I don’t blog about my day-job very often but I want to relate a conversation I had today; I was chatting to one of the storage administrators who works on our corporate IT systems, they’ve recently put in some XIV systems (some might be an understatement) and I asked how he was getting on with them. He’s been doing the storage administrator thing for a long time and cut his teeth on the Big Iron arrays and I thought he might be a bit resentful at how easy the XIV is to administer but no…he mentioned a case recently when they needed to allocate a large chunk of storage in a real hurry; took 30 minutes to do a job which he felt would take all day on a VMAX.
And I believe him but…
Here’s the thing; in theory using the latest GUI tools such as Unisphere for VMAX, surely this should be the case for VMAX? So what is going on? Quite simply the Big Iron arrays are hampered by a legacy of complexity; even experienced administrators and perhaps especially experienced administrators like to treat them as complex, cumbersome beasts. It is almost as if we’ve developed a fear of them and treat them with kid gloves.
And I don’t believe it is just VMAX that is suffering from this; all of the Big Iron arrays suffer from this perception of complexity. Perhaps because they are still expensive, perhaps because the vendors like to position them as Enterprise beasts and not as something which as easy as to configure as your home NAS and perhaps because the storage community are completely complicit in the secret occult world of Enterprise storage?
Teach the elephants to dance…they can and they might not crush your toes.