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Save Time, Space, and TCO with Dell EMC Unity Cloud Tiering

Dianna Marks

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Dianna joined the Product Marketing team for Unity in September 2016 after completing her MBA in Marketing from the University of Rochester. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her first master’s degree in behavioral neuroscience. She loves to write and play vinyl records while cooking in her spare time, and seeks out recreational volleyball to get out her competitive edge. She is a multi-marathon completer, including 3 national and 2 international races. She intends on traveling to a new country every year, and believes that taking calculated risks and following your heart are the keys to lifelong happiness.

Cloud TieringIn the age of the Internet of Things (IOT) where data is highly coveted but often mismanaged, it can be a major source of frustration for IT managers in companies ranging from SMB to large enterprises. Fortunately, Dell EMC is a corporation that has become very successful in providing solutions to customers that creates win-win situations.

Dell EMC’s Unity storage with Cloud Tiering Appliance (CTA) is one example of a solution that has helped businesses save both money through improved TCO, and space by freeing up inactive file storage so that it can run day to day operations more efficiently. CTA is an automated, policy-based data management application that tiers data to public clouds such as VirtuStream, Microsoft, and Amazon. It also has deployment flexibility in terms of Physical or Physical-HA, Virtual or Virtual-HA.

The entertainment industry is a great example of a business area that can benefit from an application like CTA. Typically, a movie studio will release numerous movies a year and depending on the type of film, they can easily amount to over 20 petabytes of data per film – especially animated films. At any one time, a major studio could be working on several different films – representing a ton of data to manage all at once! In many cases, with films like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda where there are sequels, data from the previous film has to be reused during production. Having all that data from previous films on primary storage could cause some serious delays in work performance and capacity that rapidly raises costs. Here is where an application like CTA is so beneficial. By intelligently tiering inactive data (data generated from completed films) to less expensive public cloud providers, and freeing up space on existing storage, the company can save on CAPEX for the next movie development effort.

Many other industries like finance and the healthcare industry also carry lots of inactive data and can use extra space to create new financial accounts, update patient records, and be able to generate lots of other new data over time and during various cycles. This is why companies in these industries make excellent candidates for Unity Cloud Tiering Appliance. Similar to the film industry, businesses in other industries with data growing to the petabyte level are going to need automated file tiering, seamless retrieval, freed up storage, and improved TCO of their storage system. What better way to manage an organizations data than with a system that can intelligently manage it for them?

 

Unity – Ramping Up Like a Rocket Ship in 2016!

Dianna Marks

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Dianna joined the Product Marketing team for Unity in September 2016 after completing her MBA in Marketing from the University of Rochester. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her first master’s degree in behavioral neuroscience. She loves to write and play vinyl records while cooking in her spare time, and seeks out recreational volleyball to get out her competitive edge. She is a multi-marathon completer, including 3 national and 2 international races. She intends on traveling to a new country every year, and believes that taking calculated risks and following your heart are the keys to lifelong happiness.

UnitySince its launch in May 2016, Unity has been ramping up like a rocket ship! With nearly 6k systems booked, and over 3k customers, Unity has been able to capture the existing customer base and engage interest from new customers by offering them the benefits of storing data in a truly simple and flexible unified storage system. It’s no surprise that Unity is one of Dell EMC’s top all-flash storage products. The reason behind its success lies in its simplicity using the best technology while still making Unity affordable, and combining all that with putting the customer at the forefront when considering next generation upgrades.

Some of Unity’s most valuable features that make it so appealing to customers are its’ simple Linux based operating system, HTML5 user interface, all-inclusive software (including data protection) packaging, built-in cloud capabilities such as cloud tiering and CloudIQ , and flexible deployment consisting of all-flash, hybrid and virtual options. Unity is also continuously being improved. This past December, the newest software upgrade (UnityOE v4.1) was released and includes added flash efficiencies like in line compression, 15.36TB 3D NAND support, and native based migrations.

So far, we’ve seen companies in a variety of industries take up Unity for their business needs including healthcare, education, finance, technology, and a number of government Unity Familyentities. Rackspace, the number one managed cloud provider, was looking for a simple data management center that delivered fast agile services, and could be easily provisioned. Unity offered a simple user interface that enabled routine tasks to be completed in less steps (see the video). The real-time performance management with proactive assist allowed Rackspace a higher degree of system control, and the Rest API enabled them to quickly provision and customize their arrays to better meet the needs of their customers.

Another great example of a customer choosing Unity is when it helped supply chain experts at LeSaint Logistics streamline management. Here Unity offered the performance boost, flexible configuration and provisioning, and more capacity in less space that assisted the company in transitioning away from traditionally using competing storage products. With improved I/O performance by 1,600 percent, and reduced heavy reporting from four minutes to 30 seconds, Unity allows LeSaint offer the best customized integrated supply chain solutions to its customers, reducing logistics costs and working capital.

As you can see, Unity is simple and flexible, and has proven that these benefits cast a wide net in terms of meeting the needs of wide range of customers including Rackspace, LeSaint Logistics, and many of the other 3k customers it has acquired in just the past 7 months. I’d say ramping up like a rocket ship would be an understatement, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

You Don’t Have to be an Expert to be Proactive

Dianna Marks

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC
Dianna joined the Product Marketing team for Unity in September 2016 after completing her MBA in Marketing from the University of Rochester. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her first master’s degree in behavioral neuroscience. She loves to write and play vinyl records while cooking in her spare time, and seeks out recreational volleyball to get out her competitive edge. She is a multi-marathon completer, including 3 national and 2 international races. She intends on traveling to a new country every year, and believes that taking calculated risks and following your heart are the keys to lifelong happiness.

self-helpAs more data becomes available and people are able to interpret valuable metrics to make informed decisions, they are taking matters into their own hands in regards to self-service. Information is especially used today to be proactive on important matters. Take FitBit for example, a smart device that helps people be proactive on evaluating their health and take action on a daily basis. Did they take enough steps? Have they been getting enough sleep? There are even smart water bottles that remind you when to take another sip of water!

The automotive industry is another great example. A driver is not an expert technician but more of a generalist of what a car is and how to use it because the manufacturer makes it simple and can inform the driver of events. If only we took a look at the owner’s manual before our car battery died on us! By keeping track of car wear and tear, we can be proactive in avoiding that unintended sick day because our car needs a new catalytic converter.

Similar to situations in which a driver refers to the manufacturers’ manual to diagnose and be proactive on issues with their car, an IT generalist can use a tool that allows him or
her to proactively manage their Unity system. Proactive Assist is the built-in self-help desk in Unity Unisphere that offers essential resources like a collaborative chat forum, and important product documents, presentations, and how-to videos. It also allows IT generalists to order new parts, download the latest software, and shop for other Dell EMC products. That way IT generalists can solve issues more efficiently without spending time on the phone with customer service.

See snapshots of the Proactive Assist interface (left) and an image of the how-to videos (right):

Whether it be our car, our storage array, or ourselves, the best way to assure a system is up and running successfully is by implementing the best practices and utilizing the resources available. With a tool like Unity Proactive Assist, an IT generalist can make sure it identifies an issue before it affects their company, ensuring availability and maximizing the total cost of ownership of their storage system.

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