One of the largest and one of the smaller, storage vendors on the planet took a swing at the struggling IT market the other week with very different styles.

On one end is privately-held Tarmin Technologies with Version 1.5 of its GridBank storage software for storing, backing up and recovering unstructured data, such as that produced by Windows Office applications and, particularly, Microsoft’s SharePoint collaboration server. There, I said it – without even looking at my notes, a good sign that the Tarmin folks did a good job pounding the message into my head in both the phone briefing and the accompanying slides. Their value-proposition is providing a low-cost, software-only, object-based archiving and discovery system for Windows file data. Their announcement covered a lot of specific nice-to-haves and must-haves, such as support for heterogeneous storage protocols and e-discovery, while staying focused on the secondary storage (archiving) market for file-based data.

On the other end was EMC’s mega-launch of the next generation of its flagship high-end storage array, the Symmetrix V-Max, and its new “matrix” architecture on which future high-end arrays will be built to help customers move into the new age of virtualized data centers. In some ways, it’s not fair to compare the two announcements as EMC had a lot more ground to cover, a much broader technology story and a more diverse, worldwide customer base to address. But even so, EMC could have used some of the focus of the smaller Tarmin announcement.

EMC officials talked about how the new platform could “scale out as well as scale up” without defining those terms and why you’d need to do one or the other. (I have a pretty good idea, of course, but why make customers guess?) They talked about how the V-Max virtualized critical functions without, at every turn, giving examples of those functions or how that helped the customer. There was a lot of talk of bigger, badder everything, such as scaling to 256 storage engines, tens of thousands of disk drives and tens of millions of I/Os per second. But without specific examples in the same breath, it sounded more like merely “cheaper faster bigger” rather than the transformational technology the V-Max could very well could be.

Customers today are scared silly and drowning in information. Before trying to change their worlds, tell them how you'll save their jobs and keep the lights on today. 

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: PR/Marketing Trends

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