Feeds

Storage management tools SUCK. We're getting what we pay for

Tenuous storage business cases mean you're pissing cash down the drain

The essential guide to IT transformation

Storagebod Five years or so when I started blogging about storage I spent much time venting my spleen at EMC, especially the abomination that was ControlCenter; a product so poor that a peer in the industry once described it as being “too expensive even if it was free.”

And yet the search for the perfect storage management product still continues. There have been contenders along the way but they still fall short. As administration tools have got better and easier to use, the actual management tools still fall 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 in accordance with the business case that they will save you money by allowing you to right-size your storage estate. Rather, they will maximise the usage of the estate that you have on the floor of your server room.

Unfortunately, and it surprises me to say this, while the price of enterprise storage has collapsed (seriously, it has, although it's 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: the economics don’t actually stack up.

So there has to be a whole new business case around risk mitigation, change-planning and 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: most of these aren’t especially great, either.

PS; If you want to embarrass EMC and make them sheepish…just mention ControlCenter…you’d think it’d killed someone.. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.