Posts Tagged ‘EMC’

Sad and Excited….

January 21st, 2012 10 comments

A hot summer afternoon about 10 years ago is when I first met a few folks at CDS (Computer Data Source), in a small conference room, the guys wanted to make a difference, do something great to expand the business, they were so passionate about what they did for living. In my mind I was thinking what would it take me to get a job here……. Fast forward a few days and I found myself working there.


Started there as a Network/System/Infrastructure Engineer, managing IT for them. Business was expanding, so we all wore multiple hats to make things happen in the organization. Business was growing in the US and the UK, new individuals were coming in with different backgrounds, we shifted our focus on Storage services, Systems support and ramping up on Sales/Marketing efforts. More innovation started happening around the core support services model.


Fast forward a few years, I found myself in midst of running all Storage Ops for our customers, still managing IT, supporting the pre-sales efforts, the responsibilities were growing and so were the teams. One of the successes we had was not only expanding the business in US but focus largely on North America and EMEA. Building diversity in the organization was very important, as the business expanded we focused on expanding the international ops, more diversity brought better risk management and resiliency in the business.


Then out of the blue, we had some opportunities that came up in the APAC market place, after several international trips and long nights of work, now our Asia Pacific operations were all on the way of expansion. I am glad I was part of our APAC ops from day one to the last day.


About 3 to 4 years ago, I started StorageNerve blog primarily focused on Storage Technologies. As much as it was a knowledge sharing platform for me, I learned so much more from other bloggers and  engineering folks that I met through the blogging effort. Attending Tech Field days, Geek Days, Blogger Days, Analyst Days, new product launches and private NDA sessions, the reach and networking with individuals in the industry really started expanding.


Last couple of years, I primarily spent a lot of my time with our top customers, learning about their business issues, needs and working up solutions strategies for them. At the tail end of these amazing 10 years, I was managing internal IT, Innovation, Services R&D, Storage Pre-sales and APAC Ops within the organization. Started as an engineer, moved to become a manager, Director of Storage Ops and eventually the CTO in the organization.


I am very sad to leave and the decision making process was very hard. But this amazing group of people, I guess i can never forget my 10 years here.


Well everything good comes to an end someday……


………. Fast forward to today, i will now be working with some amazing customers, some 96 of them out of the Fortune 100. Some amazing technologies from EMC, NetApp, Brocade, Cisco, VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, HP and many others in customer DC’s.


Discussions started a while ago, decision making took a while, but the set of interviews and technology experts I met during this process got me sold on why I should make the change, the learning I will get to see here, cutting edge technology, independent viewpoint and exposure to some great customers.


This new position with Accenture as a Senior Manager, Datacenter Technologies – Storage, would help expand my skills and reach well beyond the Storage market place to some really kool technologies surrounding Storage. This DataCenter practice is part of a much larger IT Strategy Infrastructure and Security group. I am so much looking forward to finishing up the required training and hit the ground running.


Business Strategy, Solutions, Architecture, Evangelist, International business, Organic growth, Operations, Innovation and Technology have always been my strength, I really hope I get a chance to wet my feet here.

As it stands today, I should be able to continue blogging, be independent and keep an unbiased viewpoint about datacenter technologies, though time will say….. :-)


Converged or Unified

June 13th, 2011 3 comments

HP Discover 2011 was very informative in relation to some of the new storage strategy that HP has laid for its future. Hearing some keynotes, coffee talks and having one on one meetings with HP execs, you start hearing a consist message of integration across their storage, systems and networking business, a converged strategy. We have been staying close and watching HP for the past year and a half having attended the Storage Tech Days, Blades Day and some other events, we have previously heard the messages around converged infrastructures strategy.


Now after a few of these events and HP Discover 2011, it’s quite visible the direction HP is moving towards, It is not about just messaging but a fair amount of execution around these platforms. I truly think the team that has been brought in and runs their Enterprise Storage, Systems and Networking business is working very hard to make a big impact within HP on integrating these business units and sharing technology innovations with a common goal between these business units, which would help make a big impact to all HP customers.


The Converged storage strategy within HP is no news now, even the branding around their Storage business has now been changed from StorageWorks to HP Storage. HP natively had HP EVA and HP MSA platforms, over the last few years they have acquired technologies like Lefthand, IBRIX and 3Par. Trying to keep these platforms independent and support engineering teams across these platforms would be a challenge in itself with heavy cost of managing these products and possibly have conflicting messages to the internal sales teams and the customer base.


At HP Discover they announced their Converged storage strategy for the platforms they have acquired over the past few years, into a single code base offering customers a much needed flexibility. The Store 360 strategy within HP is all about sharing the common code base, features, from its StoreOnce dedup platform, IBRIX Scalable NAS platform and LeftHand VSA platform. These platforms will share the same Linux kernel going forward and have joint development teams, integrating all of these platforms into the Proliant Server commodity hardware. Each of these platforms will still manage and maintain it’s unique features and integrate within HP’s Virtual System and Cloud System offering.


It is very visible, 3Par will follow the same route in the near future with integration of 3Par technology into HP’s Proliant Server – common commodity hardware platform and preserve some custom ASIC’s during the first few iterations, then eventually move towards a total Intel based platform eliminating ASIC’s by robust software features.


So compared to HP’s converged strategy for it Storage platforms, we see a contradictory move by it’s competition towards a unified storage strategy. With Netapp and EMC who are todays prominent storage players, they have focused their resources towards building Unified storage with Federation and other features for the customers.


Non of HP platforms today neither their Store 360 strategy seems to focus towards Unified Storage, they have independent platforms for their SAN and NAS offerings. These are various (different) building blocks for the customer needs and not one box fits all use case strategy. The consolidation of File and Block storage on the current WAFL based systems and VNX systems is a unified strategy that is being pushed very hard by NetApp and EMC respectively. Both EMC and NetApp have gone to a commodity hardware based platform using the Intel Architecture, further consolidating their products to offer both File and Block storage into a single product.


It’s too hard and probably too early to say who the winners will be in the game. But one thing we learned at HP Discover was HP is totally focused on it’s converged storage strategy and throwing resources towards building a matrix of systems that clearly integrates it’s Networking, Systems and Storage products into a common platform that customers can deploy in/as private or public clouds.

VMAX makes a Re-Debut with lots of enhancements

January 19th, 2011 2 comments

With the recent buzz from EMC about #EMCBreaksRecords on Twitter, Facebook and many other Social Media avenues it was pretty visible that EMC has been secretly preparing for one of the biggest announcements that was made today.

Along with FAST VP and upgrades on the VMAX, EMC also announced the much-anticipated unified storage platform VNX. The VNX strategy was very visible at EMC atleast for the past year and was overdue for a release.


We have been talking about FAST for quite a few years now, atleast 1 year and 9 months. Here comes a new version for FAST on VMAX known as FAST VP (Fully Automated Storage Tiering Virtual Pools), which was released today at the big event in NYC. Next as we know would be FAST to the FULLEST (possibly incorporating VPLEX solution to move data across different subsystems).

All new features wrapped around in Enginuity 5875, this release is considered as one of the most aggressive code releases by EMC for the Symmetrix platform.

By the way, if you didn’t know, Symmetrix is now more than 20 years old, probably the longest living brands in the Storage world – still alive – and kicking a**. Here is a blog post talking about the 20-year history of Symmetrix.

Some highlights of Enginuity 5875 include

  • FAST VP (Virtual Pools) – SUB LUN Tiering
  • DARE (RSA based Encryption technology) added natively
  • VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator)
  • Addition of 10GB SRDF and iSCSI Directors
  • FLM (Federated Live Migration)
  • VAAI Support
  • ZPR or Zero Page Reclaim

There are some great posts already out by EMC Bloggers and many other independent bloggers around VMAX, FAST VP and the enhancements to VMAX platform. So I am not going to recreate the wheel here.

Barry Burke has pushed out some very interesting posts on the features wrapped around in Enginuity 5875. This post talks about some featured enhancements to the VMAX platform, customer benefits around migration, sub lun tiering, encryption, VAAI support, etc.

Few other interesting posts here by Barry on FAST VP and how it works in customer environments.

A few questions / comments / observations on FAST VP

  • As I understand, VMAX Systems will need to be at Enginuity 5875 code level before you qualify for FAST VP, not a big deal (for some).
  • You need licenses for FAST VP.
  • Policies for FAST VP are configured from the SMC?
  • If you are already a FAST customer on VMAX and want to migrate to FAST VP, I suspect the licensing will change with this new feature.
  • As a customer of FAST today, migrating to FAST VP for sub lun level tiering, may require you to reanalyze your business requirements associated with virtual pools.
  • FAST policies today can be migrated to FAST VP policies, like the time of day, IOPS, etc?
  • FAST configuration for VMAX was typically done by the Professional Services Group. I am suspecting the same is true for FAST VP.
  • Tier Advisor is required to perform analysis in your environment is only available through EMC pre and post sales folks.
  • Though the native functionality of FAST VP is built within the Enginuity code, the activity and logic is driven from the service processor of the Symmetrix system, again suspecting SMC is doing this work? Also suspecting without the SP being functional, FAST VP policies do not get updated and the process dies.
  • Do not know, the extent size 768KB on a VMAX is functionally and operationally any advantageous compared to a 42MB extent.
  • FAST VP policies seem to be very granular.
  • Once FAST VP is setup on Virtual Pools in a Storage Group, additional of any other Virtual Pools would require the customer to analyze the new Pools (using Tier Advisor) before setting policies.

The above posts from Barry are quite detailed and informative, if you are into Symmetrix technology, highly recommend reading it.

Discovered the blog by Itzikr from EMC Israel about 2 weeks ago

Itzikr talks in detail about Enginuity 5875, support for VAAI, VMware integration and FAST VP.

And as usual a very informative and lengthy post from Chuck Hollis on VMAX platform.

A Video Stream from Wikibon covering today’s announcement from EMC. The first few mins of the video talk about Symmetrix VMAX FAST VP.

And lastly, one of my favorite posts from Nigel Poulton talking about FAST VP from late December.

Enjoy reading the above posts!! Courteous comments welcome. Again thanks for visiting and reading the blog.

2010 – Blog Update and the future

January 13th, 2011 2 comments

Thank you all for reading and subscribing to the StorageNerve Blog.

I really appreciate all your comments, offline emails, twitter discussions and twitter DM’s, it was honestly a great year to meet and get into discussions with so many of the storage, virtualization and IT experts around the world.

Work related travel aside, attending some of the conferences and vendor focused blogging events kept the year quite busy. Some of the events attended during 2010 include GestaltIT Tech Field Day, couple of HP Storage Days, HP Server/ Blades Day, HDS Geek Day, HDS uValue Convention – Japan, HDS VSP Launch, EMC World and Dell OEM Day, it was quite challenging keeping a balance with work, family and the blogging events.

The numbers of blog posts in 2010 were far more infrequent than the past years. During the year, a total of 47 posts got pushed out, but a lot more frequently during the first half of the year than the later half.

Though the number of posts in 2010 were less than 2009, the site traffic was up by more than 60% in 2010.

Most hits were on the Index (Home Page), but here are the blog posts with the most hits (Top to Bottom)

Most of these posts are from 2009, but posts with technical information receive more hits than others.


There were certain Deepdive pages (sections) of the blog that have ranked quite high on the list (not considered as blog posts)


Top Browsers

  • Internet Explorer with more than 50% of all the hits
  • Firefox
  • Chrome


Top Operating Systems

  • Windows with more than 80% of all the hits
  • Macintosh
  • Linux
  • .
  • .
  • Android (In-between are iPad, SunOS, iPhone, FreeBSD, Blackberry)


Top Countries

  • US
  • India
  • UK
  • Germany
  • Australia


The Top Sources

  • Obviously


The Top Sources (ISP/ Corporate Networks)

  • EMC Corporation (& Data General Corp & Information Management Group)
  • Comcast
  • Roadrunner
  • HP
  • Hitachi Data Systems

*All stats obtained from Google Analytics


Some StorageNerve Blog Features

  • WordPress Platform
  • 24 different functional Plugins automating and providing rich integration to other apps
  • Customized Search Engine (easy to use and robust results)
  • Customized WordPress iNove theme
  • Blog Translation in 68 languages
  • Odiogo Blog integration for iTunes
  • Guaranteed working Links (no broken links)
  • YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr integration for Videos and Pictures
  • Tweet and Retweet from a blog post
  • Facebook Like Button
  • About (me), LinkedIn profile and Facebook Page links
  • IPhone, Blackberry, iPad Browser friendly blog
  • Other related post links to the post you are reading
  • Deepdive Section
  • Disqus Commenting System
  • Trackbacks
  • Easy Navigation, 3 Clicks to any Blog post
  • Easy Subscription links
  • And much more…


Looking forward to continuing blogging in 2011.

Though there are a few things I need to do which are (work in progress or already in place)

  • Faster Site Reloads
  • Better Search Capabilities
  • Simplified look
  • Keeping navigation clean
  • Engaging in Comments
  • No Google Adwords or other Ads
  • Rich integration with Facebook (through plug-ins)
  • Richer Twitter integration (through plug-ins)
  • Being more regular with blog posts
  • Continuing the Technical Deepdive section
  • And hoping to keep the quality of the posts high


Again thank you for subscribing to the StorageNerve RSS feeds and visiting the blog regularly. I really appreciate all the support, help and assistance you all have provided me in continuing this blog.