Sunday, October 28, 2012

EMC Forum Toronto: IT as a Service (ITaaS)

Paul O’Doherty, Cloud Solution Manager

The advent of Cloud computing has created pressure on internal IT departments to act more like service providers.


Like a service provider, IT must deliver improve business agility and more direct value to the business top-line while maintaining security, trust and control.  At the same time the IT group must figure our how to simplify the consumption of technology services by the business.

This requires changes to how service is delivered; allowing more self-service and greater end user choice on compute devices.  It requires the IT group to focus on delivering services vs. silos of technology.

IT must consider more hybrid models of private and public cloud.  A hybrid model enables the IT group to deliver the services they are extremely good at and federate others.  Studies have shown that a Hybrid Cloud model provides the absolute lowest total cost for delivering IT compared to any other model – including public cloud.

In order to transform there are three primary models that the IT team must adopt:

  • The Technology model: integrating Hybrid Cloud using converged infrastructure.  Converged infrastructure enforces consistent standards and predictable IT and utilization costs.
  • The Consumption model: deliver service catalogs vs. delivering a collection of virtual machines to accelerate deployment of new services. 
  • The Operations model: A new set of skills will be required in Cloud and datacenter architecture.  In addition a change in traditional Project Management to Product Management.  This will enable the IT team to deliver products that improve business competitiveness and agility.

Adopting these models will take time, however the benefit is that operational costs are reduced. In addition, deployment times are accelerated and the amount of IT capital available for delivering new capabilities and services increases in an ITaaS model.  To see the complete presentation click here

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

EMC Forum Toronto: Isilon Advantage

Isilon allows you to apply N+1 or N+4 redundancy so you can tailor the availability of the storage around the business requirement.

Isilon support's NFS, SMB, HTTP, FTP and iSCSI in addition to Native Hadoop HDFS Support.

The appliance supports RBAC and enables Authentication Zones to enable multi-tenant Cloud storage.

EMC has collapsed multiple features into OneFS. Which enables

Single File System
High Performance
80% efficiency
Easy Growth
Linear Scalability

Isilon Hardware Family incorporates incorporates the S-Series (Performance), X-Series (Flexibility) and NL-Series (Capacity). You can archive off one tier to another while online using Smart Pools.

OneFS is a new approach which collapses everything under one management model. Performance is unmatched in the Isilon which delivers 1.6M IO/s to provide the worlds fastest NAS device. In addition you can now revert snapshots based on a single command line.

New capability is SyncIQ - Failover/Failback between sites with the touch of one button. SyncIQ is multi-node and multi-threaded.

Isilon comes with Secure Separation between access and the platform. You can be an administrator on the box without having access to the data. In addition the new SmartLock feature can disable the administrator from deleting files.

Isilon will support VAAI and VASA APIs in the vSphere platform. In addition they have implemented a REST API to allow integration into other EMC Platforms.

For complete roadmap and product information go to

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EMC Forum Toronto: Big Data Transforms Business: Michael Bloom and Adam Fournier

Michael is a mid tier specialist and Adam is with Greenplum. What is responsible for the big jump in data? It is the proliferation of smart devices recording and uploading images and data around the globe.

How are companies using big data?

Getting to know their customers
Budget and planning exercises
Performance management of workloads
Pricing and costing exercises

This explosion in data introduces new opportunities for business. For example being able to tailor make smart phone adds as the customer is entering the store based on prior business habits. This provides a localized experience for consumers.

The first thing you need is lots of space. For example: Broad Institute is using Isilon to store data for genome sequencing. Isilon has a single management interface amalgamating petabytes of potential storage space.

Once you have all that data is localized what do you do with it? You need to apply analytics to data to turn it into business value. This segmentation of massive amounts of data is called micro segmentation.

Greenplum data analytics for structured or unstructured data (Hadoop) adds nodes for linear scalability and performance. Queries can run in parallel and are tuned to scale.

The layers of this model is the Isilon platform and presentation of the data using the HDFS protocol. The Greenplum uses an HDFS API to access this data.

Big Data analytics require data science; essentially you are running mathematical algorithms to predict want would be needed next. In the example these algorithms were used to predict what the customer would be interested in and target market to them.

How many packaged apps are built around big data; very few so they are all custom built at this point in time. Developing these custom interfaces can be very advantages: as an example their are a few online retailers enabling partners to query their customer data to understand the shopping habits.

Greenplum Chorus brings a social networking type interface to allow you to interact with big data. You can create a workspace, create a team of users to interact with it and add a sandbox to store your data. Once your workspace is created you can grab an instance of data to interact with it. You can tag it to associate it with your workspace (vs. moving it). This is beneficial as it gives you the ability to associate but avoid having to create copies or moving large amounts of data. You have the ability to join relational and hadoop based data sets. The point of this flexibility is to enable a business to do things like customer profiling.

Pivotlabs helped built these interfaces and EMC liked it them so much they essentially acquired the company. They bring the application development piece that was missing in the EMC big data message.

To reiterate the layers; Petabyte Storage, Analytics Platform (Greenplum), Data Science (Greenplum analytics lab) and the ability to develop new applications (Pivot Labs).

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EMC Forum Toronto: Why VCE Today, Frank Hauck

The session starts with the potential of the converged infrastructure opportunity. Right now converged infrastructure is 6% of IT spend. VCE sees this growing to 60% of IT spending. Converged Infrastructure (CI) actually helps IT departments by simplifying things.

Today's IT is typically built out project by project. This makes the deployment piecemeal. The speaker relates a common problem where infrastructure gets out of sync. Essentially the upgrade and maintenance is not being maintained consistently across the infrastructure. The solution is to build it converged in the factory.

Servers, Storage, Networks with VMware software; there is a standard set of components put together in a standard way. There is still some flexibility to allow a percentage of customizations at the appropriate level. In designing Vblocks, VCE is looking to level set the skill sets required and blend the silos of expertise (Server, Storage and Network).

The Vblocks allow you to stand up infrastructure in less than two days and start delivering increased IO to the application. In addition VCE provides end-to-end support on the Vblocks.

The first products that were created by VCE were reference architectures. Customers and partners asked VCE to take these and deliver a product. This is were the Vblock came from and converged is a trend that is catching on industry wise.

VCE has built a Software API to allow you to interconnect frameworks to reduce the number of folks you have working on infrastructure. According to IDC research the VCE products provide 5 X faster deployment with 4 X less resources to deploy. In the near future VCE will ship with a remote office or branch in a box solutions designed for the SMB space.

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EMC Forum: Toronto

At the EMC Forum in Toronto the list of Platinum sponsors is CISCO, VMware and Brocade. The Gold list is: Intel, Onx and VCE

EMC is a onetime data storage company that now sells disruption

The message is about transforming EMC's ability to transform IT and the way it companies do business.

Country Manager for EMC Canada Mike Sharon is introduced. Mike thanks the audience for their business and support and taking time to learn EMC's solutions.

The program this year includes 20 sessions including one delivered by your truly on how to transform IT to IT as a Service (ITaaS). Mike talks about the evolution of the discussion from IT focus to how to bring a competative focus on business.

Dennis Hoffman is introduced as the keynote Sr. Vice President of the EMC partner program.

Dennis prefaces the messages that will be delivered throughout the day which is about transformation. Dennis talks about the waves of change impacting IT companies, Careers and whole businesses.

Dennis believes that we are at the start of a new wave that incorporates Cloud, Big Data

Dennis says that the message is clear you should be doing both private and public cloud. Surveys show us that people are already doing both. You cannot have a hybrid cloud without trust. As EMC is not going to become a service provider this is about trusted partners.

We need to simply Cloud through a set of products, proven infrastructure and converged infrastructure. The transformation begins with the simplification of the infrastructure.

Cloud is really a workload centric approach; how do I deliver disparate workloads and deliver them consistently. Customers are increasingly asking several questions?

Can I do it cheaper in Cloud
Can I trust the workload in the Cloud
Does the Cloud meet all my functional requirements

Cloud transforms IT, "We are striving to take IT from a cost center to a competitive advantage"

Dennis talks about the issue of trust in the Cloud. The Old World is very static. The characteristics are static and bolt on security models.

In order to do this we have to put a tivo on our networks in order to record. This takes a massive amount of data.

Like Cloud Big Data is transforming business. In 2000 the world generates two exabytes every year, now we generate that every day.

It is being used in a variety of ways to improve business. data has to be converted to information in order to be beneficial to us.

EMC has made big investments in this area; the first is really about storage; the second piece is investments in analytics (Greenplum) and on-top of that they have invested in analytics labs. This is an area of the market that is straining to find skills. In addition they bought a company (Pivot) to write applications to take advantage of this data.

EMC has struggled to rebrand itself it from a place to store data to a partner to transformation. Much of the acquisitions have been outside the core of storage. Storage still represents a large percentage of its revenues.

VMware is a recognized leader in the development of Cloud operating systems. vCloud Director is designed with federation in mind.

EMC has 50,000 employees in 83 countries. EMC is going to build products. You expect EMC to invest and acquire solutions.

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