I happened upon an episode of South Park last night covering the subject of bullying. The irony of the program was that the anti-bullying advocates were bullying everyone around them — an interesting and provocative twist.
I remembered it today when I was researching several sites for market size data on both storage clouds and server virtualization, which found me on several blogs and web-based publication reading not only the articles but also the running commentary.
What killed me was the venom in some of the attacks by vendors on comments left by what I assume were IT operatives who were trying to figure out the nuts and bolts and the business value cases for these technologies — not because they were hostile to them, but because they just didn’t readily see the fit for the technologies in their own environments. In almost every case, the comment was met with a barrage of responses from people — some of whom were vendors — beating up on the questioner for asking such stupid questions! Bullies, I thought.
Then I remembered South Park. When I rant against this phenomenon, might I also be construed as a bully?
I followed a link supplied by one cloud advocate who told a commentor that he/she didn’t know what he/she was talking about and downloaded an analyst paper. The paper proudly exclaimed that storage cloud adoption was up by 360+ percent year over year. I poured over the document until I reached the appendix, which described demographics of survey respondents. Turned out that 93 responses had been received to the survey taker’s questionnaire. That was about 30 fewer responses than in the previous year’s survey. From this number, the 360% increase in cloud adoption data point was extracted.
Other data points were also skewed. 6% said that they had undertaken a “colossal effort” to understand business requirements as a prelude to pursuing their cloud strategy. Given that only 17 people had answered this question, that meant that 1.06 persons had responded in this way. Is that a significant number?
In the same sampling, 4 people said they had made a significant effort to calculate TCO of existing storage infrastructure so they could use it as baseline for assessing the TCO of cloud storage.
And in the same report, they compared cloud storage costs to the costs of fielding your own “SAN” — by which they meant a 10TB DROBO rig. (Hey, I have one of those. Nice little iSCSI box.) Projecting out 10 years, the DROBO worked out to be much cheaper to own and operate than any rival cloud storage play.
Maybe somebody needs to do a little pushback to the bullying of the lemmings who see a shiny new thing technology, pursue it with vigor, then evangelize it to everyone else.
On the other hand, I have probably been guilty of that myself…more often than I would like to admit.
Word for the day: HUMILITY.