DIY Pizza: A Second Course of Pizza Analogies

DIY Pizza: A Second Course of Pizza Analogies

Taking the Pizza analogy a bit further, following a recent post on TTFB (time to First Bite!) I would like to take a look into the realms of organisations who rely on individuals or teams of people to build internal products themselves rather than purchase supported products.

Making a pizza for yourself is extremely satisfying, making the dough, the tomato sauce and going ‘off menu’ to choose the toppings you desire most. The taste? Sensational. The smug feeling of self-worth cannot be topped. You rave about how great DIY pizza is to anyone who will listen as clearly DIY pizza is the only way to go.  Why would you waste money on external pizza (PaaS) when we can make our own! Before you know i the DPP is born, the Department for Perfect Pizza, and you are the head chef.

The Department for Perfect Pizza

With news spreading around the organisation that there is a team, in-house, making its own pizza, you are suddenly in demand to give presentations to other departments explaining how they too can also benefit from shifting from external to internally provided pizza. The head of the promo department loves the idea so much they decide they too should have their pizza made in house, by you. The budget for external pizza is cut and now you are responsible for making perfect pizza for hundreds if not thousands of people. However, rolling out your pizza to the whole organisation change things a little.

No Pineapple Please We’re British

Now you have published the specification of your perfect pizza to the company it appears that not everyone is happy:

  • Helen from graphics does not like how you did the tomato sauce
  • Trevor the editor needs gluten and nut free pizza for his environment
  • Nick in sales thinks pineapple on pizza is a total abomination
  • The support engineers want hot pizza, available 24/7, with a side order to Jolt Cola to keep them going through the night
  • The CFO wants a more cost efficient pizza with less cheese, dough and limiting each pizza to one topping
  • The CTO however wants redundancy built into the process with a pizza continuity site built in Bracknell with a standby chef. After all if you do not have two pizzas you do not have pizza!

The legal department want a far more robust crust with a myriad of different requirements from all of the business you now need:

  • A bigger pizza oven
  • More storage space for the raw ingredients
  • More colleagues with knowledge in pizza dough best practice
  • Colleagues to work the night shift to prepare the toppings for the next day
  • More colleagues to handle holidays and sickness
  • A quality control guy

When all that extra cost and resource is finally in place the market is demanding ultra high tasty pizza which means your existing pizza making platform needs a complete upgrade.

DIY Pizza: A Second Course of Pizza Analogies

Pizza to Storage Conversion.

Applying this analogy to media organisations that are facing huge challenges in ingesting, protecting, curating and sharing content, the temptation to ‘save money’ by building in-house storage systems using off the shelf or open source components is high.

A Crispy Commodity Base with a Smattering of Open Source Toppings

A very talented engineer will state they can make their own storage system using commodity components as a base and a smattering of open source object storage  toppings. It will work brilliantly in the lab, passes a tonne of benchmark tests and works well in the initial workflows but when it is offered out to the wider business the challenges begin:

  • One shoe does not fit all. The needs of the promo team are different from that of the audio team
  • The graphics and editing teams keep asking if the home grown storage platform has been integrated and tested with all the media asset management systems that they would like to work with
  • The management team are keen to know how it fits into their business continuity and cloud strategies they wish to implement in the next 12 months
  • The CTO wants to know what happens if the two engineers keeping the system running go on holiday at the same time or get sick
  • The list goes on …. and on ….

There are a lot of good articles out there on why supported products often serve businesses better than in-house DIY projects. It can is best summed up by the statement:

“When projects are developed in-house the engineers become the product. Lose the Engineer, lose the product”

We are seeing this move from project to product in action as many media organisations are looking to move staff away from managing pools of storage and get them working on higher level functions that benefit the business. There is a real shift towards working with companies that can support them in achieving their goals.

Of course, these same companies doe not wish to throw away their investment in the petabytes of commodity hardware they have procured so they ideally need a way to re-use and re-purpose it. The MatrixStore object storage software only platform will enable them to do just that. By running MatrixStore across the existing hardware any further capacity upgrades are as simple as plug and scale.

If you would like to learn more about software only MatrixStore object storage please do get in touch.

Thanks again for reading.