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The Blue lights on EMC Symmetrix V-Max Systems

September 10th, 2009 6 comments

If you were to walk in a Datacenter and see an EMC Symmetrix V-Max for the first time, you will end up giving it a look.

It’s those Blue Flashy lights in the front of the unit that just catches your eyes.

It gives the Symmetrix V-Max the Sleek and Sexy look..

Here are some pictures to prove that..

vmax-image-2

v-max image 2

v-max image

Visible in the picture below are Cisco UCS blades, NetApp systems, HP systems, Cisco Switches, Xsigo Systems, but you can surely spot the Symmetrix V-Max

vmworld 2009

EMC Symmetrix V-Max

A video from EMC World 2009

So these lights are USB powered through USB cables, a very simple idea though a genius one. Enterprise class arrays and the use of USB ports at the backend of these systems keep these Blue flashy lights on.

Here are the pictures of those USB connectors from the front. Believe it or not, they are redundant as well.

(Look at the USB cable connectors that go on the front door, 2 of them right above the blue light)

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As Storage Anarchist says in his Blog post “The first thing you’ll probably notice about the new Symmetrix V-Max is the packaging – and specifically the glossy-black panel with the blazing blue LED light bar that underscores the name Symmetrix on every door. The design team had a lot of fun blending the modern gloss-black look of today’s popular personal communications devices with the image of stability and security that customers expect from Symmetrix.”

Yea that is right,,,,,,,,,, this post was about the Blue lights on the Symmetrix V-Max Systems :-)

Oh…the big question, will it call home through the EMC ESRS Gateway if one of these Blue lights fail?

CDP: Blurring the Line Between High Availability and Backup

September 8th, 2009 2 comments

Josef Pfeiffer

For as long as people have been protecting data there have been a myriad of products to help. High availability and backup are two general categories of products that can assist but they offer very different benefits.  On one end of the spectrum, high availability includes technologies like clustering, replication and shared file systems and they really allow for near zero recovery time when a problem occurs.  If a clustered server fails, then it automatically fails over to another server and helps to ensure the application stays up and running.  What high availability lacks is the ability to roll back to older points in time.  For this reason, high availability is almost always complemented with backup products that make additional copies of the data at specific moments in time. Together they help create recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives that can be tailored to the importance of the data.

Recently however, continuous data protection (CDP) has started to blur the lines between these two separate product categories. CDP is often correctly viewed as a different way to protect data.  It tracks all changes to a disk continuously block-by-block, as opposed to scheduled points in time. CDP’s key differentiator is how it changes recovery.  Backup products always store data in a different location, whether on tape or disk (deduplicated), it has to go through some process to get copied back to its original location.  You simply can’t run your server or application off of that backup storage.  

CDP changes this however by virtualizing the backup storage and presenting read/write volumes that can be used.  The mere fact that you no longer have to copy data back to another location means that your recovery time is dramatically reduced to near zero. Sound familiar?  Yep, just like high availability.  Can’t find replacement storage in production when a problem occurs?  No problem, just run the application off a CDP server until a more permanent recovery option is available and you can fail the data back once things are fixed.  The benefit is near zero downtime. If the corruption is copied to CDP, you can simply rewind to a previous moment in time and present a virtualized disk volume of how that original volume looked at any point in time.

While there usually is a trade off between recovery points and recovery time, CDP gets pretty close to reaching near zero on both.  While not every application needs high availability or CDP, it is becoming an easy option to add to your existing data protection environment.

Vmworld 2009: Day 4, 3rd September 2009

September 4th, 2009 No comments

Unfortunately my Vmworld trip came to an end today. Started to head back home at 6 AM this morning, entire day of travelling.

Vmworld 2009 officially comes to an end today at 4 PM. Most of the people will be leaving later in the day or early tomorrow morning to head back home.

Some people are planning to spend some personal time in San Francisco Bay area with their families and friends since it’s a day off on Monday (long weekend). San Francisco is just amazing, the Golden Gate bridge, the food, the wine, the downtown and oh the Moscone center. For this trip, my walking has only been between the hotel and the Moscone center, absolutely no sightseeing.

The weather has been great so far, almost 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. everyday Overall it was been a joyful trip.

Looking forward to going to Vmworld 2010.

Stay tuned for the final post on Vmworld 2009 tomorrow.

Vmworld 2009: Day 3, Wednesday 2nd of September 2009

September 3rd, 2009 No comments

Most of the day today was focused on the Solutions Gallery and Sessions.

There were just so many sessions, no way to attend each and every technology session, but the important ones were around Storage, Cisco Nexus and VDI. It has been very hard to get any labtime. Best bet will be to go back home and start working on some test labs in the office environment to practice various aspects of vSphere and its add-on products.

In the solutions gallery met quite a few known faces from Dell, HP, Vmware, NetApp, EMC, TechTarget and various Analyst. It has been great talking to these folks from Virtualization and Storage backgrounds and get their opinion on the direction of the industry and various other consolidation aspects under the Cloud.

Then was time to spend at the Vmworld 2009 Party, it was just amazing. Thai food, Mexican Food and American burgers, it was just food all over the place. The guy playing the Drums, rocked the floor for 30 mins. Then came the Vmware band (Elastic) – I believe it was called. The final hour was with the Foreigner’s Band, man these guys rocked the floor.

Check out the pictures from the event all updated live on Twitter.

This hall is packed with 8000 people #vmworld http://mypict.me/w0dC

Oh this is awesome #vmworld http://mypict.me/vYJT

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vYDt

Another one #vmworld foreigner http://mypict.me/vYAj

Another one, @edsai, @hpstorageguy #vmworld http://mypict.me/vYsT

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vXHR

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vXGi

Another one dancing tube #vmware http://mypict.me/vXak

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vX7q

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vX0z

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vWY2

Another one #vmworld http://mypict.me/vWCH

Another #vmworld pic http://mypict.me/vWbz

Vmworld party kicks off http://mypict.me/vVBT

Went to the EMC Rave party from there, thanks to Chad Sakac for hosting the party, it was just great. Another 3 hours of technology conversations after the party about Storage Technology & Virtualization.

Totally worth trip.