Originating Author: Nicholas Allen
A previous Wikibon article asked Why don't more storage vendors write "cookbooks?" The obvious response from some vendors was that they are expensive and don’t necessarily yield immediate returns.
Yet for years, many vendors have made significant investments in this area. IBM has for decades published its excellent “Redbooks” which set the standard. EMC also has some great recipes though they are often hard to find. Now as witnessed by this white paper HP's Array-based Replication Cookbook and with its CFT effort (Customer Focused Testing) HP is producing good stuff.
As we have seen, having the right, detailed, open and complete information can produce an excellent return compared with traditional vendor marketing hype. This approach can provide a terrific opportunity to build relationships with key clients and educate practitioners on specific solutions. It helps customers. It helps marketing.
The secret of course is to choose the right best practice development in which to invest. We think this has been a sore point with some vendors who did not embark with sufficient discipline and commitment. They also had poor processes for getting the information into the field.
Action Item: Users should always ask if a vendor has a “cookbook” for a proposed solution. Vendors should write more of them, and perhaps more importantly, be sure the world knows they exist. Users should expect this quality of information and level of investment from their suppliers.