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EMC is Always Listening to Their Customers!

Posted by Shawn Murphy | Author Info

Oct 1, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Let’s look at a familiar situation. You call a support center for assistance with a product or service - maybe it’s for your cable or even for your dishwasher. You mention to the support representative “this would be a lot easier if…” and they dutifully agree with you and promise to take down your information. Shortly after that call, you receive a survey. Where does that information go? Does it get sent to a manager or disappear into a black hole? After all, these are the people you count on to champion your idea.

You don’t need to worry about your EMC product feedback ending up in a black hole. EMC’s Total Customer Experience (TCE) program has built a long-term strategy which optimizes our programs and strategic relationships, enabling us to improve customer value. The ongoing feedback we receive and analyze enables us to continually implement targeted action plans that align with your input. The action plans are built on real-world feedback and produce impactful and measureable results that directly benefit our customers and partners.

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Topics: ViPR, storage management

Software-Defined Storage Goes Way Beyond Storage Virtualization

Posted by Yoram Ramberg | Author Info

Sep 29, 2014 9:00:00 AM

I’ve been reading and talking to folks about software-defined-storage (SDS) and software-defined-everything and found out that we often use the terms ‘SDS’ and ‘virtual storage’ interchangeably. This doesn’t sound right. It is useful to distinguish between these terms as they are better used for two distinct concepts. Let me see if I can offer a better real world definition, or at least description, for these terms.

Storage virtualization is typically used to describe an abstraction of storage technology. The latter may be a storage array, which, via virtualization, appears to us as several arrays, each with its unique LUNs. The opposite is also conceivable: manifest a single block space by virtualizing a set of arrays. So, if you’re running an application that performs block I/O, it can talk to the virtual array as if it were a physical box, with its addresses, controllers, and redundancy. Virtualization helps to make an efficient use of the underlying hardware. Instead of managing actual boxes with various capricious demands and hard limits, look at them as if they were well behaved units of your own specification. Under the covers, your virtual storage SAN maps to actual physical storage but the complexities of the latter are conveniently hidden. Good.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, third platform, software-defined data center, ViPR

What ViPR SRM Can Show You About a VPLEX Environment

Posted by Gary Roberts | Author Info

Sep 22, 2014 9:00:00 AM

VPLEX is EMC’s premier storage virtualization solution. While VPLEX greatly simplifies everyday storage management, storage virtualization has presented storage administrators with new challenges in areas such as reporting, performance troubleshooting and chargeback. In ViPR SRM, new capabilities enable you to peer under the virtualization layer to understand what’s actually going on in a virtualized environment. In a VPLEX environment, ViPR SRM enables a storage administrator to understand how storage capacity is being used, and who is using it to understand end-to-end relationships from host to storage and to verify that VPLEX is configured according to best practices.

For example, a challenge for a storage administrator is to understand, overall, how storage is being used - how much for traditional block or file, how much is virtualized, how much is free, and so forth. New to ViPR SRM, a unified enterprise capacity dashboard shows total storage capacity for the environment in one place, and how it is used. The dashboard includes a view of usable capacity (top middle view), with a bar indicating how much is used for virtual storage. Note that the virtual storage is actually based on physical block storage; so ViPR SRM carefully ensures that this block storage is not counted twice in the enterprise dashboard.

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Topics: Software Defined Storage, storage resource management, ViPR, Virtual Environments, storage management, VPLEX

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