Inside System Storage -- by Tony Pearson

Tony Pearson Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior IT Specialist for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona, and featured contributor to IBM's developerWorks. In 2011, Tony celebrated his 25th year anniversary with IBM Storage on the same day as the IBM's Centennial. He is author of the Inside System Storage series of books. This blog is for the open exchange of ideas relating to storage and storage networking hardware, software and services. You can also follow him on Twitter @az990tony.
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1 localhost commented Trackback

Tony -<div>&nbsp;</div> I think you may have gone a bit too far in your blogketing on this topic...<div>&nbsp;</div> I'm not in EMC Legal, but I've been assured that there are no such restrictions as you describe in our standard purchase and sales agreements.<div>&nbsp;</div> Perhaps you have mistaken the limitations that probably exist in our loaner, evaluation and/or Common Support Agreements? It seems reasonable that a company might restrict appropriate use of systems that are being provided without charge or for use in customer support and troubleshooting.<div>&nbsp;</div> I'd appreciate it if you would back up this bit of blogketing with some hard facts, instead of heresay evidence from your so-called "clients." And if you can't provide some proof of the restrictions you claim you've "heard about," then I'd encourage you to retract your assertions.<div>&nbsp;</div> As I've said elsewhere, this whole blogketing thing works much better if you stick to the facts.

2 localhost commented Trackback

EMC Blogger Mark Twomey opines on this here:http://storagezilla.typepad.com/storagezilla/2007/07/spc-fes2.html

3 localhost commented Trackback

Barry, Mark, when we ask customers to run IBM vs. EMC side-by-side in realistic application workloads in their own data centers, so that everyone can benefit from publishing the results, the customers often tell us that EMC terms and conditions of their production equipment prevent them from doing so. I am not a lawyer either, but why would customers lie about this if it weren't true?<div>&nbsp;</div> If EMC has recently stopped this practice worldwide, then perhaps customers are mistakenly referring to older terms and conditions of years past, and have not read their most recent purchase contracts, than that might offer an explanation. Perhaps I missed the EMC press release that indicated this practice has changed.<div>&nbsp;</div> If EMC customers are now "free" to run side-by-side comparisons against competitive gear, then I look forward to the rush of requests to IBM to "bring it on!"<div>&nbsp;</div> Until then, many customers don't have the budget to buy or lease equipment from all vendors, or the skills, to run their own workload comparisons among different makes and models, and so the next best thing are industry-standard benchmarks that are open to all storage vendors to participate.<div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div>

4 localhost commented Trackback

Tony - <div>&nbsp;</div> Not that I don't believe you, but could you please send me the names of those customers you're hiding behind? <div>&nbsp;</div> Seriously, my research indicates that this allegation is most likely nothin more urban folklore. I personally can find no evidence of such a clause ever existing in our standard P&amp;S agreements going back at least 6 years, except in agreements covering equipment provided as loaners, for evaluation and/or to our partners as part of a CSA arrangement. I've looked pretty durn hard, and I can't find it.<div>&nbsp;</div> So if a customer tells you their contract prohibits publishing benchmark results of EMC gear, it is entirely possible that they recall such a clause in a prior loaner/eval agreement. Or that they don't actually own the EMC system in question. Or perhaps that they have come to beleive the urban folkloare themselves.<div>&nbsp;</div> Or maybe, you've just been mis-informed by over-zealous account teams - I don't know. <div>&nbsp;</div> But any way you slice it, this is bad blogketing...I doubt any editor of any credible technology publication would permit such unfounded allegations to be printed or published. And I know the IBM I used to work for wouldn't approve of this tactic.<div>&nbsp;</div> So again, I encourage you to retract or redact the assertion, and to focus instead on the facts.

5 localhost commented Trackback

But apparently you are admitting that you have no proof that such a policy has ever existed - thank you for setting the record straight. LIke I said, it's always better if you stick to the facts.<div>&nbsp;</div> MORE IMPORTANTLY, however, I disagree wholeheartedly that standardized benchmarks are "the next best thing" as you claim. Just as standardized testing in our public schools ignores the unique capabilities of our children, tests like TPC and SPC merely homogenize the participants to a standard this is impossible to relate to the real world.<div>&nbsp;</div> And where standardized testing in an incentive-based social infrastructure inevitably results in teaching to the test instead of unbounded curriculae, so too does standardized benchmarking inevitably result in unrealistic configurations optimized only to best the test. <div>&nbsp;</div> As our alternative, EMC offers our customers and prospects the opportunity to test and compare our equipment in our own labs (or in theirs) under workloads that are mutually agreed to be representative of the customers actual use model. We have literally dozens of test-bench applications that can be dynamically configured to match customer application I/O workloads, as well as comprehensive traces of actual production environments used to model new applications or combinations of workloads that a customer might be planning to implement. <div>&nbsp;</div> Most importantly, we have the people and expertise to help our customers understand how these benchmarks will relate to their own environments - perhaps the biggest gap in both standardized benchmarking and in standardized testing is that there is nobody to take responsibility for explaining what the results mean. As far as I can tell, SPC participants merely hide behind "it's a standard test", leaving the customer to decide applicability.<div>&nbsp;</div> Given a world where you claim customers cannot afford the investment necessary to make a truly informed decision, I am sadly resigned to the fact that standardized testing will continue. I remain hopeful, however, that this will not "dumb down" our collective marketplace.<div>&nbsp;</div> That only IBM participates so agressively in SPC, while both EMC and Hitachi (et al) do not, gives evidence that the majority of the market is not being misled by the homogenization of standardized testing.

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