Archive for the ‘Modern Data Center’ Category

Are you thinking about SAN migration? Don’t go it alone

Deirdre Wassell

Director, Dell EMC Connectrix Product Marketing
From mainframe operations, to systems programming, to storage product management, to technical product marketing, Deirdre Wassell’s career reflects her prodigious interest in technology.


You’re a storage administrator.  You double as the storage network administrator.  Your company now relies heavily on server virtualization and now they’re rapidly moving to solid state drives and talking about transitioning some applications to “the cloud”.  All three of these technologies increase the need for low latency and high capacity network bandwidth.  You’re running an 8Gb/s Fibre Channel SAN and you’re feeling that the burden of these technologies is shifting to the network.  You think, “Can I really migrate the SAN by myself?”

SAN Migration can be a complex undertaking, but now you don’t need to go it alone.  Dell EMC has a new Professional Services offering that helps you complete your transition to today’s Modern Data Center.


The Dell EMC SAN Migration Service helps you replace existing SAN equipment using state of the art tools, with a fast and reliable storage networking environment that will deliver the bandwidth requirements imposed by server virtualization, all flash storage systems and cloud computing.

Tales from EMC World 2016: Building a Modern Data Center

Last year we built a data center as part of our efforts to display our full portfolio of products at EMC World. We would have never imagined the level of interaction and interest we received with hundreds of customers coming through the exhibit every day. Our customers, partners, and internal EMC folks love technology and there is no better way to get a ‘feel’ for it than actually touching it.

This year we decided to do the same thing showcasing some of the most exciting technology advances in years. We organized our live modern data center by 5 key pillars:

Building a modern data center 2

Flash – everyone understands the benefits of Flash from a performance perspective, mainly delivering predictable low response times. But supply-side innovation is allowing us to embed much denser 3D-NAND technologies delivering unprecedented density and lowering CAPEX and OPEX in ways not possible before. All Flash arrays make more sense than ever and we showcased the coolest kids on the block:

  • Unity All Flash systems combining the benefits of flash with unprecedented efficiency and simplicity. Unity is built with end-to-end simplicity in mind bringing innovation like an HTML5-based GUI and a REST API to simplify operations. We also previewed CloudIQ, a cloud-based analytics dashboard to address and manage larger topologies much more proactively.
  • VMAX All Flash combining the benefits of flash with uncontended data services and availability features like SRDF. Through the integration with CloudArray customers can be strategic about their hybrid cloud strategy. Flash where you need it and cloud where you don’t.
  • XtremIO is the uncontended all flash array market leader delivering integrated copy data management capabilities allowing customers to leverage flash in ways they could never before. Being able to deliver copies on demand means better business agility. Being able to do so without tradeoffs around performance and efficiency is the hallmark of the XtremIO architecture and something competitors struggle to match.
  • One interesting addition to our data center this year was DSSD which helps our customers get business outcomes faster than ever before by essentially stripping code out of the IO path while preserving the benefits of shared storage. Server-side flash has often been used but leads to stranded storage and the need to shuffle data around, limited capacity, and no enterprise features to secure the data set. Compare that to DSSD D5, which can provide 144TB capacity, deliver 10MM IOPS at microseconds response times, all in 5U.


Data Center Modernization 101

Sarah Werner

EMC Marketing Intern
As an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in chemical engineering, this summer internship has allowed me to explore the business side of the IT industry. Specifically, I have been tasked with spearheading important competitive projects. In my short time at EMC, I’ve been able to draw parallels between scientific methods learned in my engineering classes and apply those to solving real-world business problems.

Latest posts by Sarah Werner (see all)

EMC declared 2016 as the Year of All-Flash – now is the time to modernize your data center by switching to all-flash storage arrays!  Of course, choosing the right all-flash array is just the beginning of the journey and there are other steps that need to be taken in order to maximize the value that all-flash can deliver to your business. Here are some important considerations for your data center modernization efforts:

Step 1:  Make the Move

kodati-make the move







After finding the ideal all-flash appliance for your business, prepare your old arrays for retirement by migrating all of your data over. This sounds like a daunting process, one that traditionally takes 6 to 9 months to complete, but it can be made easier by using non-disruptive online tech refresh that a solution like VPLEX provides. This minimizes the time to value of the new flash arrays from months to days by migrating data over without any required downtime. Your data and applications remain accessible and your business keeps running all while modernizing your data center.

Step 2:  Keep All-Flash Always On

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Congratulations! Your data and applications have been moved in record-breaking time, and your new all-flash environment is already delivering much greater performance. It’s not difficult to love the speed and power of flash, but that doesn’t mean flash arrays are any less susceptible to disaster situations that can result in data loss. Power outages, fire, flooding, or human error can all put your critical data – and by extension, your business – at risk leading to loss of revenue and customer satisfaction. Luckily, preventive measures can be taken to ensure your data is continuously available, despite unforeseen disasters. Data sent down a particular host’s data path can be copied between arrays, whether they’re in the same data center or not. This keeps your flash environment always on even if one array fails, and your data and applications are safe and always available. Learn more about continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions.

Don’t forget the network: Make sure your SAN environment doesn’t become a bottle neck for the blazing fast flash performance. When implementing high availability replication technologies the communication link between the data centers also needs to be looked at to make sure that it can handle the traffic between the datacenters.

Step 3: Accelerate IT Operations

Kodati- accelerate IT









Before you know it, your data center already requires changing configurations, moving applications, load balancing servers, using more of cloud storage etc. No business is immune to frequent adjustments, and their IT specialists shouldn’t struggle to meet new demands due to limitations of technology. Evaluate your current level of IT infrastructure agility – how much effort and downtime is involved in moving applications for load balancing, consolidating data centers for better resource utilization or moving data back and forth between your data center and public cloud. Once again server and storage virtualization go a long way to make these tasks easy and non-disruptive and help create infrastructure that can turn on a dime.

Moving to all-flash storage is a great step to modernize your data center to deliver uncompromised application performance. It is also a great opportunity to take a deeper look at your entire infrastructure to identify and eliminate sources of inefficiencies. With the right technology in place you can realize the full advantage of the all-flash storage to create data centers that are well protected, always available and agile to operate.


Note:  This blog was co-written by Parasar Kodati

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!




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