A long-serving employee of Hewlett-Packard Company, LaMills Garrett has held a number of key positions with the company. Currently a Storage Product Marketing Manager at Hewlett Packard in Roseville, California, he is responsible for assessing pricing and financials, identifying sales opportunities, and developing incentives and positioning to better sales representatives’ performance. LaMills Garrett has held his current position since 2010.
Mr. Garrett began his career in the United States Air Force, where he served as a Computer Systems Officer from 1994 to 1997. In this role, he oversaw a local area network for over 60 users in addition to holding responsibility for quality and project management for military information technology. He subsequently accepted a position as an ISV Integration and Test Engineer with Hewlett Packard in Colorado. During his three years in this position, he developed and tested software.
In 2001, Mr. Garrett relocated to California and held positions as a Systems Engineer and consultant, and later as a Project Manager, Engineering Manager and Strategist, and Strategy Manager.
After more than a dozen years of living all things Storage (primarily in HP R&D), I’ve spent the past 10 months waking up with a keen focus on all things Converged. Thanks to a self-imposed kerfuffle that wouldn’t allow me to check email, I found myself paying more attention to Twitter than usual. It seemed apparent that Cisco’s task of diversifying away from their Networking business that is steadily losing share is in definite trouble.
The strategy (Converged offerings via partnerships) behind growing a Server presence seems to be in jeopardy as a result of technology issues. Let me note that I’ve been closely involved with a phenomenal and ongoing OEM relationship for monolithic storage for over a decade and I’ve heard virtually every false claim of why that partnership/relationship wasn’t something customers should trust. Thus, I lack the appetite to participate in debate, smears, or logical assumptions around the remaining longevity in the relationships Cisco has around VCE, FlexPod, Simplivity, or any others I might have missed. I refuse to go there. However, this past week highlighted for me the lack of stability of the Storage offerings available with Cisco’s assortment of Converged partnerships and it’s not a pretty picture.
Prior to this past week it was already announced that Cisco halted shipments of the UCS Invicta Flash Storage Appliance. Then there was a bit of light shed on the coming plans of the All Flash Array solution behind the FlexPod which was summed up as being “not yet ready for prime time.” The light shed on the future All Flash Array behind FlexPod was quickly overshadowed by the rowdy discussion around the situation to be faced by customers of EMC’s XtremIO All Flash Array which was brought to light by a customer in Australia. all the chatter about the coopetition of Cisco with VMware for Networking, VCE versus FlexPod, and UCS Invicta versus XtremIO, there seems to be a greater issue in that there doesn’t seem to be a bigger issue in getting addressing the biggest trend, shift, reality, or whatever you want to call the fact that traditional Storage architectures are quickly shifting to next generation architectures that can take full advantage of the capabilities of flash technology.
The move to Flash-ready architectures is nothing new for Cisco, EMC, or NetApp as all three have made conscious choices to prepare for or benefit from this shift. The unfortunate reality is that these architectures (UCS Invicta, FlashRay, and XtremIO) are all coming off as immature and a clear risk for customers. To worsen the situation, EMC and NetApp must face a market where the traditional RAID architectures they strongly depend on as profit engines are declining which further drives the urgency to fix the current issues. In the meantime, Cisco is stranded with All Fickle Arrays to support their seemingly Diverging Infrastructures. For their sake, let’s hope the investments in Cloud can slow the decline of some of the Networking share and maybe, just maybe, these Storage platforms will become mature in the interim. In the meantime, HP will be providing true ConvergedSystems that leverage the full strength of the next generation and proven architecture of 3PAR.