#SFD16 – Dell-EMC PowerMax and CloudIQ

A Storage Field Day, René van den Bedem got an update from Dell EMC. They specifically focused on PowerMax, their evolution of VMAX All Flash now with NVMe. René looks at why PowerMax still represents the best option for legacy 3-tier hardware and mission-critical legacy applications.


PowerMax, VMAX, XtremIO – the Agony of Choice

Chris Evans looks at Dell EMC’s newly announced PowerMax, an all-NVMe storage array. When fully configured, PowerMax can hit up to 10 million IOPS at under 300 microseconds of latency, while still being able to access the mature data service of their VMAX line. Chris raises a similar to point to Dell EMC’s XtremeIO presentation at Storage Field Day last year, that with many families of storage arrays, Dell EMC needs to be very clear which line is best for prospective customers.


My dilemma of stateful storage marriage

Chin-Fah Heoh has been thinking about stateful data in stateful storage containers and how they would interact with distributed applications containers and functions-as-a-service. This led to a consideration of what a distributed data systems would look like, wherein the idea of a “data center” seems like an oxymoron. He’s seen some past Storage Field Day companies offer pieces on how to get to a distributed data system. Chin-Fah will be at Storage Field Day next month, and looks forward to seeing how Hedvig and WekaIO will offer more pieces to this puzzle.


E8 Storage Announces Software-only Offering

Dan Frith heard from E8 Storage at Storage Field Day last year. The company recently announced an exciting new feature, the launch of E8 Storage Software that can run across a range of qualified commodity hardware. This lets you connect up to 96 host servers to a single E8 Storage Controller. While E8 has no plans to exit the hardware market, Dan thinks the shift to embrace a more software centric approach is indicative of larger industry trends.


What Next for XtremIO?

Chris Evans heard from Dell EMC’s XtremIO team at Storage Field Day late last year. In this post, he digs into the history of the platform, discussing how their X2 release addressed customer concerns and added better compression from the initial XtremIO X1 solution. Dell EMC is committed to supporting XtremIO long term, but Chris discusses where exactly the solution fits in the modern enterprise.


Object Storage Critical Capabilities #3 – Searching, Indexing and Metadata

Chris Evans has been looking at object storage requirements in a series of posts. In this edition, he looks at how to handle object naming, the importance of user and system metadata, and the importance of search. For this last item, Chris highlights the Zenko multi-cloud object storage controller from Scality, which he saw at Storage Field Day in November.


Why move to one cloud, if you can move to a multi cloud?

Jon Klaus likes the cloud, but is hesitent to depend on a single provider. He looks at how Scality’s Zenko Multi Cloud Controller allows you to easily replicate storage across multiple clouds, public and private. This often increases resiliency and cost savings at the same time.


Performance Analysis of SAS/SATA and NVMe SSDs

Chris Evans reviews a performance analysis paper, breaking down the performance gains of NVMe vs SATA NAND disks in databases. This includes a look at real world applications. It shows the benefit of the reduced complexity and overhead of NVMe compared to SATA on otherwise identical storage media. As Chris notes, the lower CPU utlization and wait times have led to companies like E8 Storage and Excelero to develop new storage architectures. And in the HCI space, Scale Computing and X-IO are finding new ways to use the compute.


Dell EMC VMAX All-Flash: A proven solution for mission-critical systems

Max) Mortillaro shares a great piece inspired by Dell EMC’s recent Storage Field Day presentation on their VMAX All-Flash array. He starts out by outlining the how and why organizations define what exactly are mission-critical applications. This naturally leads into a discussion of VMAX All-Flash, which Max describes as “a perfect fit for mission-critical systems”. He digs into how this third iteration of VMAX adds some useful new features for those organizations that need highly available Tier-1 storage.


XtremIO X2: easier scaling, fewer cables and metadata aware replication

After seeing Dell EMC’s presentation at Storage Field Day last year, Jon Klaus shares his thoughts on their XtremIO X2 storage array. Jon sees several interesting features compared to its predecessor. Among other features, Jon liked the improved flexibility when scaling storage, including offering XtremIO X2 Bricks with only partially populated disks. This makes it easier for new customers to adopt. XtremIO X2 also offers improved 5:1 data reduction, which can be achieved without a performance penalty due to its “inline everything” architecture.


VMAX All Flash: Enterprise reliability and SRDF at <1ms latency

Jon Klaus gives an overview of Dell EMC’s all flash VMAX storage array, which he saw at Storage Field Day earlier this year. This brings sub 1ms latency and high IOPS to the already reliable line.


Four Platforms When One Will Do?

After getting a review of their mid-range storage offerings at Storage Field Day last month, Chris Evans tries to makes sense of Dell EMC’s portfolio. This includes the SC-series, Unity, VNX and EqualLogic. The last two will be phased out as the result of the Dell EMC merger. Chris breaks down the rationale behind keeping two distinct mid-range lines, highlighting major differentiation like file protocols and deduplication support.


Storage Field Day 14

If you missed last month’s Storage Field Day, Barry Coombs has a post to get you caught up on most of the presentations. He includes his morning videos recorded at the event, going over his thoughts on what he saw the day prior. He also includes his excellent doodles for each presentations. These include notes on each company, as well as photos and screen shots. For a full audio-visual catch up on Storage Field Day, Barry has you covered.


vMax to the Max

Dell EMC went into a technical deep dive on VMAX during their presentation at Storage Field Day earlier this year. Erik Ableson looks at their recently released all-flash VMAX, and considers the current state of “big iron” and how something like VMAX fits into the world of the modern storage admin.


E8 Storage: The Mercedes-Maybach 6 of NVMe Flash Arrays

Max Mortillaro heard from E8 Storage at Storage Field Day last month. In his blog post, he’s pretty clear: (f)rom a performance perspective, E8 Storage will just blow your mind away. Their radical approach to storage proved very exciting for Max, and he sees their solution as ideal for Tier-0 applications requiring high throughput, high IOPS and low latency.


Of Object Storage, Filesystems and Multi-Cloud

IT has been calling for the elimination of silos seemingly forever. When cloud storage came along, it was thought this would solve storage silos. But as Chin-Fah Heoh points out in this piece, we just got siloed storage in the cloud. At Storage Field Day earlier this month, Chin-Fah got a look at Scality’s Zenko.io multi-cloud data controller. For him, this represents a new file system/data fabric, which may signal a new phase for cloud storage. One which bring high performance I/O to the table.


The power of E8

Chin-Fah Heoh does not mince words when it comes to what he saw from E8 Storage at Storage Field Day. In his view, it’s the most complete solution of all the next gen NVMe storage technologies. Their solution offers high throughput, low latency storage, via RDMA fabric. With this they can offer 10 million IOPS, with 100µsecs for reads and 40µsecs for writes.


VMAX – The Mainframe of Storage

In this piece, Chris Evans compares Dell EMC’s VMAX storage array to classic mainframe computing. This may sound like a backhanded compliment, but is actually astute praise. Like the mainframe, VMAX caters to legacy applications that need industry leading high availability and performance. In that niche, the new All-Flash VMAX array performs excellent, and Chris would recommend for the right legacy workloads.


A Conversation with Congruity360 COO Mark Shirman

At Commvault GO 2017, Stephen Foskett sat down to interview Congruity360’s COO Mark Shirman. They discussed the company’s managed services portfolio, business model, and new data center.


Dell-EMC VMAX All Flash Review

At Storage Field Day last week, the delegates got to see presentations from a number of Dell EMC divisions, including an update on their flagship VMAX All Flash array. René van den Bedem thinks the platforms long legacy of high performance and availability makes it a no-brainer for organizations that need five 9s or greater availability on a 3-tier storage platform .