This is my second time at EMCWorld I was here in 2014. This year has a different feel than last time, due to the pending dell acquisition. My first impression was not good. We picked up our stuff at registration and it just screamed cheap. A bag that is not really good for carrying and electronics does not even have EMCWorld anywhere on it an no EMCWorld shirt included like years past. I know it should not matter it’s just free stuff but with all the changes coming at EMC it just seem like a poor start.
So onto the tech stuff.
EMC Unity was announced it can be an all flash array that can or a hybrid array. This essentially a VNX3 , however the big changes are no separate OS’S for file and block it has a whole new OS and file system which truly makes unity unified, not unified management like the vnx was. The price point seems good the issue is see is this is just a scale up array not scale out like the VNX. This hurts it in comparison to other all flash arrays especially the all flash FAS from NetApp. Unity probably does not have scale out capability so it does not compete/hurt extreme IO and VMAX all flash. I am sure EMC would hope you to buy those systems if you need to scale out and replace your unity system. In my experience though people will just buy another Unity/VNX to stay with the platform they are familiar with. Good thing is you can add Unity to unisphere central if you end up with more than one.
The VxRack and VxRail were what excited me the most. I saw some of last year at VMWorld, however the offering has matured since then. VxRack has three options a flex version using scaleio , a VMware sddc using vSan and the newest edition using openstack. I had a great talk with someone from VMware in the solutions expo about how a service provider could use a VxRack to carve out individual private clouds for customers and then be able to add capacity without disruption. This is done by having what I think he called workload domains that reserve the resources just for those customers. I would like to see some sort of QOS or iops guarantee mechanism so I could offer storage tiers inside of a VxRack, maybe which will be offered later. VxRail I can see a lot of uses including dedicated private clouds, vdi and remote office. The all flash version will support eraser coding.
The keynotes were fine it is always nice to hear from leadership I just wish when the talked to customers instead of super large corporations they would talk to some of their medium business and small enterprises or service providers. Of course that is not just an EMC problem. You can find the new product announcements all over so I won’t retell them. However I took exception to Michael Dell’s comments about HP, or the shots taken at HP in the bond videos. When I have dealt with EMC they have always talked about their products without taking shots at other companies but I guess that died with Dell Merger. The other thing that bothers me about EMC and VMware, they both have products that are trying to compete with Amazon and Azure, but this also puts them in competition with their Service provider customers. Which is something HPE is not doing. I am sure there were many HP/HPE customer in the audience when Michael Dell was making his comments about HPE “shrinking” to get more business, and in fact some of those numbers may have been out of context, if not just wrong. My opinion Michael Dell and the new Dell technologies group should stop talking about the competitors problems and focus on their strengths, it is just a turn off, and of course you never know how many of your customers may also be customers of that competitor.