You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘announcements’ category.
After flying into Las Vegas this morning, checking in to the Cosmopolitan Hotel with 2000+ other EMCer’s, and taking the bus to the Venetian, I’m finally settling in a bit. I watched Pat Gelsinger’s keynote via recorded video on Facebook.com/EMCCorp to get caught up on what I’ve missed so far and there was more in there than I expected.
Buried in the hour long keynote about EMC’s portfolio and how it aligns with Big Data and Cloud Computing were several important announcements.
- Atmos 2.0 – Improved Performance, Compatibility with Amazon S3, and a Windows native client called GeoDrive. Atmos already offered a client for Redhat Linux which joined the Redhat client into the Atmos Cloud for direct access to objects/files. GeoDrive provides native file access to the Atmos cloud for Windows clients. This is particularly useful for supporting legacy applications that have not (or cannot) be modified to use the Atmos RESTful API.
- Isilon NL108 – The new NearLine nodes contain 108TB of disk space in each node, and this increase in node capacity has similarly increased the maximum filesystem size of an Isilon cluster from 10PB to 15PB (In a SINGLE filesystem.. And yes, that’s PetaBytes).
- Project Lightning – PCIe based FLASH caching adapters for Servers. Intended to work in conjunction with FASTVP to cache data at the server and possibly distributed across servers.
- EMC Hadoop (aka Greenplum HD) – EMC supplied and supported Hadoop distribution which can be acquired as software or as an appliance, similar to Greenplum.
Lot’s more to come. Chuck Hollis just sat down here so it’s time to socialize..
Today, EMC announced the new VNX and VNXe Unified Storage platforms that merge the functionality of, and replaces, EMC’s popular Clariion and Celerra products. VNX is faster, more scalable, more efficient, more flexible, and easier to manage than the platforms it replaces.
Key differences between CX4/NS and VNX:
- VNX replaces the 4gb FC-Arbitrated Loop backend busses with 6gb SAS point-to-point switched backend.
- Fast and Reliable
- VNX supports both 3.5” and 2.5” SAS drives in EFD (SSD), SAS, and NearLine-SAS varieties.
- Flexible and Efficient
- VNX has more cache, more front-end ports, and faster CPUs
- Fast and Flexible
- VNX systems can manage larger FASTCache configurations.
- Fast and Efficient
- VNX builds on the management simplicity enhancements started in EMC Unisphere on CX4/NS by adding application aware provisioning.
- Simple and Efficient
- VNX allows you to start with Block-only or NAS-only and upgrade to Unified later if desired, or start with Unified at deployment.
- Cost Effective and Flexible
- VNX will support advanced data services like deduplication in addition to FASTVP, FASTCache, Block QoS, Compression, and other features already available in Clariion and Celerra.
- Flexible and Efficient
Just as with every manufacturer, newer products take advantage of the latest technologies (faster Intel processors and SAS connectivity in this case,) but that’s only part of the story with VNX.
Earlier, I mentioned Application Aware Provisioning has been added to Unisphere:
Prior to Application Aware Unisphere, if tasked with provisioning storage for Microsoft Exchange (for example), a storage admin would take the mailbox count and size requirements, use best practices and formulas from Microsoft for calculating required IOPS, and then map that data to the storage vendors’ best practices to determine the best disk layout (RAID Type, Size, Speed, quantity, etc). After all that was done, then the actual provisioning of RAID Groups and/or LUNs would be done.
Now with Application Aware Unisphere, the storage admin simply enters the mailbox count and size requirements into Unisphere and the rest is done automatically. EMC has embedded the best practices from Microsoft, VMWare, and EMC into Unisphere and created simple wizards for provisioning Hyper-V, VMWare, NAS, and Microsoft Exchange storage using those best practices.
Combine Unisphere’s Application Aware Provisioning with the already included vCenter integration, and support for VMWare VAAI and you have a broad set of integration from the application layer down through to the storage system for optimum performance, simple and efficient provisioning, and unparalleled visibility. This is especially useful for small to medium sized businesses with small IT departments.
EMC has also simplified licensing of advanced features on VNX. Rather than licensing individual software products based on the exact features you want, VNX has 5 simple Feature Packs plus a few bundle packs. The packs are created based on the overall purpose rather than the feature. ie: Local Protection vs. Snapshots or Clones
- FAST Suite includes FASTVP, FASTCache, Block QoS, and Unisphere Analyzer
- Security and Compliance Pack includes File Level Retention for File and Block Encryption
- Local Protection Pack includes Snapshots for block and file, full copy clones, and RecoverPoint/CDP
- Remote Protection Pack includes Synchronous and Asynchronous replication for block and file as well as RecoverPoint/CRR for near-CDP remote replication of block and.or file data.
- Application Protection Pack extends the application integration by adding Replication Manager for application integrated replication and Data Protection Advisor for SLA based replication monitoring and reporting.
You can also get the Total Protection Pack which includes Local Protection, Remote Protection, and Application Protection packs at a discounted cost or the Total Efficiency Pack which includes all five. That’s it, there are no other software options for VNX/VNXe. Compression and Deduplication are included in the base unit as well as SANCopy. You will also find that the cost of these packs is extremely compelling once you talk with your EMC rep or favorite VAR.
So there you have it — powerful, simple and efficient storage, unified management, extensive data protection features, simplified licensing, and class leading functionality (FASTVP, FASTCache, Integrated CDP, Quality of Service for Block, etc) in a single platform. That’s Unified, That’s EMC VNX.
I didn’t have time to touch on VNXe here but there is even more cool stuff going on there. You can read more about these products here..
WordPress sent me an email with overall stats for 2010 and I thought I’d share a few things I noticed.
First, thank you to all of my readers as well as those who have linked to and otherwise shared my posts with others. I know that many of my peer bloggers have much higher numbers than I, but I still think 22,000 views is pretty respectable.
For 2010, my most popular post was Resiliency vs Redundancy: Using VPLEX for SQL HA. The top 5 posts are listed here..
EMC CLARiiON and Celerra Updates – Defining Unified Storage May 2010
NetApp and EMC: Real world comparisons October 2009
While EMC users benefit from Replication Manager, NetApp users NEED SnapManager June 2010
NetApp and EMC: Replication Management Tools Comparison June 2010
You may notice a theme here. First, Midrange Storage is HOT, and any comparisons between EMC and it’s competitors seem to get more attention compared to most other topics. Note #3 was written in 2009 and it’s the 3rd most viewed post on my blog in 2010. A secondary theme in these top 5 posts might be disaster recovery as well since most of these posts have DR concepts in the content as well.
Looking at search engine results the it looks like emc flare 30, clariion, and mirrorview network qos requirements were the hottest terms. The MirrorView one is pretty specific so I may do some blogging on that topic in the future.
With these stats in mind, I’ll keep working to hone my blogging skills through 2011 and sharing as much real-world information as I can, especially as I work with my customers to implement solutions. One thing I’ll do is try and provide the comparisons people seem to be interested in, but focusing on the advantages of products, while steering clear of negativity as much as possible.
Welcome to 2011! It’s going to be fun!
As you’ve no doubt heard, EMC has completed the tender offer to acquire Isilon (www.isilon.com) for a Cajillion dollars (actually ~$2 Billion) and some people are asking why. From where I sit, there are many reasons why EMC would want a company like Isilon, ranging from it’s media-minded customer base, to the technical IP, like scale-out NAS, that sets Isilon apart from the rest.
I was thinking a lot about that technology as I worked on a high-bandwidth NAS project with a customer recently. Isilon’s primary product is an IP-based storage solution that uses commodity based hardware components, combined with their proprietary OneFS Operating System, to deliver scale-out NAS with super simple management and scalability. A single Isilon OneFS based filesystem can scale to over 10PB across hundreds of nodes. Isilon also provides various versions of hardware that can be intermixed to increase performance, capacity, or both depending on customer needs. You don’t necessarily have to add disks to an Isilon cluster to increase performance.
When looking at EMC’s own product line, you’ll find that Atmos delivers similar scale-out clustering for object-based storage, while VMAX does a similar type of scaling for high-end block storage (FC, FCoE, and iSCSI), and Greenplum provides scale-out analytics as well. Line up Isilon’s OneFS, EMC GreenPlum, EMC Atmos, and EMC VMAX, and we can now deliver massive scale-out storage for database, object, file, and block data. With VPLEX and Atmos, EMC also delivers block and object storage federation across distance.
Isilon’s OneFS also has technologies that mirror EMC’s but are implemented in such a way as to leverage the Scale-Out NAS model. Take FlexProtect, for example, which is Isilon’s data protection mechanism (similar to RAID) and allows admins to apply different protection schemes (N+1 ala RAID5, N+2 ala RAID6, N+3, and even N+4 redundancy) on individual files and directories. SmartPools, which is policy based, automatically tiers data at a file level based on read/write activity across different protection types and physical nodes, similar to how FASTVP tiers data at a block level on EMC Unified and VMAX. Both EMC and Isilon realize that all data is not equal.
Rather than just repackage OneFS with an EMC logo (which I’m sure we’ll do at first), I wonder what else can we do with Isilon’s IP…
A recent series of blog posts by Steve Todd (Information Playground) on the topic of a Common Software Execution Environment (See CSX Technology and The Benefits of Component Assembly) got me thinking about deeper integration and how CSX can accelerate that integration.
What if EMC Engineering took the portions of code from Isilon’s OneFS that handle client load-balancing, file-level automated tiering, and flexible protection and turned them into CSX components. Those components could be dropped into Celerra and immediately add Scale-Out NAS to EMC’s existing Unified storage platforms. Or, imagine those components running directly in VMAX engines, providing scale-out NAS simultaneously with scale-out SAN across multiple, massive scale storage systems. Combine the load balancing code and FlexProtect from Isilon with FASTVP in EMC Clariion to provide scale-out SAN in a midrange platform.
We could also reverse the situation and use the compression component that is in Clariion and Celerra, plus federation technology in Atmos, both added to OneFS in order reduce the storage footprint and extend Scale-Out NAS to many sites over any distance. Add a GreenPlum component and suddenly you have a massive analytics cluster that spans multiple sites for data where you need it, when you need it.
The possibilities here really are endless, it will be very interesting to see what happens over the next 12 to 24 months.
Disclaimer: Even though I am an EMC employee, I am in no way involved in the EMC/Isilon acquisition, have no knowledge of future plans and roadmaps with regard to EMC and Isilon, and am not privy to any non-public information about this topic. I am merely expressing my own personal views on this topic.
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, mostly due to my life being turned on it’s rear after our first child was born 8 weeks ago. As things start to settle into a rhythm (as much as is possible) I’ve been back online more, reading blogs, following Twitter, and working with customers regularly. As some of you may know, EMC announced support for pNFS in Celerra with the release of DART 6.x and there have been several recent posts about the technology which piqued my interest a little.
- Chuck Hollis – I Want My pNFS
- Chuck Hollis – More on pNFS
- Storagebod – Deja Vu
- Chad Sakac – pNFS – it’s here! (Almost!)
- Steve Foskett – Is NFSv3 really that bad?
- Storagezilla – NFSv4 vs NFSv4? FIGHT!
The other bloggers have done a good job of describing what pNFS is and what is new in NFS4.1 itself so I won’t repeat all of that. I want to focus specifically on pNFS and why it IS a big deal.
Prior to my coming to work for EMC, I worked in internal IT at company that deals with large binary files in support of product development, as well as video editing for marketing purposes. I had a chance to evaluate, implement, and support multiple clustered file system technologies. The first was for an HD video editing solution using Mac’s and we followed the likely path of implementing Apple’s XSAN solution which you may know is an OEM’d version of Quantum(ADIC) StorNext. StorNext allows you to create large filesystems across many disks and access them as local disk on many clients. File Open, Close, byte-range locking, etc are handled by MetaData Controllers (MDCs) across an IP network while the actual heavy lifting of read/write IO is done over FibreChannel from the clients to the storage directly. All the shared filesystem benefits of NAS with the performance benefits of SAN.
The second project was specifically targeted at moving large files (4+GB each) through a workflow across many computers as quickly as possible so we could ship products. Faster processing of the workflow translated to more completed projects per person/per day which meant better margins and keeping our partners and customers happy. The workflow was already established, using Windows based computers and a file server. The file server was running out of steam and the amount of data being stored at any given time had increased from 500GB to 8TB over the past 12 months. We needed a simple way to increase the performance of the file server and also allow for better scalability. Working with our local EMC SE, we tested and deployed MPFSi using a Celerra NS40 with integrated storage.
MPFS has been around a long time (also known as High Road) and works with Windows and various *nix based platforms. It is similar to XSAN/StorNext in that open/close/locking activity is handled over IP by the metadata controller (the Celerra datamover in the case of MPFS) while the read/write IO is handled over block storage technology (MPFS supports FibreChannel and iSCSI connectivity to storage). The advantage of MPFS over many other solutions is that the metadata controller and storage are all built-in to the EMC Celerra storage device and you don’t have to deploy any other servers.
In our case we chose iSCSI due to the cost of FC (switches and HBAs) and used the GigE ports on the Celerra’s CX3 backend for block connectivity. In testing we showed that CIFS alone provided approximately 240mbps of throughput over GigE connections while enabling MPFSi netted about 750mbps, even if we used the same NIC on the client. So we tripled throughput over the same LAN by installing a software client. Had we gone the extra mile to deploy FibreChannel for the block IO we would have seen much higher throughput.
Even better, the use of MPFS did not preclude the use of NDMP for backup to tape directly from the Celerra, accelerating backup many times over the old fileserver. For clients that did not have MPFS software installed, they accessed the same files over traditional CIFS with no problems. Another side benefit of MPFS over traditional CIFS, is that the block I/O stack is much more efficient than the NAS I/O stack so even with increased throughput, CPU utilization is lower on the client returning cycles to the application which is doing work for your business.
There are many clustered file system / clustered NAS solutions on the market from a variety of vendors (StorNext, MPFS, GFS, Polyserve, etc) and most of these products are trying to solve the same basic problems of storing more data and increasing performance. The problem is they are all proprietary and because of that you end up with multiple solutions deployed in the same company. In our case we couldn’t use MPFS for the video editing solution because EMC has not provided a client for Mac OSX. And this is where pNFS really becomes attractive. Storage vendors and operating system vendors alike will be upgrading the already ubiquitous NFS stack in their code to support NFS4.1 and pNFS. And that support means that I could deploy an EMC Celerra MPFS like solution using the same Celerra based storage, with no extra servers, and no special client software, just the native NFS client in my operating system of choice. Perhaps Apple will include a pNFS capable client in a future version of Mac OSX.
If you look at the pNFS standard you’ll see that it supports the use of not only block storage, but object and file based storage as well. So as we build out larger and larger environments and private clouds start to expand into public clouds you could tier your pNFS data across FiberChannel storage, object storage (think Atmos on premises), as well as out to a service provider cloud (ie: AT&T Synaptic). Now you’ve dramatically increased performance for the data that needs it, saved money storing the data that you need to keep long term, and geographically dispersed the data that needs to be close to users, with a single protocol supported by most of the industry and a single point of management.
Personally I think pNFS could kill off proprietary solutions over the long run unless they include support for it in their products.
This is just my opinion of course…
While my peers have been blogging about the new CLARiiON and Celerra releases, both of which provide significant enhancements to the EMC CX4-based Unified platforms you already own, I thought I’d shift gears just a tad…
What if you are a Clariion CX/CX3 customer, or a CX4 customer who isn’t ready to upgrade to the newly released FLARE30 code, but want to simplify management of your storage environment, get better reporting, dashboards, wizards, etc. Well, you are in luck.
Just as with previous versions of Navisphere and FLARE, EMC offers off-array versions of Clariion management agents, servers, and GUIs. As of yesterday, that includes off-array versions of Unisphere. If you are a current customer of Clariion, you can login to PowerLink and download the Unisphere off-array software and build a management station. After installation, you can manage your existing Clariion CX/CX3/CX4 hardware without upgrading the FLARE code. As you upgrade your CX4 systems to FLARE30, new features will be enabled in Unisphere, and as you upgrade your Celerra NS systems to DART6, they can be added to the Clariion management domain and managed from the very same Unisphere instance. How’s that for easy and convenient?
But what do you get by using Unisphere to manage your non-FLARE30 systems? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take advantage of FASTCache, FAST, Compression, and other features that are only available in FLARE 30, but there are some advantages..
First and foremost, Unisphere completely dumps the Navisphere tree-based management view and replaces it with end-result based tasks. So instead of creating several objects to provision raid groups and LUNs, then present to a host, you just run the ”Allocate” wizard and select the array, disks/raid group/pool, LUN size, hosts, etc and commit.
Second, upon launching Unisphere and logging in, you are immediately presented with dashboard views showing the amount of used/available storage, and active alerts, all customizable, so you can see the state of your entire CLARiiON storage environment “at-a-glance”.
To install Unisphere today, login to Powerlink, browse to “Support > Software Downloads and Licensing > Downloads T-Z > Unisphere Server Software” and download “EMC Unisphere Server” and “EMC Unisphere Client”. Install them both to your Windows system and fire it up. If you have Navisphere off-array software already installed, Unisphere will upgrade the existing installation for you. You will also want to download and install Unisphere Service Manager (USM), also from Powerlink at “Support > Software Downloads and Licensing > Downloads T-Z > Unisphere Service Manager (USM).” USM will provide various support and service related tools including active technical advisories for your storage arrays.
Begin using Unisphere today and you get some immediate benefits, plus you will be ready to take advantage of new features enabled with FLARE30 (FAST, FASTCache, Compression, etc) as well as managing NAS across all of your Celerra systems once they are upgraded to DART 6. As a bonus, you’ll have a chance to get familiar with Unisphere before a future FLARE upgrade or new EMC Unified purchase forces you to learn it.
And did I mention you don’t have to buy anything or introduce risk with a firmware upgrade?
When trying to sell something, one of the hard things that I’ve noticed sales people dealing with is the fine line between comparing your own product to your competitors, and slinging FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) about your competitors. The right way to sell is to show the benefit of your products to your customer and leave the competitor out of the conversation as much as possible. There are those that have real trouble staying on the right side of the line… and then there are those that just make stuff up, which is worse.
My wife and I were watching TV Monday evening when a Comcast guy rang the doorbell. We switched to Verizon FiOS a couple years ago and have had zero desire to switch back to Comcast. The Internet is faster, the SD and HD picture quality is better, and the DVR menu/guides make Comcast’s software look decades old, which it is.
Matt, from Comcast, started by mentioning that they will have trucks in the neighborhood over the next couple weeks, framing the reason for his being there as a courtesy to us so we aren’t worried about all the trucks. He then asked if we were Comcast customers and when he found out we were Verizon customers he quickly seg-wey’d into the true reason for his visit – FUD Slinging…
He informed us that now that Frontier has purchased FiOS from Verizon, Frontier does not want to the keep the lines maintained so they would be shutting down FiOS. He stated that we have 3 months to get out of our FiOS contract without a penalty. When I asked him to clarify how Frontier is shutting down FiOS, Matt tells us they are shutting down Residential service, but keeping the Business customers.
Okay, pause right there, there are 3 things wrong with this –
- So Frontier spends $billions to buy the FiOS infrastructure from Verizon only to shut it down? Their investor presentation indicates that ALL new build outs are Fiber-to-the-Home; it would seem a big waste to invest in FTTH but not provide FTTH Services.
- Even if Frontier were shutting down some FiOS infrastructure, why would “the largest pure rural telecommunications carrier in the United States” shut down residential services and keep business services?
- If Frontier was shutting down FiOS and I had to find an alternative service, why would I have to get out of my contract at all, it seems my contract would end on its own right?
Then as we chatted about why I switched to FiOS in the first place, and he tried REALLY hard to get me to set up an appointment for them to switch me back, I explained how the set top box software is light years ahead of Comcasts and I’d probably want Tivo if I switched back to Comcast. He then to tell me that Comcast had acquired Tivo. Seriously? It’s so easy to check these things.
So I got his phone number and finally got him to leave, saying I’d figure out my schedule and call him in the next couple days.
A little research on the web sets the record straight. The reality of the situation is that Frontier purchased the FiOS assets from Verizon in order to increase their broadband and TV footprint and will continue to provide the services because FiOS aligns perfectly with their core business. There is no urgency to switch to another carrier at this time, despite what Comcast says. Frontier even took the time to update the logo in our DVR software already.
All indications are that Tivo is still independent as well.
So this guy, Matt from Comcast, is hoping that the Frontier acquisition was public enough that we know something is changing, but haven’t looked into it enough yet, and that we’ll be freaked out by his indicating that we only have 3 months to do something. I’m not even a Comcast customer and yet I feel compelled to write to them to complain. Well now I’ve complained in public.
This past week, during EMC World 2010 in Boston, EMC made several announcements of updates to the Celerra and CLARiiON midrange platforms. Some of the most impressive were new capabilities coming to CLARiiON FLARE in just a couple short months. Major updates to Celerra DART will coincide with the FLARE updates and if you are already running CLARiiON CX4 hardware, or are evaluating CX4 (or Celerra), you will want to check these new features out. They will be available to existing CX4(120,240,480,960)/NS(120,480,960) systems as part of a software update.
Here’s a list of key changes in FLARE 30:
- Unified management for midrange storage platforms including CLARiiON and Celerra today, plus RecoverPoint, Replication Manager and more in the future. This is a true single pane of glass for monitoring AND managing SAN, NAS, and data protection and it’s built in to the platform. ”EMC Unisphere” replaces Navisphere Manager and Celerra Manager and supports multiple storage systems simultaneously in a single window. (Video Demo)
- Extremely large cache (ie: FASTCache) – Up to 2TB of additional read/write cache in CLARiiON using SSDs (Video Demo)
- Block level Fully Automated Storage Tiering (ie: sub-LUN FAST) – Fully automated assignment of data across multiple disk types
- Block Level Compression – Compress LUNs in the CLARiiON to reduce disk space requirements
- VAAI Support – Integrate with vSphere ESX for improved performance
These features are in addition to existing features like:
- Seamless and non-disruptive mobility of LUNs within a storage array – (via Virtual LUNs)
- Non-Disruptive Data Migration – (via PowerPath Migration Enabler)
- VMWare Aware Storage Management – (Navisphere, Unisphere, and vSphere Plugins giving complete visibility and self-service provisioning for VMWare admins (Video Demo) AND Storage Admins
- CIFS and NFS Compression – Compress production data on Celerra to reduce disk space requirements including VMs
- Dynamic SAN path load balancing – (via PowerPath)
- At-Rest-Encryption – (via PowerPath w/RSA)
- SSD, FC, and SATA drives in the same system – Balance performance and capacity as needed for your application
- Local and Remote replication with array level consistency – (SnapView, MirrorView, etc)
- Hot-swap, Hot-Add, Hot-Upgrade IO Modules – Upgrade connectivity for FC, FCoE, and iSCSI with no downtime
- Scale to 1.8PB of storage in a single system
- Simultaneously provide FC, iSCSI, MPFS, NFS, and CIFS access
All together, this is an impressive list of features for a single platform. In fact, while many of EMC’s competitors have similar features, none of them have all of them in the same platform, or leverage them all simultaneously to gain efficiency. When CLARiiON CX4 and Celerra NS are integrated and managed as a single Unified storage system with EMC Unisphere there is tremendous value as I’ll point out below…
Improve Performance easily…
- Install a couple SSD drives into a CLARiiON and enable FASTCache to increase the array’s read/write cache from the industry competive 4GB-32GB up to 2TB of array based non-volatile Read AND Write cache available to ALL applications including NAS data hosted by the array.
- Install PowerPath on Windows, Linux, Solaris, AND VMWare ESX hosts to automatically balance IO across all available paths to storage. PowerPath detects latency and queuing occuring on each path and adjusts automatically, improving performance at the storage array AND for your hosts. This is a huge benefit in VMWare environments especially.
- When VMWare releases the updated version of vSphere ESX that supports VAAI, ESX will be able to leverage VAAI support in the CLARiiON to reduce the amount of IO required to do many tasks, improving performance across the environment again.
- Upgrade from 1gbe iSCSI to 10gbe iSCSI, or from 4gbe FiberChannel to 8gbe FiberChannel, without a screwdriver or downtime.
- Provide NAS shared file access with block-level performance for any application using EMC’s MPFS protocol.
Improve Efficiency and cost easily…
- Create a single pool of storage containing some SSD, some FC, and some SATA drives, that automatically monitors and moves portions of data to the appropriate disk type to both improve performance AND decrease cost simultaneously.
- Non-disruptively compress volumes and/or files with a single click to save 50% of your disk space in many cases.
- Convert traditional LUNs to more efficient Thin-LUNs non-disruptively using PowerPath Migration Enabler, saving more disk space.
Increase and Manage Capacity easily…
- Add additional storage non-disruptively with SSD, FC, and SATA drives in any mix up to 1.8PB of raw storage in a single CLARiiON CX4.
- Using FASTCache, iSCSI, FC, and FCoE connectivity simultaneously does not reduce total capacity of the system.
- Expanding LUNs, RAID Groups, and Storage Pools is non-disruptive.
- Migrating LUNs between RAID groups and/or Storage Pools is non-disruptive using built-in CLARiiON LUN Migration, as is migrating data to a different storage array (using PowerPath Migration Enabler)!
- Balancing workload between storage processors is non-disruptive and at individual LUN granularity.
Protect your data easily…
- Snapshot, Clone, and Replicate any of the data to anywhere with built in array tools that can maintain complete data consistency across a single, or multiple applications without installing software.
- Maintain application consistency for Exchange, SQL, Oracle, SAP, and much more, even within VMWare VMs, while replicating to anywhere with a single pane-of-glass.
- Encrypt sensitive data seamlessly using PowerPath Encryption w/RSA.
- While you can do all of these things quickly and simply, you still have the flexibility to create traditional RAID sets using RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10 where you need highly predicable performance, or tune read and write cache at the array and LUN level for specific workloads. Do you want read/write snapshots? How about full copy clones on completely separate disks for workload isolation and failure protection? What about the ability to rollback data to different points in time using snapshots without deleting any other snapshots? EMC Storage arrays have been able to do this for a long time and that hasn’t changed.
There are few manufacturers aside from EMC that can provide all of these capabilities, let alone provide them within a single platform. That’s the definition of simple, efficient, Unified Storage in my opinion.
If you have seen any of EMC’s marketing for EMC World, or you are attending EMC World in Boston this week, you no doubt noticed a ton of talk about the “Private Cloud”. There has been a lot more talk from vendors as of late about the “cloud” and ”cloud computing” and you may be reminded about how every few years the word ”cloud” is shouted out by vendors of all kinds and how inevitably the talk quiets and nothing is really different. So is it different this time? I think so.
What is a Cloud?
In the context of IT, there are examples of clouds already. The Internet and public telephone system are two examples of clouds. Facebook, Flickr, and Salesforce are examples of clouds as well. The common theme is that each of these examples provides some sort of service to the end user without requiring the end user to purchase or build any infrastructure to support it. You can plug a phone into a wall and immediately call nearly anyone in the world. Cloud is a fancy word (or buzzword) for providing something “as-a-service”. Salesforce.com is software-as-a-service (SaaS).
So what is the Private Cloud?
In the context of enterprise datacenters, the focus of EMC’s vision, the Private Cloud is Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and it enables corporate IT to transition from a necessary expense, to a profit center within the business, providing IT-as-a-Service to the rest of the business. It decouples infrastructure from applications providing unprecedented levels of scalability, availability, and flexibility at lower cost.
a.) your corporate applications could run from anywhere, and users had access from anywhere?
b.) you could relocate your applications from anywhere to anywhere else, at any time, without disruption to your users.
c.) you could replace any piece of physical hardware in your infrastructure without impacting your applications.
Sounds too good to be true right? Maybe not…
This week, EMC announced a completely new product called VPLEX. VPLEX has the ability to take your existing storage arrays and pool them into a cooperative pool of storage for hosts and applications. It then allows you to move application data within and across those arrays as needed without disrupting the application or users. If you are familiar with EMC’s Invista, IBM’s SVC, or Hitachi’s USP-V products you may be thinking that VPLEX is just another storage virtualization product. But I assure you it’s different. VPLEX virtualizes storage within the datacenter similar to how the above products can, but VPLEX can ALSO combine storage across multiple datacenters and allow an application to run from any of them or all of them, simultaneously, through the power of Federation.
With VPLEX Federation, you can move a virtual machine and all of its data from datacenter A to datacenter B in a matter of minutes without user disruption; or hundreds of VMs, or thousands of VMs. You can run the same application in both locations, sharing a single dataset. Armed with EMC VPLEX and VMWare vSphere, you can upgrade, replace, and reconfigure any part of your infrastructure (storage, servers, network, power distribution, etc) without ever having to take your applications offline. How’s that for availability?
The ability to create a virtual infrastructure from the storage layer through to the server layer and host any application on that infrastructure is the key to creating providing Infrastructure-as-a-Service, building the Private Cloud, and provisioning IT-as-a-Service within your organization. Imagine running the IT department as a business within the business and actually showing financial value to the business.
There is a lot more to this concept but I wanted to at least bring some context around “cloud” as well as EMC’s new VPLEX product. There will be more to come on this topic.
Chuck Hollis wrote about VPLEX as a new Storage Platform today, and VirtualGeek called it a Virtual Machine teleporter in his quite detailed write up of this new technology. The key is to step back with an open mind and think about how application design and disaster recovery planning could be approached in entirely new ways when the data is no longer confined to a particular physical location.
The 8:50am Alaska Air flight from Seattle to Boston today may as well have been an EMC chartered flight. Full of my current EMC peers, previous coworkers from my past 12 years in IT, as well as other EMC customers; all of us making the pilgrimage to Boston for EMC World 2010. The five and a half hour flight was both a networking opportunity and a reunion at the same time.
Despite the time away from home while my wife and I prepared for some big life changes, I’m excited to attend my 4th EMC World in 5 years, my first as an employee of EMC. This year promises to be extremely exciting as we make a number of huge announcements during the week, some of which have the potential to change the landscape of information storage and management. As an IT professional for over a decade, I’m a techie at heart and this is really exciting stuff. As a new EMC employee, the position and direction of the company validates many of the reasons I chose to take on this new career path, and with this company.
I plan to provide some commentary on the announcements we make during the week, particularly around virtual storage and the concept of “cloud computing”. I’m not a fan of industry buzzwords and “cloud” is one of the worst offenders but I think it’s important for IT professionals to understand what the vendors really mean when they talk about cloud, and how it affects every day life in IT.
If you are attending EMC World this year, I hope you feel the excitement, and I hope you start to see the bright future we are all headed for.