This Is Why You Study Vendor Solutions!

Today on my lunch break, I decided to watch some videos from Brocade on YouTube. I know. I know. You do the same thing right? Well, as I went through the playlist, an interesting video regarding IBM blade centers and Brocade switches was shown. Comparisons were made to the HP and Cisco blade enclosure offerings. IBM of course, came out on top, but in the course of the video, I couldn’t help but think how silly the comparisons were. I realize it is the job of marketing people to show their company’s products in the best light. However, sometimes it isn’t what they say, but what they don’t say. Take a few minutes to watch the video and see if you spot some things that weren’t mentioned.

Some things to consider:

1) How many slots are in the IBM H series, HP C7000 series, and Cisco UCS series blade centers/enclosures?
2) Which of these solutions have switches on board? Hint: More than 1.
3) How much bandwidth is needed per blade?
4) In the case of Cisco UCS, why do they have fewer blades in their enclosure? Could memory capacity be a factor?

I’m not emphatically stating that one vendor’s solution is better than another. As with anything, it depends on what your particular needs are. What this video reinforces for me is that you need to know the various options from vendors. The last thing you want to do is make decisions due to videos like this.

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2 Responses to This Is Why You Study Vendor Solutions!

  1. Mark McClure says:

    I’ve just watched it three times and not during lunch lol!

    Actually, I’m amazed that networking vendors would release something in 2010 that looks like 1980s ‘FUD’ marketing.

    Access to the Internet and social networking allows potential customers to research and to share info and informed comment (your blog, for example) about videos such as this one. And without much need to contact vendors for information until they are ready to proceed.

    B2B Tech marketing is receiving a rude and probably unwanted wake-up call… the buyers increasingly call the shots as to solution/product research and when to engage with vendors.

    If I was a watching IT manager, my first reaction would be:
    “Do they really think I’m that naive?”

    To their credit, one thing the video did well was having the blade center landing page url at the end. There is a lot of good product info there.

    However, at 7 mins, I suspect many will bail out of the video long before then. Might be better to have the url display as a small water mark at the bottom of the video screen throughout. And also add a hyperlink in the description field just below the video (assuming that’s allowed by YT.)

    The only saving grace I can think of for this production is that it will please die-hard Cisco and HP-haters. Some existing IBM/Brocade customers may also lap it up.

    But, uncommitted prospects? Hmm I wonder… maybe IBM have stats to the contrary?

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! I am continually amazed at what passes for marketing these days, and yes, they think you would be that naive. 🙂

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