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Where is Maui? A follow-up

I had a couple of previous post asking about EMC's Hulk and Maui and noticed that Chris Mellor, a storage reporter for The Register, has an article asking many of the same questions I asked.  Here's a link to his story:

A couple of observations:

The title of Chris' story says a lot: "Is EMC's Maui another Invista?  Biting off more than it can chew".  I thought about discussing this in my first post but didn't as it wasn't core to the points I wanted to make.  However, since Chris brought it up in his story, I'll mention it here.  EMC has had a history of turning up the hype meter but not delivering on their promises.  As Chris points out, Invista is an example; EMC's claim of being the "ILM company" is another.  Another recent example of this is EMC's hyping of solid state technology.  They know they will be at a huge disadvantage to HP with our desktop to data center capabilities and took an overselling communications approach with solid state.  From their soapbox, they've claimed to be the market leader.  When it's all said and done, I think history will bear out that this is another overcommitment and EMC's hype machine turned up the volume on this.  They have a soapbox as the leading storage-only vendor and customers listen -- it's unfortuate that customers listen to so much of what EMC promises and their hype.  Contrast that with the HP brand - we don't hype, we do our best to not over-promise - we do everything we can to be trustworthy. 

Chris concludes his article by saying "...EMC will have undershot terribly the expectations it has set. Without the infrastructure Maui will be in danger of becoming another Invista (EMC's SAN director-hosted storage virtualisation and management software): a worthy idea oversold and under-delivered".  My response is so what else is new - not much has changed with EMC over the years.

ExDS9100 is real, we have orders, and it will be shipping soon.  That's exactly what we said in May, nothing oversold, no under-delivering.  And imagine Chuck, all this from a "server/storage vendor"!

Anonymous | ‎11-05-2008 09:16 AM

Hi Calvin

A few misconceptions that I will futilely try and clear up.

First, Invista is out there, and we're pretty pleased with both the number of customers, and what it's doing for people.  

Maybe not as glitzy and hypermarketed as other vendors' storage virtualization offerings, but -- all in all -- we've been pretty happy on the way it's played out.  It's done everything we expected it to do.

Of course, I don't know how HP feels it can comment on this topic, since your previous efforts regarding storage virtualization have disappeared into the obscure mist, and you're rumored to be doing a deal with LSI to get into this game extremely late.  Uhhh, just like iSCSI, right?

As far as ILM, we're doing pretty well as far as delivering on the promise, not only for production storage but backup, archival, replication, etc.  It's a very big part of our business.

ILM concepts and deliverables are woven into everything EMC does these days.  It's not a marketing campaign, it's how we do business as an information-centric vendor.

I find it hard for you to be so critical on a topic that's been such a great success with our customers and the marketplace in general.  Maybe you should get out more?

I could write dozens and dozens of blog posts regarding what EMC has done with ILM, and how customers have benefited -- from storage tiering, to archiving, to compliance, to dedupe, to exploiting metadata via Documentum, and special-purpose products like Centera, to consulting engagements and measurement tools and financial models  --well,  it's a fantastic story.  In my book, that was a top-grade initiative from EMC -- one that I'm proud of.  

If you think that EMC's forthcoming "Maui" competes with ExDS9100, I think you're a bit confused.  I can't set you straight now, but once it's publicly announced, these posts of yours are going to look a bit silly.

Regarding enterprise flash, all I can say is that we're now almost a year ahead of HP in delivering products, vs. promises.   Nice web site explaining how hard it all is, though.  That really benefits customers, doesn't it?

HP customers have been denied access to this important technology and what it brings.  Time to market does matter with game-changers, and flash is one of those.

Even though you're trying to talk about flash on laptops, desktops, servers, etc. -- let's not forget, this is a storage discussion.  And I'm willing to bet that one of the very LAST places we see flash in the HP portfolio is in storage arrays.

Why?  You're a server vendor.  That's what's important.  Please, prove me wrong!

I don't know if you get the Goldman Sachs enterprise IT spending surveys, but if you can grab the most recent copy, you'll notice that HP made the list for "greatest decline in storage spending intentions", as did IBM and Sun.

Indeed, the author points to the ascendency of storage specialists in the current economic climate.

I rest my case -- and I didn't even have to poke you on FCoE, or spin-down, or secure remote support, or any of a half-dozen storage topics where HP is a no-show.


| ‎11-06-2008 02:51 AM

Hey Chuck,

Glad to have you stop by to take a stab at futility.  I have had folks from a certain cult stop at my house to give me their literature and try convince me to join their church.  I’m pretty well informed on their beliefs and can easily poke holes in their major tenets.  I’ve noticed that once I point something out that they can’t address, they change the subject.   Kind of reminds me of you.  I’d say you really didn’t clear anything up from the article – you just changed the subject. 

I think the point of The Register’s piece was to compare Maui to Invista.  Given what the article says, I think I can reasonably assume that Chris is saying that Invista (like Maui) was hypermarketed and didn’t deliver on its (EMC-made) promise.

Chris Mellor had more to say in another article titled The FCOE Hustle:  “With EMC struggling to have InVista, its SAN storage virtualization and management product that runs in a SAN director, developed and shipped in a reasonable time frame, there being only a couple of hundred of pilot-like installations at present, it faces having to convert the software to running on an intelligent data center switch and it may, let's stress the 'may' here, decide not to undertake the effort.”

You can be as pleased as you want and I guess if you’re pleased with a handful of Invistas out there and an even smaller number in production, that's fantastic.  By the way, I appreciate the honesty of Storagebod (another EMC blogger) when he said “One of the problems I have with Invista is that it is so under-whelming.”

Hulk/Maui is competing with ExDS9100.  Maybe that isn’t your intent but I can tell you that there are several customer evaluations going on now where our customers are evaluating both.  It’s good for HP that you haven't figured that out yet. Customers won't have both systems; they will have to make a choice.  

Talk about being late, how about making public statement TWICE on a launch date and completely missing both. I am sure customers appreciate multiple public product slips. Rumors are you are trying to get in the game with Ibrix, just like your Iomega play, right? The feedback I’ve heard is that Maui isn’t ready for prime time and the fact that the hype from EMC has stopped seems to confirm that point.  

At the end of the day, EMC can keep hyping and HP continue being real.   BTW, you will be proved wrong on solid state technology so stay tuned for that.  Too bad all you have is drives for storage...

Anonymous | ‎11-10-2008 10:07 PM

Hi, Calvin

Today's the day I can actually answer this post.

First, Atmos (formerly Maui) has been out for a while.  As Chris Mellor at The Register writes:

" ... In fact EMC has outsmarted us all. The eruption, the product, started in June and it's been shipping to early adopters for five months already. Only now has the announcement been made."

You can see more at my blog (, or lots of other places around the 'net.


Anonymous | ‎11-11-2008 12:37 AM perhaps need to update your "follow-up."

Which will it be?

1) You don't need it

2) It won't work

3) We're working on something even better - just wait.

| ‎11-11-2008 04:15 AM

Thanks to both Chuck and the anarchist for stopping by to let us know what we already figured out last week.  (You really should top the twitter conversations between your teams).  

You can see what we think our the latest post:

I did mean to ask where's the list of customers that have been using the GA version of software that you've been shipping since June?  Be sure to include those that have stopped using Maui in your list.

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