Battle of the Storage Titans – CEO version

  • Post category:Blog / Storage

Pure vs. Netapp? CEOs bashing each others technology, innovation, products, strategy, etc?

If you missed some the drama, I will try to summarize it for you…Basically George Kurian was interviewed by CRN months ago and decided to welcome HPe and Dell storage to 2014. Charles Giancarlo was then interviewed by CRN and he voiced his opinion about the definition of OpEX model for other storage vendors, then proceeded to call them something similar to “legacy” storage…A few weeks later George Kurian was interviewed again and he made sure to fact check some of those claims.

Netapp’s CEO initial CRN interview quote:

“I think they [HPe and Dell] are doing what we did in 2014. So, ‘Welcome to 2014’ is our response. We are way further ahead than any of those alternatives. And we’ve learned from what we did then, and we’ve progressed much further. Clearly, the native services that we have with the hyperscalers are one example of that, but I also think the way that we built an application-centric infrastructure that allows customers to deploy an application that’s now dynamically optimized, not statically, is light years ahead of where competitors are.”

Link to full CRN Interview here

Pure Storage’s CEO CRN interview quote:

How does that differ from NetApp’s approach to the cloud? “NetApp doesn‘t do that at all. Again, NetApp will sell you their arrays, or you can use their arrays inside of Azure or AWS. But you’re still physically using their arrays. And if you use it on-site, their arrays are still attached directly to an application stack. They‘re not networked across the enterprise.

It‘s incredible how antiquated data storage still is in most cases in the enterprise. Do you remember the external data storage, the external disks that you could buy that you plug into your desktop or your laptop? You might even still have one. If you think about that external disk as a storage array, it’s very much the same, which is that it‘s tied to a specific application stack.”

Link to full CRN Interview here

Netapp’s CEO response to the interview above:

“Charles indicated that Pure is the only pro storage provider to offer storage services through cloud-like APIs. And he stated that NetApp doesn‘t do that at all, quote, unquote. The fact is that NetApp has provided extensive cloud-like APIs across our software stack on prem and in the cloud since 2018. You can go verify that.

The second is this statement that NetApp storage in Azure and AWS is only available on NetApp hardware. And that‘s simply inaccurate. NetApp storage software is fully cloud-native, and runs directly on the cloud provider hardware in Azure, AWS, and Google. Non-NetApp hardware, cloud provider hardware, you can again go and verify that those offerings are available in the cloud provider marketplaces and in some of those cloud providers as native services as well.

Third, there‘s a claim that Pure is the only vendor with a product for tier-two storage. NetApp provides a more complete set of options for tier-two storage by offering hybrid disk and flash options, hard drive only options, and QLC-based flash options, as well as being able to directly leverage object and cloud storage as an integrated transparent second tier of storage. So we can address the full lifecycle of tier-two storage, whether it is for primary use cases, whether it’s for archival use cases, or whether the secondary tier is a core data tier behind the high performance flash tier. And I don‘t think that it’s an accurate assumption to say that Pure is the only vendor with a product for tier-two storage.

The fourth one, when asked about revenue market share, is an assertion that Pure is, quote, way up there at number one, or number two, unquote. According to recent numbers, published by Gartner and IDC, Pure sits at number three in the flash storage market behind Dell and NetApp. There‘s also a claim that all of Pure’s competitors treat storage as a commodity, and spend less than 5 percent of their revenue on R&D. NetApp spent $881 million, or almost 14 percent, of revenues on R&D in FY22, it’s all public data, in addition to our multiple technology acquisitions. We have a 30-year track record of proven innovation in storage and data management. We have stepped far ahead of our traditional storage competitors, including Pure, to take advantage of the cloud wave. We were first to it, and we recognize that others will probably try to copy us and chase us into that market. But there is no question that we have a clear lead in solutions for hybrid multi cloud.”

Link to the full CRN Interview here

Will there be a forth interview coming soon with Giancarlo’s response? CRN would definitely like the drama to continue!