T o follow up on reason 2 (marketing metrics are not your metrics), I recently found another interesting case. I saw on the news that a major deduplication appliance vendor had just released new models. So, I downloaded and started reading their datasheets and technical presentations (as always), and one thing surprised me—the very high stream counts. The stream count was always accompanied by keywords such as “up to,” which means “less than or equal to,” so in other words nothing is guaranteed. Because the devil is always in the details, I searched for other keywords such as “concurrent (streams)” and so on without success. I also found strange figures, such as outbound replication stream counts higher than inbound, which is unusual. (Most customers need more “fan ins” than “fan outs.”)

At Quantum, we are often too conservative in assuming that our customers will run all activities (backup, restore, replicate, and so on) concurrently. We don’t just measure an unrealistic “up to” stream count that isolates activities. In real life, a deduplication appliance performs multiple activities in parallel.

It’s a shame that marketing “specsmanship” once again limits the amount of data that can be shared in a datasheet! But don’t let the devil hide in the details. Make sure to ask your vendor for the methodology behind the specs.

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