Archive for the ‘CLARiiON’ Category

EMC Announces Unity! Something something sliced bread! #EMCWorld #vExpert #EMCElect

May 2nd, 2016


EMC Unity something something sliced bread!

OMG! Can you believe it is here! A product announcement we weren’t exactly expecting, but nonetheless it is here! I particularly love the sliced bread image, honestly that was the huge incentive for me to write this blog post. Tip for your Product Marketers out there at Vendors; If you have something ridiculous and sillie in your Pre-Briefings, there’s a MUCH greater chance I’ll write about it, oh and if your technology is great too sure, but cmon, BREAD! :)

So what’s the deal what’s the dilly, what’s up with this new Unity Platform?!?  Well, I’ll do what I can to share stuff you may find useful, and then there are some unknowns that frankly I won’t be sharing, given their unknowingness :)

Unity All-Flash and Hybrid!

Unity is listed as made available in All-Flash and Hybrid configurations! There are some other slides which talk to its affordability ‘starting at x dollars’, however I won’t go into detail on those explicitly because I cannot confirm nor deny just how valid they are.  e.g., it’s one thing to say, “Wow you can get this thing really cheap, however you’d probably never build a configuration so scaled back like that”.  So while yes, a marketing message does SAY that, it would be technical malfeasance to allow it to go into production in such a state… I reserve the right to change that stance at some point, but for the moment… Gonna roll with things as they are. :)

What’s new in Unity?!

Okay this is a fair area to discuss, because there are definitely some cool features, attributes, etc which are unique to this new platform!

  • Management is done with HTML5 and not FLASH or JAVA or TELETYPE!

Unity Management Browser Support

  • ESRS for Support is an embedded Docker instance! That’s pretty cool

Unity Operating Environment and Architecture

Yes that’s a deep dive into the architecture a bit (See the docker instance!) You can take what you like from this architecture breakdown, I thought it was interesting enough to share!

So some of the features which they tout about EMC Unity and my comments regarding it…

  • EMC Unity is Simple
    • Err… SANs haven’t been “difficult” in years, unless you compare (as many often do) to a Clariion or ancient DMX, otherwise, “Simple” is expected, not a benefit
  • EMC Unity is Modern
    • Okay, yea the inclusion of Docker is a step in the right direction of “Modern”, so I’ll give you that.  Oh and it IS available as a Virtual Edition so you can run it as a VM…
  • EMC Unity is Flexible
    • I would damn well hope so. Albeit some of the measures of flexibility aren’t all that much different than VNX’s of the past, so I’m not sure what you’re saying here…
  • EMC Unity is Affordable
    • Okay… Sure, I’ll say it is, but then again so is ANYONE using Flash Disks at this point. The affordability likely is driven by the cost of storage going down, not the SANs themselves, so we’ll have to agree to disagree to agree here. :)

Some areas I ‘question’ regarding it, take what you will from this

See this image for my first areas of questioning…

EMC Unity is "Easy to setup"

So it claims it is easy to setup, hell, it can be setup in less than two minutes and then configured in under 15 minutes!

Err… You ever use cage nuts? OMG If I could get all of the appropriate ones in place in 2 minutes that would be GREAT! This is absolutely a marketing message written by someone who doesn’t know what the hell a server is, storage is, or the fact that racking and stacking requires, oh I don’t know, RACKING AND STACKING. Hell, taking it out of the BOX might take more than two minutes.  So no, get back to the drawing board on that. Am I bitter? Sure, but I don’t want a horrible false sense of ‘speed’ to be represented because it greatly misrepresents the facts, unless it mysteriously just appears in the rack with a 120 second time clock…

Now, to the earlier point there, fewer components! No Data Movers, No Control Stations and only 6 cables! (Well, unless you have multiple shelves, then I’d HOPE you have more than 6 cables…)

Note: The smallest and the largest system only have two controllers, period. No more, no less. So absolutely there is scale-up, but no scale-out with additional controllers like you’d get from a VMAX or XtremIO.

Now onto the “15 min setup” I guess we don’t deserve the full spelling of the word “Minute” … ;)   I’m sure the system is totally up at that point. boom! But then you still need to carve stuff up, so don’t think it’ll change too much when it comes to what it takes to configure your SAN today. Volumes are still carved, LUNs still presented, yada yada.

One area I want to specifically mention (Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the impression I’ve received from others).

The EMC Unity is NOT the replacement for the VNXe or maybe it is? Maybe it is intending to replace the VNX line? That’s one we’ll need to figure out as time goes on and the dust starts to settle.


What does EMC Unity mean for the Dell / EMC Relationship

This is a great question! I’m glad you asked!  No idea. The Dell / EMC Merger hasn’t happened yet, so until that’s finalized, and marriages are formed, relationships bonded, and products ‘normalized’ we will see what happens. So who will win after 18-36 months from a product set… Only the future will tell.  We have a lot of products to normalize in that time though, VNX, VNXe, EMC Unity, VMAX, XtremeIO, DSSD, Equallogic, Compellent – and many others!

What does this mean for me, an EMC Customer?!

It probably means, if someone was quoting you a VNX or was ABOUT to quote you a VNX, they might end up quoting you an EMC Unity system.  I mean if it comes in less expensive and gives you the solution you’re looking for, definitely sounds like a solid plan!  This has been in the coming for awhile but at the same time was being kept under wraps, respectively which makes sense. 

Why is this blog post hitting pretty aggressively on all sides of this release? WHY R U NO POSITIVES!?

The reason I’m laying things out as they are, is while this is great, a new release leveraging numerous patents and new technologies and blah blah blah, it also is leaving me (and you) wondering what’s changed much from this release vs past releases.  I’m not going to whitewash a product release as evolutionary when aside from a few things which I found “cool” (Docker, Loaf of Bread), I’m not directly floored by game changing “Wow, this is solving a problem I didn’t even know I had!”

This will likely be a good product and replacement for some existing product (VNX? VNXe? Existing SANs?!) and set the tone for future generations of solutions and such.   But get out there, learn more, maybe there’s a special secret sauce that applies to you as an individual or an organization which transcends the other features of this solution I intentionally glossed over!

Enjoy EMC World and the briefings and updates and announcements! <3

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Posted in CLARiiON, DMX, Docker, emc, EMC Elect, Storage, Unity, vExpert, Virtualization | Comments (0)

Exposing the “e” in EMC VNXe

January 18th, 2011

I’m sure by now you’ve read the VERY good articles about the VNXe such as:

Well, as typically promised.. here is my EXPOSE’ Or however you want to look at it, because I try to see these things through your ever careful eyes to wonder behind the scenes just EXACTLY what may be going on!

Disclaimer: I’m not sure how much of this I’m supposed to share, so I’ll deal with the fall-out and you enjoy the content :)

Let’s Get Physical [Physical Specifications]

VNXe Physical Specifications

This looks pretty straight forward – It’s VERY clear on exactly what is going on with these systems (Well, sort of)  I want to draw your attention to a few things so we’ll all be on the same page!  

  • Note the different drive enclosures between the VNXe3100 and the VNXe3300 – 12×3.5” in 2U and 15×3.5” in 3U
  • The CPU/Memory is PER Controller with each model able to support up to 2 controllers [VNXe3300 is 2 controllers by default]
  • It’s not covered in these Physical Specifications; but I feel it important to call out Max # of drives and DAEs
    • VNXe3100 Single Controller 48 drives, VNXe3100 Dual Controller 96 drives; VNXe3300 120 drives

Are you Flexible? [FLEX IO Module Options]

FLEX IO Module Options

Also fairly straight forward right! – Only thing I’d like to point out is the support for 10GBe on the VNXe3300!

It’s a DISK DAE! [Supported disk Add-on Enclosures (DAES) – Supported Disk Drives]

VNXe Supported DAEs and Disk Drives

Here it breaks it down for you, the differences between the DAEs available (You’ll note that these are all 15K or 7.2K [other than the Flash] – The VNX has a 2.5” DAE which supports 10K drives but not in the VNXe – Just so you don’t go “whoa! Where are the 10Ks at?!” :))   – There are more details and more located in the Specification Sheet: EMC VNXe Series Unified Storage Systems

Save More with Packaging! [EMC VNXe Series Software Packs]

Extra Savings with the EMC VNXe Series Software Packs

EMC VNXe Simplified Enablement

I spent some time last week going through simulations on cost benefit analysis (blah blah blah) of building configurations with the Suites (and packs) and with simply requesting each item on their own – to see what the pricing would look like: Truth be told; OMG THE PACKAGES WORK – It’s actually EASIER to simply choose a suite than it is to play games and say “I’d only like the potatoes but please leave out the application protection suite”  So, make it easier on yourself and try to build the full package into your future instead of trying to piecemeal together a configuration and a solution, your data will be happier for it! :)   There are more details on these packages in the Data Sheet: EMC VNXe Series Software Packs

Hopefully this helps you get a better understanding of some of the details you frankly REALLY want to know when it comes to understanding this platform a little better.    If you’re looking to go even deeper, let me know and I’ll take the conversation there in a future blog post!    Thanks! Hope you find this useful!

Here are some rocking VNXe documents!   (Powerlink required – If any links do not work… Yea, I wasn’t supposed to share that then :))

Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, emc, SAS, SATA, Storage, Unified Storage, Unisphere, VNX | Comments (3)

Exchange 2010 Blasphemy, Virtualization and Rock Star Bloggers!

October 11th, 2010

Today I was cleaning up my mailbox when I came across some BLASPHEMY about Exchange! Okay, not blasphemy per se, but I continually hear from folks who are being incorrectly told “Exchange cannot be virtualized”.  I’m not exactly sure who started this ‘trend’ but that’s neither here nor there!   So I did a little digging [and you know, digging for me tends to turn into a blog post ;)]  And I came across not only some AMAZING Material! But I also want to make sure you’re following up on regularly posted updates from a Rockstar who’s clear focus is on Exchange!

Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010 with Confidence  Microsoft Exchange 2010 Zero-Data Loss Virtualization and Replication

These are two very SHORT and to the point, giving you the high-lights letting you know what is required to kick things off and something you can hand up to mgmt! So it’s great to not spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it’s saying!

One thing I’d like to bring particular attention on these papers is that these are not EMC Papers, but are in fact co-branded collaborations by Microsoft, EMC and others (the one below was Microsoft, Cisco and EMC, and some of the others involve Dell and Brocade) but either way, Microsoft was directly involved in their creation as opposed to ‘slap a tag on it’

STOP THE PRESS! (vicki vale!) – Check out this paper though!  It is definitely longer! 84 pages!  Filled with raw technical example, use cases, all that jazz! Great must read paper and not just words! Lots of pretty pictures!  Yes it is Hyper-V but that cmon, this was co-branded Microsoft.. :)  And note: Published October 2010! So Vicki Vale did get one thing right!

Business Continuity for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Unified Storage, Cisco Unified Computing System, and Microsoft Hyper-VWow, look at those DAGs!

Okay fine! Here is another paper! This one is a little older but I know you wouldn’t let me get away without giving you some VMware love! So here is one, with less pretty pictures!

 Microsoft Exchange 2010 Efficiency, Flexibility, Performance, and Availability at Scale Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, Virtual Provisioning and VMware vSphere VMAX it up!

Alright, one more then! This one was from August – not a whitepaper only a basic Reference Architecture, but I found it to be pretty damn cool looking!


EMC Virtual Infrastructure for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, VMware vsphere 4, and Replication Manager Pretty Reference Architecture

Okay, enough of these (albeit amazing papers!) With no further adieu I’d like to introduce you to Dustin Smith! I’d tell you all about him, but Brian interviewed him here so you can find out all about how he’s an MVP, MCM and so many other things!

So, Dustin has his own blog where he talks almost exclusively about Exchange (okay, I think it’s all about Exchange, but whatever! this is MY BLOG! ;))

Exchange In the Private Cloud is definitely a must check out blog if you care anything about Exchange, or have to deal with it!

I’d like to highlight a few of his blog posts here for you to check out:

  • Yes, Exchange Server is being virtualized!
    • Within EMC, our entire 40,000+ user infrastructure is virtualized on Exchange Server and the organization as a whole is moving towards virtualization of most all applications. Most all of the infrastructures we design and showcase within our Proven Solutions are geared toward virtualization, either with VMWare vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. See my previous blog post on what we recently did with the Tested Exchange Solutions Program case with Cisco and Microsoft where we showcased 34,000 users on Microsoft Hyper-V with Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC Unified Storage.
  • EMC Whitepaper, Exchange Tested Solutions Program
    • What we are showcasing in this whitepaper is a result of our joint solution development with Microsoft and Cisco that was deployed and tested in Microsoft EEC labs in Redmond. In the whitepaper you will find the reference architecture for 32,400 users across a three site Exchange DAG scenario leveraging Microsoft Hyper-V, EMC NS480 Unified Storage, and Cisco UCS B-series blade servers along with analysis of testing results and key best practices on virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 on Hyper -V on EMC Unified storage and Cisco Unified Computing System.
  • Exchange 2010 Backups? I don’t need any stinkin backups?!?
    • I think overall, the backupless/Exchange Native Data Protection option certainly brings a new element to the Exchange 2010 architecture discussions and different options for providing recovery when bad things happen. VSS based options (hardware and software based) are  still heavily used options to protect Exchange data that have been popular since the Exchange 2003 days and have increased with features and functionality into Exchange 2010.
  • Getting Exchange Server 2010 into the Private Cloud
  • Yes, EMC can do Exchange for SMB too

So, there are some teasers there of just some of the content that Dustin is putting out (There is obviously more.. but I’ll let you do the reading up on it! It’s definitely worth reading! – How so though, I just discovered Dustin TODAY and I’m sharing him with you a few hours after that point, So, yea I consider that to be pretty compelling :))

I want to leave you with links to all of the resources I mentioned above, so you can forth to gain access to the WP’s I mentioned and others I didn’t include pictures for!

There are so many more than just these links alone – I actually was surprised on how much content there was at ! – So check it out, and as always let me know if I can help you in a particular way :)

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Posted in Celerra, Cisco, CLARiiON, Cloud, DMX, emc, Exchange, FAST, Hyper-V, Iomega, Microsoft, SATA, SSD, Storage, Symmetrix, UCS, V-Max, Virtualization, VMAX, vmware, VPLEX, vSphere | Comments (7)

EMC Unified Storage – Now community sized! Celerra and CLARiiON all grown up!

October 7th, 2010

I recently was given insight into something which was up and coming (and well, clearly out at this point :)) The EMC Unified Storage Community!

What is this community though?  This is the mother load so to speak, YOUR source for Information in the Unified… and it’s available without a login! (Although I encourage a login so you can partake in questions, answers and more!)   So, let’s take this opportunity to take a little tour!

EMC Unified Storage Community

If you look at this massive page with so much to offer… it happens to break it ALL down for you with one key point to start with! – Notice on the right side of the screen..

image Wow, does this take all of the effort out of it! Making it so you can get started quick and easy! here are some details!

Getting Started in the Unified Storage community

VERSION 7  Click to view document history

Created on: Aug 16, 2010 3:51 PM by cornwk – Last Modified:  Sep 1, 2010 10:30 AM by cornwk

Thank you for visiting the Unified Storage community.

We hope you will be an active, participating member. But if you just want to view information only, that’s OK too.

Here are some suggestions for how you can get started in this community:
  1. To make sure that you can fully participate in this community, be sure to Login (or Register if this is your first visit to ECN).
    Click Login/Register at the top of the screen in the area that looks like this:
  2. In the Unified Storage community, visit Breaking the Ice and tell us a little bit about yourself.
  3. Scan the current discussions and jump in – post a new discussion of your own or respond to somebody else’s question.
  4. Have fun!
If this is your first venture into ECN, visit the Quick Tour and learn how to put the communities to work for you!

75 Views Tags: midrange_storage , community , getting_started , welcome

What I particularly like about this Community though, is the fact that is it organic… driven by the community FOR the community!   It’s young right now (hey, it just launched!) and it will only continue to mature!   And I particularly want to thank the infamous cornwk @kcornwall for everything she did to make this a reality and to continue driving this forward!

Now, while it may all be relative because content changes regularly… the current threads out there are WOW ON TARGET! To things I see come up in meetings practically every day  – so I wanted to bring specific light and clarity to them!

Every time I sit down with folks and we discuss Celerra, CLARiiON, and the whole of the Unified stack… they say “I want to know more information about….” and the …. is ALL of these threads!

So, without further adieu, here are some of the hot links here in the community to get you going!

Obviously I advise you to defer to the actual community for new content and more! but I thought I’d high-light what are often heavily discussed items where people say “Hey! I want more info on this!” Not that I’m saying anyone in particular (hi mike! :)) Should check these out, but if you find these useful, and/or your name is Mike… Definitely check it out!

Oh, and if you’re looking into downloading the UBER VSA which I’ve referenced in the past … Definitely here is the link to v3.2! Your best friend in virtualization!

Play it again, Sam: Celerra UBER v3.2

Thanks guys, check out the community… grow, and learn, question and learn…. and communitize yourselves!

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Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, emc, FAST, SATA, SSD, Storage, Unified Storage, vmware | Comments (1)

EMC Unisphere in your pocket! Announcing the UBER VSA 3! (Now with low sodium!)

September 13th, 2010

You heard it here! Time to cut your blood pressure in half! (I apologize for those of you who already have low blood pressure.. this may put you over the top!)

UBERTastic : Celerra UBER VSA v3 – Unisphere -  Be sure to click this link here to get to the download links to pull down the OVA or Workstation version!

EMC Unisphere, now with less sodium!

So, Roxanne… what is new in this version of the VSA? As it appears that I’m practically stealing Nick’s entire post (which I’m cool with… ;))

  • DART is now
  • Unisphere management console (rocks!)
  • The Celerra VSA is now 64 bit! This means you can throw RAM at it for bigger setups and it will use it. Over 8GB becomes less beneficial without code changes to simulation services. Future updates will fix this from the Celerra VSA engineering teams.
  • The biggest and most difficult change to construct is that the configuration is now adaptive depending on the virtual machine setup. This version is now intelligent in seeing how many resources you have given it.
  • The new Celerra UBER VSA uses this intelligence to now allow *Thin* mode. If you give the VSA under 2GB of RAM it will automatically size the memory limits, processes, and management interface settings to allow it to run with as low as 1024MB of RAM. You won’t do replication or host a ton of VM’s but you can use this mode to host a few and fully demonstrate/test the new Unisphere interface on even a 2GB laptop.
  • The new VSA also uses this intelligence to automatically allow the configuration of single or dual Data Mover version based on the memory assigned. If you give the VSA more than 4GB of memory you will be given the option to enable an additional Data Mover for use as a standby or load balancing experimentation. This means this single appliance can be a small lightweight NFS unit at 1024MB of RAM or can be a 2 Data Mover powerhouse at 8GB of RAM. All automatically configured on first boot through the wizard.
  • Automatic VMDK/Storage additions have been adjusted for new 64 bit OS. This means this still works. Shutoff the VM, add VMDK(s), turn on and you have more space. Automagic
  • Since automagic is so cool, I have changed the Data Mover Ethernet binding to be automatic also. The VM starts with 1 interface for management and 1 interface for the Data Movers. If you want more for the DM(s), just shutoff the VM, add NIC cards (up to 6 additional), and turn back on. It will automatically bind the Data Mover (yes it works with the 2 DM mode also) to the new interfaces and virtual slots. Just go back into Unisphere and assign away. This allows scale up for the bigger 2 Data Mover 8GB of RAM versions easily.
  • Configuration is now Perl/Bash based instead of just Bash to keep things cleaner and slicker and allow for some coolness later on ;)
  • NTP from the configuration portion of the wizard works correctly. It sets both the Control Station and all Data Movers and enables NTP as a running service. Make sure your NTP server is valid.

    So let’s summarize:

    1. New Unisphere
    2. 64 Bit
    3. Automatic sizing
    4. Thin Mode
    5. Optional 2 Data Mover mode
    6. Automatic Data Mover Ethernet adding (along with fixed Storage [VMDK] adding)
    7. NTP works now

    Wow! That’s a whole lot! Where do I sign up to download?!?  UBERTastic : Celerra UBER VSA v3 – Unisphere – No signup required, just go click and download!  Because Nick has so many other vital details about the differences of THIS Uber VSA compared to Uber VSA’s in the past, I am referring you to his page so you can read the ‘technical’ details and stuff!  So go download the UBER VSA TODAY! (I am downloading it right now, literally.. )


    I look forward to your feedback… and enjoyment of this tool, I know I’ve been waiting for some time for this myself!

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    Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, Efficiency, emc, FAST, Free, NAS, Storage, Unified Storage, Virtualization | Comments (3)

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