Over the last couple of weeks I was visiting customers internationally and I was surprised at how many customers are trying out www.isilon.com . The reason they are trying Isilon is price, or at least that is what I was told. According to the customer comments I heard, NetApp seems to be pricing itself out of these high performance storage markets. Whether this is motivated by customer budget decisions or a NetApp international pricing policy I can't tell. But for whatever reason, Isilon has now got a foot in the door of the data centers I was visiting.
I was surprised not to see EMC and IBM making more headway into NetApp's international customer base, since Isilon is. In times of economic turmoil I would expect customers to go to the safety of a major brand, but if price is the major motivator of these decisions, Isilon may be buying customer loyalty. The installations are too recent to have meaningful long term reliability results.
I don't run into Isilon very often in the US and Canada, so it might be that Isilon is targeting NetApp's international customers. Or it could just be coincidence, and there is no correlation at all.
Sometimes technology markets work in mysterious ways, and the storage market is currently reinforcing its reputation.