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Friday musings on HDS, NetApp, HP and Dell

PIgeon post or poo?

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Pigeons from the far corners of the storage empire have flown in to the El Reg roost dropping off their precious messages which may or may not be true, but we think they could be.

Pigeon number one comes from locations near to HDS and says a new and refreshed USP-V is being unveiled at the end of September. It will use Intel processors and retain the USP-V controller idea of a global cache and multiple controller nodes. There could be up to 256 controller engines, using quad-core Intel CPUs, or even more powerful ones, and PCI busses.

The pigeon's word is that it will ship in the first half of 2011.

There may also be enhancements to HAM, HDS' failover cluster product.

Pigeon number two flew in from Sunnyvale and hints that a new high-end NetApp FAS product is ready for unveiling in the next few weeks, one significantly more powerful than the FAS608, and one that will be better able to take advantage of the clustering capabilities in ONTAP 8. It should ship before the next-generation USP-V.

Pigeon number three flies in with a take on HP's EVA. Its message says that the core EVA developers upped sticks and left HP years ago, being hacked off with all the CEO shenanigans and lack of focus from Carly Fiorina onwards. The upshot is nobody in HP understands the algorithms and code deep inside the EVA. That's why EVA is late getting new functionality.

Putting an EVA personality (P6000) into the new storage processors is like putting lipstick on a pig; it's still EVA at the backend. That's why HP wants - needs - 3PAR; to replace the tired and dated EVA technology. 3PAR can't really scale to the high-end, only being capable of taking out EVA and CLARiiONs on the one hand, and low-end DS8000s, USP-Vs and Symmetrix' on the other. For HP, 3PAR is the EVA rescue brigade.

Pigeon number four flies in with a view on Dell's strategy re 3PAR. It says that 3PAR's price has got to ridiculous levels. Let's make HP pay a huge amount for it; the termination fee is relative peanuts, and then watch HP's EVA development team scrap it out with the 3PAR people in a no-holds barred fight for HP's mid-range storage soul.

Meanwhile HP dukes it out with EMC, wanting to get bucks back from customers for the near $2 billion its going to pay for 3PAR. So we, Dell, sit back and let this happen, and then step in and buy Compellent - who else is going to? - reckoning we can push its architecture higher so it can occupy the low-end DS8000, USP-V, V-Max space, and give us our own storage IP in the converged infrastructures people are wanting.

That means, long-term, we'll weaken our bonds with EMC. So what? It doesn't matter. Joe T at Hopkinton knows this is likely to happen. He's a pragmatic guy and will take our reseller revenue while he can.

There we are; four messages tied to the legs of clever little pigeons, or four blobs of pigeon poo drooped on our naive heads. Are we well-informed or covered in sh*t? Take your pick and enjoy your weekend. ®

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