Posts Tagged ‘storage array’

NVMe, Getting Ready for the 4K Television of Enterprise Storage

Caitlin Gordon

Director, Product Marketing, Storage Division
Caitlin has spent the past eleven years focused on all things storage and data protection, with a focus on enterprise storage. When she is not blogging, Caitlin spends her energy on her other passions as a tech nerd, sports nut and mama bear. With her “free time” (aka when she’s not chasing down one of her two young kids), she’s researching and discussing the latest tech rumors or celebrating/lamenting the latest Boston sports heartbreak/victory. You can also find Caitlin on Twitter (@caitsgordon) and YouTube.

As an unapologetic sports nut and tech nerd, I love it when these worlds collide.  This is exactly what happened while watching my football team play this Sunday when they aired a highlight of the team from 2000.  We were instantly shocked by the quality of the video, which was standard definition.  It’s amazing how quickly we get used to disruptive technology advances that become part of our everyday lives.  It’s easy to forget now, but the introduction and adoption of HDTV circa 2001 was arguably the most impactful technological advance since color television programming first aired in 1953.

As both an AV and IT nerd, what especially struck me here is the parallel in the evolution of television and enterprise storage technology.  The transition from SD (e.g 480i) to HD (e.g. 1080p) is much like the transition from HDD to SSD (don’t mind the similar acronyms!) in enterprise storage.  In both cases, this shift has provided dramatic benefits to consumers and has created a new normal.  We will never go back to spinning disk for enterprise storage and when is the last time you watched any of those hundreds of standard definition channels?  In fact, if your cable company is like mine, SD channels went away years ago to clear bandwidth for even more HD channels.

NSVe

Which brings me to the fun part… what’s next?  The next wave in TV technology, if you believe all the major manufacturers, is 4K… however, this nerd is skeptical (but that’s a different blog for a different day).  When it comes to enterprise storage, the industry buzz about ‘NVMe’ is escalating.  But let’s revisit our TV analogy to examine each of these “next evolutions” a bit more closely.   (more…)

#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…)

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