I said Storage, not “Snorage!”

Storage is interesting, honest! Well, it really should be.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor

Storage is interesting, honest! Well, it really should be. Storage is all we really have if you think about it. Storage is where our data lives and data is our lifeblood.

Just look at today's BBC technology story if you don't believe me: Hard drive evolution could hit Microsoft XP users.

Anyway, I bumped into my antipodean counterpart Angus Kidman from ZDNet Australia at a show a few years ago and he told me that his storage blog was called Snorage – in typically Australian self-effacing humour - I loved that and it has stayed with ever since

But do developers generally care about storage? Well, it’s like carpets isn’t it – they’re just there or they’re not. It’s not the average programmer’s job to make sure they are there and anyway that’s all part of Operations and storage analysis doesn’t form part of any modeling or pre-build application architectural considerations, even though it should.

Would a more intelligently engineered storage analysis tool generate sufficient interest from the developer community and give this foundational IT substrate layer a make over? I would suggest that it might, if it could deliver “visibility” into future storage needs. Pin it down, make it simple and identify the size of the building blocks needed and then you’d be in business.

I’m going to use Unisys as an example here as the company just went into partnership with Storage Fusion to offer a service of this kind. Unisys argues that storage is the last bastion of IT consolidation, because it is deemed to be so difficult to manage. The company’s new Storage Resource Analysis (SRA) service offers a portal to access a headline report on system utilisation, capacity allocation and disk tiering.

The report includes an environmental module that shows power consumed by storage hardware down to individual disk drives – and the report is free for companies with a minimum of 50 terabytes (TB) of data.

I’ll spare you the “Gartner says corporate governance issues can complicate the processes and infrastructural needs of storage etc…” or we’ll run the risk of slipping from storage to snorage.

Are we about to coin the term SSaaS and start talking about Storage Software as a Service here? Who knows. Either way, Unisys says that its SRA solution enables organisations to change (OK I’m lying – they said “revolotionize!”) the way they evaluate and optimise their storage environments and use this self-service portal to get detailed analytics and reduce the complexity of heterogeneous storage environments.

Still awake? OK good. So listen, I still propose the motion that storage is cool – storage is even ‘developer cool’ and a core knowledge of the subject should form part of every programmer’s skill set.

Next week we’ll have a delve into the exciting and sexy world of SATA RAID backplane cages and removable drive-bay enclosures OK?

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