back to article Compellent could rise into Gartner's leader box

We got hold of a Gartner magic quadrant diagram for mid-range storage arrays from late last year, showing Compellent poised to cross over into the leader's box and HP not very far inside it. Could the unthinkable happen and Compellent and HP change places? Gartner's MQ is the most famous, or notorious depending upon your point …

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HP need a kick up the ar@e

As above HP need to start innovating, both EVA and LeftHand are good products, way ahead of the competition in some areas, but also lacking in many of the more marketable features (TP). I don't really recognise the confusion Gartner see between EVA and LH, to be honest if they're confused on this,then they're probably not qualified to pass comment. To illustrate my point, why are Dell up there, when surely they are in a similar position. Dell rebrand EMC (FC) at the high end and sell Equalogic (iSCSI) at the low end, and there's overlap on capacity points and features. So surely the same as HP & LeftHand ?

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Gartner missed DCM?

HP StorageWorks EVA Dynamic Capacity Management.

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12815_div/12815_div.HTML

Automatically shrinks and grows volumes to suit applications' requirements, which sounds a step beyond plain old thin provisioning. Maybe the name confused the Gartner boys! I haven't used it myself, but I think it's been around a while, definately much longer back than Novenber 2009. I assume if it automatically scales disk use up and down then it's also saving on power, which would seem to meet the second point Gartner mentioned.

The Sun storage entry is amusing - Larry needs to get on and buy Pillar ASAP, before all Sun's tiny storage base go AWOL! As for the other "leaders", I thought EMC and IBM were banking on buying 3Par to innovate anything?

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Fujitsu quandary

The issue with Fujitsu stopping selling other people's storage is simple: their key partners are NetApp and EMC (those two in the top right of the top right quadrant).

The recent announcements of closer Fujitsu alliances with NetApp and Symantec may see their position change.

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Gartner

I know of a software house who had a very innovative product - the would have been bottom right on the quadrant (based on my assesment). Working for a big compay, the IT director asked where they sat on the Gartner Magic Quadrant... they were not on it so no change of proceeding ...Gartner wanted $40,000 just to look at their product - and this fee varies enormously. So they charge the vendors, charge the consumers of their reports...

Ever wonder why Open Source products do well on Gartner ?

I wonder if Which? have the same policy for consumer products ?

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leaders vs. visionaries

Gartner will not disclose the exact metrics they apply to determine placement within the quadrants, but if you look through their ranking criteria and read between the lines, you come up with this..

The chief difference between Visionaries and Leaders is 'ability to execute' -- which is analogous to sales and service revenue. If it were a linear chart, EMC would be higher on the vertical axis than the next nearest 2 competitors combined.

But they haven't done it that way, of course.

More on topic with this item: if you look closely at the features, HP's EVA doesn't compete well at all. The XP series also doesn't look great compared with its peers, but in this economy who is buying platinum tier / non-stop storage anyway? Fools and governments, that's who.

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HP abd DELL?

Seriously? They just resell others tech. At least HP has some software to piece it together... What's dell have? What a joke. Apparently HP and Dell buy a lot from Gartner.

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Vision is not rebadging other's features....!

DCM != Thin Provisioning. It's a Windows-only feature, so it's powered by Microsoft.

Clear proof point of lack of HP's vision in the TP arena on EVA is Calvin Zito's recent comment on this topic over at their blog when asked by a customer:

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Customer:

Calvin, any chance we will see DCM for VMWare? Since vSphere supports dynamic LUN growth it would seem to be an obvious extension to the existing DCM functionality and when combined with vSphere's guest thin provisioning offers a true cost savings model.

CalvinZ:

Hi Andrew - I honestly don't know the answer to that. Two things:

> I will definitely suggest this to the product team.

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http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/datastorage/archive/2010/02/11/super-bowl-ads-and-capacity-guarantees.aspx

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HP need a kick up the ar@e

The problem with Dynamic Capacity Management (DCM) is it requires O/S support and as such it's on a qualification treadmill. Also it's not a transparent technology like classic thin provisioning, it needs O/S cooperation and must be scheduled for grow and shrink based on triggers. The changes happen and are reflected at both the array level and also the O/S File System, so the server admin gets to see exactly what's allocated at any one time and if he's being short changed. Since you have to grow and shrink the filesystem as well as the backend array, there's usually some political issues you need to overcome also.

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Vision is not rebadging other's features....! #

Not strictly true, DCM supports Windows, HPUX, RedHat, SUSE plus Windows Guest O/S within a ESX environment, so it's not Windows only, neither is it a rebadge of someone else's tech. DCM basically leverages EVA's ability to quickly and dynamically shrink and grow virtual disks. It's just it's not a transparent feature that works with any O/S. Most O/S's support grow, but only the latest support shrink and hence some of the support limitations.

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re: Colin_L

The XP doesn't look great next to its peers - really?

Well as theres only really EMC DMX, and HDS USP (which is the same tech that both HDS and HP get from Hitachi), I fail to get that comment - its a seriously good box, very stable, scalable and performant, and commercially HP are a lot more successful at selling them than HDS (in terms of frames sold)

surely you're not going to suggest IBM XIV or DS8000 or whatever it is now are up there as well?

I tend to agree about EVA though, well due an overhaul with things like true Thin Provisioning (sorry Matt by DCM ain't THP) and de-dupe (which unfortunately HP seem to be burying their head in the sand over except in the VTL space) as well as from a hardware perspective, but one is coming which will see it claw some ground back. Snapshot software is OK but needs better application integration ala NetApp as its largely script based at the moment.

However it does have some very good benefits from a usability and management perspective, general provisioning is so easy a numpty like me can configure and provision storage to a host in about 4 or 5 clicks.

PS IBM also have a very confusing product line with overlap so seems harsh to penalise just HP on it they have various DS models, N-Series (NetApp) and XIV, what do you buy there for a midrange type project? answers on a postcard

The clearest defined product lines to me appear to be from NetApp, HDS and probably EMC

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Midrange?

> PS IBM also have a very confusing product line with overlap

> so seems harsh to penalise just HP on it they have various

> DS models, N-Series (NetApp) and XIV, what do you buy

> there for a midrange type project?

Oh, this is easy:

A CX4 if you have money to spare, or an AMS2300 if you don´t.

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