Posts Tagged ‘data center’

Winning the Olympic Gold and Modernizing the Data Center shouldn’t be a Flash in the Pan

Sebastian Yiang

Product Marketing Manager, Dell EMC Core Technologies, Asia Pacific and Japan
I started out in the IT industry almost 20 years ago as a systems analyst in a large telco within its Internet Service Provider BU to drive product and business development of consumer and enterprise Internet services. I then had the opportunity to do business development and product marketing for connected consumer electronics, web hosting and data center services, and storage solutions before I joined EMC. My current role at Dell EMC is product marketing for Data Protection and Availability Division for Asia Pacific and Japan region. I am based in sunny Singapore and enjoy traveling with my family.

all-flash-olympicsIt was August 12th. The 100m butterfly finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games glued a nation of 5 million to their television sets as their national swimmer Joseph Schooling competed with the Games’ most medaled and legendary Michael Phelps. Smashing the Olympic, Asian and national records, Schooling became the world’s fastest butterfly specialist and brought home Singapore’s first-ever Olympic Gold medal. Schooling has taught us many valuable lessons. His achievement shows us that we can all achieve our dreams if we set our goals, take actions and stick to the game plan, despite facing challenges and failures along the journey.

What lessons can enterprise IT learn from this success story?

 

 

Review and Update Your Business and IT Goals
At the age of 14, Schooling met his idol Michael Phelps in Singapore back in 2008 when the United States Olympic swim team stopped over for a training camp before the Beijing Olympics. Eight years later, he beat his idol with an Olympic record of 50.39 seconds in the 100m butterfly event. Schooling revealed in a local press interview that Phelps helped to inspire him to achieve Olympic glory. His goal is nothing less than a gold medal. With his Olympic dream in mind, Schooling gave himself a higher goal after achieving major milestones.

Many IT professionals have personal goals in their career. But how many know their organization’s business and IT goals? For enterprise IT to achieve success in positively impacting the organization’s business and growth, there must be a strategic goal and plan that motivates every IT personnel. Otherwise, disengaged and unmotivated staff affects IT productivity and staff morale, and even derails your goals.

Most IT organizations have strategic goals to optimize or modernize their data centers through the deployment of virtualization, cloud, software-defined and open platform technologies. With flash drives becoming more affordable over the last few years, compression technologies and business requirement for always-on mission-critical applications, many IT organizations are now looking to modernize their data centers with all flash storage arrays and relegating traditional disk to bulk and archive storage requirements.

If you have not considered an all-flash storage strategy for your data center, this IDC infobrief on global flash technology adoption dated Feb 2016 may change your mind. It concludes that “flash is unlocking innovation and enabling business transformation”. (more…)

Learn Why Three Common Beer Delivery Models are Similar to Your Data Center

Jay Livens

Director, Product Marketing
Jay’s passion is technology. It started when he was a child and used to take apart flashlights and could not remember how to put them back together. You can imagine how that turned out especially when power outages occurred. However, Jay persisted and charted a course through life that included a lengthy stop in the financial services industry. After receiving an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, his path turned towards storage and he had stints with a storage reseller, a storage startup and a couple of big storage companies. After serving in multiple roles, Jay settled on marketing as his future career-path; however, he is not your typical marketer. All things technology intrigue him and he likes to know how things work, not just the marketing stuff, but how stuff really works. At Dell EMC, Jay runs field and channel marketing for the Data Protection and Storage Divisions in the Americas and looks forward to sharing his perspectives on his division, products and life in general.

With Oktoberfest just about ready to wrap up, I thought that it would be fitting to blog about beer and the Reinheitsgebot.  What is that you ask?  Read on and find out.

oktoberfest

Germany is renowned for their beer and it is a little known fact that they have a purity law, the Rheinheitsgebot, that mandates that beer can only contain barley, hops and water (yeast was added as a fourth ingredient later).  The law was initially created in Bavaria in 1487 and is still in effect today.  As I was pondering beer, I realized that there are significant similarities between the Reinheitsgebot and today’s data centers.

Just like the purity law, requires only three beer ingredients, our IT infrastructures are made up of three components – compute, networking and storage, and like German beer, the ratio of these components can vary widely depending on customer requirements and uses cases.

The similarity between these two items extends beyond just the basic building blocks and encompasses how the products are delivered as well.  Let’s explore three most common beer delivery models and their IT analogues.

Homebrewing
In this model a person brews his or her own beer based on their individual tastes. Homebrewers will customize recipes as they explore new techniques and flavors.  This approach aligns with traditional IT where practitioners purchase discrete server, storage and networking components and combine them to build their infrastructure.  These pieces are often acquired separately and the ratio of these three components can vary.  However, as technology evolves the underlying IT “recipe” can change resulting in diverse environments where cutting edge technology co-exists with older solutions.

The flexibility that homebrewing delivers is significant.  However, it is not for everyone.  As the beer (and IT) market has matured, many people prefer to purchase pre-packaged solutions.  In the case of beer, this is analogous to purchasing beer in cans or bottles and in IT, it refers to converged infrastructure. (more…)

Beyond the Buzzword: Modern Data Management

Tyler Stone

Dell EMC eCDM Product Marketing
Tyler is currently a software engineer in the Engineering Leadership Development Program at Dell EMC. He has spent the past three years at EMC across multiple roles in storage, IT, and data protection. Tyler has a love of technology and innovation, and something about data centers has always sparked his sense of wonder and amazement (as he says, maybe it’s the flashing lights). When his head isn’t up in the cloud, he is out travelling, taking pictures, or playing golf. Follow him on Twitter @tyler_stone_

When I think of technology buzzwords, I think of really big, complex concepts that slowly grow into all-encompassing terms to make those concepts easy to reference. Due to the complexity of some technology topics, however, buzzwords often create an opportunity for misconceptions. I’ve had people ask me if I work “for the cloud” when I talk about what I do, which is close – yet so far away.

In an earnest attempt to combat misconceptions, I want to discuss a term near and dear to my heart: modern data management. On the surface, it looks like this phrase implies that we want to manage data… modernly…? Well, that’s not wrong; but there’s a lot more behind this buzz-phrase.

First, we need to understand a broader trend in the industry: self-service. Basically, businesses no longer depend on IT to solve infrastructure problems due to the development of new technologies to enable increased agility. Before self-service, if an application administrator or DBA needed a copy of a production database, they would have to place a request to a storage or backup administrator and wait for the request to be fulfilled. Now, application owners and DBAs have easy access to copy creation tools from their native utilities, making it extremely easy to create copies themselves for any desired use case. Self-service is the foundation for modern data management.

While self-service is necessary to keep up with the demands of agile businesses, it raises some concerns. Specifically, if application owners and DBAs are managing their own copies, how can managers enforce a specific set of rules or policies to ensure compliance with business objectives, such as protection SLAs or retention policies?  This trend towards self-service has led to siloes of storage managed by decentralized teams, making it difficult for IT managers and protection administrators to monitor their copy ecosystem and ensure service level agreement (SLA) compliance.

Moreover, native utilities have no way to monitor or enforce SLAs or protection policies. Copy creation tools simply relay that the copy was created successfully. Even if application, database, and backup administrators create copies to align with protection SLAs, they can’t be expected to constantly check the environment to ensure that nothing has happened to those copies. Administrators are left to assume that their copies are sitting healthy on storage, even though they could be missing their SLAs.

Ok, so how does modern data management solve these problems? Well, modern data management provides a comprehensive view of data generated in the modern enterprise to enable SLA-based copy data lifecycle management, thus ensuring enterprise compliance and security. In order to fulfill this mission, modern data management consists of two additional components that build on self-service: intelligent copy oversight and analytics.

modern DC Management

Intelligent copy oversight, such as Dell EMC Enterprise Copy Data Management, provides managers with a view of all copies in a data center. This component allows managers to create SLOs and apply them to protectable storage assets. Then, copies of assets will be continually monitored for compliance, and SLA enforcement can be automated to ensure compliance with business objectives. With intelligent copy oversight, managers will have a clear way to view and manage their copy ecosystem. (more…)

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.

(more…)

Continuous Availability without Any Compromise

Parasar Kodati

Product Marketing Manager
Parasar Kodati has more than ten years of experience in product management and marketing spanning scientific computing, embedded software development, and data acquisition technologies. When not working he may be found plotting with his mischievous daughter, cooking Indian street food or reading eastern philosophy.

Everyone needs some summer downtime. If you have not taken your summer downtime yet I hope you have plans to do it soon. However when it comes to business, the last thing we need on a vacation is a frantic phone call that your business has taken some downtime. While downtime in IT systems is unavoidable the question is about how much resilience is built into the system architecture. In fact availability is one of the hallmarks of a modern data center and should be considered in any data center modernization effort. Continuous Availability, unlike other loosely used definitions of high availability, is about delivering a zero RTO service level to ensure business critical applications are never down. A continuous availability technology is able to do this by making sure every IO is captured for instant replication across distance thereby creating active-active data centers that offer highest disaster resilience and also eliminate planned downtime.  Let us look at some of the considerations for choosing the right continuous availability technology for the most demanding all-flash workloads.

VPLEX blog-August
Performance that Maximizes All-Flash Storage Availability
IT organizations around the world are rapidly adopting all-flash arrays to consolidate their business critical applications with uncompromising performance and data services with significantly better total economic value. A zero RTO availability technology needs to be the most efficient data mover to replicate at a speed that matches flash performance. Needless to say, a technology that uses array cycles for replication is eating into the flash performance. This is the reason why a dedicated availability   solution like VPLEX has become an obvious choice for more than half of Global Fortune 500. At the same time you don’t need the availability technology to be duplicating the functionality that the all-flash array already has. Instead the replication technology should maximize the availability of the flash storage that is running more and more business critical workloads.

Future Ready Scale
As famous ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said “skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. Availability technology that is in the data path has to be ready to handle at least twice the IOPS and workloads that it is being purchased for. Clearly the hardware platform needs to have enough room to grow both in terms of scale out architecture as well as enough compute power that future software releases can take advantage of using increasingly parallel computing algorithms.

While linear scaling in performance is appreciated; the licensing costs for a growing environment quickly becomes unattractive. This is where customers should look for licensing models that are more favorable for growing environments. (more…)

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