Technically, it should not be hard to do, and in fact, this is the way that much of this software is developed and tested by the manufacturers themselves. So, if you're a storage vendor and truly proud of your product and believe it competes well, why not make the simulator available to everyone?
The answer, of course, is that even the best and most honest of these vendors have at least a few warts they'd rather you didn't notice by applying some sales makeup. Controlling and guiding the sales process is many times more important than having a fully educated customer. And, to be perfectly blunt, some storage vendors would promptly be out of business if they had fully educated customers.
However, I hope that increased competition and pressure from prospective customers makes this concept a reality. It would be an excellent way to foster more competition and would force storage vendors to work that much harder to develop new and unique storage management features within their products. Sadly, that's also precisely the same reason it may never happen.
Perhaps the first step is that customers -- who pay the bills, after all -- start demanding simulator access. That increases the chances you'll actually get it.
This article, "Can you avoid a big mistake when buying primary storage?," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Matt Prigge's Information Overload blog and follow the latest developments in storage and data management at InfoWorld.com.