EMC World 2015 – The XtremIO Sessions

Wow, I cant believe emc world 2015 Is just around the corner, this year will be super big for us at XtremIO, there are so many awesome sessions and who knows, maybe a new product announcements. For your convenience I have put all the sessions related to us and the labs below, you can schedule them here:


Transform Your Real Time Analytics With XtremIO & Splunk In this session, we will discuss how you can transform your real time analytics with Splunk using EMC storage solutions. We will provide technical validation and customer proof points along with a reference architecture using XtremIO and Isilon products. We will discuss benefits of using flash storage for improving performance by placing hot/warm buckets while optimizing the cost using Isilon for cold/frozen buckets.

What’s New With XtremIO For 2015 This session discusses what’s new with XtremIO for 2015 as announced in our 4.0 release. We also discuss the coolest new capabilities and how our beta customers leveraged them, including replication, online cluster expansion, sophisticated new snapshot management, new X-Brick options, expanded cluster options, and new portfolio integrations.

XtremIO: Transforming Your Workloads, Enabling The Agile Data Center This session provides an update on XtremIO and how it is transforming customers’ workloads for agility and tremendous TCO and business benefits. With customer examples and best practices, we will discuss the use cases and benefits for consolidating mixed workloads across database, analytics, business apps, and hybrid cloud. And we will explore customer examples of how these transformed workflows for real-time analytics and agile dev/ops. Specific best practices include converged infrastructure VSPEX & Vblocks, in-memory copy services, data reduction, virtualization, and QoS.

Transforming Agile Software DevOps With XtremIO More than ever, agile development and software DevOps drives critical top-line business impact for customers across a broad range of industries. Learn how XtremIO is fundamentally enabling the next generation of agile DevOps with customer use cases to • Improve developer and overall product quality by providing full copies of production applications & datasets to all developers with zero-overhead XtremIO in-memory copy services • Dramatically accelerate performance across the entire DevOps ecosystem, enabling 1000’s of developers in a real-time • Deliver consistent, predictable performance for developers, automated build systems, and automated QA via sub-millisecond All-Flash DevOps storage • Accelerate adoption of a continual experimentation and learning through rapid repetition of prototyping.

Transformational Technology Inside XtremIO This session provides an overview to the EMC XtremIO all-flash scale-out array and its design objectives. The architecture is discussed and compared to other flash arrays in the market with the goal of helping the audience understand the unique requirements of building an all-flash array, the proper methodology for testing all-flash arrays, and architectural differentiation among flash array features that affect endurance, performance, and consistency across the most demanding mixed workload consolidations.

Data Protection For EMC XtremIO With EMC RecoverPoint (Hands-on Lab) XtremIO is the only scale-out storage array designed from the ground up for flash. In this lab, see how EMC is bringing business continuity and data protection to XtremIO through EMC RecoverPoint. In this lab, users will get an overview of the RecoverPoint 4.1.2 Unisphere interface, learn about RecoverPoint integration with XtremIO, and protecting applications running on XtremIO arrays.

XtremIO In The Wild: Insights, Data Reduction, Performance & Operational Best Practices As the market’s #1 all-flash array, XtremIO has deployed to almost 2000 customers to date. This session looks through some of the most interesting insights from that install base to help discern the future of storage and all-flash application workloads. We will spotlight general and specific results for data reduction, performance, and operational best practices.

Transforming End-User Computing With XtremIO: DaaS & New Use Cases For Graphics & Beyond Learn how XtremIO is transforming the End User Computing landscape by offering a full range of desktops – non-persistent/persistent, high-performance, and NEW graphics-intensive – with consistent and predictable performance at a low $/desktop and total cost of ownership. Going beyond VDI, XtremIO is enabling newer EUC use cases like Desktop-as-a-Service where best of both worlds meet – uncompromising experience for the end-users and radically simple deployment model with breakthrough costs for the IT organizations. Customers are sharing their EUC transformational journey with XtremIO giving you the opportunity to apply the lessons learned in your EUC environments.    

XtremIO For SAP: Game Changer For SAP Landscapes Learn how EMC is helping customers increase SAP performance by 70% and reduce TCO dramatically using XtremIO All-Flash Arrays. This customer panel teaches you how to move your SAP applications from traditional infrastructure to all flash arrays at incredible speed, while consolidating multiple copies for test and pre-production landscapes onto one XtremIO platform.

Business Continuity For XtremIO All Flash Array The session discusses the range of XtremIO high availability / business continuity solutions that enable XtremIO customers to protect mission-critical workloads. EMC offers…

Brocade Communication Systems, Inc.: Redefining Storage Connectivity For 3rd Platform From Isilon To XtremIO EMC and Brocade are redefining storage connectivity for Fibre Channel and IP storage to enable the journey to the 3rd platform.  Whether it is XtremIO AFA with FC SANs or a Big Data Hadoop application with Isilon Scale out NAS a Brocade Storage Fabrics with Fabric Vison is required.

XtremIO Native Replication With RecoverPoint The session provides a deep dive of the new native replication for XtremIO. It articulates the innovative unique replication technique that leverages the power of XtremIO’s in-memory snapshot architecture to perform replication with breakthrough efficiency and RPOs. We will discuss the different design considerations when applying replication to all flash workloads and how XtremIO and RecoverPoint successfully implement those considerations. We will show how customers can achieve best in class replication while keeping XtremIO’s consistent high performance. The session includes a demonstration of the solution.  

XtremIO For Microsoft Workloads This session explores how the transformational capabilities of XtremIO can benefit your SQL Server, Hyper-V and Exchange deployments. We also explore consolidation and agility across SQL Server environments enabled by zero cost writeable snapshots and the game-changing benefits of deduplication and compression within Exchange and Hyper-V VDI deployments.  

XtremIO v3.0 GUI & CLI Simulator (Hands-on Lab) Use this simulator as an introduction for a look and feel of the XtremIO XMS GUI Dashboard and CLI. You will be able to navigate through the dashboard as if it is a real environment, including provisioning storage, managing performance, and creating monitors.

Top 10 Tips & Tricks To Rock Your XtremIO World Learn the top 10 things to get the most out of your XtremIO system. Our panel of technical experts will share best practices of configuration, operation and management, and will  provide insights into your specific questions during a live ‘Ask-The-Expert’ session.

Accelerating SQL Server With XtremIO This session provide a deep dive into XtremIO all-flash technologies for SQL Server. We begin with looking at the XtremIO features that are unique for SQL Server deployments, going over test some results we are seeing in the lab with different feature implementations. Then switch gear into a demo, and dive into detailed use case studies of where you could benefit from deploying your SQL Servers on XtremIO. We wrap up the session with discussing some common pitfalls, deployment considerations, and provide some best practices guidance.

No Storage Tuning & Complete Operational Simplicity For Databases Running XtremIO In a 2014, IT Resources Strategies Survey, DBAs and storage teams today spend nearly 70% of their time maintaining their database environments versus focusing on application integration. This session reviews detailed solutions and case studies to showcase the value of EMC XtremIO all-flash-arrays to dramatically reduce steps needed for database infrastructure performance tuning, provisioning, and replication management.

SAS Analytics: Transformed With XtremIO & Isilon This session provides an overview of how your mixed analytics SAS workloads can be transformed on XtremIO & Isilon scale-out platforms. Whether your working with one of the three primary SAS file systems or SAS Grid, performance and capacity will scale linearly, significantly eliminate application latency and remove the complexity of storage tuning from the equation. Learn about best practices from fellow customers and how they deliver new levels of SAS business value.  

Intel: Intel Technologies To Optimize Storage System Data Movement & Operations Faster response times for storage applications and deployments, (such as big data and hybrid cloud), are becoming a critical requirement.  Intel’s hardware and software technologies can help product developers and IT managers build the infrastructure needed to successfully deploy services.  Intel’s hardwire technologies including CPU, networking, SSD and software technologies provide faster data movement though the storage systems such as EMC VMAX, VPLEX, VNX, XtremIO, Isilon  and faster data operations for storage functions such as compression, deduplication, encryptions and RAID in these storage systems.  

RecoverPoint: What’s New In 2015 Protection and mobility is essential in the datacenter, across datacenters and to the cloud. Learn about new ways introduced in 2015 to protect your applications and data with RecoverPoint and RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines – EMC’s software-only, hypervisor-based VM-level disaster recovery solution. New enhancements and integrations include: replication for VSPEX Blue, XtremIO, ScaleIO, EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and protection of virtual environments.

FC SAN: Should I Stay Or Should I Go… Refreshing your infrastructure?  Wondering “should I converge my network now and go with an IP based Storage Area Network or should I wait just a little longer to see what happens in the industry”?  Have you started the process of migrating to an IP based SAN and uncovered some of the IP SAN pitfalls?  Wondering why you can’t connect your vmknics to your NSX Logical Switches??  Thinking about how to support the connectivity needs of ScaleIO, VMware Virtual SAN or XtremIO?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, join us for a candid discussion that will be focused on storage networks and the intersections with Ethernet, IP and Network Virtualization.  We’ll provide some insight into the trends we’re seeing and you can feel free to share your thoughts and concerns or just take the opportunity to vent.

Best Practices For Running Virtualized Workloads On XtremIO Great, you customer have just purchased a shiny new all flash array (AFA), now what? In this session, learn the reasons for ones of the quickest revolutions that the storage industry have seen in the last 10 years, we will understand the different architectures and the different use cases, we will go trough specific use cases pains and how to overcome this, Lastly, we will put an emphasis on specific gotcha’s that AFA possess and how to overcome these, so your customer won’t have to.  

VPLEX: Advanced Configuration & Design – Performance, Design, Failure Modes & More This session covers advanced aspects of using VPLEX, such as performance optimization, scalability, configuration, and failure modes and will provide customers with deeper understanding of its architecture to design for optimal behavior. This session also discusses in details best practices of architecting and deploying VPLEX with all-flash XtremIO environments for performance and availability, and virtual-environments for maximum flexibility.  

ViPR Controller: Automate Delivery Of Storage Services (Hands-on Lab) ViPR Controller is storage automation software which transforms multi-vendor storage into a simple, extensible and open platform.  During this lab you will learn how to provision XtremIO and Hitachi storage, VPLEX volumes and create snapshots with ViPR Controller.  You will also learn how to provision ViPR Controller managed storage via the plug-in to VMware vRealize Orchestrator.

  • There aren’t any available sessions at this time.

Global Partner Summit – Flash Breakout for Partners Did you know  XtremIO is the fastest growing product in EMC’s history and is running away with the market share in this emerging space?  In this  session, led by Mike Wing, Global VP, XtremIO, you’ll learn about this transformational story, how to position yourself as a leader, and how to help your customers Redefine Possible with the power of Flash.

Tuesday, May 5, 3:40 PM – 4:30 PM

EMC IT: Leveraging The Power Of Flash In The Data Center How did EMC IT get breakthrough shared-storage benefits for application acceleration, consolidation, and agility with a reduction in cost plus scale-out architecture, consistent low latency and IOPs, deduplication, and compression? This session provides an overview, discussion, use cases, benefits and lessons learned from EMC IT’s implementation of Flash storage/XtremIO.

Evaluating All-Flash Arrays AFA’s are evaluated differently from hybrid arrays. Learn the latest tools and techniques from XtremIO engineers and each other. Share your challenges and successes to help fellow attendees with their testing. Bring your ideas to advance the state of the art and improve available tools. This is a no-holds-barred session aimed to get a clear picture of AFA capabilities.

Enterprise Hybrid Cloud & Database-as-Service Best Practices Learn best practices for Enterprise Hybrid Cloud deployments with Tier 0 storage services build on scale-out all-flash arrays. This session discusses key use cases and benefits like Database-as-a-Service, leveraging pre-defined service catalog capabilities; empowering VM Admins, Application Admins, and Infrastructure Admins with self-service; streamline EHC management; eliminate silos, accelerate workflows, and handle cloud bursting. Customer examples show how XtremIO can take you hybrid cloud to the next level for all workloads, with breakthrough consolidation, data reduction, workload agility, and elastic capacity

OpenStack Enablement With EMC This session provides an overview of different data storage services in OpenStack, then details how various EMC products (VMAX, VNX, XtremIO, Isilon, Scale IO, etc.) integrate with OpenStack, covering best practices, use cases, and unique value-added benefits that can be derived from each.

New (and Free!) EMC Storage Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) 12c

first published here:



The EMC Storage Plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c is the next generation of EMC’s storage plug-ins for Oracle Enterprise Manager and brings new insight to the Oracle DBA using EMC storage for his/her databases. While previous versions of the plug-ins were specific to different EMC storage systems, this brand new version has been completely re-architected and is designed to work with a range of EMC storage systems including VMAX, VMAX 3, VNX Block, VNX File, and XtremIO.


The EMC Storage Plug-in for OEM 12c gathers availability, performance, and configuration information for EMC Storage Systems and marries that information with Oracle database host information. This provides the DBA with a comprehensive look into the performance of the specific storage used by each database – significantly simplifying the task of tracking database performance and isolating issues.


Key Advantages:

  • Gain enterprise-wide visibility into EMC Storage. Makes available EMC storage related performance, health, and availability metrics within OEM. Enhanced plug-in interface targeted at providing EMC storage analysis.
  • Relationship mapping between EMC storage and Oracle Databases. Greatly reduce troubleshooting times, and simplify security & compliance management.
  • Integration between OEM and EMC Storage delivers reduced MTTI & MTTR. Customizable Information Publisher Reports  and historical metric collection assists troubleshooting, diagnostics, and analysis.


The EMC Storage Plug-in is featured at Oracle’s OEM 12c Extensibility Exchange

the demo can be watched here:


Optimizing XCOPY Block Size for EMC XtremIO



while we are working on an updated reference architecture for VMware Horizon View and XtremIO, we started to play with many of our recommended parameters for ESXi, all the parameters are well documented in the user guide and also, you can apply them all AUTOMATICALLY using the EMC VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator) vCenter plugin as you can see below



however, one parameter was never inspected thoroughly, it is the default XCOPY block size that VMware are using, the default size is 4MB and when I tried a larger block size, it didn’t give any better performance in terms of time or latency..



I asked myself whether playing with smaller block size can yield different results so from 4MB I took the other extreme approach to 4k/8k/16, it didn’t improve anything, in fact, it made the cloning operation slower, finally, I came to test a block size of 256kb, I was amazed!

first, in order to change the block size, you need to run the following command per an ESXi host, it doesn’t require a reboot and it’s a global parameter which means that every volume that will be connected to this host will run XCOPY at the specified bandwidth



I then started to clone 500 VMs, the bandwidth was very high but the shocker was the reduced time and the latency it took for XCOPY to perform the operation, the total time of cloning 500 windows 7 VMs with office 2010 and the latest patches was 30 minutes!


Latency – Redefined!


what you see above is not a mockup, this was the latency I observed during the cloning operation, granted, I didn’t power on the VMs after the cloning but I just wanted to test the effect of the 256kb block size on the cloning operations, less than 1MS latency!!!

below you can see a demo I recorded showing the entire process, we are still validating all of this in order for this parameter to find it place to the next user guide.


XCOPY Block Size Optimization for EMC XtremIO

Protecting your VMs with EMC Appsync & XtremIO Snapshots


One of my favorite products in EMC was just GA’d with a new version and now support XtremIO, a double party!, now lets speak about replica management challenges:

Replica Management Challenges

Maintaining System Availability.

Minimize Data Loss and Downtime.

Maximize SLA Performance.

Storage Efficiency.

Fastest Recovery Using Smallest Storage Footprint.

Agile Development.

.Rapidly Deploy Refreshed Environments Without Compromising on Time and Quality


.Application Admins need to manage recovery and repurposing

ok but how replica managements is related to EMC Appsync ?


at it’s core, EMC Appsync give you a very simplified way to mange you replicas


AppSync is Simple to Install: AppSync is simple with EMC Unisphere-like interface and can centrally push and upgrade its agents to application servers.

AppSync is Simple to Manage: AppSync has an intuitive SLA-driven management interface that provides real-time RPO protection status information.

AppSync is Simple to Order: AppSync is now part of the EMC VNX Application Protection Suite and is part of the Total Protection and Total Efficiency Packs. You may already have the ability to use this product, all it takes is a zero dollar sales order with your EMC Sales rep to make it official.


The product is SLA driven and you can receive alerts when SLAs are not being met.

In this example, our Exchange Bronze (local copy plan) is doing fine as indicated by our green status in the AppSync dashboard.

But VMware and SQL aren’t doing so well because it looks like something may be wrong with the remote link.

AppSync will provide a dashboard status based on the status of the copy, and can also send an alert to the email recipients.




With EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI), admins can…

•Configure protection

•Run service plans

•Mount datastores

•Restore files

All within vCenter!

In version 2.1, EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) 6.4 must be used for AppSync Management within vCenter. this is awesome because it allows you, the vSphere administrator to manage Appsync directly from the GUI, the “portal” you are comfortable with which is the vCenter web  interface

here’s another screenshot from the vCenter web interface


what’s the “magic sauce” between Appsync to XtremIO, well, it’s the unique way we implement snapshots on XtremIO ( https://itzikr.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/xtremio-redefining-snapshots/)

this version of Appsync (2.1) will focus on backing up VMware vSphere datastores and Oracle / MS SQL DB’s (virtual of physical)


the operation recovery is fairly trivial, based on the three pre-defined SLA’s, you can select a local copy or a remote one or a combination of both, again, using the super easy GUI, for DB’s protection, we also embed the XtremIO VSS provider for Appsync which is needed for an application consistent based backup (MS SQL DB’s use case)


the other use case which is more applicable for the DB’s world and boy, I had so many conversations with customers about it, is the ability to “refresh” your test / dev environment, the workflow will allow you (for example) to take a copy of your production DB and refresh your test /dev copies with the one you just took, note that this version of AppSync 2.1) And XtremIO (3.0) support the mounting of the new DB’s but will not support refreshing the DB(s) itself, this feature will come at a later version



downloading and taking it up for a spin is super easy, just go to the url above and test it for 30 days, im SURE you are going to love it!

below you can see a demo I recorded that shows it all, enjoy.

Appsync 2.1 Integration with XtremIO

EMC ScaleIO 1.31–VMware Kernel “inside”



wow, I’m really happy, the ScaleIO team at EMC have just GA’d version 1.31 of the product, it contains many new features / improvement but the big news is the direct kernel integration of the “SDC” component into the ESXi kernel, that’s right there shows the power of the federation from an alliance point of view but for the techies, it will provide an hugh boost in terms of performance which IMHO prove why a kernel drive for software defined based products like VSAN and now ScaleIO is an Hugh thing!

Version 1.31 also adds several features that apply to all platforms including improved
security, SNMP support, and updates to integration features i.e. the REST API and OpenStack.

VMware Enhancements Overview

ScaleIO 1.31 introduces several changes in the VMware environment.
First, it provides the option to install the SDC natively in the ESX kernel instead of using the
SVM to host the SDC component. The V1.31 SDC driver for ESX is VMware PVSP certified, and
requires a host acceptance level of “PartnerSupported” or lower in the ESX hosts. Note that
the SVM will continue to be required for the MDM and the SDS components.
Next, 1.31 includes improvements in the installation process. Specifically the plugin
registration process has been simplified. In addition, deployment using the plugin
automatically creates a separate ScaleIO VM to host the Installation Manager and ScaleIO
gateway. This will allow for future version upgrades using Installation Manager in the VMware
Lastly, additional management capabilities are offered in the plugin. These include: multiple
volume creation in a single step, adding SDS or SDC to an SVM after initial deployment, and
migrating the SDC from the SVM into the ESX kernel.

Integrated SDC in ESX

With Version 1.31, it becomes possible to install the SDC for an ESX server directly in the ESX
kernel. The implementation uses a vSphere Installation Bundle or VIB file, which is included
with the 1.31 software distribution. Relative to the SVM-based SDC, the VIB-based SDC
provides improved performance with increased IOPs, increased bandwidth capability, and
reduced latency. With the SDC running natively in ESX, there is no longer a requirement to
use iSCSI to present ScaleIO volumes from the SDCs to the ESX hosts. It is possible to
migrate the SDC from the SVM into the ESX kernel. The plugin provides a feature to perform
this operation.
Note that the ESX version of SDC requires VMware version 5.5. For prior versions of VMware,
the SVM-based SDC must be deployed.



ScaleIO 1.31 VMware Deployment


VMware Cluster Upgrade Path

(1.30 to 1.31)

Upgrade to 1.31 in VMware uses the same strategy as the physical cluster upgrade for Linux
hosts. The only difference here is that for versions 1.30 and older versions, all ScaleIO
components in VMware – i.e. MDM, tie-breaker, SDS, SDC and the Lightweight Installation
Agent (LIA) are running inside virtual machines called the ScaleIO Virtual Machines (SVMs).
These components are upgraded in place, inside the SVMs, using the Installation Manager.
The 1.31 plugin can be used to bring up the Installation Manager in a VM for this purpose,
during deployment.
After this portion of the upgrade is complete, the SDCs may be migrated from SVMs into the
ESX kernel. This applies to vSphere 5.5 only. The 1.31 plugin provides functionality to
perform this step directly from the vSphere Web Client.

Upgrading a ScaleIO 1.30 cluster to 1.31 in a VMware enviornment


EMC ScaleIO 1.31 Volume Provisioning in VMware


Restricted Remote Access

With Version 1.31, it becomes possible for the ScaleIO administrator to restrict access to
configuration changes to local clients in the primary MDM host only. This restriction, when
enabled, applies to remote clients on any hosts other than the primary MDM. Restriction
applies to clients of all types including the CLI, GUI, and REST clients.
When restricted access is enabled, local access clients i.e. clients in the primary MDM host are
not affected. For these clients, all operations permitted for the logged-in user’s role can be
executed. For remote access clients, only monitoring commands i.e. ScaleIO commands
permitted for the “Monitor” role, can be executed. This is regardless of the role of the loggedin user.
Shown here are the new commands to query if remote MDM access restriction is in effect, and
to enable or disable the restriction. Let’s look at some examples of these commands in action,


From a login session on the MDM, it is possible to enable the restriction using the CLI
command –-set_remote_read_only_limit_state. After this command is executed by the
MDM, users may continue to login into this ScaleIO cluster from remote hosts, regardless of
their role.
However, they will not be to able to change the state of the system. For example, they cannot
create a new volume. They can continue to perform monitoring operations, for example query
all volumes in the system.
The same logic applies to access via other management interfaces for ScaleIO. Regardless of
user role, after remote restriction is activated, the GUI running on a remote host will report a
failure when that user attempts to make a change to the system.

Restricted SDC Access

For improved access control, Version 1.31 introduces a feature to restrict access to ScaleIO
volumes to an explicit set of SDCs. This is referred to as the restricted SDC access feature.
When the restriction is in place, the administrator is required to explicitly grant access to an
SDC before any volume-related operations specific to that SDC can be performed – for
example, mapping volumes to the SDC.
Several new commands have been implemented to support this feature, including
query_restricted_sdc_mode and set_restricted_sdc_mode to examine and set the state of
restriction, and add_sdc to grant SDC access. Note that add_sdc can be run for a host before
the SDC is installed on it.


Read RAM Cache Setting per Volume

With prior versions, the SDS RAM cache was used by the entire Storage Pool.
Version 1.31 introduces the capability to specify whether the RAM cache should be used for a
given volume within a storage pool. Note that by default when a ScaleIO volume is created,
the RAM cache will be used for that volume.
To support this feature, the existing commands –add_volume and –query_volume have
been enhanced, and the command –set_volume_rmcache_usage has been added.


SNMP Trap Overview

ScaleIO 1.31 can be configured for SNMP trap generation, enabling monitoring using thirdparty management tools which can receive SNMP traps.
By default, SNMP traps are not generated. The ScaleIO gateway needs to be configured to
activate traps.
ScaleIO traps are associated with events and severity levels. Each associated event includes a
code that specifies a remedial action for that event.

Platform and integration Enhancements


With Version 1.31, ScaleIO adds support for Redhat and CentOS version 7.0.
The REST API has been updated to accommodate all the added and changed commands.
In addition, the ScaleIO OpenStack driver package has been enhanced for compatibility with
the Juno release of OpenStack. In particular, ScaleIO 1.31 can report pool-level statistics to
OpenStack. This enables the Juno version to make an intelligent decision when provisioning
volumes, by selecting a suitable Storage Pool.

EMC Storage Analytics (ESA) 3.0 – Now With XtremIO Support !




one of the most common questions I get from our customers is about the ESA support, so it’s here now! but what is it exactly..

well, if you are a VMware customer, you are very likely to use vCenter Operations (aka vCOPS), vCOPS is a monitoring software to monitor and report on your virtual (and also physical) environment, you know what? I take it back, vCOPS is an aggregator of information surfaces points which can then make sense and correlates between these “islands” of information points.

a product that have been in the EMC portfolio for quite some time, is the ESA plugin, in a nutshell, you can either buy it as a standalone software that will show you storage related information using the vCOPS interface, or if you are an existing vCOPS enterprise customer, you can just buy the plugin and import it to your existing vCOPS environment.

recently, VMware renamed the name of the product and it is now known as “VMware vRealize Operations Manager” (vR Ops) v6.0.

today, we mark the release of the added XtremIO pack for the existing storage adapter, it’s one plugin (adapter) that is common for ALL the EMC storage products.


adding the EMC solution is very easy, you just need to..”add” it from the “Solutions” tab


once the EMC solution has been added, you will want to configure it for the specific array you bought the license for. press the “configure” icon on the “EMC Adapter”


the screenshot below shows a VNX being added but the GUI is the same for XtremIO


now, lets examine the ESA XtremIO topology:


below you can see a demo I recorded showing it end to end including the built-in dashboards for XtremIO but you can always go ahead and create new ones to your heart wish

ESI For Windows suite 3.6 & EMC XtremIO



As part of our ongoing integration with the other EMC eco system, I’m proud to announce the integration into EMC Storage Integrator (ESI), no, this is not VSI but provide a similar functionality for bare metal systems that are running windows server / Hyper-V , linux OS’s or in a future release, for Microsoft System Center.

so what is it exactly?


EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows Suite is a set of tools for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Applications administrator and the GUI is based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC)

The following Windows Platforms / Applications are supported as of this version (3.6)


XtremIO Provisioning – Overview

lets now focus on adding XtremIO storage system(s), creating volumes, viewing storage “pools” and imitators groups


As shown in the screenshot below, the XtremIO uses the below parameters for adding the array in ESI.


In XtremIO the LUNs are referred to Volumes, can be created by right clicking on the Storage system or from the right hand side Action menu.


There is no concept of Storage Pools in XtremIO array.

•All devices in XtremIO are TDEVs by default.

•Within the ESI the total capacity of the XtremIO is displayed under the Storage pools tab.


Initiator Groups are XtremIO special entities which are similar to Storage groups.

These groups contains the initiators from the Host and these groups mapped to Volumes.


•Volume Mappings are shown as Masking views in the Masking view tab.


XtremIO Powershell CMDLets– Overview


this version of ESI also introduce the first time we officially support Powershell as a way of communicating with the XtremIO array!




below you can see a demo demonstrating what we have just discussed plus the future integration to SCOM

ESI For Windows Suite 3.6 & EMC XtremIO Demo


As always, you can download the plugin from support.emc.com


Citrix PVS 7.6 Ram With Overflow On Hard Disk On EMC XtremIO



I wanted to take for a spin the new CITRIX PVS feature that cache a lot of the IOPS into the target VM RAM with overflow to it’s Drive.

instead of just taking screenshots, I created a video log Smile






I then ran the same workload on the default PVS “cache to drive” settings and the IOPS was much higher so I have to give credit to the feature, it does work


but doesn’t eliminate the need for IOPS.

I also wanted to acknowledge the fact that different customers VDI environments behave..differently, take yours for a spin a and make a decision for yourself.

VSI 6.3 Is Here!


We have just GA’d VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator) 6.3

If you are an XtremIO customer, this is a must (free to install / free to upgrade) tool,

New to this version are the following abilities:


  1. The ability to apply the ESXi / XtremIO best practices directly from the vCenter interface, no longer need to mess with cli commands!

2. the ability to extend an XtremIO volume that was formatted to VMFS


3. The ability to run space reclamation at the datastore level while using the applicable “-n” parameter that is recommended by us for XtremIO array, this is by far my favorite feature for this release as it allow you to invoke space reclamation (at the datastore level) directly from within vCenter.


As always, download it from support.emc.com

here’s a demo showing ALL the integration points of VSI and XtremIO

VSI 6.3 & EMC XtremIO

Lately, in XtremIO



I’ve been busy, very busy in the last couple of weeks, running some test for version 3.0 (which was GA’d last week!) but more importantly, I think it will be fair to say that the XtremIO product (and the flash industry in general) has reached a tipping point, a point of no return if you would like, here’s what changed:


Gartner has placed XtremIO solidly in the ‘Leaders’ quadrant of their inaugural All-Flash Array (or Solid State Array in Gartner parlance) Magic QuadrantThe Register leaked the Magic Quadrant and I have reprinted their image below.


XtremIO got the leading part in the “leader” quadrant, I can’t say we were surprised (at least, I wasn’t) as we are seeing an increased numbers of customers joining our flash revolution and on the competitive front, we are seeing more and more customers who understand why “Architecture Matters”, since day 1, we have been very vocal about the fact that the architecture, the house foundations must be solid and that features can be added later on, we have more and more customers telling us that things like scale – out really matters to do as they need the horsepower to drive the capacity added, things like garbage collection that does not impact the array performance, user data and metadata in memory that is one of unique features of our snapshots and more and more..

so what is the tipping point you are probably asking yourself, well, we are now in phase 3 of the All-Flash based datacenter, let’s look at the phases..


phase 1 :

this phase can be related to the period between the Direct Availability phase to the GA of the product (November 2013), customers were mainly interested in XtremIO because of it’s performance, sort of like, “I have this DB that just needs the lowest latency / highest IOPS you can give me”, I also heard comments like “I’m still not too sure about FLASH, it’s a new technology and I need to get my head around it”, all of this comments were more than fair in my eyes, XtremIO was a brand new technology and it HAD to prove itself in the field, and boy it did!

Phase 2 : 

this phase can be related to the period between the GA of the product to the end of Q2 in 2014, it is known as the “Application Services” phase, no longer customers saw XtremIO as a performance tier, they started to really get their heads around things like always on deduplication and the unique snapshots architecture and as such, started to migrate their DB’s + test / dev environments to XtremIO and migrated their VDI environment to XtremIO (VDI was also part of phase 1), we started to see a massive migration to our platform around this phase, but still it wasn’t a full DC migration.

Phase 3:

this phase can be related to the period between Q3 till now, we are now seeing new (and returning customers) who have been telling us, “you know what, I enjoyed using XtremIO so much, that is really hard for me to look back, can you solve my ENTIRE virtualized datacenter storage needs?”.

this question is kinda tricky since the word “entire” means many things to me but it’s easy to answer after an analysis, so for example, we have now released a Mitrend XtremIO analysis tool (free!) that can scan your entire virtualized VMFS/RDM’s file systems and tell you how much capacity you will need migrating them to XtremIO, it does it while taking into considerations things like our always on deduplication / compression.

this to me is that current maturity of the product, as a relatively young dad, I always think about my daughter being born, get send to the kinder garden and in the following year get sent to elementary school!

the critical capabilities of this phase are the following:

1. Scale Out


no longer, a dual engine that works in Active / Passive / ALUAH (enter any other marketing terms that tries to drift you from the main idea) is sufficient, customer MUST have the horse power to drive the capacity associated, the VMware IO blender and the added VM’s needs it not only for todays workload but for the years to come, if you are building isolated silos, it’s like the 90’s all over again.

2. Real-Time XtremIO Data Services


it is now mandatory to have deduplication, compression, space-efficient snapshots, it also a very tricky concept because this slide can be related to many other products but like always, the devil is in the details, if your AFA throttle back deduplication / compression because of lack of horse power / Active-Passive technology (see point 1), you are missing out, XtremIO provides an ALWAYS inline data services, see why you want / need the true Active-Active + Scale Out architecture? the data services themselves are important for the “generic” virtualized use cases since it allow you to have a very good TCO for these environment’s and then you need to prove your CIO “why SHOULDN’T I go with XtremIO”?

3. Eco-System Integration


because you now want to manage your entire DC using XtremIO, it is not sufficient to have a solid architecture anymore, you need replication, you need the same monitoring tools to just work with the new platform etc etc’ and this is the strength of EMC, it was ALWAYS the strength of EMC, we don’t just sell the box, we give our customers the entire solution, for example, you can now build your DC using either a VBLOCK or a VPLEX, you can now have a true Active / Active Datacenter using VPLEX, you can now monitor your entire dc using ViPR SRM, you can now replicate your VMs using RecoverPoint for VMs (and amazing solution!) and the list goes on and on and on..

hope I was able to successfully share with you where were we and were are we now, I encourage you to tune to the Q3/2014 EMC earning results to hear more..and the best part? this is just the beginning!

here’s a video demo showing virtualized workload running on a 4 X-Bricks cluster!

XtremIO 3.0 and The Virtualized Datacenter


Then came Oracle (Open World)..


if your’e a fan of larry (you should, his keynotes are funny!) and you attended or watch the Oracle Open World (OOW 14) this year, Oracle compared their new All Flash array to XtremIO, im not even going to debate here about their silliness comparison, you can read about it here: https://community.emc.com/thread/200285 

I just wanted to say that in 2013, larry compared whatever they had on the truck at that time to a VMAX and IBM, and in less than an year, it’s XtremIO ?

what does larry know? well, it’s very common now to see XtremIO replacing exadata, customers are voting with their wallets toward an open, super easy to mange and much more performing than exadata, still , kudos for larry’s for vote of confidence.

I hope I was able to share a little bit of this rollercoaster called XtremIO, the good part, it’s only the beginning, I cant wait for Q4