Yesterday I took a day off being on holiday at Martha’s Vineyard to drop in to Foxwoods, a casino complex on a native american reservation that is apparently the most successful such establishment in the USA. I didn’t go to gamble, (I don’t) I went to work, to sit on a panel with some end users who have adopted the XIV storage product.
Getting there was fun, my friend Mark Bowker picked me up in his fantastically cool (and bright orange) little single engined private plane and we flew across to Rhode Island and then onto Foxwoods and the conference center. Thirty minutes by plane 3 hours by ferry and car – a brilliant time saving gadget.
I met up with Moshe Yanai the original engineer behind Symmetrix and listened to him explain how this new mesh architecture enables some fairly fundamental improvements in price performance and functionality of the storage array. I had agreed to take part in a panel discussion after Moshe’s talk and a product demonstration, working with some real live XIV customers to help understand why they decided to move vendor earlier this year.
For me Moshe’s talk was informative if a little confused, he is a very smart engineer but not the most natural presenter in the world. I sense he left much of the audience of end users behind. The demonstration was shocking, the presenter didn’t take a microphone (although one was offered) and then mumbled through a random set of rapid screen changes with no structure and even less sense to it. No one understood what had been shown, not even the presenter.
The panel discussion was very interesting with a customer who was a big SAP user having made the decision to move away from another storage vendor because XIV was a much better fit for them. The ability to create multiple snapshots without consuming lots of extra disk just fitted with the SAP deployment and update methodology. One telling fact was that the customer’s data center dropped 10 degrees F as the old storage was switched off and the UPS run time increased from 25 minutes to 35 minutes.
I did this event for free (usually I get paid) because I really wanted to hear what customers were saying about XIV and how it was playing in the marketplace, I certainly got that and there is no doubt that the client was delighted. I also came away with the really sad conclusion that IBM marketing are trying just as hard to sabotage the best IBM product in years as IBM field sales is trying to sell it.
Will someone in IBM please wake up and get a grip here?