Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

The Attraction of Simplicity

The tide of interoperability comes in, goes out, and inevitably comes back. Unfortunately, it leaves about as deep an impression on the storage landscape as a couple small breakers.

Storage vendors, industry associations, and even some enterprise users will tell you about the critical, unmet need for open interfaces and multi-vendor networks. But, to borrow from the overdone real estate billboards, if you'd really bought into interoperability, we'd have a lot more multi-vendor networks by now.

Clearly, on a practical level the last thing any enterprise wants to do is add complexity. It's hard enough getting a single vendor's gear to do what it's supposed to do. Add one or two more different brands of appliances, arrays, or software suites into the mix, and the troubleshooting/finger-pointing fun really begins.

This point was made a lot more simply and eloquently by Tony Parziale, CIO of Palm Beach Community College, profiled by Byte and Switch's Dave Raffo this week. (See Palm Beach Community College.) After a deep breath, Parziale went off the high-dive known as virtualization, almost as big a gamble as trying to get two or more vendors to play well together.

IBM's ability to handle everything from mainframes to servers, SANs, and network management apparently carried more weight than all the marketing muscle flexed by EMC and Hitachi Data Systems in competitive bids.

  • 1