Posts Tagged ‘VCE’

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 or call your Dell EMC representative today.


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

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.


A New Blueprint for Success: EMC VSPEX with Isilon

Carl Washington

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC

It’s been two years since EMC’s VCE and Isilon teams joined forces to begin offering converged infrastructure (CI) solutions that combine VCE Vblock Systems with Isilon scale-out NAS in support of a range of applications and workloads. And we couldn’t be more excited about the results. It’s extremely gratifying to hear about the many customers who are now realizing the significant advantages that these CI solutions deliver: accelerated time to value, management simplicity, increased efficiency, single point of contact for support and the knowledge that they are getting a tested and proven solution.

Enablement VSPEX Proven Infrastructures are modular, virtualized solutions validated by EMC and delivered by EMC VSPEX partners. They include virtualization, server, network, storage, and backup layers.

Enablement VSPEX Proven Infrastructures are modular, virtualized solutions validated by EMC and delivered by EMC VSPEX partners. They include virtualization, server, network, storage, and backup layers.

Building on this success, EMC converged infrastructure solutions that incorporate EMC Isilon scale-out NAS have recently been extended to include integration with EMC’s VSPEX program. As a result, Isilon storage is now featured in a new VSPEX reference architecture:  EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure with Isilon Scale-Out NAS.

VSPEX Proven Infrastructure with EMC Isilon combines the simplicity, efficiency, and flexibility of VSPEX coupled with Isilon to deliver improved storage utilization, IT productivity, and increased end-user productivity. This new VSPEX reference architecture provides a blueprint for building a proven converged infrastructure that can support a number of use cases that most medium to large organizations are likely to need including:

  • File Shares
  • Home Directories for End-User Computing
  • Active Archiving

The VSPEX reference architecture also includes the necessary details for building a proven converged infrastructure for businesses in the Media & Entertainment sector.

With this new VSPEX and Isilon reference architecture, organizations can gain the following advantages:

  • Application-specific workload sizing, design and implementation guidance
  • Accelerated time to value
  • Leverage of VSPEX ecosystem partners for application flexibility and support

Built for virtualized environments, VSPEX enables faster deployment, more simplicity, greater choice, higher efficiency, and lower risk. VSPEX with Isilon can be added to existing VSPEX environments or be deployed as a stand-alone solution to consolidate storage to lower costs and optimize today’s 2nd Platform applications while providing a foundation for next-generation 3rd Platform applications. This is also a great first step in building a highly versatile data lake foundation to store, manage, and protect Big Data.

Testing and validation, outlined in a VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Guide, coupled with the VSPEX Sizing Tool, simplifies solution sizing and eliminates the risk and expense of over-provisioning. VSPEX with Isilon further simplifies and refines the sizing process by leveraging Isilon’s Predictive Performance Planning (P3) sizing tool functionality to enable efficient solution sizing for a broad range of file data workloads.

Of course, all these solutions are based on Isilon storage which provides a number of important benefits:

  • Simple management – with Isilon’s single file system, single volume architecture
  • Massive scalability – easily expands up to 50 PB in a single cluster
  • Operational flexibility – multi-protocol support for a wide range of applications and workloads on one platform
  • Unmatched efficiency – with over 80% storage utilization
  • Robust data protection and security options

By leveraging the advantages of EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure with EMC Isilon scale-out NAS, organizations do indeed have a new blueprint for success!

For more information on how this solution may benefit your organization, I suggest that you contact your authorized EMC reseller or local representative.

Third Platform Applications in a Mixed Workload Environment

Carl Washington

Sr. Business Development Manager at EMC

The implications for what IDC calls the “3rd platform” of computing — social, mobile, cloud and big data — are clear and compelling:  enterprises and service providers must advance to the next generation of applications or expect disruption from new entrants and reinvented incumbents. But making this transition can be easier said than done. Many organizations are discovering that providing an IT infrastructure to enable the transformation to the 3rd platform can be complex, time consuming, and expensive.

A recent IDC Technology Spotlight report, The Importance of a Modular and Flexible Approach to Integrated Infrastructure[1], sheds light on one approach that can be used to overcome these challenges. This paper examines the benefits of using converged infrastructure – an information technology deployment strategy that combines server, storage, network, virtualization technologies and the software to manage the overall system as one block of infrastructure – to support 3rd platform applications.  The benefits of this approach are described and include “optimize operations, increase risk and compliance posture, reduce cost, and innovate effectively from increased use of 3rd platform applications.”

Essential elements for IT infrastructure to effectively support 3rd platform applications include how well it stores, provides access to, and manages the massive amount of unstructured data generated from these applications.  Simplified deployment and operations of infrastructure to support 3rd Platform applications is also an important factor that is mentioned in another recent blog, Advancing 3rd Platform Strategies on Modern Infrastructures in 2015.

The IDC report features VCE Vblock Systems and several of its technology components, includingVCE™ technology extension for EMC® Isilon® storage. The report provides a fascinating view of how VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon storage embodies the capabilities to satisfy the storage requirements for 3rd platform applications, particularly applications that generate unstructured data. A representation of this approach is provided in Figure 1.


Figure 1. VCE Vblock Systems and VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon mixed workloads

The IDC report also cites the ability of EMC Isilon storage to “deliver native Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) integration with the ability to support multiple Hadoop distributions and versions.” This is important because many organizations are looking to consolidate their unstructured data assets, eliminate costly silos of storage and then use Hadoop analytics to gain new insight that can benefit their business. To achieve this, organizations need an infrastructure that can easily support multiple workloads with different capacity and performance requirements. Such an infrastructure is the foundation for an enterprise data lake.  With its built-in multi-protocol capabilities, including native HDFS support, EMC Isilon provides a highly efficient and flexible foundation for a vibrant enterprise data lake that supports both traditional workloads and 3rd platform applications. With Isilon organizations can consolidate unstructured data from a wide range of mixed workloads and ingest and access data from multiple sources. In this way, Isilon can be used to eliminate silos of storage, lower costs, simplify management and meet the demands of unstructured data from 3rd platform applications.

Deploying mixed 3rd platform workloads on a single infrastructure platform can be extended to include block-based data when supported by Vblock Systems with EMC XtremIO flash arrays and VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon.   A great example of this is with the expanded use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for mobile and social applications, both 3rd platform cloud-based application as shown in Figure 2, with user data such as documents, spreadsheets, videos, pictures, and other rapidly growth unstructured data.  In this use case, scale-out flash meets scale-out NAS.  By combing the power of Vblock System 540 (or Vblock System for Extreme Applications) based on EMC XtremIO and extended with EMC Isilon storage organizations can get the ultimate in performance, flexibility, scalability and efficiency.  This “hot edge/cold core” approach allows for independent scalability of performance and file capacity.  For example, if more IOPS performance is required, you can easily scale more XtremIO bricks. And if more user data storage capacity is needed, you simply add more Isilon nodes.  Ultimately, this approach dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of owning and managing a VDI infrastructure.


Figure 2. VCE Vblock Systems and VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon for VDI workload

Just as their notion of the 3rd platform of computing is compelling, IDC’s perspective on the advantages of VCE Vblock Systems with VCE technology extension for Isilon to support 3rd platform applications is clear:  VCE Vblock Systems with VCE technology extension for Isilon is an enterprise-class converged infrastructure system for 3rd platform applications running in a mixed workload environment.  The benefits to enterprises and services providers are faster time to deployment, simplified operations, lower total cost of ownership, and ultimately, a smoother transition to the 3rd platform and the transformation of their business.


[1] IDC Technology Spotlight, The Importance of a Modular and Flexible Approach to integrated Infrastructure, November 2014

A New Paradigm for Hadoop

Michael Noble

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Latest posts by Michael Noble (see all)

A new ESG Lab Review is a “must read” for any organization looking to consolidate unstructured data, eliminate infrastructure ‘silos’ and leverage Hadoop analytics to gain insight (And who isn’t these days?).The ESG Lab Review: VCE Vblock Systems with EMC Isilon for Enterprise Hadoop,[1] documents lab testing of a converged infrastructure (CI) solution based on VCE Vblock Systems and VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon storage. The ESG Lab Review also describes how VCE Vblock Systems and EMC Isilon storage can be combined with VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) to provide a fully integrated platform that easily supports growing big data and analytics requirements. This platform is also easily extensible for a wide range of traditional and next-generation workloads.


Figure 1. Enterprise Hadoop with VCE Vblock Systems and VCE technology extension for EMC Isilon storage

As shown in Figure 1, Hadoop compute resources are provided by the VCE Vblock Systems while EMC Isilon shared storage is used to store the unstructured data and provide Hadoop storage functionality. In addition to streamlining the analytic workflow, this approach provides break-through efficiency and cost savings relative to a “traditional” DAS-based approach. With Isilon, there is no need to create a separate environment to ingest data into a Hadoop cluster because the data can be written directly to Isilon using NFS, SMB, HTTP, or FTP and read by the Hadoop cluster using HDFS. Isilon allows for Hadoop analytics to be done on data that is in-place, while eliminating the need for 3x replication required with traditional direct attached storage (DAS). This lowers costs and simplifies management which is especially important for those organizations to expand from R&D or POC environments to full production. (To get an idea of how much your organization can save with in-place Hadoop analytics on Isilon, be sure to check out the on-line TCO analysis tool here).

Along with very appealing money saving prospects, in-place analytics with Isilon scale-out storage provides a number of other important advantages relative to a “traditional” Hadoop infrastructure utilizing direct-attached storage. As described in the new ESG Lab Review as well as in a previous EMC white paper, EMC Isilon Scale-Out NAS for In-Place Hadoop Analytics, these include increased resiliency, improved data protection and security.  In their analysis, ESG found that with VCE Vblock Systems and EMC Isilon, security and compliance were robust, enabling multi-tenancy and read-only access to data when needed. ESG Lab also validated that vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) allow the automatic provisioning of Hadoop nodes, as needed, for both virtual Hadoop clusters and as virtualized node additions to existing bare-metal clusters. This enables Hadoop clusters to be expanded quickly and easily.

This is all great, but for me, the most exciting finding in the ESG Lab Review, is in their analysis of Hadoop performance. Using three different tests, ESG Lab used the Hadoop TeraSort suite to validate the HDFS and MapReduce layers of a VCE Vblock Systems and EMC Isilon joint-solution. In the testing process, the data set size was scaled from 100GB to 1TB and job completion time was monitored in each test case. The results from these tests were then compared to the performance of a traditional Hadoop cluster consisting of commodity servers and DAS. An example of these test results is summarized in Table 2.

Hadoop and Isilon

Table 2. Performance Comparison: Traditional Hadoop versus Hadoop on VCE Vblock Systems with EMC Isilon Scale-out NAS

These results show that VCE Vblock Systems with EMC Isilon are well suited to deliver levels of virtualized Hadoop performance comparable to bare-metal installations in a scalable, flexible package. In ESG Lab’s TeraSort Suite tests, the VCE Vblock Systems and EMC Isilon solution delivered significant performance benefits, completing Hadoop jobs in as little as half the time compared to a traditional Hadoop configuration. Obviously, this is one of those “your mileage may vary” things but the evidence is compelling.

Interestingly, the ESG Lab Review also describes how ESG Lab measured the performance impact of the loss of a node in the Isilon cluster by intentionally powering down one of the eight Isilon nodes in the tested configuration. They observed Isilon’s data resiliency (attributable to the built-in data protection of Isilon’s OneFS operating system) and confirmed only a 12 percent performance difference, or seven-eighths of the performance of the healthy eight-node cluster (this also demonstrates the linear scalability of Isilon with respect to capacity and performance).

Taking all of these factors into account – efficiency, cost savings, management simplicity, data protection, security and performance – it seems clear that organizations interested in consolidating their Big Data and using Hadoop analytics to accelerate time to insight should check out this ESG Lab Review and learn more about how VCE Vblock Systems with EMC Isilon can benefit their business and transform the ways you run your analytics.

Welcome to the new paradigm for Hadoop!


[1] ESG Lab Review, VCE Vblock Systems with EMC Isilon for Enterprise Hadoop, November 2014

EMC World 2013, Day 1

Sam Grocott

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Product Management at EMC ETD

Welcome to EMC World 2013, all. Yesterday, we kicked off the biggest and most social EMC World ever with the ViPR announcement—EMC’s software-defined storage solution. The buzz continued throughout the day with EVP Jeremy Burton and President & COO David Goulden’s keynote on software-defined storage, where they highlighted ViPR, EMC Isilon, and Syncplicity to name a few.


In the Solutions Pavilion, we had the grand unveiling of this year’s fully decked-out EMC Isilon booth, featuring Captain Scale-Out and his team of data storage superheroes.

Isilon Booth at EMC World 2013

Stop by our fortress of scale-out for giveaways, sessions, and ongoing conversations about everything Isilon. We’re handing out t-shirts to those who come and weigh their big data and you can register to win a 3D printer; the winner will be announced during Bill Richter’s Wednesday keynote. We’ll also be demo-ing Hadoop and OneFS, and offering sneak peeks into the VCE Vblock with Isilon for file archiving.

If you’re here in Las Vegas with us, please drop by to say hello. If you were unable to make this year’s show, stream EMC World live here

Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @EMCIsilon and Facebook  for real-time updates and photos. Check back for recaps of Day 2 and 3 of EMC World 2013, and stay tuned for more scale-out news! This is just the beginning.

In the meantime, tell us—how are you leading your transformation?



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