IBM and EMC slanging match, Clouds queried, Pillar pounces

Our weekly peek into the storage blogosphere finds bloggers lining up to slam IBM’s new D8700, as the community digests the Sidekick outage and gets excited about clouds and automation.

IBM’s had a big week. The company has brought us a new storage blogger, Rich Swain, who climbs aboard the blogwagon in order to talk up the company’s N Series storage. That product line seems to be getting a decent reception.

But we cannot say the same about the new DS8000 series, which IBM blogger Tony Pearson describes here.

Storagezilla (who works for EMC) calls it a “zombie array” and then unloads with this tasty paragraph:

"Like an automobile from Eastern Europe during the cold war, here comes the DS8700. With one gammy wheel, bad suspension and worse brakes this Yugo of enterprise storage arrays is just another iteration of something allegedly designed for everyone but desired by no one in particular. Though it's never boring to administer as there's always the sharp anticipation you're only seconds away from it going all split brain on you and will power itself off in a moment of confusion."

Another EMCer, The Storage Anarchist, looked up the name DS8700 and found it has also been slapped onto some sewing machines and other unglamorous gewgaws and then takes exception with almost every feature the product possesses.

IBM fights back, through Barry Whyte, who contrasts the new array’s solid state features with what he labels “EMC's ‘bolt them into the array’ approach.” He then plays the name game, calling Symmetrix V-Max “Pepsi Max.” That’d be IBM’s famous sense of humour at work there, we think!

IBM’s not alone in querying EMC’s approach, as The Storage Architect reckons EMC’s V-Max has some problems of its own an AboutRestore thinks that some of the company’s responses to questions about how it will integrate Data Domain are a tad concerning and odd. And member of the EMC family, namely VMware, gets some stern questions asked about its storage strategy by vTacit, who brings us a rather nice squiggly drawing to illustrate his point.

He’s not alone in going squiggly, a post about EMC’s cloud strategy from Virtual Geek has even better squiggles!

Squiggles aside, another of the week’s other discernable themes is pondering cloud computing, partly fuelled by Microsoft’s Sidekick outage. EMC’s Chuck Hollis thinks that the outcome of the Sidekick debacle is that users need transparency from cloud providers. Aprigo’s Nathan Burke blogs about the incident too, concluding that the Sidekick mess was a failure of will, not of technology. Preston de Guise riffs on a similar theme, asserting that trustworthiness is a cloud provider’s key offering. For what it is worth, these opinions chime with things analysts are telling your editor about clouds, as when large companies think about getting cloudy they want a lot more detail than the “trust us, we have more firewalls and diesel engines in our data centre than you can even imagine” value proposition offered to small businesses by cloud companies.

There’s more cloud musing from Steve Duplessie, who thinks cloud backup is a bad idea. Zerowait has a go at defining clouds and William Vambenepe muses about the problems associated with running cloud platforms. NetApp has a go, too, in the context of cloudy discussions at Storage Networking World USA, which is generating a fair bit of interest. To see a big slab of that interest, visit Storage Switzerland where the guys blogged about several meetings with vendors.

There are a few more swipes out there this week. One comes from HDS’ Michael Hay, who a couple of weeks ago posted a wipe we missed, as he welcomes Symantec to the NAS market with a series of pointed questions about just how well its products perform in the real world.

Online Storage Optimization is also getting swipey, as he finds some misconceptions about data deduplication. Cinetica takes exception to some Pillar statements and Pillar takes exception with the way other vendors do automatic tiering. EMC, 3Par and NetApp all come up badly in this comparison chart:

Oddly enough, a blog we have just found this week also has a discussion of automated tiering. The blog in question comes from the head of UK consultancy Computacenter’s Practice Leader for storage stuff.

Elsewhere, Stephen Foskett declares RAID is in strife, as caching surges. Eigenmagic declares NetApp snapshots to be “awesome.” Lastly, Grumpy Storage decides we all need better RFEs. We’d never heard of RFEs until we read his post. If you’re in the same boat, here it is.


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