Posts Tagged ‘Software Defined’

Embrace Digital Transformation with Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) 3.0

Sam Grocott

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at EMC ETD

Digital Transformation is drastically changing the business landscape, and the effects are being felt in every industry, and every region of the world. For some, the goal of this transformation is to use technology to leapfrog the competition by offering innovative products and services. For others, the focus is on avoiding disruption from new market entrants. Whatever your situation might be, it’s clear that you can’t ignore the change. In a recent study by Dell Technologies, 78% of global businesses surveyed believe that digital start-ups will pose a threat to their organization, while almost half (45%) fear they may become obsolete in the next three to five years due to competition from digital-born start-ups. These numbers are a stark indication of the pressure that business leaders are feeling to adapt or fall by the wayside.

But for IT leaders, this raises an uncomfortable question: Where will you find the money to make this transformation? You’re already under constant pressure to lower IT costs. How can you invest in new technologies while still doing this?

Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), Dell EMC’s object storage platform, was built to help organizations with precisely this challenge. After being in market for just under two years, the latest release, ECS 3.0 is being announced at Dell EMC World today. ECS is a next-generation storage platform that simplifies storage and management of your unstructured data, increases your agility, and most importantly, lowers your costs. Let’s take a look at some of the ways ECS can help modernize your datacenter, clearing the way for you to embrace Digital Transformation.

Simplify and Accelerate Cloud-Native Development

The success of companies like Uber and AirBnB has highlighted the transformative power of “cloud native” mobile and web apps. Enterprises everywhere are taking note – in the previously mentioned Dell Technologies survey, 72% of companies indicated that they are expanding their software development capabilities. Often, these software development efforts are directed towards “cloud-native” applications designed for the web and mobile devices.

ECS is designed for cloud-native applications that utilize the S3 protocol (or other REST-based APIs like OpenStack Swift). ECS natively performs many functions like geo-distribution, ensuring strong data consistency and data protection, freeing up application developers to focus on what moves their business forward. This greatly increases developer productivity, and reduces the time to market for new applications that can unlock greater customer satisfaction, as well as new sources of revenue.

Reduce storage TCO and complexity

Legacy storage systems that sit in most enterprise datacenters are struggling to keep up with the explosion in unstructured data. Primary storage platforms are constantly running out of capacity, and it is expensive to store infrequently accessed data on these platforms. Additionally, as many businesses operate on a global scale, data coming in from different corners of the world ends up forming silos, which increase management complexity and lower agility in responding to business needs.
ECS is compatible with a wide range of cloud-enabled tiering solutions for Dell EMC primary storage resources like VMAX, VNX, Isilon and Data Domain.  Additionally, ECS is certified on many 3rd party tiering solutions, which enable it to act as a low cost, global cloud-tier for 3rd party storage platforms. These solutions drive up primary storage efficiency and drive down cost by accessing a lower cost tier with ECS. Tiering to ECS is friction-free, which means that apps or users accessing primary storage don’t have to change any behavior at all.

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Tape Replacement

The new ECS dense compute rack D-series increases storage density by more than 60%, making it an ideal replacement for tape archives. The D-Series comes as an eight node system that provides the highest density configurations for ECS at 4.5PB (D-4500) and 6.2PB (D-6200) in a single rack.

These new configurations provide the low cost and scalability benefits of traditional tape solutions, but without the lack of agility, poor reliability, and operational difficulties associated with storing data on tape.  Additionally, ECS makes business data available to BUs in an on-demand fashion. This allows organizations to fully embrace Digital Transformation, which relies on insights mined from business data to create more compelling experiences for customers.

Legacy application modernization

ECS can serve as an ideal storage platform for organizations looking to modernize legacy LoB applications that utilize or generate a large amount of unstructured data. Modifying legacy apps to point to ECS using the S3 (or other REST-based APIs like OpenStack Swift) protocol can help reduce costs, simplify maintenance of the application, and allow them to scale to handle massive amounts of data.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about how ECS can enable your transformation , follow @DellEMCECS on Twitter, or try it out – for free!

 

 

A Modern All-IP Infrastructure for your Media Digital Transformation

Charles Sevior

Chief Technology Officer at EMC Emerging Technologies Division

Anybody who has attended one of the major Media / Broadcast trade shows over the last 6 – 12 months would know that most of the large solution vendors are now building solutions designed to take your media workflow into an “All-IP” future state – away from the past infrastructure built on dedicated hardware like video / audio routers and industry-specific cabling such as SDI with embedded audio.  The vendors are working hard to adopt standards from SMPTE, VSF and other bodies and to prove system interoperability.  The task of replacing the reliable and rugged (but inflexible and single-purpose) SDI backbone in your facility with a robust and interoperable All-IP fabric has been accepted by AIMS – the Alliance for IP Media Solutions.  This is an industry-lead collaboration of some of the largest M&E vendors, including:

  • Grass Valley (Belden)
  • Imagine Communications
  • Snell Advanced Media
  • Evertz
  • EVS
  • Lawo
  • Sony
  • Cisco
  • Arista
  • Harmonic

But more than just replacing your SDI cable and video router with Cat-6 and a network router, this multi-vendor industry alliance is also focused on fully-virtualised software-defined media solutions. What this means is that solution vendors are now re-engineering their applications to “behave nicely” in the virtualised and containerised environment that is commonly adopted in Enterprise IT and Cloud-Scale operations today.  This is different to the bespoke engineering of the past that assumed full control over some “bare metal” hardware.  Whilst this may be seen as introducing some performance constraints due to the overheads of virtualisation, it actually results in a more robust solution that can leverage the enormous resources of IT scale available today, and has improved features of monitoring & control with graceful failure and rapid service replacement.

(more…)

Breakfast with ECS: Most Wanted Cloud Storage Feature Series – Part 4: Enterprise Class

Diana Gao

Senior Product Marketing Manager at EMC² ECS

Welcome to another edition of Breakfast with ECS, a series where we take a look at issues related to cloud storage and ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage), EMC’s cloud-scale object storage platform.

Hello folks!

Welcome back to ECS feature series!Breakfast with ECS Enterprise

In the previous blog of this series, we discussed ECS’ smart capabilities. In this blog, we’ll discuss how ECS is built to serve the needs of enterprises.

When selecting a cloud storage vendor, enterprises have many questions: Is this cloud built for scale? Is it secure? Is it able to handle the different business applications needed for long term business growth? Will it simplify my operational management? We at EMC were thinking these exact things when we introduced ECS.  How can ECS improve your data privacy, manageability and operation efficiency?

Watch the video below and find out the answers.

ECS is enterprise-grade yet has incredibly low storage overhead, and is capable of storing nearly 4 PB of data in a single rack. Stay tuned for the next blog discussing more about ECS’ economical capabilities. Yes! You don’t want to miss it.

Additional resources:

Is the Media & Entertainment industry in the middle of a major transformation?

Tom "TV" Burns

CTO, Media & Entertainment at EMC

Media Companies in 2016 find themselves “in the middle of things”:

  • a “peak TV” environment in which cable channels are bursting with high-quality scripted episodic programming
  • an on-demand subscriber environment that has revolutionized the way consumers find and watch entertainment
  • immersive environments which have changed the grammar of visual storytelling

“We can’t really even call it television anymore…”
When I took this gig as CTO, Media & Entertainment for EMC, one thing that intrigued me about the role was how EMC thought differently about the media industry: they focused on helping media companies create and deliver great stories. We do this by leveraging the evolving concepts from traditional enterprise IT such as software-defined storage and converged infrastructure to provide adaptable carrier-grade solutions and a future-proof infrastructure to their media customers. This year is no different as we’re introducing a host of new features to our flagship Isilon product—features that expand a media organization’s reach from “Edge to Core to Cloud.” (I’ll talk about how this relates to media organizations in a sec…)

“The software-defined media facility”
Broadcasters, advertiser- and subscriber-supported OTT providers, content creators, aggregators and the entire ecosystem of partners and suppliers are really in the “Entertainment Services Delivery” market. Technology infrastructures like software-defined storage and software-defined networking will allow broadcasters to make changes to their workflows programmatically. This is the “new normal” – of adding or migrating new services in days rather than months.

As our media customers have responded to this re-definition of their business, we’ve introduced new features that let them do things they’ve never done before. For example, last year we introduced the concept of a “Media Lake”—essentially a single, high-performance shared resource that let media organizations consolidate their data into a central repository. Rather than copying your data to some other silo, transforming it and copying it back – the idea is to leave your data in one place and execute the value-creation operations (whether it’s encoding, archiving, creative editorial, analytics or what have you) while you leave the data in place – it saves you time, enables collaboration and reduces the possibility of error.

Isilon Media and Entertainment Data Lake
This year we’ve doubled our investment in the idea of a media data lake—announcing “Media Lake 2.0,” which gives our media customers new capabilities that allow productions to extend to “edge” (smaller or remote) locations, optimize their core media operations, and leverage public/private/hybrid clouds.

The new Isilon software upgrades and products being introduced include:

OneFS 8.0—improves availability failover reliability for Isilon storage clusters.  OneFS 8.0 includes multiple features, but the ones that are critical for Media & Entertainment include non-disruptive operating system upgrades, upgrade rollback, and non-disruptive operations.  In addition, OneFS 8.0 incorporates support for SMB3.0 Continuous Availability for increased reliability and availability for Windows clients.

One of our long-standing partners Jeff Snyder Nexio Mediaand premier media industry vendor, Imagine Communications, recently tested OneFS 8.0 in their lab and at one of their customers’ sites.  As a  global leader in video and advertising solutions—nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse through more than three million Imagine Communications products deployed across 185 countries.

That’s why we look to Imagine to give us feedback on our solutions as they definitely know how to stress new technology.  For OneFS 8.0 they were specifically interested in the non-disruptive upgrades and the improvements in SMB 3.0.

In testing, Imagine found the scale-out and failover from EMC Isilon makes it one of the “best” NAS solutions they’ve tested. The continuous availability options (the ability to upgrade or update on-the-fly) and improvements in the SMB protocol gave them functionality and bandwidth “they couldn’t get with other NAS products.”

IsilonSD Edge—provides a software-defined storage solution that allows media companies to quickly and seamlessly gain access to production and talent wherever great stories are created and captured. In addition, as a software-defined storage solution, IsilonSD Edge runs on commodity hardware in a virtual environment—substantially reducing costs and increasing agility. IsilonSD Edge extends the Media Data Lake across geographies, allowing “follow-the-sun” content creation and delivery from remote and branch facilities. Media data lake synchronization with remote assets reduces inefficiencies and accelerates production times by sharing critical production media assets.

EMC Isilon CloudPools—enables Isilon media customers to seamlessly archive or tier assets from their Isilon cluster to an in-house (private) cloud based on EMC ECS, or a choice of public cloud providers, or a combination of both. This gives a media organization the flexibility and simplicity to dynamically expand beyond their current capacity and archive storage into any cloud-based solution. With CloudPools, data that is transmitted to the cloud is encrypted for security purposes and compressed to optimize the network bandwidth usage.

“Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…”
The industry continues to change at a dramatic pace, and we realize our customers need to not only adapt and transform but also profit from their efforts.  That’s why we continue to challenge the status quo for our media customers.   Whether it’s jointly developing end-to-end workflows solutions with great industry partners like Imagine Communications, or upgrading the Isilon platform with innovative features like the CloudPools and IsilonSD Edge, our goal is to give our customers a foundation for future-proofing their business and workflow needs.

@TVBurns

EMC’s Commitment to Everything Software-Defined

Varun Chhabra

Director of Product Marketing, Advanced Software Division at EMC

At EMC, our commitment to creating new solutions for software-defined storage is part of our much larger commitment to supporting the entire software-defined data center infrastructure, in which software, completely abstracted from hardware, enables more adaptive, agile operations. Within the software-defined data center, EMC’s evolving suite of software-defined storage solutions plays an important role in addressing the explosive data growth – both in the volume and variety of data — that poses such a tremendous challenge today. We’ve designed these solutions with features like elastic scale-out to incrementally add storage capacity, open APIs for programmatic flexibility and support for analytics-in-place workloads. With software abstracted from hardware, customers can deploy these and other storage capabilities on the hardware of their choice rather than being locked into a narrow proprietary hardware platform, which means vendor flexibility, lower acquisition costs and more efficient storage provisioning for lower TCO over the long term.

In recent years, EMC has beenCommitment to SDS leading the way in introducing new software-defined storage platforms as well as working to transition our existing industry-leading storage solutions into the software-defined model. We entered the software-defined storage market in 2013 with ViPR Controller, which automates storage provisioning to reduce manual tasks and improve operational efficiency by up to 63%. It delivers storage-as-a-service to consumers, minimizing dependencies on the IT team. Since then, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to providing customers with a comprehensive software-defined storage portfolio. We’ve launched ScaleIO, a server-based storage area network (SAN) with a wide variety of deployment options – available as software on commodity hardware, as an appliance (VxRack™ Node) and as VxRack converged infrastructure from VCE (VxRack Flex System) that can linearly scale performance to thousands of nodes in a single federated cluster. On the cloud/object storage front, we’ve launched Elastic Cloud Storage, or ECS, a software-defined cloud storage platform that is built specifically for web, mobile and cloud applications, designed to run as a software-only solution on existing or commodity hardware. ECS scales effortlessly, and provides benefits such as superior economics and global access associated with the public cloud, while minimizing data residency and compliance risks. Both ScaleIO and ECS are also available for consumption as appliances or as software-only solutions.

Moreover, our software-defined products have very tight integrations with other EMC products. For example, our customers can use ScaleIO in conjunction with EMC XtremCache for flash cache auto-tiering to further accelerate application performance. And those who seek advanced-level protection and recovery for their confidential data can use ScaleIO with EMC RecoverPoint to provide replication and disaster recovery protection in ScaleIO environments.

We also made our EMC Isilon storage family, which has long provided industry-leading scale-out storage for unstructured data, available as a software-only solution. Available now, the Software-defined EMC Isilon (IsilonSD Edge) provides the same ability to manage large and rapidly growing amounts of data in a highly scalable and easy-to-manage way, but with the added benefit of hardware flexibility. Customers can deploy IsilonSD Edge on commodity hardware and easily manage enterprise edge locations including remote and branch offices, replicate the edge data to the core data center and seamlessly tier to private or public clouds.

As our customers move into the new world of software-defined IT, EMC provides a solid base on which to build the scalable, flexible infrastructures that will transform your data centers to meet the future head-on. Our growing portfolio of software-defined storage solutions is a fundamental component of that base, providing a range of scale-out solutions to meet rapidly growing and changing data demands.

To keep up with more EMC SDS information and trends, visit: www.emc.com/sds

 

Data Lake 2.0: Edge to Core to Cloud

Suresh Sathyamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Marketing & Communications at EMC

Welcome to Data Lake 2.0!

Expand the Data LakeEMC has just announced three new products — EMC  IsilonSD Edge, Isilon OneFS.Next (the future version of the Isilon OneFS operating system), and Isilon CloudPools—that combine to enable you to expand your data lake to enterprise edge locations (e.g., remote and branch offices) and the cloud while strengthening the data lake at the core data center.

This new edge-to-core-cloud approach offers new opportunities for you to harness the power of a data lake to increase efficiency, cut costs, improve data protection, and get more value from your data assets.

Opportunities at the Edge
Businesses with networks of remote or branch offices often have challenges managing and protecting data generated at these locations. Data at edge locations is growing. A recent ESG study1 showed that 68% of organizations now have more than 10 TB of data per branch office as compared to just 23% in 2011. Edge locations are often inefficient islands of storage with inconsistent data protection practices. Compounding the problem, IT resources at these locations are typically very limited. Data at the edge is also generally outside the business data lake; this means it can’t easily be incorporated into data analytics projects.

Isilon SD EdgeEMC IsilonSD Edge is designed to address these challenges and offers key advantages for businesses with edge locations. EMC IsilonSD is a new family of Software-Defined Storage products that leverages the power of EMC Isilon scale-out NAS and the Isilon OneFS operating system. IsilonSD Edge is the first offering of the IsilonSD family and provides Software-Defined Storage solutions specifically for edge locations. IsilonSD Edge runs on commodity hardware (x86 servers) in a VMware ESX environment.

IsilonSD Edge will be offered in two versions: a ‘free and frictionless’ download for non-production use and a licensed version for production use. Designed to simplify data and storage management at the edge, IsilonSD Edge scales to 36 TB of storage capacity in a single installation. Importantly, IsilonSD Edge allows you to consolidate data to the core data center and thereby extend the data lake to include edge locations. It also increases data protection at the edge by automatically replicating data to the core.

Opportunities at the Core
A data lake offers many advantages for organizations across a wide range of industries. By consolidating file-based, unstructured data on EMC Isilon—the #1 scale-out NAS storage platform in the industry—you can eliminate costly storage silos, simplify management, increase data protection, and get more value from your data assets. With built-in multi-protocol capabilities, Isilon storage solutions can support a wide range of traditional and next-generation applications on a single platform. This includes powerful Big Data analytics that can help your organization gain insight and identify new opportunities to accelerate your business. The new Isilon OneFS.Next operating system extends these benefits by offering enterprise-grade continuous service for the data center with nondisruptive upgrade capabilities, enabling the new Data Lake 2.0 edge-to-core-cloud approach.

Opportunities at the Cloud
Nearly all businesses today are looking to leverage the cloud to cut costs, simplify IT management, and gain virtually limitless storage capacity. But the question for many is how to integrate their on-premise storage infrastructure with the cloud. The new Isilon CloudPools software addresses this need. CloudPools provides policy-based, automated tiering that lets you to seamlessly integrate with the cloud as an additional storage tier from the Isilon cluster at your data center. This allows you to address rapid data growth and optimize data center storage resources by using the cloud as a highly economical storage tier with massive storage capacity for cold or frozen data that is rarely used or accessed. In this way, more valuable on-premise storage resources may be used for more active data and applications. Another key advantage is that the movement of this data is transparent to users and applications.

Cloudpools 2With CloudPools, you can select from a number of public cloud services, including Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, or use a private cloud based on EMC Elastic Cloud Storage. To secure data that is archived in the cloud, CloudPools encrypts data that is transmitted from the Isilon cluster at the core data center to the cloud storage service. This data remains encrypted in the cloud until it is retrieved and returned to the Isilon cluster at the data center.

Tips to Get Started
EMC IsilonSD Edge, Isilon CloudPools, and Isilon OneFS.Next will all be available in early 2016. In the meantime, you’ll want to have your team become more familiar with these new products and learn more about the advantages that Data Lake 2.0 can provide your organization. A great way to get started is to visit our website. If you have any questions, be sure to contact your local EMC sales representative or authorized EMC reseller.

We look forward to hearing about your success!

Source: ESG Research Report, Remote Office/Branch Office Technology Trends, May 2015.

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