The four things that enterprises hate most about storage
When you think about spending money on your home, you think about things that might make life easier and more enjoyable: the extension on the kitchen that means the entire family can get round the table at Christmas – even the in-laws; the extra bedroom, and the privacy-affording en-suite bathroom. This kind of spending is exciting because it makes life better: you and your spouse sit together of an evening and actually enjoy planning the works. There’s another sort of work in the home though, equally complicated, and necessary, yet somehow simply not satisfying.
This is the horrible truth that your roof has had its day, and will need complete – and expensive – refit. It is the central heating boiler that has keeled over and died, leaving you with no choice but to cough up for a replacement. Unsurprisingly, we don’t like this kind of spending, it is ‘dead’ money that does nothing to improve our lives and merely sustains us in our present condition. You might sit around and plan the works with your spouse. . . . But this time you won’t be doing it with a glass of wine in hand and the excited look has gone from your faces.
When it comes to improving the enterprise, storage spending has the status of roof works – no matter how elegant the engineering, they are seldom a source of happiness. They are a ‘sink’ cost, something you must do to keep the place running. So, perhaps, it’s really not surprising that hate #1 when it comes to storage is cost. In an independent survey conducted by Loudhouse for SUSE, 80% of over 1200 storage decision makers world-wide cited the cost of storage as their top frustration. We don’t like paying for it, but we pay through our noses for it: storage accounts for a whopping 7% of IT spending.
Coming a close second at 74%, hate #2 is performance. It is bad enough that the enterprising householder has to spend all that cash on things that don’t really improve the bottom line, when you lay out the money but you still don’t get the performance, it is like replacing the roof only to find that it still leaks.
Hate #3 is complexity. So, you’re planning works that you didn’t want to do, that add nothing to your happiness, and then you find out it is going to be hard work. Really hard work. You thought the roof was one single piece of work, turns out that it isn’t, that the previous owners of your house had a string of different builders in, who used different materials that – sort of – work together. There are all these gutters and pipes funnelling water this way and that instead of a single coherent structure. Fixing it is going to require a lot of thought that takes time away from other more interesting projects.
Coming in as a tie for Hate #4 are ‘inability to support innovation’ and ‘lack of agility’. You see, at some point you are going to want to do that extension, and actually do works which improve your quality of life – AKA your enterprise’s bottom line. As you set your sights on this goal, though, you don’t want to find the state of the roof is holding you back. All too often it does.
OK, so let’s review: storage is too expensive, it doesn’t perform as well as we want and need it to, it is ridiculously complicated, and it holds us back from doing valuable work. That’s quite a few reasons to hate storage, and several more to like software defined open source storage: cut costs, improve performance, reduce complexity, and free up your time to focus on things that can actually improve the business.
Further reading on the research at suse.com/stateofstorage