop? They either don't do enough or try to do too much; they don't work on enough platforms; they cost too much; they take too long to install and they just plain don't inspire confidence. There are exceptions, and I don't want to tar every vendor with the same brush, but that's what I hear from most of you.
What's gone wrong? There sure was a lot of venture funding thrown at tools startups in recent years. That's part of the problem. Startups aimed too high in an effort to convince investors that they were sitting on a diamond mine, not just a gold mine. Products seek to automate too much based on policies that don't yet exist in most shops.
OK, what about the big guys? They've got stars in their eyes, too. They
Engineers always like to analyze systems in terms of bottlenecks. Right now, the bottleneck is management software and without serious improvements, you won't be able to operate large-scale production storage networks with any assurance that they're actually doing what you want and not without an army of admins.
Vendors, here's some places to start in breaking this bottleneck:
- Forget strategic lock-in. Do something useful now, and build on that.
- Let's lose the get-rich-quick mentality. Sacrifice some of those high margins for more customers and repeat sales.
- Tell your development teams that if a product can't be installed in a week, go back to the drawing board.
- Come up with licensing schemes that are flexible and don't penalize growth.
- No standards, no future.