Vendors often struggle to be strong in all market segments and address the broad range of customer requirements with a limited range of products. Products that fit well into one segment don’t always translate well to others, especially when trying to bridge both midrange and enterprise requirements.
Traditionally most of the vendor focus has been on sorting out high-end products, but currently it’s the midrange market that is growing most strongly, so vendors need to make sure they have good long-term strategies for the midrange.
In a perfect world vendors would love to address all market segments with a single product. That’s not always practical since some architectures don’t scale down well and some don’t scale up well, however things can get out of hand, with too much product choice and conflict within a vendor’s offerings.
HP in particular seems to have a cluttered offering, with MSA (P2000), Left Hand (P4000), EVA and now 3PAR’s mid-range F-Class, all fighting each other for breathing space. There’s no way that HP can afford to keep investing in 4 overlapping midrange products, so watch for signs of winners and losers out of the bunch…