Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Where are all the simulators

I love the Netapp simulator (well, apart from the annoying issues with creating and deleting disks) and I use it all the time. It is great for testing ideas, testing scripting and generally refreshing knowledge on commands before having to touch real equipment. I use it with VMware (as I have probably mentioned before) and I can knock up a new environment in a few minutes by cloning an existing machine. Netapp have got a huge advantage in offering the tool as it enables customers who can't or won't put in test equipment to do work and protect their production environments.

So, where are all the other simulators? Is it just that I don't know they exist or do most vendors not provide them? For the same reasons as I mentioned above, if there were simulators for EMC DMX, HDS USP, Cisco and Brocade/McDATA switches, then there would be a huge opportunity for people to test and develop scripts, test upgrades and other useful work.

Would anyone else like a simulator? Can the vendors tell me why they don't produce them?


NixFU said...

There is one for CISCO MDS if you ask your cisco people nicely. It's pretty well known in the Cisco education circles.

It's not all that useful, mostly just good to get familiar with their mgmt tools.

NixFU said...

There is a sim for the Cisco MDS mgmt tools. Ask a cisco person nicely.

Nigel said...

I think as a general rule most storage companies like to keep skills and tools in house. That way they can charge professional services fees because the customers have never tested or played with the kit.
My pennies worth.

Chris M Evans said...

Nigel, good point and that's probably what some storage companies think. However, many companies I believe are seeing the benefit of giving some of their IP away - even "software" companies like Sun & Microsoft do. I guess it's a call those other storagae companies have to make; trade off some loss of consulting revenue versus more hardware sales.

Stephen said...

Hmmm.. the Cisco MDS simulator was withdrawn some time ago and I seriously doubt if anyone can get their hands on it anymore.

I could say that the Storage Navigator on the HDS system is the same as downloading a 100 MB gif on a very slow dialup modem.. Both are extremely slow and frustrating.

Stephen said...

I believe the MDS sim was pulled some time ago and there is no way you can get it anymore. I saw a few comments on it and tried to get a copy to no avail. Its annoying as there has been some very good IOS simulators floating around for some time.

The HDS Storage Navigator simulator is downloading a 100 MB file on a dial up internet link. Both extremely slow and frustrating.

But seriously, if they want people to become certified, you need the tools to play with and not go stupid on production systems.