IT Business Edge, 10/28/15
Embracing the future is usually more of a process than an event. Once the initial FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) passes, there is often a complete 180 in which all the problems of today are expected to be swept away. Once actual development and deployment kick in, however, the real-world practicalities become evident, leading to the realization that new issues invariably arise to take the place of the old.
You can see this dynamic playing out across a variety of data center initiatives these days. From software-defined infrastructure to cloud computing and even plain-old virtualization, the bloom eventually comes off the rose, albeit usually after it is too late to turn back.
ClearSky Data’s Laz Vekiarides recently turned the microscope on software-defined storage (SDS) and found a number of things to be wary of, although certainly nothing that would outweigh the benefits. For one thing, there is no standard definition of SDS, which gives free rein to vendors to slap the label on all manner of solutions without necessarily providing all the functionality that users expect. As well, SDS is often price compatible with legacy storage infrastructure only when deployed on commodity white-box hardware, and even then only when purchased in quantities that exceed the needs of most enterprises.
The cloud, of course, has long been suspected of poor reliability, dicey security and indifferent customer service. Whether this reputation is earned or not, the fact remains that cloud data centers are just as susceptible to issues that plague local infrastructure, says the Register’s Dave Cartwright, which means that even after all that careful provisioning and data migration, operationally not much has changed. To be sure, most cloud providers are keen on delivering the best customer service they can, but when the system goes down, it’s your profitability on the line, and the value of service credits that you get on the backend is rarely equal in value to the business that was lost.