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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.

What five areas?

The first was, Charles indicated that Pure is the only pro storage provider to offer storage services through cloud-like APIs. And he stated that NetApp doesn‘t do that at all, quote, unquote. The fact is that NetApp has provided extensive cloud-like APIs across our software stack on prem and in the cloud since 2018. You can go verify that.

The second is this statement that NetApp storage in Azure and AWS is only available on NetApp hardware. And that‘s simply inaccurate. NetApp storage software is fully cloud-native, and runs directly on the cloud provider hardware in Azure, AWS, and Google. Non-NetApp hardware, cloud provider hardware, you can again go and verify that those offerings are available in the cloud provider marketplaces and in some of those cloud providers as native services as well.

Third, there‘s a claim that Pure is the only vendor with a product for tier-two storage. NetApp provides a more complete set of options for tier-two storage by offering hybrid disk and flash options, hard drive only options, and QLC-based flash options, as well as being able to directly leverage object and cloud storage as an integrated transparent second tier of storage. So we can address the full lifecycle of tier-two storage, whether it is for primary use cases, whether it’s for archival use cases, or whether the secondary tier is a core data tier behind the high performance flash tier. And I don‘t think that it’s an accurate assumption to say that Pure is the only vendor with a product for tier-two storage.

The fourth one, when asked about revenue market share, is an assertion that Pure is, quote, way up there at number one, or number two, unquote. According to recent numbers, published by Gartner and IDC, Pure sits at number three in the flash storage market behind Dell and NetApp. There‘s also a claim that all of Pure’s competitors treat storage as a commodity, and spend less than 5 percent of their revenue on R&D. NetApp spent $881 million, or almost 14 percent, of revenues on R&D in FY22, it’s all public data, in addition to our multiple technology acquisitions. We have a 30-year track record of proven innovation in storage and data management. We have stepped far ahead of our traditional storage competitors, including Pure, to take advantage of the cloud wave. We were first to it, and we recognize that others will probably try to copy us and chase us into that market. But there is no question that we have a clear lead in solutions for hybrid multi cloud. In fact, if you look at GigaOm, a respected independent third party, they have rated us a clear leader in hybrid cloud storage, in cloud file systems, and in enterprise storage. And we want to make sure that your readers and our customers know the facts about the positions in the market. I think it‘s unfortunate that we and others of our competitors are constantly being misrepresented by this one company. And you know, my feedback to your readers is, you have to verify the facts, and honestly question whether someone who makes such blatant misrepresentations of the facts is a trusted provider of technology to you.

The data that we are providing about market share comes from independent respected third-party vendor analysts. Our financial statements are clearly auditable in the market. And so we‘re just pointing out the facts. And listen, I feel obligated to talk about our roadmap and our position in the market. And that’s where I‘m focused. It’s my job to make sure that customers understand our differentiation, which is, we have a 30-year track record of proven innovation in data management. We have brought to our customers constant innovation in our core operating systems so that an investment they have made in our operating system has carried them through generations of technologies and given them significantly more value. A single new version of our operating system, for example, (has) increased performance on the same system by up to 40 percent. That‘s a huge value when you look at system and workload consolidation and data center economics. We have given the customers that have invested in learning our technology the opportunity to modernize and extend their data centers to the cloud, migrate and run applications on the cloud, connect and activate data across environments so that it’s not just in your data center but increasingly in a networked enterprise, across data center, cloud, edge, and colocation environments. We give you the tools beyond storage to monitor and secure hybrid clouds, data, and infrastructure with a very differentiated data security and governance offering. And finally, we give you with our cloud ops portfolio the ability to optimize and automate public cloud operations so that you can essentially deploy and automate the management of a large number of applications on the public cloud.

We‘re paying attention to our customers, on what they want from their technology providers, and what challenges they are looking to solve. We respect all of our competition. We are proud of our innovation agenda, and we are going to defend it. If someone misrepresents our position in the market or our technology capability, we’re going to defend it, and we‘re going to defend it vigorously. And that’s the only reason for the call today.

 
Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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