Driving in circles in the storage industry

2016 has started out being pretty unkind to the storage industry.  There may be some deep-seeded reasons for it.

We’ve been talking about layoff scenario on the In Tech We Trust podcast for several weeks.

The following links are to articles and blog posts about Winter 2016 job cuts in the storage industry:











The SWCSA uses the Force to predict Netapp and Solidfire winners and losers

The Netapp/Solidfire deal has been in the news, but the SWCSA wanted to look into it using the metaphysical tools at its disposal – The Force:

Congratulations to Netapp for finally getting the EMC disruptor monkey off it’s back – thanks to Dell.

Three things I hate about Dell acquiring EMC

Dell’s planned acquisition of EMC pushes the limits of sanity. In response, I also pushed the limits of sanity with this steering wheel cam video made with a selfie stick pointed at me through the windshield while I was driving.  As you can see, the external camera recording didn’t turn out very well – just as I expect Dell/EMC to not turn out very well.

The video examines the horrors of EMC’s marketing budget being slashed, NTAP rising to be #1 in independent storage companies and the enormous waste of resources while everybody tried to figure out what a tracking stock is.

EMCLeaks – Disruption by a Billion Benjamins

emcleaksStorage industry muckracker Chris Mellor was at it again, digging deeper than anyone could imagine, finding and publishing the amount of money EMC spent on stealth startup DSSD. I highly recommend reading his piece, but if you need to know now, it was $1Billion.

That is a lot of money for a startup without customers and I believe it was spent for very good reasons. Here is how I see it:

1) RIP all disk arraysThe flash array business is growing rapidly and the all-disk array business is flat, or declining. In other words, flash-based arrays are kicking all-disk arrays to the curb faster than you can say “all-disk is dead”.

2) Pure Storage is putting a major hurt on EMC in head to head competition. This statement is inflammatory, but I believe it’s accurate.

3) neoXtremIO is doing OK, but it is not a dominating product. EMC realizes it needs one and believes DSSD could their Neo.

4) EMC realizes that the enterprise storage industry is in for a major shakeup over the next 3-5 years. EMC will not allow itself to be left on the sideline if its current product lines become dinosaurs overnight.

5) Product life-cycles and customer buying-cycles for flash-based products are being extended from 3 years to 5 (ala Pure & Tegile), and in the future may be extended even further. EMC needs products that compete on that basis and DSSD may be a platform that provides extended life-cycles for their customers.

6) steve-carell-alice-cooperDSSD will allow EMC to compete for high-performance analytics opportunities that might otherwise go to Exadata or other HPC systems by offering a lower-cost, slightly-lower-performance flash storage alternative to all that costly RAM.