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More Grumpiness!

I wouldn’t have picked up on this story if Storagezilla hadn’t retweeted it and I’m not going to blame him but sometimes journalists and marketeers drive me mad; perhaps I’m a little naive to expect some kind of accuracy and sense but I still do!

Clustered NAS picked to store petabytes of digital moon images

That sounded a really interesting little story and as it was tweeted by ‘Zilla, I knew it was going to be about Isilon. And it was about space! How cool! Then I read the story and really it’s making something out of not a lot.

Two Isilon clusters with 11 nodes and 700 Terabytes of disk each; okay, that’s a reasonable size but it’s not petabytes; its 1.4 petabyte, over a petabyte indeed but petabytes? I expect to see at least two petabytes. And actually, they are a mirror pair, so less than a petabyte of unique data(and there’s also no mention if that is usable as opposed to raw).

Of course then you pick out the detail; 100 Terabytes of data to start with, growing at approximately 170 Terabytes a year. So it could end up being petabytes eventually…maybe!

However there is another even less postive spin to put on this, Isilon have managed to sell about 3-4 years capacity which will sit there spinning and depreciating? Great job by the sales-man but!

Isilon have great technology which means selling all this capacity up front is pretty unnecessary and gets the customer to pay up front for capacity that they don’t need and capacity which can be added non-disruptively and smoothly as and when required.

That’s the sort of behaviour that as an end-user drives me nuts! I understand why the vendor does so but don’t we keep talking about partnership and don’t vendors keep talking about efficiency?

Of course, I could just be channelling my friend Ian but actually I think’s just my own grumpiness this time!


  1. Andrew Fidel says:

    And of course the vendor gets their 20% per year maintenance on that unneeded capacity!

  2. Huw Lynes says:

    I suspect this may be an artefact of academic funding models rather than untrammelled greed on the part of the vendor. Big projects tend to get a large chunk of CapEx and little or no on-going funding. So you often buy what you think you’ll need for the life of the initial grant (typically 3 years) and hope to hell that you are successful and pick up more funding in year three to buy more kit and keep paying your researchers.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris_Mellor, Martin Glassborow and unix player, Ben Di Qual. Ben Di Qual said: RT @storagebod: [blog] More Grumpiness […]

  4. Storagezilla says:

    I concur with Huw, front loading purchases is rare except in Academia where they usually get an upfront Grant for a project and aren’t funded quarter by quarter.

    From a sales person’s point of view, yes as a one shot it can be a big win but on the flip side there’s little to no upsell opportunity over the next couple of years as there’s no more money. When the hardware/software is bought and that pricing is locked in the money goes to making payroll for the life of the project.

    In sales it’s what you’re doing this quarter, not what you did last quarter.

    So while there are certainly short term buccaneers out there, they tend to hop from company to company, it pays a sales person to cultivate an account over a longer period of time.

  5. […] some people might think I was being a bit unfair picking on EMC/Isilon in my previous entry and to be honest I was but in a good cause. I’d picked up on a story which ‘Zilla […]

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