Recently I was visiting customers and prospects in the North East and during one of our meetings the customer stated, “…what NetApp is doing, in terms of storage virtualization, make us feel like NetApp is much more aligned with the goals of VMware than their parent company…”
This praise was shared while the customer told us how EMC is working to earn back their VMware (storage) business. Apparently the EMC team stating something to the effect that more companies run VMware on EMC than on any other storage platform and that the numbers from these surveys validated this claim.
The customer shared with us that what was very interesting in this data set was that NetApp’s gains in market share was much more impressive than EMC’s legacy market share.
Take a look at the chart. Sorry I know it’s small. Click here to view a larger version.
The data collected in the 2008 Goldman Sachs IT Spending Survey lists NetApp as the 6th most deployed on storage platform for server virtualization with a market share of 6%.
The data reported by the 2009 Forrester Storage Choices for Virtual Server Environments report concludes that NetApp is the 3rd most deployed on storage platform with 24% market share.
The 18 point gain is a growth in market share of 300%. By contrast EMC’s growth from 42% to 48% is a 6 point gain or a growth of 14%. In addition, NetApp is in 3rd place by 1% behind IBM which OEMs the N-Series arrays from NetApp. I can’t wait for the findings reported in the 2010 reports.
Now I can already hear the same old crowd (Chuck, Zilla, et al…) bemoan, “Survey data is meaningless!” Normally I’d agree with them on this point, but let us recall that this survey data was cited by EMC as a means to validate their claim of being the dominant storage vendor for VMware deployments.
Back To My Story…
So, it was while this customer was paying NetApp engineering very high praise that it hit me. EMC had validated what I’ve been sharing with customers I’ve meet with, presented to, and assisted with in designing their architectures over the past two years. It’s time to virtualize the storage array!
It’s no secret that the market share leader in SAN storage arena is and has been EMC for quite some time. It’s very logical that they should historically have the largest share of VMware deployments. They were the storage on the floor when the world ‘got’ the value of server virtualization.
But change is happening, customers are demanding that their storage virtualization technologies must be on par with what is currently available from server virtualization technologies.
Storage is a Commodity
May I be frank? What’s the difference between an EVA, a Symmetrix, and a PS6000S once you’ve deployed VMware on it? Seriously, what’s the difference? All of these arrays are production worthy, they all provide shared storage, redundant paths to targets, array based replication, etc.
The physical hardware architectures of storage arrays have no impact on the abilities of a Virtual Machine. If the array provides shared access, than it will do. So where’s the virtualization, or their advantages of these arrays with VMware, Hyper-V, or Xen Server?
Don’t get me wrong software like VMFS & SRM make all storage arrays usable but again I ask, where’s the array virtualization?
So it hit me, right then and there. I need to help those who still look at storage with the view that the hardware is valuable piece of the equation by sharing how the model has changed, and the virtualization of storage is what delivers the goods in a virtual data center.
I’ve created a series of blog posts entitled ‘Storage 101 – Virtualization Changes Everything’, and each week leading up to VMworld I will review a core storage virtualization technology and its advantages over traditional legacy storage architectures.
I am hoping to make these posts appealing to a diverse set of readers by beginning each post with a high level introduction to the technology followed by all of the technical gory details. I am hoping that those who want the ‘why’ can be satisfied up front, and these who want the ‘how’ can continue reading.
I expect this to be challenging and a load of fun!