EMC's Thin Pickings

EMC keeps its head below the parapet

July 17, 2007

2 Min Read
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5:50 PM -- EMC unveiled a slew of products during a press conference this morning, taking the wraps off a high-end Symmetrix device, an entry-level Rainfinity appliance, and a bunch of other enhancements to its product line. (See EMC Plans Product Blitz and EMC Announces Software.)

Somewhat surprisingly, one technology was missing from this morning's product blitz. Despite a flurry of rumors last week, EMC did not use today's event to significantly strengthen its thin provisioning message. (See Tips for Risk-Free Thin Provisioning, Revisiting Thin Provisioning's 'Firsts', and Real Thin Provisioning.)

That doesnt mean that the vendor has given up on the technology. EMC exec Dave Donatelli contends that the firm has had thin provisioning on its Celerra line for 18 months -- in case you hadn't noticed -- and plans to extend this to Symmetrix and Clariion hardware next year.

EMC has been notably more guarded on the topic than its rivals, despite the company's insistence that it's working to improve its take on the technology. (See HP Intros Secure Advantage, The Skinny on Thin Provisioning, and Thin Is Definitely In.)

Donatelli lowered this guard briefly today when an analyst asked whether EMC had closed the gap on rival vendor 3PAR, whose marketing team first coined the term 'thin provisioning.' (See Revisiting Thin Provisioning's 'Firsts', DataCore Ships SAN Management, and 3PAR Debuts 'Thin Provisioning'.) "We have built a lot of automation around monitoring and making sure that you can provision safely," he said, also claiming a scalability edge over its rival.One reason for EMC's previous reticence on this topic could be the culture of claim and counter-claim that has enveloped the technology. From DataCore's war of words over who actually invented thin provisioning, to the angry skepticism on the Byte and Switch message boards that greeted HP's recent moves in this space, this is clearly a volatile topic. (See HP's Storage & Security Blitz and HP's Storage & Security Blitz.)

On the other hand, maybe EMC has just been dragging its feet and doesn't want to invite any more criticism from the many thin provisioning zealots out in storage land.

— James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • DataCore Software Corp.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • 3PAR Inc.

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