Is EMC really jealous of these nubile storage upstarts?

Something's rattled the tech giant's data centre cage


Storagebod It's kinda heartwarming to see an EMC veep publicly accuse a storage journo of misquoting him on XtremIO - but only because it feels like the spats of days gone by are back.

It doesn't matter if it's about network-attached storage or flash; switch around the jargon and you’ll probably find the same blog entries work and the same arguments made.

The world of storage seems to be more and more cult-like in nature which leads to these vigorous debates and some rather amusing tantrums. It reminds one of arguments over the differences between Linux distributions as opposed to all-out flamewars comparing whole operating systems.

Two Linux users could argue the toss between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu until they are blue in the face, yet ultimately they're both using Linux and are aware of its idiosyncrasies. But they will turn against you if you suggest deploying Windows.

Take that thought and consider this: in the server world, it is a large investment in time and money to move from one operating system to a completely different one; it is certainly disruptive.

Yet in the storage world, we can change vendors with some ease; we understand migrating workloads in a non-disruptive manner. It would be fairly unusual to find a storage manager who can’t describe at least in theory how to do this. This leads too many vendors feeling a little nervous and tense; customers do have a lot more power and choice in this space.

It also means there is space in the market for newcomers to come in and disrupt. It is probably ironic that EMC owns the company and technology that actually allows its core storage products to be most disrupted. VMware allowed NetApp to get a massive foothold in some of EMC’s backyard and it seems that it may also allow some of the flash vendors to get a foothold too.

It used to be fairly common to find a fairly homogeneous storage environment with EMC supplying a whole data centre; in talking to my peers in the industry, this is now less common. Multiple storage vendors are becoming the norm despite the management headaches that this does bring at times. Many of the headaches are overstated, mind you, and as more people come to realise this, this will put yet further pressure on the likes of EMC.

I wonder if this is why EMC top brass are particularly sensitive about the whole subject? They can’t out do the myriad of small storage startups in terms of innovation and indeed they enable many of them; this will mean that they will be slower to market and will rely on their engineering being very solid and spot-on.

It all sounds strangely familiar. ®


Other stories you might like

  • 5G C-band rollout at US airports slowed over radio altimeter safety fears
    Well, they did say from July, now they really mean from July 2023

    America's aviation watchdog has said the rollout of 5G C-band coverage near US airports won't fully start until next year, delaying some travelers' access to better cellular broadband at crowded terminals.

    Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement this month that its discussions with wireless carriers "have identified a path that will continue to enable aviation and 5G C-band wireless to safely co-exist."

    5G C-band operates between 3.7-3.98GHz, near the 4.2-4.4GHz band used by radio altimeters that are jolly useful for landing planes in limited visibility. There is or was a fear that these cellular signals, such as from cell towers close to airports, could bleed into the frequencies used by aircraft and cause radio altimeters to display an incorrect reading. C-band technology, which promises faster mobile broadband, was supposed to roll out nationwide on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile US's networks, but some deployments have been paused near airports due to these concerns. 

    Continue reading
  • IBM settles age discrimination case that sought top execs' emails
    Just days after being ordered to provide messages, Big Blue opts out of public trial

    Less than a week after IBM was ordered in an age discrimination lawsuit to produce internal emails in which its former CEO and former SVP of human resources discuss reducing the number of older workers, the IT giant chose to settle the case for an undisclosed sum rather than proceed to trial next month.

    The order, issued on June 9, in Schenfeld v. IBM, describes Exhibit 10, which "contains emails that discuss the effort taken by IBM to increase the number of 'millennial' employees."

    Plaintiff Eugene Schenfeld, who worked as an IBM research scientist when current CEO Arvind Krishna ran IBM's research group, sued IBM for age discrimination in November, 2018. His claim is one of many that followed a March 2018 report by ProPublica and Mother Jones about a concerted effort to de-age IBM and a 2020 finding by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that IBM executives had directed managers to get rid of older workers to make room for younger ones.

    Continue reading
  • FTC urged to probe Apple, Google for enabling ‘intense system of surveillance’
    Ad tracking poses a privacy and security risk in post-Roe America, lawmakers warn

    Democrat lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google's online ad trackers, which they say amount to unfair and deceptive business practices and pose a privacy and security risk to people using the tech giants' mobile devices.

    US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) requested on Friday that the watchdog launch a probe into Apple and Google, hours before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for individual states to ban access to abortions. 

    In the days leading up to the court's action, some of these same lawmakers had also introduced data privacy bills, including a proposal that would make it illegal for data brokers to sell sensitive location and health information of individuals' medical treatment.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022