XtremIO @ Tech Field Day 2014



during the week of VMworld 2014, we had the pleasure of presenting in front of the audience of the tech field day delegates.

attached below are the links to the session Josh Goldstein delivered, enjoy!

EMC XtremIO Introduction


EMC XtremIO Architecture – Consistent and Predictable Performance


EMC XtremIO Data Services

VMworld 2014–The XtremIO Sessions At The CUBE

fresh from today, I wanted to put in one place all the video sessions we made with the great guys over at Silicon Angle.

the things I took from all the sessions we had about XtremIO were all about the questions, like the product, the anlysts themselves are now getting into the unique architecture of XtremIO and how the market is evolving toward the AFA based Data Center!


Based on their chronological appearance:

Matt Cowger, Global VMware & Architect of EMC, and Patrick Noia, Cloud Ops & Infrastructure Program Manager of VMware, offer insight on supporting the majority of storage in the labs because of multiple reasons, including reliability with XtremeIO


Avishek Kumar, Product Management of EMC XtremeIO, and George Hamilton, Senior Product Marketing Manager of EMC ViPR, discuss the advances EMC has made with ViPR to transform it into a platform to manage all a customer’s storage and the uptake in the market for XtremeIO


Ehud Rokach, Co-Founder of XtremeIO of EMC, walks through the progress EMC has made over the past few months and the big innovations with Flash live inside theCUBE with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante from the floor of VMworld 2014 in San Francisco, CA.


and yours truly talks about the development and growth of XtremeIO over the past couple of years and what Phase Three of XtremeIO means

Protecting your EMC XtremIO VMs With RecoverPoint For Virtual Machines, A.K.A, Vvol before Vvol.



There’s a lot of talking at VMworld this year about Vvol but if we move one step back from the buzzword and try to understand the “why”, what do we see?

we see that VMware wants to bring the data services to be applied at the VM level, things like cloning & snaphsots, replication etc, to take place at the VM level as oppose to the lun (VMFS) level.

what if I were to tell you that it can be done, TODAY?

Enter RecoverPoint For Virtual Machines A.K.A “Project Mercury”



EMC looks at data protection as a continuum that spans protection tiers to provide everything from continuous availability to replication to backup and archive. These tiers all need to work together in a complimentary fashion, creating a continuum that is aligned to the most stringent requirements for zero downtime and no data loss, to various point in time copies, to backups and to secure long term retention with archiving. Only EMC can deliver this continuum.

Today, we will focus our discussion on the left-hand side of the continuum, CDP and remote replication for operational and disaster recovery use cases.


EMC is proud to introduce the newest member of the EMC RecoverPoint family, RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines, a simple, more efficient and agile data protection solution for today’s and tomorrow’s applications in VMware-based cloud environments. This release provides local and remote replication in combination with continuous data protection for per-VM recovery to any point in time, with built-in automated disaster recovery orchestration. RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines brings the enterprise quality and advanced features of EMC RecoverPoint, with over 20,000 units installed worldwide, to a 100% software offering. RecoverPoint for VMs will:

•Accelerate data protection as a service for private, public and hybrid clouds for both enterprises and Service Providers. The fully virtualized and VMware-integrated DP solution comes with a robust set of APIs, enabling our customers, SPs, and technology partners to build secure cloud service offerings for zero and near zero RPO for virtualized mission critical applications. Additional integrations into EMC’s Hybrid Cloud Solution and VMware’s vCD next year will complete the vision of delivering DPaaS for hybrid clouds.

•Empowers VMware administrators and application owners to discover, configure, manage and monitor VM provisioning and control their own protection policies and automated recovery, ensuring that VM service levels are met.

•Reduce protection cost and complexity through an easy to install (existing ESXi servers) and manage (thru vCenter) storage agnostic (supports SAN/vSAN/NAS/DAS) DP solution with built-in automated DR orchestration (no additional SW) and superior WAN optimization capabilities, thus significantly reducing operational costs.


The RecoverPoint product family is comprised of two different products targeted at two different audiences, solving different business problems.

•RecoverPoint is targeted at the storage admin and protects storage LUNs, is managed thru EMC Unisphere (a storage-oriented interface), is deployed on physical hardware appliances, using embedded storage array splitters in VMAX, VNX, and VPLEX and supports over 50 storage systems, including EMC and 3rd party arrays using the VPLEX splitter.

•RecoverPoint Virtual Edition for VNX is the virtual substantiation of RecoverPoint and a more flexible deployment option, which removes the need for dedicated EMC hardware appliances. RP Virtual Edition is targeted at the storage admin and protects storage LUNs, is managed thru Unisphere (the storage-oriented interface), is deployed as virtual appliances on existing ESXi servers, and uses the embedded array splitter in VNX. It only supports EMC VNX today.


•RecoverPoint for VMs is targeted at the VMware admin or vAdmin and protects at the VM level, is fully managed thru vCenter (common interface for vAdmins), is deployed as a virtual appliance on existing ESXi servers, has an embedded I/O splitter within the vSphere kernel, and is storage agnostic and supports any SAN, vSAN, NAS or DAS storage arrays certified by VMware’s HCL. RP4VMs is a completely separate product from RecoverPoint – there is no upgrade, no downgrade and no interoperability with the existing RP products.

•RP4VMs leverages the field proven RP replication engine with over 20K units installed worldwide, 250 million run hours and over 1 EB of data protected and a world-class Global Services organization.

The ideal customer environment for RP4VMs is:

•Highly virtualized with VMware

•Want protection and recovery at VM-level granularity

•Storage agnostic

•Centralized management thru vCenter

•Require zero or near zero RPO

•Better WAN optimization

•Better scalability

•IT trusted and proven technology from EMC


RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines provides local and remote replication in combination with continuous data protection for per-VM recovery to any point in time. It supports both virtual disk types: VMDKs and RDMs. This diagram shows the architectural components and how RP4VMs works from the perspective of the primary user – the vAdmin.

The architectural components include: a VMware vCenter plug-in, a RecoverPoint write-splitter embedded in the vSphere hypervisor, and virtual appliances, all comprehensively integrated in a VMware ESXi server environment. RecoverPoint for VMs uses a journal-based implementation to store all the changes made to the protected VMs. Local protection provides a DVR-like rollback in time capability to any point, even to the last I/O transaction or just seconds before the data corruption occurred.

Unique capabilities of RP4VMs:

1. RP4VMs deploys a more elegant and true virtual appliance – a sealed box, delivered as a VM. It is optimized and tested under fixed pre-configured conditions and runs its own operating system. HA and distributed management is built right into the virtual appliance cluster architecture and the complexities are transparent to the user. Unlike our competition, who just runs a Windows app inside a VM that requires a running Windows OS, relies on the user to configure and properly install an HA cluster and requires a dedicated management server at each site.

2. More flexible deployment options: vRPAs can be deployed regardless of where the replicated VMs reside. There is no requirement to tie vRPA location together with VMs needing to be replicated. They can reside on any ESXi node and even can be deployed together on a dedicated ESXi node for hosting vRPAs. The flexibility in how you are able to deploy the vRPA provides differentiating features which is unmatched in the industry for VM replication solutions. Typically other solutions require that you couple replicating appliances to the workloads and are limited by the performance of their virtual replication VM.

3. Synchronous replication: EMC is the only vendor that offers remote protection over synch distances, from NYC to NJ. RP4VMs addresses the most demanding applications requiring zero RPO which none of our competitors provide today.

4. Superior WAN optimization for asynch replication – our built-in WAN optimization consists of deduplication, compression and advanced bandwidth reduction algorithms that reduce WAN network consumption up to 90%. WAN optimization also ensures replication robustness with an improved resiliency for jittery networks with up to 300 ms latency and up to 5% packet loss.


RP4VMs is designed to be customer installable and upgradeable and customers can go from download to VM protection in about one hour. RP4VMs uses the existing VMware ESXi server environment and infrastructure. We support vSphere and vCenter Server Release 5.1 U1 and 5.5.

Let me briefly talk about deployment. We will start with the splitters. The splitters are small pieces of code that work on the virtual SCSI layer of ESXi, they are deployed using a standard vSphere Installation Bundle or VIB, and are required to be installed on each ESXi node in an HA/DRS cluster where protected VMs may reside. It is recommended that the splitter be installed on ALL ESXi servers in the environment to assure all VMs can be protected regardless of vMotion activity.

Secondly, and the main component of the solution are the virtual RecoverPoint Appliances. These virtual appliances provide for efficient journaling and tracking mechanisms to enable everything from CDP-like capabilities and dataflow management of all replicated VMs. The vRPAs are deployed by installing an OVF file and then leveraging a Deployment Manager Wizard for final configuration and tailoring to the specific details of the environment.

With all of the splitters and vRPAs deployed, all that is left to do is deploy the management component of the solution. Management in RecoverPoint for VMs is done entirely from within VMware’s vCenter Web UI. Deployment is done by installing a VMware vCenter plug-in on each vCenter server that participates in the replicated environment.


vAdministrators are taking a more active role in protecting and recovering VMs housing important workloads, since they understand the business value of the application data and the required data protection service levels when the VMs are created.  One of the pain points typically found with LUN level disaster recovery solutions is that management paradigms typically are not optimized for cloud environments and when managing these solutions, there is a lot of coordination and effort required between vAdmins and storage administrators to assure that VMs are properly protected at all times in an environment where VMs are moving constantly to adjust for workload demands. Not to mention all of this management usually occurs within separate storage or disaster recovery interfaces rather than integrated into the Cloud Management Framework. This not only causes day-to-day complexity in tracking VM location for assured protection, but also requires additional training by vAdmins who are critical in the disaster recovery process.

EMC’s RecoverPoint for VM’s management framework was designed to be fully integrated into VMware’s vSphere Web Client. There is no separate management interface to learn how to use.

vAdmins can:






Orchestrate recovery


Automation is critical when providing VM data protection services. As I just mentioned, VMs are being created, moved, and deleted every business day. Discovering and keeping track of which VMs are protected, is a hassle and can be prone to errors with manual procedures. RecoverPoint for VMs maintains a constant watch over the live configuration of VMs created and where they are hosted, and is able to protect a VM even when that VM and it’s workload are vMotioned to a different compute resource, or its virtual disk is Storage vMotioned to a different datastore. More than that, it automatically adapts to VM configuration changes so that when you add a VMDK to the source, a copy is automatically added to the replica and immediately starts getting replicated.

The vAdmin can create protection policy templates that define classes of service in advance – which encapsulate parameters such as RPO, protection window and WAN optimization. Then when provisioning the VM protection, the vAdmin can use the existing templates for easy provisioning, or define a custom policy for maximum flexibility.

RecoverPoint for VMs automates all of the internal protection virtual disk structures and journals that are required to properly protect VMs based on the protection policies set. There is no need to dive into RecoverPoint databases and manually provision journals.

Finally, RecoverPoint for VMs also provides for integration with the vCenter databases to properly create and configure replica VMs either on the local or remote site. There is no need to manually create VM entries at the DR site just waiting for a failover to occur. These can be automatically provisioned and created in vCenter on the fly. This capability is really designed with DPaaS in mind, enabling the vAdmin to properly configure both sides of the replication at once, even if the secondary site is in a public cloud at a CSP.


Along with being integrated within the native vCenter management interface, RecoverPoint for VMs management workflow is also incredibly easy to use. Wizard-driven workflows, allow for minimal error through guided VM protection configuration.

Here is an example of how easy and straight forward it is to apply a protection policy to a Virtual Machine leveraging RecoverPoint for VMs Protection Wizard:

First we specify if the VM should be added to an already existing Protection Consistency Group, <click> or do we want to create a new one with specific replication and protection SLAs.

Then we will specify if we want a new target VM copy to be created automatically, or if we want to select an already existing target virtual machine. RP4VMs will automatically create the replica and the journal as we just talked about. The source disks, destination disks, and the journals reside on virtual disks, which can be placed on any storage that is supported by VMware. Next, we also define the replication link policy and determine whether we want to have synchronous or asynchronus replication and what RPO we would like to define. The protection policies can be configured to meet specific protection, performance and cost goals and eliminate or minimize data loss. RP4VMs can dynamically switch between sync and async based on the available bandwidth.

For this walk through we will be creating a new target VM entry, so in this case, we simply specify which resource we would like that new target VM to be hosted from. This can be an individual ESXi Host, ESXi Cluster, or Defined Resource Pool in the environment.

Finally we will specify the datastore the target VM should be hosted on. And it is as easy as that. No complex configuration files, or storage interfaces to click through. Just a simple wizard and your VM is protected.



With RecoverPoint for VMs, the vAdmin is able to conduct automated disaster recovery orchestration tasks from within the vCenter plug-in. Automated DR workflows include:

•Recovery from logical corruption to any point

•Failover and failback of specific consistency groups or CG sets to any point

•Non-disruptive DR testing to any point

RecoverPoint for VMs allows the ultimate in flexibility for protecting applications by grouping VMs into Consistency Groups. Typically a consistency group represents a vApp, or a collection of VMs used by an application. RecoverPoint further offers an industry unique capability by supporting group sets: an additional layer of logical grouping, which provides consistency not only within an application but also across applications. For example, grouping a database server VM set along with a web front end server VM that leverages that database. These Consistency Groups and CG group sets are the same elements used for orchestration.

Taking orchestration flexibility further, the ability to manage Enhanced Group Sets allows you to perform Protection and Recovery operations at any logical grouping required. Test, failover and failback whole VM collections – from a single VM up to a whole site at once – at a single click of the mouse. And, many of the DR tasks are automated, such as storage mounts and restarts of VMs in the prioritized order to ensure recoverability of the applications.

For the ultimate flexibility, RecoverPoint for VMs uniquely allows these Consistency Groups and CG Group sets to span not only multiple ESXi nodes but also multiple ESXi Clusters, and even protect VMs from ESXi nodes being managed by different vCenters! It is this logical flexibility that allows our users to tailor the solution to their run book practices and custom applications.


RecoverPoint for VMs interoperates with VMware data migration and management services, such as vMotion and Storage vMotion, and is aware of changes to the underlying virtual infrastructure. Users can add or remove VMDKs from the protected VMs and RP4VMs will auto-provision VMDKs on the target side. The following changes can be made on the fly without impacting VM protection or the protection policies.

•Replicated VMs can be vMotioned

•Underlying storage can be Storage vMotioned

•Replicated VMs can be powered on/off or paused



With RecoverPoint for VMs you get simple, efficient and agile data protection for hybrid clouds.

First, enterprises and Service Providers can accelerate data protection as a service for private, public and hybrid clouds. RP4VMs enables IT to natively protect a software-defined data center. Through complete virtualization and VMware integration, vAdmins and app owners can now define protection policies as VMs are created, and these protection service levels are automatically enforced by the infrastructure that understands the business importance and resiliency requirements. Additional integrations into EMC’s Hybrid Cloud Solution and VMware’s vCD next year will complete the vision of delivering DPaaS for hybrid clouds.

Next, vAdmins are empowered with the visibility and control to manage replication using the VMware infrastructure they are accustomed to, with the object (VM-level) granularity and taxonomy they know, and via the management experience they already operate in.

Finally, enterprises can reduce protection cost and complexity by not creating another protection infrastructure, but using their existing ESXi environment to install and manage an agile data protection solution with built-in automated DR orchestration and superior WAN optimization to significantly decrease operational costs.


A demo I recorded showing RP4VMs protecting VM’s on XtremIO can be found below, I wanted to give an hugh credit to Idan Kentor from the DPAD that help me brining up the environment even though he was sick, you rock dude!

Protecting EMC XtremIO with RecoverPoint For VMs

Observations from the Flash Memory Summit 2014, Part 2, beyond the feature checklist

At the Flash Memory Summit, Josh Goldstein (our VP marketing and products management) was on a panel discussion with some of the other AFA vendors.  Attached is what he presented and you can download the other vendors from the FMS webpage below


Part 1 of the series which you can read here: http://itzikr.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/observations-from-the-flash-memory-summit-2014-part-1/  was a reflection about being chosen as THE market leader.

this post is a reflection about the storage panel that was held during the summit..

let’s start by saying that it’s interesting how the lack of a proper (some may call it “true”) AFA specific architecture is being compensated by some clever marketing pitch


  • Overemphasis on 100% performance all the time.  some vendors will try to make a big deal of losing performance when a controller fails.  while they are active/passive – a VERY simple implementation that does maintain the same performance with a failed controller, but which doesn’t deliver close to XtremIO’s performance the other 99.999% of the time.  Which bring us to….


  • ….1M IOPS – some competitors will try to say this doesn’t matter and that you should focus on consistency.  Well, we wholeheartedly agree you should focus on consistency and predictability of performance.  And that you also need 1M IOPS for where applications are heading and for workload consolidation.  Just attend my upcoming session at VMworld to hear about real world customers who put in a PO in order to  give every developer a high performance database sandbox.  Can’t do that on a limited Active / Passive architecture that is limited in intself and that is before we are even talking about scale – out!
  • “Adaptive I/O” – because some competitors can’t compete with always-on, always-inline, consistent and predictable performance and data services.  So they’ve changed their messaging and now say their array is “adaptive”.  You know what that means?  It means the more load it contends with the less CPU time is allocated to process data services like deduplication and compression.  That leads to inconsistent and unpredictable performance.  Don’t let the nice marketing to sway you the customer away by proving out their array under low load situations.  We encourage people to hammer XtremIO and this is the reason some competitors hates when customers actually put the pedal to the metal with their array.  Insist that they do.
  • Defocusing scale-out.  some competitors will try to tell customers that nobody needs scale-out because customers prefer fault domains in cloud environments with multi-array management instead of scale-out.  We know this isn’t true.  Customers are pushing us for larger and larger cluster sizes TODAY! .Yes, there is a point about fault domains – but the domain size is much larger than what a single active competitive  controller can handle.  You still need scale-out, even with reasonably small fault domains.  Remember – other Storage arrays designed to run today’s workloads with some more IOPS.  XtremIO is designed to change the entire way you deploy applications and give you the power to run tomorrow’s workloads.


  • A competitor calls 4KB benchmarks “unicorn IO” and wants to focus the attention on I/O sizes of 32KB or larger – what they call the “real world application IO zone”.  BRING IT!  We will win over them on any benchmark at any IO size – especially on cost-equivalent systems.  We’ve proven this in POC after POC.  A fully populated $1.5M competitive product is no match for two X-Bricks.  And we still have the headroom to add 8 more active controllers!

Back to the Future Part II

  • some competitors  likes to say “not all data reduction is built the same” – WE AGREE.  Customers should demand inline all the time.  There’s no other way to get consistent and predictable performance and superior flash endurance.

DeLorean DMC-12

  • competitors are now trying to steal our “Architecture Matters” tagline.  Remind youself whose message that is and why we say it all the time, as well as the numerous architectural disadvantages other products have – active/passive dual controller, post-processing data reduction, cMLC and system level garbage collection, metadata only partially cached in RAM, etc.

Curbside collection

  • most of the other competitors  will try to say that there are many garbage collection strategies and that system level garbage collection isn’t bad – that customers should focus on results, not implementation.  WE AGREE.  We’ve proven in POC after POC that other vendors system level garbage collection wreaks havoc on their performance and consistency.






In summary:

Flash array designs vary widely.

Things that sounds the same aren’t.

If your’e only thinking of flash arrays for performance, you are missing much of their value.

Edcuate yourself and make informed decisions.

Don’t be fooled by hype or hero numbers.

Look for true innovation.

Test, test, test

Observations from the Flash Memory Summit 2014, Part 1




the Flash Memory summit took place this year between august the 5th till the 7th.

all proceedings from the Flash Memory Summit have been posted online and you can download them by clicking the link below



here’s some observations that are relevant to you as a potential buyer of an All Flash Array:

http://www.flashmemorysummit.com/English/Collaterals/Proceedings/2014/20140805_103C_Berry.pdf   – this presentation is from IT Brand Pulse, which surveys IT end users, and who for the 2nd year in the row named EMC/XtremIO as the most favored block all-flash array.  This is already covered on http://www.xtremio.com in the ‘Awards’ section, here are some helpful slides:

It shows EMC as the HOTTEST IT Storage Company.


  • Slides 24 and 31 show the categories in which EMC was voted at the top by end-users:


  • Who is #1 in this market?  EMC is!


  • And who do end-users plan to buy from?  That’s right, EMC!  Look at where the other competitors are.


  • Slide 54 –an interesting one, it demonstrate that you, the potential buyer, “evolved” quite a bit yourself but what does it mean? it means, that there was a lot of progress in the thinking process from buying a “dumb” AFA that provide performance only, to a more sophisticated array with data services, radically different architecture etc’, that is a very big thing as the AFA market  is still confusing to some in terms of the differences between different vendors products, different testing methods etc’, i will talk more about these points in the 2nd part of this series.



Mitrend For EMC XtremIO



EMC SE’s and Partners have been using Mitrend for years now, in it’s essence, it’s an Pre-Assessment / analysis tool that allow EMC and non EMC customers to look at their existing dataset and analyze what array is needed if migrating from say netapp to a VNX or a VMAX, the ease of use is the key metric here, no one wants to use a tool that then require you the partner to do the anlysis yourself, you want to know what array you need, how many drives you need and how many engines. SIMPLE.

Today, we are pleases to announce the EMC XtremIO support for Mitrend for capacity assessment, the initial release will focus on capacity and future versions (they are rolling fast!) will focus on performance analysis.

how do you use the tool?



1. in step one you log in to the portal, if you’re an EMC SE or a partner you shouldn’t have an issue, if you are a partner and still do not have an account, just speak to your EMC partner alliance manager and he / she will get you an account.



2. when you log in to the portal, you are faced with a simple workflow, the collection, submission and viewing the assessment



3. since this tool support many sort of assessments, you want to view the instructions for the XtremIO one


4. once you are there, you can email yourself the assessment tool or download it directly.

5. the tool can either run on a windows host (the exe file) or on a linux or vSphere host (the .bin file)





6. running the tool in a vSphere enviornment, you want to install the bin file on an esx that is mapped to the volumes (VMFS and / or RDM’s), and in order for you to tell the tool which volumes you want to scan, you first need to run the following command : “ esxcli storage vmfs extent list “

once you get the output of all the volume this ESXi host sees, you can then run the tool on all or the selected devices you want it to scan:

./DataAnalyzer –X /dev/disk/<device_name>;







7. the screenshot above shows you how the tool looks when it runs on a linux host (very similar to an ESXi host)


8. now it’s tike to create the assessment so we can generate reports based on it.




9. the last step is to upload the files, there’s pretty much every way there, simple upload, FTP, syncplicty (my favorite!) or even via dropbox.


10. that’s it!, after a while you will be emailed back with the report, the screenshot above and below show you some slides from the final report, awesome!


these reports are not relevant for vSphere, they are more relevant for file servers or even VDI VM’s!


below you can see the most important slides, the data reduction ones, already supporting deduplication and compression which are now part of EMC XtremIO







what’s coming next?

throttling and performance reports for XtremIO so you can actually know how many X-Bricks you will need not just from a capacity point of view but also performance.

so, what do you say, isn’t it a cool tool or not Smile

The German EMC Forum 2014: It’s Time to Redefine IT


Do you want to be part of something big? Are you looking to get the knowledge YOU need to rise to the next platform?

Do you want more XtremIO? You are located in Germany? Attend the German #EMCForum in Mainz! Sept16. http://emc.im/Forum2014DE

The worldwide EMC Forum is allowing you to do just that. We’re giving you the chance to redefine IT, engage with our top technical experts and influence the community at one of our top free events this year.

You’ll have already begun to see how megatrends like Social, Mobile and Big Data are redefining the role of IT. They’re creating new business opportunities and threats, and ushering in a whole new IT era – the “3rd Platform.”

At EMC Forum 2014, we want to hear your voice, listen to your journey, and redefine IT and business together with you – helping you to get ahead of the competition. You’ll also get to see the latest solutions, talk directly with EMC experts and partners, and network with people just like you at the event.

So, why not help your organization:

  • Bridge the present and the future: letting new and existing applications run side by side
  • Redefine IT: embracing private and hybrid clouds, and creating a low cost, highly flexible software-defined data center
  • Redefine business: harnessing the full power of mobile and Big Data applications, to boost productivity and enable smarter, real-time decisions

Are you ready to get practical advice on how to thrive in the new era of IT? We hope so!

Find out more http://www.emc.com/forum2014

Be part of EMC Forum 2014

- Register now for your complimentary ticket!

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