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HDS Bloggers Day – Day 2 – Session 03/24/2011

March 24th, 2011 No comments

oh…..after the long day yesterday, refreshed and back at HDS this morning in Sefton Park. Great informative day yesterday and some great discussions that are lined up for today including Hitachi Servers, Storage Economics and UCP.

After breakfast we are all settled back in the conference room.

* HCD7 Hands on Lab

* Worked as Blogger 1 on the Hands on Lab. Bob O’Heir gave a nice overview on the HCD7 platform.

* Allocation of Volumes, Create Volumes, Tasks, Investigation, etc

* Personal Note: Simplified and Robust Interface

* Lynn McLean: VP Americas Sales Converged Solutions and Servers

* HDS is big time pushing the converged infrastructure.

* Pre-stacked solutions

* Video Surveillance Solutions

* HyperV Fast Track Converged Solution

* Hitachi Compute Blade 320 and 2000

* Virtualization Technologies are VMware, HyperV and Hitachi’s own Logical Partitioning (LPAR)

* 48 core processor coming!!!

* SMP Feature: Symmetric Multi Processing, making all individual servers act as one

* 320 Hitachi Servers in a single 42 inch Rack

* LPar include partitioning CPU, Memory and I/O

* Scale Out 8 x 16 way blades, scale up to 64 way SMP

* Hitachi’s dilemma, we do not want to be a commodity server vendor

* No focus on server selling, rather a solution in a datacenter

* Use case: VMware vSphere, VMware vCloud VAAI + AMS 2300 and Blade Symphony, LPAR Virtualization, Oracle Database, vCloud Director

* Miki Sandorfi: Chief Strategist, File, Content and Cloud

* Single Physical Cluster of 40PB: Multitenant, Intelligent Objects, Chargeback, Compression and Deduplication, Security and Compliance

* Hitachi Data Ingestor Discussion

* Hitachi Content Platform Discussion

* HDI Mapping to HCP Tenants and Namespaces Discussion

* Lunch Break

* Great discussions with David Merrill about Storage Econonomics and some of the efforts him and his group does in relation to TCO / ROI

* David Merrill – Chief Economist

* 34 different cost make up storage costs

* Backup cost, floor space, power, environmentals, snapshots, labor, architecture, migration cost, cost of waste, orphaned storage, maintenance, out of warranty equipment, provisioning time, cost of outage, litigation, complexity cost, security, encryption, backup media cost, cost of copies, cost of growth, data loss, hardware depreciation and many more… you can find more about storage economics at

* 80% typical opex cost vs 20% typical capex cost

* It’s not just about technology, but how that applies to TCO and driving business value

* Great analogy comparing Storage Economics to a person trying to lose weight, life style change.

* Several case studies showing the value of storage economics and the study associated with some of the customers and how they have managed to reduce opex.

* Dozens of matrices being used to track efficiency

* Pete Gerr – Final Wrap Up

* Great day…Great info sessions…..headed to the hotel in the next hour

* Then to Storagebeers and vBeers. See you there….


HDS Bloggers Day – Day 1 – Session 03/23/2011

March 23rd, 2011 3 comments

After a great #Storagebeers last night, its now time to catchup on the technology side of things from HDS this morning.

* About 9 Bloggers are in the room with a ton of HDS executives here. Including Enrico, Chris E, Fabio, Greg K, Nigel P, myself, Stephen F, Ilja C, Jason B.

* Several HDS executives include Dir of Software Development, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Scientist, VP of Corporate & Product Marketing, CTO, Dir Business Development.

* After great introductions both from the bloggers and the the HDS executives about their backgrounds and things that they would like to hear from HDS and HDS executives on what they will be covering over the next couple of days.

* Carli Mckinney kicked off the HDS Bloggers Day

* Asim Zaheer  – VP Corporate and Product Marketing

* Asim talking about HDS impact from the Japan earthquake. Everyone in Hitachi Storage Division is safe after the earthquake, which is great news. There might be some impact on Hitachi employees overall.

* Asim also guarantees there will not be a larger impact on HDS supply chain with the current earthquake in Japan.

* Q3 kick a** quarter, first 1B Dollar quarter

* 15% growth year over year

* File and Content grew more than 20%, Storage Brand Growth 20%

* Michael Vath – GM for EMEA has now taken the Global VP Innovation

* Neil S will be taking over the GM for HDS EMEA April 1, Asim points out to be pretty great changes in HDS.

* Tomorrow the focus will also including Convergence, Unified Platform, Hitachi Servers (Symphony i believe its called).

* Some great announcements coming on the IP acquired last year by HDS of Parascale for scale out NAS.

* HDS is much open now then it was 2 years ago. Financial Numbers, Bloggers, Analyst, Visiting Hitachi Japan, uValue Convention, Annual Bloggers Day

* Pete Gerr – Director Strategic and Solutions Marketing

* Pete comes from EMC, NetApp and now is at HDS with about 15 years of storage background

* Pete will be talking about some context related to HDS and some of the evolution that is going in at HDS and in the industry.

* Evolution of business (HDS) in wake of things changing in around the industry.

* Pretty good arguments on Pete’s part to bring more innovation and change cultures within HDS.

* Virtualization is still the game changer

* Pete talking about the widely talked about concept of technology diffusion: 2.5 % innovators, 13.5% early adapters, 34% early majority adapters, 34% late majority adapters, 16% laggards. Well i personally think where does Facebook and Twitter sit in this reference. Pete’s reference is more related to Virtualization.

* Michael Heffernan and Miki Sandorfi answers the positing between AMS and the VNX (unified platform) from myself, Nigel and Greg.

* 4 large customers move to HDS and Hitachi Technology. Teliti International, Atos Origin, US Based CRM and BSS software Co, US based Municipal Energy Co.

* Michael Heffernan – Solutions Product Manager, Server Virtualization

* A deepdive into VAAI and Virtualization

* VMware is to Virtualized Servers as Hitachi is to Virtualized Storage

* Mainframe on x86 technology – this is where the datacenters are going

* My Personal Note: Read in between lines of what Heffernan says…..

* VMware is not just Operating System, Hitachi VSP is not just another Storage Platform, VAAI changed how compute to storage is integrated

* VAAI is all about SCSI Commands

* VMware might have picked HDS for a reason for VAAI

* VMware, VAAI, x86, Datacenters all becoming Mainframe

* VMware evolved out of Mainframe

* Discussions on evolution of Hitachi Storage Platforms from 1995 to 2011

* Hitachi – VMware Integration Points, great slide. Please stay tuned for pictures of these slides soon later today.

* Slide here by Fabio

* vStorage API for SRM, vStorage API for Data Protection, vCenter Plugin Hitachi Storage Viewer, Hitachi Command Suite ESX enabled Performance Management, vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI), VMware Native Multipathing Plugin

* 15 min Break — Just caught up with David Merrill, The Chief Economist at HDS. Great chatting with him

* Hu Yoshida just made it to the event…delayed flights

* Block Zeroing, Full Copy, Hardware Assited Locking, Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning discussions

* 2 new SCSI commands coming VSphere 5 (futures): 1 for Provisioning and 1 for Warning / Information, though no more details given

* More deepdive discussions on Block Zeroing, Full Copy, Hardware Assisted Locking and

* VMware has opened floodgates, It all rolls downhill….

* Hitachi’s Secret Formula: AA Symmetric / Internal Switch Matrix + VAAI + Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning + Hitachi Dynamic Tiering. This is becoming a must for all Storage Implementation going forward.

* Storage Virtualization and how VSP or USPV is used for virtualization of non virtualized supported arrays like DMX3, DMX4, etc

* Some discussions on VMAX and VSP and some architecture differences.

* Question from myself to Michael and Hu: Do customers implement VMAX behind a VSP. The answer was they were not sure.

* With an array not support VAAI, you can virtualize it behind a VSP and natively use VAAI that is offered in the VSP.

* Lunch Break

* Was tied in a discussion and missed about 30 mins of Miki’s session, but here starts the discussion again.

* Miki Sandorfi, Chief Strategist, File, Content and Cloud

* Missed

* John, VAAI Demo

* Running through the VAAI Demo

* Clariion virtualized behind a VSP for the VAAI Demo. You do not need VAAI enabled array (virtualized array) for this. Only the front end array (VSP) needs to be VAAI enabled

* VAAI enabled VSP and no VAAI array, the workload numbers seems to be atleast 1/5 of the typical non VAAI array.

* VAAI can be turned on and off dynamically

* VAAI is enabled at the microcode level within both AMS and VSP

* VAAI enabled VSP and no VAAI array, with Block Zeroing

* Lynn Collier – Director Enterprise Solutions, EMEA

* A presentation of Cloud Integration with VSP

* Acceptability of Cloud and how easy is it to transition for existing customers and customers that are startups

* Common Platform and Management of all Data

* Common Virtualization Platform: Insfrastructure Cloud (Data, Storage, Network Virtualization), Content Cloud (Content Virtualization), Information Cloud (Data Virtualization)

* Dave Wilson – Senior DIrector, Business Development, HLS

* The least technical claim by Dave and has no slides, just white board

* Around 30 people in the Healthcare vertical with HDS

* 18 Years of Healthcare background and no Storage experience (Dave) Personal Note: but that is great if you ask me

* Various departments in a hospital – healthcare are silo’ed and do not necessary invest in IT and do not share information vs various groups – example Radiology, Pharmacy, Hospital Information System, Lab system (do not share info)

* Various different formats of data formats in Radiology, Lab, HIS, etc

* Hitachi comes in a virtualizes storage as first step and then implements HCR (Hitachi Clinical Respository) through metadata indexing and capturing

* And henceforth allows data sharing between groups or silo’ed information

* Personal Note: Quite a interesting presentation…Dave seems to be bringing it down to our level and explaining as we are not healthcare experts

* HCR does not use a Greenplum or Netazza like technology when asked by myself

* HCR is based on joint development with a partner of HDS

* HCR Demo by John Yarborough

* Imaging System data (lab results, xrays, etc) and metadata and editing it

* HCP Demo – Hitachi Content Platform, creating Tenants. Showing Super Admin view, Tenant views, defining metadata policies, search, security, Namespaces and Montoring

* Sean Moser, VP Software Products

* Brad Foster, Bob O’Heir, Craig Chan are the experienced Managers behind the scene

* DataCenter Product Stack: Virtualized Storage, File and Content, Fabric, Virtualized Compute, Virtual Machine, Application, HiALO / Services, Software (Device manager, Tuning manager, Tiered storage, Replication manager), Asset Management Suite, Business Intelligence, IaaS/Dynamic Infrastructure Orchestration (UCP)

* Hitachi ranked 5th among Storage Software vendors, 47% increase year on year

* Hardware / Software splits are 50% each

* Some of file and content platform growing at triple digit numbers at HDS

* Hitachi Command Director deepdive discussion and demo

* Hitachi Command Director is not available with HP version of Hitachi subsystems

* HCD Demo by John Yarborough

* Pretty dynamic interface

* Columns drag and drop options on views

* Management of storage

* Management of Netowrking

* Management of host (host data collector process) – automated or manual as required

* Allocation of volumes

* Dynamic Pools

* Dynamic Tiering

* ldevs, edevs

* Creating volumes

* Managing Replication

* Migrating Volumes

* Logical Groups

* File Servers

* Alerting

* Administration

* LUN MultiPathing

* Mainframe support

* Internet and External Storage

* Parity Groups

* Creating Pools

* Storage Economics Reporting

* Tuning Manager

* Orphaned LUN reporting

* Consumption Reporting

* Several key releases planned releases in 2011 for tuning manager

* Performance manager part of tuning manager, giving the entire environment server/networking/storage performance reporting

* Search for free space

* Create Alerts

* Create Templates for Alerts

* StorageView or HostView for Alerts

* Snapshot creation with Replication Manager

* Detailed performance response numbers

* IOPS details

* Capacity Reporting

* Storage Economics Reporting

* Drilldown into reporting

* Least used LUNs

* Personal Note: Hope there were more Heterogenous capabilities atleast with some widely seen storage subsystems

* Anything behind the VSP will be reported within the Hitachi Tuning Manager and Hitachi Command Director.

* HDS message, Virtualize your NetApp

* Wrap Up

* The @carlig wrapup

* 6:00 PM pickup at the building to go to Dinner…




HDS Bloggers Day – Sefton Park (London)

March 22nd, 2011 No comments

Hitachi Data Systems is hosting a HDS Bloggers Day in Sefton Park, London this week. I had a pleasure to go to the Sefton Park offices in the past and it absolutely sits in middle of this natural beauty. From what I see so far, the hotel reservations for this event are also done across the street from the historic Windsor Castle.


Attendees at the event include



Some key HDS executives are presenting this week at the HDS Bloggers Day. Stay tuned on Twitter #hdsday and @storagenerve.


Really looking forward to hearing about the newly added code version to the VSP, hopefully the UCP (preannounced platform from HDS expected to release earlier this year), further development on Virtualization (VMware and HyperV) integration and hopefully some additional development related to the Cloud offerings.


You can catchup additional details on the HDS Bloggers Day page.


Looking forward to catching up with my fellow bloggers and with HDS executives this week. Stay tuned!!



VMAX makes a Re-Debut with lots of enhancements

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

With the recent buzz from EMC about #EMCBreaksRecords on Twitter, Facebook and many other Social Media avenues it was pretty visible that EMC has been secretly preparing for one of the biggest announcements that was made today.

Along with FAST VP and upgrades on the VMAX, EMC also announced the much-anticipated unified storage platform VNX. The VNX strategy was very visible at EMC atleast for the past year and was overdue for a release.


We have been talking about FAST for quite a few years now, atleast 1 year and 9 months. Here comes a new version for FAST on VMAX known as FAST VP (Fully Automated Storage Tiering Virtual Pools), which was released today at the big event in NYC. Next as we know would be FAST to the FULLEST (possibly incorporating VPLEX solution to move data across different subsystems).

All new features wrapped around in Enginuity 5875, this release is considered as one of the most aggressive code releases by EMC for the Symmetrix platform.

By the way, if you didn’t know, Symmetrix is now more than 20 years old, probably the longest living brands in the Storage world – still alive – and kicking a**. Here is a blog post talking about the 20-year history of Symmetrix.

Some highlights of Enginuity 5875 include

  • FAST VP (Virtual Pools) – SUB LUN Tiering
  • DARE (RSA based Encryption technology) added natively
  • VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator)
  • Addition of 10GB SRDF and iSCSI Directors
  • FLM (Federated Live Migration)
  • VAAI Support
  • ZPR or Zero Page Reclaim

There are some great posts already out by EMC Bloggers and many other independent bloggers around VMAX, FAST VP and the enhancements to VMAX platform. So I am not going to recreate the wheel here.

Barry Burke has pushed out some very interesting posts on the features wrapped around in Enginuity 5875. This post talks about some featured enhancements to the VMAX platform, customer benefits around migration, sub lun tiering, encryption, VAAI support, etc.

Few other interesting posts here by Barry on FAST VP and how it works in customer environments.

A few questions / comments / observations on FAST VP

  • As I understand, VMAX Systems will need to be at Enginuity 5875 code level before you qualify for FAST VP, not a big deal (for some).
  • You need licenses for FAST VP.
  • Policies for FAST VP are configured from the SMC?
  • If you are already a FAST customer on VMAX and want to migrate to FAST VP, I suspect the licensing will change with this new feature.
  • As a customer of FAST today, migrating to FAST VP for sub lun level tiering, may require you to reanalyze your business requirements associated with virtual pools.
  • FAST policies today can be migrated to FAST VP policies, like the time of day, IOPS, etc?
  • FAST configuration for VMAX was typically done by the Professional Services Group. I am suspecting the same is true for FAST VP.
  • Tier Advisor is required to perform analysis in your environment is only available through EMC pre and post sales folks.
  • Though the native functionality of FAST VP is built within the Enginuity code, the activity and logic is driven from the service processor of the Symmetrix system, again suspecting SMC is doing this work? Also suspecting without the SP being functional, FAST VP policies do not get updated and the process dies.
  • Do not know, the extent size 768KB on a VMAX is functionally and operationally any advantageous compared to a 42MB extent.
  • FAST VP policies seem to be very granular.
  • Once FAST VP is setup on Virtual Pools in a Storage Group, additional of any other Virtual Pools would require the customer to analyze the new Pools (using Tier Advisor) before setting policies.

The above posts from Barry are quite detailed and informative, if you are into Symmetrix technology, highly recommend reading it.

Discovered the blog by Itzikr from EMC Israel about 2 weeks ago

Itzikr talks in detail about Enginuity 5875, support for VAAI, VMware integration and FAST VP.

And as usual a very informative and lengthy post from Chuck Hollis on VMAX platform.

A Video Stream from Wikibon covering today’s announcement from EMC. The first few mins of the video talk about Symmetrix VMAX FAST VP.

And lastly, one of my favorite posts from Nigel Poulton talking about FAST VP from late December.

Enjoy reading the above posts!! Courteous comments welcome. Again thanks for visiting and reading the blog.