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EMC’s solution is bigger boxes – What is the problem?

by Hu Yoshida on Aug 22, 2011

Recently, an EMC blogger admitted that, while they do not have the ability to virtualize external storage, they ship bigger boxes. He also seemed proud of the fact his top ten large capacity VMAX only used 69% of the raw capacity.  Yes, this is an improvement over the 50% utilization when they shipped DMX with RAID 1, but short of the 75% you get with RAID 6 or the 87.5% you get with RAID 5.

We are not in competition with EMC to see who can ship the biggest box. We are focused on providing our customers with open solutions that can solve their data storage requirements with lower cost, greater agility, scalability, and reliability. Virtualization of internal and external storage infrastructure, as well as closer integration with application interfaces like VAAI, are more important than selling our customers fully populated configurations of storage systems.

In the table below, which shows our current top 10 externally virtualized VSP storage configurations, you will note that three of them do not have any internal storage at all. They were installed to enhance existing storage with new capabilities like:

· Dynamic provisioning to reclaim existing over allocated capacity

· VAAI to offload VMware bottlenecks and reduce CPU and memory overhead

· Tiering and migration to make use of larger capacity disks for less active data and

· Consolidation of multiple vendor products under one management as a common pool of resources

hi-1

Instead of making our customers rip and replace their existing storage assets with a two PB VMAX (which locks them in for the next four or five years), we install a diskless VSP, which enables them to take advantage of new storage functionality on their existing storage systems. Over time, when those assets are capitalized—or when they are ready to migrate at their own pace—we hope that they will migrate that capacity to Hitachi Storage. Since their storage is virtualized, they can still choose other storage options, so our challenge will be to continue to build the best of breed external storage to win that business.

Selling big boxes may be good for the vendor, but it may not be in the best interest of the customer.

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Comments (4 )

John Nicholson on 25 Aug 2011 at 12:01 am

I’m convinced Barry posts more about HDS than most of the HDS bloggers. I’m starting to think he should join the blog roll here as “that guy who disagrees with Hu”.

On a side note I get to dispose of yet another EMC next week (that’s being replaced with a new AMS), is there a good place I can submit “before and after” photo’s when I do these replacements? I’ve got a customer who put their old CX3 in a barn lacking a way to proper home of anyone who wanted it. Would a “most out of place SAN” photo contest work?

Vinay Babu on 25 Aug 2011 at 5:48 am

EMC has come up with Federation by which they can connect two or more VMAX. Will that negate above highlighted short fall of EMC XXXL arrays.

Hu Yoshida on 26 Aug 2011 at 7:18 am

Thanks for the feedback and idea, John. We’ll look into the photo contest, but it sounds really great. In the meantime, feel free to post the photo to our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/HitachiDataSystems

Hu Yoshida on 26 Aug 2011 at 3:07 pm

Their version of Federation will enable them to sell XXXXXXL arrays.

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Hu Yoshida
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

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