Thursday, April 12, 2012

100% In Only 5 Minutes With 10x Better Performance

I've been fortunate enough to work with lots of great technology at several different companies.  I've also had the opportunity to work directly with customers.  It's interesting how the same basic phrases are used to hearld each new wave of concepts and products.

"It only takes 5 minutes to setup" and "It just does a simple scan of your environment" are essentially interchangeable.  I often hear new products described that they simple and easy to use.  While this is sometimes true with consumer oriented products, software that is targeted for large enterprises will always require some setup and configuration that takes more than five minutes.  Usually much more than five minutes.  And simple scans of environments only happen if you have a simple environment.

"We are going to move "100%" of our systems onto the new spiffy new latest greatest stuff this year."  This can actually happen in new or small businesses.  But in most cases it is hard to move everything onto new platforms quickly enough that everything has been moved before some other new shift starts to occur.  I talked to many customers who were moving towards 100% virtualized data centers a few years ago.  Now everybody is trying to figure out how to make cloud a part of their operations.  While this is still virtualized, I don't think it's what they had in mind when they started moving to virtualization. Before anybody is able to get all of their infrastructure into a cloud mode of operation, there will likely be further evolution to start moving towards.

"Our new system performs 10x better."  As a performance guy I get nervous when I hear really grand performance claims.  There is usually some truth to claims like this, but it often is not the type of performance you  might assume they were talking about.  Is the performance being compared to an older system or a current generation system?  Is the thing that is being measured a performance metric that anybody cares about?  Could anybody using it perceive this performance gain?  Are we talking about really small numbers?

The reality is that most businesses have lots of different systems running on different types of hardware and different applications that are based on different technologies.  I think that we as an industry are getting better at this stuff.  I know that I am biased, but I think that VMware has done a lot to make things easier, more manageable, and more flexible.  

But I doubt that really anything will ever allow you to move 100% of your systems in only five minutes and provide 10x performance gain - although I do admit it would be really cool if it did.


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