It's not often we get toilet references in MicroScope,understandably so, writes Billy MacInnes.
Usually, if people are talking about technology they like tomake references to aerospace engineering (via the well-worn cliche that "it'snot rocket science") or to Thomas Kuhn's TheStructure Of Scientific Revolutions ("paradigm shift") or the ParetoPrinciple (otherwise known as "the 80/20 rule").
But during the course of a story about enhancements toDell's Storage Smart partner programme published on 10 January, Dell head of UKpublic sector and large enterprise storage, Andy Hardy, wasted no time gettingto the bottom of the matter as succinctly as possible.
"Having a great technology story is notenough," he said. "The key issue here in Europe is money, andpartners [must] face head-on the reality that budgets are tight and yet storageis still the single fastest-growing cost in the data centre."
And then he put it in terms that everybody couldunderstand: "It's a bit like selling toilet paper; you have to have moreof it," he added.Something with which Joseph Gayetty (who introducedcommercially available toilet paper in the US in 1857) would wholeheartedlyagree.
Now I can see where Hardy is coming from, after allthere's no doubt that people (hopefully) feel compelled to buy toilet paper, soif you're in the business of selling toilet paper, you've got a captive market.
But I have to ask when he says "you have to have more ofit", does he mean people have to keep buying toilet paper or they have to buyit in ever larger quantities? I agree with the former but if it's the latter(which is truer of storage purchasing habits) then I think the people buyingthe toilet paper could have a problem that needs some kind of medicalattention.
And when you think of why we buy toilet paper and thefunction it is used for, I can't help wondering whether Dell might not wantpeople to make too close an analogy with buying storage. For instance, wouldthat mean people were using storage to wipe up their data mess? And does it saysomething negative about the quality of their data? Some unkind souls out theremight think Hardy was talking...He was, kind of, but in a good way. And ifit flushes out more business for Dell's partners, all the better.
This was first published in January 2012