It's not playing nice, not when you run an SPC-1 benchmark on a competitor's box and trounce it with your own kit, which is cheaper. Neat marketing, NetApp.

The SPC storage benchmarks, imperfect as they may be, are the only independent way of comparing different storage array products using standardised workloads. 3PAR, HP, IBM, LSI, NetApp, Sun and others have submitted their kit to SPEC benchmarks, such as the transaction processing-oriented SPC-1. EMC has not.

(Note: EMC does submit systems for SPEC file-based performance testing. SPEC is not SPC by the way.)

It believes that real world performance varies markedly from benchmarked performance because every storage user is unique. However EMC did apparently contribute to SPC's benchmark work in the early days. It then walked away. Famously EMC's Chuck Hollis, VP for technical alliances, blogged: "We've never done an SPC test, and probably will never do one. Anyone is free, however, to download the SPC code, lash it up to their CLARiiON, and have at it."

Some words come back to haunt you. NetApp, in a flush of marketing zeal and, no doubt, frustrated by EMC's constant stream of product announcements and pre-announcements, took Chuck at his word and did just that. Ouch!

The results from NetApp's point of view were spectacular. Performance was compared feeding blocks to servers in SAN environment with snapshotting turned on and off. This, for NetApp, was performance comparison time directly on EMC's SAN turf, not on a file-serving basis.