back to article Sources mutter of 'disarray' among EMC's quadruple object products

Two EMC insiders whisper to The Register that all is not well at the storage biz. They claim that EMC's object storage strategy is in complete disarray and that senior execs are locking horns over the wreckage. EMC, meanwhile, contends that its current multi-product, multi-teamed object storage strategy is working perfectly well …

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Holmes

Join the Boy Scouts

Whatever happened to "articulating a clear story"?

It may make the politicians and marketing weenies feel good to have "overlaps", but 4 Object store stories is 3 too many.

All it tells you is that they really haven't a clue!

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[EMC employee]

The most recent IDC research on the topic gives Data Domain 64.2% of revenue and more than *half* of all capacity shipped in the purpose built backup appliance (PBBA) market and those numbers have been increasing, not decreasing, over time.

Think about that, out of every Terabyte shipped in the PBBA market more than half of it ships in a Data Domain capacity optimised protection system. And that number is increasing.

Neither Centera nor Atmos (Nor ViPR or Isilon, just to be clear) have ever been part of EMC Backup Recovery Systems. Centera and Atmos are Advanced Software Division products sold by Backup Recovery Systems to support compliance and long term Archiving workloads. I’ve been reading ‘Centera is dead’ articles since 2001 and 12 years on there’s still new hardware and software being released for the product so it’s going to be a while yet before anyone gets to say ‘I told you so’ on any object storage products reaching the end of their market demand.

I'm not going to comment on Isilon's roadmap as that's for them to speak about but I'd see 'merging' Isilon & Atmos as not being on the table. ViPR uses a significant amount of Atmos intellectual property to provide object storage services for EMC, third party and commodity NAS systems. Isilon spoke about their integration plans with ViPR at EMC World.

All the other complaints repeated in the article are a mixture of speculation, opinion and more than a few sour grapes.

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ViPR

So, I've built out my OpenStack cloud saving money using on commodity hardware and open source software and EMC thinks I'm going to buy ViPR poison with vendor lock-in?

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Anonymous Coward

Call them back and ask about CIFS vs. iSCSI

And you'll be able to add additional fuel to the fire...

Posting anonymously because [censored]

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If you are acquired by EMC you really do not have influence on direction unless you are in Hopkinton. I have no clue about plans to merge products, but the fact Isilon is a Seattle-based outfit really cuts out the clout and influence they have at the table.

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Anonymous Coward

The philosophy inside of EMC is absolutely to let different solutions battle it out on competitive products in front of customers, they figure it's a win-win either way. While most data centre's are moving past silos that differentiate between primary storage, backup storage and archive storage into a single system (of tiers) that manage data like a work flow, EMC is still stuck in silos and that is why you have four different object storage solutions. There is no grand work flow in an EMC data center solution, they are all disparate systems. The fact there is even a BRS division inside of EMC speaks to the silo mentality (although they'll swear they all play nice together).

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Shareholder value?

Where ever that quote about people not respecting shareholder value came from the person is a loon. No one in any company below board or C level ever thinks about share holder value other than for their own personal options or stock purchases. Most employees are salaried or compensated on performance which is normally targeted to specific sales and revenue goals. Only the top people are targeted on share price which is not necessarily a good thing.

Having dealt with salespeople from EMC and in the various departments there doesn't seem to be that much confusion over what products can do what but there is certainly some competition between them to get deals closed. Looking at last quarter's results for EMC it is easy to see that the Isilon product line is growing quite well especially in comparison to some other products that EMC has and this is bound to be a cause of concern even if the deals lost are ones that were never winnable.

Go to IBM and ask a DS sales rep if he would be happy to swap out for an XIV or the other way around and I suspect you will see the same behavior. You certainly see it at Dell and HP.

And as far as a having a single unifying vision well NetApp supposedly has that and see how well that has worked for them. Give me a good product that does the job for a decent price any time over something that has had added functionality welded to the side of it.

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Effective Leadership

Love to know what role these EMC insiders are playing, obviously they know surface data about the technology and probably have never positioned or sold any of it.

I have to applaud EMC once again with putting together< such a line up. What has always puzzled me about folks making comments about EMC being confusing or complex is that those folks have never actually run an I.T. shop and have surface knowledge of the technology and don't actually think as a consultant or as providing the "proper" service levels to their end users.

25 years ago in I.T., distributed computing was running rampant, NT boxes were replacing large mainframes for remote office and certain users, why? Users needed faster response to technology and MIS Departments could not respond quickly or efficiently enough. We all saw what happened to a decentralized compute model, it's now all back to centralization, however at this point we are operating in a decentralized business leader model where the business units are making more of the decisions and taking that away from I.T. due to their lack of fully understanding the end user experience and needs.

EMC has always put the delivery, protection and ease of user first, they provide the best in class as a company to manage, move, protect, recover, archive, tier, and now provide a global mobile user secure access anywhere, anytime. It's all about how to understand the user and how the user needs to work.

Centera was build as a full all purpose archive device and does very well with that. Some people still want that type of function, so use it. ATMOS was developed to help large file archive and image data to be more scalable, become an efficient user of cloud based data retention and to be able to be mobile, if that is your use case use it, Isilon is scale out, big scale out NAS and great for files and objects, not replacing Centera or ATMOS at all but complimenting all the really smart people that do work in I.T. that understand the need for diversity and for the need to use a device(s) that are "properly" aligned with their use case. Who else can truly consult with you, understand your use case and address both end user as well as I.T. than EMC?

I believe EMC should be thank as saving the face of big data rather than forcing this data into the wrong media thus the media< controls the process and end users will be effected pushing us back 25 years to mainframes trying to satisfy a diverse user community with diverse needs.

EMC continues to go against the grain because they are the actual tree that the wood is cut from, they have the confidence to be ridiculed knowing they are doing what's best for the customers out there that need transition time, they need a vision and they need someone that will be patient with them and not abandon them because others are going in a different direction. Same story with iSCSI.

If anyone knew that EMC was one of the original patent holders of iSCSI, yet they were the last to release storage capabilities for iSCSI due to it's inherent latency issues and overall performance challenges, and EMC could have been first to market but instead thought only of the customer first, their data and that iSCSI was not fitting into the standards of EMC's customers and EMC did not want to just go along with the trend and be like others, they took the heat early on for not adopting iSCSI and by the time they did, they had years of testing, the IP market had changed and iSCSI became a viable option for optimal performance.

ViPR is a completely different conversation and should not effect the outcome of Isilon, Centera, ATMOS or others ViPR is pure genius and belongs exactly where it is today. EMC is ahead of the industry and this frustrates folks that can only think of ways to see EMC's offerings as confusing because these same folks grew up as SAN Slickers, people that just through disk around and talk speeds and feeds and RAID groups.

We are well beyond that and EMC's will stand behind their customers evolving users, data, and infrastructure needs. What other hardware vendor would carry all of these product proudly? Once again Tucci, Scannell and company, love the confidence and I can't wait to run into another competitor that tries to have these conversations, game over.

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