It's getting very hard to keep up with all the crazy social media stunts coming out of Hopkington, but they seem to have done it to themselves again. First was the questionable spamming for viewers so they could claim they had a viral video, then today they just "leaked" a 3PAR sales "kill sheet" - and also apparently established a "secret" site with the URL Notapp.com, where they compared their own guarantee program to Netapp's. According to Simon Sharwood at Search Storage Australia, the site was removed and accessing the URL directed browsers to EMC's site.
Perhaps it is all part of a new marketing strategy by newcomer Jeremy Burton, who joined EMC as Chief Marketing Officer back in March. As best I can tell, Burton's new marketing strategy for the company is that people will believe anything. Maybe he doesn't think there are enough new products coming out of EMC - or that the delays in getting their ballyhooed FAST out the door are too embarrassing - but instead of trying to promote EMC on its own merits, it looks like he is doing his utmost to mud wrestle. Is that what EMC is paying him the big bucks for?
EMC suddenly is taking a bigger interest in 3PAR. That's good. Search Storage Australia just published parts of a competitive document that EMC was circulating to it's partners about 3PAR. It certainly wasn't a surprise because we'd seen it previously, but I was sorry to see it published because it made EMC look ridiculous, which was working pretty well for us. But now that it's been outed, here is what we have to say about it (in the guise of Ineption's lead character, the CRO)
The messaging is not built in, but our zero detection technology for optimizing capacity is. The host SW commands to do this are short and do not require "careful coordination". Veritas, Oracle, Windows Server and Linux software all work with minimal operator effort. For instance, this document from Oracle, describes the whole process, with the sole operator command being this: #bash ASRU LDATA.
Can EMC provide online reclamation of zeroed space without risking capacity overruns and with tolerable performance? 3PAR can. Does EMC have these capabilities in both mid-range and enterprise storage arrays? 3PAR does.
3PAR has both Flash and 1 TB SATA drives. We also have Adaptive Optimization software that uses Flash SSDs for storage tiering. EMC still doesn't have it after they made such a big deal about it last year. They like to tell customers that their size gives them development advantages, but their track record doesn't support their claim.
3PAR arrays allow users to create many tiers, but without the need for disk pools. Tiers are constructed from the combination of drive type plus RAID level. For instance, you can have separate tiers for SATA, FC and Flash SSD drives with the RAID level you select. Our Dynamic Optimization software allows admins to move data from one tier to another. You can "dial in" the performance and protection you want.
All systems have a peak output , ours just happens to have a lot more throughput than theirs - and at higher disk utilizations. We have published benchmarks that show how our systems perform. They don't. Adding disk drives to a system and utilizing those drives is far easier with a 3PAR system than either VMAX or Clariion where you have to wrestle with putting drives in the pools you want to use them for.
There are no disk pools in 3PAR storage. Pools trap resources so you can't use them. Work isolation in pools leads to hot spots and storage admin nightmares. Wide striping does not mean you can't have tiers. That is an idiotic statement.
VMAX can configure large pools - and all the drives in them have to be at the same RAID level meaning you can't create multiple tiers within those pools. If you want multiple tiers, you need multiple pools and all the headaches that involves. Change management in an environment with multiple pools is complicated. You also need to consider the pools needed for snapshots and remote replication. Are those easy to provision and change on EMC storage. Most would say "no".
3PAR uses all disk spindles all the time for delivering IOPS and pro-active sparing is done using reserved space on those drives. Rebuilds do process quickly. Would EMC have you believe they never have to perform drive rebuilds? Really?
Our front end archiecture was designed for large-scale parallel connectivity to match the massive bandwidth capabilities of our wide striped back end. Our benchmarks and the cost per IOPs in those benchmarks speak for themselves. Our customers also tend to run 3PAR systems at much higher disk utilizations than they run other vendor's arrays.
We support a huge number of ports on our systems w/full active/active data access across all controllers. All controller nodes can be used to access all data volumes. We have a number of customers that run fairly sizable SANS without switches because they have enough ports on their arrays so they don't need to consolidate access through switches.
5- 9s? We're there. Our systems get pounded on every day in some of the largest private and public data centers in the world. They are designed with complete redundancy in all components and have advanced capabilities such as Persistent Cache to maintain high levels of performance even after the loss of a controller.
The delays in bringing their FAST tiering software - a product they were hyping in April of 2009 - to market have shown that size doesn't matter much when it comes to delivering technology on time. I'm not saying 3PAR always delivers on time, but EMC is far from immune to these problems. In fact, the need for them to coordinate across multiple product lines creates certain disadvantages for them.
As to their comments on our support; they are pure FUD and grasping for straws. We would not be able to maintain the customers we have if it were not for our efforts at supporting them.
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The following content was added on July 30th by Rusty Walther, 3PAR's Vice President of Customer Services & Support.
Stating that 3PAR “outsources support” is just plain silly, especially coming from a company that keeps most of the worlds’ largest offshore outsourcing companies in business. Like EMC, 3PAR uses Third Party Maintenance suppliers (TPM’s) for break-fix field activities. In some geographies, EMC and 3PAR even use the “same” TPM. But EMC also outsources most of their volume call center
and Level-1 Technical Support to offshore suppliers. Not so at 3PAR. Everyone that touches a 3PAR support case is a 3PAR-badged employee. I challenge EMC to identify a single outsourcing company that handles 3PAR technical support. EMC’s outsourced technical support sub-contractors could be listed alphabetically, by geography, or by technology category … but you’d need a couple of sheets of paper to do it.