All Your Clouds Belong to Us! EMC Federates Virtustream

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Today EMC (the squared version) announced the acquisition of Virtustream, and the positioning of it as a new full EMC federation member alongside EMC II (storage, etc.), VMware, and Pivotal.  Virtustream is all about managing mission-critical production workload-hosting clouds, and has both a software business selling management layer solutions and an IaaS business as a service provider.

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EMC Releases ViPR into the Wild – Storage Controllers for Everyone!

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

At EMC World 2015 this year EMC made a bunch of announcements, but one of the most discussed, and causing the most head-scratching, was the open sourcing of their ViPR storage controller as the new Project CoprHD. Why would EMC give away the core automation component to their much bandied about “Platform 3” strategy?

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Snakes in the Data Center: EMC ViPR Slithers In

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Storage experts know that there are two ways to handle crushing data growth – the kind of growth that exceeds our traditional scale-up storage array capabilities (in one way or another). The bad way is to keep plopping down more copies of those arrays which tends to spiral OPEX out of control – there isn’t as much OPEX efficiency at scale as we might naively think.

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Storage Virtualization Meets Software Defined Storage: EMC ViPR 1.0

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

EMC recently GA’d a first version of ViPR. Many storage folks are not still clear about what ViPR is all about.  Is it just storage virtualization repackaged to augment EMC’s physical infrastructure solution features this time?  Is it a shining new example of Software Defined Storage?  Is it unified storage, management, and data services ala private cloud? What is going on here?

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EMC Drives at Price/Performance by Rebuilding VNX Guts

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

There is no doubt that vendors are hotly competing for all those exabytes of storage that IT is eating up these days. But yesterday’s storage platforms often can’t keep up with either the growth of data or the pace of technology. EMC for one isn’t going to lay back and milk their footprint with aging solutions. Today they are announcing a new version of the unified mid-range VNX that’s been heavily re-engineered to take advantage of increasingly cost-effective compute and flash resources.

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What is Software Defined Storage?  EMC ViPR announced at EMCWorld 2013

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Here at EMC World 2013, one of the biggest themes is “software defined” storage. Much like the vague overuse of “cloud” as a marketing description, the term “software defined” is being abused by many. But after getting more details, we think EMC has got it right with the new ViPR storage architecture.

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Is Hadoop the New Data Center Platform for All Data?

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

This morning we were able to attend EMC Greenplum’s launch of their new Hadoop distro called Pivotal HD. Core to this distro is HAWQ, their new massively parallel processing analytical database built with Hadoop at its heart. I’m not sure I can cover all the implications of this evolution in this short post, but consider that horizontal multi-PB scale-out, business class interactive performance, and high-end easily leveraged analytics are now available in one package from a trusted enterprise vendor.

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Enterprise IT Will Dive Into Big Data Solutions in 2013

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

If you are in IT, 2013 is going to be the year that you will want to dive into the “big data” pool if you haven’t been pushed in already. But don’t worry – it’s no longer sink or swim. For one, we’ll be here to help coach you through it all. And while the concepts, terminology and hype have been all over the place, once you start floating around you’ll find that under the surface much of what fills the big data pool is familiar IT infrastructure, data management, and services re-cast around a few easy-to-grasp innovations.

For example, if you are in IT and asked to pick a Hadoop distro to stand up, you’d probably start with evaluating the three main vendor distributions of Hadoop (rather than getting it straight off Apache) followed by other downstream OEM’d and pre-integrated versions.  The main supported distros are from Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR.  I didn’t really appreciate the differences until talking with all three individually (at 2012 NY Strata, see below).  

What really struck me was that Hadoop, from an IT perspective, is really a set of distributed data storage services at heart. Sure, you can talk about Hadoop as an architecture based on parallel functional programming that uses map/reduce tasks to move compute process to distributed data sets, or as an analytics platform for huge volumes of unstructured data, or as a commoditized/democratized scale-out data mining solution, but from an IT viewpoint, it looks and smells a lot like a way to cost-effectively store and access large volumes of data.  It’s an innovative twist on the age-old IT data storage problem when faced with ever growing amounts of data – how to support your business cost-effectively deriving value out of growing data stores.

In an nutshell, Hortonworks takes the high-road regarding the open source Hadoop and related Apache projects, and focuses on 100% open source support. There is some good argument that by sticking with open source, you are assured future open source benefits.  If you start paying for bastardized distros and versions, you will, well, have to continue paying for it.

Cloudera is more commercially focused to help business deploy productive big data solutions. While offering a free Cloudera packaged distro version (CDH), they have a premium enterprise management offering when you get over 50 nodes. CDH is the most widely used Hadoop distro today. For example, you can buy a Dell Cloudera pre-integrated cluster, ready-to-go.

MapR thought as along as they were going to focus on helping businesses compete, they shouldn’t be constrained by open source and instead aggressively optimize the whole thing including the core parts for high performance and scalability. MapR also has a free community edition (M3), but the real enterprise solutions are M5/M7 which add sophisticated enterprise storage features directly to Hadoop including mirroring, snapshots, HA, and data placement controls (MapR optimizes other parts too, including now a highly customized Hbase). In other words, at the fundamental level MapR enterprise versions look like a hard-core “big” data storage services (EMC chose MapR for its Greenplum distro).

We’ll dive into more big data topics soon, but wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed Strata (and the combined Hadoop World) in NY a few months ago. It was sold out to the “walls”. However, folks walking in just to see even the vendor exhibition floor were turned away due to already packing the place to the maximum allowed by fire codes. The Strata/Hadoop co-sponsors O’Reilly and Cloudera should think about stepping up to a much larger venue like the Jarvitz next time. Let vendors have bigger booths and welcome all who are interested drop in. Maybe even make the vendor show floor “free” to IT folks? I’m sure the vendors would love the traffic and attention.

I am looking forward to the future Strata events – one is coming up on the West coast next month (Feb 26-28) and I’d encourage IT folks in the area to check it out. The program web page indicates they recognize the IT impact big data is having with “Big Data for Enterprise IT” themed presentations. Hope to see you there!

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EMC Atmos 2.1 Accelerates Cloud Value

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Object storage is certainly a hot topic, and it’s rising above it’s old data retention “jail” perception. And for good reasons. We think due to cloud storage building and adoption, increasingly mobile users and distributed apps, the benefits of active archiving and retaining ever bigger data sets that having a solid object storage strategy becomes significantly important going into 2013.

EMC is aiming to be a key part of that object strategy – today releasing Atmos 2.1 making wider adoption not only possible, but more profitable for both in-house cloud builders and service providers. There are some performance improvements under the hood (for larger file read/write), and significant increases in manageability intended to support ever larger deployments. But we think the cloud accelerators that enable better integration to organizational needs are going to provide the biggest bang. This latest version comes with expanded browser integration, an enhanced GeoDrive, more developer tools, and even some support for transitioning traditional apps to the cloud (bulk ingest, CAS metadata).  The theme is definitely to broaden the integration and hasten the adoption of cloud storage, gaining both cloud economics and enhanced productivity.

Atmos is already a great cloud object storage solution for web developers, but now also provides an API for Android, fast taking over the mobile marketplace. For developers in general, Atmos 2.1 can now provide anonymous URLs, which means those developers can easily build one time upload/download features into their apps (this is key for many collaboration use cases –  picture or image uploads, external file sharing, content distribution and other schemes).  Atmos 2.1 also supports “named objects”, which may ease certain kinds of distributed development challenges.

GeoDrive, a free addon to licensed Atmos customers, provides a secure, cached, drag and drop cloud drive interface. GeoDrive really makes collaboration easy by eliminating the need to set up complicated shares or mount points.  Now with GeoDrive 1.1, there are a bunch of enhancements including built-in data encryption and a CIFS Cloud Gateway so you don’t always need client side software. Shareable URL’s bring more collaboration into the picture to improve the private “dropbox” use case.  And collaboration is truly going global with GeoDrive now available in 10 languages (Atmos itself is already highly suited for distributed global cloud storage).

Perhaps most important is the new Native (Amazon) S3 API support.  By enabling customers to migrate S3 apps to Atmos (and vice-versa), Atmos cloud providers can now offer hybrid and mixed solutions alternatives, without threatening vendor lock-in.  Enterprises holding back because of fears of vendor lock-in (or that were tied into S3) can now consider the various SLA’s, services, and price options presented by Atmos powered options.

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