Of Fish & Ferraris

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Yes, I’m somehow going to connect the two images above into a tale about enterprise storage solutions. Who said that creative writing course in college would never do me any good?

A mentor and good friend of mine Dan Harpold told me about his friend who was the sales person for a Ferrari dealership. His friend explained that there were two types of people who came to Ferrari dealerships:

  1. Those who can afford to buy a Ferrari.
  2. Those who can afford to own a Ferrari.

Many people come into some money and apparently go buy a Ferrari with it. While they can afford to buy the automobile they are not prepared to pay for the ownership of a Ferrari. Ferraris are not exactly meant for your local Jiffy Lube service program. New tires cost tens of thousands of dollars for a Ferrari, and Ferrari stands by their brand with mandatory maintenance like complete engine rebuilds.

Yes, if needed they completely rebuild the engine of your Ferrari. They do it by hand. Ferrari is going to ensure that every single one of their automobiles is as close to perfection as humanly possible before, during, and after the sale. That type of maintenance is expensive. Not “Let’s upgrade to first class.” expensive, but “Let’s buy our own private jet.” expensive.

But Ferrari’s are a luxury item, and sometimes luxury is very expensive. Storage on the other hand is a necessity, and for necessities we want to drive the TCO ever downwards.

When it came to storage I was tired of selling “Ferraris”. There are a lot of great storage products out there, but they all come with a high OPEX in my opinion. No matter how low the CAPEX is it seems that IT staffs are always plagued by how much work is involved with deploying and maintaining their arrays.

I used to be one of those IT staff members. Every array I ever had to maintain for my company eventually had to be replaced with a forklift upgrade. Even the ones that promised me as part of the original sale that no forklift upgrade would be needed.

Now to be fair those array manufacturers were not lying, but they were expecting that certain items like the controllers were going to be replaced in three to five years. I never had an array that did not run in production for at least seven years. Hardware would change so much over that period of time that a forklift upgrade was inevitable. Thus we purchased more than what we needed in the beginning, and suffered with too little towards the end of an array’s production use.

And the forklift upgrades were just one part of the whole equation. Adding new shelves, upgrading code, dividing the storage up, and so much more made my arrays “Ferraris” (minus the thrill of owning an actual Ferrari though).

This is why I joined Coho Data.

I wanted to sell easy to use and high performing storage, and not have to compromise between the two. When I was put in touch with Coho Data’s team and saw just how easy it was to actually own a Coho Data solution my jaw dropped open. After being trained on how to setup and deploy a Coho Data solution my reaction was justified.

Total time to deploy a Coho Data solution, including rack and stack, is about one hour. After that one hour of work you are using your new storage, which is approximately 36TB of usable disk capacity and 360K of IOPs all ready to go with a dual chassis deployment.

Need to expand on that storage? That takes about 20 minutes for each new microarray added (not shelves of disks, but actual arrays all on their own). New microarrays automatically rebalance your workload across the environment, so at the end of that 20 minutes you are again actually using the storage that you paid for.

The kicker? Everything is done through a simple web browser interface that is so intuitive and easy to use that it feels like you are working with a smartphone app, and yet you are actually controlling a world class enterprise storage solution making use of the latest software defined technologies.

With Coho Data I finally found a “Ferrari” that an IT staff can actually afford to own! In fact, it is a Ferrari that IT staffs can actually afford to buy as well! Thanks to an intelligent design we finally have the best of both worlds in an enterprise storage solution. You get amazing performance and capacity that you can actually use without having to go out and get the equivalent of a four years degree’s worth of certifications. It is like having a Ferrari that can maintain itself, like a Transformer…

Yeah, that would be a step up from Italian luxury, now wouldn’t it?

Interested to learn more? Contact me at Patrick.Benson@CohoData.com and I will gladly meet with you, or get you in touch with one of my peers in your area. I’m excited about this product, and I’m sure you will be too once you see it in action!

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One Response to Of Fish & Ferraris

  1. HoJoDataNo Gravatar says:

    Good article. Coho Data is on my radar and I plan to scour them thoroughly at VMworld.

    This may be a bit of an over-generalization but since all storage solutions use much of the same components and concepts, the major differentiation between platforms (IMHO) is the intelligence on how the data is presented, protected, and optimized. Whether you are talking about merchant silicon solutions (EMC, Dell Compellent, Dell EqualLogic, HP MSA, HP StoreVirtual (LeftHand)), or custom ASIC based solutions (HP 3-Par), it is the intelligence or software / code that distinguishes the platforms (as far as I can tell).

    Because the intelligence is a matter of code/programming/software, it is not surprising to see the rise of Hyper Scale data center model into small and medium business. Customers can now purchase servers with multiple storage tiers (SSD, 15K, 10K, 7.2K) and rely upon the software to move the “hot” data closer to compute nodes. In fact, such technologies may quickly surpass even next generation storage solutions because the software can extend the intelligent placement of data up into the server itself rather than be limited to the southern SAN / NAS edge.

    – HoJo

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