It's been a busy week -- everyone wakes from their summer torpor, and we're off to the races.
A lot of interesting little things happened this week, nothing major, but I think there's a theme in here somewhere.
Let's see if I can connect the dots.
Two Scorecards This Week
Simply put, EMC (or EMC/Dell) continues to lead in almost all market segments, we seem to be picking up significant market share, many of the "traditional" players (HDS, NetApp, IBM, HP, Sun) aren't faring all that well, and there's surprising growth from the all-important "other" category.
For me, the guys in the middle seem to be stuck in a classic squeeze play. They've got a very serious player above them (EMC), someone who's very good at distributed technology and growing like crazy (Dell), and a bunch of new entrants who are getting noticed and -- collectively -- doing well.
Getting stuck in the middle can result in some weird behavior, so I'd offer the following:
No "We're #1" Press Releases
As I've mentioned before, there's an interesting game that's played every quarter when Gartner and IDC release their numbers, and all the PR departments get really busy trying to spin their version of it.
I usually applaud their creativity in slicing and dicing the numbers in breathtakingly original manners.
Strangely, there was none of that this time around. Maybe they've lost their heart for this game. I don't know.
I miss the entertainment, I do.
HDS Jumps The Gun
Maybe you saw this press release from HDS breathlessly announcing that they were the FIRST to be certified under VMware's storage virtualization certification program.
But what you may not know is that VMware hasn't announced their program yet. Matter of fact, I think all of us were under press embargo until VMware announced their program.
Ooops! Didn't make any friends at VMware with that move, did you?
Just so you know, qualifying VMware with storage virtualization products is devilishly hard. Matter of fact, all quals with any storage virtualization products are expensive and very complicated, it's not just a VMware issue.
VMware had a real hard time with this with ESX 3.0. After that fiasco, my understanding is that EMC worked with them to help define the testing and certification methodology they'd need to have the vendors self-certify.
Makes sense that we should do this, as we've got a boatload of experience with quals in general, storage virtualization in particular, and -- of course -- VMware.
Now, of course, IDC also opines that storage virtualization ain't exactly setting the world on fire, so you've got to wonder what HDS was thinking here.
BTW, has anyone seen David Merrill of HDS? He was writing a stellar blog, and -- one day -- happened to offer that he met a customer where storage virtualization might not make sense.
This is not a surprise, as it's just another tool in the toolbag, so to speak.
What was surprising is that his blog (and David) immediately disappeared from HDS' website. If you know where he landed, let me know -- he was a good guy who spoke his mind.
I guess things get weird in the HDS PR department when you're under the gun, losing market share, etc.
I'm sure you'll see the Official VMware Press Release soon enough.
Tony Pearson at IBM Gets Weird(er)
I don't know if you follow Tony's blog -- he has something or other to do with IBM's storage group -- what it is ain't exactly clear. It's usually an entertaining read.
Parts of his blog are kind of a "Where's Waldo?" travelog. He goes to all sorts of places like Hungary, and Malaysia, and Latin America, or some nifty trade show.
I travel a lot for EMC, and I never get to go to places like that ...
He also spends a lot of time talking about non-storage topics, like Second Life and all sorts of stuff.
The only problem is when he starts talking about storage, and -- specifically -- starts talking about competitors, like EMC.
I think Tony only has a partial understanding of how this stuff really works. And, when he's talking about EMC, he mixes this partial understanding with wildly incorrect facts, and the result can be downright funny if you're an industry insider.
I won't take him to task here, Storagezilla did the last round trying to set poor Tony straight.
And a note to my compatriots at IBM -- you might want to keep an eye on what Tony is writing about these days ...
I guess things get pretty heated in the IBM storage marketing department when you're in the middle of a squeeze play ...
NetApp and Sun Go To War
Both are losing market share, according to IDC and Gartner: Sun more so than NetApp.
And they've decided to go to war over IP in the file system: WAFL and ZFS.
I will not cover the polemics of an IP vs. open source debate, nor rant about the unfairness of it all.
The best coverage has to be Steve Duplessie's blog on this one. Go check it out, it's an exceptionally entertaining read.
And -- his priceless comment at the end -- it's like a couple of 7th grade girls in a fight.
BTW, I did a keynote at the CSC conference today. EMC had a quick raffle where we gave away a nice video camera.
It didn't feel good to have to give it away to the NetApp employee who won the raffle, but it was a priceless moment ... whoever won it, hope you enjoy it!
HP? HP? You still there? Haven't heard from you in a while.
And all we've got is this lonely blog to look at ...
Is There A Squeeze Play Going On In The Storage Industry?
Looks like one to me. Let me know what you think, will you?
Have a great weekend, everyone. I know I will!