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October 14, 2009



...and at the same time you're selling DMX, V-MAX etc. "Big Storage Appliances"

Chuck Hollis


Not really, if you give it a moment's thought.

Storage arrays can be used for just about any information types, they are not designed to be used just with Oracle, or just with Exchange, or any other application type, unlike the big appliances described above.

Storage resources can be pooled across multiple application types. There's usually a consistent way to manage, protect, replicate, etc. independent of the application -- again, very much unlike the big appliances described here.

Sure, they're a heap of hardware with some firmware on it, but that's where the similarity ends, and the differences begin.

You know, you should think through your intended zingers, otherwise we'll need to call you "Impulsive" rather than "Brainy"!

-- Chuck


To be honest with you, I don’t like bundling or appliancing any thing. Software or hardware aside, my broadband ISP provider Cox Communication keeps calling me about bundling their telephone service on to Cox broadband. I told them I use my cell phone instead. In truth, I use VOIP vender Vonage for that purpose, but I am afraid of telling them because they might say VOIP is using their service and they want to charge for that extra.

Anyhow, appliances are basically a quick and dirty job to do things faster. They may be better in short term, but in long run, it stifles individual creativity and overall integration effort. Who it really benefits is the vendor, who locks the customer into the specific appliance vendor’s bundle for good because they know you are a sucker falls into their “bundlese” talk.

Or, otherwise, you can check the CNET analyst’s here:



I might be impulsive sometimes, but consider this:

Your "big storage appliances":

-have to be managed differently than the rest of my systems
-run only what you want me to run on it (this makes it an appliance)

While the so called DIY-Storage Systems are probably not quite there yet (OpenFiler, FreeNAS etc.), they will be soon, and they will not be appliances, instead they are build on commodity software. Truly open for users to run anything on top of it.

Beside that, OpenStorage has already reached the point, where it starts to put pressure on "big storage appliances"-vendors.

Chuck Hollis


Interesting point of view. Not widely shared, but interesting.

How do you feel about network devices, such as switches, routers, etc.? Servers that boot into hypervisors? Home storage such as Iomega? Are all of those "bad" as well?

Look, I understand the point you're trying to make, but it's not really relevant. DIY software for storage has been around for many, many years with scant adoption.

Hasn't made much of dent in the market, doesn't look like it's going to anytime soon. But, I'll keep a open mind, as things can change.

-- Chuck

Mike Campbell

You have summarized some of the thoughts I have around this topic.

Here is my challenge though. If not the Oracle Exadata - what? How can I build something using dell, Cisco and EMC that will approach 1 mil IOPS? This is the reason I'm not able to influence towards a best of breed hardware solution internally at my company. The app folks are of the opinion that they need (and will need more of later)a machine that will allow for OLAP type jobs to run like scalded dogs. Exadata allows for DW workloads and the ability to collaspe other Oracle DB's down onto the box - justifing the TOC with these combined functions (teradata and other DW solutions can't do this).

VM is not the answer for everything...yet...what other options do I have that will meet the reqirement for these workloads or even approach it?


Chuck Hollis

Drop me an email at hollis (underscore) chuck (at) EMC (dot) com, and we'll chat. There are some interesting scenarios ...

-- 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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