IBM, NetApp, slam EMC benchmark results, as Cisco "searches for unicorns to breed"

The storage blogosphere is boiling again, as NetApp and IBM find EMC’s new approach to benchmarks hard to swallow, and one user slams Cisco.

Let’s start this week with a quote from John Maynard Keynes:

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

We mention the quote because in the last week or two, EMC has been proudly showing off some spiffy benchmark numbers.

IBM and NetApp think EMC is wrong to do so.

IBMer Tony Pearson writes that “EMC bloggers have argued, both in comments on this blog, and on their own blogs, that standard benchmarks are useless and should not be used to influence purchase decisions.”

Vaughn Stewart takes up the cudgels for NetApp, writing that the data EMC has released “serves no one's interest but the sales force at EMC. Test results like this one accomplish nothing but to set a false expectation as to what a customer should expect to receive when purchasing this technology.”

Storagezilla wades in to defend his employer, twice.

Which brings us back to the quote and a question: has EMC changed its mind about benchmarks? If so, what of NetApp and IBM's objections?

NetApp, meanwhile, has another attack from a different angle as Alex McDonald’s Shade of Blue blog picks up on Beth Pariseau’s tasty scooplet in which EMC dismisses rumours that Clariion and Celerra could become one and concludes that one or both of the products need replacing ASAP.

While all this is going on, EMC’s Chuck Hollis wrote:

“There's more to life than tirelessly arguing why you're approach is a Godsend, and everyone else's is straight from hell.

Twitter was invented for something other than endlessly spamming your latest win or bragging point.”

Hollis admits he may have indulged in the past and promises to stop pointless arguments*.

A Storagebod post points out how pointless the arguments may be, writing how he considers vendors competing products:

“I'd have some fun at the expense of the EMC account manager, I'd have a chuckle with my NetApp account manager and then I'd continue to compare the products on their merits.”

One account manager about to cop an earful (translation from the Australian: “get shouted at”) is the poor person who helps Grumpy Storage to buy kit. He writes that, in his opinion, “EMC are a company of conflicts,” while NetApp “are sadly still trying to understand the question for a couple of years ago.”

He saves his choicest remarks, however, for Cisco, which he accuses of “still searching for unicorns to breed.”

Invisible launch

The oddest blog post of the week comes from IDEAS International, which writes up a new IBM product called SONAS, a hoofing great scale out NAS. We declare it odd because this IBM post on what Tony Pearson calls “a major launch” starts with fiddly little bits of storage networking kit instead of the hoofing great NAS.

Things get odder still when you consider that IBM told SearchStorage ANZ that SONAS was kept quiet for a day or two while the company shoved Power 7 out the door. But here we are a couple of days later and the headline storage product in a major announcement is a switch?

We suspect this is because SONAS is not really new. As we report in the previous link, IBM has been promoting this kit for a while under a couple of names. We’ve asked if this is redesigned kit or rebadged kit.

There are other chuckles to be had on this one, too, as the IBM price list for the product mentions a “10-pack of 7.2K RPM 2TB SATA HDDs” for $US40,362 and a “10-pack of 15K RPM 450GB SAS HDD” for $US34,855. Unless your columnist is missing his guess, we suspect SONAS buyers will be supplying their own disks.

And one last thing about SONAS. IBM says it can handle up to 14.4 Petabytes of data. Ray On Storage posts this week that CERN generates 15 petabytes a year.

IDEAS also has a tasty post about what you should expect to pay for storage maintenance and support.

Virtual playtime

Lots of folks are writing about virtualised storage this week, such as fellow antipodean Rodos’ look at some of the vBlock storage guidelines. Scott Lowe ponders moving Lab Manager datastores and “Using IP-Based Storage with VMware vSphere on Cisco UCS.”

Boche looks at how to Configure VMware ESX(i) Round Robin on EMC Storage.

Storage Anarchist and Cinetica keep the storage guarantee argument going, while Preston de Guise and Storagezilla both find ways to defend tape storage.

IBM announces a beta program for Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager and seeing as we have mentioned that it seems only fair to offer this link to an HP post about its Customer Focussed Testing team

*They’re not pointless, Chuck. They amuse many of us and generate more-than-useful quantities of page impressions.


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