(this post is part 2 of the above post)
Ahh, fear. We come to the heart of the matter! The meat of the entree, the very soul of your statement. All the features and proven reliability of an established product. Classic. Sew fear, uncertainty and doubt and ye shall reap the profits of the unrighteous who dared dream of a better world! Or so goes the theory, anyways. Protip: it isn't fucking working this time.
Problem 1: The CIO is of decreasing relevance. So that business model where you schmooze the CIO, bribe him with various things and ram your sale down the throats of IT, typically over their voiceferous objections? Not working nearly so well. The CFO is the new black today, ladies and gents, and (s)he can look at the numbers and features being offered by the startups, look at what the nerds say is needed and ask that one, horrible, shattering question:
"why is this one 5x as much for the same thing?"
Problem 2: Pure - and Tintri, Tegile, Numbus, etc. etc. etc. - are filled with staff from EMC and NetApp. "OMG don't you trust an an established product product more than newbies, lololololol" doesn't mean a goddamend thing if it's not only many of the same people making said product, it's is more often than not the best and the brightest from those companies doing so.
Do I trust Pure, or Tintri more than EMC or NetApp? Absofuckinglutely. Why? Because those who were most able to seek a better deal for themselves were the ones that left. They went seeking their fortunes elsewhere because they knew that they could; they were confident in their success. Why wouldn't I trust them more than the legacy vendor desperately trying to milk every last dollar out of R&D from 5 years ago staffed by those who couldn't make the leap to a bigger payout?
Problem 3: we don't want the past, because we're careening headlong into the future. An "established product" is great at solving the problems of yesterday. That says fucking nothing about it's ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow. A company that needs to beat the drum of "establishment" in order to cling desperately to clients - and NetApp, I am looking at you square in the eyes as I say this - is already dead, they just haven't admitted it yet.
Maybe what you need to do is actually talk to customers. Not to CIOs. Not to people who coughed up storage mafia "protection money" at the first hint of FUD, but to those who have made the jump into the future. Ask them why they did so. I think you'd be surprised.
It isn't just about the money - although that's always a factor - it's about ease of use. We're not just talking about interfaces or management software here (although that does sell the odd array). It's about not having to futz around with an infinite number of options in the hopes of getting the optimal solution for your workload.
Put simply: the startups are fast. Stupidly, gloriously, overwhelmingly fast. They are fast at a price far below that of the legacy vendors. That means you don't have to bring in a storage consultant to hem and haw and test. There's no poking and prodding and "sizing workloads." You buy the thing, it goes really, really fast. If you need more than one, you buy more than one. They all go really, really fast.
In fact, you can - and do - completely overspecify your storage needs and you do so with the shit-eating grin to end all shit-eating grins because you're still significantly cheaper than EMC or NetApp, but the deal is done and the workloads are moved in the time it would have taken mummy and daddy to even figure out which overpriced tat they were going to try to pitch you for your requirements.
I'm not talking in the abstract here. I can sit you down with real people who have done the dance of hate with legacy storage and ended up champions and evangelists for the new guys. In fact, I'm only even able to write about any of this because that kind of investigation is my job.
All of this, from EMC to NetApp to Pure and so forth are so far beyond my price range that I don't have a stake in any of them. There are exactly two storage vendors I can afford: Proximal Data and Maxta. Maxta kicks right royal ass (and NetApp are the dumbest company on earth for not having bought them by now, but that's another story...) and Proximal can turn just about any ancient crap into workable storage for real-world workloads. (Again, you'd think these legacy cruft pitchers would have bought up Proximal by now, especially given the new project under development. *shrug* I guess they don't like having a snowball's chance in a neutron star at the future.)
Ultimately, I don't care if EMC or NetApp, Tintri, Pure or Skyera win. It's abstract nonsense to me. I'm a reporter from the Canadian prairies and I don't have a stake in any of these folks, not as a customer nor as a shareholder.
...but my sources do. They run their businesses - I would argue they bet their businesses - on the outcome of such technological races. They are not stupid people. They are not making snap judgements or jumping on bandwagons. They test, they verify, and they are innately conservative engineering types who don't like change.
Despite this, they are embracing change. They are stepping outside their comfort zone, walking away from the likes of NetApp and EMC and behooves you - and anyone else reading this - to find out why. Why are competent, capable, knowledgeable and experiences systems and storage administrators turning their backs on "proven reliability of an established product"?
I'll tell you this much for free: it isn't because they're stupid. And that, sir, is more than good enough for me.