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Between the Racks

By Paul Alcorn on Dec 16, 2013 10:31 am CST

I tend to be more of a nuts-and-bolts type of guy than a blogger. Most of the time you can find me in my cramped office, elbow-deep in a server, testing storage products. Luck, some great people, and a bit of hard work have combined to grant me early access to some of the most cutting-edge enterprise storage products on the planet.

Some guys design the engine, while others design the interior, and somewhere an executive smoking a fat cigar rakes in the cash from sales of the vehicle. In between there are a whole host of industry observers, marketers, and what-not. Everyone has their own unique role, and their own unique viewpoint.

Between the Racks |

Of course the enterprise storage industry is much the same, with similar voices all clamoring for your attention. They all want to bestow upon you, dear reader, their own spin.

Personally, if I could ask just one person for their opinion of a new car I would go to the test driver. He's the guy that, in Top Gun parlance, "kicks the tires and lights the fires". How fast does it corner? What's the 0-60, and not the specs please, tell me what you see and actually feel out there on the track. How does it handle?

Storage again mirrors many other industries. Of course one would expect me, a test driver of storage so-to-speak, to seek the advice of those that are actually testing the product. There is also the competing viewpoint that we should go to the end-user. Of course, they have the final say, and I agree with that as well. No one can tell you the frustrating idiosyncrasies of a product better than an end-user. I always value feedback from end-users, and seek as much knowledge as I can from them.

However, end users are often lacking in experience with a broad range of products, and their 'acceptable' operating conditions can seem primitive to those experienced with refined solutions. There are so many facets of software, installation, and just plain ease-of-use, which are subjective. It's hard to have a complete view of the entire scope of a product unless there is a broad base of comparisons to draw upon.

Testing storage also exposes me to other integral pieces of the storage ecosystem, such as server components. I certainly will not shy away from providing my opinion on what I feel is the best solution to complement the overall storage architecture.

I can't tell you the inner workings or corporate strategies of the storage companies, even though I am a casual market observer. However, sometimes I surprise some with my caveman-like insight. I definitely cannot ramble off the corporate earnings and market caps of the big players, but many times I can help when it comes to selecting the right storage product for your particular workload and environment.

I certainly don't have all the answers, but I do strive for them. I appreciate and welcome all criticism, be it constructive or otherwise. Skinned knees are part of the growing process, and I've never been afraid to fall off the bike to learn a new trick.

I won't shy away from covering pretty much anything that I feel is relevant. For those who wish to submit ideas for my blog posts, by all means I invite you to do so. I spend my time in a hot cramped office (due to the close proximity of the server racks), so anything to distract my attention and tease my brain is welcome.

I welcome your viewpoint, as it is critical for my success, and I invite you to share in my (sometimes) pinhole-view, from Between the Racks.

Please Note: This blog is not edited by TweakTown staff, and may not represent the thoughts or opinions of TweakTown or its editors.

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