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July 09, 2010


Mike Richardson

I'm a NetApp Employee.

This is clearly a discount program disguised as a guarantee, which is the very reason why there are no details. Facts are irrelevant with discount programs.

If EMC actually believed their storage was more efficient than their competitors, they would release the math they used to back their claims. Please Chuck, prove there is science behind this by releasing some similar solutions where the calculations behind the 20% math is clearly visible. I would expect the example solutions to mirror the same calculations and results shown in EMC's efficiency calculator.

I look forward to seeing some factual data...but, to be honest, I expect a range of excuses instead.


Chuck Hollis

Hi Mike

I think you're missing a key point -- any guarantee of benefits for a customer should be as easy to consume as possible.

No pages of math. No multiple pages of terms, conditions and exclusions. No hormonal debates between representatives from various vendors. Keep it simple, keep it honest, keep it genuine.

All the customer or partner has to do is get the quotes, and compare.

And save 20% with EMC.

-- Chuck


Hi Mike!

I am an EMC employee as you know and I know we've infinitely discussed this in explicit detail so much so that I explained, described and defined each and every detail of how I was able to come about these numbers independent of the marketing machine if you will, which is what so encouraged me to publish my findings.

Being that you're referencing a blog post in this trend, I'll do the same which was the explanation of how *I* saw these numbers come about and my validation of those facts and figures.


However in light of what you're mentioning Mike, let me reiterate what Chuck has brought has mentioned in his comment/reply to you as well.

The fact of the matter (note: fact, not caveated promises) is that the EMC storage in question guarantees the customer will save 20% over the competitors unified storage platform. No 'discount' no need for 'details' which can be skewed and torn this way or that depending upon how the wind flows; No. Lay it out side by side, before the EMC storage starts to even leverage any of the -really cool- technology which enables customers to consume less, do far more with fewer spindles, gain performance considerations which are unseen in the industry; No.. before any of that is even taken into considerations; BAM! You're saving 20%! (Booyah I believe is what the customers would be shouting at this point)

David A. Chapa

(NetApp Employee here)

I think Chris' comment cleared it up for me.

"The fact of the matter (note: fact, not caveated promises) is that the EMC storage in question guarantees the customer will save 20% over the competitors unified storage platform."

What this says to me is you'll be 20% cheaper than your competitors. Is that right?

Chuck Hollis

Hi David

I think it's hilarious how the NetApp team selectively hears and repeats things. At least you guys are consistent.

The guarantee is a 20% less capacity guarantee. It's presumed that -- in a competitive market -- our prices will likely be the same for the kit.

You'll just either (a) need 20% less capacity with EMC, or if you choose (b) get 20% more capacity for your money.

Either way, customers win. Guaranteed.

-- Chuck


(NetApp Employee - nothing to hide here)

And I think it is hilarious to see EMC continuously spin anything for its purpose, and you are not a man of word... ("quit in protest" Chuck?)

Anything you say to spin the sudden adoption of a "tacky" guarantee (your words, just recycling) after first shooting it is just that, spin...

There's a clear pattern in EMC's modus operandi over the years:

At least you guys are consistent...

Chuck Hollis

Hi Geert

We need a few lessons for you and your peers on the "social" part of "social media".

Fuss and fume all you want -- the outcome is still the same.

Compare competitive quotes from both EMC and NetApp for unified storage.

You'll get 20% more for your money with EMC.


-- Chuck


i am happy to do that any day of the week, double disk failure protection included, without performance impact. Just to throw some business value into the mix.

Have a nice weekend, enjoy today's wine... ;-)


Hello all, D from NetApp here.

If the guarantee is unconditional, how does it work in the following scenario:

EMC is trying to displace an existing NetApp install that's getting, say, 3x the effective storage due to the various efficiencies on-board.

So, let's say that the 100TB of usable storage of said customer is looking more like 300TB to the outside world.

Will EMC offer 300TB + 20% = 360TB or...
Will EMC offer 100TB + 20% = 120TB?

In the latter scenario, the customer will absolutely not be able to fit their workload in 120TB.

To the customer, all that matters is how much effective storage they're able to use, not how much raw storage is in the box.

I posted something relevant here before: http://bit.ly/d94ikh



Chuck Hollis

Hi D

You're going bottoms up -- the guarantee is structured top down, as most IT organization look at it, as follows:

1. Customer has requirement for usable capacity using unified storage.

2. Vendors respond with proposed configurations to meet usable capacity requirement.

3 EMC will meet usable capacity requirement with 20% less raw capacity required. Guaranteed.

That's about it. No disclaimers, caveats, registrations, qualifiers, approval processes, etc.

How great is that for customers, eh?

-- Chuck


Hey Chuck,

Interesting marketing exercise - so, doing the same top-down approach, if the customer has a 300TB virtualized workload and after doing a PoC with NetApp he only needs 100TB to accommodate it (proven by the PoC), EMC will guarantee they can do the same thing with 80TB? Or else provide enough storage to accommodate the workload for free? (however much it may be?)

I can see this working out for people that won't evaluate systems and are looking at capacity the old-fashioned way (which is quite a few if not most, so I totally see why EMC did this).


Chuck Hollis

D --

Yes, that's basically it.

-- Chuck


Netapp Employee and former EMC.

Chuck - so this is like for like, no additions like Recoverpoint, Avamar with NDMP accelerators? No snapsure checkpoints? No additional replication technology BESIDES celerra replicator? If so I think you have completely missed the point and the boat of unified storage.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Joshs

I don't understand your question.

Avamar does client-side dedupe for backup. There is nothing remotely equivalent in the NetApp portfolio. RecoverPoint does advanced CDP. Again, nothing remotely equivalent in the NetApp portfolio.

Before getting snarky about "missed boats" and all, perhaps you should restate your points more clearly?

-- Chuck

Chuck Hollis

This is from Chuck ...

Well, so far we've had three NetApp employees attempt to comment and/or respond. I understand their mission to confuse and confound, but -- so far -- their efforts seem ineffective.

I'd really like to hear from someone *OTHER* than some hyper-competitive NetApp employee, if possible.

-- Chuck


I wrote the post below, but it seems to have 'disappeared'. I'll repost below:
Original post:
Hi Chuck,
I'm not a NetApp employee and have no affiliation with NetApp or EMC, I work in a very large enterprise where we have both EMC and NetApp storage (among a few others).
I personally own two EMC SANs and am in the process of attaining a V Series NetApp as part of my PhD research into enterprise storage.
We stopped buying EMC a few years back and moved to NetApp storage. For us the difference in raw storage is irrelevant. As you've pointed out, we're interested in usable storage. We're interested in redundancy, uptime, and in my particular case (I design, recommend, administer, not pay the bills), ease of administration and flexibility.
We went to tender again very recently and again NetApp came out on top.
I continue to be impressed with the space savings on NetApp (yes we do see 50% or more reduction in space on some volumes with dedupe). Sometimes it's less, sure. Data varies in its makeup.
I can get 20% reduced raw capacity tomorrow by dropping my raid levels from 6 to 5 or changing my RAID group sizes.
Raw storage isn't useful, redundancy, reliability, performance and usable space are useful.
I've had more issues with EMC storage devices than I have with NetApps. When one is based on embedded windows and the other what seems to be a customised BSD, I guess I can expect this.
Perhaps that's off topic, as we're talking about storage and guarantees.
We're currently dealing with a third party who's decided to use EMC storage for their provided solution.
So far, they've had significant trouble trying to get their equipment to do what we do every day. They've had to purchase NetApp's management tools to be able to monitor their storage environment.
They're having to purchase a NetApp V series to emulate NetApp features which their equipment lacks.
They're quickly realising that the equipment they have is holding them back. They still haven't figured out how to provide an apples for apples consumed storage comparison so we can actually measure how much space we're occupying on the EMCs accurately.

I hope this helps.


Chuck Hollis


If you'd like your comment posted here, you'll have to reply to the email I sent to the address you left here.

Your identity is questionable, to say the least.

-- Chuck

Account Deleted

EMC Unified Storage - is this a joke? EMC don't have Unified Storage. As "J" I'm too have NetApp and EMC (V-Max, Clariion) storages and I completely agree with him because we are, unlike the marketing, people who really know the price of solution. And you will never prove us about you 20% and that EMC has Unified Storage until you got it.

Chuck Hollis


No, the unified guarantee is not a joke, but you might be. You didn't leave an email address or other web site to verify your identify and affiliations, so we don't know who you are.

Your other statements don't make much sense.

This might be a translation issue, or perhaps you're not familiar with the terms of the guarantee.

Best regards ...

-- Chuck


I see the snapshots, snapmirror, snapvault and deduplication (block level) as saving a lot more space than raw storage savings. I've spoken to NetApp customers who are keeping 7 years of data on spinning disk. We snapshot our ESX guests and can roll back a whole VM with a right click in a few minutes. The reduction in backup storage is very significant.
We don't want to use RAID 1. It wastes 50% of raw disk.
RAID 5 has too much IO penalty (twice as high as RAID 1 or RAID-DP).
NetApps use RAID-DP, so they have the low IO penalty of RAID 1, with the redundancy of RAID 6.

So changing to a different RAID type does make sense, and if you're comparing RAW storage sizes, it makes a big difference.

Chuck Hollis

Hi J ...

Snaps, dedupe/compress et. al. are now standard fixtures on most modern storage arrays -- they're not unique to any one vendor, including NetApp.

Same with RAID levels 1, 5 and 6 -- just about every vendor offers these capabilities.

The EMC 20% Guarantee is simple: our unified products will be 20% more space efficient than NetApp's -- guaranteed. Why? Crazy overhead in WAFL, as you know.

-- Chuck


Hi Chuck,
If the WAFL overhead is 10%, where does the other 10% come from?



Chuck Hollis

Hi J

I'm getting tired of this. You know as well as I do that the overheads associated with drive sizing, WAFL overhead, reserves, etc. are pretty well understood and documented.

Time to move on dude.

-- Chuck


Sorry, but I remain unconvinced. Spending a few percent of raw disk size to gain a large amount of usable disk size adds up in my book. If it's 20%, then I'm happy to lose 20% in raw overheads to gain 50%+ in usable.
Reserved disk space isn't unusable, it's just reserved, so I guess that's a matter of symantics.
A well setup ESX LUN will dedupe 80%.
An average CIFS volume will dedupe 25-50% (a good one may do more).
More usable space trumps less raw space in my book.
The EMC storage the 3rd party we're dealing with is implementing is 2+1 RAID groups running RAID 5.
I'll be keen to compare our usages as time goes on, and would be happy to email you the results (assuming our partner is ok with that).

Chuck Hollis

J --

You appear to be badly dated on what other vendors can do these days.

The EMC 20% Guarantee means that -- out of the box -- an EMC unified array will be 20% more efficient than a NetApp one. Guaranteed. No "convincing" needed -- we'll make up the difference if needed.

Many, many customers have taken us up on this offer (large and small), only to find that we're more than 20% more efficient: 25%, 30%, 35% or more.

Try it for yourself, using your own data, and you'll see as well.

You don't have to "give up 20% to save 50%" -- that's just not true.

EMC unified storage products use LUN compression to save space. Roughly the same sort of results -- or better -- for a "well set up ESX LUN", CIFS volume, etc.

Yes, it's possible to configure an EMC product for different RAID groups, such as 1+1, 4+1, 14+2, etc. -- but that's up to the person doing the configuration, and not EMC. I should point out that these configuration options are not available on the NetApp product.

Your dialog consistently indicates that you're not really interested in the facts, just promoting a vendor party line.

So be it -- all I ask is that you do it somewhere else.

-- Chuck

Peter Norris

Couldn't resist this Chuck, I have no allegiance to EMC or NetApp, but this quote of yours is Gold.. found here


"If EMC were to do something similarly tacky, I'd probably quit in protest. -- Chuck"

Based around a tacky Marketing Guarantee.... So did you hand in your notice? :-)

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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