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.

Data Protection Everywhere: The Dell EMC Data Protection Suite Family

Meredith Soper

Marketing Manager, Dell EMC Data Protection Division
As a former college athlete who never lost her competitive edge, I continuously challenge myself to learn new things and become an expert on others. However, my focus is no longer basketball, but the world of data protection. My MBA and innate passion for technology led me to a career in product marketing at Dell EMC, where I aspire to add some pizazz to the already-exciting world of backup and recovery. Outside of the office, I’m a born and raised Bostonian who has trouble pronouncing her R’s (think “pahk the cah”). I love sports, shopping, and a good glass of red wine. Follow me on Twitter @Meredith_Soper and I promise to #followback!

data protection everywhereData protection is never a one size fits all solution. Over the next few weeks, we will demonstrate, through a series of ‘Data Protection Everywhere’ blog posts, how Dell EMC’s leading data protection portfolio is equipped to deliver complete protection for enterprises of all sizes. To kick off this series, let’s take a look at Dell EMC’s leading software offerings–the Data Protection Suite Family.

 
Dell EMC recognizes that companies are rethinking next generation data protection methods as a result of exponential data growth, strict service-level agreements, and shrinking backup windows, as well as the need to better protect data residing throughout the enterprise. We understand that you probably have multiple roles within the data protection environment who are responding to these challenges within the business – each with their own set of requirements and responsibilities. Dell EMC addresses this reality with the Data Protection Suite Family, which includes our five Suite offerings: Data Protection Suite Enterprise Edition, Data Protection Suite for Backup, Data Protection Suite for VMware, Data Protection Suite for Applications and Data Protection Suite for Archive.

 
We’ve created each Suite as a direct response to the needs of your data owners and the requirements of your business, and each is designed for specific use cases within the most popular data protection environments. Whether your environment is rich with mission critical applications, fully virtualized, focused on backup and recovery with requirements for supporting many different use cases including NAS and tape-out, or a complex assortment of these, the Data Protection Suite Family offers solutions built to satisfy the needs of your business. To put it simply, Dell EMC has simplified data protection, making it easier than ever for you to take advantage of industry-leading replication, backup, recovery and archive solutions. The comprehensive data protection provided by the Suite Family is derived from the combination of components within each offering, which has been put together to meet the requirements of your business. Let’s dive deeper to better understand the unique benefits and capabilities of each of the five Suite offerings:

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#YOAF! Looking at Another Year of IT Transformation

This year we continued our dialogue with our customers and partners to help them pursue their IT transformation in order to free up funds and resources to pursue strategic projects to chip away at digital transformation. But where to start?

Step 1: Consider Flash as a Key Enabler to IT Transformation
In a previous blog I wrote about the pillars of the modern data center. No doubt Flash is a critical component within our IT transformation journey. Sure, Flash is media but is also an enabling technology like CPUs, DRAM, and protocols like NVMe that seem to be in a perpetual race for speed. Our job at Dell EMC is to extract maximum value from these innovations for the benefit of the customer. Flash drives are known for speed. But in reality they enable us to consolidate and save money as well. Let’s look at a 16 TB 3-D NAND drive.

IT-Transformation

Within a 2.5” form factor I get the following relative to a spinning drive:

  1. More capacity and performance density = greater consolidation all else equal.
  2. Lower and more consistent response times = better SLAs and more productivity.
  3. Fewer parts replacements and faster rebuilds = lower risk and better customer experience.

Step 2: Understand the Business Value of Flash for Your Environment
Every environment is unique. So making broad claims of how great the technology of vendor A is compared to vendor B is counterproductive. Rather, we should approach things a little more customer centric.  A good place to start is the workload. Over the decades our performance optimized storage systems (aka SC Series, Unity, VMAX, XtremIO) supported databases as the #1 workload, followed by virtual servers. Both combined accounted for over 80% of the supported workloads on these systems.

If we just stick to the database example for a minute, the next step would be to actually understand the current database workload in more detail. One way our world class Sales Engineers do that is to take samples from the customer environment like the Oracle AWR below. Think of it as the top down approach where we want to understand the impact of transformation for the specific database environment. (more…)

2016: Year of the Cybercriminal

Brian Heckert

Principal Content Editor, Dell EMC
My first long-term exposure to technology was the typewriter. I still love that invention, which really sparked my interest in writing. For the past 20 years, I have worked in high tech as a content development specialist, marketing writer, and documentation editor. Prior to working in the software industry, I was a journalist, photographer, photo editor, and military fire fighter. After hours, I enjoy spending time with family, reading, and hiking in the mountains.

cyberattackUS$1,000,000,000. That’s the estimated cost of ransomware to individuals and businesses in 2016. In the first quarter of 2016 alone, ransomware cost organizations US$209 million. Keep in mind that ransomware is just one type of cybercriminal activity. Although final numbers for 2016 are not yet known, based on the frequency and sophistication of the attacks so far, it’s likely that 2016 will end up as the most lucrative year on record for cybercriminals. The latest numbers show that there were more than 2 billion records leaked in 2016.

Here are just a few of the biggest cyberattacks in 2016:

Government
Even the U.S. government is not immune to cyberattacks. In February, the Department of Justice was attacked by hackers who published contact information of 20,000 FBI employees. That was just a day after the same hackers posted contact information of 10,000 Department of Homeland Security employees. Shortly after these attacks, the cybercriminals taunted the Feds, stating that they did what they said they would do.

High tech
Data from at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from Yahoo! users. The cybersecurity breach actually occurred in 2014 but was only confirmed by Yahoo! this past September. According to Yahoo!, “The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.”

Healthcare
Hospitals operated by the $5 billion healthcare provider MedStar Health were attacked by ransomware in March. Thousands of patient records could not be updated and in some cases could not even be accessed by healthcare staff. As a result, patients were turned away or were treated without important computer records.

Education
A data breach at the University of California, Berkeley, affected the institution earlier in the year, compromising the financial data of 80,000 students, alumni, employees and former employees. The hackers exposed Social Security and bank account numbers. The breach occurred when software was being patched.

No organization is immune
The attacks just mentioned are just a few of the thousands of cybercrimes that occur worldwide each day. Government, high tech, healthcare, education, etc.—no one is immune from a cyberattack. Cleary, if you’re connected, you’re vulnerable. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to prevent a cybersecurity disaster. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (which is the lead federal agency for investigating cyberattacks), you can protect yourself and your organization from cyberattacks by: (more…)

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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