May 22, 2012

5.005: who said it couldn't be done?

They said "it" couldn't be done. They said nobody else's array could do "it" – that only their array architecture could handle "it." They said all kinds of things about how "it" was going to bring the demise of Symmetrix, because Symmetrix would never do "it." Even if we could do “it,” they said we wouldn’t – but they said we can’t. 

But they were wrong. VERY wrong.

Today EMC announced "it" is now available on VMAX. And then EMC went one better than they ever imagined – EMC took "it" further than they have been able to, even after all the (8+) years they have been shipping "it."

And of course, they will try to undermine the fact that they now have DIRECT competition from another array vendor who has implemented "it" - highlighting the history of EMC bashing "it", as if that matters any more. As I have noted before, being "first" is only important until there is a second - then all that matters is which implementation is better. And so they will childishly act like first means best perpetually.

Have you guess what "it" is yet?

More importantly, do you know who “they” are?


Read on to see what they never expected…and should have feared...

Continue reading "5.005: who said it couldn't be done?" »


5.004: the cloud gets big. rreeaallyy big!

imageBrian Gallagher, President of EMC’s Enterprise Storage Division, gave his keynote address today at EMC World 2012. (If you were unable to make it to Las Vegas, you can watch the video here.)

In his keynote, Brian spoke about how enterprises of all sizes are increasingly seeking to leverage cloud technology to meet their constantly expanding IT demands. But, he noted, the cloud demands of enterprise computing aren’t adequately addressed by most of the current public cloud service providers.

No, enterprise IT requires that their clouds to deliver the same continuous availability, predictable performance, assured data integrity, and security that they currently enjoy from their own internal data centers. And in fact, the lack of such “High QoS clouds” has slowed cloud adoption by enterprises globally.

That’s all changing – transforming, if you will – thanks in no small part to EMC’s relentless focus on cloud computing. In his keynote, Brian talked about how customers are building out their next-generation data centers around hybrid clouds, and (more importantly) how the new products announcements made by ESD on Monday are laser-focused on delivering enterprise-class service levels to the hybrid cloud.

Transformation to the Hybrid Cloud From the incredible scalability of the new (Powerful. Trusted. Smart. and Efficient.) VMAX Family and radically improved simplicity and automation of VMAX administration, to the revolutionary high-availability active/active distributed data infrastructure uniquely delivered by VPLEX, to the glimpse into technologies that will help to dissolve distance to reduce the effect of latency on remote data centers, the biggest takeaway from Gallagher’s talk is that big enterprises no longer have any excuses. It is time to transform to the hybrid cloud.

And we just might have a few things to help accelerate your transformation…

Continue reading "5.004: the cloud gets big. rreeaallyy big!" »


May 21, 2012

5.003: what a day 1 at emc world 2012

Just a quick post to update readers with some behind-the-scenes perspectives on today’s events here at EMC World 2012.

The day here started with the release of 9 press releases covering the announcement of 42 new products. These were followed with a series of press briefings, lead off by Pat Gelsinger and followed by the division presidents each covering their announcements.

Then there was the mad dash as more than 15,000 people proceeded to the main ballroom to hear Joe Tucci and Pat Gelsinger’s keynote presentations. While these were also simulcast and available for later viewing, I can assure you that nothing can hold a candle to actually being there– imagine a screen that is actually wider than an American football field, driven by ELEVEN widescreen projectors, providing a wrap-around view. Now, project onto this ultimate widescreen a star field from the perspective of a spaceship travelling through space and time (complete with a Store Trek theme), and you get perhaps a tiny fraction of the live experience. I was sitting in the back, and I watched people actually lean in their chairs as the starship banked into turns.

Maximum wow factor, to be sure.

The keynote presentations weren’t bad, either!!!

For me, the rest of the day was filled with 1-1 briefings with analysts, customers and press…and there will be more tomorrow.

I am purposefully NOT discussing the VMAX, VPLEX and RecoverPoint announcements just yet. Brian Gallagher will be covering these tomorrow in his SuperSession keynote. If you are here at EMC World, you won’t want to miss that, as Brian has really amped it up another notch this year with customer testimonials, videos and yet another episode of “Brian. Brian Gallagher.” Once his session is done, I’ll start rolling out some posts providing some of my perspectives of the launches.

Until then…TTFN!


May 16, 2012

5.002: emc world 2012 preview

Wow - EMC World 2012 is only a few days away! Are you ready? (I’m not.) 

Transform IT + Business + YourselfThe slogan for this year’s EMC World- Transform: IT+Business+Yourself could not be more accurate for what can be expected at the show. Just about everything at EMC World this year is about how Cloud and Big Data are driving revolutionary change in information technology, business and the people behind the scenes who drive value out of information assets.

As you might imagine, things have been hectic around the Enterprise Storage Division (ESD) offices during the run-up to World. For the past 4 months our global team have been designing, scripting and rehearsing the more than 40-odd presentations and a dozen or so hands-on lab sessions that ESD engineering will be presenting at World.

On top of all that, the cross-functional teams of development, manufacturing, training, services and go-to market have been working feverishly to put the finishing touches on the more than 14 new VMAX, VPLEX and RecoverPoint products plus literally hundreds of enhancements that are being announced and discussed at EMC World next week. The scope of these announcements is even larger than our “megalaunch” back at the beginning of 2011, and that was the largest announcement in EMC’s history.

Among all the announcement are a few gems that are sure to cause some heartburn for the competition.

But then, that’s always a fun part of such announcements! Big Grin

Continue reading "5.002: emc world 2012 preview" »


April 17, 2012

5.001: vspex, vblock and enterprise clouds

Moscow view Last week’s VSPEX announcement let the world know how serious EMC is about being a channel friendly partner.  Compared to competitive announcements made by various companies last week, EMC demonstrated far more commitment to the channel community.  In essence, the VSPEX announcement was about EMC’s partners, whereas the Netapp, IBM and HP announcements were about… well, Netapp, IBM and HP.

Last week's announcements are being vigorously debated in the blogosphere, so for my part I'll try to explore some ground that may not be covered elsewhere.

First, my observations on the VSPEX announcement and why EMC's event was different than what was announced by the other folks last week.

EMC announced:

  • Proven reference architectures built on a collective 9000+ staff years of experience and upon technology widely deployed throughout the world;
  • Market expansion through enabling partners to capture more revenue at better margins, aided by EMC GTM incentives and programs;
  • An actual VSPEX lab, leveraging EMC's $3 Billion in eLab investments and 100+ interoperability qualification engineers;
  • The ability for partners to leverage EMC branding for the first time, enabling them to piggyback their own brand in the solutions they deliver to customers;
  • And last (but not least),flexible customer procurement options thought EMC financing

In all, far more comprehensive than simply another reference architecture.

Now, what I'd really like to talk about was what was not discussed as much over the past week…


Continue reading "5.001: vspex, vblock and enterprise clouds" »


February 27, 2012

4.011: a bridge to nowhere


Almost three years after Hitachi announced its High Availability Manager (HHAM), they have finally delivered introduced the long-promised nondisruptive migration service capability, heretofore to be referred to as The Bridge to Nowhere (BTN).

I mean, seriously, who in their right mind
would want to migrate from one to another Hitachi array… ;0)

Read the press release (and HDS CTO Hu Yoshida's blog post), and you'll be inclined to believe that Hitachi's engineers have one-upped the industry with their latest "capability."

But that would be incorrect, dear reader, for EMC's Federated Live Migration has been delivering zero-downtime migrations to VMAX arrays from prior-generation Symmetrix DMX arrays for over a year. In a race to remain relevant in the face of accelerating competition, Hitachi's engineers have seemingly abandoned the green eggs and ham clustered-array approach to tech refreshing its USP/VSP product line in favor of what is inarguably a direct copy of EMC's FLM.

Well, actually, it's not an exact copy – there are several rather significant deficiencies in Hitachi's nondisruptive migration service (aka the Bridge To Nowhere) as compared EMC's Federated Live Migration. We'll explore these after the break.


Continue reading "4.011: a bridge to nowhere" »


February 26, 2012

4.010: when lightning strikes

imageThere has been lots of discussion since EMC's announcement of VFCache, much of it about the implications of said announcement on the storage industry. I've seen all sorts of assertions made by analysts, competitors, wanna bees and prognosticators from all backgrounds – some thoughtful, some diversionary and some that are just down right silly.

There are those that say EMC's entry into the server-side Flash market validates the market for the early entrants. While that may be true in some regards, I will point out that when considered within the entire scope of the announcement, VFCache actually offers significant differentiation from would-be competitors. It is yet to be seen if or how the "established" players in server-side Flash market will respond to that differentiation. (More on this after the break).

There were some who turned this argument around – because VFCache was implemented as a "cache", it couldn't compete with the "established" players in this space – this even though VFCache offers the traditional "Flash-as-DAS" for those that want it. So then they said VFCache was too small to be competitive, especially since some of the other players were talking about 10TB devices and such. I found all this humorous – not surprising, just funny. I always get a chuckle when the success of something revolutionary is measured using the yardstick of the "old" way. Like when EMC introduced the first Flash drives for an enterprise storage array back in January 2008. There were a lot of people (and even a certain competitor's CTO) who asserted Flash was too expensive to have any real utility, and that "nobody was asking for it." Today, barely 4 years later it is hard to find any commercial mid-range or enterprise arrays that don't offer SSDs in ne capacity or another (pun intended).

Then there are those that assert this movement to server-side (Flash) storage represents a full circle return from the 20+ year external storage "diversion," portending the impending doom of the disk drive and/or the external storage array altogether. I assert that for either of these to be true requires an unforeseen discontinuity of pricing: solid state has to get a LOT cheaper than any reasonable projection, or hard disk drives have to get a LOT more expensive. Short of that, there remains a niche opportunity for flash-only solutions, but the sheer economics of $/GB will ensure that the vast majority of the storage market will be dominated by spinning rust for a VERY long time – though increasingly complimented by solid-state persistent storage to deliver the performance required by the typically small subset of any dataset that is "hot" at any given time.

And finally there are those that have made claims that server-side Flash is the precursor to entirely new ways of developing applications, fueled by the heretofore unattainable I/O performance levels delivered by affordable server-side large-scale solid state storage. Some of image_thumb[2]these pundits go on to assert that server-side solid state technology will drive such a revolutionary overhaul of application development that external storage itself will cease to exist. I personally believe these are fool's forecasts, proffered by those who ignore the reality of history. In the high-tech industry, new technologies rarely supplant the old – neither overnight, nor even over-decades. The IT landscape is littered with still-functioning dinosaurs that may well never be recoded or replaced: mainframes, tape, COBOL, SCSI, Ethernet, perl, , etc. Switching and conversion costs are formidable barriers to overcome. In a world where more than 2/3 of the average IT budget is spent just keeping things running, and the other 1/3 is being invested in storing the growing flood of new information in perhaps in a token few NEW applications to leverage it all, there is little opportunity to invest in rewriting anything. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The more probable reality is that server-side Flash (like ever-cheaper DRAM) will lead to new ways of building file systems, databases and applications – BUT these will not represent an overnight revolution. Instead, this new “new” will follow the same evolutionary path as have the new technologies that have come before.

With that expression of my humble opinion, I'll spend the 2nd half of this post exploring how I see VFCache fitting into this information-centric world we live in…

Continue reading "4.010: when lightning strikes" »

anarchy cannot be moderated

the storage anarchist

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I am unabashedly an employee of EMC, but the opinions expressed here are entirely my own. I am a blogger who works at EMC, not an EMC blogger. This is my blog, and not EMC's. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by EMC and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of EMC.

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