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October 13, 2008


Robert D

HDS seems lost. They have an annual re-org it seems. They are not focused on a consistent message.

Still, the UPS is a great array many customers have a lot of good things to say about it. But like Chuck,

I don't know why they stay in the mid range market...

Mel Tungate

It is so interesting to read a blog on the product we just announced.

I invite Chuck to sit down to lunch or meet with me any time - I can fly to meet him, or vice versa. I would rather he have solid reliable information rather than what he might have deduced from his reading. And, admittedly reading our marketing material and discerning the truth is equally as hard as reading EMC's marketing material and discerning the truth about their products. Some of what he wrote here simply is not accurate.

He can reach me at my email address of mel@tungate.com . Yes, I am a storage geek.


Chuck Hollis

Hi Mel

Not clear who you work for, I went to www.tungate.com and, well, it wasn't clear what your affiliations might be.

My suggestion? I'm not your problem, really. Lots of people came to roughly the same conclusions, so I'd offer that you and your friends at HDS have their work cut out for them.

You're welcome to share your thoughts here, though!

-- Chuck

Hubert Yoshida

Hello Chuck, sorry I was not able to catch up with you at SNW. Please see my blog at


for a clarification of some of the things you may have missed on our AMS 2000 announcement


Chuck Hollis

This is from Chuck

I naively posted a polite comment on Hu's blog, assuming it would go through as is the case on most blogs.

Funny, thing, though. The comment went through when I posted it, and now is in "awaiting moderation" status.

Strange, isn't it?

But, no, I think it's still the case that Hu and the crew at HDS really don't understand this whole blogging thing too well.

So, let me share what I wrote:
Hello Hu (at least, I think it’s Hu … )

Nice to see you join the conversation.

I can’t respond to everything here (sorry!), but a few areas I’d like to comment on?

First, the 900,000 number has no useful context that I can discern. I remember back a few decades when we interepreted MIPS as Meaningless Indication Of Processor Speed.

More specifically, are you stating that customers can experience 900,000 IOPS in a real-world workload and configuration? Or are we just talking engineering bragging rights here?

Second, I do understand the difference between high-end and mditier architectures. I think most people who follow my blog could discern that. I was just questioning the practical usefulness of such a “load balancing” feature in a world where MPIO is very common.

As you know, we sell a reasonable number of mid-tier arrays (#1 according to IDC), and — frankly — all the “problems” and “challenges” you cite appear to be — well — somewhat synthetic in nature.

Thirdly, no argument that you’ve got more wires on your SAS implementation that an AX4. If you read carefully, I was commenting on your claim of “first”, which I would offer needs a bit of qualification on the part of your PR team.

I also think you’re going to have a tough time trying to convince people that “SAS is universally better” given the FC design of the USP-V.

My sense of this is that HDS is trying to create a “problem” where none really exists. Fine, we all work with the hands we’re dealt with.

Best of luck to you all!

– Chuck
Strange, no?

Chuck Hollis

This is Chuck again.

More evidence that HDS is definitely having trouble with this whole blog thing.

Check out this password-protected blog post:



FYI Chuck, Barry (The Anarchist) has (or had) his comments moderated at one point too. "Hello Pot? This is Kettle..."

Chuck Hollis

Hi Snig

I think you're missing the point.

Many of us moderate comments because we're tired of being spam targets. However, we try and pass through any and all commentary that's even vaguely on-topic.

We do this as a courtesy to our readers who may not be all that interested in new sources of Viagra, or get-rich-quick schemes, or the like.

Hu's blog had let my comment through, and then changed it to moderation. I think it's still in that category 3 days later.

Not only that, we've seen the bizarro behavior of Mike posting password-protected blog entries?

What do you think? Does this constitute generally accepted blogging behavior on the part of Hitachi?



Oh, well in that case, that's a bunch of BS. Way back in the day I posted a comment correcting Hu on a post he made. It went into to moderation so I made a post about it, and it showed up shortly after. It wasn't taken back down like yours though.

I have no idea who Mike is. Maybe he doesn't know how to use their blog software? I'm not sure why you would blog about something if you don't want the whole world to see it. Isn't that what email is for?

Chuck Hollis

Snig -- my point exactly.

As you can see from my blog (and other EMCers) we have all sorts of rancorous discussions, not all of which are entirely flattering to EMC. But that's just part of the fun, eh?

The password-protected blog post (Mike Hayes?) was a new one for me. And, yes, that's what email is for, unless someone forwards it against your wishes :-)

So it must be very sensitive stuff indeed ...


Really enjoyed these threads regarding Hitachi new AMS2000.. Just to add my two pence, I think its early days, but i suspect that if Hitachi are successful (especially with marketing) with their "load balancing" controllers, it wont be long before EMC have something similar.. Im sure they have done exactly the same with some of your latest "features" ;-)

Loved your comment in answer to "SAS is universally better" with regard to the USP, but i suppose they could say that SAS is fine for modular, and at $500 cheaper per disk, it could be a good arguement.

I think the battleground is starting to heat up, which can only be a good thing for storage geeks like myself. I look forward to the future :-)

Chuck Hollis

Thanks for commenting Lee

I think it gets down to whether or not "load balancing controllers" bring value in this space, or not. Based on what we've heard, it has the fishy smell of a cooked-up marketing feature, rather than a real advance in thinking that could make things better for customers.

Maybe it's a great thing, maybe it isn't -- too soon to tell. I have yet to hear from anyone (other than an HDS fanboy) speak to what problem it might actually solve, especially since our experience is that rarely -- if ever -- mid-tier controllers get all that busy in asymmetric way that the premise of a load balance buys you anything.

As far as SAS vs. FC et. al.? Drives are drives. In some places we use SAS, others FC, others SATA, and more frequently, enteprise flash drives.

It's hard to get overly religious about storage media ...


About midrange -array getting load-balancing on the controllers, I'd say "finally it's there". And I can bet that in the future, other vendors will have it as well. Not only HDS.

Why? The trouble about lun's being active on one controller only has been enormous. This is true at least with the EMC Clariion, which I've been dealing with for the last eight years. Problems have been ranging from HPUX -hosts trespassing luns like ping-pong from one controller to the other, for having to manually keep track of what controller thousands of luns are owned by, and do they stay there. It is not fun to manually manage all this.

Before code upgrades, all lun's also must be active on the default controller - manual work again to trespass the luns.

Biggest thing is the performance, if there will no more be work related to keep the controllers balanced...

If there is a possibility that the array itself takes care of all this, I'm sure that all customers very warmly welcome this feature. No one wants to have a lun that is "owned" by one controller. Don't overlook this fact.

Additional bonus is, that the failover -software does not have to know what type of array is used.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Soikki

You sound like you work for Hitachi, HDS or one of their resellers. I'd encourage you to share your relationship to the vendor in question as part of your post.


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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