El Reg understands that Hitachi Data Systems wants to move to having a single storage platform that can cover both high-end and mid-range storage needs. Discussions with HDS executives and Bob Plumridge, its chief technology officer in EMEA, covered the AMS mid-range storage area and what lies ahead. The point was made that …
HP Common Storage Platform?
I enjoy your work and oft times I rely on it for concise up-to-date information. You folks are tops at what you do.
Tell me more about this HP Common Storage Platform? I count Dot Hill OEM (P2000 MSA), P4000 (LeftHand), EVA (DEC via Compaq), and P9000 (Hitachi, Ltd aka XP) as four seperate and incompatible technologies for block storage prior to adding 3PAR for block storage.
If I want files services from HP I buy a ProLiant running Windows or Red Hat Linux to accomplish this. Other than the fact that P4000 and the file servers are made from ProLiants, where is the common technology here?
HP with its nine separate and incompatible platforms for secondary and primary storage is the least unified portfolio in the business.
Disclaimer: I am a NetApp employee and ex-Compaq/HP.
How common do you want?
Chris is referring to something that has been well publicised called the Common Storage Platform. Clearly you don't rely on his work as often as you should. A common set of building blocks using Blades / X86 Servers and SAS drives to deliver storage on a common hardware platform. So far you have Storeonce D2D, P4000, X9000 and X5000 all running on exactly the same hardware. In addition you have E5000 (Exchange appliance) and other Microsoft integrated appliances running on again the same architecture. Essentially buy your hardware and choose what 'personality' you want to give it. Oh, and maybe if your requirements change over time then change the personality. So a common compute platform comprising processing and storage built from low-cost building blocks. With 70% market share in blades and 51% of the worlds SAS drive demand then HP is in a pretty strong position to do this at the right price point! This sounds a lot more like a common storage platform to me rather than just downsizing your big array so that your smaller customers can afford it.
AMS doesn't use X86? Really???
The AMS line has used an X86 processor since the 2000 series was released. I think your fact checking skills could use some work...
I believe that the AMS still uses power based processors for primary controller function and has secondary x86 processors for other functions.
But will HDS fix the software cost model?
HDS has had the ability to sell the VSP into smaller accounts. The hardware costs can be brought down into the AMS range, but the software costs simply take it out of the running.
HDS needs to understand that enterprises are looking at modular storage for enterprise applications. They are expecting modular storage to have thin provisioning, snapshots, and replication at a modular price.
Even though they are enterprise shops they are getting this functionality from their competition in the modular space.
HDS could change their software licensing model TODAY and dramatically increase their footprint in companies currently buying modular storage.
For example if HDS gave 50TB of external storage licensing as part of the frame purchase they could sweep the floor of the likes of IBM's SVC and put VSP's in front of hundreds of competitors modular arrays.
But when the software costs more than the hardware they will never gain this market share, and their foray of pushing the VSP down into the modular space is destined to fail.
HP is the least unified storage vendor
As Johny DeepFreeze said, HP is, and has been the least unified storage vendor in the market.
DotHill, Lefthand, Dec/Compaq, HDS and now 3Par. No migration path, no unified management and no unified functionality. Now throw in windows nas heads, polyserve and 2 different tape vendors and their storage story is a real mess.
No storage vendor is unified
I'd say IBM were worse. So IBM have DS3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 (may have stopped now), 8000, v7000, SVC, XIV, nSeries, DS5000 (DDN), NAS heads and 2 tape vendors and some I have missed. Over the past few years they have gone through distinct phases - first SVC was the answer now what's the question. Then nSeries. Then XIV. And now V7000 is the 'trendy' one amongst the IBM salesforce.
Dell have Equalogic, Compellent, EMC, Ocarina, etc.
EMC have a right old collection of different arrays cobbled together.
Even NetApp who were probably the only people who could claim to be a unified storage vendor have decided to buy LSI and diversify their portfolio. Why, because they realise that it simply isn't possible to have one single storage architecture that meets all requirements!
Simple fact is there is no 'one size / style fits all' for storage. You buy into a particular part of the portfolio for a reason and then scale within that product. With the HP range, for example, it's not like you outgrow a P4000 and you have to bin it and move to a 3PAR array. Both ranges start small and grow massive. BMW don't just sell one car. They have a full range of cars to meet differing needs, and within those ranges they have a variety of engine sizes and spec's.