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Storage Tricks 'n' Treats

On this day of the year, as goblins gather for trick-or-treat parties and witches take to their broomsticks, many storage networkers are facing an even scarier crew at the SNW tradeshow in Orlando.

Indeed, the storage environment is one in which a vendor can become a nemesis, or a CIO a witch, ready to boil heads in her cauldron. That's because in today's data centers, issues like compliance, email management, tiered storage, archiving, backup, security, storage networking you name it – can turn into job threats. And what's more unsettling than that? (See On the Brink of Storage Disaster.)

Whoever decided SNW had to take place on Halloween this year probably doesn't have small children at home, but also doesn't lack a good sense of dark humor. In the spirit of the season, we offer the following list of storage demons to watch out for this Halloween:

  • The National Association of Securities Dealers: No doubt about it, this outfit's out for blood – the kind that flows in the veins of storage managers who aren't able to prove their adherence to the latest trends in records management. (See Regulators Rip Records Managers.)
  • Consolidation claims: While it's true lots of organizations benefit from regrouping storage based on virtualization and other techniques, shrinkage can lead to a range of new pitfalls. Sometimes the devil you know... (See Not Everyone Needs a Shrink and Consolidation's Downsides.)
  • Email: This is turning into the bane of many an IT manager's existence – a breeding ground for litigation and regulatory fines. (See Email Looms as IT Threat and Stop That Email!)
  • Capacity overload: Suppliers are pushing the envelopes of disk sizes and storage connectivity. But bigger and faster may not be better. Often speeds of 2-Gbit/s and below are not only just fine, they're optimal, given the cost and training variables of upgrading.
  • Vendors bearing gifts: In a recent Byte and Switch poll, more than 400 readers listed the "Bait and Switch" routine as the top dirty trick played by storage suppliers. In it, the vendor sells you a cheaper, "light" version of a product you really like but can't afford. Once you're hooked, you'll wind up buying that regular size whether you want to or not. (See Vendors' Dirty Tricks.)
  • Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM): Get a grip on your tapes, or else. Smell something burning? (See Smoke Clears for Iron Mountain.)
  • Multivendor storage management: No one's fooled by talk of standards and storage frameworks; everyone knows the emperor is not just naked but shivering in the October wind. Despite claims of progress and various attempts at consensus, managing multivendor storage networks remains a problem suppliers think it wisest not to solve very well. (See SNIA Marks Progress and IBM: Aperi Lives.)

This list of Halloween haunts and monsters could go on, of course. Do you see any particular unevolved entities lurking in the shadows of the Marriott Grand Lakes? You know where to find us: [email protected].

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch