Archive for the ‘DMX’ 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

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

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 :)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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)

What is the difference between orange and blue fiber cable

August 9th, 2010

Hey guys! I bet you’re wondering the very same thing a lot of people wonder.  And chances are you did a search (as I had in the past) with the very same query as this title.   And chances are.. you’d end up with a page filled with OMFG irrelevant data, when all you want to know is; WILL ORANGE CABLE DO 10G, WHY ARE ALL MY CABLES BLUE NOW?!’  Etc.. :)

So, in the effort of full disclosure and thanks to my good friend Stuart Miniman, I’m publishing this post here, containing everything you actually care about!

Published in this lovely slide share; Converged Networks: FCoE, iSCSI and the Future of Storage Networking is a beautiful slide like this, but the real core and important bit is.


Orange Fiber Cable DOES 10g, but only up to 82m

Blue (Aqua) Fiber Cable is ALSO 10g, at lengths of up to 300m

By the looks of things though, when it comes to the days of 40g or 100g, Orange cable will not exactly be your best friend in those scenarios; a good problem to have at that point.

So, when you’re going through your datacenter and doing short-haul in a cabinet and saying “doh! we need to rip out all of this orange so we can to 10g”.. Don’t.   If you’re running long haul or to a cabinet pretty far away, sure make sure it’s blue all day long but you will be fine in the short term if you’re doing short runs.

Hopefully you found this useful (let me know if so) because I’m sick and tired of trying to remember what this is and end up at a million pages telling me EVERY detail but this! :)

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in 10G, CLARiiON, DMX, fcoe, Storage, Symmetrix, V-Max, VMAX | Comments (2)

Everything I need to know I learned at EMC World 2010

May 19th, 2010

I got asked a –great- question the other day by my boss (Props to my boss for giving me some great blogging material!)

“What are the Top 5 things you learned or thought valuable at EMC World 2010”

I cannot guarantee I’ll give you 5 top things… or that I won’t even exceed 5 things, but at the very least I’ll outline what I found as the most valuable things, as well as discussions I had with various others as to what was the most valuable to be had/found!   If there are things you found particularly useful – Please do share it here so we can all benefit as well! :0

Introducing EMC VPLEX - Access Data Anywhere in the Private Cloud

Yes, this was a big one for me, top of mind! So many useful things to talk solely about VPLEX alone! To share all of it would be a challenge! So let me break down some of the value points!

EMC has a great portal page around VPLEX which shares lots of useful information, collateral, white papers and more! (I’ll publish a nice one later with PowerLink things soon)

My good friend Bas Raayman collated all of the blog posts covering VPLEX from the general purpose Blogosphere and Media analysts too!  EMC VPLEX – Introduction and link overview


So to wrap up my own personal experience around the VPLEX from the sessions, prior knowledge and playing with the live VPLEX LAB – This is really cool – Live data access on both sides of a metro link = rockstar event! Check it out! Check it out! :)

See for yourself how new advanced storage efficiencies and EMC Unisphere can expedite your journey to the private cloud.

After you pick yourself up after drooling all over VPLEX, it’s time to sign up for the Unisphere train, the Highlander of getting you to the Private Cloud “There can only be one… Private Cloud” and apparently, you’ll manage that with Unisphere!

You can listen to and watch Chad present a video on using Unisphere to get you kicked off on things! Certainly, if you’re at some of those non-youtube type locations, ask your local EMC to get you a demo :)      Though once you get yourself settled on a single interface for fun and managing off this rocking system, well.. you likely want it to do a little more!

This video actually takes you through some of the new features discussed at EMC World – Sub-Lun FAST, FAST Cache, and Primary block storage compression!

1) Sub-LUN FAST = automated tiering of storage (think "VMware DRS for Storage") – lowers cost of storage by between 30-50% on average.
2) FAST Cache = up to 2TB of low cost read/write cache – get more performance for the same $. In some cases, like VMware View – it can deliver same performance at 10x lower cost.
3) Primary block storage compression = save between 30- 50% on average on your storage consumption.

All sweet features which are pretty damn cool if you ask me! (Feel free to ask me.. we could discuss for hours on end ;))

Another cool feature which was announced at EMC World which most people don’t usually think about, but I’m gonna get you to start thinking about it now!

Unified Storage Guarantee - EMC Unified Storage is 20% more efficient. Guaranteed. 

It’s easy to be efficient with EMC.

EMC® unified storage brings efficiency to a whole new level. We’ve even created a capacity calculator so you can configure efficiency results for yourself. You’ll discover that EMC requires 20% less raw capacity to achieve your unified storage needs. This translates to superior storage efficiency when compared to other unified storage arrays—even those utilizing their own documented best practices.

If we’re not more efficient, we’ll match the shortfall

If for some unlikely reason the capacity calculator does not demonstrate that EMC is 20% more efficient, we’ll match the shortfall with additional storage. That’s how confident we are.

The guarantee to end all guarantees

Storage efficiency is one of EMC’s fundamental strengths. Even though our competitors try to match it by altering their systems, turning off options, changing defaults or tweaking configurations—no amount of adjustments can counter the EMC unified storage advantage.

Here’s the nitty-gritty, for you nitty-gritty types
  • The 20% guarantee is for EMC unified storage (file and block—at least 20% of each)
  • It’s based on out-of-the-box best practices
  • There’s no need to compromise availability to achieve efficiency
  • There are no caveats on types of data you must use
  • There’s no need to auto-delete snapshots to get results

This guarantee is based on standard out-of-the-box configurations. Let us show you how to configure your unified storage to get even more efficiency. Try our capacity calculator today.

So, hmm.. What does this mean exactly?! Well, if you read above, that gives you a break down of what the deal offers.  But like you, I want specific use-cases which I can relate to!  

This basically says, by using the EMC Unified Storage Calculator – Without enabling features (like thin provisioning, etc) you know.. ‘magic’ features, out-right the system will save you 20%, and once you start to enable other features you’ll see it grow above and beyond that – Sounds pretty compelling when it comes to the value of your solutions right?!image

This is actually pretty damn sweet because it lets you use YOUR figures to determine what your space and layout concerns are, instead of generating off some spreadsheet with a bunch of jibber jabber and you go ‘eh, I still don’t believe it’  – But hey, don’t let me be the judge, load up the EMC Unified Storage Calculator and give it a try your self :)

Oh, did someone say “Hey, Wasn’t there some cool Ionix UIM 2.0 and Vblock things going on?!”

But we cannot discuss the rocking unified world of Vblock’s and vSphere without at the very least mentioning the Next Generation vCenter Plugins!

So, while there were a REAL LOT OF COOL THINGS both Announced and able to be seen at this years EMC World 2010 – You’re going to come away from it, whether you attended or missed the opportunity with some questions! So let me help you address these questions in tangible ways you can take it to your TC/SE and Sales Guy so you can make them work for YOU and your Organization.

Pick up the phone/email – Reach out to your EMC Guys and tell them you want to hear about:

  • EMC VPLEX – And how it’s ease of use and whether the various use cases, Local, Metro and beyond will be a fit for your organization
  • EMC Unisphere – Taking next generation unified up a notch and enabling your datacenter to grow and scale with the Cloud
    • But seriously, the last one is really cool (Check it out, get a briefing with your Unified Storage guys as soon as you can because…)
    • Oh, and don’t forget to ask about FAST Cache! I’ll be covering this fairly deeply soon in some blog posts, including direct use cases, and my deep technical considerations and assaults on engineering I already have in the works to make sure that it works as I architect and not as marketing tells me to :)
  • EMC Unified Storage 20% Guarantee – This isn’t 90 pages of caveats, this is heads up, you will save period.  Ask your TC to help you save! ;)
  • EMC Ionix UIM 2.0 – If you remember all of my coverage on UIM 1.0, 2.0 is actually gonna be the cats meow!
  • EMC vCenter Plugins! – These are pretty sweet, and will help manage your experience!

I’m sure there are numerous other things I did not cover (You be the one to tell me!) but the ones above I found particularly cool – So go check them out, ask your TC or Sales Rep (Let me know if you do… I’m pushy… :) But I particularly want to hear your experiences and impressions!)

Enjoy the new world, and share share share! :)

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, DMX, Efficiency, emc, FAST, fcoe, SSD, Storage, Symmetrix, V-Max, Virtualization, VMAX, vmware, VPLEX | Comments (2)

Yes Virginia there IS FAST for the DMX! (Think FAST DMX3 and DMX4!)

February 16th, 2010

Today I sat down with some of our favorite Presidents, and St Valentines since he was free after his holiday was over.  And we decided to discuss what should be announced this week.    With the importance of these holidays in order and the fact that the Olympics are on – the only Olympic and Presidential decision we could come to conclusion on was…

FAST for the DMX!

Whoa, hold on there wait just one minute.   You said DMX4 AND the DMX3?!? Are you serious?!?!

Why yes sweetheart! (yea I know you san admins LOVE to be called sweetheart :)) This does infact support the DMX3 and the DMX4, but because I didn’t find it on my first google search after spending a few seconds (I know you’ll do the same ;)) so the caveat which all of you hardcore DMX3’ers know – the fact that the DMX3 supports only fibre-channel drives. But now that we have that put to the side, let’s discuss what this means for your environment today!

Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) for Symmetrix DMX enables your system to automate the movement of data across differing drive types based upon your performance characteristics.  However, unlike the VMAX which allows you to move across both “Drive Types” AND “Protection Types” the DMX supports only moving across Drive Types.     So if you have a short stroked configuration today running across a boatload of Fibre Channel disks (Oh you clearly know who you are :)) You can start to do what it takes to move that workload non-disruptively to a smaller sampling of Enterprise Flash Disks, and I’m sure your facilities people will instantly fall in love with you (Valentines day! :))

Okay nay sayers, it’s time for you to step up and say “DMX 3 FAST sounds stupid, WTF is that for? It’s FC Only! /end whine” :)   Yea, I’m with you guy, I totally get that.  I have an investment in DMX3’s on the floor today and I want to find SOME way to take advantage of this before I’m completely off of maint and I start swapping systems out for VMAX’s (You know you want to..:))

What value you’ll be able to get here, is since it is FC only, fortunately FC has been tiered within itself for such a long time – through different disk sizes, and different speed types (10k, 15k) So this can atleast allow you to take your applications which don’t require that 15k workload and move it off to your “less critical” 10k disk infrastructure and still allow you to leverage the investment you have on the floor until such a time that you’re ready to upgrade to a DMX4 or V-MAX.    If you’re that guy who happens to have the fully loaded DMX3 15k infrastructure of all the same size disks – Hey, it’s a good problem to have, and in that case the FAST for DMX3 will NOT be the solution you’re looking for.    I’m not sure what percentage of folks are in that particular bucket, but it’s nice to have options :)

Alright, now that I’ve spent nearly have the blog post discussing how to leverage this within the DMX3, I want you to make sure to realize that the DMX4 is still an excellent platform especially for it’s supportability for FLASH and SATA which will let you leverage this to great proportions!    So get out there, contact your rep or TC and get rolling on upgrading to Enginuity 5773.155.107!

I want to make special mention of Barry Burke’s post on this subject 2.040: dmx gets some fast love! a definite must read as it covers a whole bunch of OTHER features now available in the DMX line which all of you VMAX’ers are loving today.    So make sure you read his post as well!

And if you’re looking for information on FAST for the V-MAX, please refer to: One Stop Shop for Symmetrix V-Max Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) docs!

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in DMX, emc, FAST, VMAX | Comments (2)

  • Archives