Except Storage Vendors
It’s time to break the back of the storage oligopoly. Rip the still-beating heart out of this proprietary industry, drop it in a blender and hit “puree”. We have the weapons. History is on our side. Now is the time. Here is the plan.
The storage industry is badly broken. Vendors have gotten a free ride from the innovations of disk vendors to keep lowering array prices. Storage system interoperability is limited, storage networks are fragile, backups frequently don’t complete or are incomplete, margins are very high for what should be commodity products and storage management is hardly worthy of the name. Resellers and VARs, busy slathering on glue and bailing wire to hold things together, also get stuck with most of the evangelism, only to be relieved of their best customers when they are too successful.
Customers are paying a high cost as well. Not only in dollars, but in lost flexibility. CIOs are finding their jobs at risk as the Business Unit GMs look around and see smaller competitors rolling out high-value apps at a pace their own IT groups can only envy. Storage is the highest cost of most IT departments, who are paying $10, $15, even $20k a terabyte when disks are selling for $500 a terabyte. Vendors smother the big customers in support to keep them spending and to keep smaller, innovative vendors out.
With all this so profitable for vendors, whose hardware margins are the envy of the server world and whose thousands of point software products command high “value-based” prices, the industry has little incentive to change. And they don’t.
You Say You Want A Storage Revolution?
The good folks over at Storage Revolution have a plan: build open, agnostic storage management tools. A fine idea: many open-source projects are industry leading, like Linux and Apache. Yet, sadly, it won’t work here. Why? Let us count the ways: