EMC vs. NetApp argument erupts over Bycast buy, UCS implementations

EMC and NetApp are going at it harder than ever this week, as NetApp's Bycast acquisition draws fire. Over in the Twittersphere, meanwhile, there's more animosity,plus IBM possibly taking down a tweet that proclaimed a win over EMC.

NetApp has made an acquisition. The new member of the NetApp family is called Bycast and seems to have something to do with object storage.

Predictably, the buy got a blog post all of its own *. Just as predictably, EMC has shot back saying the acquisition amounts to little more than NetApp playing catchup. StorageZilla adds a welcome note to former Bycast customers. 3Par's Marc Farley also weighs in, saying NetApp is trying to sprinkle some marketing fairy dust on the buy because its an archiving company, not an object storage play. Pillar offers a pox on all houses.

But the two perennial combatants are also duking it out on two other fronts this week, the first of which is here in this post titled Blogging with Integrity that sees NetApp insist EMC is telling porkies about its level of VMware integration. The comments on this piece get pretty heated, as EMC's Chad Sakac gets narky, backs down, but resumes a very robust argument.

Sakac is embroiled in the week's other mess, which comes from Twitter where Paul Sorgiovanni says he's been told NetApp runs the biggest Cisco UCS rig on the planet. Sorgiovanni has tweeted that he's been told so by someone from Cisco, and says Sakac has backed him up. Chuck Hollis reckons Sorgiovanni doesn't have his facts right, and Sorgiovanni wants an apology.


Search Storage ANZ has sighted an email that appears to come from inside Cisco and states that NetApp has placed the largest UCS order Cisco has received "so far."

We have no way of telling if the email is genuine, but a search for the names of addressees in the mail produces results suggesting they all work for either Cisco or NetApp!

For what it is worth, SearchStorage ANZ has asked Cisco's Australian PR folk if NetApp is indeed the UCS bigness title-holder. Sadly, they were not able to find a definitive answer, but pointed us to this press release about the 400 companies that have bought UCS. In case you have an aversion to reading press releases  (the easily bored or nervous should really leave that to professionals, as we in the journalism corps are hardened to their extreme obfuscation and dullness) the document in question does not mention NetApp.

The other running argument of late concerns IBM's XIV and whether it occasionally duds data. New Blogger Storage Gorilla joins the meme this week, while Storage Buddhist is keen to prove XIV's chops and  Inside Systems Storage defends its turf as well.

The Buddhist also dropped an interesting tweet into the world. It read "EMC's largest customer in New Zealand has rejected V-Plex/V-Max & selected IBM SVC & DS8700 to manage & augment their DMX farm." Or at least it did read that yesterday: the tweet has since been deleted. Your correspondent suspects this is because we asked the Buddhist and IBM's local flaks if they could expand on the tweet and maybe identify the customer. We suspect the Buddhist may have been told to take down the tweet!

While we're on the Buddhist, we think it's pretty funny that we now have a Storage Buddhist and a Storage Gorilla to go with StorageZilla, the Storage Anarchist and others. It sounds like a good joke: A Buddhist, a Gorilla, an Anarchist and Godzilla walk into a data centre ...

Let's get this thing back on track

Another debate sprawling across the blogosphere this week concerns dedpue ratios, and starts with this CommVault piece and has since brnched out to include AboutRestoreand W. Curtis Preston. Storage Texan and Storage Gumbo are also having a nice discussion about treating storage like a hotel.

Elsewhere, Stephen Foskett has a great piece about multipath I/O, and Emulex heads to similar territory. IDEAS International analyses Dell's cloud/storage plans. Ray on Storage makes an interesting point: how much storage will smart meters need? Preston de Guise looks at Sun's OEM deals with backup vendors. Pivot Point looks at VMware's evolving storage position (as does Boche) and StorageNerve posts one of what will become many, many posts from GestatlIT's second Tech Field Day.

Modern backup considers how cloud storage leads to lock-in and Robin Harris is impressed by SSD-maker Violin.
StorageRap also has a video of MySpace talking about how its kit gets used to power the social network and HDS' Hu Yoshida talks up the finer points of thin provisioning.

* We say predictably because last week we inferred that NetApp bloggers were acting in concert to bring certain messages to light. That idea that was later dismissed in a conversation with someone who is a lot closer to the company than your correspondent. That someone even went so far as to say that the company's marketers are not clever enough to arrange such a confluence of events!

Read more on Storage management and strategy