Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Simple is Good

I've been doing a lot of travelling recently (rather a lot in fact), mostly in Europe, with a little in the UK between airports. European trains are much better than their UK counterparts - they are reliable, clean, comfortable (note I didn't claim they were fast) and their cost structure is simple to understand. No restrictions about time of day travel, booking in advance or all that nonsense. No. Simply turn up at the station and buy a ticket.

The UK on the other hand must have one of the most complex ticketing systems, especially around London. As an example, if I travel into London from where I live and want to return home between 4pm and 7pm then I can't buy a cheap day return. Presumably that's because they can fleece travellers who don't realise this rule exists. However if I am already in London and want to travel out, I can buy a cheap day single and travel on it between 4pm and 7pm! Even the people selling the tickets think it is crazy. I could give you dozen's of other similar examples, but life's too short.

So it is with storage. Keep it simple. Take tiering as an example. You could spend days and weeks developing the most finely detailed tiering strategy but in reality you will find most data will sit on a small number of tiers, the bulk of it being in the middle range. Developing complex tiering structures, just like complicated train pricing structures just leads to confusion and in the end additional cost. All that's needed is a simple strategy with most of the data on cost efficient storage.

Remember - simple is good.

1 comment:

Pete Steg said...

Couldn't agree more. I believe that complexity limits storage more than cost.

But you can be thankful that you even have a useable train network, unlike in some countries...