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After all, FAST makes a debut

December 8th, 2009 4 comments

So EMC has proved critics like me wrong and have introduced EMC FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) as an offering in Dec 2009. There were many skeptics like me that saw this product release being stalled because of various reasons, here.

FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering)

FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering)

Truly this was one of the most awaited products of 2009 from EMC after the initial announcement by EMC back in April 2009 along with the release of Symmetrix V-Max.

I have dedicated a separate deep-dive section for EMC FAST on the StorageNerve Blog, here

Along with FAST, EMC has also introduced some new enhancements to the EMC Symmetrix V-Max, Clariion CX4 and Celerra NS platforms. Currently FAST will be available on the above 3 platforms at debut and will provide automated storage tiering “in-the-box” for Symmetrix V-Max, “in-the-box” for Clariion CX4 and “out-of-box” for Celerra NS platforms.

As expected EMC has not made this feature free but rather offers a pricing model based on bundled software. FAST will be an available feature within ATSM: Advanced Tiering Storage Management bundle and will be charged based on RAW Capacity of the Array (Symmetrix, Clariion and Celerra)

FAST will not be supported on EMC DMX-4 and Clariion CX3. In essence FAST is only compatible with EMC Symmetrix V-Max Enginuity Microcode 5874.xxx.xxx and Clariion CX4 Flarecode Release 29.

FAST is a software only feature and integrates with existing hardware / software on the associated platforms.

The following are some of the features FAST will support at GA on the EMC Symmetrix V-Max, Clariion CX4 and Celerra NS platforms.

EMC Symmetrix V-Max

Symmetrix V-Max Data Movement

Symmetrix V-Max Data Movement

  • Volume / LUN based data movement (Automated Storage Tiering) for open systems and CKD – mainframe volumes.
  • Management of FAST through Symmetrix Management Console or SymCLI
  • Data Movement can be accomplished between FLASH, fibre channel and SATA drives within the V-Max platform. Data can move in any direction and on any type of the drives based on policy.
  • Data movement within a single frame or serial number only.
  • FAST suite can be purchased as a standalone software suite but will be available at a discounted price based on a bundled option with Symmetrix Optimizer, DCP: Dynamic Cache Partitioning and SPC: Symmetrix Priority Controls.
  • Symmetrix Performance Analyzer will be required for FAST to operate on Symmetrix V-Max platform. (Based on the comment from Barry Burke below, Symmetrix Performance Analyzer is not required for FAST to operate on the Symmetrix V-Max platform.

EMC Clariion CX4

Clariion CX4 Data Movement

Clariion CX4 Data Movement

  • LUN based data movement (Automated Storage Tiering)
  • Management of FAST will be enabled through CLI only. Not supported as an integrated part of Navisphere today.
  • Will work with Flarecode Release 29 (Clariion CX4) only.
  • Unlike the Symmetrix, the automated data movement will only be supported between fibre channel drives to FLASH or fibre channel drives to SATA. There is no automation related to data movement from FLASH to fibre channel or FLASH to SATA or SATA to FLASH or SATA to fibre Channel drives.
  • Data movement within a single frame or serial number only.
  • FAST suite can be purchased as a standalone software suite but will be available at a discounted price based on bundled option with Navisphere Analyzer and NQSM: Navisphere Quality Service Manager.
  • Navisphere Analyzer is required for FAST to operate.

EMC Celerra platform

Celerra in the box data movement

Celerra in the box data movement

Celerra in the box and out of box data movement

Celerra out of box data movement

  • File based data movement (Automated Storage Tiering)
  • Management of FAST can be accomplished through Rainfinity file management appliance GUI or CLI. Customers also have an option to purchase Rainfinity File management/VE (Virtual Appliance), which has some limitations.
  • Data movement can be enabled to another tier “in-the-box” or to another Celerra or Centera or Atmos.
  • Celerra FAST is most interesting as it enables out the system data movement, like to another Celerra or Centera or Atmos.
  • FAST suite can be purchased as a standalone software suite but will be available at a discounted price based on a bundled option with Rainfinity File Management Appliance or Rainfinity File Management /VE.

Based on EMC heat index charts, a before and after picture of a FAST implementation would look like this.

FAST Implementation

FAST Implementation

A FAST implementation video

Here is a post, back from August 2009 on Gestalt IT describing how EMC’s Unified Storage vision and federation may work. It is good to see, some of those things come to fruition now, and at least FAST with Celerra proves it.

Stay tuned for a series of FAST posts over the next few days talking about various other topics and how FAST plays within those areas.

GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009: Post 9 (Day 1 Continued)

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Here is a group picture of the GestaltIT Techfielday 2009 Attendees

Tech Field Day attendees included 15 bloggers from across the spectrum of independent IT commentary.

Left to Right: Greg Knieriemen, John Obeto, Carlo Costanzo, Rod Haywood, Rick Vanover, Stephen Foskett, Nigel Poulton, Bas Raayman, Ed Saipetch, Simon Seagrave, Chris Evans, Devang Panchigar, Greg Ferro, John Hickson, Robin Harris, Rich Brambley

GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009: Post 8 (Day 1)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

Today marks the first day of the two day GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009. As described on previous blog posts, this is a very unique event and will be an industry trendsetter. A very nice blog post by John Troyer from Vmware describing GestaltIT #Techfieldday and the wave it is creating in the industry, here

We had an action filled day today, 18 hours of non-stop techno-geek talk so far.

Vmware

The day started early morning today at 7 AM, we all left to go to Vmware first, where Xsigo Systems and MDS Micro were presenting. Expectations with both these presentations were very high, and they absolutely managed to deliver on it.

Met up with John Troyer first at Vmware headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The bus took us from the hotel to Vmware and will be the means of transportation throughout the event. After a great breakfast this morning, they gave us a tour of the Vmworld DataCenter – Lab (hundreds of VM’s running within a single cabinet with Clariion, Xsigo, MDS running as a Converged Infrastructure).

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Then we went for a walk around the Vmware campus to another building where the event was being hosted. Walking there, we ended up taking some funny pictures…

Simon Seagrave

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Greg Knieriemen

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Then Stephen Foskett took the stage to present us on the concept of GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009. He then passed on the mic to John Toor from Xsigo Systems who explained us the agenda for the rest of the morning.

MDS Micro

MDS Micro took the stage and went through the entire set of technical marketing presentation on the MDS Micro set of products and how the blocks compete in a converged infrastructure. Quite a compelling story from MDS.

Then Vmware took the stage next, the group called GETO (Global Engineering Technical Operations). These are the guys that worked on designing the Datacenter at Vmworld 2009. On a dinner table in Florida, they created the concept of the next datacenter at Vmworld 2009. Amazing 45 min technology talk.

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Xsigo

Then Xsigo took the stage. Wow…..what a presentation, Cam Ford from Xsigo was on the stage, this guy has a passion and believed in what he was presenting. I was really really impressed.

At times its just not only walking up to the stage and presenting on a technology, believing in something and presenting the technology is completely different. That is exactly what we saw with this presentation. Tons of questions were asked and Cam Ford was able to answer each one of them……..Loved the techno talk. I am now believing that Xsigo will in a short duration be a take over target. They have a great technology in their hands.

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3Par

Had lunch at Vmware and then we all headed to 3Par. Now after the Xsigo presentation, we were expecting a lot from 3Par.

Craig Nunes, Marc Farley and John D’Avolio were at the 3Par lobby to receive us as we reached to their headquarters.

We were looking for the famous Pooja Desai – the “Check it out Girl” from the StorageRap Videos and the joke @edsai made on the Infosmack – Storage Monkeys – Vmware Wrap up Podcast.

3Par brought in Siamak Nazari on the stage to talk about various 3Par technologies.

This guy was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing I would like to emphasize again, please make sure all the presenters for the GestaltIT #techfieldday are technology experts. We need to talk to “the best of the breed”, I have typically seen based on all the presentations at GestaltIT Techfieldday and HPTechday so far that the engineering / technical marketing folks have been very well received amongst the audience. There are aways people in the group ready to chew the presenter if they are not aware of the technology they are presenting on.

Siamak Nazari started the presentation and within a few mins, had questions from the audience, but he started going into details, white boarding, diagrams, explaining chunklets, buses, clusters, software, architecture and he won everyone in the room. This presentation was scheduled for about 45 mins, but by the time the presentation was done, we were well over 90 mins.

Its hard to write about the technology in one blog post and will not be fair to 3Par and its technology. So what i will do is provide you all with a detailed architectural overview of the 3Par technology over next couple of weeks, showing a video of the presentation and the architecture around the 3Par clusters.

Siamak Nazari wanted to go into a lot of details, but i believe since this was a non NDA session, the folks in the room had to stop him going into architecture and futures.

Then Craig Nunes along with Marc Farley presented on the 3Par Thin Technology and Zero Page reclaimation. I truly believe they have a great team of people there that are driving the product.

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We then went to the 3Par Test and Development labs. This lab has to at least be warehousing about 200 to 300 3Par systems. At times it is great breathing the data center air…..

Symantec

Then Symantec took the stage with its Storage Foundations suite. Some nice technical chat around filesystems, how Symantec integrates with 3Par for Zero page reclaimation, how customers can drive the storage they already have in data centers with the use of Storage Foundations suite. There were quite a few questions asked and contradictions made in this presentation, where the GestaltIT Bloggers didn’t understand the complete strategy of Symantec in relation to Storage Foundations product. Though from my perspective I felt it was a complete solution but not a lot of market applicability.

GestaltIT Party

We then left there to head to the Computer history Museum in San Jose for the GestaltIT Party. What a crowd of people there. This event was sponsored by TechValidate (Brad O’Neil’s new venture). Tons of people from various Tech PR companies, HP, Nirvanix, 3Par, Vmware, Data Robotics, Ocarina Networks, Bhava Communications, MDS Micro and many more were present.

Met up with Murli, CEO from Ocarina Networks, he is just a magnificent personality. Very humble and approachable. Met up with Brad O’Neil and many others from the Storage industry.

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Then was the video presentation by Sunshine Mugrabi and Marc Farley as a tribute to Stephen Foskett. This is a great video.

The Bar

We then headed back to the hotel…..the night was just beginning. At the bar, people were just dissecting everything that they had heard today and putting it into perspective.

Around 2 AM in the morning the night finally finishes (at least for me) and looking forward for a new day tomorrow, more TECHNO-GEEK talk to continue…..

My eyes are barely staying up now, All I can say is Goodnight!!!!!!!


GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009: Post 7 (Day 0)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009 starts on Thursday 12th of Nov, 2009, so today has been one of those travel days for everyone coming out to this event.

As for all the people attending, there are a total of 15 Bloggers coming from all parts of the world for this event.

4 Bloggers from the UK,
1 Blogger from Germany,
1 Blogger from Australia,
1 Blogger from Canada,
8 Bloggers from the US.

As for the expertise these bloggers bring on the table

7 Bloggers focus on Virtualization,
2 Bloggers focus on Cloud Technologies,
1 Blogger focuses on Networking,
5 Bloggers focus on Storage.

Though these days its very hard to define or differentiate between a lot of overlapping technologies between Storage, Virtualization, Cloud and Networking, there are many on the list that work with multiple venues of the above technologies.

So for me, the day started mid morning to drive out to EWR airport. Though I thought I left home early, it was barely 35 mins before the departure time that I made it to the airport, and it turned out I was the last one to board the flight to SFO.

Landed in SFO mid afternoon and took a ride along with the Brits (Simon Seagrave, Chris Evans, Nigel Poulton) to the hotel.

Though we were the early ones to arrive, the schedule is so that everyone (All 15 of us) make it to SFO by the end of day today, so we start early morning tomorrow with the sessions, etc.

Claire Chaplais is the event organizer for the GestaltIT Techfielday 2009 and has done an amazing work to co-ordinate all the aspects of the events in terms of booking buses, flight reservations, time co-ordinations on arrivals, limo service, the scheduling, dinner arrangements, GestaltIT party and the rest of the events that are scheduled for the next 2 days. With all the work she put into this, it will surely be one of those flawless and amazing events.

As time passed by, more bloggers started arriving in San Jose where we will be staying for the next 3 days. As part of the check-in at the hotel, we were all handed an agenda and the schedule for the next 2 days and “MAN it’s HECTIC”.

Started meeting up with the folks at the bar, lots of techno geek talk expected over the next two days.

Dinner officially kicked off at around 7 PM, with more folks still arriving. GestaltIT organized the Haiku Door Prize Exchange, We were all given different Haiku’s to solve and that decided what gifts were were taking home. There were things like the iPOD nano, Kodak Camera, Flip Camera, Access Point, Noise Cancellation headsets, etc, etc given out tonight. The idea is every person walks away with a door prize.

You can imagine what happens when you throw 15 bloggers with storage, virtualization, hardware, software, cloud, networking experience into a room and have them talk. The table cloths and napkins turn into white boards with people either taking pictures or recording these techno-geek talks. Just amazing to see how everyone here so motivated and driven in the relevant fields they all work in. But there was one common theme, everyone has very high expectations with this event, though everyone feels proud that they have been invited to an event like this happening for the first time.

People tonight talked about Storage, Virtualization, Cache, FCoE, FC, Brocade, Emulex, 3Par, EMC, HP, NetApp, FAS arrays, HP-EVA’s, Lefthand, vBlocks, Symmetrix, Acadia, Vmware, SpringSource, Cisco, UCS, future of storage/virtualization, consolidation, power, work experiences, etc, etc…. “MAN it was AMAZING”.

So its now time to hit the bed, early morning (7:00 AM start to go to Vmware tomorrow). The day will be very busy with visits to Vmware first and then 3Par. Looking forward to seeing some known faces in the industry tomorrow.

Here is a list of all the bloggers attending. There were a lot of pictures taken today, videos, some stories will be floating on various blog sites over the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates on GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009 on this blog along with various other blogs.

GestaltIT Mega Blog

Name: Rich Brambley

Blog: VM /ETC

Name: Carlo Costanzo

Blog: VMware Info

Name: Chris Evans

Blog: The Storage Architect

Name: Greg Ferro

Blog: EtherealMind

Name: Robin Harris

Blog: StorageMojo

Name: Rod Haywood

Blog: Musings of Rodos

Name: John Hickson

Blog: Studio Sysadmins

Name: Greg Knieriemen

Blog: Storage Monkeys

Name: John Obeto

Blog: Absolutely Windows

Name: Devang Panchigar

Blog: StorageNerve

Name: Nigel Poulton

Blog: Ruptured Monkey

Name: Bas Raayman

Blog: Renegade’s Technical Diatribe

Name: Ed Saipetch

Blog: Breathing Data

Name: Simon Seagrave

Blog: TechHead

Name: Rick Vanover

Blog: Virtualization Review

To my understanding all these bloggers are industry independent bloggers and do not work for any storage / virtualization manufacturers. Though some people might be affiliated as partners, integrators, consultants, etc.

More techno-geek talk expected on this blog with tags GestaltIT Techfielday over the next couple of weeks, Stay tuned for all those updates. Please follow the GestaltIT Badge on the Right to go all the relevant blog posts about this event.

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