Implementation Day 1 – Isilon Rack and Stack

xrayI’m currently contracted by a customer that has been experiencing chronic capacity and performance issues in their storage environment. After analyzing the environment and writing an advisory report we got to work and started correcting and improving many aspects of the storage systems. One component of this overhaul is installing a pair of new Isilon systems which will store PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) data generated by the radiology department. The planning and design phase took place over the last couple of months, in which we involved both internal IT people and external resources such as the PACS vendor and the suppliers. All said, discussed and done: the actual implementation of the Isilon systems is scheduled for this week. Today: Isilon rack and stack!

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VNX – Storage pools spanning DAE 0_0

Anyone working in IT knows that there are usually enormous amounts of whitepapers available to help you install, configure and run a new system or software suite. The fun more than doubles when the whitepapers start conflicting themselves. But even when they’re crystal clear, sometimes you run into a different problem: budget! With all planning and designing done, sometimes the budget or the purchased equipment does not allow you to follow ALL best practices to the letter, or at least make it a bit more challenging. In this example there’s the need to span a storage pool across DAE 0_0.

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Rebalance VNX storage paths without downtime

Recently I ran into an environment with a couple of VNX5700 systems that were attached to the front-end SAN switches with only two ports per storage processor. The customer was complaining: performance was OK most of the time but at some times during the day the performance was noticeably lower. Analysis revealed that the back-end was coping well with the workload (30-50% load on the disks and storage processors). The front-end ports were a bit (over)loaded and spewing QFULL errors. Time to cable in some extra ports and to rebalance the existing hosts over the new storage paths!

Analyzer Helper Front-End ports

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EMC World – Day 4 – VNX: Leverage SSD in a VNX

Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400S SSD FamilyWelcome to the (mini-)series on VNX Performance and how to leverage SSD in a VNX systems. You can find part one on skew and data placement over here. The second post discussed the improvements for FAST Cache in VNX OE 32. This third and final post will discuss some of the ideal use cases for SSD in a VNX.

If you’ve got SSD in a VNX you can use it in two ways: as FAST Cache or as an extreme performance tier in your storage pools (FAST VP). Either of these implementations has advantages and disadvantages and they can also be used concurrently (i.e. use FAST Cache AND FAST VP). It depends on what you want to do…

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EMC World – Day 4 – VNX: FAST Cache improvements in R32

Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400S SSD FamilyThis is the second post in a (mini-)series on VNX Performance and how to leverage SSD in VNX systems. You can find part one on skew and data placement over here. This post will dive deeper into the FAST Cache improvements that have been added in VNX OE R32.

If you’ve got SSD drives in a VNX you can use it in two ways: as FAST Cache or as an extreme performance tier in your storage pools (FAST VP). Either of these implementations has advantages and disadvantages and they can also be used concurrently (i.e. use FAST Cache AND FAST VP). It depends on what you want to do…

The last post ended with some improvements in VNX OE R32. But there is more…

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EMC World – Day 4 – VNX: Skew & Data Placement

Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400S SSD FamilyThe last breakout session I attended at EMC World 2013 was titled “Leveraging SSD: Designing for FAST Cache & FAST VP on Unified Storage”. By far one of the best breakout sessions of the week for me: technical and I can apply it in the field on pretty much a daily basis!

If you’ve got SSD drives in a VNX you can use it in two ways: as FAST Cache or as an extreme performance tier in your storage pools (FAST VP). Either of these implementations has advantages and disadvantages and they can also be used concurrently (i.e. use FAST Cache AND FAST VP). It depends on what you want to do…

But let’s start at the beginning: first you need to figure out your skew! What?!

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EMC World – Day 2 – ViPR: Software Defined Storage

ViPR logoThe theme of EMC World 2013 is the Software Defined Datacenter. Once of the big announcements is ViPR, which promises to be the Logitech Harmony remote for the storage infrastructure. Instead of having to do all the steps of storage provisioning manually, ViPR will automate most of these steps. The goal: more efficient management and a much faster time to implement at lower cost. And just look at the logo… that alone is worth buying the product! 😉

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EMC World – Day 1 – EMC Elect, SuperNAP, VPLEX & VMware

Hi and welcome to EMC World 2013. For those that are unaware what EMC World is: It’s an annual seminar covering all things new and improved that EMC has to offer. It’s hosted in The Venetian hotel in nothing less than … Las Vegas! Your ideal location to learn about the new products EMC is launching, to socialize with fellow EMC customers, partners or employees and of course… to have some fun! 😉

Yesterday we checked in to EMC World, got our access badges and goody bag. This being the first actual day of EMC World, we kicked it off by immediately leaving the premises!EMC Elect Continue reading “EMC World – Day 1 – EMC Elect, SuperNAP, VPLEX & VMware”

Recoverpoint 4.0 – Efficient, faster and … virtual!

EMC has just announced a new version of RecoverPoint – 4.0. With this new version comes a truckload of new and exciting features. I will not cover all these features but will instead pick out a couple of features that score high on my list. But first of all: what is RecoverPoint and why should you consider replicating with it?

The RecoverPoint family replicates block data on a SAN/storage level. It can do both local replication inside an array or remote replication to another array. There are multiple flavours of RecoverPoint (SE, EX, CL): which one you need depends on the size of your environment and the storage systems you are using. The strong point of RecoverPoint is that it offers continuous replication instead of only the traditional asynchronous or synchronous replication.

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