Courting storage chaos
Even worse, try to create a multi-
vendor solution, and you’re unlikely
to find support anywhere. You can
VENDORS SHOULD MAKE IT EASIER TO ADD STORAGE imagine what it would be like to
explain to your chief financial offi-
Iw cer—the one who needs a secretary
n honestly say your storage environ- to read his e-mail—why you chose
l as sitting “I mean, how many of you can
ext to my col-eague, Senior ment just grew into its current different solutions. He’s not going
Writer Chris state?” I continued. Nearly every to care that you did it to meet the
Preimesberger, in hand in the room went up. efficiency or compliance demands
a meeting room Despite all the emphasis we he placed on you. He’s just going
in Los Angeles put on storage planning, it seems to be interested in the cost of the
before we were that the storage systems at most maintenance agreements.
set to present our companies aren’t planned at all, or So here’s the question: Shouldn’t
thoughts at a wrap-up panel discus- perhaps are planned around the there be a way for multivendor stor-
sion at the Ziff Davis Enterprise existing network and storage. age network components to at least
Storage Summit Oct. 10. Because They are, in other words, solu- coexist peacefully without having to
we’re serious journalists, Chris and I tions that were chosen to meet an incur the expense of an integrator?
avoided talking about the things that immediate need at a cost that could Admittedly, the basic infrastruc-
you’d expect (beer, for example) and be made to fit this year’s budget. ture of diverse storage networks
instead stayed focused on storage. This is no surprise. Many won’t work together, but, even so,
I told Chris that from what I had companies are so constrained by shouldn’t the basic operation of the
seen from the products at the Stor- inadequate budgets that the IT staff networks be able to be integrated?
age Summit, as well as from the has no choice but to be reactive. I know it sounds crazy, but the
products I’d been reviewing lately, Then IT is further hobbled by cor- Ethernet community did this years
many companies were buying stor- porate leadership more notable for ago. As long as they use the same
age in reaction to their business its focus on quarterly reports than physical infrastructure at some point,
needs. It would make sense to me, on long-term efficiency. But that’s those networks can handle one
I said, that if companies actually a story we’ve all heard before. The another’s traffic transparently.
planned for their storage needs question now Doing that
rather than reacted in haste once is, What to do CREATE A MULTIVENDOR with storage
they found they had a problem, about it? SOLUTION, AND YOU ARE networks might heir businesses might benefit. Most ven- even cause
Chris suggested that we make dors seem to UNLIKELY TO FIND SUPPORT. those networks
this a question when we presented have a way in to grow and be
our panel discussion. So I asked which a company can start small and more widely adopted and help pre-
the question of the audience: “How expand its storage network to sup- vent the balkanized storage solu-
many of you planned your existing port more users or greater demand. tions that float around the edges
storage solution so that what you However, these same vendors seem of many of today’s networks.
have now reflects your planning?” to require that if the expansion takes It won’t make companies more
One hand was raised. place, it must be with their prod- likely to plan than they were
“How many of you sort of ucts—and, in some cases, a specific before, but it would acknowledge
found yourselves with the storage line of their products. the inability to plan—and make
you have now but aren’t really sure Start out with one vendor on the consequences less costly. ´
how you got there?” I asked next. I your storage network and then
noticed puzzled looks from many try to add a solution from another Senior Analyst Wayne Rash is at
in the audience. vendor, and you’re courting chaos. email@example.com.