Today EMC announced the names of the EMC Elect 2015. I’m thrilled to be able to say: I’m one of them! Three years in, the Elect program is EMC’s way of saying “thank you!” to her online advocates. We share our knowledge, either by blogging or tweeting or speaking at public events. In return EMC gives us (among others) early access to new, hot product information, an easy path to the various EMC business units, some swag, comfy beanbags to sit in at Tier 1 events like EMC World, etc. And of course bragging rights…
Who has two thumbs and is going to Storage Field Day 7 on 11-13 March 2015 in Silicon Valley? This guy! W00t! Last year I attended Storage Field Day 6 as a complete Tech Field Day newbie; read more about it starting with this post. And I’m absolutely honored to say I was again invited for the newest iteration of the Gestalt IT’s Tech Field Day series!
For this year the basic recipe stays the same: twelve delegates from all over the world with a variety of skill sets and backgrounds, listening to 9 presenting companies talking tech spanning cloud, NAS, SAN, flash… anything storage technology related.
Today at the VMware Partner Exchange, StorMagic and VMware announced their partnership in bringing high available, low cost server virtualization to the Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) environments. The StorMagic solution is pretty unique in the fact that it can build a high available, software-defined, vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) with just two servers compared to the “normal” 3+ servers that other VSA products need. This saves you a lot of €€ or $$ in small locations like the ROBO environments, both in CAPEX and OPEX.
In 2014 EMC announced their participation in the VMware EVO:RAIL program which combines storage, networking and VMware compute into a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance: 1 to 4 x86 appliances with internal storage, VMware vSphere and VSAN on top. Connect it to your network, open the management interface and you’re set. Today EMC delivers on that promise with the VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged appliance. The mission of VSPEX BLUE: add simplicity to your IT infrastructure and enable the EVO:RAIL user to easily use all the other EMC offerings like RecoverPoint and ESRS. Let’s see how it does that…
Today I have been troubleshooting Avamar backups of an Exchange 2013 DAG (Database Availability Groups) setup. The Avamar job would start but no data would be backed up and the job would fail within 15 minutes. Initially VSS was suspected to be the culprit but additional troubleshooting revealed some strange behavior of the Avamar client in which the individual plugins would keep waiting for a status message that would never arrive.
The setup is simple: three Windows 2008 R2 SP1 servers, Exchange 2013 Update 5 with Database Availability Groups and Avamar 7.0.2 as the backup software and target. The error that pops up looks like this:
Storage Field Day 6 covered presentations from 8 vendors spread across 3 days. On day 3 it was Nimble Storage and NEC’s turn to tell us about their products. The previous two days were pretty heavy on easy to use (and shiny!) graphical user interfaces and centered around simplicity to provide storage to the application / app owner. Day three would continue on this theme with amazement and… a bit of a disappointment.
Storage Field Day 6, Day 2! Having recovered somewhat from yesterdays program we all hopped in the limo and drove to Sunnyvale, CA. Breakfast would be served at Coho Data who would also give the first presentation of the day. Second presenter of the day was Nexenta Systems talking about their SDS solutions. Another limo ride later we arrived at Pure Storage who would talk about their all flash arrays (AFAs). The day would be concluded with some video games, dinner and a trip in a time machine. Let’s go!
Storage Field Day 6, Day 1! The day before was spent acclimatizing to the 9 hours of time travel but on Wednesday it was finally about to begin. I had a general idea of what was waiting for me: first of all it’s going to be an exchausting, challenging but also fun week, and also: 99% of Americans likes stroopwafels. So armed with a bag of them I headed to the SFD6 breakfast briefing. Stephen laid out the ground rules, explained the newbies what was about to happen and off we went to the first vendors of the week: Avere, StorMagic and Tegile.
So as I posted a while ago, I was invited to attend Storage Field Day 6 in San Jose, California a while ago. Which is happening right now all the way till November 7th 2014. Today was day 0 with a big get together of the 12 delegates and Stephen, Tom and Claire from GestaltIT, the people organizing all the TechField days. After an very tasty dinner at Genji, a local Japanese steakhouse we performed a ritual called the Yankee swap: everyone brings a present. One by one you either decide to keep your gift or swap it with someones gift. Once everyone has made their decision you open it up and be amazed! Good fun!
Not all data is accessed equally. Some data is more popular than other data that may only be accessed infrequently. With the introduction of FAST VP in the CX4 & VNX series it is possible to create a single storage pool that has multiple different types of drives. The system chops your LUNs into slices and each slice is assigned a temperature based on the activity of that slice. Heavy accessed slices are hot, infrequently accessed slices are cold. FAST VP then moves the hottest slices to the fastest tier. Once that tier is full the remaining hot slices go to the second fastest tier, etc… This does absolute wonders to your TCO: your cold data is now stored on cheap NL-SAS disks instead of expensive SSDs and your end-users won’t know a thing. There’s one scenario which will get you in trouble though and that’s infrequent, heavy use of formerly cold data…