Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The ITech Summit, Compellent, and cheap storage

The Infrastructure Technology Summit will be held in Montreal and Toronto in the next two weeks, and Calgary and Vancouver are coming in September. This event seems to be the descendant of the older SAN/NAS summit which was held yearly. HP won't be there... which is too bad because I remember seeing Chet Jacobs present right here in Montreal at the SAN/NAS summit maybe 7 years ago. And those who know StorageWorks know Chet; his presentation style is unforgettable.

HP aside, one SAN manufacturer I've been very interested in since last year is Compellent . As an ex-SAN administrator, I was having a lot of problems with unreasonable disk space demands that were reaching into chunks of terabytes, and Compellent's copy-on-write thin provisionning sure seemed like an easy to implement solution that didn't require putting a gazillion agents on servers. The 4/6/8x400 EVAs are, to say the least, average when compared to what Compellent makes. Let's hope the next-generation EVAs will be better. However, not everyone is jumping into Compellent's bandwagon as I personally feel it still has some mileage to do to prove itself as a reliable brand name in the enterprise where long-term commitments and support are very important. A recent article at the Register tends to show what effect having no household name in that world is having on Compellent.

Speaking about terabytes, users think storage is cheap because they can purchase a Hitachi 1Tb USB drive at Best Buy for, what, 100$ now?? Unbelievable. They can even choose to get a Seagate 500Gb hard drive filled with popular movies for the same price! Asking for terabytes is therefore no big deal, right? Well, boys and girls, Enterprise Storage ain't cheap. And there are good, valid reasons for this. I'll make a blog post about that subject soon.


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