Breaking Records ?
I’m in the middle of digesting what was actually released in EMC’s recent launch. For the most part there isn’t anything really that new: lots of unsupported hype like, “3 times simpler, 3 times faster.” Faster than what, exactly? From a technical perspective the only thing that’s really interesting or surprising is the VNXe and that was less interesting than I expected because I thought they were going to refresh their entire range using that technology. So it looks like they’ve given up trying to make that scale for the moment.
So much of what they’ve done copies or validates what we’ve already done at NetApp:
- Simplified software packaging
- Launching a lot of stuff at the same time
- New denser shelves with small form-factor drives
- An emphasis on storage efficiency
- An emphasis of flash as a caching layer
- The ideal match between unified storage and virtualized environments
The biggest change that I see is that they now appear to be shipping all their controllers with unified capability from the start, enabled via a software upgrade which is something EMC has criticised us for in the past. Now they acknowledge that the only way to compete with NetApp effectively is to try to be as much like us as they possibly can. This might explain why EMC in Australia isn’t going to sell the “Block only” VNX 5100. SearchStorage.com.au had this report:
EMC’s new VNX 5100 (pictured), a block-only storage device, won’t go on sale in Australia becaus “We did not see great enough demand to see that particular system,” according to Mark Oakey, the company’s Marketing Manager for Storage Platforms in Australia and New Zealand. “We’ll continue with the Clariion CX4 120,” he told SearchStorage ANZ. “It has more or less the same capabilities.”
Most of the interesting capabilities they’re touting came last year with FLARE 30 and DART 6.0 (two of their operating systems). Even the VMax stuff they’re pushing during the launch came out via a software upgrade without a lot of fanfare in December, so as far as I can see their “record breaking announcement” consists of announcing a whole bunch of things they’d already done along with some new tin.
Things they didn’t announce:
- Multistore equivalency
- V-Series equivalency
- Unified replication capabilities
- A commercial grade VMware based “Virtual Storage Array”- The new low end box is based on Linux
- A scale out roadmap for their “Unified” platform
- Any significant change in their management software strategy or offering
- Block level deduplication for their unified arrays
- Clarification on where their newly acquired scale out Isilon systems fit within their new “Unified” ecosystem.
Overall EMC did a catch up release to try and maintain pace with NetApp innovation, and nothing they’ve done or released represents a significant new threat. If this is
“the most significant midrange announcement in EMC’s 30-year history”
according toi Rich Napolitano, President, Unified Storage Division at EMC, then EMC will continue to play catch up as NetApp redefines Unified Storage and its role in shared infrastructure.