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February 25, 2010

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Jose Ruelas

this is great news!!!

kind regards
Jose R

Jason Wicker

Chad,

Killer way to lay this out. I hope you dont mind I shared this with the entire IONIX sales team.

BTW thanks again for the late night help with the Canadians in Boston :)

Jason

Chad Sakac

@jose - thanks!

@jason - please share - I hope it helps! clearly lots of change, but this has been thought through for a long time. To me (just one person's view), this is an obvious, natural move. Great for Ionix, great for VMware.

Grant

Wow thats the biggest load of FUD I have ever heard ! We definitely know who pays your salary !

So you couldn’t sell these products effectively as individual products (they were never best of breed , second string at best)

Then EMC acquired the products and couldn’t sell them , so rebranded them as Ionix and then still couldn’t sell them !
And have now handballed it to Vmware which will cripple them further with a Vmware only story .

Way to go on shooting yourselves in the foot !

Stuart Savill

Hey Chad - nice blog - been following for some time... and a heap of your stuff is "on the money", I gotta say - on this one i think people may be a little "non-believing" why? well...

I had an update on the Ionix product suite (And in this case - yes it was focused on the ECC side of the product, but was also looking at the more general approach) - and i was big time disappointed..

Firstly - EMC are still yet to get the base "nuts and bolts" bits right, and i am talking about all aspects of their own product set fully integrated into this suite in a TIMELY manner.

There are more innovative products breaking into (and already here!) the market that are now quicker to market, spread across more of the heterogeneous product set and more importantly ACTUALLY WORK & PERFORM (yes they may not be under one brand name - but they are out there).

I would also say (and i sort of agree with some of Grant's comments posted above) that this is no more than a re-branding exercise for loads of disparate parts and being able to put a bit more of a sales push on this stuff.

EMC have a lot to prove in the enterprise in these management spaces, once again i think that EMC may be biting off more than it can chew, and do a bunch of things badly, where it should be doing fewer things really well..

I for one - am a non-believer.....

Happy to have a chat about this...

Tweet - @stuiesav

Chad Sakac

@Grant - While everyone's entitled to their opinion, and I'm not going to censor folks, it's notable that you use a false identity (false email, an IP address from APJ, but don’t know with whom via ARIN). To continue with reasonable dialog, how about dropping the anonymity?

@Stu - Of all the products in the Ionix family, the one that disappoints me is Control Center. Customer feedback I hear consistently (and the product team knows) is that it's still to heavyweight, difficult to deploy and scale properly, and the "time to value" is really long. Some customers like it, many are frustrated.

The Control Center team is "back to the drawing board" working on their next major revision. There's also been a lot of dialog that the evolution of Storage Resource Management (SRM) as a product category has been bumpy. There are few customers super-happy about their tool (though I agree, there are some that they are generally happier about the one they are using than Control Center).

My personal opinion is that we have evolved that product to try to make a very small number of customers (the largest heterogenous storage customers in the world) happy, and they're still not happy. I wonder if we can ever make those 10 customers happy.

I think we should go back to the drawing board and start from first principles - and perhaps most importantly as opposed to trying to please the (perhaps?) unpleasable, make a simple product, that goes in fast and easy, can scale well (but not necessarily uber large) and delivers a low time-to-value for the storage customer looking for storage resource management.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are happy Control Center customers, and it still leads the SRM marketplace in share, but we want every product to bring joy and passion in customers - be the "best" in solving that problem. I don't think Control Center is there right now.

When I can say more about what we're doing about the future of SRM, I will - right now I don't know enough, but have been pushing the Control Center team for more.

What I **DO** know is that people talk to EMC about management **expect** to start that discussion about storage, and that's a place we have to nail. I almost wish that Control Center was not part of the Ionix family - as they're VERY different, but it IS part of that family, and we need to make it a great part of that family.

Conversely, customer feedback on Configuresoft (Server Configuration Manager), nLayers (SMART ADM), and Infra is consistently VERY positive. They go in and are installed in minutes in the case of SCM, and 1 day in the case of ADM. Time to value (really important in management land) is super-fast. Feedback on Fastscale is very positive, but we acquired them before they got big (very much acquired the tech, not the business) - the number of customers is relatively small.

Now, this (too me - and I do recognize that I have a bias - BUT I always only say what I believe based on everything I see, and try to avoid "self-drinking koolaid") reinforces my point:

- the set of new "startup acquired" things that were "not connected to infrastructure directly, but focused at the server, guest, and application" make more sense at VMware than at EMC.
VMware made their own choice on this one of what to take, and what not to take. The things that they got are FANTASTIC products. This will allow them to focus on integrating them into VMware’s management stack.

I know I'll never be able to convince an anonymous poster like "Grant", but there have been loads of occasions (and there will be more, including several very soon) where VMware does things that are actively in their interest and in a clear sense not in EMC's interest. There have been times where EMC has proposed things that VMware has out and out rejected. The board knows that VMware must be able to make the moves that make them continue to grow and succeed.

The flip-side (what this means to EMC) is that it means the Ionix team at EMC can focus on the products that ARE focused on infrastructure, including ones that are:
a) new "startup acquired, then home-built and need to evolve fast" (like Unified Infrastructure Manager) -
b) been part of the family for a while, products important to "non storage" parts of the portfolio focused on infrastructure (the broad network-centric parts of the smarts family that is OEMed to Cisco)
c) "home built, and needing a new foundation" (like Control Center)

I will say this - there are things that I see EMC do that are mistakes, and I've frequently blogged that they are that - a mistake. No one tells me what to say or do.

I agree that EMC where we don’t have industry-leading products that people love and are passionate about... Well, we need to focus, simplify and do further product integration and rationalization. Let's have a post at the end of 2010 on that topic - simplification and rationalization of the product breadth is furiously underway.

Back to the topic of this post... I genuinely believe that this is a very good move, and while I can see the perspective, can also say that it is not a "sales rebranding move".

And the other thing I would say is that ultimate customers make the choices, regardless of what I (or anyone else - including anonymous folks like "Grant") says.

Martin G

Great to hear the honest comments on CC; EMC have heard enough times from me about the subject. I feel your pain on CC's place in the Ionix family, it must be hard to have a product which is mostly loathed by it's user base (note I say mostly) and for many customers, it is the only exposure that they have to the Ionix product set...it may not be your flagship product but most customers will see it as that.

CC is one of those products which needs to be 'functionally matured' and then stripping right back to basics!

EMC have a whilst to go before they have credibility in the management space and it's now moving so fast, EMC have to run like heck to gain it.

Stuart Savill

Chad - Martin's post is on the money (as ever...) Credibility is everything in this space, it may be that the rest of the Ionix suite is the best thing since sliced bread, however - Most people's experience of EMC's management tool capability is ECC, therefore its what everyone uses to gauge EMC's competence level on management tools - therein lies the problem.

I will post no more on this topic - as I think we understand each other - but will call you later to discuss.

Cheers,

Stuart.

@stuiesav

Terry

None of these are “perfect” products (there is no such thing, IMO), but they all fit into a framework of next-generation management – from the business SLA, to the application, all the way down through to the infrastructure.

-----

I would dispute that the SMARTS product IS a best-of-breed product that is still unique and unlike no other in the market place, especially as you stated in the service provider community (COLT, Cable & Wireless, BT, Vodafone, Orange, SBC and Verizon) but most large enterprises run SMARTS as well.

SMARTS is such a unique technology that even Microsoft has included connectors to it.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 and EMC Smarts Integration
http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h4228-micro-smarts.pdf
http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2007/mar07/03-27EMCPR.mspx

Chad Sakac

@Terry - thanks for the comment, and I'm glad you like SMARTS and are passionate about it.

My comment was only to highlight that I'm not saying "RAH, RAH - our products are perfect!" but rather that many of these in the Ionix (and now VMware vCenter) family are really best-of-breed in their category.

Most customers still don't think of EMC naturally when the topic is "management", but we are indeed dead serious about the space.

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