Archive for the ‘ViPR SRM’ Category

Free and Frictionless Downloads of EMC Software-defined Solutions Now Available

Sam Grocott

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at EMC ETD

You’ve been hearing a lot from EMC about our software-defined storage (SDS) offerings and how you can use them to build a more adaptive, agile storage infrastructure. But enough talk — it’s time you tried these products in your own environment and experienced those benefits firsthand. To that end, we’re offering Free and Frictionless downloads of these SDS products: ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge.

Free and FrictionlessFree and Frictionless means just what it says: downloads at no cost, easy installation on your preferred hardware, testing on your own terms and timeline — and then, once you’re ready to go into production, a simple, direct route to purchase. It’s our way of enabling you to see for yourself exactly how EMC software-defined storage can benefit you before you invest any budget in it.

These aren’t streamlined trial-only versions, either. They’re full-featured, enterprise-grade offerings that cover the following SDS products:

  • ECS, EMC’s software-defined, elastic cloud storage platform for web, mobile and cloud applications
  • ScaleIO software-only, server-based SAN with scale-out performance
  • IsilonSD Edge provides SDS solutions for enterprise edge locations including remote and branch offices

Just click on these ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge links and start using the software for free right away. Installation is automated and takes about 15 minutes, and every product comes with automated configuration management, too. Try it, use it, share it within your organization, innovate with it — whatever you want to do is going to be easy and effortless, so go for it.

Only when you’re ready to go into production do you pay for anything. And that’s easy, too: Just choose whether you want to continue with the software-only product or buy it as part of an EMC storage solution, and then visit the EMC eStore You have ample opportunity to experiment with our products and you won’t have to spend any dollars until you’re dead sure. At that point, you also get the combined weight and power of EMC’s entire support infrastructure behind you.

But that’s later. Right now, go get your ECS, ScaleIO and IsilonSD Edge versions of the EMC software-defined storage product you want to try. This is where the rubber meets the road. And you don’t even have to talk to a tire salesman.

 

 

The EMC Portfolio Approach to Next-generation Storage Technology

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Marketing & Communications at EMC

EMC is approaching the emerging revolution in storage technology development with a portfolio of advanced tools and solutions. These storage solutions are engineered to adopt and grow with the next-generation of big and unstructured data generated from diversified industries.

As data begins to inundate the marketplace, file types and sizes are becoming more extreme, mutative and mountainous than ever before. IT departments are tasked with managing constant streams of data from the cloud, social platforms, mobile devices and the web, as well as other sources never before realized by traditional BI and on-premise content management infrastructures. Software-defined storage (SDS) represents the leading edge of storage solutions, and EMC is positioned at the helm.

EMC’s depth of industry expertise SDS Portfolioand emerging tech software development experience have informed the creation of a suite of solutions that can be tailored to meet the needs of organizations transitioning to SDS, those working to incorporate SDS technology into their existing storage infrastructure, or those looking to redefine how they use, gather, maintain and manage the constant influx of data on which their businesses depend.

What sets EMC apart is a grander vision for SDS as a driving concept that should span how storage will be delivered now and in the future. EMC is embracing, redefining and disrupting the industry standards to deliver vendor neutral, open-standard APIs that allow products to be used as a standalone platform or part of a full cloud deployment, like OpenStack. Open source community editions increase flexibility and reduce risk.

EMC software-defined storage products improve and provide new means of organization and delivery models for file, block, object, HDFS and hyper-converged storage, as well as next-gen rack scale, data center and hyper scale-out storage. These products include IsilonSD Edge (scale-out file storage), ScaleIO (scale-out block storage) and ECS (cloud-scale object storage). The flexibility of EMC SDS solutions makes them available as appliances or free and frictionless downloadable software that can be installed on industry-standard hardware.

The sophisticated nature of EMC’s broad selection of SDS solutions allows easy integration into existing content management schemes without massive hardware replacement investments, new staff integration or performance downtime. SDS allows complete control over protocols, access, interface and data management within the systems, removing extraneous nodes, access points and machinery from the content management experience. This achieves more streamlined IT processes with reduced hardware, software, training and staffing costs and the ability to grow and adapt as the advancements in data collection and formatting continue.

The portfolio of SDS solutions developed by EMC allows organizations to not only better collect, protect and store next-gen data types and proportions, but to provide the possibility of streamlined growth as technology transforms, providing multi-generational, cost-effective options for the future of IT sectors everywhere.

Learn more about how EMC SDS solutions can prepare your enterprise for the future of big data. Stay up to day on everything SDS at www.emc.com/sds.

EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP: redefining simplicity with intelligent KPIs monitoring with ViPR SRM

Back in October 2014, I attended the SAP TechEd && d-code conference in Las Vegas, where SAP boldly talked about the “next steps to deliver innovation in the cloud with the SAP HANA platform” so that customers can truly innovate and simplify their business and development process, and SAP reaffirmed that running SAP HANA in TDI mode continues to gain momentum everywhere as lots of customers are wanting to hear.

During SAP TechEd && d-code Las Vegas, EMC Global Solutions Marketing launched theEMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP Technical Demo Video to supplement the white paper released at VMworld in San Francisco in August (check out my blog post from that event).  This 8-minutes video explains in simple terms how the EMC Hybrid Cloud for SAP (EHC for SAP for short) can be the bridge to the future to enable IT transformation while helping customers redefine simplicity, choice, & agility in deploying SAP landscapes in either on-premises cloud, off-premises cloud, or both.

When people discuss and debate the merits of implementing virtualized SAP environment, in the cloud so to speak, the conversation is often centered around the ease and simplicity of provisioning, for example, a new SAP sandbox or test environment can be stood up in minutes instead of weeks.  But running SAP in the cloud, regardless of it is on-premises, off-premises, or both in a hybrid cloud fashion, provide benefits that go far beyond provisioning!  In fact, the powerful capabilities offered in the areas of monitoring, workload relocation, and multi-tenancy chargeback will soon be the more interesting points to consider and understand!
Many customers and experts agreed that performance monitoring, alerting, and compliance reporting are afterthoughts, often put in place after some sort of crisis has occurred which caused an outage or a disruption to the business.  Since SAP is such a mission-critical system, you must be able to have end-to-end monitoring of all KPIs (key performance indicators) involving the compute, network, and storage tiers on the same pane of glass in order to quickly react to any issues.  EHC for SAP incorporates key monitoring tools offering unparalleled monitoring capabilities for your SAP cloud environment:  EMC ViPR SRM and VMware vCenter Operations with the Blue Medora plug-in.

Let me spend the rest of this blog post discussing with you one of the key tools integral to EHC for SAP: EMC ViPR SRM which provides comprehensive monitoring and alerting on not only the storage tier, but also on the compute tier and network tier.  For EHC for SAP however, ViPR SRM focuses primarily on the critical storage tier of the cloud infrastructure, including such critical components for long distance BC/DR such as EMC RecoverPoint.

People reason that since “it’s in the cloud”, there should no longer be any worry regarding storage since it’s now someone else’s problem, right?  Well that may be true if you are talking about a public cloud, but if it’s a private cloud running on your premises, then you DO in fact have to worry about the performance, stability, and availability of your storage platform.

And since it’s a cloud environment, your storage is a shared resource servicing hundreds or thousands of SAP virtual machines, which makes it even harder to pinpoint which SAP environment and virtual machines are being impacted by a particular problem.

EMC ViPR SRM offers not only unparalleled insight into the popular EMC storage platform for SAP such as the VMAX, VNX, and XtremIO (and some popular SAP storage platforms such as Hitachi, IBM, and others), but it can provide visibility into the network and compute tiers as well.  As previously mentioned, for EHC for SAP, ViPR SRM concentrates on monitoring the critical storage tier and you can drill down to the storage processor level and LUN level if needed as well as view the complex interaction of the data stores and the replication solutions for data protection and disaster recovery – you can easily perform root cause analysis to troubleshoot any problem and also have the necessary reporting to show that key SLAs (Service Level Agreements) have been met or even exceeded.

One could ask why anyone should care about a tool for visualizing, analyzing, and optimizing storage resources when one is running SAP in a cloud environment. Well, for a lot people, SAP on cloud typically means that it’s virtualized SAP running on VMware (the market share leader in SAP installations) and every VMware virtual machine needs a support VMDK data store which itself is a group of files!  So yes, a tool for visualizing, analyzing, and optimizing storage resources when one is running SAP in a cloud environment is not only relevant, it is an absolute necessity to assure availability, performance, and resiliency of the cloud infrastructure both in a private cloud setting as well as hybrid cloud setting, where long distance disaster recovery and workload relocation are key drivers for adoption.

I know that details in the screen shot below are hard to read, but I wanted to provide a “blurry” glimpse of the richness of the EMC ViPR SRM console as integrated into EHC for SAP – however, you can download the EHC for SAP white paper to get a better view or go to theEMC ViPR SRM page on EMC.com for more details.

SAP

In the screen shot, EMC ViPR SRM easily allows Cloud Administrators to drill down to the following components of the storage tier:

  1. Storage Capacity: this one is obvious, as you need to know if the cloud environments being hosted on a particular array will run out of space
  2. Storage Path Details: this data point is crucial to deal with performance issues due to bottleneck in the data storage path
  3. Storage Performance: another obvious one, which would be useful to redistribute storage work load as needed to provide scalable performance required in a cloud environment
  4. Performance CPU of the array front end processor or engine: this metric provides more details on how the array is behaving, useful in capacity planning and performance optimization
  5. Performance Memory of the array front end processor or engine: another needed metric to better understand how the array is behaving, useful in capacity planning and performance optimization
  6. Events: now this feature is essential to Cloud Admins so that they can be alerted in case of any issue which may impact the performance of the EHC for SAP.

There is no question that EMC ViPR SRM brings unmatched Alerting and Reporting capabilities, with several hundreds of counters and metrics for not only EMC storage arrays, but also for non-EMC arrays as well as Cisco servers and switches, Brocade equipment, VMware products, and more.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Gayatri Aryan

Gayatri Aryan

Gayatri Aryan

Latest posts by Gayatri Aryan (see all)

You know the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, well it’s true and even more so in highly virtualized environments.  Simply put, the ViPR SRM topology maps are just that.  The topology maps give you a pictorial depiction of an end-to-end relationship to provide storage administrators with the visibility they need to manage a complex, heterogeneous storage environment.  Consider a host for example, the topology map for which, in a single view, gives you an ability to traverse from the host, to its ports, to the fabric(s) it is connected to, all the way to the storage system.

Ayran_Image_1

There is more to this picture though.  It really becomes a navigation tool with the association of categories (outlined in red above).   Upon selection of the host, what is presented on the right hand side is the list of reports available for that device type (in this case the host).  As you select a different object (switch or array for example), a list of reports available for that device will be made available.  In essence, you get an ability to stay in the context of the object you started with while poking around the connected devices.

Everything mentioned above has been in ViPR SRM since the 3.0 release timeframe.  There have been enhancements made to the topology maps with ViPR SRM 3.5.1 that take topology maps to the next level.   For example, we introduced the concept of “map types”.  What we had until ViPR SRM 3.5 was the default view which is shown above – a physical connectivity view filtered by logical connectivity (masking views).  Starting with ViPR SRM 3.5.1, we have added two additional map types: Masked Storage Systems and Masked Storage Systems with Replicas.

The Masked Storage Systems – built upon only masking views is useful when only interested in provisioned storage.  An example of this view is shown below.

Aryan_Image_2

Masked Storage Systems with Replicas is built upon the Masking View and adds replicas as shown below.

Aryan_Image_3

In addition to having multiple perspectives for the topology map, we have also introduced some overlays.  For instance, if there are alerts on a given device (severe or high), an indicator would be shown on top of that device indicating as such.  In order to not clutter the topology map though, this indicator will be shown only if there is a severe or high alert for the device.   An example of the alert indicators is shown below.

Aryan_Image_4

Tooltips have gotten richer as well.  For example, hovering over the host icon, you would see some attributes for the host and a spark line for its CPU utilization as highlighted in red in the diagram below.  This provides storage admins with the ability to quickly scan the entire storage environment, hover over any alerts and be advised of any conditions that may require further attention or escalation.

Aryan_Image_5

For an array, you would see the aggregated port IOPs in addition to some vendor information as highlighted below in red, again enabling storage admins to quickly identify, isolate, and correct any issues that may be affecting performance or availability.

Aryan_Image_6

The ViPR SRM topology maps have been designed in a very deliberate effort to not clutter the topology map, instead offering the option to view the add-ons as needed.

In addition to the topology map enhancements, ViPR SRM 3.5.1 delivered new platform support for ScaleIO via a new ScaleIO SolutionPack, expanded visibility and reporting for HP 3PAR and IBM SVC environments.  The MySQL SolutionPack which was previously an add-on option is now included at no additional charge.

You can learn more about ViPR SRM by visiting our online community and/or registering for one of our Rethink Storage webcasts (live or on-demand).

We hope you agree that these product improvements proves our above assertion that a picture really is worth a thousand words!

It Takes a Village or Sometimes Just an Online Community…

We have all been to one type of industry trade show or another in our careers. The focus of these events is usually product or solution education, activities and sweepstakes that drive attendees to the tradeshow floor, big after hours networking parties, and, of course, the announcement of what the next big industry trend will be. Sound familiar?

Have you ever stopped to think about how all that information gets socialized? In the past, you would have read about it in an industry trade magazine, an analyst report, a press release perhaps, or sometimes you might receive an email inviting you to attend yet another live or virtual event on the subject. You may also belong to an industry specific organization that has monthly meetings where the new trends are featured as the topics for discussion.

vRockstar-Logo

Not anymore! The world has changed and on top of all of these traditional communication methods, you now have to consider the huge impact of social media. We hear the announcement of a new trend and that trend immediately gets tweeted and retweeted right from the second it is announced. If enough buzz is generated, a few blogs are written about the subject, which are then tweeted and again retweeted. Starting to see the pattern?

Someone may also take that same afore mentioned blog and share it on LinkedIn, whether it is a post to his profile or to open a discussion within a group to which she belongs. If the company has an online community, this behavior is frequently repeated there too. All of these social groups we belong to, participate in, follow, like, etc. make up the social community. The people within that community that do the most tweeting, blogging, and commenting in the socialverse become the top influencers. We now live in a world where our “village” is not so much in-person but rather resides in cyber space. Our village leaders are the ones with the highest Klout scores.

Here’s a great upcoming real world example: the VMworld conference in Barcelona is taking place October 13-16th. Amongst all of the activities that are happening, it is important to note that the rock stars of the online technical communities will be coming together face-to-face to celebrate their cyber village. This event is aptly named vRockstar aka Virtual Rock Star.

vRockstar is a community focused event sponsored by various VMware partners. The event is designed to bring influential members of the technical community within the social media realm together to open a dialogue for further conversation. Some of the sponsors include Cisco, VMUG, and EMC. Each of these organizations has communities of their own that have very influential members who can be a great resource for you. Let’s take a look at some of those communities.

Cisco
Cisco has a community program called the Cisco Champions. The Cisco champions are passionate about IT, love sharing knowledge, and want access to Cisco experts. Cisco views vRockStar as a great example of how community can work together to welcome community. At past events, Cisco has seen connections that were made carry through the conference and continue on throughout the year. Want to be a Cisco Champion? 2015 nominations are open now!

EMC
The EMC Elect Program is EMC‘s premier social media brand advocacy and influencer recognition program. Each year EMC encourages members to keep up their great work through social syndication. Members are enabled with exclusive access to product launches, technical sessions, beta programs, and unique in-person events. The nominations to become an EMC Elect member in 2015 are happening now.

The EMC ViPR Community is a central place for IT professionals, developers, and business partners to learn about, try, develop, and collaborate on ViPR Software-Defined Storage, ViPR SRM, and ECS Appliance (Powered by ViPR). By joining the community you can learn about how ViPR products help you get the most out of your storage investments, get direct access to developers, and join in on the conversation.

The Service Assurance Suite Community is designed to enable EMC Smarts, NCM, and Watch4net users, who share a common interest to engage with one another for collaboration and innovation. /Service Assurance Suite User Group “Members Only” area of this community provides access to exclusive User Group Events, webcasts, and activities. There is also the opportunity to participate in discussions that will significantly impact future product strategies and directions.

VMUG
The VMware User Group, better known as VMUG, is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events. It is free to become a VMUG Member and those who join gain access to user conferences, program discounts, local groups, virtual education, and more.

These are just a few of the technical communities out there that can help you find your cyber village. If you are a social rock star or one in training and are going to be at VMworld Barcelona, be sure to join us at the vRockstar Event. The event will take place on Sunday, October 12th, at, of course, the Hard Rock Café. Be sure to register today for your ticket and kick off VMworld the right way. You might even connect with some of the top VMworld conference speakers or even be the big winner of a Hard Rock Café Barcelona personalized electric guitar!

Are there other communities you belong to and want to share? Tell us about them in the comments section of this blog.

Hope to see you at the vRockstar Event on the 12th!

Software-Defined Storage Goes Way Beyond Storage Virtualization

Yoram Ramberg

Yoram Ramberg

Yoram Ramberg

Latest posts by Yoram Ramberg (see all)

I’ve been reading and talking to folks about software-defined-storage (SDS) and software-defined-everything and found out that we often use the terms ‘SDS’ and ‘virtual storage’ interchangeably. This doesn’t sound right. It is useful to distinguish between these terms as they are better used for two distinct concepts. Let me see if I can offer a better real world definition, or at least description, for these terms.

Storage virtualization is typically used to describe an abstraction of storage technology. The latter may be a storage array, which, via virtualization, appears to us as several arrays, each with its unique LUNs. The opposite is also conceivable: manifest a single block space by virtualizing a set of arrays. So, if you’re running an application that performs block I/O, it can talk to the virtual array as if it were a physical box, with its addresses, controllers, and redundancy. Virtualization helps to make an efficient use of the underlying hardware. Instead of managing actual boxes with various capricious demands and hard limits, look at them as if they were well behaved units of your own specification. Under the covers, your virtual storage SAN maps to actual physical storage but the complexities of the latter are conveniently hidden. Good.

iStock_000038176862Medium

Virtual storage can do more. For example, your application can use a virtual SAN based on Server San technology (such as EMC ScaleIO). As far as your app is concerned, it has access to shared block space. Under the hood, though, Server SANs map to various storage media. Mostly, these are servers’ DAS aggregated into a large pool of block storage. Your app doesn’t know the difference, but your storage admin can do wonders they wouldn’t be able to achieve with physical boxes:

  • Elastically grow or shrink the capacity: mix and match physical media types and multi-vendor, multi-model compute resources
  • Scale capacity and performance smoothly and linearly without downtime and with no rip-and-replace upgrade
  • Deliver predictable high-performance and throughput

Your app doesn’t care; it keeps humming as always, oblivious of the underlying magic that provides it with its block storage view of the world.

Virtual Storage is Cool
Software-defined storage is frequently used to address the general environment of storage operations. SDS provides a full stack of storage technologies and unified management thereof. Capabilities such as backup, replication, disaster recovery, block or file access, private/public/hybrid clouds, storage federation (multi-site) and more are all under one software umbrella of global model and management. It is very likely that the stack contains multiple virtualization layers. However, the key in SDS is the ability to view storage-as-a-service (there’s even an acronym: STaaS) with end-user self-service portal, policy driven provisioning, automation, orchestration and more. Admins become service definers, not cable pushers and pullers or CLI poets. EMC ViPR is the quintessential SDS platform. Software-defined storage is what modern data centers are made of. In fact, modern data centers are software-defined data centers (SDDC), where SDS is at the core and the rest of the stack, networking, compute and applications are all virtualized and software-defined.

SDS rocks!

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