Is your IT infrastructure an Oil Tanker?

I had the opportunity to attend an Avnet/EMC/VMware/Brocade sponsored for channel partners EVO-RAIL VSPEX Blue BootCamp.

In a nutshell it was all you can drink information from a firehose— about EVO-RAIL specifically the EMC VSPEX BLUE.

EVO RAIL is a new beast of an animal. It is a different breed. No, not in and single dimension you measure. The combination of technology presented is a synergy. Definition: Synergy is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

Yes; you can get the the form factor for compute separately. You can also do the same for VSAN and ESXi vSphere 5.5 and networking. but you cannot get what the entire VSPEX BLUE offering of EVO RAIL provides TOGETHER.

I get ahead of myself.

You have to have perspective to understand where we are today. To me that means if you don’t know where you come from you  cannot know where are you today and where you will be tomorrow. It is all relative.

EVO RAIL is a clustered system. It is a Datacenter in a 2U form factor. Not just compute but a modern hyper converged solution.

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Sure. Another IT buzzword. Is it just talk? I would say no.

Everyone is talking about it but only a few are “doing it”… more often than not the IT industry is a buzz with the new technology of the day.
In this case it is Hyper-converged.
To put it simply storage is local to compute. What a minute how is that different than 15 years ago when Client-Server model was the norm and storage was already local to the compute. Compute meaning the processing of the server CPU. Well lots has changed.
How is it better. A snapshot of what is the current available technology:
  • Compute is way, way faster and more dense.
  • Networks are 10 gigabit vs Fast Ethernet 100 Base-T or FDDI Optical rings are no longer the only viable choice.
  • Storage is IOPs crazy.
  • And add to that the agility of VMware Virtualization!
So look at the speed of compute, network and storage. Technology will continue to get faster and better (lower cost for the return on investment).
But what really hasn’t changed much is the complexity of the solution. There are many moving parts but how do you delivery your solution today to support legacy applications and have the agility to respond to changing business objectives.
The old phrase “turning an oil tanker on a dime”. Is IT today an Oil tanker? Does your private cloud have the agility your business requires? How will the current toolset respond? How will your staff? Oh what was that “IT staffing has been reduced and that is a trend that hasn’t gone away”
IT organizations are forced to do more with little… queue in viable alternatives…
Do you outsource.. the simplest short term gain, but not always the best long term investment.
I view EVO rail as a datacenter in a box. EVO-RAIL VPSEX Blue is Not the Cluster in a box solution but much much more.
This reminds me of the forerunning of MCSC cluster in a box. Like I said.. perspective. Where has the IT industry been before relative to where it is today. I recall back in the day when cluster in a box was a viable (and the best solution at the time) era 2000. That was only a high-availablity MSCS cluster with one node active at a time. 
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Yes, I deployed and supported a few of these solutions. It was cutting edge back then.
Adjusted for inflation:
$1000.00 USD in 2000 is $1395.20
so the CL1850 was $27,864.00 (2000 $)
or $38,569 in 2015 $.
But what did you get for your IT dollar?
Each “node” in the CL1850
RAM:
  • 1 GB RAM (128-MB 100-MHz registered ECC SDRAM memory)
Compute:
  • 2 Pentium III processors @550MHz
Network
  • 3 NICS (one dedicate for internode communication) 100 BaseT
Storage:
  • 2 RAID controllers
Shared Storage System:
  • 218.4 GB (6 x 36.4-GB 1′′ Ultra3 10,000 drives)
Form Factor 10U
Fast forward to 2015….What does EVO-RAIL VSPEX BLUE PROVIDE:
Each EMC VSPEX BLUE appliance includes:
AKA WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD??
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FORM FACTOR
  • 4 nodes of integrated compute and storage, including flash (SSD) and HDD — 2U
  • VMware EVO:RAIL software including VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN), Log Insight
COMPUTE
        12 cores @ 2.1GHz per node
RAM
  • 128 or 192 GB memory per node
NETWORKING
  • Choice of 10 Gigabit Ethernet network connectivity: SFP+ or RJ45
STORAGE
  • Drives: up to 16 (four per node)
  • Drives per node: 1 x 2.5” SSD, 3 x 2.5” HDD
  • Drive capacities
    • HDD: 1.2TB (max total 14.4TB)
    • SSD for caching: 400GB (max total 1.6TB)
               14.4TB capacity RAW
Additional Software Solutions – Exclusive to VSPEX-BLUE
  • EMC VSPEX BLUE Manager providing a system health dashboard and support portal
  • EMC CloudArray to expand storage capacity into the cloud (license for 1 TB cache and 10 TB cloud storage included)
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA) for centralized backup and recovery
  • EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines for continuous data protection of VMs. Includes licenses for 15 VMs.

The question still remains. Is your IT infrastructure an Oil Tanker? OR Can you turn on a dime??

How does your IT respond the the ever changing business demands?

Is EVO RAIL for everyone? There are a lot of use cases that EVO RAIL VSPEX BLUE will work perfect for. But,  No it isn’t for everyone.  BUT what it does is usher in a new consumption of IT that is different manner. You will not have to be provision your datacenter in the same piece meal function. You can commoditize that to a pre-validated solution that is supported by a single vendor.

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This graphic has a lot more details than this single blog post can explain! I will try to explain each section that helps to make VSPEX BLUE a different redefined EVO RAIL solution.

EMC VPSEX BLUE MANAGER  

– VSPEX BLUE Manager users can conveniently access electronic services, such as the EMC knowledge base articles, access to the VSPEX Community for online and real-time information and EMC VSPEX BLUE best practices.

EMC VPEX BLUE WITH ESRS 

– ESRS is a two-way, secure remote connection between your EMC environment and EMC Customer Service that enables remote monitoring, diagnosis, and repair – assuring availability and optimization of your EMC products

*EMC VSPEX BLUE SUPPORT

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EMC EMC VSPEX BLUE WITH RECOVERPOINT FOR VMs

– Protects at VM-LEVEL GRANULARITY, OPERATIONAL AND DR AT ANY POINT IN TIME

EMC VSPEX Blue with VDPA and DATA DOMAIN

– Built in Deduplicated Backups, powered by EMC Avamar

EMC VSPEX BLUE & CLOUD ARRAY

– Block and File upto 10 TB FREE. “EMC CloudArray software provided scalable cloud based storage with your choice of many leading cloud providers enabling limitless Network Attached Storage, offsite backup and disaster recovery and the ability to support both Block and File simply”

VSPEX BLUE MARKET

– Built into the VSPEX MANAGER dashboard. This unique feature enables customers to browse complementary EMC and 3rd party products that easily extend the capabilities of the appliance.

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Again there are a lot of take aways for the VSPEX BLUE – EVO RAIL solution. Contact me if you more information.

EMC vVNX – 3.1.2 FULL-FEATURED NO TIME LIMITS


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What is it: 

“The vVNX Community Edition (also referred to as vVNX) provides a flexible storage alternative for test and development environments.”

SDS = Software Defined Storage!!
Download a full-featured version of vVNX available for non-production use without any time limits.”
File type: *.ova
File Size: 2.1 GB
Release date: 5/4/2015
Version: 3.1.2

Download here! https://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/vvnx.htm

Architecture and functionality:

White Paper details: vVNX Community Edition https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-44552

Installation Guide: https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-42029

Prerequisites

Before you can obtain and activate the trial vVNX license, you must have completed the following tasks:

  1. Registered to create a product support account.
  2. Downloaded the vVNX software.
  3. Installed vVNX.
  4. Launched Unisphere.
The Configuration  runs when you log in to Unisphere for the first time.
Procedure
  1. Note the vVNX system UUID provided on the License dialog in the Configuration Wizard.
  2. Go to the Electronic License Management System (ELMS) download page at www.emc.com/auth/elmeval.htm
  3. Click Obtain evaluation license for vVNX.
  4. Enter the vVNX system UUID and select vVNX as the product type. 
  5. Click Download to save the license to your local system.
    Note: An email confirming that you have successfully obtained the evaluation license is sent to the email address you provided when you registered.
  6. Return to the License dialog in the Configuration Wizard and click Install License File
  7. Locate the license file, select it, and click Upload to install and activate it. 

Note: Do not repeat this procedure once you have saved the license and received the confirmation email. If you try to enter the vVNX system UUID again, you will receive a “Duplicate UUID” error message.