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EMC – Catching Up With the Past

To anyone who just happened to have crawled out from under a rock, EMC made the long-awaited announcement of what had been rumored to be either the DMX-5 or the Tigon. Final choice: Symmetrix V-Max. So under the banner of “Overtake the Future” the announcement struck me as “Catching Up With the Past”. Wading through all the predictable marketing terms of “earth-shattering breakthroughs” and “over the top bestest new technology on the planet, ever” was an announcement that left a “ho hum” feel with me. And since much of the promised new function won’t be available for a bit, the announcement was more of a roadmap of where EMC thinks they will be going.

In the end, I saw the announcement as:
• An announcement that claims parity with HDS, but 2 years later (more in some cases)
• A roadmap for the future with some deliverables coming next calendar year
• Performance, performance, performance. Does that mean EMC are confident that they’re good enough to join the SPC? Oh, I forgot, we’re still talking about slideware here…
• Oh yeah, they saved some provisioning clicks (which is a good thing, we’re all working that angle)

And as my buddy Hu pointed out this morning, that is again true. There is really nothing wrong with the EMC roadmap here, but until it evolves, it is just that: a roadmap. The last major roadmap that I can recall from EMC was the InVista announcement almost 7 years ago! Is it now exempted from grief under a statute of limitations? Perhaps.

But there was little substance in the announcement that I caught. Storage virtualization is clearly aimed at supporting heterogeneous storage. V-Max does not support this, unless you define being able to mix Seagate and HGST drives in the same array as heterogeneous. No substance on thin provisioning advancements. There was some mention that they can do synchronous replication at any distance; we’ve been doing that for years, too.

So the question of the day is why did EMC announce this, and why now? My conclusion is that it helps hold onto their current install base which is at jeopardy every time we install a USP-V at their existing customers. It’s a way of telling them that they’ll catch up to HDS in a year or 2, but they’re trying to catch a moving target. Consistently, they are “catching up with the past”.

I’ll post more on this subject as new details emerge, but today, most of HDS is relieved.

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Comments (2 )

the storage anarchist on 16 Apr 2009 at 2:56 pm

By the way “saving some provisioning clicks” understates the reality.

How about doing what requires over 870 clicks on USP-V Dynamic Provisioning in less than 30 clicks on V-Max Virtual Provisioning – that’s NINETY-FIVE PERCENT fewer clicks.

More importantly (because admin time is money), completing the task in EIGHTY PERCENT LESS TIME (as in 9 minutes on V-Max instead of 46 minutes on USP-V).

V-Max doesn’t copy USP-V, it just does similar things BETTER, FASTER and EASIER.

And I suspect those of you who are releived haven’t yet taken the time to understand what’s really just happened.

AnonymousCoward on 04 Aug 2009 at 1:11 pm

I agree with Storage Anarchist even though I am a HDS customer. If Symmetrix is v-max, USP is pain-max in every respect. Seriously guys, have you looked at competition (I mean really looked) rather than claiming we came with something first? All and I mean *all* HDS software/app where written to inflict maximum pain and suffering on whatever customer base you have.

Disclaimer: I don’t work for any storage vendor right now but am an ex-EMC employee and satisfied customer.

Claus Mikkelsen

Data Center Advisors

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