EMC says HDS sells for no profit to beat CLARiiON

EMC’s competitive assessment of Hitachi Data Systems Adaptive Modular Storage product suggests it is being sold at cost price, and says Hitachi’s USP V lacks robust VMware support

EMC believes Hitachi Data Systems’ Adaptive Modular Storage product is being sold at “near zero margins to win the business and then make money on future upgrades,” according to a document titled “Competitive Précis (CliffsNotes) for Partners: Messaging, Limitations, Strengths vs. Major Storage Vendors” that SearchStorage ANZ has sighted.

The document goes on to say that “They [HDS] bank on declining cost of goods as well as opportunities to sell more hardware, software and Professional Services.”

“Do not let Hitachi dictate the battle,” the document continues. “Force force the conversation beyond simple capacity needs and focus on the business problems the customer is trying to solve. Look to provide a solution that has more benefits to the customer than simply reducing the costs of storage acquisition and quantify these benefits to build your case.”

“Although it may appear attractive to show a low acquisition cost to customers, investing in just storage capacity does not provide huge returns as this is the equivalent of ‘keeping the lights on’.”

EMC also criticises HDS’ claims for the LUN management features of its Symmetric Active-Active controllers, saying that while HDS promises simpler management the reality is that “Hitachi attempts to simplify configuration setup but assigning LUNS to controllers is only part of the work. Assigning LUNS to RAID GroUSP and RAID Group setup to proper back-end paths is more important to insure performance levels are met. Customers still need to determine the most to least busy LUNS to insure proper distribution across RAID GroUSP and back-end paths.”

Symmetrix vs. USP V

The document is also highly critical of HDS’ claims for its USPv platform, asserting that the HDS product’s virtualization features “adds a layer of complexity, reduces performance and availability, and increases environmental costs due to maintaining and managing older, less efficient arrays. Management layer only provides for a common provisioning platform but still requires vendor-provided element managers to manage individual arrays. No end-to-end management is available.”

HDS’ claim that its users can manage heterogonous storage systems from one screen also takes a beating, with EMC telling its audience of staff and partners that they need not fear this feature as it only works for “USP-V-based virtualized infrastructure, and [is] limited to storage provisioning (not overall system management.) No support for device creation or alarm management on third-party arrays, or support for SAN management, or support for virtual machines (VMware,) or end-to-end view of application-to-spindle as Hitachi virtualization blocks management view of external arrays. Requires at least two distinct platforms to effectively manage the USP-V, with an expensive, third platform (HP Storage Essentials) to manage the SAN and provide topology views.

HDS’ VMware integration comes in for special criticism, with EMC asserting that “Hitachi has little integration with VMware and no unique solutions. Support is limited to Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI.) Hitachi’s “complimentary” technology message simply leverages their partitioning and virtualization features. Hitachi management tools have no integration with ESX servers, Virtual Machines, or any other VMware technology other than SRM and VDI. Few white papers and reference architectures.”

The document also slams HDS’ claims of scalability, stating that the USP V’s “Claim of support for up to 247 PB is theoretical and unrealistic. Reality: only up to 512 GB of cache to support all internal + external capacity! Avg. TBs virtualized is around 50TB.”

SearchStorage ANZ has forwarded this story to HDS Australian representatives for comment.

Read more on Storage management and strategy