Pictures can be made by drawing lines between dots. Do these HP and EMC dots line up to draw a picture?

One - EMC has announced its DL6000, a virtual tape library (VTL) based on the Symmetrix DMX-3 array, not a Clariion array. It is I think, a first for EMC, in that an enterprise array has been used for a VTL instead of a mid-range array. EMC sees tape stepping back from the enterprise data protection front line and ceding its place to disk. Tape becomes a tier two backup medium.

Coincidentally HDS recently upgraded its USP (TagmaStore) enterprise array to a thin provisioning USP V model. Both Sun and HP OEM it.

Plus one - HP boss Mark Hurd has commented for the last three quarters on disappointing high-end drive array sales and faster than expected revenue decline in tape products.

Equals two? - Could it be that HP should build a VTL based on the XP arrays, the OEM'd HDS USP products? Should HP recognise the inevitable and start to eat its own tape children?

EMC does sell OEM'd ADIC (now Quantum) tape products but its heart lies in the disk area. If it spins EMC loves it. If it streams EMC tolerates it. HP has been heavily involved with tape for a long, long time - think DAT and LTO. Tape is somewhat akin to printers as a business model; sell one drive and many, many tape cartridges. It must be hard for HP to change its thinking to a view that tape is retreating and will carry on retreating because customers prefer disk as a backup destination.

If it streams HP loves it. If it spins HP loves it still. Time for tough love HP; if the stream is flowing away from you then do something about it.