Monday, October 29, 2007

Does EMC now have more Momentum than NetApp

Over the last few months we have noticed that EMC seems to be winning more deals which displace NetApp than in years past.

"TELECOMS heavyweight Telstra is replacing Network Appliance and IBM storage equipment with gear from rival EMC in a project worth $40 million.

EMC chief executive Joe Tucci visited to Australia to meet clients.

The initiative is part of Telstra's massive technology transformation program, which also involves replacing many legacy systems as the company simplifies its infrastructure.

A Telstra spokeswoman said EMC had been awarded the contract as part of the transformation program and it is understood from a source familiar with the deal that the Boston firm's equipment is replacing systems from NetApp and IBM."

I don't know if you noticed, but lately Dave Hitz seems to blog a lot more about management and other issues than he does about the technology he helped bring to market. I like cars probably more than most folks--but because of our customers' interest in performance of storage, I care more about how Dave Hitz is working on tweaking filer performance than about how much he likes Tesla electric cars.

What seems confusing to customers and myself are the performance figures of older NetApp equipment compared to new NetApp equipment. According to one NetApp Customer we know NetApp is trying to upgrade him from a FAS980 to a FAS3040. But he is confused by the performance and capacity figures and does not see how a FAS3040, although newer, is an upgrade. Below are the figures he used for his comparison.

NetApp Model FAS980 FAS3040
Processor 2 Intel XEON Gallatin 2.8 P4
2 AMD Opteron 2.4GHZ
RAM 8 GB 4 GB
Cache 512 KB L2 2MB L3 512 L2 No L3
NVRAM 512MB v5 512 MB v6
PCI / X / e * / 9 / * * / */ 3
Ship date 02/2004 02/2007
Max Drive capacity 672 252

The above comparison seems to give weight to a Wall Street Journal article a few weeks ago which said:

"Chip speeds more or less hit a plateau about four years ago because the devices started generating too much heat. If past trends had continued, microprocessors would be about 20 times faster than they currently are. This is a problem. Microprocessors that run faster can do more.

Designers are trying to work around the problem by putting several processors on each chip. But it is hard for programmers to write software that does a lot of things simultaneously. So far, they haven't devised any "must have" programs that encourage consumers to buy new chips.

The great plateau has had a drastic effect on chip sales. There is less reason for computer users to replace their hardware and little reason for hardware companies to buy the most advanced chips, which are the most profitable for chip makers. The total revenue Intel and AMD earn from microprocessors has been shrinking steadily since 2003."

So I would like Dave to get back to working on engineering issues within NetApp, and also to concentrate on blogging about how customers can get more out of their filers. It does NetApp and Zerowait no good to have customers moving on to EMC equipment.

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