« So Where is ILM These Days? | Main | So Why Don't Server Vendors Focus More On Storage? »

July 31, 2007


Kiran Ghag

>If it's important, get an expert to do the work.

I believe the winner choice between DIY and YDI (Yo-Do-It (for me)) depends a lot on who-am-I, whats-to-be-done (in the context) and what-is-available.

We are a big shop running almost everything. With the years of operations, we are now able to have a trained and skilled pool of resources. This pool can now do tasks which normally would be done by vendor (Infrastructure setup, configuration, planning).

We are now able to do many things on our own and this helps us save time and money both. We try to maintain a balance, between things we do and things vendor solely does for us.

EMC after-sales is certainly a great hand in the process, helping us do things and refining our knowledge. I agree that vendor is still the expert but customer is now reaching the level too.

At present, vendor involvement and expertise is greater. But I see this reducing over time. I believe that as time passes by, there would be more people available who can do intermediate to complex task/designs/recommendations routinely.

Of course there wont be any time when role of vendor would be reduced to "a vendor", unless the storage world truly becomes heterogeneous and interoperable.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Kiran -- thanks for the perspective!

I see more and more things coming over the horizon for IT to do that will be important, and -- generally speaking -- most IT groups seem to be falling behind in key areas.

Now, in specific cases, you may have an exceptional team, or few alternatives may be available to you, so I'm arguing broadly and not narrowly.

One of my favorite examples is setting up some sort of information governance function -- something IT should clearly do to hammer out information mgmt policy in key areas -- but never gets around to doing.

A more narrow example would be designing a remote replication environment -- something most people don't do routinely -- and that's really, really easy to screw up.

And then there's the value-add discussion. I see IT guys spend an enormous amount of time on configuration mgmt and patch mgmt -- if someone gave you an easy service that did it for you, would you be interested?

Thanks again!


Pure Consulting play firms are not going to do skills transfer, that's like giving away a chunk of potential business. Furthermore, it's endemic that consulting firms win the business with the partners' impressive credentials and then use freshly minted graduates to actually perform the work. Great way to get rich (for the partners) when you charge $300 / hour and pay the person who actually does the work $80k p.a. Oops ... EMC does that too ;-)

Chuck Hollis

A company buying something for one price, adding value, and selling it for a higher price?

Outrageous, it is ... you'd think they're trying to be profitable, or something!

Stuart French

I'm coming late to this conversation Chuck, but we have just gone through this situation and I thought I would add my two cents.

We had the experience of defaulting FIRST to external consultants, only to find they knew less about some of the EMC SAN issues than we did after 6-7 hours of reading. Even had an "Expert" approve a LUN configuration that forgot about the OS on the first 5 disks. Ended up sending our network admin on a 3 day course and doing it all ourselves.

There needs to be a lot stronger accreditation of these consultant companies (this one was Dell and EMC approved and recommended) so we know what we are getting. In a large company losing $20k in consultants fees can be very annoying. In a small company, throwing that much money away will lose you your job. It's just not worth the risk of getting a bad apple. Better to work your own way through it and just do the best you can. The job won't be done as well, but at least you will have a job at the end of it.

Maybe this will change once most of the large corporates have virtualised and installed SANs and these consultants have to focus on the SME market, rather than just seeing us as time-fillers for their new techs to cut their teeth on?

Chuck Hollis


We don't tolerate bad doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. -- why would we tolerate poor IT consultants?

I think the industry (and that includes EMC) has a ways to go to certify, accredit and monitor the work done by IT consultants.

And I don't think any company has the formula yet.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

General Housekeeping

  • Frequency of Updates
    I try and write something new 1-2 times per week; less if I'm travelling, more if I'm in the office. Hopefully you'll find the frequency about right!
  • Comments and Feedback
    All courteous comments welcome. TypePad occasionally puts comments into the spam folder, but I'll fish them out. Thanks!