is project Nile more than ViPRware?

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There have been a lot of rumours around the EMC marketing event these last few days. One of the reasons might be that it’s not the first time we had a big marketing event like this where marketing is the primary focus of the event (did you notice I already said marketing 3 times?). So I had some second thoughts on all the announcements – or for example the non-announcement of XtremIO.
UPDATE october 4: Chad Sakac took the challenge to prove me wrong and we did a webcast together. You can read and review it in this post.

First of all the new VNX2 is not really new at all but just a next generation/iteration of an old product in a normal product evolution. I haven’t written anything about this on purpose as I promised myself not to write if it was only going to be negative. If you want some good insights and info about this announcement here ar ethe links to follow:
One thought came to mind and it has to do with a quote from Chris’ post: “it could well be that EMC have known these issues all along and VNX2 is merely a stop-gap to the release of a new platform” – This resembles a lot to the comment I have made from the beginning when HP launched the P6000 (last EVA generation) that should have never existed but they couldn’t wait for the scale-down of 3PAR at that point.

The Nile is less dangerous?

Now on topic! We have waited for a few days now to get some more information about Project Nile as that promised to be THE solution going forward. At least that’s what marketing promised us. Now that I have read Chad’s post here, I am still not getting beyond marketing. What I read here is the following:

It’s a value prop, not about the tech.  The VMAX Cloud Edition model is that when you buy “20TB of Bronze + 30TB of Silver + 10TB of Gold”, without knowing what you ordered (not unlike public cloud), you get a single engine VMAX, configured with the requisite capacity and IOps. 

This is the current EMC VMAX Cloud Edition model and will be used to sell ViPR + backend products.

What’s the product?

Here is the trick: there is no product. It’s nothing more as far as I can see that ViPR + backend product of your choice doesn’t give you already. It’s a “blueprint solution“, a “more products in one SKU“, a new … VSPEX. Now here comes the tricky marketing part:

BTW – the list price of VMAX Cloud Edition Bronze is around $3.60/GB – ALL IN (maintenance, and assuming a 3 year TCO period – and pricing does vary based on the utility model the customer picks). 

I’d say that is pretty awesome! However … it’s not $3,60/GB for USED capacity but for TOTAL USEABLE capacity. So you will be paying for capacity you haven’t used. the pricing model could be a complete OPEX model but that’s something in other industries is called a leasing. It’s not the pay-as-you-grow model that public cloud services use.
UPDATE: it is in fact a complete OPEX model based on used and not useable capacity. There are also services of maintenance involved. Please watch the webcast linked above.


EMC is a hardware company and that will not change anytime soon. They will never (ouch big word) become a services company. You will pay the same as you paid yesterday or would pay by buying the products as such, you’ll just pay in a different model.

Now I know that AWS does have tick-in-the-box prices that are hidden and people could be surprised sometimes by costs higher than expected, but this isn’t really where I am going here. In the end this pricing model will address a certain use case and people will be attracted to this sales model, but this being the big announcement? I’ll leave that up to you.

There is one way EMC can nail this and it’s the Coca-Cola vending machine principle. In short it means you keep paying the same price for the vending machine and they take care of the hardware and generation replacement. I definitely see future in this model, I sincerely hope EMC does as well.
UPDATE: apparently the Coca-Cola vending machine principle is exactly what Project Nile is about and I truly believe there is a big market for that.

A lot here is guessing and as usual loud and obnoxious but also anxious to be proven wrong! Get those comments coming.

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