Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting lately.
One of the hardest things I find with this whole blogging thing is regular contributions to keep it fresh. And I've fallen down in that regard in the last week-and-a-half.
No real excuse -- just a lot of travel and work-related stuff -- and I didn't want to bore anyone with a travelogue-style entry. Business travel sounds glamorous, until you realize that every airplane seat and hotel room looks about the same. Trust me, a conference room is a conference room just about everywhere in the world.
But it's always great meeting new people, which is I guess why we travel.
So let me provide a bit of catch-up in this post, before I get to some beefier topics I've been thinking about.
We have many more bloggers to go read ...
Over the last few weeks, I have been impressed by the new voices coming to the table.
RupturedMonkey woke up, and started blogging again. My good friend Barry Burke, blogging as The Storage Anarchist, brings a great view to the table. And there are several others here and here. All worth checking out.
So why this sudden renewed interest?
I think that it's part of the secular trend about information (and, of course, storage-related technologies) becoming more interesting.
Certainly, there's lots of new stuff to talk about from the technology side.
And a few interesting vendor announcements
The new Hitachi TagmaStore got announced, sort of.
Even the most ardent Hitachi fan-boys were a bit underwhelmed at the announcement. I won't rehash it here, since it's been thoroughly discussed already. Part of me wishes it had been a stronger announcement, since I think competition is good for customers and good for EMC.
More interesting was NetApp's data-dedupe announcement. EMC and most vendors agree that different forms of data reduction technology (de-dupe being a single flavor) have the potential to make a material impact on storage and management costs, but (and there's always a but) there needs to be some serious education work by the industry on the pros and cons. It's not a panacea.
Watch for a post on this soon.
The EMC ControlCenter announcement got a bit of press, but I thought deserved more. Most people outside the industry don't realize that ControlCenter is the de-facto market standard for enterprise storage management -- in terms of licenses, petabytes managed, revenue, feature set, etc.
Yes, there are other products out there, but they all end up in the "other" category in the market share pie chart.
In its early days, I think the product struggled a bit by trying to be all things to all people. Simply put: it bit off more than it could chew.
But that's history.
Now in its sixth release, it's a pretty well-architected and well-oiled ecosystem, and I'd put it head-to-head in any shop (EMC or otherwise) against any competitive product.
In particular, I was very pleased to see the advanced support for VMware environments (you do want to manage VMware storage, don't you?). Teaching an SRM product about virtual servers is no mean feat, and I think this will be a valuable (and differentiated) feature for quite a while.
The FCoE debate seems to have come and gone.
There was furious counter-FUD from the iSCSI vendors (not surprisingly) and an interesting move from an IBM-er who posted a very well-thought-out historical response identically to about a dozen blogs, including mine. Kind of takes the spam thing to a whole new level.
I guess IBM doesn't like the idea of FCoE.
But I'm sure the FCoE debate will back before long, especially as various vendors announce products.
And then we have EMC World coming up next week. Watch for a slew of announcements, some of which I'll try and cover here a bit.
And what I'm hearing from customers ...
One of the reasons I've been absent is that my customer engagement has been a bit heavier than usual. As I've mentioned, the best part of my job!
Nothing really new or revolutionary here, just a continuation of trends I've been writing about all along.
- cost reduction with storage has shifted away from the storage itself, and how you use it intelligently (classification, process, tools, etc.).
- the storage strategy discussion continues to evolve away from the technology itself, and towards the processes and ecosystem around it.
- the energy savings parade is in full swing, with VMware leading the way. Of course, to do a serious VMware implementation, there are some infrastructure issues which more and more people are starting to grapple with.
- the "who will be the CFO of information?" discussion (i.e. informationist) is resonating, and more than a few customers have had that debate internally, and decided that they're going to step up to the challenge -- good for them.
- information security (directly protecting the information itself) is rising like a tectonic plate across the IT landscape -- with each new news story, the momentum is growing to evolve how we protect information holistically.
Hope I get a few more cycles to dig into a couple of new interesting areas -- thanks for your patience!