Friday, 31 October 2008

Get the Balance Right

It's not very often I side with one vendor or another however after BarryB's recent post regarding "Benchmarketing" I feel obliged to comment. Have a read of Barry Whyte's rebuttal too.

We see technology advancements because "concept" devices are used to drive innovation but don't necessarily translate directly to end-user products. Look at the fashion industry - some of the most outrageous outfits are paraded down the catwalk but the same dress, coat, hat or whatever isn't sold in the shops. Instead it influences the next fashion season.

Look at the motor industry - concept cars appear well before actual consumer products. We may laugh at some and marvel at others - take the Bugatti Veyron. It is well known that Volkswagen make a loss on each car produced, however what counters this is the publicity, the research, the kudos of being able to claim Veyron technology (disputably the fastest car in the world) is deployed in the standard VW range. Lexus is another good example of a brand created by Toyota to perform the same function. Much the same can be said for Formula 1.

Now, I'm not endorsing IBM per-se here, however I don't see the harm with IBM marketing a "concept" piece of technology which could lead to innovation in the future. After all, IBM is well known for research of this kind; the disk drive and the tape drive spring to mind.

Even EMC's own bloggers question whether EMC is known for innovation and other than Symmetrix, I can't think of one thing I view as an EMC "idea".

Anyway, 'nuff said. As previously offered - I would love to take the position of moderator in developing real world benchmarking - bring it on!!


Mark said...

-LUN Masking.

-Array based replication.

-Active Active Load Balancing for Open Systems.

-Consistency Groups

-The three year array warranty (Introduced in 1989)

-The Cached Disk Array.

Just quick thoughts on Symm and if we get into the acquisitions we'll be here for weeks. Documentum alone created the Enterprise Content Management business and well RSA is RSA.

Look, I know there's the Microsoft factor at work here where one company pulls in more revenue than the others (IBM and HP will jump in here with disks in servers, JBOD and tape revenues), and it's put down to luck or magic but if you can't think of any ideas EMC pioneered it's because you're not thinking hard enough.

You use them every day.

BarryWhyte said...

Mark makes some interesting points. But I hardly think "lun masking" is in the same league as "the hard disk drive" for example.... "the IBM PC"... lol

As for "acquisitions" - isn't that a case in point, the need to 'look outside' to find the value...

Next gen storage solutions... ah that would be a DMX (think hardware revamped Symm) with SATA drives and some flash, or so the EMC sales folks would like you to believe.

Mark said...

And instead of me listing a bunch of stuff someone else did it for me.

Mark said...

I'm not diminishing IBMs contribution Barry but IBMs storage portfolio has stagnated so badly you've been throwing hundreds of millions to people we threw out on their arses as they were holding us back.

Add in JR Ewing and Alf and it's an 90's reunion you have going over there.

IBM Storage is hardly in a position to point the crap stick at anyone since your idea of a next gen storage system uses Gig E as an interconnect (Seriously. GigE. I used to buy P-Series boxes and if I asked my rep if they considered using GigE as an interconnect he'd have choked to death) requires SVC for Async replication offers 44% useable capacity doesn't support NDU or QoS.

As for going outside, what exactly is wrong with that? Someone else has a good idea and proves it's viable, they get paid for it and more work is done on it when it's brought inside than was done outside.

It isn't like these startups appear with products fully formed. They usually have an idea and some code which we then turn from a project into a product. You can't point to a single acquisition where the number of inventions created post-acquisition wasn't orders of magnitude larger than it was pre-acquisition.

Also, isn't spotting a good idea before it takes off innovative? Don't you have to be smart to spot the next billion dollar business or hit product?

The difference between IBM and EMC is that EMC would have bought Microsoft for Windows.

Mark said...

Oh as for the IBM PC, IBM didn't invent that they just made it practical. That was pretty much the last mainstream big splash product IBM shipped now wasn't it?

And yet again IBM quickly lost control of that market.

For the IBM Billions spent in those R&D Ivory Towers the ROI appears to be non-existent.