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IBM's Big Annoucement

February 9th, 2009 No comments

IBM’s press release on Building Blocks of 21st Century Infrastructure

It’s a 122 Billion Dollar Market Opportunity according to IBM. I believe this Press Release has to do something with Sam Palmisano meeting up with Barak Obama a week ago, here is the story as published by Tony Pearson on his blog as of last week. 
This press release pretty much talks about Infrastructure investments by IBM into Security, Storage, Grids, Web, Computing and Management (Tivoli). IBM’s push for XiV and DS8000’s is visible in this press release. IBM’s vision to store 15PB of storage on XiV that is generated every day is also visible here. 
Do not have the time to analyze the whole press release now, but will try to write up something in the morning if time permits……
Goodluck reading the Press Release!!!!!

Twitter (A Micro Blogging Platform)

February 7th, 2009 No comments

Lately a lot of bloggers are talking about Twitter. Its great to see this amazing technology push social networking media to a new level. Here is Chris Evans post about Twitter and the use of data storage associated with it. I believe there was a follow up Blog on Twitter by one of the other bloggers in the Storage Blogosphere. 


To Register yourself on Twitter here is the link. You can use various different tools like Twitdeck, OutTwit, Twitterberry, etc for twittering. There are tons of apps available from various different app creators that will install either on your iphone, blackberry, windows mobile, Outlook, IE, google desktop or work as an independent application. 

I recently heard a bunch of users were twittering real time about the terrorist attacks that unfolded in Nov 2008 at the Taj in Mumbai, India. 

Seems like a US Congressman is twittering his trip to Iraq (as of last night), which got him in trouble as a security breach, here is the news article about it. If you are interested and want to follow Congressman Pete Hoekstra and his trip to Iraq, here is the link

Just ran across Twittersheep (its a tag cloud of the flocks of followers you have). It does point out a lot about your twittering practices and the twitter followers that follow you because of those practices. 

Here are my twittersheep results, hope you enjoy. Check out your Twittersheep here….

Also from Dave Graham’s Blog ran into TwitterGrade, its a tool that looks at your followers, followings and twitter updates to come up with a grade for your twittering. Here are the results of twittergrade for (StorageNerve), the grades are not that impressive. I see several users that have a grade of 99 or an 100, but to be there you got to be a twitter addict. 

To follow me on Twitter, click here

Ianhf (Twitter User) just forwarded this link over to us
Wordle
, it takes text and / or tags from your blog and will create word clouds based on those. Attached is the output for StorageNerve Blog.

REVISED 02/13/2009

 

Apparently there was a picture attached here, the size of the picture exceeded 512kb and non of the content was being delivered through feeds, so decided to delete the picture and attach a link to Wordle 

The output as of 02/13/2009 is here  

Will try to run an output every quarter to see what tags I blog the most about…..

Going Dormant for a few days…..

January 29th, 2009 No comments

Very hectic first three days of this week with a lot of issues going on at work, quite a few escalations, customer meetings, etc. Also working on a Business Plan for some new services we plan to offer over the next 3 months. Have meetings scheduled both today and Friday, so will have to go to the office for those. Initially was thinking may be work from home office and try to finish the business plan before the weekend.


Also this and next week is an agenda to finalize some of our marketing literature, so have some discussions setup with the marketing teams about it. Have to prepare for a sales kickoff meeting for the 2nd week of Feb. Working on finalizing the lab for our Solutions Group with EMC, Hitachi, NetApp and some HP, Sun and Wintel host, along with running the SRA Solution (Chris Evans – aka Storage Architect posted a blog earlier yesterday).


We have just signed up a deal with http://www.storagefusion.com to be their partners in US for Storage Resource Analysis (SRA) and plan to launch it to our existing and potential new Storage Customers as a SRM solution. Business is great these days, both growth and the revenue goals are being hit, but I do expect 2009 to be a challenging year.


If time permits this weekend want to work on an upcoming Blog or Blogs about EMC’s RAID 6 (Clariion and Symmetrix DMX), NetApp’s RAID DP and Hitachi’s RAID 6. Plan to probably write independent overviews about all these different platforms and the use of RAID 6. Also plan to give a comparison of this technology across multiple platforms.


To kind of accomplish that, will have to stay away from Linkedin, Twitter (StorageNerve) and Facebook for a few days. I do plan to assign some of the responsibilities by creating a position of a Group Manager for the Storage Professionals Group on Linkedin, currently I manage it myself and the group has more than 2000 users, if any of the readers are interested in being the Group Manager please let me know, I would absolutely love to talk to you.


For the best of my interest, I have to kind of go dormant for the next few days or a week to wrap up some of the important ongo
ing projects. I believe Feb 2009 will be another great month of blogging with at least some additional emphasis on Clariion Technology but importantly want to start discussing Symmetrix and DMX. I do run across quite a few Clariion, Celerra, Centera and BURA Blogs (Hardware & Software), but have seldom stepped into a detailed blog about Symmetrix DMX. Have a few topics in mind that I want to target, if any of the readers are interested in any special topics, please pass them on to me and will try to do the best to write about them. 

By the way, going forward I will post a picture on each and every Blog….

WHY?

Oh…I think it’s just Kewl……

Goodluck, enjoy the week and the weekend ahead….any important topics pop up, I will come back from the hiding…..

 

NOTE:

I just ran across 3 different pictures on one of our marketing brochures……

In the order, the pictures are as follows…..







So if a user was reading our brochure, what we are trying to tell them is …..We lived in stone ages with those manuscripts in the background, we were animals and then become humans and then computer addicts and since we are computer addicts now we can aim for the space?

What does our current business have to do with these pictures. Do I work for IT Company?

I am just confused….

RAID Technology Continued

January 27th, 2009 No comments



RAID [Redundant Array of Independent (Inexpensive) Disk]

After reading couple of Blogs from last week regarding RAID Technology from StorageSearch and StorageIO, decided to elaborate more about the technology behind RAID and its functionality across Storage Platforms.

After I almost finished writing this blog, I ran into a Wikipedia article explaining RAID TECHNOLOGY at a much length, covering different types of RAID technologies like RAID 2, RAID 4, RAID 10, RAID 50, etc.

For example purposes, let’s say we need 5 TB of Space; each disk in this example is 1 TB each.

RAID 0

Technology: Striping Data with No Data Protection.

Performance: Highest

Overhead: None

Minimum Number of Drives: 2 since striping

Data Loss: Upon one drive failure

Example: 5TB of usable space can be achieved through 5 x 1TB of disk.

Advantages:
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High Performance

Disadvantages: Guaranteed Data loss

Hot Spare: Upon a drive failure, a hot spare can be invoked, but there will be no data to copy over. Hot Spare is not a good option for this RAID type.

Supported: Clariion, Symmetrix, Symmetrix DMX (Meta BCV’s or DRV’s)

In RAID 0, the data is written / stripped across all of the disks. This is great for performance, but if one disk fails, the data will be lost because since there is no protection of that data.

RAID 1

Technology: Mirroring and Duplexing

Performance: Highest

Overhead: 50%

Minimum Number of Drives: 2

Data Loss: 1 Drive failure will cause no data loss. 2 drive failures, all the data is lost.

Example: 5TB of usable space can be achieved through 10 x 1TB of disk.

Advantages: Highest Performance, One of the safest.

Disadvantages: High Overhead, Additional overhead on the storage subsystem. Upon a drive failure it becomes RAID 0.
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Hot Spare: A Hot Spare can be invoked and data can be copied over from the surviving paired drive using Disk copy.

Supported: Clariion, Symmetrix, Symmetrix DMX

The exact data is written to two disks at the same time. Upon a single drive failure, no data is lost, no degradation, performance or data integrity issues. One of the safest forms of RAID, but with high overhead. In the old days, all the Symmetrix supported RAID 1 and RAID S. Highly recommended for high end business critical applications.

The controller must be able to perform two concurrent separate Reads per mirrored pair or two duplicate Writes per mirrored pair. One Write or two Reads are possible per mirrored pair. Upon a drive failure only the failed disk needs to be replaced.


RAID 1+0

Technology: Mirroring and Striping Data

Performance: High

Overhead: 50%

Minimum Number of Drives: 4

Data Loss: Upon 1 drive failure (M1) device, no issues. With multiple drive failures in the stripe (M1) device, no issues. With failure of both the M1 and M2 data loss is certain.

Example: 5TB of usable space can be achieved through 10 x 1TB of disk.

Advantages: Similar Fault Tolerance to RAID 5, Because of striping high I/O is achievable.

Disadvantages: Upon a drive failure, it becomes RAID 0.

Hot Spare: Hot Spare is a good option with this RAID type, since with a failure the data can be copied over from the surviving paired device.

Supported: Clariion, Symmetrix, Symmetrix DMX

RAID 1+0 is implemented as a mirrored array whose segments are RAID 0 arrays.


RAID 3

Technology: Striping Data with dedicated Parity Drive.

Performance: High

Overhead: 33% Overhead with Parity (in the example above), more drives in Raid 3 configuration will bring overhead down.

Minimum Number of Drives: 3

Data Loss: Upon 1 drive failure, Parity will be used to rebuild data. Two drive failures in the same Raid group will cause data loss.

Example: 5TB of usable space would be achieved through 9 1TB disk.

Advantages: Very high Read data transfer rate. Very high Write data transfer rate. Disk failure has an insignificant impact on throughput. Low ratio of ECC (Parity) disks to data disks which converts to high efficiency.

Disadvantages: Transaction rate will be equal to the single Spindle speed

Hot Spare: A Hot Spare can be configured and invoked upon a drive failure which can be built from parity device. Upon drive replacement, hot spare can be used to rebuild the replaced drive.

Supported: Clariion

RAID 5

Technology: Striping Data with Distributed Parity, Block Interleaved Distributed Parity

Performance: Medium

Overhead: 20% in our example, with additional drives in the Raid group you can substantially bring down the overhead.

Minimum Number of Drives: 3

Data Loss: With one drive failure, no data loss, with multiple drive failures in the Raid group data loss will occur.

Example: For 5TB of usable space, we might need 6 x 1 TB drives

Advantages: It has the highest Read data transaction rate and with a medium write data transaction rate. A low ratio of ECC (Parity) disks to data disks which converts to high efficiency along with a good aggregate transfer rate.

Disadvantages: Disk failure has medium impact on throughput. It also has most complex controller design. Often difficult to rebuild in the event of a disk failure (as compared to RAID level 1) and individual block data transfer rate same as single disk. Ask the PSE’s about RAID 5 issues and data loss?

Hot Spare: Similar to RAID 3, where a Hot Spare can be configured and invoked upon a drive failure which can be built from parity device. Upon drive replacement, hot spare can be used to rebuild the replaced drive.

Supported: Clariion, Symmetrix DMX code 71

RAID Level 5 also relies on parity information to provide redundancy and fault tolerance using independent data disks with distributed parity blocks. Each entire data block is written onto a data disk; parity for blocks in the same rank is generated on Writes, recorded in a distributed location and checked on Reads.

This would classify to be the most favorite RAID Technology used today.



RAID 6

Technology: Striping Data with Double Parity, Independent Data Disk with Double Parity

Performance: Medium

Overhead: 28% in our example, with additional drives you can bring down the overhead.

Minimum Number of Drives: 4

Data Loss: With one drive failure and two drive failures in the same Raid Group no data loss. Very reliable.

Example: For 5 TB of usable space, we might need 7 x 1TB drives

Advantages: RAID 6 is essentially an extension of RAID level 5 which allows for additional fault tolerance by using a second independent distributed parity scheme (two-dimensional parity). Data is striped on a block level across a set of drives, just like in RAID 5, and a second set of parity is calculated and written across all the drives; RAID 6 provides for an extremely high data fault tolerance and can sustain multiple simultaneous drive failures which typically makes it a perfect solution for mission critical applications.

Disadvantages: Very poor Write performance in addition to requiring N+2 drives to implement because of two-dimensional parity scheme.

Hot Spare: Hot Spare can be invoked against a drive failure, built it from parity or data drives and then upon drive replacement use that hot spare to build the replaced drive.

Supported: Clariion Flare 26, 28, Symmetrix DMX Code 72, 73

Clariion Flare Code 26 supports RAID 6. It is also being implemented with the 72 code on the Symmetrix DMX. The simplest explanation of RAID 6 is double the parity. This allows a RAID 6 RAID Groups to be able to have two drive failures in the RAID Group, while maintaining access to the data.

RAID S (3+1)

Technology: RAID Symmetrix

Performance:
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High

Overhead: 25%

Minimum Number of Drives: 4

Data Loss: Upon two drive failures in the same Raid Group

Example: For 5 TB of usable space, 8 x 1 TB drives

Advantages: High Performance on Symmetrix Environment

Disadvantages: Proprietary to EMC. RAID S can be implemented on Symmetrix 8000, 5000 and 3000 Series. Known to have backend issues with director replacements, SCSI Chip replacements and backend DA replacements causing DU or offline procedures.

Hot Spare: Hot Spare can be invoked against a failed drive, data can be built from the parity or the data drives and upon a successful drive replacement, the hot spare can be used to rebuild the replaced drive.

Supported: Symmetrix 8000, 5000, 3000. With the DMX platform it is just called RAID (3+1)

EMC Symmetrix / DMX disk arrays use an alternate, proprietary method for parity RAID that they call RAID-S. Three Data Drives (X) along with One Parity device. RAID-S is proprietary to EMC but seems to be similar to RAID-5 with some performance enhancements as well as the enhancements that come from having a high-speed disk cache on the disk array.

The data protection feature is based on a Parity RAID (3+1) volume configuration (three data volumes to one parity volume).

RAID (7+1)

Technology: RAID Symmetrix

Performance: High

Overhead: 12.5%

Minimum Number of Drives: 8

Data Loss: Upon two drive failures in the same Raid Group

Example: For 5 TB of usable space, 8 x 1 TB drives (rather you will get 7 TB)

Advantages: High Performance on Symmetrix Environment

Disadvantages: Proprietary to EMC. Available only on Symmetrix DMX Series. Known to have a lot of backend issues with director replacements, backend DA replacements since you have to verify the spindle locations. Cause of concern with DU.

Hot Spare: Hot Spare can be invoked against a failed drive, data can be built from the parity or the data drives and upon a successful drive replacement, the hot spare can be used to rebuild the replaced drive.

Supported: With the DMX platform it is just called RAID (7+1). Not supported on the Symms.

EMC DMX disk arrays use an alternate, proprietary method for parity RAID that is called RAID. Seven Data Drives (X) along with One Parity device. RAID is proprietary to EMC but seems to be similar to RAID-S or RAID5 with some performance enhancements as well as the enhancements that come from having a high-speed disk cache on the disk array.

The data protection feature is based on a Parity RAID (7+1) volume configuration (seven data volumes to one parity volume).