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Feeling Gooey…

So after dissing two of the major storage vendors and telling them how to run their businesses; I thought I'd post something less likely to upset.

I guess regular readers of this blog and followers of my never-ending tweetstream have picked up that I'm actually doing some hands-on at the moment; not just telling people what to do but actually doing. It's mostly been a bit of NetApp, IBM DS, TSM, GPFS, ESXi, Cisco and Brocade; all good fun. One thing I have noticed is that poor quality of the GUI management tools and the breadth of coverage in the GUI tools; I use the GUIs a lot because 

a) I'm getting old and can't remember all the commands any more

b) I know the concepts but can't be bothered to learn the commands any more

c) If you only do things once in a blue moon, there's really no point in learning the commands any more

And it's c) which needs addressing; it's those things which you only do rarely that need to be present in the GUI tool but because they are rarely done, they don't tend to be in the GUI. For example, we're going to have to move some volumes around on one of our filers; it would be nice, if this could be done via the GUI; a simple drag and drop but it's not there, you have to do it from the command line. 

On pretty much every storage device, there's a whole raft of operations which must be done from the command line; multi-step operations which would be nice if encapsulated at the GUI level. For example, migrating LUNs between arrays of the same type; a simple drag of the LUN from one array to another with the mappings etc carried out for you. 

The GUIs have got a lot better but I think there is still plenty of room for improvement; so have a look at your command set and then compare it to what you can do from your GUI. If a command can't be carried out from the GUI, ask yourself whether there is a good reason? And then consider those multi-stage operations which could easily be carried out as a single interaction with the GUI. 

Of course, as an old AIX admin; I'd like the equivalent of the SMIT option to show me what commands you are going to run, so I could then export them into a script and use that to automate in the future.

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