What does Pillar Data think of the NetApp/3PAR partnership? Not much. Here's Pillar's EMEA VP Chris Jones putting out the Pillar party line:-

“NetApp already supports a number of different storage devices behind its NAS Gateway products. Its main customer for this device is IBM. Adding 3PAR is not a significant move for NetApp. It’s just another third party array it supports and another set of customers it can call on.”

“This partnership will not rock the industry, it’s simply 3PAR trying to piggy back on the NetApp brand. It will not deliver a single, highly virtualised storage pool for NAS- and block-level consolidation, instead it introduces more complexity, more management overhead and more cost.”

“NetApp competes against IBM in deals very frequently (it’s a major point of friction for that relationship); 3PAR will be no different.”

“The customer will be the main loser in this partnership not competitors like EMC and Pillar as the two systems will not integrate fully. The NetApp system is a management point and the 3PAR system is another management point. With 3PAR’s data management, it will be difficult to configure the system to eliminate SAN and NAS traffic from interfering with each other.”

“Also, it appears as if 3PAR can take support calls for the NetApp system. In all likelihood, unless the issue is known and very simple to fix, all support calls will end up at NetApp. This can cause delays in resolving issues and also lead to “finger pointing” between NetApp and 3PAR – not good news for the customer.”

Ah, bless. Surely though, since the NetApp box gets its blocks from the 3PAR InServ, it will deliver a single virtualised pool for NAS and block-level consolidation? Also, since the NetApp V-series would need to have a storage array behind it, the use of the InServ to function as the storage array for both block and file storage means that the customer saves on having a separate NetApp storage array with this 3PAR/NetApp partnership. That's simpler than having a separate file storage array surely?

It's not immediately obvious to me that all support calls will end up at NetApp. Why would NetApp solve 3PAR problem calls? Surely Chris Jones means all the support calls dealing with NetApp problems will end up at NetApp unless the 3PAR support team can fix them.

I think Pillar's man here is speaking under the influence of a slight green mist, and I don't mean environmentally green. I'm referring to that green-eyed little God, jealousy. What a different tune he would be singing if NetApp had requested a partnership with Pillar.