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Hey, EMC. You and I are seriously falling out over this marketing crap

I like you really, but what's with this Mega Launch hype?

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Storagebod Word has reached me that EMC's marketing dept may not be reacting quite so well to my previous post; yet if truth be known, I actually toned down what I really wanted to write because I wanted to ensure that people who I like and have time for didn’t catch too much flak.

Although I speak only for myself, I know that I am not the only person who feels similarly about the current strain of EMC marketing.

What I found so disappointing with the storage giant's Mega Launch of products and updates this week is that there are some interesting pearls, but they got lost within the hype and general hullabaloo.

The re-write of the VNX2 code is very long overdue and, from what I can see, gives EMC a solid base for its mid-range offerings.

It will allow the biz to take advantage of the tick-tock releases from Intel and, if it has done serious work on the RAID code, it would surprise me if EMC hasn’t at least laid the groundwork for a future alternative data-protection method - for example, a micro-RAID distributed across all disks with improved re-build times.

To move to a more modular software architecture has to be sensible and should allow EMC to transition to a software-only virtual array in the future.

If it has talked about such things, as opposed to concentrating on the hype, and put the VNX2 into a context of future innovation, then that would have been more interesting.

Of course, EMC continues to talk very fast about VNX being a unified platform. In reality, we know it isn't – not in the way that NetApp is, anyway. That’s fine, but it still grates that marketing's smoke and mirrors are involved.

But the VNX2 announcement is not without problems, either; can I take an existing VNX and migrate non-disruptively to this new code? Do I have to take services and products such as VPLEX to enable this?

And then there was the ViPR general availability announcement; much more detail and context could have been put around this, especially when aligned with the Project Nile “product”. I can see the beginnings of a platform strategy emerging – and an interesting one at that. I’d be interested to know how some of their partners' products fit into the picture; companies such as Panzura for example?

Yet where are the technical details? This side of EMC “marketing” has sadly vanished, only to be replaced by shallow glitz. Much could have been forgiven and the announcement could have been put to one side as the carnival it was.

It is sad that I miss Chuck Hollis’s take on these announcements. I know that Chuck was a real drum beater for EMC, but there would have been technical content and interesting pearls. These days, it seems that the real detail has to be obtained face-to-face where most of the crap can be cut through.

So with a VMAX announcement probably due next year, probably at EMC World, I would hope for a more considered approach and a more balanced approach – but I shan’t be holding my breath. Breathless seems to be the current EMC marketing approach.

EMC have some good and some great products, and some gear with serious challenges. I know from my day-to-day dealings with EMC that some are really trying to shift its culture and convince customers that they are different.

The Mega Launch leads me to question that. ®

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