Pillar rains on EMC's parade
Pugnacious Pillar Data boss does workmanlike job on Chuck's wagon
Pillar Data is raining insults on EMC's CX4 usable capacity parade.
Chuck Hollis, VP for tech alliances at EMC, reckons EMC's CX4 delivers 70 per cent of its raw capacity to users as usable capacity and pooh-poohs HP EVA and NetApp FAS arrays for only delivering 48 per cent and 34 per cent respectively in the same Exchange scenario. Pillar's CEO and founder, Mike Workman, has capped that, saying its Axiom arrays deliver 75 per cent usable space.
He writes: "... we get 75 per cent vs EMC’s 70 per cent, HP’s 48 per cent and NetApps 34 per cent. Of companies noted in Chuck’s blog, I think this kicks some buttski. Nice, thanks for bringing it up Chuck (hee hee)."
Pillar Data is backed by Oracle boss Larry Ellison's personal Taco Ventures funding outfit. Ellison is no shrinking violet and Workman comes from the same flowerbed. Buttski indeed.
He uses the same calculations as EMC for internal overhead, hot sparing, RAID data and snapshot space allocation. Then he adds that using 120 x 146GB Fibre Channel drives for Exchange is silly. It can be done far more efficiently with SATA spindles and with no performance loss because RAID 10 is used: "SATA in RAID 10 performs the same as Fibre Channel 15K in RAID 5." SATA disks are much cheaper too. Workman predicts EMC's Hollis will ignore his blog. Pillar who? ®
Umm How about the controller?
What most of you are missing in your drive-type pissing match is that the controller and RAID type will have a much more dramatic impact on throughput than the drive type. It's no wonder you see some people have success with SATA and others don't.
With most intensive systems, you want to be able to dedicate spindles to the job and only that job. With pillar and other "virtual" storage systems, you lose the ability to do that - you will find each disk is part of tens or hundreds of different LUNs and can be accessed by tens of different hosts with no way for you to control that. This means the spindles can get high contention and the Pillar solution to this - QoS banding for LUNs - high, medium, low and archive doesn't really do enough to help this. Usually, the reason for a SAN is owing to performance and availability - so why are people worrying about usable storage - it's like saying "Buy my new book, because the cover is red" It's true, but useless information....
SATA may not be as bad as you all say
If Pillar is pushing it, and XIV (developed by Moshe Yanai - anyone recognise his name from the early EMC days???) is as well, maybe it's time to look at it again. Does it go everywhere? No. But it can fit in more places than you all seem open to acknowledging.