Archive for the ‘emc’ 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)

I won Best of IT Transformation at EMC World for “Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT” #EMCElect

July 10th, 2015

I’ll tell you, easily one of my LONGEST subject lines ever! But subject length aside, this is actually pretty awesome!

For those of you who missed this, here’s the low down from a blog post I published last October.  EMC Proven Knowledge Sharing Competition – Join Now! Abstracts Due 12NOV #EMCElect

And for what its worth, my marketing director has done an AWESOME coverage of events here Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

So that got it all started… OMG A CONTEST! Well, not even so much as a contest, as it was a raw and heated COMPETITION! What it’d entail initially was submitting an abstract.   And from the Abstract alone you’d be informed whether you’d even be entitled to be ALLOWED to enter the competition.   In my case, my abstract was accepted, awesome.  But then it came down to, “Hey, it’s time to submit your paper!” Well, so there I was… writing my paper, and write it I did!   One thing in particular which was *very* cool, is the fact that the “Judges” of the papers have no idea who the authors are.  No, it’s not like they’re secluded and don’t stay in touch with industry, quite the opposite… They’re SHIELDED from who the submitters are, any type of information is shielded from them, and instead they’re judging the papers based upon the content and not the character of the authors!

Which ultimately is what brought me to this years 2015 EMC World!   I had been informed that I was a “finalist” which means, I’d be 1st, 2nd, 3rd or one of the Best of Tracks… All very secretive, all I knew was, “I WAS IN” I just didn’t know what position or place!

CK EMC Award

That is when it all fell into place! My name called, giving me the absolute honor of “Best of IT Transformation” it was an absolute blast to all happen at once!   Due to the power of… VideoLinkFail you can skip ahead to 16:45 and get to my part of the video :)  Otherwise watch it all the way through, it gives an interesting take and shares information on the EMC Proven Education Ecosystem!

That wasn’t even the half of it though! When I wasn’t on stage wearing horribly uncomfortably shoes (which looked great mind you!) and receiving an award… LOOK AT THAT THING! ITS 8LBS OF CRYSTAL!

Best of IT Transformation

I was spending the bulk of my time ON CAMERA giving individual interviews or group interviews or this and that!

Christopher Kusek - Best of IT Transformation EMC World 2015

But some of you are saying, “You know what? I don’t give a damn about any of that! Show me the money! err, Paper, I MEAN THE PAPER!”

That’s cool, totally respect that… :) Well, here are some links and copies of the paper!

Because I’m obviously a marketing whore (go me, right! :)) There’s also the Xiologix branded version which I actually like how it is formatted better… (Primarily because… I formatted it to make sure data presents on pages the way I prefer from having written a thing or two here and there!) so here are some links to BOTH versions! <3

Read Xiologix Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

Ten Ways to Reduce Cost While Modernizing your IT - Xiologix Version

Read EMC Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

To follow-up on updates to this presentation and other information around be sure to check out the updated page at our Xiologix site where we’re keeping it updated and current! Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

Also there is a Presentation version of this paper which has been delivered to standing room only audiences across the Pacific Northwest (also regular sitting rooms of folks :)) So if you’re interested definitely reach out <3 :)

Keep on keeping on!

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Posted in Author, Careers, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, emc, EMC Elect, Evangelist, Free, Storage, Technology, vExpert | Comments (0)

The EMC VSPEX BLUE is available for Purchase! Also our @Xiologix EMC Storefront for VSPEX BLUE is now LIVE! <3 #EMCElect #vExpert

February 17th, 2015

EMC VSPEX BLUE Storefront by @Xiologix

Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute, wait just one minute. What what?!   Yea, that’s right! You can finally start buying EMC’s VSPEX BLUE! Awesome right?!  Also if you remember from my last blog post on this subject,  EMC announces Sapphire on Rails! Err… I mean VSPEX BLUE a VMware EVO:RAILS Solution! I stated that this is only available “Through Channel Partners” So an extra ounce of awesome to that is… OMG WE’RE ONE OF THE CHANNEL PARTNERS! <3 <3 <3

EMC has officially announced a channel distribution model for the EMC VSPEX BLUE but in addition to that, they selected ten partners throughout the US to kick things off with this ‘beta program’ of the EMC Storefront.  Interesting stuff…

I know some of you are of the position, “Wow, I just like to walk into a store, order what I want and just go with this” this essentially lets you do that in so many terms.   If you’re not sure whether VSPEX BLUE is a good fit for you, or whether any EVO:RAIL Solution is the right approach for your organization be sure to check out my previous post (mentioned above) to get the long and short, and the respective skinny on whether it is indeed a good fit.

And hell, if it is a good fit… and the EMC Solution in particular is the flag you want to wave, head on over to the Xiologix EMC Store Front and ‘put in an order’ so to speak ;)  I’ll personally say hi and tell you why it’s either a good or horrible idea. (Well, I’m not going to stop guiding, steering and consulting just because something shiny and Blue comes along, right? :))

Though seriously, check it out… A lot of effort went into putting this out there, so why not? Otherwise, good times and start catching the blues! <3

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Posted in emc, EMC Elect, EVO:RAIL, Hyper-Converged, Storage, vExpert, vmware, VSPEX, VSPEX BLUE | Comments (0)

I’ll be attending Storage Field Day 7 – Now with Clear Containers! #SFD7

February 16th, 2015

Alright, so maybe I won’t be attending The Container Store’s “Storage World” though wouldn’t that be so exciting? No, but I will be attending Gestalt IT’s Tech Field Day series; Storage Field Day 7!

(Wow that’s a mouthful! :))

For those of you wondering what Storage Field Day is about, check out my last blog post on the subject which was for Virtualization Field Day;  Why yes I’ll be a Delegate at Virtualization Field Day 4! #VFD4 and I’ll also elaborate out a bit!

At this wondrous event there will be an interesting sampling of Storage Companies who will be there to talk to us about something in their portfolio…

=

I’ll be honest… when you copy their logos… and then cast it against a black background, it doesn’t look as they intended… :)

So now that we know what Vendors will be there… Who’s going to be there casting the brunt of attacks, err I mean deeply technical and insightful questioning which will bring even the most experienced presenter to tears?

Arjan Timmerman @ArjanTim Virtualization lover by day, Storage admirer by night

Chris M Evans @ChrisMEvans Chris is a UK-based consultant with an interest in all technologies, focusing on storage, virtualisation and cloud.
Dan Frith @PenguinPunk I like punk rock and storage arrays.

 

Dave Henry @DaveMHenry Engineer and gadget guy, focused on storage and virtualization.
 

 

Enrico Signoretti @ESignoretti An IT consultant, entrepreneur and passionate blogger at juku.it (not necessarily in that order).
 

 

Howard Marks @DeepStorageNet Storage Analyst Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
 

Keith Townsend @VirtualizedGeek Keith Townsend is the founder of Virtualizedgeek.com and is an IT management consultant with more than 15 years of related experience.
 

Mark May @CincyStorage Storage expert, unix curmudgeon, IT nerd, and sporadic blogger
 

Ray Lucchesi @RayLucchesi Ray Lucchesi is president of Silverton Consulting, blogs at RayOnStorage.com, co-hosts GreyBeardsOnStorage.com podcast and has worked in data storage for over 30 years mostly in marketing and engineering new disk and tape automation products.

Vipin V. K. @VipinVK111 Blogger, storage specialist and simple always.
Christopher Kusek @cxi CTO at @Xiologix – EVP of Engineering, Technology Evangelist, vExpert, EMC Elect, BDA, CISSP, MCT, Cloud, Ninja, Vegan, Single, Father, Cat, Humorist, Author

And I’m sure for those of you who have watched it and seen what comes out of it, it’s not all just really funny or very offensive memes… It’s also deep DEEP insightful connections which helps draw parallels and visibility into aspects of technology and industry like no other.

Or… if you just like the meme’s.. then yes, it is just memes. :)

10170944_10153837877349572_7487927769476310935_n (1) 10929023_10153834165939572_2174876152237801172_n

And of course a hearty thanks go out to the Event Staff who make this possible, the beautiful Stephen Foskett @SFoskett and the dashing Tom Hollingsworth @NetworkingNerd and the effervescent Clare Chaplais @CChaplais

So check it out as I know you will, not to mention the deeply grueling and intensive times I know I’ll be giving the vendors because I’ve been one and I know what it’s like ;) And be sure to check out the numerous blogs coming!

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Posted in emc, Storage, Virtualization | Comments (2)

EMC announces Sapphire on Rails! Err… I mean VSPEX BLUE a VMware EVO:RAILS Solution!

February 3rd, 2015

For those of you who haven’t gotten the news… OMG EMC IS NOW A HARDWARE MANUFACTURER. Whoa, wait a minute, didn’t they produce storage? Sure, sure they did and sure they do!  However by officially entering the realms of the VMware EVO:RAILS Family with other legitimate server vendors like Dell, and such (not to be confused with the VERY confusing NetApp EVO:RAILS Solution ;))   Well, let’s just say this could be a game changer! Especially as we peel back the layers a bit!   So that said… Let’s get started! :)

EMC VSPEX BLUE Redefined Simplicity

So, what exactly is VSPEX BLUE you might be asking?   I mean you may have a sense of what an EVO:RAIL solution typically is, but let’s get a sense of what we’re getting in this little 2U Appliance…

VMware’s EVO:RAIL solution of VPSEX BLUE contains the following:

  • Software:
    • vSphere Enterprise Plus
    • VMware vCenter Server
    • VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN)
    • vCenter Log Insight
    • EVO:RAIL Intuitive user interface (Dashboard)
  • Hardware:
    • Four ESXi Hosts per appliance
    • Two fully redundant power supplies
    • Redundant 2 x 10 GbE NICs (per node)
    • Enterprise grade boot device
    • HDDs and SSDs (will go into more details on that in a bit!)

I know what you’re thinking … “That sounds a lot like every other EVO:RAILS Solution” Why thank you for recognizing! I like how we’re in-sync on this!

EMC’s Value Add on top of EVO:RAIL

  • Unlimited cloud storage and file services via EMC Cloud Array gateway
  • Operational and Disaster Recovery, Replication and Continuous Data Protection with EMC RecoverPoint for VMs.
  • Centralized Backup and Recovery with VMware Data Protection Advanced that is built on EMC Avamar, with Data Domain as a target.
  • EMC Secure Remote Services (ESRS)—enabling 24×7 secure, remote monitoring, diagnostics and repair.
  • EMC Proven server hardware reliability.
  • EMC award winning Global Support and Logistics, single point of support from EMC, including VMware software.

Wait a minute, that all sounds like marketecture? Why yes, you’re damn straight that it is! Alright let me peel back the REAL covers of this onion for you, so you can see what’s really going on! :)

  • Yes there are benefits with EMC Cloud Array gateway, that itself is actually kind of cool. (Albeit, I’m reading it as 1TB Local Cache and 10TB Cloud Storage, so correct me if THAT is wrong…)
  • Why yes… EMC did recently make RecoverPoint for VMs FREE! But you have to pay for support… In VSPEX BLUE you get 15 VMs for free per appliance! (That’s a benefit, right?)
  • EMC’s VSPEX BLUE has a separate manager over the top of the EVO:RAILS manager which actually provides some really cool benefits above and beyond (Check out manager demos to get the inside scoop on that..)

VSPEX BLUE Manager integration

This should give you a sense of the connection points which VSPEX BLUE Manager has!

VSPEX BLUE is Available ONLY Through Channel Partners!

Yep! You heard it here first (or possibly.. not sure if this is the FIRST Place you’ve heard it! But still… :))

At least that is what we as channel partners are being told as well, That said… Oh, you want to buy VSPEX BLUE? It has to be bought through a channel partner.  In our case, in concert with EMC they’ve provided an interesting ‘storefront’ so to speak which won’t go live until February 16th so I encourage you to keep your eye on www.xiologix.com (We’re one of the 10 US Based Partners who are part of the VSPEX BLUE Pilot Program!) and once the site is officially published and available (read: 16FEB2015) the link will be made public there!)

!!!UPDATE!!! The Store is now LIVE! https://xiologix.store.emc.com/us/ So go check it out! :)

I don’t want VSPEX BLUE because Converged Infrastructure is a stupid-head!

This comes up at times, it’s common objections and concerns which are raised. So hopefully I can address a few of those points here with very common objections and challenges which are raised when looking at new technologies.

“I’ve heard Converged Infrastructure is complex, I don’t need more complexity!”

Interestingly, EMC’s VSPLEX BLUE is a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance which incorporates virtualization, compute, storage, networking and data protection into a single box. Additionally it automates the deployment which can help accelerate your ability to function while also reducing risk in your virtual environment.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is too risky.

EMC VSPEX BLUE dramatically lowers risk and speeds time to production. As an all-inclusive appliance, EMC VSPEX BLUE eliminates the need for complex integration and streamlines operations with automated deployment, upgrades and patches. EMC VSPEX BLUE integrates both software and hardware resiliency to ensure near zero downtime. Leveraging proven capabilities of vSphere® HA, vMotion, DRS and VMware® Virtual SANTM to ensure high availability at both the compute and storage layers. (A direct EMC Quote :))

Want to scale Storage separately from Compute.

With the EMC Cloud Array gateway, you can scale on-demand to cloud storage as needed for backup, expansion, archive.

Can I re-use existing infrastructure investments?

No, VSPEX BLUE is an all-inclusive hyper-converged appliance. However, it can augment your investments for the purpose of Test/Dev, new departmental requirements or ROBO opportunities. (That’s quoted verbatim from EMC :))

Okay, but what about VALID Objections?

So true. There are a few areas I’ve identified which you ought to know, because I’m not here to pull the wool over your eyes.

  • When you buy an appliance you’re paying for all of the licensing as a single SKU. When you buy a second appliance, even if adding to your EXISTING appliance environment it is still a single SKU. (What this means is even if you’re not using your second vCenter license, or Log Insight instance, VSAN, so on and so forth, you’re paying for it.)  
  • Can you get a discount on licenses you’re not using? Not that I’m aware of.   I asked that question EXPLICITLY because I knew YOU would ask.  So the appliances will end up duplicative with licensing as you scale beyond your first appliance. Don’t shoot the messenger! <3
  • If you want to go direct with this, as far as what EMC is saying, “No you can’t, you must go through a partner” Albeit for what it is worth. *I* (Xiologix) am an EMC Partner who can sell this solution to you ;) But seriously, it’s important to find a trusted partner you can work with on this.   In theory I’m sure some back-alley deals can be done to go direct with EMC on this, but as far as posturing and positioning here for launch… this is “Channel Partner only”
  • Is this a fit for every organization? Absolutely. And no, absolutely not.  That’s one of the values of having this be Channel driven is working with a partner to understand your needs vs having someone pitch something shiny and blue!

I knew you wanted this… so here’s the hardware specs! I did it in an image just to complicate things! :)

VSPEX BLUE Hardware specs

Also it is worth pointing out that one of the added differentiators is visibility into the hardware which may not always be available depending upon EVO:RAIL provider

EMC VSPEX BLUE Hardware Awareness

Other awesome posts about VSPEX BLUE can be found here!

Hopefully you find this information useful.  I’ll eventually be doing a full deep breakdown of ALL of the EVO:RAIL Solutions available on the market, but I was waiting for this announcement first. :)

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Posted in Cloud, emc, vExpert, Virtualization, VMworld | Comments (1)

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