I am having a few “challenges” getting vendors to understand what would motivate me to purchase their own “vertical stack”…. Oracle, IBM, HP, VCE, Dell and others all have them – and yes, this is aimed at all of you!
When you come knocking at the door selling your wares firstly understand what you are selling and why I would be interested… Understand how the enterprise works and what integration needs to be completed.
What I expect to hear:
· Yes all the interop testing is managed on my behalf
· Yes all of the reporting / dial home etc is included
· Capacity planning tools are included
· Management is simple and done from one place. All aspects can be handled in one place
o Hardware configs & management
o Compute allocation
o Network configuration
o Storage configuration
o Setup of storage replicas for both sync and async – to disaster recovery sites
o Virtual machine instances
· Yes it is capable of production / dr and we have standard patterns for this
· Yes I can back the thing up
· Yes I understand how I can build this into ANYONE’s infrastructure
· All of the standard patterns we have mapped have full ISV support (and reciprocal support agreements are in place)
· Standard patterns describing all use cases are available (anything out of these use cases is NOT a valid use-case)
· Documented pre-req’s for my infrastructure – on what is expected to make this work
What I expect NOT to hear:
· We suggest that product x,y,z will meet your requirements and we can validate it – but you can use anything that you want to (I want a predefined stack)
· You have to pay extra for monitoring (I want a predefined stack)
· You have to pay extra for stack capacity planning tools
· To complete the integration you will need to pay $<Insert lots of money here> (why?? It’s a predefined stack)
· Oh we don’t have full capability to monitor just yet (but it’s a predefined stack surely you can do that?)
· We are working on capacity planning models (erm – it’s a predefined stack - you know the characteristics and can plan workloads)
· We are working on a roadmap – but we haven’t got one at the moment (erm – you know which components you are going to use, understand the roadmap (yep here it comes – it’s a predefined stack))
· You don’t have to worry about that, as we take care of it for you – YEAH RIGHT!!!!
· Every company can use cloud – you just need to plug our hardware in
· Ahhh yes – we recommend this product – but it is not included as part of the overall cost of stack – you will have to engage with that vendor directly (erm – why…. It is part of the stack, surely, Isn’t it????)
In short – when you come and make this promise to me that a given integrated solution can reduce CapEx and OpEx, meet all of my business requirements, offer world peace and solve the current economic situation – please ensure you can back it up and the business case stands up.
I don’t expect to have to teach you about how the elements bolt together, know more about your infrastructure than you do, and really want the vendor to test my knowledge – not the other way around.
Finally – hypervisor technology is commodity – please remember and plan for this… Customer tie-in is not a good place, as soon as you do this; you are turning a commodity item into non-commodity. As an end customer – I want choice…
If I have to sit quality engineers into meetings to understand how to build kit into our infrastructure and spend a heap of time doing it – the vertical stack exercise has failed….