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EMC CTO: I called flash a 'performance tier' but don't like the phrase

'Compute-affinity tier' might be closer to the mark, or maybe you can do better

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EMC CTO John Roese has decided he's not keen on the phrase “performance tier” that he used yesterday at EMC Forum Australia.

Vulture South has been told Roese did his own slideware for the event and that the definitions it offered of pure solid-state storage as “performance tier” storage and disk-based-but-flash-capable products like VMAX and VNX as “capacity tier” are internal EMC jargon that has not often been exposed to outsiders.

Now that it has, in part through exposure to hundreds of people in the audience EMC Forum, our story about Roese's talk and a lunch for C-level folk at EMC Forum, Roese isn't sure "performance" and "capacity" of are useful ways of describing the company's products.

Marketers are already in his ear with alternative suggestions, in part because as he pointed out in a post-interview follow-up phone call (a thing almost unprecedented in your correspondent's experience), VMAX lacks little in the performance department. That means it may not be entirely fair or accurate to lump it in with capacity arrays.

Roese didn't offer an alternative to “capacity tier” but did suggest that perhaps “compute-affinity tier” is a better way of describing EMC's flashy bits.

We're assured Roese has not received an email from the EMC C-suite containing a great many red exclamation marks, and he told Vulture South he's a 'let's talk about this' kind of guy rather than a 'get PR to demand changes to the story' guy.

He also said he's open to suggestions about just what EMC should be calling its various groups of products, because he's not entirely sure even the poetic “compute-affinity tier” is likely to make sense to customers or read well in brochureware.

Indeed, he's rather hoping Reg readers, among others, might have an idea or three about how to label the new types of storage arrays EMC and others sells these days. Do you need a better invitation visit the Storage Community? ®

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