Archive for the ‘Converged Infrastructure Management’ Category

Converged Infrastructure + Isilon: Better Together

David Noy

VP Product Management, Emerging Technologies Division at EMC

You can’t beat Isilon for simplicity, scalability, performance and savings. We’re talking  world-class scale-out NAS that stores, manages, protects and analyzes your unstructured data with a powerful platform that stays simple, no matter how large your data environment. And Dell EMC already has the #1 converged infrastructure with blocks and racks. So bringing these two superstars together into one converged system is truly a case of one plus one equals three.

This convergence—pairing Vblock/VxBlock/VxRack systems and the Technology Extension for Isilon— creates an unmatched combination that flexibly supports a wide range of workloads with ultra-high performance, multi-protocol NAS storage. And the benefits really add up, too:

As impressive as these numbers are, it all boils down to value and versatility. These converged solutions give you more value for your investment because, quite simply, they store more data for less. And their versatility allows you to optimally run both traditional and nontraditional workloads These include video surveillance, SAP/Oracle/Microsoft applications, mixed workloads that generate structured and unstructured data, Electronic Medical Records and Medical Imaging and more – on infrastructure built and supported as one product.

With a Dell EMC Converged System, you’ll see better, faster business outcomes through simpler IT across a wide range of application workloads. For more information on modernizing your data center with the industry’s broadest converged portfolio, visit emc.com/ci or call your Dell EMC representative today.

 

Learn more about Converged Infrastructure and IsilonAlso, check out the full infographic

Build vs. Buy for OpenStack Private Clouds

Doug Bowers

VP of Engineering, Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell EMC

Latest posts by Doug Bowers (see all)

Over the past several months there have been some excellent posts on this blog that highlight Dell EMC build vs. buy options as it relates to OpenStack.  Dell EMC offers a range of OpenStack solutions starting with enabling technologies for customers who want a do-it-yourself (DIY) cloud and ending with turnkey solutions like VxRack System with Neutrino.

The goal for VxRack Neutrino is to bring the benefits of turnkey deployment and integrated lifecycle management to an open source software stack –  a stack that has its roots firmly planted in the DIY world.

OpenStack started life as a DIY alternative to public cloud offerings.  Its popularity has extended to customers that want the benefits of an open source platform without having to hire the expertise to assemble and operate the platform themselves (i.e. non-DIY) – hence VxRack Neutrino.  So what have we learned from customers using or considering VxRack Neutrino?

  • Customers want products that make it easier to deploy open source software stacks – products that pre-integrate disparate software components and ensure they will work on a stable hardware platform.  This need is not just limited to initial installation and deployment, but also support for day 2 and beyond in order to successfully monitor and manage the system and establish a clear way to upgrade the various software components that must stay in synch (life cycle management).
  • VxRack Neutrino is a turnkey solution – which means that the customer gives up a degree of flexibility to get the benefit of operational efficiency.  While in many cases this is a tradeoff customers are willing to make, early customer feedback indicates customers want more flexibility in hardware options than VxRack Neutrino – the turnkey solution – offers.
  • Customers also indicate that support and training on the OpenStack distribution itself is critical. Customers have expressed interest in getting these services from Dell EMC partner companies (e.g. Red Hat).

So what does all this mean?  Dell EMC has made the strategic decision to meet this customer demand for OpenStack private clouds with our Reference Architecture and Validated System portfolio and end of life VxRack Neutrino.

DELL EMC has the following solutions for customers looking to build OpenStack private clouds:

  • Red Hat OpenStack Solution – A validated solution using Dell servers and switches delivered via our strategic partnership with Red Hat and jointly engineered by Dell EMC and Red Hat
  • ScaleIO OpenStack Reference Architectures – Validated building block of ScaleIO software defined block storage and Dell servers. As a heterogeneous software defined storage offering; ScaleIO supports Red Hat, Mirantis and Canonical OpenStack environments.

These options provide outstanding hardware flexibility.  They also leverage partner relationships (e.g. Red Hat) to provide customers the OpenStack support and training experience they are seeking, while using a combination of up front engineering and validation along with services to provide a turnkey experience.

Dell EMC remains strongly committed to supporting the OpenStack ecosystem as demonstrated by the breadth of our offerings.   Some areas of particular focus:

  • OpenStack community engagement: This includes community participation and contributions to enhance OpenStack, development and support of plug-ins for all of our products, and development of reference architectures with multiple partners.
  • OpenStack committers: Steady increasing level of commits and committers release over release, and broad support for integrating Dell EMC storage products into an OpenStack based cloud.

In summary we remain committed to listening to our customer’s and offering choice across a broad range of OpenStack deployment options – from best in class components for those looking to “build” and validated solutions and reference architectures  for  those looking for more.

Infrastructure Convergence Takes Off at Melbourne Airport

Yasir Yousuff

Sr. Director, Global Geo Marketing at EMC Emerging Technologies Division

Latest posts by Yasir Yousuff (see all)

By air, by land, or by sea? Which do you reckon is the most demanding means of travel these days? In asking so, I’d like to steer your thoughts to the institutions and businesses that provide transportation in these myriad segments.

Melbourne Airport_resizedHands down, my pick would be aviation; out of which the heaviest burden falls on any international airport operating 24/7. Let’s take Melbourne Airport in Australia for example. In a typical year, some 32 million passengers transit through its doors – almost a third more than Australia’s entire population. If you think that’s a lot; that figure looks set to double to 64 million by 2033.

As the threat of terrorism grows, so will the criteria for stringent checks. And as travelers get more affluent, so will their expectations. Put the two together, you get somewhat of a paradoxical dilemma that needs to be addressed.

So how does Australia’s only major 24/7 airport cope with these present and future demands?

First Class Security Challenges

Beginning with security, airports have come to terms with the fact that sole passport checks in the immigration process isn’t sufficient. Thanks to Hollywood movies and their depictions of how easy it is to get hold of “fake” passports – think Jason Bourne but in the context of a “bad” guy out to harm innocents, a large majority of the public within the age of reasoning would have to agree that more detailed levels of screening are a necessity.

“Some of the things we need to look at are new technologies associated with biometrics, new methods of running through our security and our protocols. Biometrics will require significant compute power and significant storage ability,” says Paul Bunker, Melbourne Airport’s Business Systems & ICT Executive.

With biometrics, Bunker is referring to breakthroughs such as fingerprint and facial recognition. While these data dense technologies are typically developed in silos, airports like the Melbourne Airport need them to function coherently as part of its integrated security ecosystem and processed in near real-time to ensure authorities have ample time to respond to threats.

First Class Service Challenges

Then there are the all-important passengers who travel in and out for a plethora of reasons: some for business, some for leisure, and some on transit to other destinations.

Whichever the case, most, if not all of them, expect a seamless experience. In this regard, it means free from the hassles of waiting for long periods to clear immigration, picking up luggage at belts almost immediately after, and the list goes on.

With the airport’s IT systems increasingly strained in managing these operational outcomes, a more sustainable way forward is inevitable.

First Class Transformative Strategy

Melbourne Airport has historically been more reactive and focused heavily on maintenance but that has changed in recent times. Terminal 4, which opened in August 2015, became the airport’s first terminal to embrace digital innovation, boasting Asia-Pacific’s first end-to-end self-service model from check-in kiosks to automated bag drop facilities.

This comes against the backdrop of a new charter that aims to enable IT to take on a more strategic role and drive greater business value through technology platforms.

“We wanted to create a new terminal that was effectively as much as possible a fully automated terminal where each passenger had more control over the environment,” Bunker explained. “Technical challenges associated with storing massive amounts of data generated not only by our core systems but particularly by our CCTV and access control solutions is a major problem we had.”

First Class Solution

In response, Melbourne Airport implemented two VCE Vblock System 340 with a VNX5600 converged infrastructure solution featuring 250 virtual servers and 2.5 petabytes of storage capacity. Two EMC Isilon NL series clusters were further deployed at two sites for production and disaster recovery.

Business People Rushing Walking Plane Travel Concept

The new converged infrastructure has allowed Melbourne Airport to simplify its IT operations by great leaps, creating a comfortable buffer that is able to support future growth as the business matures. It has also guaranteed high availability on key applications like baggage handling and check-in, crucial in the development of Terminal 4 as a fully automated self-service terminal.

While key decision-makers may have a rational gauge on where technological trends are headed, it is far from 100%. These sweeping reforms have effectively laid the foundations to enable flexibility in adopting new technologies across the board – biometrics for security and analytics for customer experience enhancement – whenever the need calls for it. Furthermore, the airport can now do away with separate IT vendors to reduce management complexity.

Yet all these come pale in comparison to the long-term collaborative working relationship Melbourne Airport has forged with EMC to support its bid to become an industry-leading innovation driver of the future.

Read the Melbourne Airport Case Study to learn more.

 

Service Outage Hits Home for Cloud Provider

Are there blind spots in your service assurance approach?

Netflix, a provider of online streaming media, made news over the holidays when customers experienced a service outage on Christmas Eve.  Imagine taking the wrapping off of your new mobile device and deciding to try it out to stream a movie.   For those located in North America, you probably found that the Netflix movie streaming service was down. 

This outage was caused by issues within Amazon Web Services that Netflix employs to support movie streaming.  Initially, the Amazon support team pursued API errors before learning that the root cause of the outage was actually a configuration issue caused by human error.  This misstep ultimately delayed the restoration of service to Netflix customers.  Over the course of that day, the configuration error first manifested itself as performance degradation, and then cascaded to a full service outage for many customers. One way of avoiding a situation like this one could have been to take a more system-wide approach to service assurance. (more…)

Storage Resource Management Without Spreadsheets

When did Excel spreadsheets become storage management software?

Excel spreadsheets were not intended for storage administrators tracking capacity utilization and needs, but targeted rather towards accountants and others working with numbers.  Out of necessity, however, spreadsheets have become the tool of the trade for understanding the storage landscape. Many EMC customers tell me, even with this method, they are still flying blindly with only a stove pipe view of their storage use and availability.

Data growth and cloud computing are going to change this behavior, though. The latest IDC Digital Universe Study estimates that data will double every two years between now and 2020. This growth underscores the importance of getting the most out of storage investments. With about 93% of all organizations using or planning to use server virtualization, storage is the next big opportunity for automation. Software-defined storage offers the promise of storage abstraction, pooling, and centralized management but in the meantime, some might think makeshift solutions like using spreadsheets have to suffice. That is not true. There are solutions available today for getting a data center wide view of storage use, availability, and performance. (more…)

Five IT Storage Infrastructure Predictions For 2013

What is the future for storage infrastructure?

It is not uncommon at this time of year to see predications on a variety of subjects for the coming year.  While nobody has a crystal ball, knowledge and experience can lead to insight. To this end, I polled a number of my colleagues for their thoughts to add to my own around our core competencies to deliver a list of five IT storage infrastructure predictions for 2013.

Foreseen for the coming year is the continued paradigm shift for IT from the back office to a contributor of business value. Key to accelerating this change will be the further automation of the data center.  This includes the move to software-defined architecture such as software-defined storage, and the growth of object storage in both public clouds and enterprises. Data growth will continue to be a challenge, though more organizations will tap into their vast data pools with analytical tools. IT management will increasingly be implemented across domains rather than up and down the stack and tools will be judged by their ability to provide context for the information they present. (more…)

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