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EMC and NetApp don't have solutions optimised for the ITaaS world, says HP's David Scott

TM Arun Kumar | Nov. 11, 2013
David Scott, senior vice president and general manager for HP Storage, talks about the future of the storage market, the impact of changing technology models and HP's relevance in the current scenario, while taking a dig at the competition.

So, if you look at primary storage, the acquisition of 3Par gave us the leading architecture in the industry for meeting primary storage architectures. If you look at SDS, we made a very far sighted acquisition of a company called Left Hand Networks back in 2008-09, which has given us the leadership technology in SDS today. We have 170,000 deployments of SDS on industry standard servers in a hypervisor agnostic environment when VMware is just talking about their VSA technology in SDS. So, we are way ahead of the market and EMC has just bought ScaleIO when we already have the solutions.

If you then look at areas like backup, where tape was evolving to first generation disk-based de-duplication systems, like EMC's Data Domain or Avamar, now those first generation systems have started to hit a wall because of performance and as a result they neither backup fast enough nor do they recover fast enough. And they aren't highly available products as they are single node products. But with HP StoreOnce technology that we organically developed in HP Labs, we now have a second-generation disk-based de-duplication system, which is massively differentiated using modern architectures.

So, across all these areas, whether its primary storage, SDS or backup, we feel that we are in an extremely strong position. But, it's only just emerging now and as we bring those products to the market and we start executing with it, you'll start to see the transformation and transition away from us losing market share to us gaining market share.

David, the last time we spoke, which was just after the 3Par acquisition, you had mentioned that there is a huge opportunity to attach your storage with your servers (in which you do have a dominant market share). How has that strategy worked out for you so far?
We have always had our server attach capability as our strength, particularly in the entry storage market where we sell a lot of ProLiants and external storage arrays. Where HP has had trouble in the past is in the mid-range space where we allowed our EVA platform to be less successfully attached owing to the challenges from a functional perspective as we hadn't made the investments that allowed it to keep pace. All that has changed with the 3Par acquisition. In India, we have been focussed very heavily on the refresh of SAP environment and have had tremendous success taking huge wins and selling our servers with our storage and networking. And that is an example of where we can use the power of HP to sell converged infrastructure based solutions.

I think we are starting to see much better success not just with the sales of converged infrastructure solutions but also with selling storage independently. The fact that the 3Par product line grew over 63 percent year over year was not associated with our selling more attach, but also competitive replacements in storage-only environments where NetApp and EMC with their dual-controller architectures in the mid-range had become vulnerable to the competition from our 3Par 7000, which has a quad-controller architecture. This can offer mission critical tier-1 capability at an affordable price point in mid range segment and that hasn't happened in the past. This is also allowing us to gain market share in the mid range over the last couple of quarters against the likes of EMC and NetApp because we have changed the dynamics of what's possible to do at the same economic price point.


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