NetApp wages ONTAP war on Dell and Pure

Men and women engaged in battle (16th century illustration).

NetApp is presenting itself as the leading storage innovator compared to Dell and Pure Storage, with charts showing them lagging behind on 22 out of 25 innovations.

It’s put forward a downloadable storage fact sheet entitled “Think you know the future of storage? Think again.

The content compares NetApp’s ONTAP storage with Pure’s Purity//FA and Dell EMC’s PowerStore OS. It’s split into four sections:

  • Security and cyber-resilience;
  • Performance and consolidation;
  • Storage and cost-efficiency;
  • Storage in public clouds.

Each section has a table showing the length of time since storage tech and business changes were introduced. Here’s the security and cyber-resilience one:

NetApp table

NetApp says it leads all the way here, particularly in the last five categories where Dell and Pure have no presence at all.

And here’s performance and consolidation:

NetApp table

There are three categories here where NetApp says neither Dell nor Pure have a presence: predictable performance using minimum QoS thresholds; support cloud-native apps on premises with S3 protocol; and storage-as-code.

NetApp gives itself two clear runs in the storage and cost-efficiency table:

NetApp table

The first is curious: HDD media for capacity-driven workloads. Well, of course, since Pure is an all-flash array supply, it won’t have an HDD product or tier. This is hardly an innovation by NetApp – it’s how it started out many years ago. Pure might say the innovation actually lies in making flash storage cost-effective as a capacity store vs disk. And it no doubt has spreadsheet tables showing lifetime TCO numbers to demonstrate it.

Dell EMC’s PowerStore is a high-end all-flash array as well, and a high-performance all-NVMe one to boot. Of course it does not have a disk-based capacity tier. Both Dell and Pure would say NetApp is having its cake and eating it here, as it ships all-flash versions of ONTAP storage as well.

NetApp is on stronger footing for the storage in public clouds category:

NetApp table

Here it rates itself as the only provider of native storage services from leading cloud providers.

Its summary section rams home the marketing message: “First to market is a big deal. So is solution completeness … Cut through the fiction and find a storage partner with a history of innovation who can help you get more out of your data on premises and in the cloud. If you’re considering another vendor because you think they are innovating, you should be talking to NetApp.”

This is all good, clean marketing fun and no doubt Dell and Pure will be equipping their sales reps and channels with knock-off sheets to repel wannabe NetApp incursions into their accounts.