Take back the keys to your kingdom

Monday, August 24, 2015

In conversations with companies that are attempting to deploy a chargeback solution, we’re amazed at how they get trapped into using rudimentary products provided to them by a broad, “strategic” enterprise license agreement (ELA). Hardware vendors will often bundle-in products that are positioned as storage resource management (SRM), chargeback, or performance management/monitoring applications. While the intentions may be good and they typically end up on the ELA as a way for the vendor to sweeten the deal, the execution of these applications leaves customers frustrated. In most cases, these applications have been cobbled together by the vendor from a variety of acquisitions and they often require significant backend resources to operate.

We’ve heard some scary statistics around the SRM product of one of the largest hardware vendors. Environments that range from 7 PB to 35 PB of total raw capacity have put the burden back onto the already slim IT staff to maintain between 100 and 394 servers dedicated to running the SRM product.  Further compounding the issue are a number of additional limitations, such as the length of time these companies have attempted to implement. The range has been between 6 months and 18 months and they are still unable to establish how much capacity the IT staff has provided to a business unit and how much they have used. As these implementations expose the limitations of hardware vendor SRM products, the IT staff grows frustrated with:

  • The lack of information they can derive from their environment
  • The need for third-party applications to help stage hosts in order to draw metadata out of the environment
  • The inability to do any forecasting or trending
  • The absence of being able to assign attributes to any of their arrays, such as locations, business units, application, vendor array model, or any other custom tag they need to utilize

Shocking as these challenges sound, the IT staff maintains that the decisions to continue with that vendor are made at the executive level and they are unable to change.  There is an easier way to accomplish chargeback and the answer is to not give the hardware vendor the keys to the kingdom. In other words, get an independent view of your infrastructure that you can trust.


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