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GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009: Post 2 (The Vendors and Sponsors)

November 9th, 2009 No comments

GestaltIT TechFieldDay is being kicked off on Thursday 12th of Nov 2009, a two day event by GestaltIT. The vendors will have a chance to have a one on one technology discussion with industry independent bloggers related to various virtualization and storage technologies.

The various vendors attending the GestaltIT TechFieldDay are

3Par

Data Robotics

Xsigo Systems

Ocarina Networks

MDS

Nirvanix

Symantec Storage

The various sponsors of this event are

Bhava Communications

Vmware

TechValidate

Truth in IT

..

Vendors

3Par: We might get to hear about various 3Par Products including the T-Class and the F-Class computing platforms. Also possibly a technology review on the Agile Cloud. Looking forward to meeting up with Marc Farley and his team at 3Par.

Data Robotics: We might get to see and play with the Drobo and DroboPro from Data Robotics.

Xsigo (See-go Systems): Absolutely looking forward to talking to Xsigo systems, there are quite a few customers that have asked about these products. Understanding the underlying technology with Xsigo system platforms is the key. Saw the demo of Xsigo systems running at Vmworld 2009 Expo floors, quite impressed.

Ocarina Networks: I have always read about the Ocarina products, never actually have any hands-on experience with it. It will be great to see the product in action with the Ocarina challenge put forward to bring a 2GB memory stick at the GestaltIT TechFieldDay for a live product demo. Looking forward to meeting up with Sunshine Mugrabi and her team at Ocarina Networks.

MDS Systems: The Green computing blocks, as I would like to call them. Again I personally do not have any experiences with MDS products, but would like to understand the technology, the market, pricing and how it scales in an enterprise environment.

Nirvanix: Tons of questions already lined up for them. Looking forward to the Nirvanix team presentation. I wonder what side of the team would Stephen Foskett sit with this presentation.

Symantec Storage: We will probably hear about some data protection and storage management products from Symantec. I do have some questions on the storage management products from Symantec and would like to discuss those during the presentation.

Along with the vendors, there will be some sponsors of the event.

..

Sponsors

Bhava Communications: Bhava communications is an up and coming Tech PR company.

Vmware: What can I say about Vmware.

TechValidate: A Marketing Research Company. Looking forward to meeting up with the Tech Validate team. Looking forward to meeting up with Brad O’Neil, a true industry entrepreneur as I would like to call him.

Truth in IT: W.Curtis Preston started company, providing user experience on IT products. I have personally never spoken to W. Curtis Preston and hope this will be a chance to connect with him.

..

Hope this will be an exciting trip, looking forward to attending the event and hopefully understanding technologies and products from these vendors.

Comments always welcome….

For some reason, I couldnt copy the logo’s of the vendors and sponsors.

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GestaltIT TechfieldDay 2009: Post 1

November 9th, 2009 No comments

We are coming very close to the GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009 being organized in San Francisco, CA and San Jose, CA on the 12th and 13th of Nov 2009.

Over the next few days, you will see a ton of new blog posts coming out from various different sources, including invited bloggers and possibly some vendor posts. I do promise to provide a very extensive coverage of this event. I am pretty sure if you are on twitter you saw the fireworks of #hptechday 2009 that happened about a month and a half ago, I believe this event will cause similar if not more fireworks on twitter with #techfieldday 2009.

This is a very unique event, I am pretty sure, there has been nothing similar to what is being planned ever planned before in relation to using Social Media. An event organized by GestaltIT that will take independent bloggers to vendors to understand the storage and virtualization technology offered by these vendors. The value something an event like this creates is phenomenal and could leave great impact on customer, consumers & user that read through social media for research of a given technology. A ton of credit goes to Stephen Foskett for organizing this event. I would absolutely call this is brainchild. I still remember the day he called me about this event; he was in NYC having lunch and the next thing I know he is talking about this and asked if I can attend.

Though I will give Calvin Zito from HP a lot of credit for the kind of event that HP organized and invited the bloggers, they did set the standard and expectations from an event like this. The results were amazing.

Though I am a pretty new face in social media, only been around on blog and twitter for about a year now, this will be my 5th event in 2009. First it started with EMC World 2009, then VMworld 2009, then HP Techday 2009, then EMC Forums NYC 2009 and now GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009.

This post starts at No. 1 for the GestaltIT TechFieldDay event but I promise by the time this event is done and the postmortem is finished, we will at least have 10 new blog post. I will be republishing some of those on GestaltIT.com, but some of them will only be exclusive on the Storagenerve.com blog.

To follow the updates from this event on StorageNerve.com site look for the Logo

GestaltITTechFieldDay On Twitter, follow me @storagenerve

Twitter hashtag: #TechFieldDay

Also I will be creating a TweetGrid on the StorageNerve.com site on Tuesday with #techfieldday for a minute-by-minute update on the event.

Stay tuned…

Comments always welcome

Note: If you find this blog post interesting and would like to read more from the author, please subscribe to this blog. http://storagenerve.com/feed

Policy! Policy!! Policy!!!

October 20th, 2009 6 comments

It has been an exciting month, some new details are emerging related to automated storage tiering, workload distributions, workflow automation, SLA’s, QoS and how Policy based storage management can help solve these challenges. “Policy” as we all know in the “business world”, “advanced algorithms” as known in “scientific community” is used to solve complex storage challenges. This has been one of the favorite topics of discussion in the storage blogosphere these days.

Though there are two distinct groups of people, one favoring automation and the other half possibly thinking this technology brings no value-add in terms of how storage is utilized and managed today. This game was initially started by Compellent (Compellent Data Progression technology) about 4 years ago, then joined by Pillar Data Systems and now other OEM’s (including EMC, HDS, IBM) are starting to catchup on policy based automated storage tiering.

With private clouds in the near future and then hybrid clouds (a mesh of private and public clouds) in the horizon, automation, workload distribution, SLA’s, QoS will need to be monitored and managed to optimally run IT Infrastructures. Policy based management will create a new wave of storage management, automation and will act as a principle ingredient of hybrid clouds.

Generation 1 of policy based storage tiering works within a single storage subsystem.
Generation 2 in the near future should work across heterogeneous storage subsystems (by the same manufacturers).
Generation 3 over the next year or two will work across storage platforms irrelevant of the manufacturers.
Generation 3 of policy based management will include the entire stack of management. These products will be capable of not only managing the Storage, but also interact through policies at the Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware and other layers in the stack of Infrastructure management..

We should see an up-rise of new emerging technologies that will create these external policy based engines for data movement automation. All infrastructure components including Storage, Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware will provide the necessary API’s for these external engines to interact and enable data automation and workflow automation in the hybrid clouds (irrelevant of the manufacturers).

www links

Here are a few articles from the past month related to the topics of Policy, Automated Storage Tiering, Workloads, SLA’s and QoS.

Pillar (OEM)

http://blog.pillardata.com/pillar_data_blog/2009/10/autotiering-of-data.html

EMC (OEM)

http://flickerdown.com/2009/09/why-policy-is-the-future-of-storage/

http://flickerdown.com/2009/10/why-policy-is-the-future-of-storage-part-2/

http://stevetodd.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/10/greenfield-monitoring-of-a-private-cloud.html

http://stevetodd.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/09/federation-and-private-cloud.html

Compellent (Partner Blog)

http://blogs.cinetica.it/cinetica/2009/10/19/dear-mike/

http://blogs.cinetica.it/cinetica/2009/08/25/tiered-storage-and-new-features-for-the-rest-of-us/

HDS (OEM)

http://blogs.hds.com/hu/2009/09/ilm-revisited-intelligent-tiered-storage-for-file-and-content-data.html

Independents

http://www.storagemonkeys.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=the-end-of-history-or-just-the-beginning-.html&Itemid=136

http://thestoragearchitect.com/2009/10/18/enterprise-computing-do-we-need-fast-v1-emc/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/emc_fast/

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/storage-soup/hp-drops-roadmap-nuggets-at-storageworks-techday/

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/storage-soup/spinnaker-founders-bring-avere-out-of-stealth/

http://breathingdata.com/2009/10/18/can-and-when-will-ssds-sata-replace-fcsas/

http://gestaltit.com/featured/top/gestalt/emc-unified-platform-storage-tiering/

http://storagenerve.com/2009/10/14/enhancements-to-emc-symmetrix-v-max-systems/

Your thoughts always welcome!!!

cheers
@storagenerve

Enhancements to EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems coming!!

October 14th, 2009 No comments

Enhancements to EMC Symmetrix V-Max system is possibly around the corner (FY09 Q4).

FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) is due this quarter and will be one of the most awaited software release in the enterprise storage space by EMC.

Bundled together with FAST, possibly a new microcode version the enables FAST (its associated features) and other expected enhancements.

Though this will be a major software release and functionality upgrade, I don’t think this would qualify as a 2nd generation EMC Symmetrix V-Max system.

But fully expect EMC to release its FAST v2 and V-Max G2 somewhere around Mid year 2010.


Here are a few new features to possibly expect on the EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems this quarter.

1. Introduction of FAST v1, which should allow automated data movement within a single Symmetrix V-Max system. Here are some features of FAST as discussed on GestaltIT and by Barry Burke (TSA) on his blog.

2. FAST v1 data movement should possibly be policy driven around factors like time (how old is the data), SLA (promised SLA’s), Tier (from Tier 0 to Tier 1 to Tier 2) and possibly I/O or IOPS based.

3. FAST v1 should allow automated policy based data movement or prompt a user for manual intervention for data movement.

4. Do not expect FAST v1 to come for free, it will possibly be licensed based on the total number of TB’s in the storage subsystem.

5. Expect some integration between the IONIX platform and FAST v1 and possibly some very tight integration with future releases of FAST and IONIX.

6. Expect FAST and IONIX to integrate very tightly with Atmos through API’s and policies. We should expect to see this with FAST v2 and not with FAST v1.

7. So when does EMC retire Symmetrix Optimizer, with FAST v1 probably not, with FAST v2 probably yes.

8. 2TB SATA II drives will be introduced (According to a Keynote from Joe Tucci in NYC), though Joe Tucci didn’t mention what platforms the 2TB SATA II drives will be available on, it seems the V-Max upgrade would be the most logical platform.

9. The 2TB SATA II drive upgrade should make the V-Max 4 PB total storage (2400 drives x 2TB), possibly the single largest storage subsystem at an enterprise level.

10. RapidIO speed upgrade from 2.5 Gbps to 4 Gbps (interconnects between the engines) upgraded either through MBIE (new processors) and / or through microcode upgrades. Edit 10/15/2009 – 12:50 PM: Not sure currently the technology that EMC uses for RapidIO, since Parallel RapidIO supports 250 Mhz to 1Ghz clocking speeds while Serial RapidIO supports 1.25Ghz to 3Ghz.

11. Drive connect speed upgrade from 4 Gbps to 8 Gbps

12. FC and FICON (Host Connects) port speeds upgrade from 4 Gbps to 8 Gbps

13. Interconnect between two separate Symmetrix V-Max Systems (8 Engines each per system) expanding into possibly 16 or 32 (max) engines. The more I think about this concept, the more it makes me feel that there are no added benefits of this architecture, rather it will add more complexities with data management and higher latency. We may not see anything related to interconnects in this upgrade, but remember how the V-Max was initially marketed with having hundreds of engines and millions of IOPS, the only way to achieve that vision is through interconnects. The longer the distance, the more latency with cache and I/O. If Interconnets end up making in this release, limitation on the distance between two Symmetrix V-Max system bays would be around 100 feet.

14. To the point above, another way of possibly connecting these systems could merely be federation through external policy based engines. Ed Saipetch and myself have speculated that concept on GestaltIT.

15. With the use of larger drive size, possibly expect a cache upgrade. Currently the Symmetrix V-Max supports 1TB total cache (512GB usable), which may get upgraded to 2TB total cache (1024 GB usable).

16. New possible microcode version 5875 that will help bring features like FAST, SATA II drives and additional cache into the Symmetrix V-Max.

17. Processors: 4 x Quad Core Intel processors on V-Max engines may not get an upgrade in this release, it should possibly be with FAST v2 as a midlife enhancement next year.

18. Further enhancements related to FCoE support.

19. Upgrade of iSCSI interface on Symmetrix V-Max engines from 1GB to 10GB (is now available with the Clariion CX4 platforms).

20. Really do not expect this to happen, but imagine RapidIO interconnects change to FCoE. Really not sure what made EMC to go with RapidIO instead of Infiniband 40 Gbps (which most of the storage industry folks think is dead) or FCoE with Engine interconnects, but if the engineers at EMC thought of RapidIO as a means to connect the V-Max engines, there has to be a reason behind it. Edit 10/15/2009 12:50 PM: Enginuity more or less doesn’t care about the underlying switching technology, making a switch from RapidIO to FCoE or Infiniband can be accomplished without a lot of pains. Though for customers already invested into RapidIO technology (with existing V-Max systems), it might be offline time to change the underlying fabric, which in most cases is unacceptable.

21. Virtual Provisioning on Virtual LUNs which is currently not supported with the existing generation of Microcode on V-Max systems.

22. Atmos currently is running as a beta release and we should expect a market release this Quarter. Should we expect to see an integration between V-Max and Atmos. I am not sure of any integration today.

23. A very interesting feature to have in the EMC Symmetrix V-Max would be system partitioning, where you can run half the V-Max engines at a certain Microcode level with a certain set of features and other half can be treated as a completely separate system with its own identity (almost like a Mainframe environment). Shouldn’t this be a feature of a modular storage array.

24. Symmetrix Management Console (SMC) and Vmware integration (like VMware aware Navisphere and Navisphere aware VMware). There is already quite a bit of support related to VMware in SMC for provisioning and allocation.

25. Also a much tighter integration between IONIX, FAST, SMC, Navisphere and Atmos may after all be the secret sauce, which would enable workflow, dataflow and importantly automation. Though do not expect this integration now, something to look forward for the next year.

Summary

Though I am still a bit confused on where FAST will physically sit.

FAST v1 can merely be a feature integrated within the Microcode, configurable & driven through policy within the Symmetrix Management Console.

FAST v2 (Sometime Mid 2010) will support in-box and out-of-box (eg: Symmetrix to Clariion to Celerra to Centera) data movement through policy engine.

Ed Saipetch and myself have speculated on GestaltIT on how that may work. Though after some thoughts, I do believe a policy engine can merely be a VM or a vAPP sitting outside the physical storage system in the Storage environment.

To promote the sales of the EMC Symmetrix V-Max systems, Barry Burke in his blog post talks about Open Replicator, Open Migrator and SRDF / DM (Data mobility) are now available at no cost for customers purchasing a new EMC Symmetrix V-Max system, these are some of the incentives that EMC is offering and further promoting the sales of its latest generation Symmetrix technology.

It remains to be seen the path of success FAST will carve for Symmetrix V-Max systems.