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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Chhandomay Mandal

Director of Solution Marketing, EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

As customers modernize their data centers, they are increasingly adopting an all-flash strategy. Flash enables them to be fast, agile and efficient. It has become affordable too – flash is finally cheaper than the fastest spinning media, 15K RPM disks. 2016 is the Year of All Flash (YOAF). In these series of posts, I am going to chronicle many of our customers journey to the all-flash era.

red soxI would love to start with my beloved Red Sox. Living in the Boston area for 20+ years, I am an ardent fan; so are other fourteen million New Englanders. In the past decade, The Boston Red Sox have won three World Series and is a perennial contender. What is their secret?

Professional sports is like any business where disruption is happening primarily driven by technology. It comes to play in all the four areas of the The Boston Red Sox business environment. They really have to have exceptional systems and analytics for Baseball Operations for the team to be competitive. Front office environment needs to ensure that they are running an efficient business. Understanding the fans and creating a great digital experience in the ballpark complementing the game is another critical element. Finally, having an exceptional IT operational environment allows them to support all these things ensuring The Boston Red Sox are being the best as they can be as an organization and as a sports franchise. (more…)

Molina Healthcare: The Story of Rapid Scale and Growth

Chhandomay Mandal

Director of Solution Marketing, EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Molina Healthcare’s mission is to provide quality health services to financially vulnerable families and individuals covered by government programs. The company has health plans, medical clinics and a health information management solution. No other organization of its kind does all three.

Laboratory

Over the past five years, Molina has experienced rapid growth, moving onto the Fortune 500 list to its current number 201 spot. The company has added over 2.3 million members during the past three years. Today, Molina arranges for the delivery of healthcare services and offers health information management solutions to nearly five million individuals and families who receive their care through Medicaid, Medicare and other government-funded programs in fifteen states.

Supporting this kind of growth demands a scalable, reliable and cost-effective infrastructure. Their IT organization carefully evaluated multiple solutions from different vendors, and decided that the VMAX All Flash with the VCE Vblock 740 is the best platform for their needs.

Through VCE converged infrastructure with all-flash technology, Molina is able to consolidate multiple mission-critical workloads with high performance and reliability needs onto a single platform resulting in significant CapEx and OpEx savings. (more…)

Transforming Healthcare with All-Flash Storage

Chhandomay Mandal

Director of Solution Marketing, EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

All-flash storage is proving to be an important breakthrough technology for the healthcare industry. The performance and efficiency gains enabled by all-flash arrays are allowing healthcare organizations worldwide to dramatically improve patient outcomes and clinical productivity. All-flash solutions allow IT teams to address the demanding requirements of important initiatives such as evidence-based care, electronic health record (EHR) systems, big data analytics, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), regulatory compliance and more.
Young female scientist looking at digital tablet outside laboratory

With all-flash storage as the foundation of the infrastructure, healthcare organizations can leverage efficiency, compliance, outcomes, engagement and availability in all facets of healthcare delivery. Some of the specific ways in which healthcare organizations are leveraging the benefits of all-flash storage solutions are:

  • Performance: All-flash storage is necessary to enable the delivery of mission-critical healthcare at the speed of now. In healthcare, clinicians are often dealing with large data sets—for X-rays, MRIs, test results, etc., faster access to results at the point of care translates into better patient outcomes.
  • Mixed workloads: All-flash storage supports mixed workload environments and application consolidation. This is particularly valuable in EHR systems, with their stringent SLAs, transactional databases and need for solutions that deliver optimum performance, maximum data reduction and the highest levels of uptime and availability.
  • Analytics and reporting: Eighty percent of healthcare executives say providers who adopt an analytics strategy in the next three years will outpace their peer institutions. All-flash storage enables IT to speed the next generation of predictive analytics with the ability to link and correlate information in new ways for operational efficiencies, patient care delivery, clinical research, population health and security analytics.
  • Virtualized applications: All-flash storage dramatically improves the performance of virtualized applications by eliminating the impact of the IO Blender Effect, which can introduce latency at the point of care. Presenting the right data at the point of care is the mission-critical business of a provider, so any latency is unacceptable.

(more…)

Comparing All-Flash Storage TCO for the Modern Data Center

Chhandomay Mandal

Director of Solution Marketing, EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

It’s 2016 – the “Year of All-Flash” for primary storage. The market, however, is crowded with all-flash arrays from many different vendors. The design decisions and tradeoffs made by these vendors can result in very different all-flash system capabilities, and ultimately, tradeoffs in economic benefits to the organization.

So, how does one choose the best for an organization? Leading analyst firm ESG have published a new TCO study to help businesses understand the pros and cons of some of the leading all-flash arrays on the market today.

The research builds on an earlier study measuring the 5-year TCO and business impact of consolidating workloads with an EMC XtremIO all-flash array at a mid-market software development company generating $54M in annual revenue. It showed XtremIO offering a 5-year storage TCO saving of $2.8M along with an additional $3.2M in business impact, for a total of a $6M advantage.

The new study uses the same model to compare the TCO of XtremIO to four other market leading all-flash array offerings from different vendors.  Although EMC has launched a complete portfolio of flash solutions with VMAX All Flash, Unity and DSSD in 2016, this report is focused only on XtremIO due to the fact that XtremIO was examined in the previous study.

ESG anonymized the companies, referring to them as Vendors A through D. Each provided significant TCO and economic business advantages over the traditional storage systems that ESG analyzed in 2015. However, ESG found that all of these all-flash offerings were designed to optimize a few strategic advantages, and did not offer the entire spectrum of benefits that XtremIO did.

For example, Vendor A was designed to be simple to administer, simple to deploy, and space-efficient. However, the active/passive scale-up design, traditional data protection, and redirect-on-write snapshot technology meant more hardware had to be deployed to satisfy the requirements, and the process of dealing with copies of data was simplified, but not optimized.

Vendor B offered a very economical scale-out design using commodity hardware and advanced QoS, but also had to deploy more hardware, and limited redirect-on-write read-only snapshots meant that workarounds had to be employed to manage copies of data.

ESG found that the flash array by Vendor C provided good performance. However, the need to integrate an external storage virtualization solution to provide copy-on-write-based data services greatly reduced its performance capabilities and increased the complexity of the solution.

Finally, Vendor D lacked the management capabilities of the other products and could not provide the predictable performance that is required in a modern data center.  The lack of copy data management functionality caused ESG to suggest that it would significantly lengthen the time taken to create, manage and roll forward/back copies for test, development, QA and go-live operations.

The net result?
As ESG explained, the ability to satisfy the requirements of the organization with less physical hardware generally meant lower costs for acquisition, support and maintenance, and power and cooling. The simplified management and monitoring, along with the zero impact, easy-to-use virtual copy and refresh/restore capabilities of XtremIO, helped to minimize storage-related administrative costs.

Figure 1: ESG's Modeled 5-year Storage TCO for All-Flash Vendors

Figure 1: ESG’s Modeled 5-year Storage TCO for All-Flash Vendors

In addition to offering the lowest storage TCO among the all-flash vendors, ESG also found that XtremIO delivered the largest economic advantage to the modeled software development organization over the 5-year period. When compared to most of the other four vendors, the XtremIO solution would be expected to provide more predictable performance and quicker recovery for the production database, resulting in increased customer retention, fewer lost sales, and the ability to benefit from the results of running daily analytics on the same system.

Among the all-flash arrays ESG reviewed, XtremIO is the only one to offer truly advanced copy technology with XtremIO Virtual Copies (XVC) and integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM). These greatly simplify and accelerate the job of providing copies of data for test, development, QA, and go-live testing with little to no impact to the production database. ESG found that the abilities to quickly roll-forward and roll-back changes to these copies result in shorter development cycles for new products and quicker patching and enhancements to existing product lines. This faster time to product revenue streams and increased customer retention for existing products help further justify an investment in XtremIO.

Figure 2: Additional Economic Benefits Expected from an XtremIO Deployment over Other AFAs

Figure 2: Additional Economic Benefits Expected from the XtremIO Deployment over Other AFAs

Combining the storage TCO benefits and additional business impact, ESG reveals that the modeled organization could expect to realize approximately $1-3 million more over the 5-year period by deploying XtremIO rather than any of the other four all-flash arrays.

Figure 3: Expected TCO Savings and Economic Benefits Gained by Deploying XtremIO vs. Other AFAs

Figure 3: Expected TCO Savings and Economic Benefits Gained by Deploying XtremIO vs. Other AFAs

Get the XtremIO vs. other all-flash arrays TCO study here for the thorough analysis conducted by ESG. Enjoy!

The 24-hour Work Day: The New Reality

Chhandomay Mandal

Director of Solution Marketing, EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

How many devices do you use for work today? And how many of those are your own personal gadgets? I am sure you will not be surprised to know that 43% of us use at least three, and a significant portion of these are “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD,” even if that’s not the official policy.

It is not about the devices though. It is about being empowered to choose when, where and how work gets done, having a new level of freedom, flexibility and choice. The days of the 9-5 job are long gone. As the reality of the new “24 hour work day” takes hold, IT must support this mobile work style to make us work better, be more productive, collaborative and creative.

Desktop virtualization, also known as VDI, is the technology that separates the desktop environment and associated application software from the physical client device that is used to access it. VDI gives IT the opportunity to centralize, virtualize and deliver apps, desktops and data with greater control, security, and efficiency, and ultimately lower costs.

Storage has been the Achilles’ heel for VDI. When you are centralizing all of your desktops in a data center giving your end users device-independent, on-the-go anywhere access, you are also moving them from consumer-grade storage to enterprise-grade storage, which costs an order of magnitude higher. (more…)

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