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EMC join the race (at the front??)

So EMC have had to bow to the inevitable and join the Storage Performance Council; as Chuck mentions in his reply to Chris’ article, there are public agencies now mandating SPC membership for RFP submission; I am also aware that there are some large other storage users who are starting to do similar. But will we see benchmark wars and will it be a phoney war?

EMC have been selectively cherry-picking the SpecFS benchmarks for some time; they are inordinately proud with regards to their benchmarks around SMB performance and I suspect such cherry-picking will continue. Certainly, many of the other vendor’s cherry-pick; for example, IBM won’t submit XIV (unless something has changed) because it will crash and burn. The configurations benchmarked are very often completely out of kilter with any real world configuration but at least any records EMC break in this area will have more relevance than someone jumping over a number of arrays on a motor-bike.

And I wonder if EMC’s volte-face will fit very nicely into their current ‘Breaking Records’ campaign; what better way to announce your ’embracing’ of a benchmark than smashing it out of sight for the time being? And if they fail to do so, I do however have it on good authority that EMC are going to submit the number of people you can fit in a Mini and array jumping as a standard to SPC.

Is it a case that we can finally beat them, so we’ll join them? As NetApp continue to slowly transmogrify into EMC, I wonder if EMC are going to meet them halfway.


  1. tgs says:

    “As NetApp continue to slowly transmogrify into EMC”

    I’m glad someone noticed, and said it.

  2. Martin G says:

    It’s been a regular topic of discussion in the end-user storage user community in the UK. Many of us feel that NetApp are becoming more EMC-like in their external dealings whereas at times EMC have attempted to paint themselves more like NetApp than NetApp.

    However, I am certainly seeing signs of EMC reverting completely back to type; so we could have two EMCs going at each other which could either be very amusing or irritating. For the time being, I have decided to be amused!!

  3. — disclaimer – NetApp employee —


    Your analysis is spot on here. Storage vendors have been able to promote performance results obtained on non-real world configurations for too many years. I believe the result of these practices has led a charge to the bottom and loss of credibility around performance benchmarks.

    Here’s to hoping that the days of such marketing shenanigans, pitched as proof points, may have come to an end.


  4. Radek says:

    I find it interesting that in this industry everyone aspires to be just like NetApp, while the ultimate insult is to be compared to EMC 🙂

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