When legacy storage box slingers collide
In the weeks leading up to Dell Technologies World conference, Dell and Pure Storage engaged in a “battle of the blog posts.” As far as I can tell, EMC got the (cannon) ball rolling with their missive, “Pure Storage’s Evergreen Storage Program – A Marketing Solution to Engineering Problems.” Then Pure, being Pure, eagerly responded with not one but two counter-posts.
The hackles were up, the charges and counter-charges were a slingin’, and the FUD was really flyin’.
Now, I love a blog war as much as anyone; they’re fun and, besides, they provide me with a lot of free competitive fodder.
But this was different.
This was like watching a couple of dinosaurs argue over who lays the best eggs while a giant comet is crashing into their world. Hey, guys? That flaming streak you see in the sky is not rosy-fingered dawn.
Spoiler alert – they both completely missed the point.
Who Said What? (abbreviated)
So, what did Dell say to get this dance started? In a nutshell, they attacked Pure’s Evergreen Storage Service (ES2) as a value-less bandaid that Pure had to invent to cover for their poor architectural choices. Obviously, I’m abbreviating the Dell argument. You can read the full post for yourself here.
So, why do I say that they both missed the point?
Simple. Basically, what they are arguing about is which vendor has the best program that requires their customers to buy stuff that (alleges to) minimize other stuff they might have to buy in the future, all in support of their OpEx storage.
I know, that’s a lot of “stuff.” But stay with me because all that “stuff” leads me to the central question:
Why buy anything?
Think about it. If the objective is to move to a flexible consumption OpEx model, why all this discussion about “buying?” Isn’t that what we’re trying to get away from?
The Real Alternative
I would argue (and do, all the time) that there are a lot of reasons to choose Zadara. But beyond unique managed services, dedicated resources, rich enterprise feature set, and extensive benefits, there’s the fact that, despite what some johnny-come-latelys would have you believe, Zadara pioneered this category “before it was cool.” This is what Zadara was built to do — we’re the greatest storage that you can’t buy.
And this is really central to the discussion of who’s OpEx “programs” are the best. Zadara has eight years experience actually providing hundreds of petabytes of enterprise storage-as-a-service to hundreds of customers. We know what it takes. And what it takes is an OpEx model where you really don’t buy anything.
So, how does that work? It’s remarkably simple:
- Zadara enterprise storage-as-a-service is only available as a service
- The service is the same, whether your Zadara storage happens to be located on your premises, in your colo site, at a service provider, in one of Zadara’s public cloud-adjacent sites, or in any combination of the above
- There are no platinum/gold/silver/tin service levels. There is only Zadara service. And it is platinum by any measure
- You can request system upgrades, independent of where the storage resides, at any time after new options are released, for no additional cost.
Read that last point again. Slowly.
Now, compare that to Dell’s “Future-Proof Loyalty Program”, Pure’s ES2, or pretty much any other program you can find. See why I said Pure and Dell were missing the point?
Let’s Break That Down
Instead of building a typical competitive comparison chart, let’s explore that incredible upgrade policy by answering some straightforward common questions:
Q: “When can I get storage hardware upgrades?”
A: Anytime after new hardware is released.
Q: “What service level do I need to sign up for to get that?”
A: It’s already included in the storage service.
Q: “What about 24x7x365 proactive monitoring?”
A: Also already included in the storage service.
Q: “What does storage maintenance cost?”
A: Nothing. Why would you pay for the maintenance of equipment you don’t own?
Q: “Are storage controller upgrades covered?”
Q: “How about disk drive and SSD upgrades?”
Q: “What about cache upgrades?”
Q: “What if I want to upgrade to NVMe (or any new/future flash technologies)?”
A: Same deal.
Q: “If the new hardware results in lower costs, is this reflected in my billing?”
A: Yes, in your next monthly invoice.
Q: “Wait! You mean my capacity pricing can improve as storage technologies advance?”
Almost every enterprise storage provider is claiming (or about to claim) that they have the best answer for flexible consumption of enterprise storage. And, as we saw in the duelling Dell and Pure Storage blog posts, most of those vendors are making it as hard as possible to understand what their offerings actually do for you.
Zadara makes it simple.
This is what we do. This is all we do. And we’ve been doing it since 2011.