Five years or so when I started this blog, I spent much time venting my spleen at EMC and especially the abomination that was Control-Center; a product so poor that a peer in the inudstry once described it as being too expensive even if it was free.
And yet still the search for the perfect storage management product still continues; there have been contenders along the way and yet they still continue to fall short and as the administration tools have got better and easier to use, the actual management tools have still fallen some way short of the mark.
But something else has happened and it was only a chance conversation today that highlighted this to me; the tenuous business case that many have been purchased on has collapsed…many storage management products are purchased with the business case that ultimately that they will save you money by allowing you to right-size your storage estate….they will maximise the usage of the estate that you have on the floor.
Unfortunately and it surprises to say this; the price of enterprise storage has collapsed…seriously, although it is still obviously too expensive (I have to say that); the price of storage management products has not declined at the same rate. This means that it is doubtful that I can actually save enough capacity to make it worth my time trying too hard and putting in a tool to do so, the economics don’t actually stack up.
So there has to be whole new business case around risk mitigation, change-planning, improved agility…or the licensing model that tends to be capacity-based in some form or another has to be reviewed.
Do we still need good storage management tools? Yes but they need to focused on automation and service delivery; not on simply improving the utilisation of the estate.
Thin-provisioning, deduplication, compression and the likes are already driving down these costs; they do this ways that are easier than reclaiming orphaned storage and even under-utilised SAN ports.And as long as I am clever, I can pick-up a lot of orphaned storage on refresh.
If ‘Server-SAN’ is a real thing; these tools are going to converge into the general management tools, giving me a whole new topic to vent at..because most of these aren’t especially great either.
p.s If you want to embarrass EMC and make them sheepish…just mention Control-Center…you’d think it’d killed someone..