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February 19, 2014



Chuck, always fascinating reading! I usually finish your blog with the same sentiments as when I walk out of the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot. Wow! If the future looks like this, everything will be so simple and wonderful ! But then again, I had a similar experience way earlier in life at the GM Futurama exhibit! I wanna live underwater and fly my car above the traffic. Trends and buzzwords come and go (FCOE, iSCSI) but its always the same old routine at every company.

Man walks into the "Storage Guy" cube. "I need some storage" "How much" "about 20TB" "WOW, all that right away?" "Well not really but very soon" "OK, how much performance do you need?" "A whole lot" "No, I means what your IOPS/GB" "Huh?" "OK what service time do you need" "really Fast" "So you want Gold service?" "No, that's too expensive!" "I can only afford bronze" "So you dont care about performance?" "No of course I do !" "Lets start this over...."

I haven't yet seen any change in this conversation at any company even those developing the "3rd Platform" apps. Its just like ordering my FIOS service. I want really fast and cheap and no caps on how much I can use. Will storage ever be provisioned like this ?

Chuck Hollis

Rich --

I've had over 4000 comments on this blog since the beginning, and I'm seriously considering awarding you the prize for the best comment EVAH!

I think all of us would like to live in the world you describe. All you want, fixed price, no caps, etc. I know I would.

A quick anecdote? Prior to Joe Tucci running EMC, the CEO was Mike Ruettgers. At the end of the 1990s, he was keynoting the the idea of "data tone": plug in, and your data was just there. Very aspirational at the time -- and still aspirational!

But I think we're still a long way from that utopian ideal. Storage is like food, once consumed, nobody else can consume it -- unlike bandwidth, compute, etc. So the economic model is more like a supermarket vs. an airline or phone company. Since storage costs real money, people want choices vs. all-you-can-eat.

We can certainly simplify how choices are presented and provisioned. And, of course, there's always more value for your money. But I don't think we'll get to an all-you-can-eat model anytime soon.

- Chuck


Thanks Chuck !!! As a long time EMCer I do recall the data tone as well as Mosaic 2000 :) I totally agree we will see the 3rd Platform world just never sure how quickly the tsunami hits. And we try to mitigate the impact of large storage requests by do thin so we "share" capacity similar to bandwidth.And just like FIOS if we all were downloading movies together it wont be very fast. I guess my desire is to somehow educate that person requesting the resource. Nobody ever can answer the question of performance or real capacity so asking them to choose from a service menu seems to result in a blank stare. I hope we can enlighten the world moving forward.

Thanks for keeping it interesting and reading the tea leaves :)

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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.
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