What happens in the telephone game is that a little bit of information gets lost at each step along the path, and at the end of the chain you’ve basically lost all the information. And this happens all the time in computers, especially in data storage. Thin reclamation is the core technical challenge to thin provisioning, and the telephone game is the reason.
Archives for December 2010
One of the biggest problems for thin provisioning is not the provisioning part: It’s fairly easy for a storage array to allocate on request: “I need a block; here’s some data I want you to write.” And the storage array just starts allocating, and allocating. But, the operating system never goes back and says “I don’t need that block anymore.”
Thin provisioning doesn’t take on the cost of capacity, it actually attacks the overhead of inefficient provisioning. Not all of that overhead is inefficiency, and not all of that can be tackled with thin provisioning. But some of it can. It’s a lot more of the cost than can be tackled by moving to SATA, for example. That I really like.
Happy end-of-the-year week! I’ll be posting an 11-part series on thin provisioning starting today, but last week was eventful as well. I introduced my enterprise IT events calendar and wrote more about HP’s expiring ink and my HP printer’s demise. It was also time to write about The Four Stages of Vendor Blogging and advising my clients to Always Punch Above Their Weight.
Why do we care about thin provisioning? Because storage is not getting cheaper. If you went to buy a disk ten years ago, you’re going to spend about the same as would today, but you’re going to get a lot more capacity – a lot more capacity! The fact that we have terrible utilization of enterprise resources is really not helping us, and it’s not getting any better. It hasn’t improved because they are “doing storage” the same way.
Yesterday I discussed HP’s expiring photosmart ink cartridges and advised pressing “OK” to keep using them anyway. Today we talk about what happens when the ink system really does fail.
HP’s inkjet printer ink cartridges are really expensive, so I’m always annoyed when my printer runs out. But my HP Photosmart C6180 started complaining that the cartridges are expired, prompting me to replace them before they’re even empty! I decided to look into the matter, and I’m not happy with the explanation.
Engadget is reporting that Sam’s Club is selling brand-new iPhone 4’s for just $147 with a 2-year AT&T contract. If this isn’t a sure sign of the impending Verizon iPhone, I don’t know what is! AT&T relaxed upgrade standards when the iPhone 4 came out, and they’ve been allowing resellers more pricing latitude lately. All of this points to a desperate attempt to get as many people as possible under contract before Verizon swoops in to siphon off their widely-disgruntled customer base.
As a community service, I decided to put together a calendar of enterprise IT events. My friend Matt Simmons has a similar calendar for SysAdmins, but mine is a little different. Where he focuses more on user groups and the like, I’m focusing on big events like Interop, EMC World, and Cisco Live.
This regular series features highlights from the week. The big news for me was Wednesday’s announcement of Tech Field Day 5 in February, though others might have been paying attention to Dell’s acquisition of Compellent. I also continued my series on Light Peak by musing about combining Light Peak and USB 3.0 and pondering, what if Light Peak was electrical rather than optical?