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HP Storage has its (Storage) Mojo!


Headshot 100X100.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vexpert 2012 logo.gif

Back in September 2009, I helped pull together what I believe was our industry's first Tech Day - events where bloggers are brought in to hear from experts.  The collection of people we brought to that first storage focused Tech Day in Colorado Springs was a who's who in the industry - guys like Stephen Foskett, Greg Knieriemen, Ray Lucchesi, John Obeto, and more. 

One of the attendees was Robin Harris (@StorageMojo).  I don't remember why, but Robin didn't make it into the group picture we took at the end of our Tech Day.  It was prior to HP acquiring 3PAR but we wereHP-Tech-Day-Crowd 2009.jpg well on our way in developing our converged storage strategy.  Dave Donatelli had joined HP and Converged Infrastructure was just starting to get a lot of attention.  Our strategic focus in HP Storage has been pretty consistent in the last 4 years and I saw a blog post from Robin this past Friday that I want to share to help show what I mean. 

First, a look back at the October 2009 Tech Day

I hadn't met Robin but he had been around the storage industry for some time and I thought bringing him to that first Tech Day was a good idea.  He did a blog post before coming talking about the agenda and calling out an absence of cocktails on the agenda.  Lucky for me, we did have cocktails in our 2 day agenda! 

A few days after our Tech Day, Robin wrote a blog post titled "HP's unified storage/compute strategy".  Robin said about our strategy, "The outline: use a dense CPU and storage commodity-based hardware infrastructure with layered cluster storage software to build flexible and resilient scale-out storage."

While we did talk about our deduplication software (this was prior to calling it StoreOnce), we probably didn't do a good job of connecting the dots as Robin's article focused on HP LeftHand (now StoreVirtual) and IBRIX (now underlying technology in both HP StoreAll and StoreOnce). 

Fast-forward to 2012

I hadn't brought Robin back to any HP events (shame on me) but invited him to join us in Las Vegas for HP Discover.  I knew we'd have some impressive storage news, announcing StoreOnce Catalyst deduplication software and more, and Robin was slated to make the drive from Arizona to Las Vegas.  However, he had a conflict and had to drop out.  I bumped into Robin at VMworld and he reminded me that he'd like to come to an HP event so bringing him to HP Discover (knowing how much storage news we'd have) was an obvious fit.

 Since HP Discover wrapped up, I've done a couple of blog posts pointing to articles from our invited bloggers.  I was a bit disappointed to not see anything from Robin.  Then late Friday afternoon I happened to see a tweet point to a new post he did, "The stovepipe vs the grid". 

The stovepipe vs the grid

Like a fine wine, sometimes really good and insightful blog posts take time.  It took Robin nearly two months after Discover to write this but hey, I just posted a video from Discover last week too! 

I want to call out a few things Robin says but you really do need to read his post (no point in me reproducing it all here):

  • HP is building on that legacy with a radical take on enterprise storage.  HP calls it converged storage.  The concept is simple: enterprise-class scale-out storage that is configurable to meet a wide range of application requirements. Flexible commodity hardware to mix-and-match to meet requirements, while configuring SSDs, hard drives or tape makes it easy to meet a wide range of price-performance ratios."  Sounds a lot like what we said back in 2009 but with HP 3PAR in the mix and playing a big role. 
  • The prevailing vendor model is the stovepipe: for every function within the  enterprise there is a specialized product or set of products.    .... Competition is stovepipe vs. stovepipe. The big iron arrays from EMC, Hewlett-Packard and Hitachi all compete, in theory, on availability, performance, support and cost. The reality? Account control is often the deciding factor. Competition has stagnated over the last 10 years." 
  • Here's the zinger from Robin: "as long as EMC can afford to buy the best – and they can – competitors are
    always at a disadvantage. But HP’s converged storage model changes that." 
  • And I love one of the closing lines in Robin's blog: "Congratulations to HP and the 3PAR team for coming up with the only credible challenge to EMC in the last 15 years. I wish them every success." 

Please be sure to jump over to Robin's blog and read all the details there. 

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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.

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