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NEW Geek Pit Demo!

Posted by christybirkett Aug 8, 2016

This episode of The Geek Pit brings you an exclusive peek into our next generation of storage platform: ScaleIO.

Scott Keaney does his best Iceman impression as he teaches us how EMC’s ScaleIO enables next generation applications and the software-defined data center while also explaining the key tenets of the platform: Scalability, Flexibility, and Agility. Note that ScaleIO is available Free and Frictionless for non-production, unlimited time and capacity!

Written By: Lakshmi Pedda


Operating your data center in real-time is not just an aspiration for businesses today – it is a necessity. Last month, CJ Desai spoke about change being the only constant and how it’s become inevitable in data centers across the globe. The move to modern data centers to support traditional, enterprise applications as well as newer platforms and applications, like NoSQL and OpenStack, is the new norm.

We believe that smart, savvy software will be the difference in profitability and viability for a business. Storage is a key component in this equation. Software-defined storage is rapidly becoming a game changer - it offers IT organizations the ability to realize that promise. When you decouple software from hardware, it opens the doors to efficiently utilize industry standard x86 hardware – driving lower costs and greater flexibility. EMC offers the industry’s broadest Software-Defined Storage portfolio for file, object, and block storage for multiple data types.

EMC’s ScaleIO 2.0 is one such enterprise IT grade software-defined, scale-out, block storage server SAN solution delivering powerful agility that comes with public clouds combined with the security and peace of mind expected from private clouds. Our deployment choices include a software option, a storage-only or better still as a full turnkey, hyper-converged VxRack™ System 1000 with FLEX Nodes. This blog will focus on the latter.


VxRack™ System 1000 with FLEX Nodes powered by EMC ScaleIO gives you flexibility to design and implement data centers based on application needs, budget, and growth. You can start with the right-size deployment to meet today’s demands, and scale up to web scale at a later date.


Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.08.17 AM.png

Here are a few nuggets to know about VxRack with FLEX Nodes

Optimized for Scale and Agility: You can add resources modularly so they can scale individually or together to maintain balance. Agility in provisioning and the consistent IOPS it delivers is second to none.

Consistent Performance: An IT Admin’s delight! All I/O requests are pooled together and based on the business service SLAs, consistent performance is made available to all applications at all times with no bottlenecks or hotspots – driving massive performance.

Flexible and Efficient Resource Utilization: The system is extremely lightweight as you can see below. You can expect massive CAPEX savings supporting traditional, modern and OpenStack workloads.


Siloed Appliances

VxRack with FLEX Nodes

CPU Usage, per node



RAM Usage, per node



Low TCO: Saving the best for the last! The hyper-converged system delivers 30% lower TCO than traditional SAN. You’ll enjoy rapid time-to-value and simplified IT management—avoiding applications and operational silos. You save by paying for only what you use and no more forklift upgrades in sight. What’s more the fully engineered system is supported and sustained as ONE System helping mitigate risk and giving you peace of mind.

Software-defined storage is here to stay. When partnering with EMC, IT organizations can expect to lower their operational and capital costs, analyze more data, build better clouds, deliver modern apps, and turbocharge server performance.

We are confident about our VxRack with FLEX Nodes and encourage you to download ScaleIO software. To learn more about the product click here.

Written By: Stephen Scribner, Systems Engineer, ScaleIO


I joined the ScaleIO team as a Systems Engineer in a very busy Q4 of 2015.  Since joining the team there have been a TON of releases, both from a product standpoint as well as the ecosystem supporting and around ScaleIO. Even more recently we just posted the latest release in Software-Defined Storage at EMC - ScaleIO 2.0 which is the first major code update we’ve had in some time.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a LOT of customers about their strategy for success in the new age of Bi-Modal IT.  Often I’m asked how ScaleIO can solve “our” ever growing challenge of managing more data with less resources and time; with an expectation of delivering more value back to the business than ever before.  Things like data migration, technology refreshes, and high CAPEX, are driving customers to look for a new way to do IT.

When I decided to write a blog about ScaleIO, the first thing I thought about was ScaleIO adoption in the SDS & Hyperconverged market.  Many other products in the space tend to focus on varying design points in their architecture such as tight hypervisor integration, simple management, various data services etc.  ScaleIO has taken a different approach, with a focus on delivering a highly available, low-TCO, software-defined strategy at Data Center scale.  ScaleIO has been created and designed around four distinct areas.  Every architecture and feature we add to our product is designed to lower cost, increase elasticity, improve performance, as well as add better automation and management.

Chad Sakac – the fearless leader of EMC Presales and now VCE, wrote a great subject on System Architectures and specifically how things like ScaleIO (Type-3) interact with and manage data. One of his great points on this write-up is that there is not a “one size fits all” approach.  When customers choose the right system for the right workload – only great things ensue.  Check it out if you haven’t yet:


Now onto some of the recent updates with 2.0 Specifically, we added a number of features that target resiliency. We’ve continued to focus on ensuring data is always highly available – something you should expect from all enterprise storage solutions.  In addition, new capabilities provide customers with expanded support options, read caching capabilities as well as efficiencies through maintenance.  A quick list below gives you an idea of the things we’ve worked to improve.


5 Node MDM Cluster – This adds an additional two members to the ScaleIO management cluster.  We also can now add an additional repository for managing the system metadata – further ensuring continued uptime through failure.

Read Flash Cache – ScaleIO now includes integrated Read caching into the GUI as well as SDS systems.  This will work on any flash media compatible with ScaleIO.

ESRS – This one is great for ScaleIO supportability.  EMC can now remotely monitor as well as diagnose and repair issues.  Huge add for an EMC customer with any number of systems to manage.

Instant Maintenance Mode – Another slick feature for customers who mange and maintain ScaleIO systems.  Administrators can now query and place individual hosts in a “maintenance mode” that will prevent against rebuilds for simple operations like patching, reboots, and updates.

NDU Orchestration – Customers can certainly expect to upgrade existing ScaleIO systems from 1.3x versions non-disruptively.  We’ve added in a few new features to enhance the upgrade and ongoing cluster maintenance.


There have been a few other cool features added that customers are giving us great feedback on; GUI Front end Management feature has been added to 2.0 – something a number of my customers have been asking for.  This one is huge for some of our customers who are planning to use ScaleIO in replacement of some of their traditional storage subsystems.  Adding a simple management interface for all the day-to-day tasks was a must have.  Many customers will continue to leverage the built in  CLI and REST API for highly automated environments. 


2.0 brings along Performance Modes, introduced into the framework to include built-in GUI performance tuning.. The goal is to reduce and even likely eliminate many of the manual tasks that were once required for garnering the best performance in ScaleIO clusters.  The new functionality will do things like increase I/O buffers, adjust queue depth, memory, as well as some other tunable features (nerd knobs) within the OS environment.  What I’ve noticed in my lab environment is about a 20% cluster wide IOPS increase from Default to High Performance with a single click. 


Check out some of the tests we recently ran in our Hopkinton Data Center.  All workloads are running on 3x Commodity SSD’s across 8 hosts with 2x 10G ports per host (a fairly standard configuration). What you’ll see is that even at relatively small scale (24 drives) ScaleIO performs extremely well.


Test 1 – 8k 100% random read – these are the hero numbers folks

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.40.13 AM.png

Test 2– 32k 100% random read – notice the linear scaling when we up the block size. 

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.21.52 AM.png

Test 3– 32k 50%Read/50% Write – Key to notice the linear distribution of Writes and Reads across each node & disk in the cluster.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.22.41 AM.png

Before joining the ScaleIO team I worked as a presales engineer covering a few large EMC accounts. Something that was abundantly clear to me was the ever growing pressure from their internal business, external competition, as well as forces from the “cloud”.  I think ScaleIO is a great fit for customers who have a large amount of block data with a growing challenge in continuing to manage and maintain it.  Obviously we’ve added a number of features that are designed to drive more performance, better resilience, and enhance the overall experience with ScaleIO.   If you think this is something you’d like to try out go for it!  You can download ScaleIO today for non-production environments here ( .


EMC World 2016

Posted by christybirkett May 3, 2016

Written By; Lakshmi Pedda


It’s the trade show season! OpenStack in Austin just ended last week and we are off to support the biggest blockbuster event of the year, EMC World 2016, taking place in Las Vegas from May 2-5. Are you amongst the ~8K attending EMC World? If so, we have a boatload of activities lined up for you. Topics range from flash, software-defined storage, converged infrastructure, and rack scale architectures to hybrid cloud and data lakes. For your file, object and block storage needs, be sure to stop by booth #364 and #739. Here you will be exposed to software-defined storage, hyper-convergence amongst other topics.

You’ll hear a ton on software-defined storage. Don’t miss the keynote on day 3 by CJ. Desai, president emerging technology division at EMC. Leveraging this approach, IT organizations can expect to lower their operational and capital costs, analyze more data, build better clouds, deliver modern apps, and turbocharge their server performance.

If there is one break-out session you don’t want to miss it’s Citi’s experience deploying ScaleIO – the software-defined scale-out block storage that leverages x86 hardware. This session etdTT.25 is taking place on Monday @8:30am in Palazzo N.  Don’t sweat if you missed this one, there is an encore on Wed @12noon.

Moving to the theatre sessions! These are short 15 minute informative sessions within our booth. What’s more, it’s your chance to win cool swags. Let’s look at what we have lined up for you.

On Monday, when the expo floors open, we have ScaleIO D@RE with CloudLink taking place at 7pm. Attend this session to understand how CloudLink brings Data at Rest Encryption to ScaleIO, completely transparent to ScaleIO operations.

On Tuesday, if you are looking to optimize utilization of your Splunk servers, be sure to attend ScaleIO for Splunk taking place at 2pm. Want to learn more about TDI and Why TDI for HANA on ScaleIO makes sense? Attend this session at 4pm where you’ll learn the multiple consumption choices available to enterprise customers and service providers.

On Wednesday, Accelerate NoSQL with ScaleIO takes place at 11:45am: NoSQL has become a key component to supporting modern application development, Come see how ScaleIO complements them and integrates with MongoDB, Cassandra and Couchbase. Later that afternoon at 2pm if you’re budgets are  squeezed on database licensing, stop by to see how you can get more mileage out of your database licensing: Attend this session to explore key considerations, learn licensing best practices and how to engage EMC to run database workloads on ScaleIO.

If you have got enough techno ammunition during the day, it’s time to have some fun in the evenings!! On Wednesday, we have a customer appreciation event – the 80’s popular band Duran Duran will perform followed by Fitz and the Tantrums. We hope you get the maximum value out of EMC World 2016! Be sure to tweet using the #EMCWorld, if you have something to share. You can reach me at my twitter handle lpedda. I am looking forward to meeting you all, learning about your environment and finally having fun.



Written By:  Anthony Cinelli, Sr. Manager Enterprise Sales, ScaleIO

The EMC ScaleIO 2.0 release is a big one, and the publicity has been huge. The official tagline is "Delivering Public Cloud Agility with Private Cloud Performance and Resiliency." A lot has been said around how Software-Defined Storage technologies and hyper-convergence, ScaleIO in particular, enables levels of IT agility that are just well beyond what can be delivered by traditional infrastructure stacks. So instead, I wanted to focus this blog on the other side of the equation: Private Cloud Performance and Resiliency.

ScaleIO was never focused on being the first software-defined and/or hyper-converged enabler to market. What we have seen out of the early market products were very cool and slick technologies that were built primarily for density, ease of use, and the IT generalist. The primary target markets, where those first to market technologies were embraced, were SMB and ROBO sites. At the time, this was for good reason -- the value prop of those early software-defined and hyper-converged players was a homerun for the SMB and ROBO use cases (and continue to be). ScaleIO, however, was built with a very different focus in mind -- how do you deliver all the benefits that come with hyper-convergence, software-defined, while eliminating proprietary hardware in the enterprise CORE DATA CENTER?


When it comes to block workloads, upon which many Enterprise customers literally run their business, .it is important to note that the world of Enterprise Applications is starting to change.  In order to truly make customers feel comfortable in their investment, just showing the ability to run the traditional apps faster/better/cheaper isn’t enough. It also has to be designed to deliver results for the new world of modern distributed applications. No easy task - but something that ScaleIO very uniquely is designed to accomplish in a way that no other technology in its class can. This is only enhanced further with 2.0.


Every introductory conversation I have with customers on ScaleIO always focuses on the architecture. Setting that baseline of how unique ScaleIO is architected as compared to its peer group is critical to understanding why it is so successful delivering against that core data center value prop while others have struggled to move from ROBO to core. What are those architectural differences? There are four primary ones that enable ALLLL the goodness that is ScaleIO:

  1. ScaleIO is BLOCK. It has a super simple I/O stack. Pretty much every other player in the space delivers block that is back-ended by a file system or object store. This adds a great deal of pressure/burden/work/overhead to the I/O stack. This is one of the things that allows ScaleIO to be just so darn fast, with super low latency. However, performance isn’t everything...there is another advantage to all this speed.  More to come on this further down.
  2. ScaleIO decouples compute and storage under the covers. The early hyper-convergence was all about coupling compute and storage together to be super, super make it unbreakable! This is great for ROBO and SMB needs, but bad for the Enterprise Core Data Center. Why? Cost. The enterprise core data center has unpredictable needs. Compute and Storage requirements do not always grow linearly. Sometimes you need one, sometimes you need the other. Sometimes you need both. ScaleIO allows you to add only what you need, when you need it. Have plenty of compute but need a bunch more storage performance/capacity? No problem, add a few storage only nodes running on bare metal Linux to the cluster. Need a ton of compute, but ok on storage capacity for now? No problem, drop in blades with super dense CPU and throw your OS and/or Hypervisor on it, no ScaleIO license needed. You will never find yourself in a position where you need to add a resource that you don’t need -- and that applies to not just the physical resources of compute and storage. It applies to licensing across the stack too. The cost savings/reductions delivered by this flexibility, at the scale that enterprise data centers require, is HUGE. At scale, ScaleIO can help organizations realize large savings.. It was designed for with these core data center uses in mind.
  3. ScaleIO delivers performance through I/O parallelism. The majority of software-defined and/or hyper-converged technologies in the market focus on keeping application data local to the server that runs that application in order to deliver the best performance. Makes sense right? In the SMB and ROBO space- ‑ sure. In the enterprise data center ‑ not so much. All workloads are not created equal. Often times the resources in a single server are not enough to give the workloads living on it what they need. When trying to scale beyond a handful of nodes, hotspots happen quickly and performance bottlenecks happen everywhere. Pretty much a deal breaker if you are thinking you may want to run your business critical block database application on it.                                                                                                                                                                                        ScaleIO does the exact opposite. It takes application data and delivers it as wide as possible across ALL the storage media you have in a particular pool. Have 100 SSD's across 10 nodes? All 100 SSD's work in parallel to deliver I/O. No hotspots. No tuning. As you add more nodes and/or storage, the data keeps distributing wider and wider and wider. This is what delivers perfectly linear scale and massive I/O performance. Concerned about the latency of all this distributed data? This is where another cool part of ScaleIO comes in....the data map. Every SDC (a kernel driver that lives on any host running applications), keeps a map in memory of where all the distributed data is for the particular blocks on that host. It is super lightweight (think 4-8MB for 8PB data set size). That data map basically gives each host direct access to its data as if it were local to that server, with no seeking required. So you get the best of both worlds ‑ direct access to data as if it were local, with the I/O benefit of parallelism on the backend. You can have your cake and eat it to. And, by the way, no bottleneck exists here. Every host that runs an app gets an SDC. This is what allows you to scale compute and storage separately or together. Want to provide ScaleIO storage to a handful of physical blades running a critical SQL database? No problem, just put the SDC on those physical boxes and now gets to access to superfast and super low latency ScaleIO storage. But as stated’s not just about performance...there is a bigger reason
  4. .ScaleIO is VERY Lightweight. In the enterprise core data center, resource usage matters. Most software defined storage and hyper-converged technologies use ~20%+ of a server's CPU and 20-50GB of RAM ‑  PER SERVER. How do you feel about having that running side-by-side with your CPU intensive SQL servers. Or better do you feel about running Oracle (and paying for it!) on a server where 20%+ of the CPU is not running Oracle.. Not cool. ScaleIO uses 5-10% of the CPU (and only if running all-SSD and pushing tons of I/O performance) and a negligible amount of RAM. Again, in small 3 and 4 node clusters, this isn’t a big deal. In an enterprise core data center, where nodes are measured in 10's, 100's, and potentially 1000's, there is big $$$ impact. ScaleIO drives out cost at scale. Resource usage matters.


So that takes me to my biggest point of this post. ScaleIO is architected for the core data center. And the big reason why we see ScaleIO as the first true enabler of Software-Defined Storage and Hyper-convergence for the Enterprise Core Data Center is not just because it delivers massive performance, it’s because it delivers MASSIVE levels of availability.

EMC_ScaleIO_ScaledBefore 2.png

That is the real secret. Customers are not just concerned about getting the performance they need for their business critical applications, they need them to be highly available and always on. ScaleIO is unique because it delivers to customers that super high availability they are used to with traditional Tier 1 infrastructure stacks. What’s more is you can realize huge savings in CAPEX and OPEX because ScaleIO does all of this  industry standard x86 hardware which you can buy anywhere and from anyone.


So how does it deliver such massive levels of resiliency and availability? Easy.....Performance! (Confusing huh?) Since ScaleIO has the ability to harness the full I/O and bandwidth across all resources in the cluster, it has the ability to not only deliver great application performance, but it also means it can rebuild itself when hardware breaks in a CRAZY FAST way. That is the true secret sauce of ScaleIO...delivering the availability and resiliency you are used to in your enterprise core data center, but doing so on standard x86 hardware. Tier 1 availability with no specialized hardware.


Want even more availability? VxRack System 1000 with FLEX,Nodes, powered by ScaleIO, is built using hardware designs that have been completely pre-tested, designed and engineered to deliver the maximum availability from each individual hardware component. Combine that with what ScaleIO natively delivers and you now have a platform that delivers ALL the agility that you are looking for in the cloud, pay-as-you-go, add-on-demand, scale-out era, while giving you the comfort you need of traditional enterprise availability. Add on top of that the VCE and EMC support team, and you now finally have an avenue to achieve that modern, scale-out, software-defined and agile data center that you dream about. One that runs yesterday's monolithic applications along with tomorrow's distributed ones...without having to sacrifice the performance and availability you are used to today.


Want to see this in action? Go download ScaleIO free and frictionless. Come back and share your customer feedback -- we love hearing it! :-)


Per this blog’s opening “sound-byte”, if EMC’s ScaleIO virtual server SAN for block data were a car, it would most definitely be a Formula One (F1) Grand Prix racing car.   I’m talking about being fast here…lightning fast in fact -- with seemingly unnatural speed, power, kinetic energy and agility.  Hey, nothing goes around a closed circuit race track faster than a F1 racer, right?


[Apologies to you NASCAR fans out there, but to me a Grand Prix race course with its intricate and varied straight-a-ways; left and right curves and occasional tunnels make it most challenging to F1 drivers…aka, the “users”.]



I mean, I can’t believe how fast those drivers shift a hundred times or more per lap, delay braking, change direction instantly it seems (defying Gs) and accelerate hard out of curves, etc. at speeds in excess of 200MPH.  Reminds me of my old “slot car” circuit days – 1/24 electrified plastic bodied cars locked in that middle track/lane groove...more or less sticking to the track.  But I’m ‘fish tailing’ here…

So now that I’ve made this rather bold, somewhat self-serving analogy and set the stage (and tone) for some unabashed shout-outs for ScaleIO, it’s time to pay it off.

There’s a number of converged and hyper-converged software defined storage solutions out there from various vendors – including EMC.  Some are sold in the form of bundled server SAN (Storage Area Network) hardware appliances. Others are sold as “pure” software with appropriate licensing.  All have this in common, though: they use host server HW resources (and only host server resources) configured with local, direct attached storage (DAS) to form a virtual, aggregated pool of storage capacity.  Hence, industry expert Wikibon coined the “Server SAN” term back in January 2014….just to describe this new emerging technology.

The beauty of a pure SDS system or HW server SAN appliance is that you leverage existing host servers’ CPU (i.e., ‘compute’), onboard connectivity (i.e., Ethernet) and storage (raw DAS capacity) resources.  For instance, say you have 10 host servers in your data center or equipment room.  Typically, those 10 servers are acting independently, separate from one another.  Any data on each of those server’s flash or hard disk drives (usually at least one, most often two or more per server) is resident/written only on that server if it’s not backed up on an external storage – i.e., a SAN array connected by iSCSI or FC.  So if ‘server A’ goes down/off-line for any reason, data on server A’s DAS device(s) is unavailable.

Happily, that “sad and lonely” data storage situation is eliminated by simply installing -- for example -- ScaleIO server SAN software modules on each of those participating host application servers with local DAS devices.  Now you have not only a server cluster, but a virtual server SAN consolidated pool of connected servers that 1) linearly combines each server’s CPU I/O handling into the ‘power of one’; 2) aggregates each server’s raw excess DAS capacity into the ‘sum of all’; and 3) benefits from the resulting total I/O (IOPS) linearly scaled performance…and I/O bandwidth.

Equally important, those once isolated (and lonely) data blocks on each of those previously “isolated” host servers is now backed up across the new cluster pool. Distributed and dispersed data copies -- accessible and shared by all host nodes.  That’s essentially the full measure and value of today’s contemporary converged, software defined server SAN – and how you can leverage (and monetize) previously unused/excess raw storage capacity without needing to install a specialized external storage array/resources.

But I digress again.  Many of you already know what a SDS “server SAN” is and what it can do.  But how can you tell if it’s ‘good’ or not?  Back to my F1 race car highly stretched analogy.  Below attempts to lay out -- albeit, with a somewhat tongue and cheek comparison of key attributes – my thinking.


    Which do you think is faster?

Nodes = Cylinders

Individual ‘host server’ nodes forming a ScaleIO cluster can be thought of as the number of cylinders in the engine.  Most will agree, the more pistons/cylinders you have working together in an engine, the more power and torque you get.


IOPS for the total cluster/pool is analogous to engine speed in my mind.  More revs beget more performance from a given engine ‘configuration’…

MB/sec = MPH

Throughput/bandwidth can be thought of like actual speed (MB/sec = MPH)…the faster you go the more ground you cover in a given time slice.

Low Latency  = Fast Acceleration

Latency is simple…its engine/throttle response and acceleration…as in ‘0 to 100’  in 4 seconds or less…when I key issue an I/O ‘throttle command’.

Raw Capacity = Fuel Tank Capacity

I think of raw capacity to being like how many gallons the car’s fuel tank can hold.  Small tank?  Better hope for a small track and short race/number of laps.  Here, higher capacity means bigger endurance w/o needing ‘a pit stop’ to get extra fuel.

Elasticity = Number of Gear/Ratios

In this case, elasticity refers to ‘flexibility’ or ‘adaptability (to changing track and crace  conditions) so I equate that to the number of available gears and/or type of tranny (as in, a F1 paddle shifter…) and the ability to add/remove resources, ‘throttle IOPS, move around data based on storage tiers/pools, data temperature, etc.

Agility = Suspension/Handling

Per above, F1 racing cars’ phenomenally crisp turning and track gripping handling are legendary….and the ability to be “agile on the fly” in response to changing user and application demands is a hallmark of SDS platforms – especially ScaleIO. Indeed, Elasticity and Agility are very close terms…but they each have subtle differences…and usually go hand-in-hand….to give you flexibility while negotiating dynamic track conditions.

Ease-of-management = Drivability

All the cylinders, raw performance, power, speed, available gears/rations and suspension/handling won’t do you an ounce of good if the car’s hard to drive, control and monitor.



Left: F1 Racer Steering Wheel/UI      Right: ScaleIO Steering Wheel/GUI

Having fun yet?  I’m almost done.  Now for my pay-off on why ScaleIO is not only like a F1 Racer….but why it’s the very BEST SDS server SAN out there in the field.

As a F1 racer, would simply sweep the track…and brush off the competition.  Why?  No other SDS or hyper-converged server SAN (HW or SW) singularly can exceed – or even approach – ScaleIO in terms of:

1) #of Cylinders -- ScaleIO scales from a minimum of 3 to thousands of nodes.

2) Max RPMs  -- ScaleIO linearly performance scales to many millions of IOPS.

3) Top MPH – Like max IOPS, ScaleIO’s MB/sec throughput capability leads the grid and posts the highest ‘MPH’ numbers.

4) Acceleration -- with RAM Caching; PCIe I/O Flash Card turbo charging and SSD device super-charging for high performance storage pools  with ‘hot data’, ScaleIO’s low latency is in a class all to itself.

5) Fuel Capacity – if F1 cars were also measured by max gallons hey could carry …ScaleIO with its 16PB total raw capacity would handle the longest courses and most laps without stopping to refuel in the pits or add another ‘team car’.

6) Number of Gears – with its tiered storage pools (for white hot, hot, warm and cold data storage) – along with Protection Domains and Server Domain Fault Sets – ScaleIO has inherent superior Elasticity and many ‘gears’ to select.

7) Suspension/Handling --  ScaleIO is the Grand Prix Champion with its ability not only to add/remove server and DAS resources ‘on the fly’ without disrupting operation or reconfiguring cluster resources – but to also reconfigure cluster resources/operation without requiring fork lift upgrades, planning/provisioning or data migrations, etc. 

8) Driveability – ScaleIO has a very simple, intuitively laid out GUI, “dashboard” and command interface – so it’s easy to start up, drive and manage on the track….by only one admin/FTE.

In closing, ScaleIO is hot and very fast.  Grand Prix F1 Racer hot.  And it’s highly scalable too.  It has performance and capacity scalability second to none and blows the doors off its competitors.    Moreover, it’s highly elastic, flexible and agile…for real world, ‘Daily Yeoman Street’ driving for your IT Datacenter. After all, what’s all this performance worth without proven reliability, quality of service and continuous/high availability (HA)? (Unless you’re a Formula One driver on the  track). In that regard, ScaleIO combines the reliability of your high performance family sedan (or your trusty SUV/CUV) with that high strung F1 Racer thoroughbred I’m obviously impressed with.

But don’t take my word for it!  Stay tuned for a follow-on blog in the very near future that presents actual lab test results on ScaleIO performed by the Storage Review experts.  I think you’ll find their results “quite impressive and compelling”. Then you’ll get why I’m bragging on ScaleIO…and will also think of it as Formula One Race Car.  One that you’ll want to take it around a few laps to see for yourself.


Turbo Charge Your Storage with ScaleIO Performance!!

Written By:

Rodger Burkley

ScaleIO Competitive Team

Written by: Lakshmi Pedda, Consultant Product Marketing Manager


The first successful US drone delivery took place this summer carrying medical supplies to a medical clinic in Virginia. A ‘Kitty Hawk’ moment said Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner. Customer experience such as this is driving most of the technology innovations today. It won’t be too far out before we start to see drone deliveries becoming the defacto mail trucks on the road.


These next gen datacenter platforms like software defined storage, big data analytics, and cloud are key to that customer experience. Examples of organization that have leveraged innovative technologies include Amazon with Prime Air, Google with the Nest Thermostat to name a few. They built new and differentiated business models designed to compete in the ‘Digital Economy’ tapping into that customer experience.



Designing and developing the right architectures for an SAP landscape, while driving the very same customer experience, can be daunting but not impossible. SAP HANA® is truly that transformational technology—enabling in-memory computing, allowing structured and unstructured data to co-mingle, and the ability to run OLAP and OLTP systems on the same platform. SAP went a step further and introduced the SAP HANA Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) which is an optimal, future-proof option for organizations planning to make SAP HANA mainstream in their datacenters. How So?


So what exactly is the TDI approach? Why are organizations adopting it widely?

With SAP HANA on TDI, organizations are able to leverage existing datacenter hardware and operational processes beyond business warehouse (BW), making HANA mainstream in the datacenter. EMC has a long history of partnering and offering best practices for SAP applications. The TDI option is available in leading EMC Storage arrays and data protection product lines. VCE, an EMC federated company, introduced the TDI on VxRack™ Systems, a hyper-converged system that offers tremendous flexibility and TCO savings to SAP global organizations and cloud partners.

SAP HANA TDI on VxRack System leverages EMC® ScaleIO® as the underlying software defined block storage that delivers web scale, meets performance KPIs and is a highly available and resilient system. Organizations can expect key benefits such as:


Flexible and Open Hyper-converged Architecture – integrating SAP HANA in the data center; allowing you to run both standard SAP and non-SAP applications. This gives you greater utilization ratios resulting from mixed workload consolidation.
Freedom of Choice – Our customers speak volumes when it comes to the choice of running physical or virtual SAP HANA. You can choose between running SAP HANA in production or in non-production environments, on bare metal or on a hypervisor such as VMware vSphere, or a combination of the two. More importantly, a VxRack System enables cost savings by significantly reducing your CAPEX and OPEX costs including time, space, and energy, backup, and management resources.
Reduced Complexity and Risk – Many of our customers also report reducing complexity and associated risks such as configuration complexity given the strict rules defined by SAP (e.g., what servers can be used, how the storage must be configured). Lastly, our customers are comforted in the fact that the system is fully supported by SAP, EMC, and VCE.


Learn from those who have been in the trenches!


Itrica, a leading service provider in North America which leverages VxRack Systems and ScaleIO to deliver scale up and scale out capacity, massive IOPS, and support for multiple hypervisors for its global customers. Click the video to learn more .  You can also read our best practices guidelines when deploying EMC ScaleIO in a virtualized environment.


So start your SAP Migration Journey with the Leaders in Hyper Convergence!

Want to create that differentiator for your business like what Amazon and Google are doing? Consider innovative technologies like EMC ScaleIO that powers VxRack Systems. For hyper convergence, I encourage you to read You can also visit SAP to look up the TDI supported systems at Our SAP Specialists are industry gurus when it comes to replatforming SAP business applications like ERP, CRM, and SRM to SAP HANA platform, consolidating your SAP business applications and Business Warehouse on the HANA, if you are considering a virtual HANA deployment, or if you are evaluating newer modern applications like social, big data and cloud to devise your next differentiating business model. I hope to talk to you soon as you embark on your SAP on TDI journey!



Lakshmi Pedda

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Written By: Jason Brown, Principal Product Marketing Manager at EMC²

Having recently seen Pixar’s brilliant animation film Inside Out, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the five fascinating emotions featured in the film and those that affect an enterprise customer’s buying decision, especially when investing in a technology that is as disruptive as software defined.Inside Out takes a refreshing peek inside the human brain where 5 personified emotions – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust – live in a control room and drive rational responses. It is interesting to see how these emotions can be applied to the software-defined changes taking place today in the storage industry and how EMC® ScaleIO® fares in this evolving market....

Continue reading here:


By: Eric Maille, Enterprise System Engineer, EMC

The virtual - En route vers les infrastructures de nouvelles générations

A large service provider recently signed a multi million-dollar deal with EMC SDS Solutions.  With this type of solution, the customer reduced its storage costs by 25%. This reference confirms the trend that customers are moving more and more towards Software Defined solutions, which aligns with the predictions from IDC, Gartner, Wikibon ....Here are some of my recaps and opinions on ScaleIO, based on what I’ve seen in the industry.

ScaleIO is one of the core Software Defined technologies at EMC. This innovative solution and the disruptive approach require a change in our traditional mindset. ScaleIO is not meant to replace all the workloads in the IT environments, but it’s key to accommodate Next-Gen applications.
ScaleIO’s principle is quite simple: a set of x86 servers is aggregated with local drives, which creates a virtual SAN. All the features of traditional storage arrays are preserved and offered at at a lower cost with a simplified management.

ScaleIO offers very high performance and high scalability while reducing management complexity and costs.


What have I seen as the top value proposition of ScaleIO?

The current challenge of traditional architectures (so-called second generation) based on SAN + Servers + Storage often represent a heavy burden for IT managers. In many companies, managers consider that their IT is extremely expensive and offers a poor level of service. They experience high TCO, complex management, low reactivity for resources provisioning and limited scalability, and eventually blame on the IT for not being able to serve their needs such as Big Data, Mobile, Social, the Internet of Things, and more. To address these challenges, it is necessary to rethink IT and make IT AGILE.

The underlying architecture allows for a simplification strategy and agility thanks to provisioning and de-provisioning on the fly. It’s no longer necessary to manage legacy equipment, Fabric SAN, HBA, nor to update the Firmware to make it compliant.... With ScaleIO, the TCO is reduced by 65% compared to a traditional SAN.


Its Scale OUT architecture offers very high scalability (thousands of nodes: up to dozens of PB and several millions of IOPS). It grows together with the application requirements and applications are closer to their storage. The more are added, the more the nodes increase performance and / or volume.
ScaleIO runs on servers (x86) which allows to standardize the IT environment and eliminates the need to manage proprietary solutions that would require specific training. 

What are the use cases I’ve seen for ScaleIO?

Dev Ops: ScaleIO solution allows you to add or remove capacity on demand with automatic data rebalancing, while preserving operations. This feature is ideal for environments that require Devops do proceed with frequent changes when switching between Test to Dev to Qual to Pre-prod to Prod.

Applications requiring high levels of performance: The scale-out side of the solution enables evolution as the application requirements change. The tests performed benefit from the SSD technology and can achieve unmatched performance levels. Example with 53 knots profile 4k: 


Traditional applications that require high performance such as SAP, Oracle, real-time applications ... are a good use case.

Test/Dev: The Test / Dev is a dynamic environment that requires regular changes, such as add or delete operations. The elasticity of the solution is a good answer to these issues.
New apps or innovative projects: to start new projects without breaking the bank, or when a customer has no idea what the required performance or scalability should be. You can start small –with at least 3 nodes- and grow as the application evolves.

Technically, here is what you should know about ScaleIO:

ScaleIO Architecture


ScaleIO is built on 3 main components: MDM, SDS, and SDC.

• MDM (Meta Data Manager) configures and monitors the ScaleIO system. You can have 2 for redundancy (1 + Tie Breaker). Note that MDM is not in the Data Path. It helps monitoring and configuring the cluster, and contains information Mapping.

• SDS (ScaleIO Data Server) provides the abstraction layer , contributes to the storage pool and provides IO operations. SDS is installed on each participating server in the storage system.

•SDC: a driver that exposes the ScaleIO volumes to the applications that are hosted on the same server. This driver runs on the server and provides access to volumes through TCP/IP. In other words, the app communicates with SDC volumes through this driver.

Protection Domain, Storage Pool Set Fault.
When configuring a ScaleIO system, several elements are set up.


• Protection Domain: a group of servers (or a set of SDS). An administrator can segment all SDSs in several protection areas. Rebalancing and redundancy features are established in the Protection Domain. Each application of each server can access all volumes based on its assigned PD.

• Storage Pool: a subset of the physical storage in a PD. Each drive is linked to a single storage pool. A volume is distributed through all the devices that are hosted on the same storage pool. It’s recommended to have one single type of storage within the same pool.

  • Fault set:

When writing, each block (or chunk) is mirrored to another node in the cluster to ensure redundancy in the event of a disk (or node) failure. A Fault set helps organize the distribution of copies of the nodes. A Fault set is a logical entity that holds a set of SDS within a protection domain. Fault set A can be defined as a set of servers that can fail simultaneously with no impact on production. ScaleIO never copes twice the same copy of data within the same Fault set.


Advanced features
• Replication is performed by RecoverPoint
• OpenStack Cinder supported
• In VMware environment, ScaleIO is deployed as a VM SVM (ScaleIO VM)
• ScaleIO comes in 3 configurations:

o   Software installed on x86 servers

o   ScaleIO Node: Hardware + Software package\

o   VxRack: complete out-of-the shelf IaaS solutionEric4.jpeg.jpg

Eric Maillé |

Enterprise Systems Engineer

EMC² France  |  River Ouest  |

80 quai voltaire |  95870 Bezons

Mobile : +33 615127016

Big news in the world of OpenStack and ScaleIO!  There are now two available ScaleIO plugins for Mirantis Fuel.  The purpose of these plugins is to add ease to the deployments of OpenStack with ScaleIO as the default block storage backend for Cinder.  The EMC Code team has written a blog (below) to provide more information on this.  I have also included additional information on the topic of OpenStack and ScaleIO.  We’d love to hear your questions, comments and feedback after reading.


EMC {code} Blog:


EMC Battle of the Titans: Real Time Demonstration of Ceph vs. ScaleIO Performance for Block Storage: EMC- Battle of the Titans: Real-time Demonstration of Ceph vs. ScaleIO Performance for Block Storage - YouTube

ScaleIO OpenStack Information:

Christy Birkett

ScaleIO Product Marketing

Let’s take a moment to look at this:  Storage, for many organizations, is at the heart of their business. Applications depend upon the data stored, and every moment of every day, someone or something needs to access it. Therefore, shouldn’t your storage strategy dictate what type of networking you use (Fibre Channel, Ethernet, etc.) and shouldn’t the flexibility come from the network to support it?


Wait!  Not so fast! What about the rest of the infrastructure that also relies so heavily on the network to communicate and transfer information from one point to another? Does this mean your network infrastructure should determine if you stay with SAN arrays or move to SDS?


When it comes to architecting your storage environment, your strategy should be simple and align into your business needs. Concerns about costs savings, reducing complexity and delivering high levels of performance are some of the key factors that drive these decisions, so flexibility is a must for today’s IT organizations. While SAN arrays deliver powerful storage solutions, their rigid architecture often dictates what the surrounding network must be. As a result, software defined storage is coming to the forefront with promises of being able to use commodity hardware while still delivering, scale, performance and flexibility


Do you know what the future holds?

Brian Lett from EMC said it best in a recent blog, “Without high levels of network availability and performance, things fall apart quickly.” As a result, IT organizations spend many long days, weeks and months building their network strategy and selecting the best vendors they believe can support all aspects of their business.



When building your SDS strategy and selecting your vendor, you must also ask, “Will this technology meet our storage needs and integrate with the network already in place? What about down the line? Will our needs and strategy change? Will the choices we are making today, hold up to possible changes in the future?”


Unless you have a crystal ball to tell you what the future holds for your IT organization and across all aspects of your business, you better make sure your SDS strategy includes a solution that has the flexibility to accommodate, not only different commodity hardware, media types and operating systems, but also different types of networks.


EMC ScaleIO Node – Flexible by Design

EMC recently announced the launch of ScaleIO Node. Unlike previous, software-only offerings, ScaleIO Node takes all the superior capabilities of ScaleIO software, bundles them on EMC commodity servers and delivers them to customers as a packaged offering. This enables customers to quickly deploy a fully architected software-defined, scale-out, server SAN in a pre-validated, tested and configured solution. ScaleIO was designed from the very beginning to be agnostic and flexible. ScaleIO software supports multiple hypervisors (KVM, Hyper-V, ESX, etc.), Operating systems (Microsoft, Linux, etc.) and Media (SSD, PCIe Flash, etc.). What about the network? Is the newly launched ScaleIO Node equally as flexible as the ScaleIO software?




ScaleIO Node indeed holds true to the SDS premise of no vendor lock-in and hence is wholly agnostic to the networking technology, architecture or network vendors.  It is true that ScaleIO Node currently only supports 10G Ethernet links for data and 1G for the management network, but that decision is solely based on the market and what our customers are telling us today.  As other networking technologies gain critical mass with our customers, there isn’t anything preventing us from quickly adopting that for ScaleIO.


In addition, though we only support Ethernet and 10/1G links today, that still leaves customers with enormous flexibility of how they want to architect and deploy their network architecture.  First and foremost, ScaleIO Node does not have any sort of vendor lock-out in our network ports; hence customers are free to choose the cabling solution that works with their vendor of choice.  Second, we are not dependent on any propriety switch vendor technology, e.g., we work equally well with L2/L3 routing technology from vendor y vs. vendor z.  Finally, ScaleIO Node is not based on a particular networking architecture topology from a particular vendor, so if customers prefer a spine/leaf architecture for their datacenter we support it, if they prefer using more traditional aggregated architecture we support that too.






In short, with either ScaleIO software or ScaleIO Node as an SDS solution, as long as the nodes can ping each other and have good latency and bandwidth, it does not matter which switch topology or vendor customers use. But, it goes without saying, your performance will indeed be directly correlated to your network performance – so care should always be taken to understand the application profile and the pros and cons of a particular networking architecture for that application when designing your storage strategy.


Christina Perfetto

ScaleIO Product Marketing