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Your current staff likely has the best knowledge of your working environment and operations. An important consideration when purchasing new hardware is that if it doesn’t include proper training, it’s unfair to expect your staff to do their current jobs as well as research and install the new hardware and software. And even if they get the proper training, it’s often highly difficult to fully understand and put together the architecture while maintaining everything else.
Heterogeneous or Homogenous
It goes without saying that homogenous architectures from a single vendor are much easier to configure and maintain, but they often cost more and provide less functionality than heterogeneous architectures.
This has been the case in the storage world for a number of years, and there are many good reasons for it. Storage vendor A, for example, may have a better RAID than server vendor B, while the file system from company C is better than what is offered by vendors A or B.
As storage vendors like EMC move into the software arena, just as server vendors have moved into the storage arena, the line between what is heterogeneous and what is homogenous for a configuration is going to get more and more difficult to figure out. If you buy a file system OEMed by a storage vendor, is that heterogeneous or homogenous, and should you care? I think the real issue today is how the hardware and software will be used and if that usage will be consistent with other configurations being sold by that vendor.
The key to fully understanding what your options are depends on first defining your requirements and resources. Each of the company and PS types exist for a sound business reason — you are not dealing with not-for-profit organizations.
In the next article we will cover some of the ins and outs of each of the different types of organizations, both your internal resources and external providers for the required services.
Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. As architectures get more complex and services become a bigger part of the storage costs, it is important that you understand the requirements of and limitations within your organization.
Please feel free to send any comments, feedback, and/or suggestions for future articles to Henry Newman.