Enterprise storage customers say they do not expect to be impressed when Hitachi Ltd. rolls out its new Freedom 9980 high-end storage monolith and TrueNorth software next week at the Networld+Interop tradeshow in Las Vegas.
Customers of EMC Corp.s Symmetrix line, who are the main target of Tokyo-based Hitachis new offering, say they dont see much value in trading Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMCs monolith and the unfilled virtualization and interoperability promises that come with it for Hitachis, unless Hitachis were far less expensive. Hitachi officials would not comment on the announcement.
"We have found in several situations that bigger wasnt always better," said Bill Gatewood, director of IT operations at Progress Energy Inc., in Raleigh, N.C., a user of 24 terabytes from EMC, Compaq Computer Corp. and Hitachi. "We still focus on the technology, the reliability thats been proven out in the field."
John Rand, director of planning and reporting for Sears, Roebuck and Co., uses IBM storage and 100 terabytes of EMC storage and said he would be reluctant to switch to Hitachi "unless it was so advantageous cost-wise, which probably EMC would match anyhow."
In addition, "EMCs customer services continues to be fantastic, why would I change," he said, from his Hoffman Estates, Ill., office. "Its kind of a surprise to me because thats one of the things everyones hitting EMC on," he said of the 9980s size. "Im not sure I understand."
But plenty of other companies at N+I will strive for users attention.
American Megatrends Inc., the Norcross, Ga., maker of BIOS systems, will launch MegaRAC G2 host-bus adapters and RTG (ready to go) network-attached storage devices that are pre-configured, officials said.
Hewlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif., despite being busy with its acquisition of Houston-based Compaq, will announce plans to resell Imation Corp.s independent storage testing and consulting services. Though Compaq has its own significant consulting arm, HPs storage-specific group "is whats considered an emerging practice. We recognized that there was a resource that we didnt necessarily have," said Keith Drummond, North American storage practice principle at HP, regarding the special skills of Imation, in Oakdale, Minn.
Old technologies like tape, state-of-the-art concepts like storage-area networks, and future products like IP-based storage will also see news announcements. Those will come from Milpitas, Calif.-based Quantum Corp. and Sony Electronics Inc., of San Jose, Calif., who will separately launch new drives and media.
Also, McData Corp., of Broomfield, Colo., will discuss new SAN software, according to sources, and FalconStor Software Inc., of Melville, N.Y., will launch version 3.0 of their IPStor product.