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Storage for the Tragically Un-Hip

by Administrator on July 2, 2014

Settings-icon  I have been hearing from readers recently who, while complimenting me on my practical articles on topics such as storage efficiency, common sense storage architecture, and so forth, point out that I am covering topics that the "hip and cool" generation of IT folk don't really care about. For example, I have just completed a new set of tips at TechTarget with provocative titles like... (Note: some of these titles are mine, others were created by editors at TechTarget.) And, of course, the first issue of (my quarterly e-zine) focused on tape and the next issue, currently under development, looks at data and infrastructure management -- two more topics with limited curb appeal to those with their heads the clouds. I may be tragically unhip, but I will continue to look at these under-discussed topics, if only to ensure that someone does. I reviewed tweets this AM that had come in since midnight last night and was amazed at the volume of noise around software-defined stuff, cloud woo, and of course server virtualization -- all of which emanates from the same sources. What kind of bothers me, in addition to the failure of just about any publication to subject these topics to rigorous investigation or to question their core assumptions or to interview the many folk who tell me that they are stopping the virtualization of their servers, withdrawing from their public cloud initiatives, and taking a wait and see attitude about the whole software-defined thing, is the way that folks I respect are helping to echo the noise -- typically because it's their job if they don't! I also need to feed my family, but I think that the long term loss of credibility that results from jumping on every IT bandwagon that comes along (consider how ridiculous Gartner "Magic Quadrants" have become, or IDC "exploding digital universe" papers, or...) is far worse than the short term benefits (financially speaking) that would accrue to evangelizing the BS. Just had to say something. I am feeling discouraged by all of the mindless chatter. But, I don't mind being un-hip -- it's part of being a grown-up. (Sorry for the repost on this.  Server crash, restore.  You know the drill.)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

zapper July 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

Talk about timing. Just a few minutes ago I was having a conversation with one of my company’s sales managers and a senior company officer.

The sales manager stated that our customers are smarter now they were 10 years ago (Federal Government space). I disagreed in that drawing on the level of discussion I had in the mid to late 90’s with government customers about such things as StorageTek Silo’s, Sun E10K servers and EMC Symmetrix boxes compared to the level of technical expertise today from my customer base is staggeringly changed.

A majority percentage of customers I deal with today don’t understand the basic concepts of backup or storage management, and don’t get me started on “Technically Acceptable, Lowest Price”. A few weeks ago I spent at least an hour explaining to a customer why, in a technical sense (and this was to a senior DBA), you would use T10000 drives versus LTO-6, and all this “senior” person could say was “but the LTO drive is so much cheaper”. Granted, I am talking to a lower level of people considering that I’m working for a smaller reseller, but when I’m talking to customer I would expect a certain level of competency above what is taught in a typical six-week cram course to pass an exam.

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