That Awkward Moment…
by Claus Mikkelsen on May 22, 2012
When you realize that you need to announce a product that your biggest competitor has had for almost 8 years. That awkward moment when you realize you have been bashing controller based virtualization for the duration of that 8 years, and now you’re in the position to have to endorse it. Ouch! That’s gotta hurt and I can only imagine what the EMC marketing team had to go through to prepare for this announcement. That’s not a team I’d want to have been a part of. “Gee guys, we’re announcing something that HDS has had – and we’ve been bashing – for 8 years. Any suggestions on how we couch it?” Eight years in this biz is a lifetime. It’s like American Motors being resurrected and developing a Rambler hybrid. “Yeah, we’ll take on those Prius guys and dominate market share.”
Really, do you hope that customers have bad memories and will forget your well-orchestrated messaging over these past 8 years? Will your customers forgive you and just think you messed up on this one subject, FOR 8 YEARS? Or do you long for the good old days of InVista and that over-hyped announcement from New Orleans? InVista? How did that one work out for you guys?
OK, Claus. Calm down, here. What is this blog all about?
Well, EMC just announced controller based storage virtualization. After all that EMC has said on the subject, they’ve seen the light. And I’m happy about that since it is a ringing endorsement of the strategy we embarked on many years ago. Welcome to the club, but…
There are two old aspects in politics. The first is that if you say something loud enough and often enough, people will believe you. It works, unfortunately. The second is the well-honed art of mudslinging. It also works, unfortunately. Both are occurring now from EMC, but don’t expect HDS to be silent on this. Actually, we’re quite pleased they’re agreeing with us – we can only imagine it will help our bottom line.
Combing through the information coming out of EMC World, we’ve come across a few statements that need “adjusting”. I hope you don’t mind if I come across on the blunt side. Then again, I’ve waited 8 years for this blog….
I have already given some of my feedback to Dave Raffo on the subject, but wanted to expound a bit on some of the statements that I understand EMC made:
- “We’ve extended Symmetrix’s data integrity to non-EMC devices. Hitachi does not do that.”
Seriously, what kind of statement is this? Of course we “extend data integrity” (whatever that means) to external storage and actually improve reliability, integrity, and availability of external storage. Corral your marketing guys and give them a little technical training.
- “Our technology is free of charge. You can virtualize any amount of non-EMC storage behind Symmetrix. Hitachi gives you a certain amount of terabytes for free, and then they charge when you go beyond that.”
Well, EMC states that software license enablement of FTS (Federated Tiered Storage) is a no-charge feature to customers, but they fail to mention the future impact on software maintenance costs for the FTS license and any other EMC software license that charges maintenance based on installed capacity. With the Switch It On program from HDS, virtualization *IS* free and third party capacity is deeply discounted. Hmmmm…again, not true. But, good try guys….
- “Hitachi will also tell you not to use virtualization for databases, we don’t say that.”
Well, as an ex-DBA, let me give you my take – and yes I’ve been guilty of saying this. But if EMC is not saying this, they should. Are you nuts? Database applications are all about performance. The second most important aspect of databases is performance. Do you want me to name the 3rd, 4th, and 5th most important thing about database applications? So, EMC, if you imply that your customers should safely keep their Oracle (or whatever) databases on 3rd party virtualized storage, are you saying that virtualized storage outperforms your internal storage? C’mon guys, stop with the ridiculousness…
- “We also extend FAST to other arrays. They [Hitachi] don’t extend auto tiering.”
You must not be aware of our website. It’s pretty simple. It’s www.hds.com and if you took the time to check it out, you’d find we actually do support this. Again, what you’re saying is not true.
So this announcement from EMC on controller-based storage virtualization is rather amusing to me. Look for more to follow from me and my colleagues on what you need to know and how to separate fact from fiction
And one final note: does FTS support z/OS? I think we know the answer to that question, and yes, of course we do support z/OS.
All valid observations. Key point to note is the excellent hype around this feature with a message that EMC has brought out some really great features with the FTS when in fact other storage vendors had it all along. EMC is really about marketing than about storage technology.