Archive for the ‘Oracle’ Category

OMG OMG VMware Announces VSAN 6.2! ONE VSAN to Rule Them All! (Well, Kind of)

February 10th, 2016

Wow, we’re finally here! Version 6.2 has arrived and woot is it a hoot! (That wasn’t intended to rhyme, but welcome to the party regardless!

This blog post will be filled with lots of cool things, lots of announcements, and a commentary on the ‘ONE VSAN to Rule Them All’ which is strangely more true than you can imagine!

VSAN now with 3000+ Customers! VSAN OSU Quote

So let’s get started! OMG it’s for all workloads, yada yada. You can read marketing slides. This is one of them, simply saying “Yea we can do this”, a little side note. VSAN currently has over 3000 Paying Customers! Compare that to other ‘enterprise storage vendors’ who have products in the market place. I won’t EXPLICITLY call any out, but as I see various stock prices tumbling and I look at their user bases being similar, it leads me to say, “Hey! VSAN has grown and grown and grown year over year, well done!”

I did include a quote from Oregon State University because I live in Portland now, and I wanna Represent! :) <3

VSAN 6.2 Ready for all vSphere Workloads!

So there’s lots of cool slides I can share. I won’t. I’ll share a few poignant and selective ones, but my real focus here is on what is NEW and what things can be impacted and in general things to watch out for as well!

What’s New?!

What's new in VSAN 6.2!

I’m sure most of you can read, so you’ll see some things in particular which are exciting and I’ll go into greater detail are things like DEDUPLICATION, COMPRESSION, ERASURE CODING! Yea SAP Ready is nice, and blah blah blah….

Most new features you and I care about are ALL FLASH ONLY

I think I should repeat that just in case it was lost in translation.  In the following slides I’ll be including you will be wise to notice in the top right corner the phrase “ALL FLASH ONLY” okay, it’s not in caps on the slide, but I’m putting it in caps for effect. Why? Because if you’re thinking, “Yea, I can do this with a ROBO LICENSE and two servers” No! STOP IT! NO YOU CANNOT! ALL FLASH ALL FLASH ALL FLASH! And if you cannot read caps, “Most of the features I will be discussing require an all flash solution, which requires all flash in your servers as well as an All Flash license. Plan accordingly”

VSAN Deuplication and Compression!!! VSAN RAID5 Erasure Coding!  VSAN RAID6 Erasure Coding

So the above features so heavily anticipated. Deduplication and Compression, and Erasure Coding whether RAID 5 or RAID 6 – These require All Flash in order to work.

ALSO note that RAID5 requires a MINIMUM of 4 nodes and RAID6 requires a MINIMUM of 6 nodes.

I’m sure there’ll be dozens of blog posts released today which go into even further depth on this. So note, these are some of the key differentiators and points of importance should you choose to adopt this. So don’t expect erasure coding in your ROBO instance, that’s still a ‘mirrored’ configuration (Or in your 3 node Essentials licensed system – that’ll not only require you to be in vCenter Server Standard to do more than 3 nodes, but again… you’ll need the all Flash License…)

Oh look! Other protections!

Virtual SAN Core Software Checksums!

Yea, you have other means of protecting your investment… Well, you don’t per se, it’s built in so it will be doing it on your behalf, but it’s good to know that disk scrubbing does run in the background!

What else is new?!!?

Alright, there are some other new things, it won’t all be storage centric things as much as I had hoped!

VSAN now with QOS! VSAN supports IPv6 - Not that anyone cares! <3 VSAN for ANY Application! VSAN Health! VSAN with MORE Health! VSAN Cache and Sparse!

As you can see from the list there are definitely a few other new things, like QoS (Awesome), IPv6 support (Err, who cares?) Enhanced application support (Pretty awesome), better healthchecks (They were already GREAT, and now they’re better?!?) and lastly cache and sparse enhancements, a great way to finalize up the list!

So as you can see not only is 6.2 not a “Point” release it comes with it some pretty AMAZING functionality and capabilities! 

But with any good release it comes with great responsibility…  Be sure you do your homework and research as you adopt down this path so you know what you’re getting yourself into.  You’ll be able to get the spread of economies of scale, compute and storage node calculations, and other jibber jabber differences! 

Get excited because this is one of the coolest things to hit VMware in a long time! <3

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Posted in EVO:RAIL, Oracle, vExpert, virt, Virtualization, vmware, VSAN | Comments (0)

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)

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)

Oracle to Customers “huh? You want cost savings via virtualization AND our products?!”

September 21st, 2009

I was recently on the Internets when it came about that Oracle President Charles Phillips said he he didn’t realize that customers wanted to run their Oracle products on VMware (similar to how Microsoft customers run their  line of products on both VMware and Hyper-V today)   Wow, is the first thing I’d say – normally you expect “Hey, they’re just ignoring our needs, I mean cmon… who DOESN’T want their product to be virtualized? I mean even the greatest OLTP app, I’d rather find a way to scale and virtualize it than taking up even MORE footprint on the floor with power and cooling to run yet another app on yet another physical box! (Let’s not even get into DR!)

With that said though, Charles Phillips needs to hear from you – the customer : Do you want to run Oracle on VMware? Let him know! – The contact information sniped from another location (which I’ll cite inline as well :))

Re: Need a favor – Oracle

You are not going to believe this. Some VMware folks met with Charles Phillips, the president or CEO of Oracle and he said no customers had ever mentioned to him that they wanted Oracle to support their products on VMware. Or modify the licensing scheme. He offered if anyone knew of customers who did want better or more support for Oracle on VMware, or virtualization friendly licensing, to email him directly. His email is Charles.phillips@oracle.com and he really needs to hear that customers run Oracle on VMware, and better support / licensing would be nice!

So, I’d like to send special thanks to Oracle Storage Guy, Duncan Yellow Bricks, Chad SaKac – and I’m sure others may have discussed this already!

Oracle on VMware – it’s time for us to speak up or shut up!

Oracle feels that not many people want to run their apps in a virtual environment!

Charles Phillips Asks for Customer Input on VMware

I feel it bears repeating – Let Charles know how you feel about Oracle on VMware! I’m always a fan of using my existing virtualization investment to run my next app on, instead of having to invest in yet ANOTHER point solution to run one of my existing apps (which is where it looks like they’ve been trying to go with their Xen, Iron and other investments ;))

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Posted in Oracle, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere | Comments (0)

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