EMC World 2014: 10 Takeaways

 

EMC World 2014Reliant was able to attend EMC World for the first time this year. We learned a lot about our peers, the industry and the future of storage. The sheer amount of information from these types of events is similar to, say, drinking water from a fire hose. But with 5 representatives from Reliant at the conference, we were able to walk away with some key information to help us better serve our customers.

Here are the 10 most important things we learned:

1. EMC has overhauled its partner program

EMC’s partner program has been re-architected to help them capture more opportunities. According to techtarget.com, “All of the benefits, all of the criteria in the cloud services provider program and in the solution provider program, global alliances, have been customized.” EMC describes this change as “revolutionary” for the company, allowing each partner to essentially maximize their particular area of the market. Partners can now sell more and partner tiers get you access, discounts and marketing dollars.  

2. Flash is the future

EMC is very clearly focused on flash storage as the future. One of their storage engineers, Michael Hill, reflected on a few of the nuts and bolts. “Flash storage devices store information in a collection of flash cells made from floating gate transistors. SLC devices store only one bit of information in each cell, while MLC store more than one bit per cell. Even so, MLC has lower performance and endurance because of its inherent architectural tradeoffs.”

With that said, five percent flash in a pool is still a good guideline, and one should always add fast cache before flash.

Flash is gaining traction. Now if the prices will just drop.

3. Software-Defined Storage is the future

While adding disks is a quick way to add capacity, it’s not a fix-all. For example, with CX3s and CX4s you can pool your storage together, but when you add disks, it does not truly add capacity to your storage pool. With EMC fully automated storage tiering (FAST), the software is the magic sauce to genuinely add disks to a disk pool. This is just one of many, many examples of how software is changing the game in the storage industry.

4. Data Domain Enhancements

Data Domain now offers multi-tenancy. This means you can divide up your box for two different users and they won’t be able to see each other’s data. Data Domain Boost means customers get backups straight from the host to the Data Domain system, which is ideal for DBA groups or hosting companies that have multiple customers.

Additionally, Data Domain has introduced the new DD2200 for small and medium-size businesses, with the capability of backing up 36 TB of data in less than eight hours. 

5. Added features to the VNXe

VNXe 3200 has added more features like FAST, Fibre Channel ports and multicore optimization. Previously, these features were only available on VNX1 and 2.

6. VNX2 and Data-at-Rest

VNX2 will soon offer data-at-rest encryption. There is also a new unisphere management suite.

7. EMC XtremIO versus Pure Storage

Both EMC XtremIO and Pure Storage are all-flash arrays, and both are going after virtual desktop integration (VDI). Keep an eye on this. There’s a good measure of competition going on between the two, with EMC pointing out latency issues with Pure Storage.

8. Private versus Corporate Cloud

While the cloud certainly has its advantages, many are still hesitant to make the move. EMC published numbers stating using Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud carries with it a 23 – 28% increase in four-year TCO for 5+ PB of storage – as opposed to owning your own EMC hardware.

9. Understanding FAST

People think FAST moves data to slower or faster storage; in reality, FAST moves the data you access most frequently to the forefront, while the other data you aren’t using is being pushed down automatically.

10. EMC will give you a million dollars 

This one comes with a caveat: EMC will give you a million dollars if you can take down an XtremIOTM all-flash array by proving inline data services have switched off, been throttled back or defaulted to a “system garbage collection” state. EMC is essentially guaranteeing 100% uptime with this device. Read the press release here.


What were your experiences like at EMC World 2014? Comment and let us know.