I find it interesting that this only came up when I wrote something pro-NetApp. Wasn’t even anti-EMC.
It never came up when I was extolling the virtues of RecoverPoint (which I still think is awesome). I didn’t see anyone from NetApp or any EMC competitor start questioning where I worked, where the full disclosure was etc etc. Maybe they all just assumed I worked for EMC. Well – not directly, I was selling a ton of EMC gear, which was in turn paying my mortgage, which is as good as. But, ultimately, I just like the product since, properly deployed, it can solve some real problems.
So why is NetApp the company everyone loves to hate? Is it fear? Disrespect? Lack of understanding? All the above? But, I digress. NetApp customers love the product, and the company’s recent earnings announcement, as well as the fact we sold 1 Exabyte of enterprise storage last year, tells the real story. The People want their highly-functional, space-efficient, simple-to-use, application-aware storage, not 50 different products that are loosely integrated. Volkslagerung! Is that right, German-speaking readers?(edit: Volksdatenspeicher seems better as “storage for the people”).
So, I clarified things in the About page (upper left), I thought it was already clear but apparently not. Chuck is still not satisfied, so I think I’ll have to figure out a way to show some fancy animation of me in some NetApp uniform, hugging Hitz, Lau, Georgens and Mendoza and receiving my MVP award. Plus another animation showing the super-secret initiation ceremony and the extensive branding on my left buttock. Right.What was most interesting in this ad hominem attack was that the important discussion topics were largely ignored, a very efficient tactic to lure the unsuspecting reader’s mind away from the real issues.Which brings us to the subject of this post.
There seems to be this cute, romantic notion that there is such a thing as a truly independent blogger, and if I’m not independent, then what I say is tainted.
Well – let me break it to you and disabuse you of this notion: There ain’t no such thing as an independent blogger.
We are all biased, one way or another, about everything. Our past experiences shape our biases and the automatic stories our brains will create to explain any information we are presented with.
It doesn’t matter whether we work for a storage vendor or are customers – indeed, customers are typically among the most biased IT folks around! (storage vendor employees are usually crusty, jaded, cynical, have been around the block and typically have the dirt on multiple technologies).
I’ve been in customer meetings where I was told the customer doesn’t ever want to talk to EMC again because they treated him badly 10 years ago, or that he doesn’t want to talk to NetApp because he read in Barry’s blog that it only has 30% usable space, another that has FC queuing issues with HDS gear and wants to get rid of it at all costs, yet another that has had some controller panics with IBM gear and wants to get off of that and never touch IBM ever again, the list goes on. Those guys become zealots.
Then you have the other customer type, the one that receives Rolexes and other cool gifts in order to say whatever he’s told to say. Some actually will demand it (I’ve been in one of those meetings, too – “if you give me your watch we may have a deal”. I chose to assume he was kidding, lest I completely lose my faith in mankind).
You then have your “analyst” type that’s an independent industry “expert” – most of those guys haven’t touched the products they’re writing about, ever, and are just rehashing whatever they read in other publications or are told by their vendor drinking buddy. Yet they’re among the most trusted and read. They, too have their personal favorite horses they’re backing…
Finally you have your VAR bloggers. People – those guys make money selling the stuff. Yes, they know the tech, but don’t exactly expect an impartial discussion- plus, they get all kinds of incentives from vendors.
So, who do you trust, when you can’t even trust yourself? Since, by definition, you are also biased, gentle reader…
I wish I could tell you. Ultimately, everyone has an agenda, whether conscious or subconscious. You just need to become shrewd enough to see through the agenda.
Maybe a good starting point is a truly intelligent, fact-based discussion bereft of ad hominem attacks?