Wednesday, May 18, 2011

EMCWorld; Part 3, The Final installment; VNXe, ATMOS and VMWare

In my first post I somewhat sarcastically mentioned that EMCWorld came with all the fanfare we have grown to expect from a major EMC event. In my defense I also underlined that despite the glitz and glitter what I found most impressive was the breadth and depth of their announcements. No change – I still have that opinion and the following is the balance of those announcement that resonated with me.

VNX Series: As you all are probably well aware the VNX series is the EMC mid-tier, unified storage offering that is in the process of replacing the CLARiiON and Celerra lines. It was launched back in January and continues to evolve as these announcements suggest:

1. FLASH 1st is the VNX SSD strategy which incorporates FAST, FASTCache and soon to be available server side cache code named project lightening. On this feature I must admit I became a bit of a convert, see my comments in my earlier blog.
2. A Cloud Tiering Appliance designed to offload cold unstructured data from the VMX to the cloud was introduced. This device can also operate as a migration tool to siphon data from other devices such as NetApp. This announcement really resonated with me, more coverage in my earlier blog.
3. A ruggedized version of the SMB version of the VNXe was introduced. It was mentioned a couple of times in the presentations that EMC have not done well in the federal space. This is an obvious attempt to help fix that deficiency. Napolitano also mentioned that 50% of the customers who have purchased VNXe were new to EMC and during the 1st quarter EMC signed 1100 new VNXe partners.
4. SSD support for the VNXe. Another reinforcement of EMC’s commitment to solid state storage.
5. VAAI support for NFS and block enhancements including thin provisioning. No surprise here - a deeper integration with VMWare which all storage vendors should be doing. EMC just happens to have a bit of an advantage.
6. A Google Search Appliance was introduced. This device enables updated files to be searched sooner and comes in two flavors the 7007 supporting up to 10M files and 9009 supporting up to 50M files. Clever announcement; in the world of big data findability (my word) is valuable currency.
7. A high density disk enclosure supporting 60, 3.5” SAS, NL-SAS or Flash drives. GB/RU is one of today’s metrics and this helps EMC’s capacity positioning big time.
8. Doubled bandwidth performance with a high bandwidth option that triples the 6Gb SAS backend ports. Bandwidth, IOPS & capacity and interesting balancing act particularly when you throw in cost.

ATMOS: I first started to write about Atmos when Hulk was the star of the rumor mill; boy how time fly’s. Hulk is still there in its evolved instantiation but its role has most certainly moved as a back-up player in the chorus line. The lead player, ATMOS 2.0 featured in the announcement with the declaration of a significant performance boost. The claim is an 5x increase in performance with a current ability to handle up to 500M objects per day. They have also changing their protection scheme they can increase storage efficiency by 65%. Chage is probably the wrong word, they continue to support the multiple copy approach but have added there new object segmentation approach.

Previously data protection was achieved by the creation of multiple copies that were distributed within the Atmos cloud. The EMC Geo Parity as it is called is similar to the Cleaversafe approach where rather than storing multiple copies of a complete object it breaks the object into segments (12) with four segments being parity, analogous to a RAID group. These segments are then distributed throughout the cloud with the data protected with a tolerance to a multiple failures.

They have also worked on ease of use with the introduction of improved access methodologies for windows users and claiming that the time for software installation and first data to cloud being measured in minutes not hours.

VMWare: Not much in terms of announcement but some the adoption stats was interesting.

• VM migration (vMotion) has increased from 53% to 86%
• High availability use has increased from 41% to 74%
• Dynamic Resource Scheduling (DRS) has increased from 37% to 64%
• Dynamic migration (storage vMotion) has increased from 27% to 65%
• Fault tolerant use has grown from zero to 23%

There were a many other announcement, presentations and activities that simply overwhelmed the senses but I do have to extend a congratulatory nod to all the organizing teams that pulled this event together. Other than the “deluge of data” (thank you Mr Tucci), I am have trouble finding something to complain about.

No comments: