508, 2014

Compellent and EqualLogic Management with vCenter Operations Manager

By |August 5th, 2014|Dell Storage, Storage|0 Comments

Ever since VMware has been around it’s been difficult to troubleshoot and isolate issues to do with storage. In the early days you had a RAID set and a volume, present the volume to VMware and then from then you would carve up virtual machines. VMware is like an Ogre, it has layers. However, if there ever was a performance issue it was difficult to know where in the stack the problem resided, was it the storage, memory balloon driver, network, vmotion.  I remember when Navisphere was first able to show a LUN and its corresponding VMware volume name. It was like finding that last ice cream at the bottom of the freezer. From there we’ve had plug-ins, tools, different tools, SRM etc. but still if there was an issue you had to go through each layer in the stack looking for issues. Enter vCenter™ Operations Manager (vCOps), an analytics VM that is constantly watching and learning about your virtual environment and providing dashboards to help resolve current issues, prevent future issues and look at ways the environment can be better optimized.

vCops Overview

vCops Overview

Unlike traditional monitoring tools that work on thresholds, like space full, latency, etc; vCops learns how your environment typically operates day to day and displays events that would be above or below normal. Over time it knows when your backups run, when the Monday morning report is run, when everyone takes off to the pub for Friday afternoon drinks. It looks for patterns and then triggers when events or metrics fall outside that normal pattern. It takes about 30 days of collecting data before vCOps data becomes useful. For example: a virtual machine that typically does 300 IOPS sustained and that changes to 700 IOPS sustained, the virtual machine health status will change and alert in vCOPs. Likewise, every Thursday a full backup is run and the storage is smashed, vCOps knows that’s the expected workload for a Thursday night so its all ok. There is a lot more to vCOps and if you want more info I suggest checking out @mwpreston’s site as he loves the stuff. As a product vCOps has been around for a few years but with the latest version (5.7.1 when I wrote this) it now supports external data sources and custom dashboards, in particular around external storage metrics.

vCOps Storage Adapters

Heads up, it must be pointed out you need either advanced or enterprise versions of vCenter Operations Manager for the storage adapters to work.  Also the Dell Storage Adapter is a licensed product, but not too expensive in the scheme of things. Finally, most of this content is taken from a deck by Jason Boche and David Glynn at Dell User Forum in Miami this year, from a session called Monitoring a vSphere Environment with Storage Center and EqualLogic vCenter Operations Manager Adapters … say that three times with marbles in your mouth. vCOps Key FeaturesThe Dell storage solution pack adds value in a number of ways:

  • It delivers a servers to storage view of the health of your VMware infrastructure
  • Provides increased visibility, metrics, and rich storage analytics
  • Pre-packaged dell storage dashboards for alerts, health, performance, capacity, and top-utilization metrics
  • Performs analysis from VM to storage volume to speed root cause analysis

The storage adapter collects data through enterprise manager on Compellent (SC) and San HQ with EqualLogic (PS).  The data collection isn’t real time and can be up to 15 minutes behind depending on the values you choose to use (default is 5 mins for SC and 2 mins for PS).  This information goes into vCOps and it does its analytic magic from there. There are different UIs for VCOps, standard out of the box, Admin, and Custom.  The storage UI will have its own custom page. Standard UI

  • https://vcops UI FDQN
  • https://vcops UI FDQN/vcops-vsphere
  • Native VMware objects

Admin UI

  • https://vcops UI FQDN/admin
  • Configure/update vC Ops and install adapters

Custom UI

  • https://vcops UI FQDN/vcops-custom
  • 3rd party adapter configuration
  • 3rd party adapter objects
  • Custom dashboards

Loads of metrics are gathered by the adapter, arrays stats, controller, volume, front end and back end port stats.  By default there are a number of dashboards included with the adaptor but that doesn’t stop you creating your own custom dashboards that suit your business.  One bright feature is that shows you a visualization of the volumes presented to vCenter.  Volumes with issues will come up highlighted which you can then click and get information about the specific volume. There are little differences between the Compellent and EqualLogic metrics and I have included a screen shot of the differences below.

There is a great video by Josh Raw who is a Dell Storage Product Manager on Youtube that goes through the Solutions Pack, how to install it and demos a lot of the different dashboards (demo starts about the 7 min mark). He goes through the process of discovering an issue with a Virtual machine and drilling down to the volume that is the source of the problem, then eventually working out another VM on that volume is running a rouge process. 


As of July 2014, best to check the release notes:

  • vCenter Operations Manager 5.7.1 or higher (Advanced or Enterprise)
  • Storage Center 5.5 or newer, 6.3 or newer
  • Enterprise Manager 2014 R1 or newer
  • Enterprise Manager listens on TCP 3033
  • Credentials for EM or SAN HQ
  • SAN HQ version 3.0 or greater
  • EqualLogic Statistics Agent installed on SAN HQ Server
  • EqualLogic Statistics Agent listens on TCP 5040
  • EqualLogic firmware 6.0.7 or newer

 Screenshots of Storage Dashboards


3107, 2014

Dell User Forum registrations open for Sydney 15th October 2014

By |July 31st, 2014|DEF, DSF, Storage|1 Comment

Dell User Forum ANZ

For the past two years Dell has been putting on large customer information days.The first one was Dell Storage Forum in Randwick, Sydney, Australia which was all about, you guessed it, storage and information management. Last year we decided to change the name and include most of the portfolio at Dell Enterprise Forum in Melbourne. Both years have been very successful with almost 700 customers last year in Melbourne.

Now we’re in the third year and we just had to change the name again :). This year it’s called Dell User Forum and is in Sydney on the 15th of October at Randwick racecourse. This will be twice the size as the event in Melbourne with over 20 technical breakouts and heaps of hands on labs. Not only will there be enterprise content but also security and mobility content as well, but the best news is I’ll be there again.

We recently held DUF in the us in Miami last month. It was massive and all the videos and technical documents are available here if you are super keen

It’s a free event and a good way of keeping up to date with current trends and also getting some free training. If you see me come and say Hi.

Register for DUF here

Voice Recognition

On a side that it wants a move the selected text above seems a bit strange. I’m trawling at Ross and logs using a headset because well I’m pretty lazy and this seems like an easy way of doing. The only issue is it doesn’t really understand my thickest running backs in very well tside of a loss of the words come at a news quite interesting senses. When I talk in American accent it seems to understand me completely by the sound a bit strange and mike use the committee on hey dad was wrong with you. I’ll let you know I had this voice experiment does in the future. PS this spot I didn’t get that old and it might make no sense.

Wow …Now here is that paragraph the way I actually said it.

On a side note it may seem like the text above seems a bit strange. I’m trialing voice recognition software using a headset because, well, I’m pretty lazy and this seems like an easy way of doing it. The only issue is it doesn’t really understand my thick Australian accent very well and a lot of the words come out quite interestingly. When I talk in American accent it seems to understand me completely but it sounds a bit strange and the kids are like “hey dad whats wrong with you.” I’ll let you know I how this voice experiment does in the future.

It also doesn’t help that the Windows Speech recognition only really works in Notepad or Office.

407, 2014

Compellent and EqualLogic best practices for the first half of 2014

By |July 4th, 2014|Storage|0 Comments

A load of new technical documents, white papers and best practices have been released for Dell Storage in the last 6 months. Here they are in no specific order, mainly because I am pasting this from an internal email :) Scroll down for the EqualLogic sections.

Compellent Publications

Compellent SC4000 Storage Controller

Dell Compellent Storage Center Management Pack 3.0 for Microsoft SCOM 2012/R2 Best Practices

This document provides best practices and step-by-step procedures for installing Management Pack 3.0, configuring connectivity between SCOM and Storage Center, and troubleshooting tips

Microsoft SQL Server Best Practices with Dell Compellent Storage Center (refresh)

This document describes the best practices for running Microsoft SQL Server with a Dell Compellent Storage Center.

Introduction to OpenStack with Dell Compellent Storage Center

This paper introduces the integration and connectivity of OpenStack with Dell Compellent storage.

Dell Compellent FS8600 Snapshots and Cloning Best Practices

This paper discusses in depth the snapshot and volume clone data protection capability that is built into FluidFS. The paper reviews the overall FluidFS data protection capabilities and focuses on FluidFS redirect-on-write snapshots, including snapshot sizing, management and monitoring, performance, and typical use cases.

Dell Compellent FS8600 Thin Provisioning Best Practices

This paper discusses the thin provisioning capability built into Dell Fluid File System (FluidFS) version 3, including management, monitoring and typical use cases.

Best Practices for deploying SharePoint 2013 utilizing Dell Compellent Storage Center

This paper introduces the integration and connectivity of OpenStack with Dell Compellent storage.

Dell Compellent 6.5 SED Reference Architecture & Best Practices

This document focuses on Secure Data and Self-Encrypting Drives (SED) and contains a Reference Architecture and Best Practices

Dell Compellent SC4020 v6.5 10000-user Exchange 2013 Mailbox Resiliency Solution with 900GB drives

This document provides information on Dell Compellent’s new SC4020 storage solution for Microsoft Exchange Server, based the Microsoft Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP) – Storage program.

Dell Compellent SC4020 v6.5 4500-user Exchange 2013 Mailbox Resiliency Solution with 1TB drives

This document provides information on Dell Compellent’s new SC4020 storage solution for Microsoft Exchange Server, based the Microsoft Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP) – Storage program.

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5 Multi-VLAN Tagging Solution Brief

This solution brief introduces the new Multi-VLAN tagging feature in Storage Center 6.5.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Best Practices for Dell Compellent Storage Center (refresh)

This document provides an overview of Microsoft Windows Server 2012/R2 and introduces best practice guidelines when integrating Windows Server 2012/R2 with the Dell Compellent Storage Center.

Dell Compellent Storage Center Synchronous Replication and Live Volume Solutions Guide

This guide focuses on two main data protection and mobility features available in Dell Compellent Storage Center: Synchronous Replication and Live Volume.

Dell Compellent Live Volume and Synchronous Replication Demo Video

This video focuses on Live Volume on Storage Center 6.5.

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5.1 and Data Compression Feature Brief

This feature brief provides a high-level overview of how data compression works with the Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5.1.

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.5 Multi-VLAN Tagging Solution Brief

This solution brief introduces the new Multi-VLAN tagging feature in Storage Center 6.5.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Best Practices for Dell Compellent Storage Center (refresh)

This document provides an overview of Microsoft Windows Server 2012/R2 and introduces best practice guidelines when integrating Windows Server 2012/R2 with the Dell Compellent Storage Center.

VMware ESX(i) Best Practices for Dell Compellent Storage Center

This document provides configuration examples, tips, recommended settings, and other storage guidelines a user can follow while integrating VMware vSphere 5.x with the Dell Compellent Storage Center.

FS8600 with VMware vSphere Deployment and Configuration Best Practices

This paper outlines key points to consider throughout the design, deployment and ongoing maintenance of a vSphere solution with Dell’s FS8600 file-level storage. The topics included in this document provide the reader with fundamental knowledge and tools needed to make vital decisions to optimize the solution.

Running Oracle over NFS with the Dell Compellent FS8600 Scale-out File System

This guide focuses on the features and general best practices of the FS8600 when integrating it into an Oracle environment.

Citrix XenDesktop VDI with Dell Compellent SC8000 All-Flash Arrays for 3,000 Persistent Desktop Users

This paper highlights a 3,000 user persistent desktop VDI architecture using Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 with Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS).

Citrix XenDesktop VDI with Dell Compellent SC4020 All-Flash Arrays for 1,800 Persistent Desktop Users

This paper highlights an 1,800 user persistent desktop VDI architecture using Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 with Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS).

Best Practices for Configuring an FCoE Infrastructure with Dell Compellent and Cisco Nexus

This white paper describes use cases for implementing a point-to-point FCoE infrastructure, provides guidance for sizing a converged infrastructure, and provides best practices for designing, configuring and deploying an FCoE-only infrastructure

Best Practices for Securing Dell Compellent Storage Center

This technical paper serves as a guide to deploying a secure Compellent Storage Center SAN to prevent unauthorized access to administrative interfaces and to protect data at rest using self-encrypting drives.

FluidFS Antivirus Integration

This paper provides technical information about integrating Dell FluidFS based systems with one of the external Antivirus Dell technology partners and some best practices for deploying these solutions.

Migrating an Oracle VM Environment Across Heterogeneous Storage Arrays

This paper presents key steps and procedures for migrating an Oracle VM environment from Dell EqualLogic storage arrays to a Dell Compellent SAN. The migration solution discussed in this whitepaper is validated and approved jointly by Dell and Oracle engineering teams.

EqualLogic Publications



Best Practices for Securing a Dell EqualLogic SAN

This technical paper serves as a guide to deploying a secure EqualLogic SAN to prevent unauthorized access to the PS Series administrative interfaces and to protect data at rest using self-encrypting drives and data in flight using IPsec network layer security.

Performance Baseline for Deploying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 OLTP Database Applications Using EqualLogic PS Series Hybrid Storage Arrays

This white paper includes the results of storage I/O performance tests executed using EqualLogic PS series hybrid arrays and illustrates how the unique automated tiering capability of PS6110XS arrays can help in addressing the unique challenges of a Microsoft SQL Server based OLTP database application.

Configuring a Dell EqualLogic SAN Infrastructure with Virtual Link Trunking (VLT)

There are many possibilities for configuring various topologies of storage networks. This white paper discusses a few typical topologies that are found when deploying Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SANs with Dell Networking (Force10) switches. This document also provides best practice guidance and design considerations for deploying EqualLogic iSCSI SANs within an Ethernet switching infrastructure that utilizes Dell Networking VLT.

Sizing and Best Practices for Deploying Oracle VM using Dell EqualLogic Hybrid Arrays

This paper presents the key guidelines and best practices for deploying Oracle VM with EqualLogic hybrid arrays.  It also highlights some of the key configuration settings to achieve optimal performance and compares performance of virtualized and non-virtualized Oracle database solutions.

Sizing and Best Practices for Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 on VMware vSphere and Dell EqualLogic PS6110E Arrays

The solution presented in this paper address some of the most relevant variables to take into consideration when planning for the deployment of a virtualized Exchange Server 2013 back-end solution in conjunction with an EqualLogic PS6110E array with 4TB drives.

Using Dell EqualLogic Storage with Failover Clusters and Hyper-V

This deployment and configuration guide details using Dell EqualLogic storage with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clusters and Hyper-V, including configuration options and recommendations for servers, storage and networking.

Best Practices and Sizing Guidelines for Transaction Processing Applications with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 using EqualLogic PS Series Storage Arrays

The objective of this paper is to present the results of SQL Server I/O performance tests conducted using EqualLogic PS6210XS hybrid arrays. It also provides sizing guidelines and best practices for running SQL OLTP workloads on these arrays.

SharePoint Data Protection with Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition 4.7 Dell EqualLogic PS Series

The information in this guide is intended for administrators that have deployed SharePoint Server and are interested in using EqualLogic snapshots for efficient protection and recovery of SharePoint Server components.

Using Microsoft SQL Server with Dell EqualLogic PS Series Arrays

Best practices and configuration guidelines for deploying SQL Server with EqualLogic storage arrays.

EqualLogic Integration: Host Integration Tools for Linux with Auto-Snapshot Manager

Describes using Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Linux 1.3 Auto-Snapshot Manager to perform online Smart Copy protection and recovery with PS Series arrays.

EqualLogic Integration: Installation and Configuration of Host Integration Tools for Linux – HIT/Linux

Describes how to install and configure the Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Linux 1.3 with Dell EqualLogic PS Series storage arrays.

EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager v4.0: Installation Considerations and Datastore Management

This guide focuses on two main data protection and mobility features available in Dell Compellent Storage Center: Synchronous Replication and Live Volume.

EqualLogic Virtual Machine Protection with Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager v4.0

This Technical Report focuses on the usage of the Dell EqualLogic Virtual Storage Manager v4.0 to coordinate VMware™ aware snapshots and PS Series SAN snapshots to provide an additional layer of data protection and recovery.

Deploying Solaris 11 with EqualLogic Arrays

Step-by-step guide to integrating an Oracle Solaris 11 server with a Dell EqualLogic PS Series Array

Data Center Virtualization using Windows Server Hyper-V, PowerShell, and Dell EqualLogic Storage

This collection of papers constitutes a technical solutions guide that demonstrates virtualizing a Microsoft Server environment using Hyper-V and Dell EqualLogic storage products in a Small to Medium Business (SMB). This guide focuses on Key technologies in Windows Server Hyper-V, Initial deployment of a Windows Server Core Hyper-V host, Deploying a dedicated Hyper-V management guest, and Protecting the Hyper-V environment using Dell EqualLogic storage and tools.

FS76x0 with VMware vSphere Deployment and Configuration Best Practices

This paper outlines key points to consider throughout the design, deployment and ongoing maintenance of a vSphere solution with Dell’s FS76x0 file-level storage. The topics included in this document provide the reader with fundamental knowledge and tools needed to make vital decisions to optimize the solution.

EqualLogic Configuration Guide 15.1

The goal of the Dell EqualLogic Configuration Guide is to help storage administrators determine how best to build an iSCSI infrastructure for use within an EqualLogic SAN solution. This document focuses on network configuration, host integration and other topics that help to ensure a smooth deployment with the goal of obtaining optimum SAN performance.

Switch Configuration Guides for EqualLogic SANs

Switch Configuration Guides for EqualLogic SANs provide step-by-step instructions for configuring Ethernet switches for use with EqualLogic PS Series storage using Dell Best Practices. New Dell and 3rd party switches were added to the document set. Sustaining updates were made to Dell PowerConnect and Force10 switches.

Rapid EqualLogic Configuration Portal

The Dell Rapid EqualLogic Configuration Series of documents is intended to assist users in deploying EqualLogic iSCSI SAN solutions. The documents employ tested and proven Dell best practices for EqualLogic SAN environments. They provide step-by-step instructions for configuring EqualLogic Arrays with Ethernet switches and hosts OSes. The documentation set was updated this quarter to include Red Hat Linux host guide and maintenance releases for switches, host guides.

dell storage future

2704, 2014

EqualLogic 7.0.4 firmware released with bugfix for Heartbleed.

By |April 27th, 2014|EqualLogic, Storage|0 Comments

From EQL product guys:

The EqualLogic array firmware version 7.0.4 is now posted to the EqualLogic Support site. This release contains the fix for the OpenSSL vulnerability, also known as the Heartbleed bug. This bug affected OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 (including 1.0.1f) and 1.0.2-beta1 releases.

The OpenSSL vulnerability, “Heartbleed” only affects customers who are running the EqualLogic array 7.x.x firmware series. Customers who are at an older Firmware series like 6.x.x or 5.x.x are not affected and no action is required.

For more info on Heartbleed check out

804, 2014

Dell Flash to Disk Storage Webinar 9th March 2014

By |April 8th, 2014|Compellent, Storage|0 Comments

Just a quick one, my boss Jamie Humphrey will be hosting a webinar on Flash at the price of disk and how you can potentially keep all your workloads on flash while not having to spend to many dollars.

If you are looking at flash solutions Dell has a pretty good story at the moment. Details are below and register here.




Webinar Details

Date – Wednesday 9 April


  • 11:00 – 11:45am (Sydney)
  • 09:00 – 09:45am (Perth)
  • 10:30 – 11:15am (Adelaide)
  • 01:00 – 01:45pm (Auckland)

There has been an enormous shift in the economics of flash storage. If you’ve ever considered SSD as a way to increase performance for SAP, Oracle, SQL or big data analytics but found the cost prohibitive – the time to look again is now! Dell has taken an innovative approach to flash, one that allows us to deliver flash at a cost/GB that is comparable to spinning disk.

Dell Flash-Optimised Storage Solutions are first in class at tiering data across traditional rotating and flash optimised drives, easing the maintenance and management of your environment by redefining the economics of historically ‘expensive’ storage.

In this webinar you will learn about:

  • Unifying Today’s Virtual Storage
  • Flash at the price of disk
  • Revolutionary Licensing Models

Register today to learn more.






1903, 2014

Storage News Week Issue 8

By |March 19th, 2014|News, Storage|0 Comments

Busy week, F1 was great until Ricciardo was robbed of his 2nd place. Also there was the big announcement of the SC4020 in APJ.

1803, 2014

New all-in-one SC4020 Compellent Array launches in little ol’ Sydney

By |March 18th, 2014|Compellent, Storage|3 Comments

All the goodness of Compellents enterprise features in a mid-market form factor and price.

It’s here, it’s here! Finally we are allowed to talk about it. The brand new all-in-one Compellent has launched yesterday here in Sydney. Internally we have known about it for months (and so have a few customers I bet) so it’s great to be able to talk about it in the open.

DISCLAIMER: I work for Dell. Enterprise storage is my primary employment and its my job to educate customers about Dell storage products. Saying that, the 10 people that read my posts all the time know I try and be upfront and honest and that’s what I’m aiming for in this post.

The Facts

storage-comingsoon-page-sc4020-v6_07The Dell Storage SC4020 is Dell’s first full-featured, fibre channel, mid tier array. The SC4020 is based on the current SC8000 platform but in a 2U form factor compared to the minimum 6U starting point for the SC8000. It’s a 2U shelf with 24 x 2.5 inch drives as well as two controllers at the back, kinda like an EQL but a different sort of shelf. Initially the launch is in APJ and will support FC only but the worldwide launch will be later in the year and then it will support both FC & 10G iSCSI.

the Dell Storage SC4020 will support up to 120 drives and will scale to 408TB of raw capacity, nothing to sniff at. It runs the same software (Storage Center 6.5) and has most of the same features of its big brother, the SC8000. The SC4020 has a single quad core processor per controller and for that reason it won’t support compression. Initially live volume won’t be available but that functionality will be coming soon.

Connectivity will be 8 x 8G FC ports (4 per controller) and 4 x 10G iSCSI replication ports (2 per controller). For this release in APJ it will only support FC but will support iSCSI down the track. As I mentioned earlier, iSCSI will be enabled for host connections when it’s launched globally. For now, the iSCSI ports are purely for replication.

Back-end connectivity has 2 x 6G SAS ports per controller. This will support a redundant loops that to support the 120 drives. I know a single SAS loop can support up to 160 drives but 120 drives is the limit engineering have placed on the SC4020. Compare this to the SC8000 that can support up to 20 x 6G SAS ports.

Dell Storage Enterprise MangerStorage Center 6.5 (SC6.5) is also being released in conjunction with the SC4020. SC6.5 will be available for all new SC8000 and SC4020 installs and GA available to existing customers later in the year. If you’re an existing customer and you want to get earlier access to the SC6.5 code reach out to your local Dell storage guy and we’ll get you hooked up.

The main features of SC6.5 – besides SC4020 support are:
– Self-encrypted FIPs drives
– Multi-VLAN tagging with iSCSI option
– Sync Live Volume with manual failover

Like any IT project it had to get a catchy nickname during the development stage. Because of the 2U size of the box it was dubbed the “Baby Compellent”, which is catchy but makes you think it’s a younger, less capable, immobile eating and crapping machine. My name for it was the “Dwarf Compellent”, full featured, strong, robust but just in a smaller package, and a rockin beard. :) It never caught on.

Pricing will be announced by Dell over the coming days. However, it’s always best to talk to your Dell sales rep, expect this thing to be extremely affordable for the feature set, especially in all-flash configs (think 70%+ less than competitors).

Now, imagine you are on a desert island, sharing a apple crumble dessert with a guy called Des Ert. Take time to reflect!

Mid Market FC – Who buys FC these days?

Why did we do a smaller form-factor Compellent? Our customers told us to, that’s why. To be more specific, the APJ market told us to. The midrange FC market in APJ is huge, especially in fine China. They love the stuff. The marketeers estimate APJ have 43% of the worldwide FC mid-tier market. That’s a whole-lotta small FC shops.

“But but but … you have EqualLogic. Can’t you use it instead?”. Look, I’m so glad you asked :). EQL is actually a great fit here but one snag, it’s iSCSI only (which works exceptionally well but some of you just have to have fibre in your diet).

Right Sized Solutions for the Enterprise

Another sweet spot for the SC4020 is Enterprise’s that want the Compellent goodness out at branch or remote offices but the full sized SC8000 might seem like overkill, and cost is important. The SC4020 can replicate to an SC8000 or vice versa and the disk configuration does not need to match at each site, just make sure you have enough space. Compellent replication is very flexible, sync, async, near sync, kitchen sink, cascade – the whole lot. Think of it this way, we could easily have a solution with 8 SC4020s spread out over various sites and distances replicating back to a larger SC8000 in the main office or a hosted/managed DC managed by the customer or Dell.

FATPOD – My new favourite IT acronym

FATPOD – Flash At The Price Of Disk, awesome. I can’t actually believe I hadn’t noticed that acronym myself. It’s great. The other one is AFA – All Flash Array but FATPOD wins fat hands down. [Dell Hat On]Right now, this is what sets Dell Storage apart in the market at the moment is the way we can mix multiple SSD types and spinning disk to make it go like the clappers but still have lots of capacity to store all your downloads.[Dell Hat Off]

One of the key advantages to the Compellent platform is the way it can optimise and combine write optimised and read optimised flash (SSD) so it appears as one tier to your applications. This gives you the blinding performance SSD can give with the price/capacity benefits usually only available with slower spinning drives.

The SSD tier uses a mix of write optimised (WI) SLC drives and read optimised (RO) eMLC drives. Currently the WI drives are 400GB and the RO drives are 1.6TB, both are 2.5 inch drives so we can 24 in one shelf.

For example, a full shelf of flash with 6 x SLC and 18 x MLC will give you approx 24TB of usable space and about 80,000 to 100,000 IOPS at 80%/20% R/w. Not too shabby at all.

The WI/RO (SLC/MLC) mix allows us to hit such a good price point per GB. Imagine if your branch office had more IOPS than your prod array :)

Initial tests in the labs shows the box has legs, using All Flash the engineers were able to max the array out at around 300,000 IOPS for 100% read workload and about 200,000 IOPS with a 70%/30% read/write ratio. Expect more offical numbers to be released over the next couple of days.

The beauty of Data Progression in the SC4020 is you can be flexible how much flash and spinning you put into the array, it just comes down to what you need the array to do, and if you need to grow it just add more disk. The pool structure of Compellent allows you to dynamically add new drives on the fly and they get assimilated into the exiting pool – restriping baby.

If you want to read more about FATPOD try this brochure from Dell or see Infoworlds review on it.

Now, imagine you are at home, in a bath, naked except for your socks, holding some wet pizza. Not pleasant is it. Stop.

Perpetual Licensing

The licensing is the same as it has always been with Compellent, you buy the licenses and you get to keep them, simple right? Well it turns out a lot of folks don’t find it simple, I think mainly because everyone is programmed to expect to buy licenses every time they buy a new array. The Dell position on this is very different. You buy your Compellent and license the features you want, when it comes time to replace that array, you reuse your existing licenses. In our eyes its still the same array it’s just that it’s been refreshed. On top of that, if you reach the max limit of an SC8000 and you need to scale out all good, you can leverage the licensing in the first array so that the price is much lower. There is a small expansion cost but it’s nothing like the cost of licensing a whole new array. Do a google search on Compellent perpetual licensing and no forklift upgrade and you’ll find heaps of info as it has been around for years.

In terms of licensing the SC4020, the base license enables you for 48 drives, then there are two additional license packs

  • Performance Bundle: Includes Data Progression, Fast Track
  • Remote Data Protection Bundle: Includes Remote Instant Replay (Sync & Async)

As with the SC8000, you only need to license up to 96 drives.

The SC4020 array will be supported exactly the same way the SC8000 is supported by Dell’s award winning Co-pilot support org which is great news for customers … and also the guys selling it :)

The launch at Kinglseys Steakhouse on Monday with some Customers, Press and Analysts.

I was lucky enough to attend the launch in Sydney on Monday (Yesterday). It was a great lunch and some excellent conversation. I recognised a bunch of the journalists but not many of the analysts. Man those journos are loud buggers :)

The lunch was kicked off by Joe Kremer, VP and President South Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He explained (somewhat gleefully) that we no longer have to report back to Wall Street anymore now Dell is private but things are going very, very well. He then handed over to Alan Atkinson who is the VP of Storage for Dell to announce the SC4020. On a side note, he’s a top bloke and very easy to talk to. I’ve found that a lot with Dell that the execs are very personable and will often stop for a chat, very unlike where I used to work. Alan went through all the stuff I have mentioned in the post above, although perhaps a little more formally. There were a few questions about the perpetual license model and how much flash can we stick in the thing from various Journos and on the whole I think it was received very well (although I’m biased). It was a short presentation which I think the crowd appreciated and we got into lunch and a beer or two. From there it was more casual one-on-one discussions and a bit of a petting zoo with the demo SC4020 we had in the room.

I had a great day and I want to do a special shout out to David (John) Holmes for getting me involved and trusting me with this. It’s my first time with a product launch so hopefully it’s been informative and useful.

Some photos I took from the event are below. I think I’m getting a bit rusty with the camera.

DISCLAIMER #2: If you can’t  tell I’m a dinkum Aussie so I spell like one. Optimized is Optimised, favorite is favourite, cheese is not orange etc.

1203, 2014

Storage News Week Issue 7

By |March 12th, 2014|News, Storage|0 Comments

3 days to F1, 3 days to F1. I haven’t been this excited since this time yesterday. Pretty short list this week, and most of them have come from @sfoskett

  • To bloody funny – What does it look like if you take a video at a rave and dub in the Benny Hill theme?
1103, 2014

Storage News Week Issue 6

By |March 11th, 2014|News, Storage|0 Comments

I’m off to Singapore soon for some (hopefully) awesome training on the new Compellent OS and Fluid Cache for SAN so I will do a writeup about that when I get back. But before that I get to go to the F1 in Melbourne this weekend, can’t wait. First race of the season and Ricciardo should do well. If you are around the track ping me on twotter.

2602, 2014

Storage News Week Issue 5

By |February 26th, 2014|News, Storage|0 Comments

Stuff from around the place from these last 7 days. A bit light on as we’ve been busy saying farewell to a lot of friends recently but time to rock out with our sock out. Also, I send out an internal version of this and it was very internal heavy, like a … umm .. no, better not – Danger Zone. Speaking of Danger Zone, I just discovered I had missed the ENTIRE season 4 of Archer. Seems like a sad thing but now I can sit down and watch the whole lot in one sitting. Babu! he remembers me!

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