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A Few EMCWorld Observations - From Afar



The last two years I was in Las Vegas during EMCWorld helping with our 72 Hours of Yes activity. It was a very positive experience and one that I loved being a part of. I even had EMC employees telling me what a fantastic idea it was. The premise was simple: tweet us something you want to do while you're in Las Vegas at EMCWorld and we'll make it happen.  Here's a video of one of them.

But alas, this year we didn't bring our yesses to Las Vegas but I have been following the EMCWorld happenings from afar and wanted to make a few comments.

Michael Dell - Open Mouth, Insert Foot

With the Dell acquisition of EMC pending, it's no surprise that Michael Dell was a part of the opening keynote. In his typical fashion, Michael likes to go after his biggest pain point and his target was HPE. I didn't watch the keynote live so my only source of information is a CRN article titled "EMC World: Michael Dell Says Dell-EMC Is Gaining Ground Against Shrinking, Less Innovative HP". Here are a few things talked about in the article:

Dell accused Hewlett Packard, which split into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise last November, of slashing R&D spending at the expense of innovation.

EMCWorld quote.png

"They're getting smaller, they're separating their edge from their core with far less revenue, less innovation, less investment in R&D, less software, a smaller supply chain and losing share in each of their businesses to Dell," said Dell.

The article calls Dell's bluff by citing facts stating that Dell's R&D was less than the combined HP and HPE. 2015 R&D for HP (before the split) was $3.5 billion while Dell's R&D was  $1.27 billion. But money spent isn't the only measure, right? I love what this EMC partner said in the article.

.Another partner, Kelly Ireland, founder and CEO of CB Tecnologies in Orange, CA who partners with both HPI and HPE said, "The split has allowed each of those companies to move faster and deliver more innovative products in their respective markets. We have never been more excited about our ability to deliver innovation to customers with HP Inc. and HPE hardware, software and services."

And from a storage perspective, I posted a blog titled HPE Storage Emerging A Leader that covers this topic very well. HPE Storage hasn't lost any ground to Dell and in fact has taken share away from every major vendor including EMC and Dell. Mr. Dell is up to his usual.

EMC Claim Debunked

 Yesterday, a blogger attending EMCWorld posted this.

EMC claims largest all flash.png

Dave is a former EMC employee and now works for an EMC partner so I appreciate someone that is an EMC fan would ask this question. 

Well, if you've watched any of my 3PAR ChalkTalks, you know that the midrange 3PAR 8450 all-flash scales up to 5.5PB. So our mid-range 3PAR is higher in capacity than EMC's flagship high-end. mission-critical array.  But let's add the 3PAR 20850 All-Flash to the comparison - it's scales to 3X the capacity of VMAX, topping out at 12PBs. 

What it tells me is that EMC doesn't bother to confirm claims they make. And while a number of EMC employees saw my Tweets correcting the misinformation, I'm sure no one attending EMCWorld will hear, "Our bad - HPE 3PAR is 3X more capacity than the VMAX All-Flash. With all their "blog with integrity" claims, I'm disappointed but not surprised.

My last topic is EMC announced a "new product" called Unity. To me it looks like EMC is moving to 3 array families: Unity at the low-end, XtremIO for the midrange, and VMAX for their traditional mission critical environments. Storage and IT blogger Chris Evans looked at the announcement in his blog "EMC Unity or VNX3? What's in a Name?"  Chris' points out that EMC claimed Unity is "designed from the ground up" yet appears to be significantly based previous VNX and VNXe.  I'd add that those are 20+ year old architectures. Since I'm sure my colleague Jorge Maestre will have some insights on Unity but for now, check out Chris' blog. 

Michael Dell was asked about any product overlap in an interview and said, "The only area where we have some overlap is in storage, but let's be clear: EMC is a giant in storage, and Dell is not a giant in storage. When you look at the VNX and now Unity offerings and our Compellent property, Compellent is more of a server-attached storage and plays in the lower end of the market."

Interesting comments because when Dell bought Complellent, he was out telling the market that they wanted Compellent from the start and not really 3PAR. And here we are 5 years later and Dell is taking on over $60 billion in debt because it appears Compellent wasn't really what they wanted. Hmmm.

Check out the article that Manish Goel, SVP and GM of HPE Storage, wrote for ComputerWorld "A New Data Storage Market: What Dell-EMC Customers Need to Know."

The IT infrastructure industry is going to continue to be a wild ride.

About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.


At the time I think Dell thought 3PAR was too expensive to keep bidding for with HP, I suppose they heavily regret that decision today.  I'm happy though, I sort of remember how happy I was when HP came in to bid on 3PAR. Also how disappointed I was when I heard that Dell was going to buy 3PAR a few days before.

 apparently the name 'nate' was already in use so trying nate500


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