Why I Hate EMC

16 Jan '09 - 08:42 by benr

I do, I really hate EMC. And here is a great example of why:

If your reading this via an aggregator, here is the video embedded above: EMC Atmos featured on YouTube.

HE SAYS NOTHING!!! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! What is the product? What does it actually do? How does it do it? THIS IS MARKETING BULLSHIT.

There, I said it. I am truly shocked that companies, in this day and age, can still get away with old school marketing jibberish which we became so accustom to by the HP's of the world. IBM changed its ways, Sun changed its ways... gah. Really, am I the only one who goes nuts seeing product data sheets and so-called presentations which are just a lot of hot air?

EMC Atmos seems like an interesting product. My understanding is that its an outgrowth of UC Berkeley's OceanStore, which I believe to be a milestone project in the history of computing storage, and thus Atmos is of great interest to me, but apparently the last entity I should rely on for information regarding it is EMC themselves.

Ok... rant over. I'll bury this with a technical posting.

UPDATE NOTE: I want to be clear and apologies to the fellow in the video if he comes across this. This is nothing against his particular presentation, but as an example of EMC in general. It was clearly highly scripted and he himself probly doesn't like it. Anyway, he did a fine job, its the messaging method that bothers me. There are plenty more like this on YouTube, or just go read EMC's website.

- - C O M M E N T S - -

I sat through hours of EMC trying to persuade a group of us why their backup solution was the greatest, as part of a tendering process. At the end of the session we went back through our specification with them and confirmed the solution would work (most of their presentation to us had been ‘hot air’.)
Those of us with prior EMC experience were saying “NO, NO, NO! Support sucks!” everyone else was saying “Yeah, but it’s EMC, it’s an industry standard. Finding new guys that know it will be easier”

About 4 months went by before the decision was made to get their solution. Thankfully I wasn’t involved in implementing it. The poor guy who was spent literally days on the phone back and forth with EMC support trying to get the backup solution to do what they said it would do, only to find out 3/4 of the features were to come out in the next release of the software rather than the current one.

EMC’s support proved to be a routine pain. Every time you call them you ended up on some extremely poor quality VoIP to a foreign call centre, where not only do you have to contend with dire call quality, but also someone who doesn’t speak English as their first language. That often made what should have been short, simple support cases turn into monstrous pains.

Frustrated.. (Email) - 16 January '09 - 09:09

Hate is such a strong word….but yea their pretty awful…

They used that annoying ‘cloud’ term. It’s ‘cloud’ storage. Don’t you get it?

Tokyo Unix Guy (Email) - 16 January '09 - 09:44

oops their = they’re

Tokyo Unix Guy (Email) - 16 January '09 - 09:45

If they are so bad why their market shares are growing ?

wonder - 16 January '09 - 10:09

@Tokyo Unix guy

Because the force is strong with them?

Interesting feature set according to the video, and by feature set, I mean…75% of it could be an html frameset that just points to the relevant storage units. “Single Namespace”. Great.


Coming from a small company with a limited budget, I get frustrated by the universal method of extending features for exponentially increasing prices. “Yes we can do that” means “Yes, for three times the originally quoted price, we’ll issue you a license key that will do that, and it also expires in a year, so you’ll have to pay us again”.

Matt Simmons (Email) (URL) - 16 January '09 - 11:47

Wow, that was really really bad.

Joe Van Dyk (Email) (URL) - 16 January '09 - 15:08

I won’t ever buy EMC. Or any other storage vendor. Just give me JBOD chasis big enough to hold about 24TB (like the “Thumper”), and Sun cluster + ZFS, and game over.

No proprietary bullshit, and death to marketing crap! I’m not an idiot, I can build my own clusters, don’t need to dish out piles of money for some proprietary crap.

UX-admin (Email) - 16 January '09 - 15:48

Nothing more true!

H4mm3r (Email) (URL) - 16 January '09 - 16:51

If that guy said “cloud” one more time I was going to drive a knife into my skull. Who would find this information useful? Maybe C-level people? “Hmm yes this sounds like it may be useful for our company. IT staff, please implement this, whatever it is.”

Bret (Email) (URL) - 16 January '09 - 20:57

I’ve seen enough shops get bitten by EMC, both on the sales end and the technology end. I think the attraction is the marketing and the tools they shovel around that seem to make less skilled folks happy. I’ve had situations where I’ve had EMC, HDS, IBM, and Sun come in to compete on storage projects. In the end, I have seen EMC make wild claims, woo CEO’s and CFO’s with cheap up-front costs (have to read the fine print on support costs after 2-3 years), and fall flat on their faces when comparing performance and RAS against the competition. I’ve seen EMC symmetrix arrays perform on par with A5000’s and VxVM, 60% slower than DASD storage on z/OS mainframes, and suffer catastrophic failures that cost clients a lot of $$. On the flip side, I’ve seen IBM Shark arrays go tits up when the cache gets corrupted on both RS6000 boards and whole SAN’s go pop. But with HDS and Sun, I haven’t seen that kind of crap happen to customers. I once opened up an EMC Symmetrix while it was powered off.. there were tons of HAND SOLDIERED wires running across their controller boards.. and REFURB stickers!! Not exactly my idea of “Enterprise” storage. Not to mention the Clarrion stuff is garbage running NT with only 4GB of RAM.

Sorry.. but if I need cheap storage these days.. I’d rather get some thumpers or 7000 arrays from Sun and use OpenSolaris with (ZFS, COMSTAR, iSCSI, 10GbE, etc.) and call it a day. If I want mid-range to high-end storage.. I’ll call up HDS. Some things may be lost in translation in Hi-Command.. but the product “just works”.

Octave Orgeron (Email) - 16 January '09 - 22:49

I did find the presentation annoying. I find it very difficult to listen to any marketing presentation where the words “enterprise”, “cloud”, or even “virtualization” are used. Even reading through VMWare or MS Hyper-V information leads to now technical understanding of exactly what a virtualized product is, or how to achieve it. Of course, once you try it, it is simple.

With the “cloud” word, I believe people are just throwing it in for good measure to make sure managers will listen. I hope no self respecting IT decision maker gets bowled over by marketing hype and buzzwords.

Chris (Email) (URL) - 17 January '09 - 03:58

you should look at some of the XvM webcasts… its not just EMC doing it.

OpenStorage will probably be the saving grace of Sun. there isnt much hype in that marketing. its a damn good product – and far ahead of its time.

Andy L (Email) - 29 January '09 - 19:58

I found your site while searching google for the phrase ‘i hate emc’. At least I have someone to share my hatred of EMC. I don’t use the term hate very often, it’s pretty harsh and it’s a pretty cruel term when you think about it. But honestly, I cannot take another minute of dealing with this company. I get to use one of their NAS products in my day to day adventures, and I can’t believe a company can be this big and have a product that takes a nuclear scientist to support. I’ve worked with other vendors and they all have their ‘interesting’ behavior that you figure out…the command like you figure out when you need it, otherwise you can use the GUI and get the job done and move on to the next task. Not this thing… the gui doesn’t work and is so hideously slow in java that you have to use the command line..ok, no problem… go on the support site and research what you need, right? nah, support site is slow and the search is pathetic. My specific search 4 different phrases combined into one search is is still coming back with over 450 possible hits of mostly garbage, even though i’m wanting to do a basic function like creating an iscsi lun from the command line. Command line errors out without telling what in my sentence long command it doesn’t like, so who knows what’s wrong now. I can’t wait to call support and wait around to talk to some overseas genius who won’t know what to do either, until we spend half the day poking around in my system and asking me for connection information since they never keep it on file properly. Like I said, I’ve used other company’s products, and at least one major vendor was a piece of cake on this stuff…search the support site, bingo..a howto on iscsi luns…done. Well, I have to run and read through 450 tech articles. Have a great day EMC fans. EMC supporters are starting to remind me of some sort of southern religious cult.

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I don’t understand how emc keeps earning money.
Every Customer that I talked to – complained about the Products he has.
Every piece of software and hardware has a bug which you can encounter from time to time but EMC has numerous bugs with all their products. The worst thing is that they don’t have any answers to the cause of the problems.
You have to upgrade the version of flare, splitters, recoverpoint just to discover another bug in the process of the upgrade and of course plan the next upgrade.
They even don’t trust the latest version of their products so they recommend to wait until most the bugs are discovered before installing it on your site and meanwhile you need to live with the existing bugs.
The are not very well informed on new technology and sell you something just to tell you after few months that what you bought isn’t enough and sell more of their malfunctioned equipment.
You have to upgrade your entire site before their equipment will work and they don’t support you unless you are fully in their matrix which is quite limited since none of their equipment support their competitors like XIV and Netapp. EMC declared the VMAX which is a technology that HP has for about 5 years now. I have never heard one technical customer of EMC that says something good about emc. that is why EMC sells to the managers and not to the technical peoples – Managers are much more in the statement level and doesn’t present the hard questions.
If the stockholders of all the big companies would know how much money they could save by removing emc products from their site and saving hours of downtime from the customers – they would forbid their companies from buying EMC products.
If this was the case everyone would sleep better – the stockholders, the storage administrators, the customers and emc technical guys.
This is written from personal experience – I don’t work in XIV,EMC,HP and don’t sell their products. I am just a disappointed customers which is now stucked with EMC products for at least 4-5 years since we already invested several millions dollars.

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