Ok, this is my first English post, I hope to write in an understandable way and surely better than a google translation, 🙂

I saw these posts from Marc Farley and Barry Burke about EMC, Compellent and 3Par and I want to add my humble opinion. I’m the owner of a small system integrator company in Italy specialized in Storage and Virtualization solutions. We choosed to add Compellent to our offer more than a year ago and so far we got a lot of positive feedbacks and satisfaction from our customers (and mine obviously!) who migrated from obsolete traditional storage architectures.

3PAR is producing a family of storage very well positioned against DMX and V-MAX, Compellent produces a storage positioned in the modular arrays market (Clariion CX line), from times to times they are in competition but not too often (for example: here in Italy I’ve never found 3Par in competition… and I don’t know if 3Par has any customer base in Italy at all!).

First of all it’s true: “EMC is the biggest storage company in the world”… it’s not a secret!

But being bigger doesn’t mean being better. EMC has a lot of product lines, people, resellers, advertising power, and it’s very simple for them to say: ” we are big, they are no one!” 😉 EMC could show graphs with sales volumes but they do not, since it’s not good for them to show their sales descendig trend…. latest IDC reports sayng their last Qs are not so bright, and someone suggests that EMC continues to sell for the price and not for the features.

The first difference between the Big guys and the small ones is the technology and the implementation!

Wide-Striping, Thin Provisioning, Automated tiered storage, SSDs (oops! EFDs: EMC is so big than they can change names to things) and so on are, or will be, implemented in EMC as patches to their obsolete traditional architecture… you can find a lot of “features” from EMC clashing each other (bleah!) An example? if you buy thin provisioning in a CX you can’t use mirrorview!!!! WOW! so you solve a problem but create a new one!

Compellent and 3Par have engineered brand new architectures: They have a new design, fully new and integrated features, strong implementations and performance.

the small guys are small by definition but they are here and you need to compare apples with apples (in this case feature with feature).. for example you can’t say today that you will have automated tiered storage just because you will have a comparable implemetantion in a year or two! how many things can happen in two years? Ok, it’s necessary to tell something to calm the customers down, otherwise you’ll need to cut the prices of your not so featured arrays!

The price matters: it’s another fact!

3Par and Compellent are still growing (Compellent more than 3Par, 😉 ), while EMC is declining in sales during this period of recession!

EMC slashes prices every time to compete and they are not willing to discuss about features!!! It’s very difficult for me to sell against EMC, not for the features but for prices! Here in Italy you can find offers from EMC with discounts up to 75% of the list price and more… It’s not a good long term strategy: some unhappy (ex)EMC customers experienced a first very low price to get the systems in and then very small discounts for any upgrade, you can do this one time but no more!

Last but not least: The price is important but, sorry, TCO is much more important!

Customers understand this very well: less power consumption, less floor space, more features, ease of use, more performance, more options, simple way to upgrades, and so on… make the difference!!!

hope my post is readable and clear!

Enrico Signoretti