Sectors – HDS, NetApp say EMC’s V-Max is dated and derivative

Our weekly trawl of the storage blogosphere finds EMC’s rivals tetchy about its new Symmetrix range, which has generated two videos - one funny, one featuring lots of black boxes in a data centre.

Hear that sound? That utter silence?

That’s the number of people surprised that EMC’s rivals reckon its new Symmetrix is no good.

HDS’ “Storage Muse” Michael Hay says users “… should all be asking … what Hitachi is cooking up next that EMC will want to copy in two years.” Another HDS blogger, Christophe Bertrand, does what a few others do and picked up on EMC’s code-name for the new beast: “Tigon”. A tigon is the un-natural mutant offspring of a Tiger and a Lion, and the code-name has become a predictable metaphor around the Web.

NetApp’s Val Bercovici keep the company’s weird obsession with hip-hop alive, noting that V-Max (the new architecture bits in Symmetrix) was probably only selected as a name because the old monicker, DMX, is shared with a gangster rapper. Bercoviici then swipes EMC, saying “… please don’t try to sell me more new stuff when I can barely afford to keep and manage my current stuff.”

Interestingly, the post seems to have come just before EMC’s launch and relies on an early leak. We’re yet to spot a NetApp post on the launch since the full details emerged. Draw your own conclusions what that means!

Another source of pre-launch information is this post from StorageRap (what is it about rap and storage?) which contains this very, very funny video. (WARNING - Some of the language is NSFW and it ends with Rick Astley. Ugh)

Elsewhere, the Backup Blog – penned by an EMC staffer – likes the idea of V-Max. Quelle surprise. Steve Dodd also works for the Evil Machine Corporation but at least his post offers some more information on the new platform.

Virtual Geek is another EMC staff blogger and he likes V-Max too. But at least he posted this nice video of the machines in action.

Storagebod is an actual storage user (phew) and observes that V-Max sounds like a name marketroids would dream up for a gaming console. The Storage Architect gets excited about one of V-Max’s new features: automated tiered storage.

There ain’t much more than that out there. EMC itself has blogged up a Symmetrix worth of corporate stuff about the launch. But analyst blogs are quiet on the launch.

Our take? Well … we were entranced by the new backplane technology, an open standard called RapidIO. Every storage vendor worth a spindle is looking for ways to improve the performance of its kit in virtualised environments and experience tells us that the happy face displayed at a big launch doesn’t always stay on users’ faces once they start to actually try making their new toys behave as advertised. That’s why we focussed on RapidIO, because it’s not every day users are asked to bring a whole new network protocol into their data centres.

Networking Editor Richard Chirgwin will delve into this mysterious protocol in coming weeks so we can all learn more about it!

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