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InVista – EMC’s Problem Child

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Remember when EMC offered a fabric-based storage virtualisation product called InVista? Apparently they still do, as a customer of mine mentioned recently. Unfortunately they had trouble getting any sort of decent reference site for the product and weren’t that impressed.

I had a quick check on EMC’s site and the last press release for the product I could find was dated December 8th 2007. Compare that to the news about DMX, Clariion and probably almost every other product put out by EMC and InVista doesn’t get much press. In fact general opinion perceives InVista as EMC’s problem child, finding trouble gaining acceptance with storage managers at large. Why?

To be honest, I’m not sure why. The *concept* of fabric-based virtualisation seems appealing and once the appliance has been integrated into a SAN, data migration should be simple. Perhaps there’s a lack of trust in the scalability or performance, perhaps a lack of trust that the product actually works, perhaps a nervousness in placing yet another layer into the infrastructure which, if it fails, could be massively disruptive to normal storage operations.

That leads to the question – what should EMC do? I doubt they will drop the product, as that will give competitors (especially IBM & SVC) too much of a marketing opportunity. Maybe they will acquire a competitor (like Incipient) and slowly transform InVista into a new product. I don’t have a crystal ball to answer that one.

I’ll close with one thought – are there any other products with the word “Vista” out there that are also equally dismissed and derided?

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
  • Rob

    Two reasons on the slow uptake (as I’ve gleaned over the years).

    - It would cut into fat SRDF revenues

    - Limited functionality (okay so it helps with migrations, that is what SRDF is for!)

    I like the concept and they needed a product to compete with SVC so I understand how it came about. But I’m convinced business dictates it doesn’t get pushed much.

    Regarding reference sites, yeah … few and far between.

  • Marc

    There does appear to be a “Vista” hex, doesn’t there?

    I might be wrong about this, but I think no InVista is more problematic for IBM’s SVC than if InVista were successful. Without competition its difficult to have a market segment.

  • BarryWhyte

    Chris,

    So true, so true. As I’ve said before, its a “tick box” for the customers that ask about Virtualization, but its not a product really. As Rob says, it eats into too much of the DMX cash cow so isn’t pushed.

    Rob, Marc,

    We have more SVC references, than EMC has Invista customers… says A LOT.

    And Marc, we are doing quite nicely, cleaning up in this arena, and the best is that our (and EMC’s) customers and reaping the benefits that SVC provides.

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