Takeaways from Dell Technologies World 2019
This is my third time at Dell Technologies World, and I continue to feel impressed by the technology innovation, the rich content of the sessions and execution of the event. Dell has been able to harness the power of a great number of technologies from several companies, and take advantage of that power to create solutions that address the growing technological challenges of today’s organizations.
Dell continues to unveil solutions with an increasing level of integration, which are also easy to deploy, easy to manage, cloud-aware and cost effective. These solutions effectively allow customers to do more with less. A few examples:
- More infrastructure deployments with less time: By using a simple wizard to provide the IP configuration settings, a VxRail cluster may be deployed in less than a business day. This means a customer location (whether it is Main Office, COLO, ROBO etc) could go from having an outdated or non-existing virtual infrastructure, to having a complete software-defined virtualization infrastructure, ready for production workloads, with the latest hardware available (including compute, networking and storage). In addition, this will have embedded management tools that will automate and simplify day-to-day management tasks, cloud enabling and replication features, with the flexibility, agility and resilience that a validated scale-out architecture can offer, and more, so much more. All in just a matter of hours.
- More data management capabilities with less tools: There are challenges that come with managing large unstructured data sets. When large unstructured data sets – usually composed of billions of files - are hosted on several silos of disparate storage technologies (file or object, on premise or cloud, SMB or NFS etc.); when the data has inconsistent placing, with no tagging to help identify directory contents, the challenge becomes how to produce meaningful information out of those data silos. Dell EMC ClarityNow addresses those challenges: ClarityNow is a tool that has the ability to perform accelerated scan and indexing of unstructured data sets, provides extensive search, reporting and self-service capabilities, and effectively removes the boundaries that prevent a unified view of the data assets:
- No more slow manual searches for files or directories over a number of volumes: End users can now be empowered to easily perform their own searches, find their files, and if necessary, move or archive their data.
- No more time-consuming spreadsheets to manually track storage capacity and chargebacks: Reports can be quickly created from a single interface.
- No more dark or duplicated data: ClarityNow can help identify and remediate inefficient use of disk space with its powerful reporting tools.
- ClarityNow also provides tagging and data mobility capabilities to assist when data needs to be relocated within, or between data repositories.
- More security with less complexity: Guarding against ransomware is one of the biggest challenges for any IT Department today. As ransomware attacks increasingly target the backup systems, this challenge acquires greater importance. Dell EMC offers several technologies to protect against this and other types of threats. For example:
- As a last line of defense, Data Domain may be used to create an isolated recovery solution, that will keep the ransomware attacks from encrypting the most critical data, and provide resources to quickly recover from an attack. At a basic level, the components of an isolated backup solution would include:
- Isolation environment: Disconnected from the data center network, accessed only by personnel with proper clearance, the isolation environment – which contains a Data Domain – is the recovery zone.
- Data Copy and Scheduled Air Gap: Software and automation tools to copy the most recent backups to the Data Domain in the isolation environment, at regular intervals.
- Integrity checking and alerting: Provides mechanisms to alert in the event of a breach.
- Recovery and remediation: Validated procedures to remediate after an incident.
It is important to note that Data Domain is a flexible product that is easy to use and manage Data Domain can be sized for the needs of small, medium and large organizations. In addition, Data Domain is available in physical, virtual, and cloud versions.
- Products like Isilon, Unity, SC, and (again) Data Domain, all contain the ability to create read-only snapshots that will protect the data and allow a quick roll-back in case of an encrypting attack. They also include features to allow tiering and replication to the cloud, which combined with isolation and hardening techniques, can also provide effective protection against ransomware attacks.
- A more efficient, effective, and simple path to a multi-cloud architecture, with less time consumed, less risk, less management, and less cost: Many organizations want to start moving to a multi-cloud infrastructure. And why not? There are significant benefits that come with the transformation to an automated, hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure; with a service catalog that accelerates IT service delivery. However, while organizations want to undertake the transformation process, they do not know where to start. With Dell technologies, the digital transformation is a simple, low risk process, which may be implemented over time, deploying what you need, when you need it.
- Start by deploying a consistent HCI infrastructure with VxRail. VxRail includes vSphere, vSAN and VxRail manager, which provide powerful management and integration features that future-proof your investment. With VxRail, you can modernize your existing data center, as well as your remote and DR locations. You can build a private cloud that will allow you to maintain your infrastructure on premise, while at the same time reaping the benefits of a cloud model.
- Implement VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail, which includes NSX and SDDC manager. With VCF, customers can consolidate management of multiple VxRail clusters, and highly automate monitoring and management tasks, like deployment of new clusters, firmware and software updates (from a single bundle), node additions and removals, etc.
- Once the infrastructure is deployed, customers can start looking at how to monitor, transform, and operationalize IT by using vRLI for log centralization, and vROps and vRNI for holistic monitoring and capacity planning.
- With a solid infrastructure in place, and a tightly integrated set of management and monitoring tools, customers can start looking at how to adopt an ITaaS model. This can be achieved with tools like vRA for automation, and vRB for costing.
- Once proven cloud infrastructure in place, customers can use the same management tools to extend the infrastructure into the public cloud: VMware cloud on AWS and Azure, allow for the migration of workloads to and from the public cloud, while leveraging the same standardized set of management tools. Thus achieving the vision of a hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure.
Financial Justifications for Multi-Cloud Infrastructure
Many organizations perceive digital transformation as too costly, too complex, and too risky. However, the only way an organization can compare the financial benefits of adopting a hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure, is to perform a complete cost-benefit analysis.
There is a need to analyze and show, with hard numbers, that a Digital Transformation can bring about significant technological advantages, efficiency and productivity increases, while reducing the cost of providing IT Services.
So in order to find a financial justification we can follow this process:
- Determine the current costs to provide IT Services: This will include software, hardware, WAN, staffing, power, cooling, real estate, outsourced support, corporate overhead, service and maintenance contracts, etc.
- Determine desired state after a digital transformation, and estimate cost.
- Build a transformation roadmap: Plan for the implementation of the new infrastructure, determine what applications can be migrated first, what resources will be needed, what level of effort will be necessary, etc.
- Estimate transition costs: While transitioning to a multi-cloud infrastructure, some of the costs will be redundant because the original infrastructure will need to be maintained while the new infrastructure is being built and tested. As part of this effort, it is very important to bring additional resources to help build the new infrastructure. Organizations that hire additional resources are able to complete the transition faster, and with better results.
- Perform a cost/benefit analysis: Determine how long it will take to recover the investment. Most organizations recover the investment in 3 to 5 years, and obtain additional benefits inherent with the agility and flexibility of the hybrid multi-cloud infrastructure. To name a few:
- Self-service capabilities that accelerate delivery of IT Services.
- Scalable Infrastructure: Able to scale up or down, in premise, or on the public cloud.
- Accountability and charge-back: Powerful management tools provide reporting to track resource usage.
- Standardization: The same processes are followed to manage the infrastructure on all sites, and in the private or public cloud.
- Automation: Significantly reduces time spent performing life cycle operations.
Once this information is obtained, a business case can be prepared for digital transformation.
From Data Storage To Data Management With ClarityNow
With explosive growth of unstructured data, organizations are facing challenges to manage it efficiently:
- Large data sets end up trapped in silos of storage with disparate technologies
- No classification prevents users from finding relevant data in a timely manner
- Duplicate and dark data sets may exist, but they go unidentified
- Slow manual processes are used to get meaningful information
- No data mobility, limited collaboration
Dell has introduced ClarityNow, a software that works on a virtual appliance, which scans and indexes large amounts of unstructured metadata, and provides functions like tagging, searching, reporting, and moving, across all scanned platforms. ClarityNow can read metadata from different sources including heterogeneous storage, on-premises and in the cloud. Once the metadata is consolidated, ClarityNow can be used to manage the data effectively, from a single pane of glass:
- Reporting allows to monitor usage, data growth, and perform capacity planning
- Self-service capabilities allow end users to look for their files, and move them or archive them if necessary
- Duplicate and dark data can be easily identified and remediated
ClarityNow is definitely a great tool that many organizations will find extremely valuable. ClarityNow provides that visibility that every storage administrator needs.
Isilon: What’s New in 2019
Isilon continues to be the leader in unstructured data storage: The Gartner Magic Quadrant shows Isilon as leader, well ahead of the competition.
With over 12,000 current users, 17 years in the field, and 4.7 Exabytes shipped in 2018, Isilon is the market leader in the Distributed File System and Object Storage space.
In 2019, two new nodes have been unveiled:
F810 – All flash storage with in-line Data Reduction
- Inline compression with up to 3:1 data reduction
- Supports up to 250,000 IOPS and 15 GB/s bandwidth per chassis. This is the kind of performance that make Isilon capable of supporting workloads, that in that past it was not possible
- 230 TB to 924 TB capacity per chassis
- Provides 60 SSDs per chassis
- Powered by Isilon OneFS 8.2
- Fully supported on heterogeneous Gen 6 clusters
This type of node is ideal for applications that require extreme performance and efficiency. It provides up to 33% more effective storage per PB than the major competitors do.
H5600 – For high throughput and high capacity workloads
- Gen6, 80-drive deep chassis (same as A2000)
- 800TB capacity with 10TB drives
- H-Class performance better than H500
- Fully supported in heterogeneous Gen6 clusters
Ideal for workloads with large datasets (M&E 4K editing, Automotive ADAS). 40% less rack space needed and scalable up to 50 PB with OneFS 8.2.
New features in OneFS 8.2
Ability to keep the data encrypted at all times:
- Hadoop Transparent Data Encryption stores Hadoop data encrypted on cluster
- SyncIQ data-in-flight encryption between source and target cluster
- SMB3 and NFS4 encryption already available
- Data at rest encryption via SEDs
Completely protects the data from clients to disks to replicated copies, satisfies regulatory and industry requirements.
New Dell EMC Cloud Storage Service
Increasingly, businesses need to extend their storage to the cloud. The Dell EMC Cloud Storage Service provides the ability to replicate natively to and from the public cloud. This means customers will be able to replicate data using SyncIQ to AWS.
New in OneFS 8.2
- Support for up to 252 nodes, up from 144, a 57% increase in storage capacity
- Switch leaf and spine architecture support
- Back-end monitoring: Detection of multiple configuration errors
- New kernel implementation with significant performance improvements
- Sparse files handled efficiently
- C2S support for federal users
- Network stats broken out by provider and policy
- Support for TDE Encryption
- Job Engine:
- Performs storage balancing and garbage collection
- Runs much less often
- Low space mode
- When close to full, only jobs that free space will run
- Jobs no longer pause when a single drive is unavailable
- Small File Storage Efficiency
- Ability to defragment shadow stores
- May be used on data that is still subject to change
- Delete Performance
- SnapshotDelete job is much quicker
- Small files are now deleted asynchronously
- Per cluster limit increased from 20,000 to 500,000
- Templates can be used to inherit quotas to new child directories
- Support to use treedelete on a tree quota
- Application logical quotas
- Encryption support
- Per policy bandwidth reservation
- Support for dual-factor authentication via Duo
- Support for public key authentication integrated with LDAP
- RBAC is now zone-aware
- Certain rights can now be granted for a specific zone
- Enable multitenancy cases
- Performance monitoring
- SMB is now supported
- Directories, users, clients, protocol can now be used to define workloads
- Enables targeted monitoring
- Ability to perform parallel firmware upgrades
- Rolling upgrades can now be paused and resumed at any time
- Command added to allow a rolling reboot with no upgrade
- Support for multiple SmartConnect Service IPs
- Architectural changes for cleaner separation of functions