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December 19, 2006



Now Chucky, lets start by extracting your corporate agenda from your personal rhetoric.

EMC has basically been kicked out of Telstra - you know the company, it used to be your golden child in Asia Pac, until you were found wanting on price/performance.

NetApp now has a larger footprint than your massive Enterprise company - which by the way is dwarfed by your ego - from a starting point of zero in 2002, even though you had a single supplier agreement for years...WOW that's Enterprising!

Chuck Hollis

Thanks, Peter, for your thoughtful and intelligent comment ...

To be honest, I'm not close to what happened at Telstra. Certainly, if EMC wasn't doing a good job at some point in time, we deserved whatever setback we got there. And I don't begrudge any competitor a big win.

I think you've missed my point, so I'll try and restate it again: I believe that NetApp has crossed an ethical line in such a way that it can cause customers harm. It appears to be consistent and intentional. And I think it needs to be pointed out each and every time it happens.

Not because it's damaging to EMC -- we're big boys, and we can take it.

My real issue is that this behavior is damaging to customers, and the industry as a whole. We see far more of the resulting wreckage than we should. If you were a surgeon, and every "second surgery" you performed was the result of the same surgeon, you'd probably think that something needs to be done about it, now wouldn't you?

I've just scratched the surface in the few posts I've put up. There's far more to talk about in this regard -- I just haven't had time to make the posts. And I look forward to dissecting each and every NetApp marketing claim in the future in a similar manner.

Look, I don't resent a good, clean fight with a worthy competitor. But that's not what this is.

If you have any influence with the Corporate types, maybe you could gently suggest that they regain their moral perspective in their quest for market success.

If they tone down the consistent and intentional misrepresentation, I won't have anything to write about, now will I?

Best Regards

Chuck Hollis

You won't believe this. No sooner than I criticize NetApp for very bad behavior, I come across this gem on Toigo's site:


It looks to me like Decru is taking a page out of NetApp's questionable playbook.

This time, the target is NeoScale (not EMC!).

Imagine how many customers who got this thought they had a problem, when they really didn't?

I wonder when NetApp (and now Decru) will wise up?


"So, what does Oracle run their production systems on? The ones that keep their company running? Their email? The majority of their development environment? The gigantic Oracle Single Instance at the very heart of their company?


Have heard the opposite from NetApp. So your claim is neutralized until proven. One vendor vs another.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Mike:

NetApp field personnel make all sorts of claims, many of them unfounded or downright misleading. I find this behavior unacceptable.

The one claim that they're allowed to make regarding Oracle is their significant presence in Oracle Online, which is their hosting facility located in Austin, Texas.

NetApp has the majority of the footprint; EMC isn't used unless customers insist. [Why customers might insist is another story altogether, isn't it?]

Conversely, the majority of Oracle's production applications (email, financials, development) run on EMC kit.

The only proof I could offer would be a recent video testimonial from the Oracle IT guys attesting to the above, but I don't know if you'd consider that sufficient.

Other than you asking Oracle IT directly, I think it's a hard proposition to prove.

If it's important to you, I can dig up more on details, etc. -- let me know.


While I can respect the views and message that is being delivered in this blog, as a storage administrator and architect for the past several years, I would have to say that this blog is "bad marketing". The claims above about EMC being more efficient in it's storage utilization or being "less complex" would be absolutely untrue in my opinion and field experience.

With the utilization of Ontap 7G and flex vols, the management of the appliance AS well as features and functionality are head and shoulders above the EMC comparable solutions. Yes, EMC may be a better fit for some of the higher end, performance demanding data applications with their DMX arrays, however the overwhelming majority of mid-tier to tier 1 storage requirements are more than meet with NetApp applicances.

Regarding the "bad marketing"....as a storage consultant, I can say how many times I've visited a customer site that was to try and correct an EMC appliance that did not deliver on it's promise -- both from a performance standpoint as well as functionality standpoint. Perhaps just a great crew of sales folks on the team :). All jokes aside, the simplicity of running FC, NAS, iSCSI all right out of the box with replication tools as well as specific tools for 3rd party solutions like Exchange, Oracle, etc makes my life as an administrator much easier to cope with than that of the different EMC platforms -- bottom line, just too many technical "gotchas" with the EMC architecture.
Thanks and look forward to your comments...

Chuck Hollis

Sorry if I didn't do a good job of making my point clear back last year, but it basically was: don't claim the opposite of what you really deliver.

Enough evidence had accrued that NetApp had gotten into the habit of not having the marketing people check in with the technical reality people.

Since then, interestingly enough, they've toned down their rhetoric considerably, which is all I was really after.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comments!


Okay, I know this blog entry is ancient, but I couldn't let this classic freudian slip go unmentioned - to quote:

"Do they [NetApp] have the robust architectures, backed up by expensive service and support capabilities? [that EMC do]"

No, they don't - NetApp's would be "extensive" - you're right about EMC's though!

Chuck Hollis

Hi MattB -- no, that was intentional.

Providing mission-critical support capabilities is *expensive* -- there's no short-cut to the investments required in people, equipment, process, etc.

That's one of my arguments with some of the newer players who claim "enterprise" and haven't made the investment.

I have a few NetApp-specific examples to back this up, but I don't think it would be right to share them in a public forum.


It's interesting that you're talking about bad marketing when the only evident bad marketing here is your blog! ;-) (no i dont work for any storage company or am not even vaguely interested in it...just doing some research)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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