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Crowd Sourcing to Find the Winners from VMworld 2014

Posted by Ilya Leybovitch | Author Info

Sep 15, 2014 9:00:00 AM

What do Virtual Volumes, 3D VDI graphics, OpenStack and multidimensional thumb wresting have in common? They are some of the things the alumni of VMworld 2014 got to experience in San Francisco last month. By the numbers, there were more than 230 vendors vying to get their message heard by the over 22,000 show attendees. That’s a lot of noise to filter through, but being a data scientist and somewhat of a detective, let me share what vendors got my attention and why.

The week of VMworld was the closest I’ve ever come to experiencing what it feels like inside a beehive set on fire. From the warm San Francisco mornings to the windy evenings, everyone from IT engineers dressed in jeans to line-of-business managers wearing off-the-rack suits rushed around five downtown blocks to get to:

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, VMware, flash, VMworld, hybrid cloud

Zero Growth Storage: Coming to Your MBOs Soon

Posted by Rich Simmons | Author Info

Sep 5, 2014 9:00:00 AM

I heard an interesting comment the other day from a Product Management friend of mine. He was talking about a recent customer briefing he was giving where the customer’s main goal was zero growth storage. That may sound like an odd goal given that we have all seen the leading analysts’ charts on data growth: up and to the right! So it seems counter intuitive that you would be able to hold storage growth flat. That was my initial reaction, but then I started thinking, “Well, how would you go about doing that?”

I admit there was Corona involved as I pondered this more, but really given the stuff that we as an industry have accomplished, we should be able to at least come close right? I mean if my local golf course can send me a text offering to book me a tee time in the next 45 min because it’s slow right now, we should be able to figure out where the under/over-utilized storage devices are in our environment without resorting to spreadsheets and tiger teams.

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Topics: storage resource management, 3rd Platform, ViPR, storage management

ViPR SRM Data Normalization

Posted by Gary Roberts | Author Info

Sep 1, 2014 9:00:00 AM

One of the greatest features of ViPR SRM 3.5 is the ability to look at your entire storage environment as a whole. This manifests in the ability to understand end-to-end relationships (for example, in topology views, path details and chargeback reports) and to see global views that aggregate all of your storage. Prior to ViPR SRM 3.5, this functionality was only available for EMC VMAX and VNX arrays. An important new feature set in v3.5 is that these capabilities are being extended to other top storage platforms, from other vendors in addition to EMC.

In order to accomplish this, the ViPR SRM engineering team goes through an analytic process called “data normalization.” To create end-to-end relationships within ViPR SRM, we need to correlate data from all the devices in the path, such as hosts, hypervisors, switches and arrays. However, each of the APIs for the various devices has a different way of representing the data used for this correlation. So, for a new array type, we have to modify this data to make it consistent with the representation by other devices. Similarly, for global dashboards that aggregate capacity across all storage, derived metrics need to be created for each new array that meet a consistent definition for each capacity classification, so that only like values are added.

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Topics: storage resource management, storage management

No Limits on Software-Defined Storage, EMC ScaleIO 1.30 Delivers Improved VMware Integration

Posted by Ed Beauvais | Author Info

Aug 25, 2014 9:00:00 AM

It is an exciting time to be a part of EMC as we are delivering software-defined storage solutions to our customers. I recognize that enterprise IT today is filled with multi-environment complexity and that we need to address head on the challenges of cost, architecture choice and cloud-like delivery. The ScaleIO team is focused on changing how customers think about their data center architectures and providing cutting edge, high-performance software that enables our customers to meet their business demands, improve ROI and achieve SLAs.

TCO optimized, agile and converged infrastructure built upon commodity platforms are driving storage innovation. As such, we are announcing enhancements to EMC ScaleIO that enable our customers and partners to leverage our solutions to deliver what customers and end users demand.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, VMware, ScaleIO, flash

Accelerating Network Virtualization with VMware NSX and EMC Service Assurance Suite

Posted by Vyenkatesh (Venky) Deshpande | Author Info

Aug 22, 2014 9:00:00 AM

*The following is a guest blog post from Venky Deshpande from VMware NSX product management, discussing the integration that the VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform has with the EMC Service Assurance Suite.  These solutions are going to featured at VMworld August 24-28 in San Francisco, CA.  go to www.vmworld.com for more information

Network Virtualization – A Critical Component of SDDC
As more organizations seek to fully implement Software-Defined Data Centers – which are characterized by server virtualization, storage virtualization and network virtualization – the “traditional” network and its inherent inefficiencies increasingly represents a barrier to IT’s ability to meet today’s dynamic business needs:

  • Network service provisioning is slow, manual and error-prone
  • Workload placement and mobility are limited
  • Network changes required to support a rapidly changing environment are often complex and hard to implement efficiently and effectively

Overcoming these challenges requires a Software-Defined Data Center approach.

By allowing virtual networks, like server virtual machines, to be programmatically created, cloned, migrated, deleted, and restored on-demand to enable applications to be quickly provisioned and deployed, VMware NSX™ network virtualization platform provides the network virtualization pillar that delivers to the network the same benefits that VMware delivered to compute infrastructure.

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Topics: VMware, storage management, Service Assurance, Network Virtualization, Service Provider

Predictability and Probability with the ECS Appliance

Posted by Michael Wehle | Author Info

Aug 18, 2014 9:00:00 AM

You may not know it, but life on earth almost came to an end back in early May. The HL129 asteroid came within 200,000 miles of the earth, which is closer than the distance to the moon. Ok, so earth may not have had a chance to get obliterated. But that got me thinking about the idea of predictability and probability of success, especially when it comes to running ViPR Services on commodity hardware.

In September 2013, EMC announced Project Nile, which officially became the ECS Appliance during the last EMC World in Las Vegas. One of the primary goals of the ECS Appliance is to run intelligent software on commodity hardware. This stack is designed to support running Object, HDFS, and Block services on hardware for massive global scale-out platforms. Combined with a single global namespace and an intuitive self-service portal capability, customers are able to build out a true private cloud solution within the Enterprise, or even enable public Service Providers to provide their own ECS-based cloud service.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, ViPR, ScaleIO, ECS Appliance, Virtual Environments, storage management

EMC ViPR SRM 3.5: More Than a Name Change, It Delivers Big!

Posted by Paula Swanson | Author Info

Aug 11, 2014 9:00:00 AM

You know how it goes, it’s frequently very difficult to follow one big release 3.0 in January 2014 with another; yet ViPR SRM 3.5 does exactly that. With ViPR SRM’s introduction, reporting on traditional and Software-defined Storage environments has never been easier. Not to mention, the tighter integration with EMC ViPR makes it simpler to understand the relationships between ViPR tenants and the underlying storage resources.

In addition to lots of cool new features, we also changed the product name. With the 3.5 release, EMC Storage Resource Management Suite was renamed to EMC ViPR SRM to highlight EMC's commitment to delivering comprehensive monitoring and reporting for ViPR Software-defined Storage environments. ViPR SRM simplifies the transition to a Software-defined infrastructure by providing a management framework that enhances visibility and control in both traditional and Software-defined environments.

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Topics: storage resource management, ViPR, VPLEX

“Analyze This”: How Analytics, Pattern Recognition and Software-Defined Storage are Transforming the Datacenter…and Your Life

Posted by Rodger Burkley | Author Info

Aug 4, 2014 9:15:32 AM

Pattern recognition! That’s what we carbon-based ‘humanoids’ are good at…since the very beginning when humankind first started walking upright. As a whole, we’re really adept at observing our immediate surroundings, natural environment and a sundry of other random and not so random things. We notice what happens around us in our personal biosphere, and existential universe. We notice things that touch our lives in some significant or insignificant way. From the mundane and annoyingly trivial to profoundly grave matters affecting our very existence like: Cause/effect; action/reaction; commotion/notion; fascinations/machinations; observation/correlation; discovery/recovery; monitoring/manipulating, detection/correction; measuring/tabulating; analyzing/theorizing and so on. My, how busy we are! A strong survival and pain avoidance instinct does that. And so does natural selection.

It comes down to situational awareness (SA). SA gleaned from recognizing patterns that allows us to understand interrelationships and dynamics so we can plan for; act on and hopefully accurately predict events, occurrences and outcomes. Of course, sound ‘policies’ usually evolve, improve and get codified in the process. Just think about how much you observe in your daily life. Chances are you’re constantly coming up with possible ‘situations’, course of actions (COAs) and maybe even personal policies based on probabilities or predictability for all different reasons, seasons, ligations, occasions and outcomes. And we tend to make these ‘root cause’ observations, COAs and predictions on both general abstracted assumptions and/or backed by granular data analysis. We can even ‘virtualize’ scenarios and problem solving while day dreaming….or conjuring up ‘what ifs’. 

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, software-defined data center, Virtual Environments, storage management

Past is Prologue: What 1990s Technology Tells us about Today's Cloud Competitive Landscape

Posted by George Hamilton | Author Info

Jul 28, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Last week, Amazon launched Zocalo, an enterprise file sync and share service. The press chatter has been all about how Amazon is now competing with Box and Dropbox. Dropbox also happens to be an Amazon Web Services S3 customer. This is not the first time Amazon has released a new service that competes against its own customers. Nasuni, Engine Yard, Heroku, OpenShift and MongoDB are just a few technology vendors with whom Amazon can partner/host and compete. This is not that unusual in the era of more open architectures and “co-opetition.” However, with this recent announcement, I couldn’t help but think back to when proprietary hooks and vendor lock-in were common and more explicit. What have we learned and what does it portend for the future of cloud computing and services?


I love just about anything that has to do with American history – even recent history. I’m a sucker for a good retrospective. So I was psyched last week when the National Geographic channel debuted, “The 90s, The Last Great Decade?”, the follow up to their successful retrospective on the 1980s, “The 80’s: The Decade that made Us”. I guess all of us like nostalgia to some extent. We enjoy looking back at the horrible fashion choices we made; the hairstyles, the music, the movies, and everything pop culture. But one of the things I like best is seeing how far technology has evolved. And more importantly, what we learned from how things used to be. Past is prologue and the evolution of technology decades ago can be a harbinger of things to come.
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Topics: Software Defined Storage, 3rd Platform, ViPR, ECS Appliance

Storage Transformation Demands New Thinking (When it Comes to Software-Defined Storage, if it Walks like a Duck and Quacks like a Duck, It Still Might be a Pig!)

Posted by Rich Simmons | Author Info

Jul 21, 2014 9:00:00 AM

We live in interesting times right now in the storage business. What was once considered a “boring” sector of IT is now hot again. We have new vendors entering the market at a furious pace, trying to gain position in all-flash, flash attach, and software-defined storage. Additionally, we also have traditional storage incumbents looking to box out the new entrants through different combinations of product re-brand, acquisition and/or partnerships.

The new vendor entrants are the most fun to watch in my opinion. Unencumbered by installed bases, or legacy technology (or politics!) they are free to try new approaches to long-standing issues and roadblocks that always emerge as technology matures. Some new players have truly unique and interesting solutions; others have only marketing spin. 

Watching some of the traditional storage vendors try to counter these new offerings is generally quite amusing, and in some cases just plain sad. They trot out technology that has been around for years declaring it to be Software-Defined, and Cloud ready or whatever they think will make them most relevant. The most common response I see is the re-brand. You know the drill: product XYZ was our storage virtualization/storage OS product for years, but now it’s called product ZYX and it’s software-defined storage because we dropped the hardware requirement! So it’s now Software-Defined Storage (SDS)?

It all just serves to remind me why I work where I do. One of the great things about working for EMC is the company’s ability to blend both the innovation and enthusiasm of a startup with our traditional storage business. My group, the Advanced Software Division is a great example of this. EMC looked out over the storage landscape some years ago and made a pretty bold bet. They did not choose to re-purpose and re-brand existing technology. Rather they went outside the box (literally outside the company walls) and hired Amitabh Srivastava to build it from the ground up. Now Amitabh was building cloud storage in his last gig, so he has been in on this SDS, cloud ready stuff for a while. EMC was listening to our customers tell us they needed a new approach, and that’s what we went out and did, starting from scratch to develop a solution that could help customers transition to the next storage generation.
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Topics: Software Defined Storage, 3rd Platform, software-defined data center, HDFS, OpenStack