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February 23, 2009



"But most of the pitch was based in economics: use of commodity technology, standardization, portable applications and larger talent pool. You could perhaps argue functionality, you couldn't argue economics."

"And, once again, I find myself posing two arguments: a functional one and an economic one."

"The grinding noise from the legacy OS vendors with their legacy processor architectures is beginning. We'll be hearing more from HP, IBM and Sun on this topic-- I'm quite sure. Itanium, anyone?"

Well well, interesting to hear this from you, Chuck.

Isn't EMC Storage legacy by your definition, that will be replaced with commodity components? Proprietary Hardware running proprietary software, with only a handful of skilled people able to operate it.

I can already hear the OpenStorage guys moving into your direction...

Chuck Hollis

Hi Brainy

Umm, today most of EMC's arrays are built mostly out of what most people would call "commodity components", so I guess I'm missing your specific point here.

But there is a good observation here to be had: as data center architectures change, the storage technology -- and how it's managed -- will change as well.

And I think we're up for it!

-- Chuck



I wouldn't call the CPUs, the Memory, the Operating System (Firmware?) etc. used in the Symmetrix and other arrays "commodity".

Otherwise we could call IBM Mainframes commodity as well. I hope you get my point.

-- Another point. Hypervisors are getting more and more powerful, providing support for lots of different devices. Until they are, (surprise! surprise!) an OS themselves. Hey, someone still has to do all those infrastructure services!

There has been an enormous uptake for ESX. But interestingly, 90% of the installed base is virtualizing MS-Windows (talked about it lately with folks at an ESX training. Hey, I'm certified too!).

I can tell you why. Windows was never good in running more than one application on one server. This was never a problem under e.g. Unix. This is why Unix deployments under ESX are rare.

And why would you pay for ESX, when virtualization under Unix is free, and has less overhead?

Which brings me back to our legacy discussion. With all those open and free Hypervisors coming out (Xen, KVM, xVM Server), wouldn't you consider ESX to be the legacy one?

Now, a lot of people just got rid of closed-source software (MS-Windows...) and replaced it with Linux, OpenSolaris, *BSD why should they lock themselves into closed-source and legacy software again (ESX) ?

Chuck Hollis

Hi Brainy

The CPUs, memory, drives, power supplies, etc. are all bought from the same suppliers that the rest of the industry uses.

The software is, of course, EMC developed.

Regarding the second part of your discussion, I think you're missing a key point -- it ain't just about hypervisor efficiency, there are larger issues that come into play when you think about the big picture.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts ..

-- Chuck


And as with last year, no local EMC people was present.

Chuck Hollis

Tommy --


Best regards,

-- Chuck

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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