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EMC and the Fake Rolex

Posted by alexmc in The Missing Shade of Blue on Feb 5, 2009 4:20:59 AM


!|title=Frankennas|style=FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px|alt=FrankenNAS|src=|border=0!Much of the mail that I receive on my computer at home consists of spam. Badly written, most of it is offering me enough Viagra to give me a serious balance problem, chances to play roulette, easy money from the sons of deposed African cabinet ministers who have amassed stolen fortunes that they want to launder through my bank account....

It's a serious irritation, but occasionally it's amusing. An example; this heavily capitalized email from the fabulously named Lagina Cowper.


From: Lagina Cowper
Subject: FAKE ROLEX!!!!



NetApp has some fairly sophisticated email filters that weed out most spam. So you can imagine my surprise when EMC's Chuck Hollis blogged today, and my RSS feed popped this into my work inbox. It's about Frankenstorage. Chuck says;


...NetApp did their interpretation of frankenstorage when they announced a lash-up with TMS's RamSan-500 to tick the box that, yes, they had a flash story to tell. 


Chuck is calling NetApp systems Frankenstorage?


That's funny! Having tried to hijack the unified storage message, EMC's very own Lagina Cowper is suggesting that other competitiors' storage are just bolted together mishmashes of parts.


[ | $frankennas[10].png]Where, I wonder, did he get the idea of Frankenstorage from? There's no stopping a good idea, so perhaps it was from my blog. I noted in November last year that the Celerra NS range was due out shortly.



It Lives! EMC’s FrankenNAS.

Unsurprising will be the throwing of the big switch to zap into life a new EMC NS range based on the Celerra and CX4. I’ve lost count of the exact number of moving parts in the average EMC NAS solution, but any press release will probably skim over that and claim “market leading unified storage” with a cuddly personality. I’d suggest counting the bolts and keeping a safe distance.

I also wonder if Avamar based NAS deduplication will get announced too? I’ll be fascinated to see how they wire that one up in FrankenNAS’s two brains. And how much it costs.

I suppose it's a common enough analogy that Chuck could have thought of it independently, so let's put the copying of the Frankenstein imagery aside. Here's the serious point.

By lagging behind the competition, EMC suffers from the marketers' dilemma; how do we make yesterday's products appeal to today's customer? The answer; copy. Copy everything. Ape your competitors' stance, and employ serious marketing muscle to make it look like you invented the idea in the first place. 


If you can't make it, fake it.

But here's an example of EMC copying that really gets to the heart of the issue. Unified storage. Chuck keeps saying that the Celerra is unified storage, even though it's a bolted together set of hardware, and so fails miserably by his own criteria. But Chuck keeps missing the point, and will miss it forever because he can't seem to grasp one of the fundamentals of this industry.


It's not about the hardware. It's all in the software.

It's the software that makes NetApp's solution unified storage, and exposes the Celerra for the bolted together FrankenNAS is really is. Let me repeat; software.

Question. How many operating systems, types of snapshots and clones, pieces of incompatible replication, varieties of deduplication software does the average EMC customer have to buy and manage? Lots, and that's a problem. EMC's answer is to fake a solution. They call it "unified storage", but it's plainly and painfully obvious it isn't.

So you can understand why I laughed out loud when I read this from Chuck's blog;



How do we stop these monstrosities?  That's up to customers, isn't it? 

Good question, Chuck. I for one will be making sure they understand the real issue around Frankenstorage.

Your marketing spin on this is just the same as the cheap watch spam from Lagina Cowper. Except Lagina is more honest; that Rolex really is a fake.




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