Archive for the ‘FAST’ Category

Leading with the Unified EMC VNX – Watch, Look and Listen [Contest Entry too]

March 30th, 2011

Hi guys! You’ve seen me produce videos in the past I’m sure, although it is not that often that *I* am actually IN the videos where you can see me, if even for a moment.  (You let me know if you like that, or not ;))

Through a series of events, I ended up recording this video.  For your reference: This IS a first draft, in an infinite style of regularly updating my style for delivery.  [This was done using a little camera and a tiny mount on not a whole lot of space on a whiteboard… if I went Pro for the next one… you’ll be all OMFG :)]

Initially, I had drawn up some notes of how I’d present this.. so in the effort of WTF and Full disclosure (You know me all too well ;)) These are those preliminary whiteboard/notes.

Unisphere, Silos, FAST-VP, FAST Cache Ease of Use, Maximum Efficiency, Consistent Performance

I did have some other pictures which showed bits and pieces.. but I’m sure you get the gist of it!  So what exactly am I saying with this video, with these whiteboards.. with this.. you know, whatever it is I’m doing here. :)

Three things actually.   One of the cool things about the VNX is that it provides you with:

  • Ease of Use – With simplicity of management using Unisphere, vCenter Integration, Single Pane for all arrays
  • Maximum Efficiency – With FAST-VP, You can go Thin, and use the right tier at the right time with auto-tiering
  • Consistent Performance – The magic of EFDs, QOS, FAST Cache, Wide-Striping, Consolidate and guarantee SLAs

I know what you’re saying “OMFG CHRISTOPHER, ARE YOU IN MARKETING?” No. And I usually stand by that, because I get things done ;).  Yes, I intentionally chose fitting points which happen to coincide with the acronym EMC, you know why? Because for one thing it’s easier to remember. :)  Not to mention, things should truly be easy to work with, and enjoyable; all the while providing an accurate picture of the story at hand!

Look forward to some future series where I actually go into the guts of the system and show you (from my perspective) the how’s and the why’s of these things [Time permitting ofcourse ;)]

So, for now, I leave you with this video.  Take it with a grain of salt, it IS a first-draft cutting room floor version.  As soon as I get my new mbp (April 1st?!) You should see some far better *Perhaps Annoying* videos coming from me ;)

And I know that some of you love me in videos sometimes… so for those of you who want to see me unplugged in an off-the-cuff impromptu interview (No, I’m not drunk), here is the infamous “I’m CXI, I’m from the Internets!” video!

I hope you enjoyed that.   Now, I’d love to hear your feedback. Where you say “Wow, I never thought of it that way” Or, “OMG You’re a total tool!” Yea, I’m game for either of those – Whatever you have to offer up, constructive or otherwise!

Oh, and I also submitted this for an internal contest (Which if I win.. will give me a sweet wrap-around terrace suite at EMC World [Yes, you can all come hang out in my room ;)] So, support away in every way possible! :)

Watch this space for more stupidity, err I mean great content in the future!

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Posted in Celerra, Efficiency, emc, Exchange, FAST, Microsoft, NAS, Oracle, SAS, SATA, Sharepoint, SQL, SSD, Storage, Technology, Virtualization, VNX, WTF | 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 www.emc.com/exchange ! – 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:
    https://community.emc.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/102-7531-9-17181/logintext.png
  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 6.0.36.4
  • 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.. )

    OMFG IM DOWNLOADING IT TOO

    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)

    EMC didn’t invent Unified Storage; They Perfected it

    June 29th, 2010

    Hi Guys! Remember me! I’m apparently the one who upset some of you, enlightened others; and the rest of you.. well, you drove a lot of traffic here to get my blog to even beat out EMC’s main website as the primary source for information on "Unified Storage" (And for that, I appreciate it :))

    In case any of you forgot some of those "target" posts, here they are for your reference! but I’m not here to start a fight! I’m here to educate and to direct my focus on not what this previously OVERLY discussed Unified Storage Guarantee was or is, but instead to drive down in to what Unified Storage will really bring to bear.   So, without further adieu!

    What is Unified Storage?

    I’ve seen a lot of definitions of what it is, quite frankly a lot of stupid definitions too. (My GOD I hate stupid definitions!)  But what does it mean when you Unify to you and me?   I could go on and on about the various ‘definitions’ of what it really is (and I even started WRITING that portion of it!) but instead I’m going to scrap all of that so I do not end up on my own list of ‘stupid definitions’ and instead will define Unified Storage at it’s simplest terms.

    A unified storage system merges NAS and SAN. Optimized for performance and interoperability, the system simultaneously stores both file data and blocks of application data in virtually any operating environment

    You can put your own take and spin on it, but at it’s guts that is seemingly what the basics of a "Unified Storage" system are; nothing special about it, NAS and SAN (hey, lots of people do that right?!)  You bet they do!   And this is by no way the definitive definition on what “Unified Storage” is, and frankly that is not my concern either.   So taking things to the next level; now that we have a baseline of what it takes to ‘get the job done’, now it’s time to evaluate the Cost of Living in a Unified Storage environment.

    Unified Storage Architecture Cost of Living

    I get it.  No really I do.   And I’m sure by now you’re tired of the conversation of ‘uniqueness’ focused on the following core areas:

      • Support for Mixed Clients
      • Support for multiple types (tiers) of disk
      • Simplified Provisioning
      • Thin Provisioning
      • Improving Utilization

    All of these items are simply a FACT and an expectation when it comes to a Unified Platform.  (Forget unified, a platform in general)   Lack of support of multiple tiers, locking down to a single client, complicated provisioning which can only be done fat which makes you lose out on utilization and likely is a waste of time – That my friend is the cost of living.    You’re not going to introduce a wasteful fat obsolete system and frankly, I’m not sure of any (many) vendors who are actually delivering services which don’t meet on multiple of these criteria; So the question I’m asking is… Why do we continue to discuss these points?   I do not go to a car dealership and say “You know, I’m expecting a transmission in this car, you have a transmission right?”  And feel free to replace transmission with tires and other things you just flat out EXPECT.    It’s time to take the conversation to the next level though; because if you’ve ever talked to me you know how I feel about storage. “There is no inherent value of storage in and of itself without context or application.”   Thus… You don’t want spinning rust just for the sake to have it spin, no you want it to store something for you, and it is with that you need to invest in Perfection.

    Unified Storage Perfection

    What exactly is the idea of Unified Storage Perfection?   It is an epic nirvana whereby we shift from traditional thinking and takes NAS and SAN out of the business of merely rusty spindles and enable and engage the business to earn its keep.

    Enterprise Flash Disks

    Still storage, yet sexy in it’s own right.  Why?  First of all, it’s FAST OMFG FLASH IS SO FAST! And second of all, it’s not spinning, so it’s not annoying like the latest and greatest SAS, ATA or FC disk!    But what makes this particular implementation of EFD far sexier than simple consumer grade SSD’s is the fact that these things will guarantee you a consistent speed and latency through and through.   I mean, sure it’s nice that these things can take the sheer number of FC disks you’d need to run an aggressive SQL server configuration and optimize the system to perform, but it goes beyond that.   

    Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST)

    Think back to that high performance SQL workload you had a moment ago, there might come a time in the life of the business where your performance needs change; Nirvana comes a knocking and with the power of FAST enables you to dynamically, non-disruptively move from one tier of Storage (EFD, FC, SATA) to another, so you are guaranteed not only investment protection but scalability which grows and shrinks as your business does.    Gone are the days of ‘buy for what we might use one day’ and welcome are the days of Dynamic and Scalable business.

    FAST Cache

    Wow, is this the triple whammy or what?  Building upon the previous two points, this realm of Perfection is able to take the performance and speed of Enterprise Flash Disks and the concept of tiering your disks to let you use those same existing EFD disks to extend your READ and WRITE cache on your array!    FAST Cache accelerates performance to address unexpected workload spikes. FAST and FAST Cache are a powerful combination, unmatched in the industry, that provides optimal performance at the lowest possible cost.  (Yes I copied that from a marketing thingie, but it’s true and is soooooo cool!) 

    FAST + FAST Cache = Unified Storage Performance Nirvana

    So, let’s put some common sense on this then, because this is no joke, nor is it marketing BS.    You assign EFD’s to a specific workload you want to guarantee a certain speed and a certain response time (Win).    You have unpredictable workloads who may need to be fast some times, but may be slow other times on quarterly of yearly basis’s, so you leverage FAST to move that data around, but that’s your friend when you can PREDICT what is going to happen.    What about when it is slow most of the time, but then on June 29th you make a major announcement that you were not expecting to hit as hard as it did, and BAM! Your system goes in the tank because data sitting on FC or SATA couldn’t handle the load.   Hello FAST Cache, how I love you so.     Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE EFD’s and I wish all of my data could sit on them (At home a lot of it does ;)) and I have massive desire for FAST because I CAN move my workload around based upon predictable or planned patterns (Marry me!)  But FAST Cache is my superman, because he is there to save the day when I least expected it, he caches my reads when BOOM I didn’t know it was coming, but more importantly he holds my massive load of WRITES which come in JUST as unexpectedly.   So for you naysayers or just confused ones who wonder why you’d have one vs the other (vs) the other; Hopefully this example use-case is valuable.   Think about it in terms of your business, you could get away with one or the other, or all three… Either way, you’re a winner.

    Block Data Compression

    EMC is further advancing its storage efficiency innovation as the first storage provider to introduce block data compression, by allowing customers to compress inactive data and reclaiming valuable storage capacity— data footprints can be reduced by up to 50 percent. A common use case would be compressing inactive data once EMC FAST software has moved that data to the most cost-effective storage tier. Block data compression joins EMC’s existing capabilities, including thin provisioning and data deduplication, to automatically and transparently maximize storage utilization.

    Yea, I DID copy that verbatim from a Press Release – And do you know why? Because it’s right! Even addresses a pretty compelling use-case too!   So think about it a moment.  Does this apply to you?  I’d never compress ALL of my data (reminisces back to the days of DoubleSpace where let’s just say, for any of us who lived it… those were interesting times ;)) But think about the volume of data which you have sitting on Primary Storage which is inactive and otherwise wasting space when it continues sitting un-accessed and consuming maximum capacity!  But this is more than just about that data type, unlike some solutions this it not an all or nothing.

    Think if you could choose to compress on demand! Compress say… your virtual machine right out of vCenter! But wait there’s more!   And there’s so much more to say on this, let alone the things which are coming.. I don’t want to reveal what is coming, so I’ll let Mark Twomey do it where he did it here:  Storage Services for Clariion Storage Pool LUNs

    What does all of this mean for me and Unified Storage?!

    Whoa, hey now! What do you mean what does all of this mean?! Are you cutting me short?  Yes.  Yes I am. :)   There are some cool things coming, which I cannot talk about yet… and not to mention some of all of the new stuff coming in Q3 – But things I was talking about… that’s stuff I can talk about –TODAY- there’s only even better things and cake coming tomorrow :)

    I can fill this with videos, decks, resources, references, Unisphere and every thing under the sun (You let me know if you really want that.. I’ve done that in the past as well)  But ideally, I want you to make your own decision, come to your own conclusions..  What does this mean for you?   Stop asking “What is Unified Storage” and start asking “What value can my business derive from technologies in order to save money, save time, save waste!”    I’ll try to avoid writing yet another article on this subject unless you so demand it! I look forward to all of your comments and feedback! :)

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    Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, Deduplication, Efficiency, emc, FAST, Hyper-V, Microsoft, NAS, Oracle, SATA, SQL, SSD, Storage, Technology, Unified Storage, vmware, vSphere | Comments (4)

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