A place to call my own

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 4th August 2007

10,328 views on developerworks

Welcome.

One of the good things to come out of the recent banter started by Chuck that dragged in Tony and Barry Burke, regarding the ‘relevance of SPC’ and storage benchmarking in general was a comment from BarryB regarding me having my own blog… So here it is.

To set the record straight, from the start, I do not intend this to be a marketing driven blog – like statistics, you can market a product in almost any way you want – using Blogs as a means to ‘ignore the truth’ and ‘bypass the technical feasibility’ by quoting unrealistic poster-ware that most readers can see through is not for me. (I’ll leave that to Hu) I plan to stick to the facts and prompt readers, interested in Storage Virtualization, to carefully consider their infrastructure needs to make an educated and constructed decision when it comes to thinking about, or actually going ahead and virtualizing their SAN environment.

While the benefits of virtualization are commonly touted by all vendors, when it comes to actually putting it into practice, it’s not something to jump into all guns blazing, some careful consideration of what you want from it will guide not only the product you buy, but the way you roll it out in your environment.

Working with SVC on a daily basis, and being the products performance architect I obviously have a biased view of the world, but I was also closely involved with the original product conception. We had many choices, network based, in-band, out-of-band, controller based (and we even shipped it in a switch based form) and we chose an in-band appliance approach. There are many reasons for this, and each vendor will tell your their approach is best. There’s never a storage solution that is a one size fits all – and I can see where the EMC folks are coming from with regards to the above discussions on SPC, but it seems like twisting a fact to suit an argument. The SPC, nor any other, benchmarks can provide this type of customer by customer ‘yes it will work’ type answer, but thats not what they are trying to do. But I think the various vendors views are clear on this one…

I digress, what I was alluding to was that there maybe a case for controller based virtualization (isn’t RAID a type of virtualization anyway) and indeed for some people a switch based solution may work (if they don’t have a need for true FlashCopy or RemoteCopy in a single box) but at the end of the day we chose an appliance as a flexible – fast moving – platform that could provide ALL the benefits storage virtualization could provide.

I plan to outline over the next few days and weeks, why an in-band appliance can provide you with everything virtualization has promised, SVC may not provide them all today, but its only a matter of time and money and the world really is your oyster!

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