Myself and Tony Asaro have had a bit of snit over the uniqueness of the USP-V; he opines that it is unique and I am right that it is not unique. In many ways, this comes down to Tony’s opinion that the USP-V is unique because it is the only external storage virtualisation array which is Enterprise Storage. In his opinion neither the v-Series or the SVC are Enterprise Storage and hence do not compete with the USP, DMX and DS8K range. Also in SVC’s case because it does not have it’s own disk and simply virtualises external arrays; it is not a storage device (I’ll leave that comment alone).
So what this really boils down to is what is Enterprise Storage? A couple of years ago, I probably could have sat down and told you what is and what isn’t Enterprise Storage but now? I’m not so sure, I can list you some characteristics of Enterprise Storage but the problem is that pretty much all of the arrays from most vendors have those characteristics!
- Highly Available – 99.99%+ available
- Highly Scalable – Supports 500+ disks and supports many hosts attached
- Highly Performant – Whatever that means
- Non-disruptive upgrades – Internal code and hardware can be replaced/upgraded with no service outage
- Supports multiple RAID Levels
- Supports multiple disk-types and sizes within the array
Problem is, as I say pretty much every array from most vendors have these characteristics. So what actually is Enterprise Storage or is it entirely defined by the price you pay? Are some things simply too cheap to be classed as Enterprise Storage?
You see, I’m no longer sure and does it really matter? I suspect it matters alot to the Hitachis and the EMCs of this world but to anyone else? For the rest of us, it probably comes down to the eye of the beholder. Thoughts anyone?