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October 20, 2008


Calvin Zito

Hey Chuck,

In the words of my favorite U.S. president, "There you go again". I'm guessing that the fact that HP won all of the CRN Channel Champion Awards in storage (as well as several other categories) conveniently slipped your mind. The Channel Champion Awards is based on solution provider ratings of their satisfaction with vendors in particular product categories. HP won every storage category we were in - EMC won nothing. Specifically, let me refresh your memory:

>> The Storage Management Software category (http://www.crn.com/storage/207401510?pgno=3)
>> Network storage which includes NAS and SAN (http://www.crn.com/storage/207401510?pgno=2)
>> External backup (http://www.crn.com/storage/207401510?pgno=4)

And those are just the storage categories HP won.

Your continued bloviating on how server vendors don't make good storage vendors is getting tiresome. You and your readers are very well aware that HP isn't just a "server vendor".

I'm bored - looking forward to a more interesting topic. Would love to hear you talk more about Maui, especially since summer has come and gone and Joe committed that you'd launch it by the end of summer. Of course that was after he promised it would be announced by May.

Happy Tuesday,

Chuck Hollis

Hi Calvin -- my, aren't we tetchy these days?

Well, many of us see the Channel Champions event as just that -- an event, complete with nice tuxes, lucite awards, red carpets, chicken or beef, etc.

Seems to be targeted at people who spend money advertising with CRN. Which HP most definitely does. I'd feel bad for you if you didn't win something.

Solid research with a transparent methodology, it ain't. Kind of like the SPCs you're so fond of.

As far as my premise of server vendors making haphazard storage investments, you're just giving me more ammo. E.g. the LeftHand acquisition, the OEMing of the LSI storage virtualization, and the prime example, the Oracle/HP database machine, somehow positioned as "storage".

Can't wait for your dedupe play ... I'm sure it's coming at some point.

Don't take it from me, go see Martin at http://storagebod.typepad.com/storagebods_blog/2008/10/57-varieties-of-hp-sauce.html

If you didn't give me such good material, I wouldn't have anything to write about, should I?

As far as Maui, it is coming in good time. I think you and the rest of the industry will find it mildly interesting -- when it gets here.

As to your boredom problem at work, well, I'm not going to touch that one.


Calvin Zito

Sorry Chuck - your explanation is more bloviating. I have pictures from both events (Channel Champions and ARC) that show people enjoying good food in tuxes and gowns. What would an award be without such an event. By your measure, one could only conclude the ARC awards were bought and paid for by EMC - but I won't begin to suggest that.

Should we ask the good folks at CRN if the Channel Champion results are based on advertising spend?

I sure hope someone from CRN sees what you've accused them of.

Chuck Hollis

Calvin -- indeed, you must be truly bored to have enough time on your hands to look up new words (e.g. "bloviating") and to feebly try and stir up trouble.

If you really think the Channel Champion thing carries some weight, why don't you post the same level of materials that I shared for the ARC awards?

Share the detailed methodology and the results, rather than press releases and back-slapping pictures?

Really, Calvin, you should get back to work. Clearly, the storage group at HP has some catch-up to do in a few areas.

As yet another recent example, we missed you and HP at the recent industry-wide FCoE announcement at SNW.

No, wait, I'm guessing HP will post a nice web page discussing the "FCoE debate", expressing "serious concerns", stating with beard-stroking sincerity that "HP is studying it" and you're working on an "end to end solution".

All of this at the same time as other vendors (e.g. EMC, Cisco, Emulex, Qlogic) are shipping GA products for customers to evaluate.

Kind of like HP did with enterprise flash drives?

Best regards ...

Calvin Zito

The data for the CRN Channel Champion Awards is out there - you can find it starting here: http://www.crn.com/it-channel/207401846;jsessionid=XGYGQ2WEH2QK4QSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?pgno=1.

It carries weight - the methodolgy is solid.

Congrats on EMC's results today.

Chuck Hollis

Tell you what, Calvin

Why don't YOU explain why HP fared so poorly in this latest thorough survey from CRN?

And why they felt compelled to write an article on how HP doesn't manage channel conflict well?



Shaun Edwards


Why isn't HDS listed in these metrics?

Chuck Hollis

Hi Shaun

I can't speak for CRN, but I guess HDS wasn't significant enough of a player in the market.

-- Chuck

Calvin Zito

Hey Chuck -

The channel conflict that HP has to manage from the link you provided is for HP Workgroup Color Printers. I'm not in that business so I can't address it. I'm hoping you didn't bother to read the article before you threw that one in.

I am confident that since the ARC Executive of the Year (http://www.crn.com/it-channel/211200636) is HP's Adrian Jones, lots of progress will be made. And please, don't try to claim that HP winning that award was because of advertising spend with CRN or VARBusiness.

But now we're a long way from the original concern I raised in my first comment - the scores in the ARC don't prove that server vendors don't make good storage vendors. It proves that EMC won the award this year. Congratulations.

BTW, HP's revenues exceed $100B a year and this may be a shock to you but server revenue is not all of it.

Chuck Hollis

Calvin, just to be clear, I didn't say that HP did not sell significant amounts of storage.

I just said that I thought you guys weren't all that good at it, due to your primary focus on servers, printers, etc. Storage seems to be the poor stepchild at HP, and IBM, and Sun, and ... well, you get the picture.

Calvin Zito

Hey Chuck,

You know nothing about the importance of storage to HP and really, stop pretending that you do. HP's portfolio is broad but there are no step-children, only children. You've tried to make this point countless times yet customers speak for themselves. Customers are buying significant amounts of storage from HP and the customers who use HP StorageWorks products do because it addresses their needs better than EMC.

And guess what, there are lots of customers that like buying their storage and servers together.

You are wrong. Technology companies like HP who offer customers a full portfolio of products, services, and solutions make great storage vendors. And obviously you know that or you wouldn't be trying so hard to convince your readers otherwise.

Next topic.

Chuck Hollis

Calvin -- this really isn't about what you or HP believe -- it's about how you're perceived outside your corporate bubble.

No one I ever talk to ever thinks of HP as a "leader" in storage technology or capabilities. At best, you're fast-followers to the discussion, but never, ever out in front on anything interesting.

There's just not a consistent pattern of coordinated investment that would indicate that HP intends to lead the market, rather than opportunistically participate.

Let's look at some recent examples.

Flash? Stall tactics by HP.

FCoE and converged fabrics? HP was a complete no show on the entire discussion.

Dedupe? Nothing really significant.

B2D? Nothing memorable.

Tiering and ILM? Yeah, sort of, kind of.

Any sort of interesting, unique or advanced storage technology in the marketplace?

Not from HP, thank you.

That's what I'm talking about.

Sure, acquiring bits and pieces here and there will help (e.g. LeftHand, the LSI OEM of their storage virtualization, etc.) but y'all have a long way to go before people will start taking HP seriously on this topic.

If this is an uncomfortable line of discussion for you, I fully understand, but the best way to improve the situation would be to change the reality, rather than trying to mask the perception.

-- Chuck

Calvin Zito


I'm compelled to respond because of your twisting of facts. Its funny how you keep changing the issue - I've conclusively shown that HP has faired well (and in fact better than EMC) in the CRN Channel Champions but you're credibility is really slipping when you write comments attacking HP without really knowing the facts. Almost every post about HP isn't even close to being factually accurate and I hope you decide to thoughtfully consider this in your next comment or post.

Since you have selective memory, I'll be happy to point out a few things you've forgotten:

>> DDS, DLT, and LTO tape formats all invented or co-developed by HP (of course since according to EMC tape has been dead since 1999 that really doesn't count in your book).
>> HP has been shipping a virtualized array since 1994 (starting with AutoRAID and now EVA). And virtualization in the EVA makes it far easier to manage than your comparable Clariion arrays. This has been well documented so would love to hear your spin on this point.
>> As to your claims of HP stalling solid state, that’s really funny. HP will ship more solid state technology drives in our first three months of shipments than EMC will in a year. What you keep dodging is that EMC can only address solid state technology in an array. In fact an article on the topic just hit Byte and Switch late last week: http://www.byteandswitch.com/document.asp?doc_id=166666&WT.svl=news2_1
>> As for deduplication, our SMB targeted D2D Backup System uses deduplication technology from HP labs.

I could go on, but I'll stop here.

Chuck Hollis

Calvin, to be frank, that's an exceptionally weak showing. I'd retreat if I were you ...

Calvin Zito

Hey Chuck,

I find it ironic that while you’re making some weak arguments why server/storage vendors don't make good storage vendors that EMC is trying to become a server/storage vendor by announcing server management software. Of course, HP is much more than a “server/storage” vendor and our Business Service Automation portfolio has a huge advantage over EMC.

It was nice to see your own product management team admitting that you don't have the portfolio that HP has. EMC senior product marketing manager Jeff Abbott said, "We understand that HP has a very large number of products. We don't have as many as they do."

In April of this year, Forrester Research didn’t seem to know that EMC had any products. The Forrester Wave report on Data Center Automation confirms HP's leadership and EMC's absence from the market: http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA1-9305ENW.pdf

Best of luck.

Chuck Hollis

Calvin, you really must do something about your boredom problem at work. While you're at it, you might want to brush up on your reading and critical analysis skills at the same time.

First, no one at EMC ever claimed that we were a "leader" in server management. It's a new area for EMC. We've made some nice investments, and have some interesting capabilities, but can't quite claim "leadership" unless it's around very specific functional requirements.

Watch your back, though ...

So, amigo, you're reacting to something that was never said, nor never implied. You must be seeing ghosts!

I appreciate that you're trying to change the subject away from storage.

If I were you, I'd do the same thing.

Calvin Zito

Chuck - I'm not changing the subject or seeing ghosts. My point is your hypocrisy. Clearly you guys are running into customers that want a technology partner that can do more than storage. Sounds like you've seen the wisdom in what HP's already doing but I'm sure you won't admit to that.

Trust me, we aren't watching you at our back on this one.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Calvin -- in one sense, you're more right that you might think. They DO want more than storage.

They want server virtualization, they want orchestrated resource management, they want security, they want content management, they want cloud infrastructures, they want consulting services, etc. etc. Good thing EMC does all of that, and does it in a relatively integrated manner.

But -- strangely -- they see servers as almost commodities. The differences between one vendor's x64 server and another's is increasingly narrow, isn't it?

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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