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Displaying articles for: April 2009

NetApp continues to stretch the truth in their press releases

By Calvin Zito


Several weeks ago, I had written about NetApp claiming to win the CRN Channel Champion Award in the Network Storage Category.  The part they kind of ignored was they did not win the overall award, HP StorageWorks did.  What they won was the Financial Performance trophy, not the overall Channel Champion.  But you wouldn't have know that from their press release.


Well, their press team is at it again.  This time NetApp put out a press release regarding their participation in a SNIA Special Interest Group (SIG).  Here's what they said in their release: "NetApp is also the founding member of the SNIA Database Information Management Special Interest Group."  A bit later in the paragraph where they say this, they give a link to the SNIA website: http://www.snia.org/forums/dmf/programs/ltacsi/dim_sig/.  At this website, you'll find that NetApp is not the founding member but a founding member of this SIG along with IBM.


I'd like to think this is just an oversight but given how NetApp stretched the truth in their exaggeration of the CRN Channel Champion Award, this is looking like a dangerous trend.  This may seem a bit trivial but really at its core, it's still just plain dishonest. 

Labels: NetApp| storage

My thoughts on Dave Donatelli coming to HP

By Calvin Zito


As I was about to log off last night, I saw a message on Twitter from Steve Duplessie (founder of the Enterprise Strategy Group) that caught my attention.  He said that Dave Donatelli from EMC's Storage Division was coming to HP.  All I could say was "Wow". Within the next hour, EMC put a press release out saying that Dave left EMC and then HP announced that Dave was coming to HP to manage our Enterprise Storage and Server (ESS) business as Scott Stallard is retiring.  It's in ESS where HP's server and storage divisions fit as well as some storage/server software (e.g. virtualization and management) and now HP ProCurve too.   So I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on this (and note these are my thoughts and not the opinions of HP):


I think this is a great move for HP and for HP storage.  I love the idea of having leadership in ESS that have a deep background in the storage industry.  Now don't misunderstand what I mean here - our ESS management team gets the importance of storage to our business and to our customers.  The focus of ESS has been to bring together this powerful combination of products into a system - our Adaptive Infrastructure portfolio.  And they "get it" now more than ever as storage is a growing market opportunty.  But none of our ESS management cut their teeth in storage.  Having a long time veteran of the storage industry is just a total win for HP.  Of course, Dave Roberson joined HP a couple of years ago to run StorageWorks with a deep storage industry background too but having Dave Donatelli running ESS where it all comes together just makes me giddy. 


I have no idea why Dave is leaving EMC.  I am surprised to see an executive from EMC coming to HP - not because HP isn't a great company because it is.  I've been in HP Storage since 1990 and can't ever remember an EMC exec leaving for a competitor (and yes I know there are many ex EMCers who have come to HP - I'm talking executive management).  There have been a few executives in HP StorageWorks that have gone to EMC - some very notable names that I don't hear much about any more.  


I have high expectations with Dave joining HP.  There's been a great transformation of HP StorageWorks over the last several years.  We had been losing market share for a few years and with the latest IDC quarterly numbers, we've started to grow faster than the market.  Having another storage industry veteran on the team will certainly have a postive impact and will help HP StorageWorks to accelerate our growth.


Steve Duplessie posted a blog with some of his thoughts on the news.  Steve talks about HP getting a star, that Dave will be missed at EMC but that it won't hurt EMC.  I agree with everything except that last bit.  How can you lose someone like Dave to a competitor and not have it hurt? 


As I'm watching Twitter comments from EMC employees, they clearly have a lot of respect for Dave and they wish the best for him at HP.  I sure that at some time in the future I'll read about how they wish he had never come to HP. 


Lastly, I don't know Scott Stallard personally but I have talked to him briefly at various events in the past.  He has had an unbelievable career at HP - I wish him all the best as he retires.

Labels: EMC| storage

Network-based storage virtualization

By Edgardo Lopez


In these hard economic times, so many articles are already out there about how to bring down the costs of storage infrastructures, but few of them actually describe how to design a flexible and adaptive infrastructure that facilitates these potential savings and streamline operations to improve productivity  


A recently published research paper by IDC titled "The Business Value of Storage Virtualization: Scaling the Storage Solution; Leveraging the Storage Investments" offers a refreshing new perspective. The authors present an IT evolution framework, describing how organization can evolve their infrastructure to enable them get more out of the infrastructure they already have.  They show how by integrating server and storage virtualization technologies, IT organizations can significantly boost storage asset utilization while simplifying operations and improving efficiency.  Findings show that asset utilization can be increased by up to 70%, cost of future system purchases can be decreased by as much as 50% and how provisioning and capacity expansion across heterogeneous systems can be  significantly simplified


Today, I would like to begin a discussion how the HP StorageWorks SAN Virtualization Services Platform or SVSP can be used to implement a storage infrastructure that produces the benefits described in the paper. 


The SVSP is a network-based storage virtualization solution that aggregates capacity from multiple SAN attached FC arrays (HP or non-HP), and creates pools of virtual storage that can now be easily provisioned to satisfy the dynamic demands of virtual and physical servers. In addition, the SVSP provide a comprehensive set of data services that help firms streamline operation, and improve efficiency including: volume management, thin provisioning, non-disruptive data migration, copy services (clones and snapshots) and local and remote mirroring.  They are the key to address a set of important use cases that we will describe in more detail in future postings.  They are:



  • Storage Consolidation and Centralized Management

  • Non-disruptive Data Migrations

  • Dynamic Tiered Storage infrastructures

  • Rapid Application Recovery

  • Efficient Application Testing & Development

  • Cost Effective Disaster Recovery


For more details see:  www.hp.com/go/svsp


(Editor's note: Edgardo is the Product Marketing Manager for the SVSP.  He will be talking about the HP StorageWorks SVSP and it's use cases in several upcoming posts.  Don't forget that you can follow HP StorageWorks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPstorageGuy).

EVA Simplicity Challenge

Back in early March, I talked about our storage virtualization announcement and pointed you to a video we did on the EVA.  Well, I think I finally figured out how to embedded video in the blog (at least from YouTube), so I wanted to mention it it again and embedded the video.  But first, here's a bit about the video. 


Last year when we announced the EVA4400, we were just wrapping up some work with the Edison Group where we measured the time it took to perform specific storage administrative tasks on an EVA, Clariion CX, and NetApp FAS array.  As a follow-up to the EVA4400 announcement, we brought some IT administrators to HP and asked them to perform a number of tasks on an EVA and Clariion array.  The video was pretty good and was well received.   So as we were getting ready to announce the EVA6400 and EVA8400 this year, we wanted to do another video to show just how easy the EVA with it's unique virtualization is to manage compared to competitive traditional arrays. 


My original idea was to use either high school or college students; we'd have two groups - one a few football players and the other students taking high-tech classes.  I was very confident that if we asked the football players to configure the EVA's and the tech students to work on the competitve arrays, the EVA would win hands down.  A few folks on my team thought this could be a bit offensive, suggesting you really don't have to be educated to be an IT administrator.  I saw it very differently - if HP StorageWorks can make products that simplify the time it takes to administrate their storage, that's really what our customers need - make it simple!  I think the idea we used works just as well - we had three teams of high school students who each were asked to perform the same tasks on an EVA, Clariion CX4, and NetApp FAS array.  As you'll see in the video, it appears as though the NetApp results are close but this is a bit misleading as we had to tell the students to skip some tasks on the FAS because no one could figure out how to do them. 

With that background, there's the video:


Labels: EMC| EVA| NetApp| storage

Learn more about HP LeftHand

By Calvin Zito

 

I wanted to follow-up on John Spiers previous blog post about our HP LeftHand announcement on Monday.  I'd like to point you to a few different things around our hp.com web pages to help you learn more about the problems our HP LeftHand solutions are solving, product details, and point you to some customers who are using HP LeftHand today.  So here we go:


 

  1. HP LeftHand P4000 SAN Solution page.  Be sure to check out the Flash-based product demo and click on the Resource Library link to get a look at all of the collateral available. 
  2. HP LeftHand P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) Software page and again, be sure to click on the Resource Library link (which for all of our products is always on the top right-hand side of the product page). 


Lastly, I'll point you to our customer case studies where you can read how others are using HP LeftHand solutions:

 

I know I've given you a lot of links today but if you're looking for an iSCSI based storage solution, it will be worth your time. 

 

I also wanted to remind you that you can follow HP StorageWorks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HPstorageGuy

 

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Oracle to buy Sun - what does it mean?

By Calvin Zito

 

What a bad day to do an announcement just prior to our HP Technology@Work event in Berlin this week!  We had a lot of interesting news that went out today but it won't get the attention it should because of the Oracle announcement today.  Here's a link to our online press kit where you can read more about our HP LeftHand, BladeSystem Matrix, and the StorageWorks MDS600: http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2009/convergeeverything2009/index.html.

 

So what does the announcement today of Oracle's intent to buy Sun mean?  My answer is a simple who knows?  What I find interesting is all of the speculation that is rampant across the internet.  I don't have an opinion yet on what it means because I just don't know what Oracle is trying to achieve beyond what they've said today but I'd like to make a few observations and point you to what's being said:

 

  • The presentation that Oracle used on this morning's investor relations call was titled "Oracle Buys Sun".  That just seems a bit odd to me.  I've been involved in more than a few HP acquisitions and prior to an acquisition closing, we are careful to say that we are announcing our intent to acquire - probably not a big deal but last I heard, the SEC hadn't approved the acquisition yet and neither had Sun and Oracle shareholders.  I'm not implying that this all won't happen (what Sun shareholder would say no to this bailout plan) - just seems premature to say that Oracle buys Sun.
  • I've seen two articles in eWeek, each having a bit different perspective: 
  1. In the first article, Oracle will keep the Sun software business and sell off much of the hardware (though the article says they'll keep the storage business).  Oracle wants control of Java and the ability to kill off MySQL.  The article went on to say that "the losers in the deal are likely end users who can expect higher prices for software and fewer choices."
  2. Another eWeek article said that storage and database hardware are key to the deal.  Whatever the case, Sun's storage just got a bailout deal from Oracle and better it come from Oracle than the Obama administration.  As to whether the GM or Sun bailout is successful, only time will tell.
  • In a SearchStorage article, John Webster from Illuminata said "People who have been delivering separate pieces are now potential acquisition targets. You could put NetApp and Brocade on that list."  Maybe he should put EMC on that list too.  I especially wonder what is going on at EMC after Cisco announced their partnership with NetApp within weeks of EMC's claim of "brave new thinking".  Also quoted in the article is Brian Babineau from ESG.  He said, "EMC and NetApp are going to have to work even harder to convince customers that an integrated application stack isn't the way to go."

 

I guess we'll have to see how this plays out but what do you think? 

Today’s HP LeftHand Announcement

By John Spiers 

 

The LeftHand bloggers are pleased to announce that LeftHand's Virtual View blog is moving to Around the Storage Block

 

It's an exciting time for storage at HP. I'm in Singapore, a small country in Asia that has world-leading IT initiatives focused on Cloud Computing. I was meeting with customers yesterday and they asked me whether HP's LeftHand storage meets Cloud Computing requirements such as having a grid-based architecture, scalability, virtualization, easy to manage, physically resides in multiple locations with central management and has high availability features. Of course every storage vendor out there would raise their hand to these requirements, but when you start looking at the details, HP LeftHand clearly rises above the rest.

 

First of all, grid architecture is a must. Does it scale small to large non-disruptively without bottlenecks? Does it deliver multiple levels of fault tolerance? Can you fail drives, racks, complete disk shelves and even have multiple sites go offline without losing access to data in the Cloud? Can the same data set reside at multiple sites simultaneously (the Cloud) and be changed at any site and synchronously or asynchronously update all other sites and be reconfigured on-the-fly? Can all storage be globally virtualized and managed from a single GUI?  As you ask these questions storage vendor's hands start dropping, except for one, and that's HP LeftHand.

 

When customers see how HP is now leveraging LeftHand's technology in their market-leading BladeSystems, they instantly see the benefits; simple, self contained, less components to cable up, flexible and centrally managed. The first thing they say is, "that's a complete data center in a box; servers, networking, virtualization and SAN storage - what else could you need?" This platform clearly delivers storage and server virtualization at its best.

 

I'm also pleased to announce to the world that the HP LeftHand P4000 SAN Solution and the HP LeftHand P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance Software (VSA) + HP StorageWorks SB40c Storage Blade bundle will be available worldwide through the HP channel on May 1 (see www.hp.com/go/lefthandsans).

 

Please join me and other LeftHand bloggers at our new home here on Around the Storage Block.

 

John Spiers, LeftHand Evangelist

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