NetApp CEO George Kurian: Pure Storage Boss’ Comments Inaccurate
Joseph F. Kovar
‘We‘re not going to comment on someone else. But we are going to clarify. When somebody comments inaccurately about our results or our approach or our technology, we feel obligated to make sure that there is real clarity on the facts,’ says NetApp CEO George Kurian.
Stake In The Ground
Charles Giancarlo, CEO of Pure Storage, told CRN in an exclusive interview published on July 15 that top storage rivals such as NetApp, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Dell Technologies are not providers of “true cloud storage.” He backed up his assertion by saying those technologies are little more than subscription models or leasing options based on their legacy storage hardware rather than modern ways to deal with data management in a true cloud-like fashion. In particular, Giancarlo said rival NetApp requires customers to use NetApp’s own hardware on the cloud, compared to Pure Storage’s extensive use of APIs to manage data wherever it is located.
Giancarlo’s comments did not sit well with NetApp and its CEO George Kurian, who last week told CRN his company felt the need to clarify NetApp’s approach to storage and the market and provide some “factual data points” that address some of his rival’s assertions.
“Broadly speaking, there were comments about our innovation agenda, our ranking in the flash storage market, our focus, none of which are accurate,” Kurian said.
Kurian laid out five points about which he said “did not provide the right degree of clarity and honesty about our kind of capabilities.” Those five points, according to Kurian, were Pure Storage’s assertion that it is the only company to provide cloud-like APIs, that NetApp hardware was required for running NetApp services in public clouds, that only Pure Storage offers tier-two storage, Pure Storage’s market position, and Giancarlo’s assertion that his competitors treat storage as a commodity technology.
Kurian responded to all five points. But he also took time to talk about the recent departure of Anthony Lye, who had led NetApp’s move into a wider range of cloud management technologies, as well as his hopes for a smooth merger between Broadcom and longtime partner VMware.