Archive for the ‘Gestalt IT’ Category

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 1

March 25th, 2009 4 comments



To read the previous blog posts on Storage Resource Analysis (SRA)

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 1: Storage Resource Analysis and Storage Economics

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 2: The IT – Storage World of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 3: The IT – Storage Budgets of 2009

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 4: Some Fundamental Questions

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 5: Facts about your Data

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 6: Inconsistencies in Storage Environments

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 7: The Technical Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 8: The Business Case

Storage Resource Analysis (SRA): Part 9: The End Result


Lately I have really been away from blogging; seldom get time to read the blogs I follow every day, can’t remember the last time I was on Twitter.

Work has been really busy and motivating these days, with new Service offerings we are taking to our customers and partners throughout the world, life has become more than challenging, trying to work around multiple time zones, conference bridges, airplanes or customer sites for presentations, white boards and demos.

It seems the harder we work, the more digital antisocial we become (getting away from LinkedIn, Blogging, Twittering, Gmail’g, Orkut and Facebook)?

So a lot of my work these days has been around Storage Resource Analysis (SRA) that we are offering to our customers. What I plan to do over the next several post is go over a few things to describe these services and how it fits into today’s IT / Storage Environments.

I will try to leave these blog posts to minimum number of words (possibly 400 max) but will try to describe how it helps customers in these tough economic times to better optimize storage with immediate ROI and immediate CapEx and OpEx reductions.

We will talk about the technology and the way it fits into a customer’s environment overall providing resources that help customers better leverage their existing storage assets.

I have lately been reading some blog post by David Merrill and am starting to understand the importance of Storage Economics and how it plays a major role into customer environments related to applications, usability, budgets, ROI, etc.

Hope you find these posts interesting and informative. It might help understand the necessity of Storage Economics for your environments.


I had a very unique experience with my recent trip to a customer site: This is a large customer running several PB’s of storage. I asked them a question during a brainstorming session, how do you anticipate your storage to grow over the next 12 months. To my surprise one of their chief Storage Architects responded to me, the OEM (not to mention any names) told us earlier this year that we are growing at an average of 70% a year.

This really got me thinking, I started researching this customer to understand how their data was growing at 70% a year. The share price of the company is not growing at 70% (rather lost all its value in 2008), the product sales of this company is not growing at 70%, they are not hiring employees at a rate of 70% a year (rather have shrunk to half the number of employees), their engineering / research divisions haven’t grown at 70% a year, application owners, host systems & projects they are working on are not growing at 70%, neither is the storage industry growing at 70%. The more I started thinking, the more it didn’t make sense.

I am just going to leave this post here…..I will let you judge the rest, have these things happened in your environment? 

EMC Symmetrix DMX-4: Components

March 16th, 2009 6 comments

In my previous posts on EMC Symmetrix 3, 5, 8 Series and EMC Symmetrix DMX, DMX-2 Series we discussed some important components that comprise in systems, in this post we will discuss some of the important components of EMC Symmetrix DMX-4.

EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 consist of 1 System Bay and (1 upto 8) Scalable Storage Bay’s. Each Storage Bay can hold up to 240 Disk Drives totaling 1920 drive in 8 Storage bays or 1024 TB System.  Systems  with special requirements can be configured to 2400 drives instead of standard 1920 drives.

The primary bay is the System Bay which includes all directors, service processor, adapters, etc, while the Storage Bay contains all the disk drives, etc.


System Bay (1 Bay)

Channel directors: Front End Directors (FC, ESCON, FICON, GigE, iSCSI), these are the I/O Directors.

Disk directors: Back End Directors (DA), these control the drives in the System.

Global memory directors: Mirrored Memory available with DMX-4, Memory Director sizes range from 8GB, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB totaling 512GB (256GB mirrored).

Disk adapters: Back End Adapters, they provide an interface to connect disk drives through the storage bays.

Channel adapters: Front End Adapters, they provide an interface for host connection (FC, ESCON, FICON, GigE, iSCSI).

Power supplies: 3 Phase Delta or WYE configuration, Zone A and Zone B based Power Supplies, maximum 8 of them in the system bay.

Power distribution units (PDU): One PDU per zone, 2 in total.

Power distribution panels (PDP): One PDP per zone, 2 in total, power on/off, main power.

Battery backup Unit (BBU): 2 Battery backup modules, 8 BBU units, between 3 to 5 mins of backup power in case of a catastrophic power failure.

Cooling fan modules: 3 Fans at the top of the bay to keep it cool.

Communications and Environmental Control (XCM) modules: Fabric and Environmental monitoring, 2 XCM located at the rear of the system bay. This is the message fabric, that is the interface between directors, drives, cache, etc. Environmental monitoring is used to monitor all the VPD (Vital Product Data).

Service processor components
Keyboard, Video, Display and Mouse. Used for remote monitoring, call home, diagnostics and configuration purposes.

UPS: UPS for the Service Processor

Silencers: Made of foam inside, different Silencers for System and Storage bay’s.



Storage bay (1 Bay Minimum to 8 Bay’s Maximum)

Disk drives: Combination of 73GB, 146GB, 300GB, 400GB, 450GB, 500GB, 1TB and now EFD’s 73GB, 146GB and 200GB available. Speed: 10K, 15K, 7.2K SATA are all compatible, each RAID Group and each drive enclosure should only have similar speed drives, similar type drives. 15 drives per Enclosure, 240 per bay, 1920 total in the system. If the color of the LED lights on the drive is Blue its 2GB speed, if the color of the LED is green, the speed is 4GB.

Drive Enclosure Units: 16 per Storage Bay, 15 drives per enclosure

Battery Backup Unit (BBU): 8 BBU modules per Storage bay, each BBU support 4 Drive enclosures

Power Supply, System Cooling Module: 2 per drive enclosure

Link Control Cards: 2 per drive enclosure

Power Distribution Unit (PDU): 1 PDU per zone, 2 in total

Power Distribution Panels (PDP): 1 PDP per zone, 2 in total


In the next couple of post, we will discuss EMC Symmetrix DMX-4 and some of its design features. 

Reducing Power Consumption on DMX3 & DMX4 Arrays

March 16th, 2009 No comments

Great Post by Diwakar on his Blog about reducing power consumption with DMX3’s  and DMX4’s

Gestalt IT (An Independent IT Commentary) is born

March 5th, 2009 No comments

Gestalt IT, an independent IT Commentary for readers related to IT industry. With years of experience from various Bloggers in the Virtualization, Storage, Networking and Desktop space, they have all come together to present the world a complete 360 vision into today’s complex IT environments.

As you all know, these days IT environments have specific requirements related to Security, Networking, Compliance, Storage, Desktops, Tiering, Replication, Virtualization, Efficiency, Utilization, Applications, Green Data Center Requirements, Power and many more on the list. On Gestalt IT you will find information related to these topics covered by Industry leaders and bloggers that will allow you to read about these trends and topics.

This magazine is for CIO’s, Infrastructure Directors, Data Center Managers, IT venture capitalist, Data Storage Analyst, Virtualization Experts, OEM Bloggers, OEM Marketing Folks and foremost engineers, administrators and general public. As we all cover industry specific topics, during these discussions you will see information related to OEM’s and their products / services. Some of the major ones we all talk about these days is Cisco, EMC, Sun, HP, IBM, HDS, NetApp, 3Par, Compellent, Data Domain, VMware, Xen, etc.

We all know, DIVIDED we FALL and UNITED we STAND. The power these 8 authors bring to the table is phenomenal. Each one of us comes from a specific industry or area of expertise and collectively as we collaborate on topics and vision, we can offer a reader complete insight into today’s IT infrastructure.

You can visit and bookmark the site address for Gestalt IT.

Run a WORDLE analysis on Gestalt IT and you will see the power behind the specific industry topics that are discussed. Storage still seems to be a great point of emphasis among the most of us, but that said, a lot of topics are discussed around networking, virtualization and foremost the technical’s behind these technologies.

To read a post about Gestalt IT from Stephen Foskett, click here.

So what is Gestalt: An organized field having properties that cannot be derived from the sum of component parts; a unified whole.

Today each of us blogs independently as well, we get website hits that probably vary from several hundred to thousands a day. We have a set of readers we get every day and some exposure on search engines like Google and Yahoo. But is that it…..

Looking at the benefits of Gestalt IT, the exposure a reader gets in terms of overall IT Industry is far better than individual blogs themselves. In the future you will see each writer will be publishing post – articles exclusively for Gestalt IT. There is a lot of behind the scene collaboration going on with all the authors.

So who are these Authors…..

From Gestalt IT, here are their profile views.

Chris Evans

Chris M Evans is an independent consultant with over 20 years’ experience, specializing in storage infrastructure design and deployment.

Devang Panchigar (myself)

With more than 7 Years of IT experience, Devang is currently the Director of Technology Solutions and IT Operations at Computer Data Source, Inc. Devang has held several positions in the past including Sr. Systems Engineer, Sr. Network Engineer, Technical Support Manager, Director of Storage Support & Operations. He has been responsible for creating and managing worldwide technical support teams, technology solutions team, operations management, service delivery, pre and post sales support, marketing and business planning. In his current role Devang oversees multiple aspects of the Technology Solutions Group that works with various Multinational and Fortune 500 companies providing them infrastructure services. Along with various industry certifications, Devang holds a Bachelor of Science from South Gujarat University, India and a Master of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University.

Ed Saipetch

Ed Saipetch is virtualization practice lead and systems engineer. He has been and both the end user and value added reseller space with a focus on application infrastructure and web architecture scalability.

Joerg Hallbauer

I am a long time data center denizen who currently focuses on storage and storage related issues. I have worked on both sides of the fence, for vendors as well as being the guy who had to implement what they sold me. Finally, I’ve managed teams of UNIX, Windows, and Storage Admins.

Martin Glassborow

To view Martin Glassborow’s Linkedin Profile click here

Rich Brambley

To view Rich Brambley’s Linkedin Profile click here

Scott Lowe

As a 15+ year veteran in the Information Technology field, I’ve done quite a few different things. I’ve worked as an instructor, a technical trainer and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), systems administrator, IT manager, systems engineer, consultant, and Chief Technology Officer for a small start-up. Currently, I work with a national VAR/reseller as a technical lead specializing in virtualization and virtualization technologies. I also contribute content to and

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett has provided vendor-independent end user consulting on storage topics for over 10 years. He has been a storage columnist and has authored numerous articles for industry publications. Stephen is a popular presenter at industry events and recently received Microsoft’s MVP award for contributions to the enterprise storage community. As the director of Contoural’s data practice, Foskett oversees the group that provides strategic consulting to assist Fortune 500 companies in aligning their storage and computing infrastructures with their business objectives. He holds a bachelor of science in Society/Technology Studies, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

A variety of topics and discussions are always on going at Gestalt IT at any given time, there are quite a few new features and enhancements that are upcoming for readers. Also after visiting several other IT magazines, one theme that draws me away from them is the excessive ad campaigns they run on the sites to make money. In the thirst to make money, a user probably goes through 10 clicks to read an article as he is juggling between pop ups and ads.

With Gestalt IT, you are assured of the clean view each and every time. A lot of authors on Gestalt IT come from various industry practices and have been major contributors in specific fields including other IT magazines.

You will see new posts coming from myself as well as from my fellow authors covering specific industry topics. You will also get a chance to read many topics that are being collaborated by multiple authors with different technological background and expertise.

Again, highly recommend visiting and bookmarking the site, here are preferred methods of subscribing to RSS Feeds at Gestalt IT.

Any questions, please feel free to drop me a line on Twitter @storagenerve

Also if you feel you can contribute to the content of Gestalt IT, please feel free to email me or twit me.