I guess the frustration which led to the idea that perhaps vendor techies should spend time at users doing the job of storage management can actually be traced back to frustration with the storage management tools which are currently available. At one point I thought it was just me but it turns out that it's not just my incompetence but obviously the general incompetence of the whole Enterprise Storage userbase.
Almost the most entertaining session at any of the user councils that I've sat on is the discussion of management tools. The vitriol that is aimed at the tools year on year is staggering and yet they just don't seem to get any better. I think that the product managers for Storage Management Tools are actually masochists, they enjoy the beating.
Last year we had a consultant on site trying to get our various ECC environments working; by the end of six months; we'd given up and he'd had enough. The very competent and likeable consultant was broken and needed to be taken back into the mothership but was worse is that our ECC environments are still borked. They work a little better and sometimes a little longer before they break and now it mostly emails out alerts; sometimes it appears to forget tho', normally when it is really important. So we don't trust it any more; now I keep around for a couple of things, StorageScope is quite useful for me and we have some processes which would be incredibly painful to change.
EMC tell us that we need to upgrade ECC to the latest version and indeed we do so that it understands and can 'manage' our newest arrays but the conversation I've had with my peers in the industry do not lead me to believe that things will get any better.
I've sat through Powerpoint after Powerpoint and ECC looks quite good as slideware and as long as you don't want to manage more than say two arrays; I suspect it is really good.
I think EMC should close their ECC development teams for six months and scatter the team members to the winds; let them sit in some big enterprise environments and try to keep ECC healthy, working and useful. After about six months, we'll return them broken but enlightened.
But hey, I know you won't do that...because it's all fixed in the next release and anyway, wouldn't want all that nice PS trying to get ECC fixed to dry up.
And IBM in the back; don't sit there so comfortably, you've taken EMC's lead on Storage Management and run with it to new extremes of awfulness. HP and HDS, perhaps a walk of shame for you guys as well.
At times, the whole fiasco reminds me of CA Unicenter TNG; the systems management tool which required more capacity than the environment it was supposed to manage.