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IDC on marketscape mayhem: EMC asked us to ignore Atmos

ECS is its object future

Following our comment on its marketscape on Friday, analyst IDC has explained that EMC had asked it to include its new ECS product in the object storage marketscape, thus requiring the analyst to ignore Atmos.

The 2014 marketscape chart showed EMC’s relative market share much diminished compared to the 2013 chart. We said on Friday that it did not seem to reflect the totality of EMC’s object storage market position. This includes its Atmos, Centera, ECS, Isilon and ViPR products.

Analyst Ashish Nadkarni explained what happened in an IDC community post and provided a table of which suppliers’ products had been evaluated and which had not.

For EMC, only the ECS product had been included. IDC only allows one product per supplier, and the suppliers has to say which one they wanted.

Nadkarni says: “In the case that the supplier offers multiple products in the same market segment, IDC will select the product that most closely resembles their tactical strengths (capabilities) and strategic direction (strategies), and the one that can be used as the lens through which the suppliers position in the market can be ascertained … only the revenue for the evaluated product is included.”

Clearly the object storage marketscape is a single product per supplier evaluation and not a market view of all object storage products from all players in the market.

In 2013, it was Atmos for EMC and that was changed to ECS for the 2014 report.

Nadkarni states: “The most common reason why suppliers request this change is because they have a strategic change in direction, and that they want the new product to best represent the market.”

He adds:

Despite what the size of their bubble in this MarketScape may indicate, EMC's share did not diminish. In fact, if anything, EMC's market share grew because it introduced a new product - the Elastic Cloud Storage solution or ECS. EMC is not officially stating that Atmos is being discontinued and replaced by ECS. However they specifically requested that IDC evaluate the ECS system for the upcoming MarketScape because it is more strategically in line with EMC's vision for the future of object storage market

He added: “Atmos is still a current product, and like the Centera will continue to remain a product in their portfolio for the foreseeable future. It is more likely however that EMC will direct all new customers to the ECS. Therefore IDC had no choice but to drop the revenue for Atmos and replace it with that of ECS.”

Nadkarni emphasises that the marketscape, which he says is designed as a snapshot of a market segment for a particular year, is not a tool to be used in ranking suppliers, evaluating product, or sizing the market, and is “[d]efinitely not a year-to-year comparison tool.”

The 2013 object marketscape “was refreshed and published as a 2014 document because of the sheer number of changes in one year, but not as a 'last year vs this year' comparison, though admittedly that is how readers may interpret it,” he concedes.

He also explains why Nexenta wasn’t included: “Nexenta did not make the cut because it still does not have a GA product.” ®

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