1.042: modular storage - what's in a name?
OK. I did the last one. Now it's your turn.
What is the definition of modular storage?
It sure seems that I really got under the skins of the Dancing Giraffes over at NetApp with my "Flash Dance" expose of how slowly the competitors are embracing the value of flash technology.
First there was their uninformed challenge to the term Enterprise Flash Drives. Not surprisingly, everyone else (except NetApp) seems now to understand that indeed there is a sufficient differentiation among solid-state storage devices to justify the "enterprise" classification, just as we also distinguish enterprise disk drives.
The second salvo from NetApp comes in the form of a brandy-new blog, authored by a pool of NetApp engineers, although it seems Mike Riley has taken the lead role, authoring the first 3 posts. In the latest post, Mike seizes the opportunity to a) cast me as an angry villain, b) offer me a hug, and c) assert that the last economic downturn fostered the era of "modular storage" and the end of monolithic storage's world domination.
Hence my question: what the heck is "modular storage" (as you can see from that link, even Wikipedia doesn't seem to know).
Mike continues with an outlandish assertion that "Hardware offers zero differentiation".
I guess I can agree with Mike in the sense that we all can use the same parts to make our products. But there does seem to be rather significant differentiation based on what components we actually do choose to use.
For example, the fact that Symmetrix DMX4 natively supports EFDs today, while NetApp still doesn't support flash drives of any sort with their mainstream storage arrays is pretty highly differentiated.
EMC is delivering the value, while NetApp is bringing forth more
people rappers dancers.
And seriously, I am interested in hearing how you'd characterize or define "modular storage" these days…does the term even have meaning any more?
Oh, and thanks for the hug, Mike. You'll never know how much I needed it this week!