A recent study by The Info Pro research firm suggests that some seismic shifts are underway. Is EMC losing top-of-mind recognition in the data center? Are mid-size enterprises more likely to embrace new technology?

In an article in Data Storage Connection, TIP talks about some of its findings from a series of interviews with a couple of hundred data center denizens. TIP runs the series about every 6 months. About 150 were F1000 types and another 85 were mid-size enterprise.

Naturally, the article and the accompanying slide presentation are designed to sell the report, but it is worth watching for marketing mavens. They focus on what people consider “exciting” technologies.

Random comments
In no particular order:

  • EMC’s unaided top-of-mind seems to be on a steady downward slide. One might have thought the hype around VMware would have changed that. Of course the stock market seems to forgotten that too.
  • Newbies 3Par, Data Domain, F5, Compellent, and Isilon are trending up.
  • Biggest surprise: HP is in the weeds behind behind Data Domain, Sun and F5.

The StorageMojo take
EMC may be paying the price for all of its not-terribly-storage-related acquisitions like RSA and VMware. Or maybe its aging architectures are taking their toll. Whatever it is, the upcoming Hulk/Maui launch is a chance to burnish the corporate image. But not too brightly since the v1 software will be weak.

HP is clearly in trouble. I’m biased – I shipped the very first StorageWorks product back around ’91 – but for an organization that used to have bright and creative developers and good marketing, their top-of-mind stinks. Time to shake up HP storage marketing: there’s an art to marketing to and through a large direct sales force. Megatons of brochures don’t sell products – people do.

The newbies seem to be doing well in mid-size enterprises where they can more easily migrate to a new vendor. But while the glass house grinds slowly, entrenched vendors can be displaced. Time to rethink the value proposition.

Comments welcome, of course.