Fujitsu is pissed. Last week, they announced their super high-end, the Eternus DX8700. They want to compete with the biggest and the baddest babies out there – IBM DS8800, EMC VMAX and HDS VSP. And they are approaching it from the angle of being modular versus guys like EMC and HDS, which they liken to be monolithic storage arrays.
As quoted from The Register, “Fujitsu says its DX8700 S2 rewrites the rules by making the leap from monolithic to modular architecture”.
Well, congratulations Fujitsu! The Japanese company makes great products with the typical precision and quality of Japanese products. And there is no doubt that their DX8000 series is a power monger in its own rights.
It boasts of 6Gbps internal SAS backplane, SAS support, FCoE and 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The DX8700 supports up to 8 controllers, with 3,072 2.5″ HDDs or SSDs or 1,536 3.5″ drives. With 3TB drives capacity, it reaches 4 petabyte raw capacity (3.6PB usable). And it will have automated storage tiering with its Flexible Data Management feature, come early next year. Bind-in-Cache feature is there for pinning certain data in memory for performance reasons as well as the support for 32,768 snapshots.
All these features and specs are fantastic but in Malaysia, Fujitsu is hardly making waves in the storage industry. A lunch date with a friend of mine who has just joined Fujitsu Malaysia to sell the Eternus product revealed the sentiments of product in the local market. Eternus who?
First of all, marketing is sorely lacking. Not many people know about Fujitsu’s storage product and they are also quite conservative in their advertising. This means that my friend in Fujitsu has a mountain to climb when it comes to convincing partners and customer about the Eternus product.
Secondly, they have to build a solutions ecosystem. The need for Eternus to handle backup with 3rd party vendors such as Symantec NetBackup, Commvault and other is glaring. There are also other areas such as archiving, disaster recovery and so on. And don’t get me started with Tier 1 applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Oracle database, SQL Server and VMware. They are just not known to many here in Malaysia, except to those who are close to Fujitsu. Even worse, some of their partners don’t even know about Fujitsu’s storage solutions.
I am sure these solutions have already been validated in the US and in Japan and works but come on, Fujitsu, if you don’t tell people about it, no one would know. I don’t see software vendors and their SE or sales saying that “our products work well with Fujitsu Eternus“. Who’s Fujitsu Eternus?
Thirdly, it is about mind share and this bring the Fujitsu sales force and their partners to go out there and pitch, pitch and pitch. It is important to educate these fellas to sell and get in front of the customers to pitch Fujitsu Eternus.
So what if Fujitsu is pissed? Yes, they are because competitors probably belittled them. But they have to change their ways here in Malaysia to get noticed. They must get it.
You highlighted a fantastic point, Customers now have a viable alternative to EMC. With Oracle, HP exiting the High End storage market (via dropping HDS), customers are left wondering what to do….. Currently Hitachi is managing to pick up some of the slack, but customers need an Enterprise Vendor like Fujitsu to step up and if the only negative point is Marketing, what a great opportunity for Fujitsu and for customers.
Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. I have always admired the Japanese storage solutions because they are robust and reliable.
The market is big enough for everyone but somehow, no one is giving EMC a run for its money. Fujitsu, being new in the market in Malaysia, should step up but sadly, after talking to the local team, I couldn’t get much other than a whimper. The team cannot confidently articulate the solution to the industry and this is a problem that affects the Malaysian IT industry as a whole. There is a lack of strong core technology people, and even worse, core technology people that is able to *lead*.
I hope things are different in other parts of the world, but we got to buck up in South Asia. I am passionate about spreading the idea to lead with technology, but sadly in the past 4.5 years as SNIA Chairman in Malaysia, I too, have done meagrely.
Well, all the best to you. Thanks for linking up.