Confession: I Practice Storage Polygamy

This is somewhat of a rant, but a passing thought of mine that I’d like to share. I’ll admit it I approach storage very differently than I do anything else in IT. I feel that there are some situations where one storage product and brand fits the bill better than others. The flip-side of this is that it could be billed as selecting the “Best-of-Breed” product for the situation, but I realized I don’t do this in any other category of my professional IT practice:

Operating systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 on new builds unless bona fide application requirement to be on another platform (such as Windows Server 2003).

Servers: I am a longtime HP ProLiant customer, and love the G6 and G7 series of the DL380. I don’t move far from that model at all. Just think of Far East Movement – Like A G6, that’s my rockstar IT style.

Networking: Copper and fiber have different networking requirements, but I find myself using the same series for each and only updating over the years with product cycles.

Virtualization: VMware. I find myself peeking at Hyper-V however.

Storage: Well……. That’s complicated. I’ve been around a few storage products, and can appreciate any number of storage products for the right use case.

When I go down the “what storage to use” route, there are a number of features that I roll into the decision process such as:

  • What software features are required: Tiering, snapshots, replication, deduplication, etc.
  • Peformance: How many spindles would be in use on one bus, what types of drives, etc.
  • Storage protocol: Would fibre channel SAN, iSCSI or NFS be the best use case? Most of the time I’d gravitate towards either of the two block protocols in favor of aligning to what I feel is VMware’s preference in utilizing block storage for their purpose-built file system, VMFS.
  • Cost: Yeah, that’s important to. The storage snobs seem to handle these conversations well, but sometimes I’m given situations I can’t control. What I have learned is that you can always find lesser expensive storage – but that of course is not a good way to provision storage.
  • Work with existing investments: Everyone wants to minimize throwaway with existing storage resources.

So, here is the Rickatron Swaggotron quadrant (this one is available for free):

image

You will say, “Where are EMC and Dell?” They are omitted primarily because I don’t know enough about them (and that’s OK) or don’t have that favorable of an impression on the storage products (or company as a whole).

Somewhat of a satire, yet mostly true. But – I think to an extent, we all do this (or something like it!).

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9 responses to this post.

  1. you owe it yourself to see an Equallogic demo. That being said, i love the Swaggotron Quadrant. i would pay big bucks for a quarterly version.

    Swaggor on, brother.

    Sean

    Reply

  2. Thanks, Sean. I’ll check into the Equallogic products. I just had such a bad experience with Dell previously that I guilt them by association…

    Reply

  3. Posted by Jill on October 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I have to say that I previuosly help a bias against EMC (the salesmen made me do it). Now that I have a majority of EMC storage, my opinion has certainly changed. Also my boss beats them up pretty hard on cost, so the cost card doesn’t play at the table very often.
    we also have some Dell Equalogics and I have to agree with Sean, the offerings and cost would factor it in to at least the rocking it quadrant.

    BTW – I miss our whatif conversations!!
    JJ

    Reply

  4. Posted by Jill on October 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I have to say that I previously held a bias against EMC (the salesmen made me do it). Now that I have a majority of EMC storage, my opinion has certainly changed. Also my boss beats them up pretty hard on cost, so the cost card doesn’t play at the table very often.
    We also have some Dell Equalogics and I have to agree with Sean, the offerings and cost would factor it in to at least the rocking it quadrant.

    BTW – I miss our whatif conversations!!
    JJ

    Reply

  5. So – I can put in a popularity vote for Equallogic by two of my main peeps…

    The question is if Sean puts them in the “Rocking It” or “Bringing It” buckets…

    Yes, I love the what-ifs storyboarding.>!>!

    Hope all is well, Jill. Ciao for now.

    Reply

  6. Nice graphic.. The considerations were interesting too, although I side with others on the Equallogic demo. It was interesting, even though I broke the cardinal rule… Bought an EMC so far so good

    Reply

  7. I’m wanting to buy storage, but the Rickatron Swaggotron quadrant is 5 months old. What am I to do?

    It’s time for an update. In order to keep the commenters happy, looks like a token Equallogic appearance will be necessary as well. My vote, is placing Equallogic smack dab in the middle of Mojo Swag Goodness because they definitely rock and bring it, but only for iSCSI.

    Reply

  8. +1 for an equallogic (you gotta get an onsite demo). Up and running in 15 minutes from box to vmfs volume.

    Love the Quadrant!

    Reply

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