‘Available Storage should be treated like Inventory. Either you have it, or you don’t.’
Mike Linett (2005)
Pursuant to Jon Toigo’s request that I clarify my statements on managing storage, I wrote him the following:
“Unused storage should be managed the same as raw stock inventory in a manufacturing operation. Some companies use a Min / Max inventory strategy, some companies use a forecasting and trend analysis strategy , and some companies just buy more inventory when they need it. These same concepts will work for your raw inventory of unused storage capacity. Additionally, most companies have multiple sources for their raw inventory , and purchase based on cost, availability and quality. Why should storage be any different? If you can track your usage of your raw storage you can see what it costs on different media and what the management cost are relating to storing data on your different storage platforms.
Production management has a concept known as ‘Johnson’s Rule’, using this rule you would schedule production to the slowest machine or operation, since that will be the bottleneck in your production process. If your storage equipment is your bottleneck for storage access then borrowing concepts production systems management and inventory management would seem to be the solution to raw storage procurement and resource scheduling. “
Our software will provide the tools to manage your available storage inventory based on your parameters for cost, availability and replenishment. We are currently working on the Beta Test version of the software and concurrently doing research on the correct pricing and marketing model for the product. According to this week’s Economist Article on technology the pricing model is very difficult in the era of dual core processing and is likely to get more difficult in the next few years.
But given all the imponderables, it has become extremely hard, if not impossible, to quantify what the value of any given piece of software is. What is known is that negotiating licences is not a trivial exercise. John Fowler, executive vice-president of Sun’s network systems group, finds that companies spend typically between eight and 12 weeks planning and discussing software licences with their suppliers. In its bid to answer the value conundrum, Mr Fowler’s firm has adopted the simplest of financial metrics. It charges firms a straight $140 times the number of employees on the customer’s payroll for using its proprietary software. Why $140? Because it seems to correlate with the price that the company and its customers think is good value for having no hassles. The simple subscription gives customers the unrestricted right to run Sun’s software on as many computers, by as many people, and as often, as they like.
While this model may work for Sun, we don’t think it is appropriate for our product. We are trying to get a feel from our customer base as to what the proper pricing model should be for this product. Proper inventory management can make or break a company, and it is apparent that proper computer Storage management is just as important.
Evenually, the coming revolution in Dual core processing will also cause a shift in scheduling storage to the slowest machine. For example, Provisioning backups will be done based on ‘Johnson’s Rule‘ and the storage production pipeline will be based on processor speed, available network bandwidth, and storage devices’ and their capacity.
At Zerowait, we understand the problem that our customers are having and we have developed a model and prototype of our solution which over the next several weeks we will be testing in earnest. We want to thank Jon for all of his sugggestions, and we look forward to hearing from other interested parties regarding features they are interested in incorporating into our package.