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Primary Storage. Let’s get some perspective here.


Jorge.jpgBy J Maestre, The World’s Strongest Technologist, Competitive Strategist, HPE Storage Marketing  @storagemuscle


Primary storage is by far the most competitive of all the technology avenues out there. For every buzzword technology that comes down the pike, a half dozen vendors claim their storage is the only one that does the job. Some vendors are a little more honest and won’t say they’re the “only ones” but rather they’re the “best ones.” That’s the camp we’re in.

If you’ve ever heard me talk about Hewlett Packard Enterprise storage, you’d know it. One of my most quoted lines about HPE 3PAR StoreServ is: “It’s not a perfect product but it’s the best product!” Obviously it’s not perfect. If it were NO competition would exist at all.

But let’s get some perspective here...

There are no such things as absolutes. The measure of whether or not a product does its job is truly based on your perspectives_ATSB_shutterstock_257396605_23Nov_blog_sized.jpgexperience with the product. Success or failure is measured over usage not purchase. The problem is that the majority of the time spent scrutinizing different vendor options is done with a focus on the problem that needs solving or the goal being advanced. If a vendor’s messaging lines up with what you’re looking for then that particular vendor stays in consideration. Makes perfect sense.

But how good is our perspective really? Are we accounting for the unknown in some way? Are we looking beyond the immediate problem or goal at what comes next? Are we wearing our “strategy glasses” and looking to see how we can parlay the problem solving or goal reaching to something else? Are we asking vendors ALL the ways their products make our world better? And when we feel confident that we’re talking to the right vendors are we then taking the next step? Are we making sure their messaging is in line with reality? Are we holding vendors accountable to their claims up front?

Let’s look at the all-flash market as an example. Flash vendors are making claims from every direction. One might promise ridiculous ratios that fly in the face of common sense. Another might make the claim of consistent performance through failure scenarios that defy the laws of physics. Still others will tout OpenStack, or scale-out or some other spin that highlights their value.

And if you agree with their perspective then maybe that’s the direction you go in. But are you truly prepared for what’s next? Have you looked at the technical limitations of the solution? Sure a particular product might solve your problem today but is that all it can do? What about the problems you can’t anticipate? How good are you going to be in year three when you run out of horsepower on day three? Have you reconciled the health of the company? Next year’s R&D comes from this year’s profits. Is your investment going to get better if the vendor you went with continues to run in the red These things go hand in hand. A company’s technical limitations come from its financial positioning. There’s no way around that. See what I mean? Perspective is everything…

What about the analysts?

For customers who can’t evaluate all the options available to them, turning to independent analysts is a perfect option to scrutinize the claims that vendors make. Many analysts do a great job of helping customers separate the hyperbole from fact, making this great avenue to turn to in order to grab some perspective.

And the awards?

Oh the awards. Which vendor hasn’t walked into a room with a slide that credits their array with an award from some “major publication”? Most vendors tout their placement in some ranking put together somewhere. We all do.

Being the “The Best…”

Clearly my perspective is this: HPE is the best storage company on the planet. Awards do matter. They show that an amount of time was invested in making a comparison between multiple products for either generic or very specific use cases. That’s valuable information to have. And 3PAR StoreServ has won more awards over the last three years than any other storage platform in the industry. Just to highlight a few:

 Tech Target AFA of the Year

DCIG Best in Class

InfoWorld Technology of the Year

Now on to Gartner’s perspective

For all the talk of perspective, there is probably one analyst who has spent more time than most asking all the questions I’ve raised and that’s Gartner. I can’t honestly say I always agree with Gartner’s results but I will not deny that I always pay attention to what they have to say. That’s why I am humbled to share that Gartner’s latest Critical Capabilities for General-Purpose, Midrange Storage Arrays report has HPE 3PAR StoreServ in the midrange receiving highest scores for all six of the uses cases that Gartner defines. Here is the Overall Use Case graphic from Gartner’s report:

Gartner critical capabilitiesJ.jpg

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from HPE.  Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

I believe this is an amazing validation of exactly what we’ve been saying for a very long time: We do what we say we do and we still work diligently to get better with each and every new release of code we have!

Check out the details from Gartner.

Also read the high-end storage arrays report from Gartner that includes HPE storage in two of the top three spots in two of six use cases.

What’s your perspective?

Whether or not you give credibility awards (given to us or anyone else)... Whether you like our placement above other products in certain magazines... Or if you take the word of Gartner to be Gospel... I'm thinking you will agree with me when I say: I believe the breadth of awards 3PAR StoreServ has earned and our placement by Gartner validate that no matter what perspective you’re using to look at 3PAR StoreServ, we’re going to be at the top of the list.

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