Do you know what makes a great performance by an actor?

By Clive Gold, Marketing CTO, EMC Australia and New Zealand

I’m told it’s when you don’t realise that the person is acting, that’s when the actor becomes the character and you are immersed in the story.

So let me pose another question, what makes great storage? Let me explain why I think the answer should be the same, when you no longer realise you are dealing with storage!

Since EMC invented external storage about 21 years ago, storage has been an area of specialisation mainly due to the fact that it’s been made up of primarily mechanical parts. So the performance and reliability is very different to the rest of the silicon based parts that make up the rest of the IT landscape.

Well that is changing rapidly… the mechanical parts are more reliable and are being replaced by more and more silicon based parts. Let’s face it, if you have been doing something for over 20 years, you are going to have built up a great deal of expertise. The trick now is to convert that expertise into software and embed it into the storage system in order to drive a fundamental change. You could say to make the storage disappear, and use technology to automate what the storage specialists were needed to do – perhaps remove that air of mysticism that surrounds the storage gurus.

So what’s the fundamental change, it’s simple – make storage deliver the end result, rather than a litany of features! The role of storage is to provide a place for applications to keep data, to keep that data available and safe and ensure it doesn’t get in the way, i.e. performs at the required level. The ‘alphabet soup’ of today’s storage conversation; RAID-XX, deduplication, compression, thin provisioning, zero page reclamation, etc. etc. really doesn’t help to understand how great storage enables the organisation to perform better, to change faster… and to free up budget for innovation and improvement. That’s what EMC is about in 2011.

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