Apples and Oranges?

The apparently unanswerable question was asked, yet again, this time on a rupturedmonkey forum – EMC DMX 3 versus HDS USP  

Im not sick of hearing the question, but I am sick of not getting any “good” answers.  The answers that are out there are either from Hu or Chuck, and to be honest, as good as these guys are, they don't live in the trenches and I think we all know what to expect from each of them.  Then there's the odd magazine article out there that also tend to theorise about architectural differences such as cross-bar switches versus point-to-point networks and almost invariably end up sitting on the fence saying that its like trying to compare apples with oranges. 

But how can it be like comparing apples and oranges?  They are both Enterprise storage systems, both with FC adapters, cache, disks, disk-to-disk copy features, distance replication, built in resiliency…… the list goes on, and one rarely has something that the other doesn’t.  

What I'd love is to hear from people with solid hands on real world experience with both pieces of kit.  In real world day to day operations, does one stand out, or are the both equally as good or bad as each other? 

I specialise in Hitachi storage and my knowledge of EMC is limited to sangod and a couple of customers who have moved from EMC to Hitachi.  These customers are very pleased, but considering they have migrated away from aging EMC kit to brand spanking new Hitachi kit, I wouldn’t expect anything less.  Not exactly a fair comparison. 

But for those with experience, Id like to know –  

  • Is one architecture more or less flexible than the other?
  • Is one noticeably more reliable than the other?
  • Is the software from one vendor way better than the other?  (or are both equally as crap)
  • ……

Of course I don’t expect we’ll ever bury this one once and for all –  I remember a while ago my wife liking her car more than mine.  Hers was more comfortable than mine but mine was so much faster with a much better engine.  But this didn’t matter to her, she liked her fancier dashboard and extra space and turned a blind eye to the crappy engine.  Her car outshone mine in some respects and mine outshone hers in others.  Is this the case with the USP and the DMX?