FUD WARS – Educational Benefits

FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) have a long history of being deployed as a weapon of choice in the vendor space. I think we have all seen our fair share of mud flinging either in good sporting gest, or in some instances, full fledged battle.

This last week brought us Storagezilla vs StorageMojo who got into a spat about EMC and their XtremeIO (aka Project X).

Opening Salvo:

StorageMojo: EMC’s Pravda, Chuck Hollis, chats in an interview about XtremIO’s problems. This quote from a Storage Newsletter interview may have some transcription errors, since SN is a French publication, but let’s not split hairs.

Followed by a Jules-esque Retort:

 Storagezilla: Looking to generate some cheap heat (And because EMC doesn’t speak to him at all) Robin Harris has started making things up about Project X.

Storagebod commented about the whole affair today as well.

Seeing the latest spat involving EMC regarding Xtreme-IO is kind of nice; it feels like the arguments of days gone by; swap NAS and Flash, you’ll probably find the same blog entries work and the same arguments made.

Pretty tame by Storage FUD Wars standards, but interesting all the same. You have to go back to the battles that raged from the years 2007 to 2010 to get a feeling for the long protracted combat that took place. By comparison what transpired above would have served as an Amusebouche to cleanse the palate. Back when the FUD was flung hot and heavy I was simply a spectator on the sidelines who watched with great amusement as some of the major players in online storage marketecture would battle it out on the comments pages of the various storage blogs. I will say this about the FUD Wars, they were educational, and I learned a lot about the various vendors, their selling practices, and their systems benefits/faults by watching them take place.

For example, because I was an early XIV adopter I would scour online for information about the platform, one of the better FUD battles regarding the platform took place on the pages of Wikibon.  Phil (aka Rootwyrm) lead the charge, and while Phil and I disagree when it came to XIV (and other things) he is a very good technical resource on a lot of things, and I’d recommend checking out his site Error 404. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, and I owe that to the FUD Wars.

Dimitrious (aka Recovery Monkey) had a pretty big FUD Fest when he called out EMC when their VNX launched. His site has some truly great technical knowledge when it comes to performance metrics, and the SPEC performance results. His post on Short-Stroking is well worth a read for the depth he goes into to explain the practice and how its used in performance testing.

One more for fun was the hot mess that Hu Yoshida got into with SVC back in 2009, with a follow up   later in a tit-for-tat between Hu and Tony Pearson of IBM over the SVC vs VSP platforms. This serves more as an example of the longevity of what some might call “bad blood” between some of the vendors, it also serves as a reminder that this is a business, and things can and do get heated and even personal.

I link to these events not to call out the people or the companies involved, but to illustrate a point that a FUD can serve a purpose. For me the FUD Wars were a great education into the storage world, and the various vendors products. I used the FUD points about the XIV system to help validate the platform when Moshe  came to discuss the platform at our offices, and in the end the rebuttal to the points brought up helped us understand the platforms potential faults and benefits.

Now that I work in the vendor space myself, FUD can become one of many tools that can be deployed in the sales process. For me personally, FUD isn’t the thing I like to lead with. I believe that if the products merits should be able to close the sale, but there can be some instances when there is a need to fight FUD with FUD, and when those occasions arise, I may reach into my quiver.

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