In today's post, I want to address the flap that EMC created last week questioning whether or not the HP StoreOnce B6200 is a single system. Here's a podcast of my thoughts here (which you can also read by clicking through to the blog post).
EMC made an announcement earlier today around a product called VSPEX; I haven't had a lot of time to look at it but basically looks like they're working with the channel to offer reference architecture of a converged stack. Of course it's all based on EMC hardware though they claim they have reference architectures for other components to be something other than VCE-based Cisco servers and networking.
What got my attention was a tweet I saw from Dave Vellante. Dave is the CEO co-founder of Wikibon.org and co-host of The Cube. I've got the conversation here - be sure to read from the bottom up.
I was responding to Dave to make sure that he knows that HP CloudSystem doesn't have to be based on HP servers, storage, and networking. Dave was surprised by that so I reached out to Nick van der Zweep, Director of Business Strategy in our CloudSystem business to get the details. I'll summarize a few things that Nick and I discussed:
- HP CloudSystem DOES support multiple non-HP components. Customers will get the most integration and automation by using a complete HP stack. For example - if customers use non-HP storage, they lose the integration we have with Storage Provisioning Manager that simplifies provisioning storage. See my previous blog post on SPM that includes a demo of SPM. For non-HP storage, a storage admin would have to provision a LUN and give that to the server admin so they can then use that within the CloudSystem environment.
I'm having too much fun thinking about Mr. T and jibba-jabba so I am taking on the EMC announcement one more time and contrasting that with an announcement HP made yesterday that conclusive shows that HP is the better partner for running Microsoft-based applications.
Late last week, to the surprise of no one, Dell made a move to grab Compellent. For those not familiar with Compellent, it is one of the last standing array vendor startups out there. This one is interesting to me because of Dell's failed attempt to buy 3PAR. As I think through all of this, there's one picture that comes to mind - and the picture equally applies to Dell or Compellent.
In this article, I talk about my observations of this deal.
By Calvin Zito, aka @HPStorageGuy
My colleague Marc Farley has a very good screencast giving his analysis of EMC's proposed acquisition of Isilon. It's titled "What was surprising about EMC's bid for Isilon". It sounds like an episode of "Lost". Anyway, I just wanted to point you to Marc's video. I had a recent article on the same topic of EMC buying Isilon a couple of weeks ago too if you didn't already see that.
Hope those of you in the U.S. are having a great Thanksgiving weekend! Oh, and Go Boise State!
By Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy
On the latest StorageMonkeys.com podcast, the hosts Greg Knieriemen and Marc Farley had Greg Schulz of StorageIO and Chad Sakac, VP of VMware Technology Alliance at EMC as their guests to talk about the Acadia announcement. In that podcast, around the 34 minute mark, Greg asked Chad a question about Dave Donatelli, EVP of Enterprise Servers and Networking, and that launched a 10 minute discussion about HP and what Chad described as a lack of integration between HP StorageWorks and VMware. Those chararacterizations were completely inaacuate and in today's podcast, I respond to those inaccurate statements. Here's the podcast:
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.
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:
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:
- 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."
- 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?