Posts Tagged ‘Unified Storage’

Enter to win the one true Pass! Unify your way to EMC World! WIN FREE CUSTOMER PASS!!!

April 14th, 2011

OMG YES THAT IS RIGHT! Yea.. You have the opportunity to win a free pass! Be sure to click on the link(s) provided (Tip: the big picture is the same link!)

This will take you to not only the rules of engagement (which I’ve hijacked here…. ;)) but takes you through each of the steps of what you need to DO TO WIN!!!  I definitely encourage you to do it.  I mean cmon, one of the best conferences of this year in VEGAS OMG VEGAS and you could WIN! Start EMC World as a winner, and I won’t make any Charlie Sheen references (I refuse to!)  So, act now or forever hold your peace! :)


Rules of engagement

  • Contest is open till end of day 22nd of April
  • A winner, randomly picked from the pool of entries, will be announced on 25th April, 2011
  • The winner will be contacted by a Unified Storage community administrator
  • This offer is not applicable to EMC Employees
  • EMC World Pass is non-transferrable and cannot be redeemed for cash. This does not include travel, expenses and hotel accommodations.


     1) Become a registered member of our Unified Storage EMC Community Network and answer this simple question on our discussion:

What are the top 3 sessions at EMC World that you will attend if you win the free pass?

To access agenda of sessions at EMC World, visit

  • Answering this question in the discussion tab, will get you FIVE entries into this drawing


     2) Become a fan of our VNX and VNXe Facebook page  

  • Liking our Face book page, will get you ONE additional entry into this drawing

     3) Follow VNX and VNXe on Twitter

  • For theTwitter accounts you follow, you will get ONE additional entry each into the drawing

Maximum entries into the drawing per participant = 8

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Posted in emc, Unified Storage, Unisphere, VNX | Comments (1)

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:
  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
  • 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.. )


    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)

    Data Longevity, VMware deduplication change over time, NetApp ASIS deterioration and EMC Guarantee

    August 18th, 2010

    Hey guys, the other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine that went something like this.

    How did this all start you might say?!? Well, contrary to popular belief, I am a STAUNCH NetApp FUD dispeller.  What that means is, if I hear something said about NetApp by a competitor, peer, partner or customer which I feel is incorrect or just sounds interesting; I task it upon myself to prove/disprove it because well frankly… People still hit me up with NetApp questions all the time :) (And I’d like to make sure I’m supplying them with the most accurate and reflective data! – yea that’s it, and it has nothing to do with how much of a geek I am.. :))

    Well, in the defense of the video it didn’t go EXACTLY like that.   Here is a little background on how we got to where that video is today :)   I recently overheard someone say the following:

    What I hear over and over is that dedupe rates when using VMware deteriorate over time

    And my first response was “nuh uh!”, Well, maybe not my FIRST response.. but quickly followed by; “Let me try and get some foundational data”  because you know me… I like to blog about things and as a result collect way too much data to try to validate and understand and effectively say whatever I say accurately :)

    The first thing I did was engage several former NetApp folks who are as agnostic and objective as I am to get their thoughts on the matter (we were on the same page!)Data collection time!  

    For Data Collection… I talked to some good friends of mine regarding how their Dedupe savings have been over time because they were so excited when we first enabled it in the first place (And I was excited for them!)   This is where I learned some… frankly disturbing things (I did talk to numerous guys named Mike interestingly enough, and on the whole all of those who I talked with and their data they shared with me reflected similar findings)

    Disturbing things learned!

    Yea I’ve heard all the jibber jabber before usually touted as FUD that NetApp systems will deteriorate over time in general (whether it be Performance, whether it be Space Savings) etc etc. 

    Well some of the disturbing things learned actually coming from the field on real systems protecting real production data was:

    • Space Savings are GREAT, and will be absolutely amazing in the beginning! 70-90% is common… in the beginning. (Call this the POC and the burn-in period)
    • As that data starts to ‘change’ ever so slightly as you would expect your data to change (not sit static and RO) you’ll see your savings start to decrease, as much as 45% over a year
    • This figure is not NetApp’s fault.  Virtual machines (mainly what we’re discussing here) are not designed to stay uniformly the same no matter what in accordance to 4k blocks, so the very fact that they change is absolutely normal so this loss isn’t a catastrophe, it’s a fact of the longevity of data.
  1. Virtual Machine data which is optimal for deduplication typically amounts to 1-5% of the total storage in the datacenter.   In fact if we want to lie to ourselves or we have a specific use-case, we can pretend that it’s upwards of 10%, but not much more than that.  And this basically accounts for Operating System, Disk Image, blah blah blah – the normal type of data that you would dedupe in the first place.
    • I found that particularly disturbing because after reviewing the data from these numerous environments… I had the impression VMware data would account for much more!   I saw a 50TB SAN only have ~2TB of data residing in Data stores and of that only 23% of it was deduplicating (I was shocked!)
    • I was further shocked that when reviewing the data that over the course of a year on a 60TB SAN, this customer only found 12TB of data they could justify running the dedupe process against and of that they were seeing less than 3TB of ‘duplicate data’ coming in around 18% space savings over that 12TB.    The interesting bit is that the other 48TB of data just continued on un-affected by dedupe.   (Yes, I asked why don’t they try to dedupe it… and they did in the lab and, well it never made it into production)

    At this point, I was even more so concerned.   Concerned whether there was some truth to this whole NetApp starts really high in the beginning (Performance/IO way up there, certain datasets will have amazing dedupe ratios to start) etc. and then starts to drop off considerably over time, while the EMC equivalent system performs consistently the entire time.

    Warning! Warning Will Robinson!

    This is usually where klaxons and red lights would normally go off in my head.    If what my good friends (and customers) are telling me is accurate, it is that not only will my performance degrade just by merely using the system, but my space efficiency will deteriorate over time as well.    Sure we’ll get some deduplication, no doubt about that!  But the long term benefit isn’t any better than compression (as a friend of mine had commented on this whole ordeal)    With the many ways of trying to look at this and understand I discussed it with my friend Scott who had the following analogy and example to cite with this:

    The issue that I’ve seen is this:

    Since a VMDK is a container file, the nature of the data is a little different than a standard file like a word doc for example.

    Normally, if you take a standard windows C: – like on your laptop, every file is stored as 4K blocks.  However, unless the file is exactly divisible by 4K (which is rare), the last block has just a little bit of waste in it.  Doesn’t matter if this is a word doc, a PowerPoint, or a .dll in the \windows\system32 directory, they all have a little bit of waste at the end of that last block.

    When converted to a VMDK file, the files are all smashed together because inside the container file, we don’t have to keep that 4K boundary.  Kind of like sliding a bunch of books together on a book shelf eliminating the wasted space.  Now this is one of the cool things about VMware that makes the virtual disk more space efficient than a physical disk – so this is a good thing.

    So, when you have a VMDK and you clone it – let’s say create 100 copies and then do a block based dedupe – you’ll get a 99% dedupe rate across those virtual disks.  That’s great – initially.  Netapp tends to calculate this “savings” into their proposals and tell customers that require 10TB of storage, that they can just buy 5TB and dedupe and then they’ll have plenty of space.

    What happens is, that after buying ½ the storage they really needed the dedupe rate starts to break down. Here’s why:

    When you start running the VMs and adding things like service packs or patches for example – well that process doesn’t always add files to the end of the vmdk.  It often deletes files from the middle, beginning, end and then  replaces them with other files etc.  What happens then is that the bits shift a little to the left and the right – breaking the block boundaries. Imagine adding and removing books of different sizes from the shelf and making sure there’s no wasted space between them.

    If you did a file per file scan on the virtual disk (Say a windows C: drive), you might have exactly the same data within the vmdk, however since the blocks don’t line up, the block based dedupe which is fixed at 4K sees different data and therefore the dedupe rate breaks down.

    A sliding window technology (like what Avamar does ) would solve this problem, but today ASIS is fixed at 4K. 


    If you have particular thoughts about what Scott shared there, feel free to comment and I’ll make sure he reads this as well; but this raises some interesting questions.   

    We’ve covered numerous things in here, and I’ve done everything I can to avoid discussing the guarantees I feel like I’ve talked about to death (linked below) so addressing what we’ve discussed:

    • I’m seeing on average 20% of a customers data which merits deduping and of that I’m seeing anywhere from 10-20% space saved across that 20%
    • Translation: 100TB of data, 20TB is worth deduping reclaiming about 4TB of space in total; thus on this conservative estimate you’d get about 4-5% space saved!
    • Translation: When you have a 20TB data warehouse and you go to dedupe it (You won’t) you’ll see no space gained, with a 100% cost across it.
    • With the EMC Unified Storage Guarantee, that same 20TB data warehouse will be covered by the 20% more efficient guarantee (Well, EVERY data type is covered without caveat)   [It’s almost like it’s a shill, but it really bears repeating because frankly this is earth shattering and worth discussing with your TC or whoever]

    For more great information on EMC’s 20% Unified Storage Guarantee – check out these links (and other articles I’ve written on the subject as well!)

    EMC Unified Storage is 20% more efficient Guaranteed

    I won’t subject you to it, especially because it is over 7 minutes long, but here is a semi funny (my family does NOT find it funny!) video about EMCs Unified Storage Guarantee and making a comparison to NetApp’s Guarantee.   Various comments included in the description of the video – Don’t worry if you never watch it… I won’t hold it against you ;)

    Be safe out there, the data jungle is a vicious one!   If you need any help driving truth out of your EMC or NetApp folks feel free to reach out and I’ll do what I can :)


    Read the rest of this entry »

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    Posted in Avamar, Celerra, CLARiiON, Deduplication, Efficiency, emc, NAS, NetApp, SQL, Storage, Virtualization, vmware, vSphere | Comments (243)

    EMC Unified Storage Guarantees my speedometer will always be 20% faster!

    July 6th, 2010

    Hi, my name is Erik Estrada, you may remember me from such YouTube Video’s as Speeding Ticket w/Erik Estrada – EMC 20% Guarantee

    This is actually a particularly funny video – Any time a celebrity shows up in a video, it’s pretty funny. :)

    First thing I did in this video was deeply analyze it with loads of commentary! (You may notice I didn’t do that in my previous post, EMC Unified Storage Guarantee improves your Golf Game by 20% – Which is accurate because… Golf isn’t my thang so much, so improving my game by 20% isn’t saying much ;) that and it’s good to take a break from discussions)

    But this video in particular… it drew up a few questions to the top of my mind:

    • Is that really someone’s car with a CIO license plate in california?! (I considered calling it in to determine who owns that plate… but I didn’t.. ;))
    • Is Sarah Phillips intended to represent someone internally/externally? (Not sure, I couldn’t find anything which jumped out…)
    • Why is it she only handed pieces of paper?! Is that the new greener California License?! made of paper?! :)
    • Why isn’t Sarah wearing a seatbelt? (Yes, I realize this is staged… :))
    • If I got pulled over for 78 in a 65… well, let’s just say, I’m glad I work for EMC… ;)

    All in all though, it’s a fairly funny video which quite frankly… if I could get a 20% guarantee on my speed limit, I’d be ALL over that – Though with that being the case, I’d hope that everyone else on the road equally had a similar 20% guarantee or at least introduce some vehicles for us to get to FAST (Oh my god that was a terrible tie-in/joke! :))

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    Posted in emc, Storage, Unified Storage | Comments (1)

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