EVO:RAIL is dead long live VxRail

On paper EVO:RAIL was a great idea – VMware provides the Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) software (vSphere and Virtual SAN) and the major server and storage vendors provide the hardware, but one of the biggest problems was that it was 100% designed by VMware therefore how could the likes of EMC, NetApp, Dell, HP, HDS, etc. innovate? The answer of course was they couldn’t and the product was therefore not a great success  – something therefore had to change. The good news is that EVO:RAIL has become VxRail and it will be sold exclusively by VCE (a VMware and EMC company). Also with EVO:RAIL there was a very limited choice of hardware, you had to start with four nodes, scale in four node increments and use vSphere Continue reading

EMC, HDS & NetApp Storage Portfolio Videos now available on YouTube

As well as being one of the most expensive, your storage infrastructure is likely to be the single most critical element of your physical and virtualised IT environment. While CPU, RAM and Network resources can directly affect the performance of some of your systems, poorly sized or badly integrated storage, will damage the performance of ALL your systems and may render servers and services unusable. So it’s always worth taking the time to understand the storage that’s available and digging a little deeper to ensure it’s going to deliver great performance and good value for money. To start the ball rolling, we’ve provided three short videos that give a quick introduction to the storage offerings available from the three major storage Continue reading

EMC RecoverPoint is now storage agnostic

The history of RecoverPoint is an interesting one – first off it was available via a host-based (i.e. Windows) or Fabric-based (i.e. Brocade) splitter and used dedicated physical appliances. Things got really interesting when EMC built the splitter technology into their arrays (VNX, VMAX and VPLEX) as it became much simpler and more cost effective to deploy. The next phase of its evolution was to create a virtual appliance that can be deployed more cost effectively that the physical appliances – initially these were even free, but now there is a nominal charge for them. The next logical progression of the technology is to go back to the beginning and build new host splitters, but for hypervisors rather than operating Continue reading

Comparing asynchronous remote replication technologies

Nowadays when an organisation buys a storage array they typically purchase more than one and configure replication between them to enable disaster recovery. But are all replication technologies the same? The answer is of course no – first off replication can be synchronous (zero lag between the source and target) or asynchronous (the target lags behind the source). Synchronous replication is fairly easy to do – the write is mirrored by the source array to the target, the target acknowledges that it has committed the write back to the source and the source array acknowledges it has committed the write back to the host. Typically the only thing that impacts the performance is the latency and the bandwidth of the Continue reading

EMC Storage Solutions Overview – Q4 2013 update

This is our regular update providing a summary of EMC’s storage solutions that SNS focus on. The following core products are covered – VNX, RecoverPoint, VPLEX Metro, XtremIO, XtremSF and XtremCache, and Data Domain. VNX – Unified Storage The VNX builds on the popular CLARiiON and Celerra platforms, and provides dual controller block (FC, FCoE and iSCSI) and NAS (CIFS, NFS and pNFS) scale-up storage. The recently updated platform (“VNX2″) focuses on Flash drive performance scaling, tier 1 capabilities such as Active-Active LUN access, and capacity optimisation using de-duplication and tiering. Key strengths: Multi-core optimisation designed for Flash, 4th generation Flash Cache and tiering technology, de-duplication, and state-of-the-art VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V support across all protocols and replication technologies RecoverPoint – Continue reading

What does EMC’s storage portfolio have to offer small to medium sized organisations?

EMC has traditionally been known for providing solutions to enterprise-class organisations with technologies such as Symmetrix VMAX (scale-out block) and more recently Isilon (scale-out NAS). They also have a great technology stack for small to medium sized organisations built around the VNX mid-range storage platform, so we thought it would be useful to put together a quick summary of the key products: VNX – Unified Storage The VNX builds on the popular CLARiiON and Celerra platforms, and provides dual controller block (FC, FCoE and iSCSI) and NAS (CIFS, NFS and pNFS) scale-up storage. The recently updated platform (“VNX2″) focuses on Flash drive performance scaling, tier 1 capabilities such as Active-Active LUN access, and capacity optimisation using de-duplication and tiering. For smaller organisations Continue reading

Event: Extreme Application Performance and Availability Seminar in London

Improving application performance and availability are key requirements for many organisations. Over the last few years Flash storage and Continuous Availability technologies have matured and are changing the way data centres of all sizes are architected. The SNS technical team has put together a briefing that includes a deep-dive into EMC’s Flash and Continuous Availability solutions: Agenda 09:30 – Registration 09:45 – Welcome and introductions 10:00 – Metro Clusters 10:45 – Break 11:15 – Hybrid Flash arrays 12:00 – All-Flash arrays and PCIe Server Flash 12:15 – Break 12:30 – Continuous Data Protection 12:45 – Disaster Recovery and Workload Mobility 13:15 – Case Study 13:30 – Lunch and Close Reasons to attend Determine which Flash solutions will have the biggest impact on your Continue reading

EMC World 2013: MirrorView customers now have a much better way to replicate VNX arrays

MirrorView has been around for a long time and it is fair to say is now getting a bit long in the tooth – RecoverPoint is now the preferred method for replicating EMC arrays. If you are struggling to replicate all of your data, impacting users with replication hogging too much bandwidth or slowing down application response times when replication is in progress, then RecoverPoint could well be the answer to your problems. The key advantages of RecoverPoint are: Increased production array performance as replication processing is handled off the array Reduced bandwidth consumption (up to 90%) using advanced compression and de-duplication technology The ability to recover back to any point in time using continuous data protection The downside of RecoverPoint was that it required a dedicated Continue reading

EMC AppSync enables easy management of VNX snapshots

AppSync is EMC’s next-generation replica management solution, which is expected to replace Replication Manager in the medium term – it is included with the VNX Application Protection Suite, and Total Efficiency and Total Protection Packs. The first release supports VNX Snapshots and RecoverPoint with VNX series arrays (not VNXe), Microsoft Exchange 2010 in standalone mode and high availability modes (with DAGs), and VMware datastores on block storage. Support for Microsoft SQL server and NFS will be added in a subsequent release (expected in 2013) – if you want to manage anything else you still need Replication Manager. What makes AppSync superior to Replication Manager: It is easy to deploy and use – With an intuitive web-based Unisphere style interface with central push and update of application Continue reading