Posts Tagged ‘CLARiiON’

EMC 20% Unified Storage Guarantee !EXPOSED!

May 20th, 2010

The latest update to this is included here in the Final Reprise! EMC 20% Unified Storage Guarantee: Final Reprise

For those of you who know me (and those who don’t, hi! Pleased to meet you!) I spent a lot of time at NetApp battling the storage efficiency game, always trying to justify where all of the storage space went in a capacity bound situation.   However since joining EMC, all I would ever hear from the competition is how ‘space inefficient’ we were and frankly, I’m glad to see the release of the EMC Capacity Calculator to let you decide for yourself where your efficiency goes.   Recently we announced this whole "Unified Storage Guarantee" and to be honest with you, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. So I decided to take the marketing hype, set it on fire and start drilling down into the details, because that’s the way I roll. :)

EMC Storage Guarantee

I decided to generate two workload sets side by side to compare what you get when you use the Calculators

I have a set of requirements – ~131TB of File/Services data, and 4TB of Highly performing random IO SAN storage

There is an ‘advisory’ on the EMC guarantee that you have at least 20% SAN and 20% NAS in order to guarantee a 20% space efficiency over others – So I modified my configuration to include at least 20% of both SAN and NAS (But let me tell you, when I had it as just NAS.. It was just as pretty :))

Using NetApp’s Storage Efficiency Calculator I assigned the following data:

Storage Efficiency Calculator

That seems pretty normal, nothing too out of the ordinary – I left all of the defaults otherwise as we all know that ‘cost per TB’ is relative depending upon any number of circumstances!

So, I click ‘Calculate’ and it generates this (beautiful) web page, check it out! – There is other data at the bottom which is ‘cut off’ due to my resolution, but I guarantee it was nothing more than marketing jibber jabber and contained no technical details.

Storage Efficiency Calculator

So, taking a look at that – this is pretty sweet, it gives me a cool little tubular breakdown, tells me that to meet my requirements of 135TB I’ll require 197TB in my NetApp Configuration – that’s really cool, it’s very forthright and forth coming.

What’s even cooler is there are checkboxes I can uncheck in order to ‘equalize’ things so to speak. And considering that the EMC Guarantee is based upon Useable up front without enabling any features! Let me take this moment to establish some equality for a second.

Storage Efficiency Calculator

All I’ve done is uncheck Thin Provisioning (EMC can do that too, but doesn’t require you to do that as part of the Guarantee, because we all know… some times… customers WON’T thin provision certain workloads, so I get it!)   Also turning off deduplication, just so I get a good feel for how many spindles I’ll be eating up from a performance perspective – And turning off dev/test clone (which didn’t really make much difference since I had little DB in this configuration)

Now, through no effort of my own, the chart updated a little bit to report that NetApp now requires 387TB to manage the same workload a second ago required 197TB. That’s a little odd, but hey, what do I know.. This is just a calculator taking data and presenting it to me!

Now… with the very same details thrown into the EMC Capacity Calculator, lets take a look at how it looks.


According to this, I start with a Raw Capacity of ~207TB and through all of the ways as defined on screen, I end up with 135TB Total usable, with at least 20% SAN and about twice that in NAS – Looks fairly interesting, right?

But lets take things one step further. Let’s scrap Snapshots on both sides of the fence. Throw caution in to the wind.. No snapshots.. What does that do to my capacity requirements for the same ~135TB Usable I was looking for in the original configurations.

clip_image005[4]I updated this slide to accurately reflect more realistic R5 sets for the EFD disks.  In addition I introduced an ADDITIONAL spare disk, which should 'hurt' my values and make me appear less efficient.

On the NetApp side I reclaim 27TB of Useable space (to make it 360TB Raw)- while on the EMC side I reclaim 15TB of useable space [150TB Useable now] while Still 207TB Raw.

But we both know the value of having snapshots in these file-type data scenarios, so we’ll leave the snapshots enabled – and now it’s time to do some math – Help me as I go through this, and pardon any errors.

Configuration NetApp RAW NetApp Useable Raw v Useable % EMC RAW EMC Useable Raw v Useable % Difference
Default Checkboxes   197 TB 135 TB 68% 207 TB 135 TB 65% -3%
Uncheck Thin/Dedup   387 TB 135 TB 35% 207 TB 135 TB 65% +30%
Uncheck Snaps   369 TB 135 TB 36% 207 TB 150 TB 72% +36%

However, just because I care (and I wanted to see what happened) I decided to say "Screw the EMC Guarantee" and threw all caution to the wind and decided to compare a pure-play SAN v SAN scenario, just to see how it’d look.


I swapped out the numbers to be Database Data, Email/Collaboration Data – The results don’t change (Eng Data seems to have a minor 7TB Difference.. Not sure why that is, – feel free to manipulate the numbers yourself though, it’s negligible)


And I got this rocking result! (Yay, right?!) 202TB seems to be my requirement with all the checkboxes checked! But this is Exchange and Sharepoint data (or notes.. I’m not judging what email/collab means ;))… I’m being honest and realistic with myself, so I’m not going to thin provision or Dedup it any way, so how does that change the picture?


It looks EXACTLY the same [as before]. Well, that’s cool, at least it is consistent, right?

However, doing the same thing on the EMC side of the house.

I want to note a few differences in this configuration – I upgraded to a 480 because I used exclusively 600GB FC drives as I’m not even going to lie to myself that I’m humoring my high IO workloads on 2TB SATA Disks – If you disagree you let me know, but I’m trying to keep it real :)

RAID5 is good enough with FC disks (If this was SATA I’d be doing best practice and assigning RAID6 as well, so keeping it true and honest) And it looks like this:


(Side Note: It looks like this SAN Calculation has only 1 hot spare declared instead of the 6 used above in the other configuration – I’m not sure why that is, but I’m not going to consider 5 disks as room for concern so far as my calculations go – it is not reflected in my % charts below – FYI!  I fixed the issue and introduced 6 Spare disks.  I also changed the system from 14+1 R5 sets to 4+1 and 8+1 R5 sets which seems to accurately reflect more production like workloads :))

Whoa, 200TB Raw Capacity to get me 135TB Usable? Whoa, now wait a second. (says the naysayers) You’re comparing RAID5 to RAID6 – that’s not a fair configuration because there is definitely going to be a discrepancy! And you have snapshots enabled too for this workload. (Side note: I do welcome you to compare RAID6 in this configuration, you’ll be surprised :))

I absolutely agree – so in the effort of equalization – I’m going to uncheck the Double Disk Failure Protection from the NetApp side (Against best practices, but effectively turning the NetApp configuration into a RAID4 config) and I’ll turn off Snapshot copies to be a fair sport.


There, it’s been done. The difference is.. That EMC RAW Capacity has stayed the same(200TB) while NetApp raw capacity has dropped considerably by 30TB from 387TB to 357TB. (I do like how it reports "Total Storage Savings – 0%" :))

So, what does all of this mean? Why do you keep taking screen caps, ahh!!

This gives you the opportunity to sit down, configure what it is YOU want, get a good feel for what configuration feels right to you and be open and honest with yourself and said configuration.

No matter how I try to swizzle it, I end up with EMC coming front and center on capacity utilization from RAW to Usable – Which down right devastates anything in comparison. I do want to qualify this though.

The ‘guarantee’ is that you’ll get 20% savings with both SAN and NAS. Apparently if I LIE to my configuration and say ‘Eh, I don’t care about that’ I still get OMG devastatingly positive results of capacity utilization. – So taking the two scenarios I tested in here and reviewing the math..

Configuration NetApp RAW NetApp Useable Raw v Useable % EMC RAW EMC Useable Raw v Useable % Difference
Default Checkboxes   197 TB 135 TB 68% 207 TB 135 TB 65% -3%
Uncheck Thin/Dedup   387 TB 135 TB 35% 207 TB 135 TB 65% +30%
Uncheck Snaps   369 TB 135 TB 36% 207 TB 150 TB 72% +36%
Default Checkboxes   202 TB 135 TB 67% 200 TB 135 TB 68% +1%
Uncheck Thin/Dedup   387 TB 135 TB 35% 200 TB 135 TB 68% +33%
Uncheck RAID6/Snaps   357 TB 135 TB 38% 200 TB 151 TB 76% +38%

When we’re discussing apples for apples – We seem to be meeting the guarantee whether NAS, SAN or Unified.

If we were to take things to another boundary, out the gate I get the capacity I require – If I slap Virtual Provisioning, Compression, FAST Cache, Auto-Tiering, Snapshots and a host of other benefits that the EMC Unified line brings to solve your business challenges… well, to be honest it looks like you’re coming out on top no matter what way you look at it!

I welcome you to ‘prove me wrong’ based upon my calculations here (I’m not sure how that’s possible because I simply entered data which you can clearly see, and pressed little calculate buttons… so if I’m doing some voodoo, I’d really love to know)

I also like to try to keep this as realistic as possible and we all know some people like their NAS only or SAN only configurations. The fact that the numbers in the calculations are hitting it out of the ballpark so to speak is absolutely astonishing to me! (Considering where I worked before I joined EMC… well, I’m as surprised as you are!) But I do know the results to be true.

If you want to discuss these details further, reach out to me directly ( – or talk to your local TC (Or your TC, TC Manager and me in a nicely threaded email ;)) – They understand this rather implicitly.. I’m just a conduit to ensure you folks in the community are aware of what is available to you today!

Good luck, and if you can find a way to make the calculations look terrible – Let me know… I’m failing to do that so far :)

!UPDATE! !UPDATE! !UPDATE! :)  I was informed apparently every thing is not as it seems? (Which frankly is a breath of relief, whew!)

Latest news on the street is, apparently there is a bug in the NetApp Efficiency Capacity Calculator – So after that gets corrected, things should start to look a little more accurate, let me breathe a sigh of relief around that, because apparently (after being heavily slandered for ‘cooking the numbers’) the only inaccuracy going on there [as clearly documented] was in the source of my data.

However, being that I’m not going to go through and re-write everything I have above again, I wanted to take things down to their roots, lets get down into the dirt, the details, the raw specifics so to speak.  (If any thing in this chart below is somehow misrepresented, inaccurate or incorrect, please advise – This is based upon data I’ve collected over time, so hash it out as you feel :))

NetApp Capacity GB TB EMC Capacity GB TB GB Diff TB Diff % Diff
Parity Drives 4000 3.91   Parity Drives 4000 3.91 0 0  
Hot Spares 1000 0.98   Hot Spares 1000 0.98 0 0  
Right Sizing 3519 3.44   Right Sizing 1822.7 1.78 1696.3 1.66  
WAFL Reserve 2045.51 2   CLARiiON OS 247.87 0.24 1797.64 1.76  
Core Dump Reserve 174.35 0.17   Celerra OS 60 0.06 114.35 0.11  
Aggr Snap Reserve 863.06 0.84     0 0 863.06 0.84  
Vol Snap Reserve – 20% 3279.62 3.2   Check/Snap Reserve 20% 3973.89 3.88 -694.27 -0.68  
Space Reservation 0 0     0 0 0 0  
Usable Space 13118.5 12.8 Usable Space 16895.54 16.49 -3777.04 -3.69 +23%
Raw Capacity 28000 27.34 Raw Capacity 28000 27.34 0 0  

What I’ve done here is take the information and tried to ensure each one of these apples are as SIMILAR as possible.

So you don’t have to read between the lines either, let me break down this configuration – This assumes 28 SATA 1TB Disks, with 4 PARITY drives and 1 SPARE – in both configurations.

If you feel that I somehow magically made numbers appear to be or do something that they shouldn’t – Say so.   Use THIS chart here, don’t create your own build-a-config workshop table unless you feel this is absolutely worthless and that you truly need that to be done.   

You’ll notice that things like Parity Drives and Hot Spares are identical (As they should be) Where we start to enter into discrepancy is around things like WAFL Reserve, Core Dump Reserve and Aggr Snap Reserve – Certainly there are areas of overlap as shown above and equally the same can be said of areas of difference, which is why in those areas on the EMC side I use that space to define the CLARiiON OS and the Celerra OS.    I did have the EMC Match the default NetApp Configuration of a 20% vol snap reserve (on the EMC side I call it Check/Snap Reserve) [Defaults to 10% on EMC, but for the sake of solidarity, what’s 20% amongst friends, right?]    (On a side note, I notice that my WAFL Reserve figures might actually be considerably conservative as a good friend gave me a dump of his WAFL Reserve and the result of his WAFL Reserve was 1% of total v raw compared to my 0.07% calculation I have above, maybe it’s a new thing?)

So, this is a whole bunch of math.. a whole bunch of jibber jabber even so to speak.   But this is what I get when I look at RAW numbers.   If I am missing some apparent other form of numbers, let it be known, but let’s discuss this holistically.     Both NetApp and EMC offer storage solutions.    NetApp has some –really- cool technology.  I know, I worked there.   EMC ALSO has some really cool technology, some of which NetApp is unable to even replicate or repeat.   But before we get in to cool tech battles, as we sit in a cage match watching PAM duel it out with FAST-Cache, or ‘my thin provisioning is better than yours’ grudge matches.    We have two needs we need to account for.

Customers have data that they need to protect.   Period.

Customers have requirements of a certain amount of capacity they expect to get from a certain amount of disks.

If you look at the chart closely, there are some OMFG ICANTBELIEVEITSNOTWAFL features which NetApp brings to bear, however they come at a cost.   That cost seems to exist in the form of WAFL Reserve, and Right sizing (I’m not sure why the Right Sizing is coming in a considerably fat consideration when contrasted with how EMC does it, but it apparently is?)  So while I can talk all day long about each individual specific feature NetApp has, and equivalent parity which EMC has in that same arena; I need to start somewhere.  And strangely going back to basics, seems to come to a 23% realized space savings in this scenario (Which seems inline with the EMC Unified Storage Guarantee) Which frankly, I find to be really cool.  Because like has been resonated by others commenting on this ‘guarantee’, what the figures appear to be showing is that the EMC Capacity utilization is more efficient even before it starts to get efficient (through enabling technologies).

Obviously though, for the record I’m apparently riddled with Vendor Bias and have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about! [disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m talking about when I define and disclose I am in this post and others ;)]   However, I’d like to go on record based upon these mathematical calculations, were I not an employee of EMC, and whether I did or did not work for NetApp in the past, I would have come to these same conclusions independently when presented with these same raw figures and numerical metrics.   I continue to welcome your comments, thoughts and considerations when it comes to a Capacity bound debate [Save performance for another day, we can have that battle out right ;)]  Since this IS a Pureplay CAPACITY conversation.

I hope you found this as informative as I did taking the time to create, generate, and learn from the experience of producing it.  Oh, and I hope you find the (unmoderated) comments enjoyable. :)   I’d love to moderate your comments, but frankly… I’d rather let you and the community handle that on my behalf.   I love you guys, and you too Mike Richardson even if you were being a bit snarky to me. {Hmm, a bit snarky or a byte snarky… Damn binary!}  Take care – And Thank you for making this my most popular blog-post since Mafia Wars and Twitter content! :)

The latest update to this is included here in the Final Reprise! EMC 20% Unified Storage Guarantee: Final Reprise

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Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, Deduplication, Efficiency, emc, FAST, NetApp, SSD, Storage | Comments (38)

2TB LP SATA makes the CLARiiON Thick and Curvy, err, I mean increases Density while reducing cooling!

January 19th, 2010

Did you hear the announcement?! This is pretty sweet if you ask me! (Ooh! Ooh! Ask me! Ask me! :))   EMC Shrinks Midrange Storage Delivering Twice the Capacity in Half the Floor Space to Optimize Resources in Physical Data Centers  The literal important parts of this announcement are:

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced new high-density configurations of its market leading EMC® CLARiiON® CX4 and EMC Celerra® Gateway systems systems, delivering twice the capacity of previous systems in half the floor space optimizing precious and expensive data center space and resources. Additionally, the more compact midrange storage systems will support high capacity 2 terabyte (TB), low power SATA disk drives, which consume significantly less power than previous generations.

The new high-density configurations combined with 2 TB SATA drives, high performance enterprise flash drives, and EMC storage efficiency technologies—like disk spin down and EMC fully automated storage tiering (FAST)—enable customers to more easily manage the growth of storage-intensive applications. These comprehensive solutions, unique in the industry, are designed to reduce power consumption and cooling costs, and significantly reduce physical space requirements and satisfy weight considerations in today’s data center or remote office locations. Customers can achieve this substantially greater storage density within their existing datacenter power and cooling schemes.

Key Facts:

  • High density CLARiiON CX4 system configurations offer up-to 390 2TB, 5,400 and 7,200 RPM SATA drives and high performance flash drives in a single rack using half the floor space and number of power connections required for the same number of drives in conventional racks. Customers wanting to enable CIFS and NFS can deploy the more compact CLARiiON CX4 systems with high density Celerra Gateway systems.
  • The energy-efficient 5,400 RPM 2TB SATA drives provide twice the capacity while consuming over 60-percent less power per GB than 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA drives.
  • High density CLARiiON CX4 configurations also support 1TB and 2TB SATA disk drives, as well as enterprise flash drives, which store data on electronic memory rather than spinning disks.
  • The more compact CLARiiON CX4 configurations also support EMC spin down technology—which powers down inactive disk drives—saving 65-percent of the power required by traditional spinning SATA drives.
  • The high density configurations offer full access to all disk drives from the front of the storage system’s rack. The sliding design enables the front enclosures to be moved forward, providing easy access to enclosures and drives in a second ‘slide out’ tier.

"Physical space constraints present significant challenges to IT administrators facing the task of managing 50-percent or more information each year," said Rich Napolitano, President, Unified Storage Division at EMC. "We’ve developed the industry’s most comprehensive compact storage system. In addition to an innovative hardware solution that reduces floor space requirements, EMC offers software that makes the most cost-effective use of the storage system and ensures that the right information is on the right media at the right time. In doing this, we’re helping our customers address the challenges of managing significantly more information, more efficiently, using less power and with more automation."

Availability & Services

The new high density CLARiiON and high density Celerra Gateway configurations, which are based on EMC CLARiiON CX4 systems, are available today worldwide. EMC will make high-density EMC Celerra unified storage system configurations available later this year.

Additionally, EMC Global Services offers a complete suite of services from assessment to implementation to migration to help customers quickly realize the value of their new high density CLARiiON CX4 and Celerra Gateway storage system. EMC also provides services targeted to help customers fully leverage EMC FAST technology on the new configurations to optimize system performance, further increase capacity utilization and improve service levels.

So, the highlights –

  • CX4 and gateways
  • Twice the capacity, half the floor space while consuming 60% less power than 1TB 7200
  • 2TB disks + EFD = more FAST for your buck!
  • Drive Spin down, but we’ll have to see that in action relative to how many drives are in use in this scenario

Oh, and I’m sure you can clearly read the rest! So you tell me what you think? Do you see enhancements of how this will dramatically impact your CLARiiON today on the floor for the future and beyond?   Seriously reducing drive counts has it’s SIGNIFICANT benefits, especially when considering the heavy utilization of SATA 1TB’s and how you’re using them on the floor today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Posted in CLARiiON, emc, SATA, SSD, Storage | Comments (0)

One Stop Shop for EMC Celerra FAST and CLARiiON FAST docs!

December 15th, 2009

Welcome to Episode 2 in a series around information for you regarding EMC FAST! (Also known as Fully Automated Storage Tiering!)

You may recall from Episode 1 that I said this was something I am extremely excited about – and I thought I made that clear!  

To tell you the truth at first I was mainly excited about the V-MAX FAST, and didn’t even give much thought to the whole "Unified" Celerra FAST or  CLARiiON FAST

That was until I started to delve into the details, find, sort and collect the documents (which I unveil for you to find here!) and not to mention all of the other features above and beyond just FAST! That is what got me excited for FAST beyond the V-MAX!  So I hope this collection of documents gets you going in the right direction so you can become just as excited about FAST for the Celeriion just as I AM :)

I know a lot of you are looking for materials and information regarding FAST – There are numerous questions you have regarding this and since a lot of you are self-starters, I’m going to tell you what information I directly know about today, and where to get it!

Available today on PowerLink are the following documents around Celerra FAST and CLARiiON FAST in the areas of Introduction, Implementation and Solution

The documents below require credentials on EMC’s PowerLink – so please keep that in mind when it comes to accessing the links!

Being that I’ve consolidated Celerra and CLARiiON into a single post, you might be asking “Well, what value do I get from either or both of these?!” Here is a Features and Benefits list!

Celerra Features Celerra Benefits CLARiiON Features CLARiiON Benefits
Robust policy engine Automate storage tiering to lower costs and deliver higher service levels User-defined analysis Simplify storage tiering to lower costs and deliver higher service levels
Intuitive interface Create a policy, define the rules, and then save and enact the policy Intuitive management Leverage software that analyzes data and recommends where it should be migrated
Transparent mobility Access data without changes to users and applications Transparent mobility Move and access data without changes to users and applications
In-the-box tiering Leverage up to three tiers in the same Celerra system User-approved migrations Gain visibility into what is moving, when it moves and where it moves
Outside-the-box tiering Enable Celerra, Centera, or Atmos as the target for third-tier storage Tiered storage support Leverage Flash, Fibre Channel and SATA drive technologies
Storage efficiencies Deduplicate and compress files on Celerra systems    

I know what you’re saying “Wow Christopher, you got those marketing terms down pat!” hee, but seriously, those are quoted verbatim from the links mentioned above.   However, one hard solid benefit of Celerra you need to make sure you’re always aware of is the fact that on its own, Celerra largely reduces your backup window.  Add FAST to Celerra and watch out!

So, I hope you get as much joy and excitement out of this new launch and technology which will revolutionize the way you not only do business but by the way you think about SLA’s and business problems in the future.   I’ll cover specific details of how this has solved real hard business problems for customers so you can enjoy those successes like I have!

I’ve provided these direct links using PowerLink and a Partner account (not employee)  – Please advise if for whatever reason you’re unable to find something and I’ll be sure to get that taken care of and the document in front of you!   Also, if you come across a document I missed and you think should be included, raise the roof and let me know and I’ll be sure to get it featured here! Not to mention if you find a particular document to be overly useful, feel free to comment on that fact, I’d love to know which would be a better doc to re-read or recc’ to others!

I’m really excited about this and your questions are what will make me and the whole community as a whole a lot more knowledgeable around this subject! So Keep em coming!

Be sure to check out my other posts about EMC FAST: One Stop Shop for Symmetrix V-Max Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) docs! and FAST from EMC – Performance meet the quickening!

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Posted in Celerra, CLARiiON, emc, FAST, SSD, Storage, Technology | Comments (4)

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