@hbaltazar451 clarifies “all-flash” vs. “hybrid” storage array use cases

It’s easy to love Henry Baltazar’s work at 451 Research.  He’s technically deep, he doesn’t confuse technology and business, and he speaks his mind.  I always enjoy his thinking.

In July he put out a report “Is it Time to Go All-In on All-Flash Arrays” discussing the pros and cons of all-flash storage arrays as opposed to “hybrid” systems where, essentially, the flash component acts like an accelerator or cache (although vendors of hybrid systems vigorously deny that their systems employ flash as “mere” cache, the differences seem like shallow semantics).

Baltazar suggests that the “all-flash” and “hybrid” systems are actually two use cases: “all-flash” is “performance” and “hybrid” (especially with a SATA/SAS backend) is “value”.  Makes sense.

In the all-flash category, he distinguishes between “high-end” vendors who go all-out for perofmrnace (IOPS and latency) and “midrange” vendors (like our company SolidFire) who aim to build workalike systems (albeit at a much higher performance level) for existing SANs.  Again, a valid distinction (although the term “midrange” for our guys stings :-)).

Worth a read, although unfortunately you need a 451 subscription to do so.


@dsearls teaches us how carriers turn themselves into dumb pipes

This “Intention Economy” book is terrific.

Chapter 14 deals with “net-heads” (those who appreciate how the network effect powers the ‘net) and “bell-heads” (those who want to extract a toll for operating ‘net infrastructure).  Carriers are, of course, bell-heads.

Carriers are also quite concerned about turning into dumb pipes.  They scrutinize every use of their right-of-way to find extra opportunities for tarriff and control.  They are determined not “get turned into a dumb pipe.”

What @dsearls makes clear is that this very behavior turns them into dumb pipes.  They turn themselves into dumb pipes.  By offering only obstacles to use of their right-of-way, they insure that every interesting use will try to go elsewhere, and that every interesting use will try to minimize contact with them.

I’m not expressing myself very well here, but I think the point is clear: the way not to be a dumb pipe is to embrace the diversity — and the independence — of the various uses that can be made of your pipe, and think of a few of your own.  Neither behavior is a carrier strong suit.

Your thoughts?

I @dsearls Intention Economy #vrm

I’ve been wisecracking the last few years about “cookie-ing corporations”. The idea is that “they” cookie “us” all the time to see what we’re up to and sell us junk. Why shouldn’t we cookie them, find out what they’re up to, and see whether we want to buy stuff from them or not.

Just read about half of “Intention Economy” on the flight out to the Bay Area, and not only does Doc Searls believe what I believe, he’s founded (or at least given voice to) a whole movement for doing just this, returning power to consumers.

His point — among others — is that this is exactly what the Internet is intended for: interactive exchange of software-mediated negotiations.

I love it. I love VRM (vendor relationship management, the software category which will provide tools to consumers). I love the idea that advertising will transform from yammering into more sophisticated persuasion in niches left over from areas not covered by CRM/VRM interactions.

Read the book. It’s really interesting.

Your thoughts?

Dumb Defaults @Zazzle

I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who kvetches about bad experiences out on the ‘net.  Goodness knows there’s enough of them, but probably not optimal to dwell on them.

But this experience with Zazzle has broader implications, so let me rant a bit.

I’ve wanted to try out business cards with QR codes on them for a few months.  Finally got around to it, using scientific methods (i.e. Google search) to find vendors who could give me a small pack of cards for not too much.

Zazzle had an appealing SEO-friendly name and looked good, so I ordered a pack of cards from them.

You order by typing the card info (name, addr, etc.) into a web form, which also shows a graphic of the QR code that will appear on the card.

I assumed — yes, I know what “assumed” means — that the QR code default would be the text info on the card.

When my first set of cards came, the QR code produced a web page at Zazzle which at first glance looked like an ad for their QR codes.  I sent off a complaint to Zazzle customer service, and they told me:

  1. The cards I had were the ones I had ordered
  2. If I wanted to change the QR code they would, out of the goodness of their hearts, allow me credit for the deck and re-ship.

I nosed around the Zazzle site trying to find a place to customize the QR code, and slowly realized that the web page that was the QR default was a page for typing in text information that would then build a new QR code.

So I retyped my info into the QR code generator form, and ended up with a QR code which was the digest of my text info from the business card.  Got a new deck.  Happy ending.

I suppose.  Wouldn’t it have been easier to have the default QR code be the info on the card?  Wouldn’t it have better to show what the QR code on the card would yield?  (You could see what it read to, but you had to click to another form to do so.)

Dumb defaults.

Zazzle is presumably a decent company.  They let me re-do the cards.  They answered my customer service inquiry promptly.

But because their product has weak defaults I probably won’t be back.  And I wrote this.

Your thoughts?