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Fujitsu don’t get it

Fujitsu is pissed. Last week, they announced their super high-end, the Eternus DX8700. They want to compete with the biggest and the baddest babies out there – IBM DS8800, EMC VMAX and HDS VSP. And they are approaching it from the angle of being modular versus guys like EMC and HDS, which they liken to be monolithic storage arrays.

As quoted from The Register“Fujitsu says its DX8700 S2 rewrites the rules by making the leap from monolithic to modular architecture”. 

Well, congratulations Fujitsu! The Japanese company makes great products with the typical precision and quality of Japanese products. And there is no doubt that their DX8000 series is a power monger in its own rights.

It boasts of 6Gbps internal SAS backplane, SAS support, FCoE and 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The DX8700 supports up to 8 controllers, with 3,072 2.5″ HDDs or SSDs or 1,536 3.5″ drives. With 3TB drives capacity, it reaches 4 petabyte raw capacity (3.6PB usable). And it will have automated storage tiering with its Flexible Data Management feature, come early next year.  Bind-in-Cache feature is there for pinning certain data in memory for performance reasons as well as the support for 32,768 snapshots.

All these features and specs are fantastic but in Malaysia, Fujitsu is hardly making waves in the storage industry. A lunch date with a friend of mine who has just joined Fujitsu Malaysia to sell the Eternus product revealed the sentiments of product in the local market. Eternus who?

First of all, marketing is sorely lacking. Not many people know about Fujitsu’s storage product and they are also quite conservative in their advertising. This means that my friend in Fujitsu has a mountain to climb when it comes to convincing partners and customer about the Eternus product.

Secondly, they have to build a solutions ecosystem. The need for Eternus to handle backup with 3rd party vendors such as Symantec NetBackup, Commvault and other is glaring. There are also other areas such as archiving, disaster recovery and so on. And don’t get me started with Tier 1 applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Oracle database, SQL Server and VMware. They are just not known to many here in Malaysia, except to those who are close to Fujitsu. Even worse, some of their partners don’t even know about Fujitsu’s storage solutions.

I am sure these solutions have already been validated in the US and in Japan and works but come on, Fujitsu, if you don’t tell people about it, no one would know. I don’t see software vendors and their SE or sales saying that “our products work well with Fujitsu Eternus“. Who’s Fujitsu Eternus?

Thirdly, it is about mind share and this bring the Fujitsu sales force and their partners to go out there and pitch, pitch and pitch. It is important to educate these fellas to sell and get in front of the customers to pitch Fujitsu Eternus.

So what if Fujitsu is pissed? Yes, they are because competitors probably belittled them. But they have to change their ways here in Malaysia to get noticed. They must get it.

Gartner figures about the storage market – Half year report

After the IDC report a couple of weeks back, Gartner released their Worldwide External Controller-Based (ECB) Disk Storage Market report last week. The Gartner reports mirrors the IDC report, which confirms the situation in the storage market, and it’s good news!

Asia Pacific and Latin America are 2 regions which are experiencing tremendous growth, with 27.9% and 22.4% respectively. This means that the demand of storage networking and data management professionals is greater than ever. I have always maintained that it is important for professionals like us to enhance our technical and technology know-how to ride on the storage growth momentum.

So from the report, there are no surprises. Below is a table to summarizes the Gartner report.

As you can see, HP lost market share together with Dell, Fujitsu and Oracle. Oracle is focusing its energies on its Exadata platform (and it’s all about driving more database license sales), and hence their 7000-series is suffering. Despite Fujitsu partnership with NetApp and EMC, and also with its Eternus storage, lost ground as well.

Dell seems to be losing ground too, but that could be the after effects of divorcing EMC after picking up Compellent early this year. Dell should be able to bounce back as there are reports stating that Compellent is picking up a good pace for Dell. One of the reports is here.

The biggest loser of the last quarter is HP. Even though it has a 0.3% of a market drop, things does not seem so rosy as I have been observing their integration of 3PAR since the purchase late last year. No doubt they are firing all cylinders, but 3PAR does not seem to be helping HP to gain market share (yet). The mid-tier has to be addressed as well and having the old-timer EVA at the helm is beginning to show split ends. Good for the hairdresser; not good for HP. IBRIX and LeftHand complete most of HP storage line-up.

HDS is gaining ground as their storage story is beginning to gel quite well. Coupled with some great moves consolidating their services business and also their Deal Operations Center (DOC) in Kuala Lumpur, simplifies the customers doing business with them. Every company has its challenges but I am beginning to see quite a bit of traction from HDS in the local business scene.

IBM also increased market share with a 0.2% jump. Rather tepid overall but I was informed by an IBMer that their DS8000s and XIVs are doing great in the South East Asia Region. Kudos but again IBM still has to transform its mid-tier DS4000/5000 business, which IBM OEMs the storage backend from NetApp Engenio.

EMC and NetApp are the 2 juggernauts. EMC has been king of the hill for many quarters, and I have been always surprised how nimble EMC is, despite being an 800 pound gorilla. NetApp has proven its critics wrong. For many quarters it has been taking market share and that is reflected in the Gartner Half Year Report below:

There you have it folks. The Gartner WW ECB Disk Storage Report. Again, I just want to mention that this is a wonderful opportunity for us doing storage and data management solutions. The demand is there for experienced and skilled professionals but we have to be good, really good to compete with the rest.