Archive for the ‘Storage’ 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)

Why does the “Industry” predict what happens when it’s the Community who Adopts?

March 19th, 2015

This is a particularly pressing question that has come up recently.  I even put out a post about it in the SolarWinds Thwack community because they’re such a diverse and engaging community I love the feedback they tend to present!

I’ve seen a lot of predictions over the years, whether it is “This is the year of VDI!” (Currently we are on the 7th “year of VDI”)  Or “Big Data is here!” we all know the infinite number of predictions we constantly hear about, I’ve even included one of my own for the coming 2015 from from? ?SingleHop who hit me up at the end of 2014 saying, “Hey, do you have any IT Predictions for 2015?”

Single Hop 2015 IT Predictions

So I get it. You get it.  But are these really predictions intended to become self-fulfilling prophecies or are they mere posturing while YOU the Community. You the CUSTOMERS of the world are the ones determining whether these predictions actually come to fruition.   Now not all Predictions are within our control, like saying the cost of a particular product or solution will be reduced, that is really up to the industry that bears it, that we constantly fight for pricing on and against. 

But let’s talk about some general purpose predictions and it’s really up to you to decide what YOUR adoption is, I’ll provide some color in some places if you’re not familiar with it so as to give you a baseline to discuss.

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

Everybody and their brother is talking about SDS. “Check out our SDS Solution! It’s awesome!” blah blah blah.  So for the moment, let’s take a sober look at what the SDS space looks like.   VSAN is now available as 2.0 in vSphere 6.0.  However prior to it going GA last week, VSAN alone has ~1200 customers.   That’s pretty significant considering their solution has only existed for LESS than a year. (Compared to other similar solutions, the numbers are in the HUNDREDS not Thousands) so the possibilities look potentially bright, albeit at a cost.  

Now what about vVOLs you say. Yea you can say that, is it too early to tell? Yes. Yes it is FAR too early to tell, because vVols have gone GA LAST WEEK and not every vendor has their support integrated for it.  For what it is worth, vSphere 6.0 having just come out still isn’t fully baked and supported by all of your third-party applications, so if you run a pure-play VMware environment only without Veeam, Zerto and every other billion vendor solution out there and at the same moment your SAN also supports vVols, then sure, but for most of you… You’re going to be waiting a little while (At least 60-90 days for full support and adoption)   So for the meantime you’re still looking at vSphere 5.5 and the respective solutions present there, that’s not a BAD thing, it’s just a factual thing you need to be aware of.

Now to play the devils eggvocate on this a moment, If VMware has Let’s say a million customers, and ~1200 of them are running VSAN today. There’s nothing but room for growth, lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of growth.   So it’s not like the tides have been turned, the tipping point as it were (I’m sure that’s somehow relevant :)).   It really comes down to you to decide, “Of the Software Defined Storage strategies available in the market place which ones am *I* liking and seeing value to leverage in my organization” You know or blah blah blah. :)

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Why yes, let us talk about the SDN space for a moment… The number of solutions available aren’t exactly bursting at the seams.  I mean sure, –14- hours ago, Juniper and Mirantis have expanded their partnership to pursue SDN type joint development, but for the whole of the market-place, that doesn’t mean they have a go to market solution we can adopt.   That said, let’s discuss what we CAN adopt.   VMware NSX, Cisco ACI and OpenFlow.   VMware’s NSX is the best player in town, it has the greatest feature-set and capabilities and will give us visibility and insight into East-West traffic which has essentially been masked as a result of the adoption of Virtualization.  Pretty awesome, right? NSX has been around for ~5 years+ now? And they had 400 customers when VMware acquired Nicira back in 2012, and today they have 400 customers.   I don’t see this puppy jumping off the shelf, when something like VSAN which has been 1.0 has 3x as many customers.   Now, I’ve found that VMware sales people will disagree with me, “We see it everywhere, everyone is interested, stop saying that no one is buying NSX”  Okay, show me the money, stop telling me the rhetoric that YOU are being told.  Like I said, it is the BEST player in town, yet when I talk to guys who run some of the large NSX shops… Well, let’s just say I wish that it worked as well as HA, DRS, or vMotion.   So should you adopt an SDN strategy or should you look at one? I’m sure you’ll be the first to tell me that YOU are indeed looking at one, because we can predict all the hell we want, it’s up to you to decide and enact.

Hybrid Cloud

The Cloud the Cloud the Cloud! This is surprisingly one area where I keep hearing about it from YOU and not in reverse.  Customers and friends who have made such claims as, “Yea, I moved ‘x’ services from On-Premises into Azure” or one who said they’ve moved 100% of their server workload into Azure. Yea, Seriously, Wow!  I’m with you, the proof is in the pudding, and want to see how it tastes 3, 6, 9 months and a year out, but the fact that others are doing it is quite a positive testament to the capabilities.   Oh and people are starting to adopt the same in a vCloud Air type of scenario (Yes, I hate it when they keep changing product names on us, I mean give a brother vCloud Air with Retina at least! :))   So while even *I* have predicted that people will start adopting Disaster Recovery as a Service leveraging capabilities like vCloud Air, I’ll let you know how I see that start to play out vs just saying, “Yea I think people will start to do something like that”.   The year is still early and I’ll actually have some interesting Hybrid Cloud stories to share as the year progresses, but for now, you tell me if you’re seeing adoption of YOURSELVES increase :)

Monitoring and Management

This is often the most overlooked, undervalued and most necessary part of every organization.   Companies who produce tools that allow you to manage your environment, watch over your infrastructure and then start to provide intelligence and guidance as opposed to merely sharing information with you can be few and far between.  Some players in this space like Solarwinds have done more than just simply take a temperature of what people are doing and have started to integrate what matters most to you into a single pane (drink!) to allow for better management.   I’m not saying, Hey stop proceeding down your road of deploying Orion, NPM, SRM, Virtualization Manager, and an infinite number of items that provide insight, however Solarwinds themselves have seen a need for integration, thus their release of AppStack to provide that unified point of management.   The Microsoft Fanboys may say, “I can do everything I ever could want with System Center” and it’s cute that you believe that, but the moment you need to do something non-microsoft centric or provide deeper insight into a Virtual, Storage or Network layer… I’m not saying you won’t see anything, I’m just saying… you’ll have blinders on. :)   The monitoring and management landscape is filled with lots of players, many of whom are one-off and many of whom are trying to be the ‘everything for everyone’ ala HP OpenStack (ouch!) so be wary and be aware.  Though how important is correlation engine analytics and deep inspection visibility and insight into your infrastructure into 2015? Is that something you desire or do you feel it merely a myth?

These are just a handful of items which are often predicted about and in particular have predictions for this year.   What are you seeing be the players in this space that you’re looking into? What do you see yourself straight-up adopting?   You’re the trendsetters, we’re just a bunch of random people touting our thoughts. :)

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Posted in Big Data, Cloud, Community, Evangelist, Microsoft, Storage, Virtualization | Comments (1)

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 (not necessarily in that order).


Howard Marks @DeepStorageNet Storage Analyst Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Keith Townsend @VirtualizedGeek Keith Townsend is the founder of 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, co-hosts 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)

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