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8 Krypton

Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

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Welcome to the EMC VMAX community Ask the Expert conversation. On this occasion we will be covering these exciting VMAX All Flash topics: new architecture engineered for all-flash, achieving extreme performance levels, in-line compression data reduction technology, new V-Brick and Flash Capacity Packs, appliance-based hardware and software packaging, local and remote replication, and rich data services.

Among the many areas we will be discussing, our experts will answer your questions in regards to the new VMAX All Flash architecture, how you can achieve extreme levels of performance, deployment best practices, supported configurations and rich data services, challenges with multi-site replication, and consolidation opportunities to combine mainframe, open systems, block and file workloads on VMAX All Flash.

Watch this fun "hands-on" demo on the differences between Scale Up and Scale Out All Flash


Also, check out these informative VMAX All Flash assets.


Meet Your Experts:

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Paul Martin

Principal Corporate Systems Engineer

Paul started his career at EMC 10 years ago in tech support working in the OSAPI Unix team. After a few years he continued his career path in the Proven Solutions arena working with Oracle and SAP proven solutions team to produce white papers and proven solutions guides focusing on the integration with EMC products. This involved design, build and test of full EMC SAN environments with the Core EMC technologies, VMAX, VNX, RecoverPoint and DataDomain. He is currently working as Principal Corporate Systems Engineer in the Core Technologies Division VMAX focused.

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Andrew Lubeck

Consultant Corporate Systems Engineer

Andrew has been with EMC for 16 years. In that time he has worked for Customer Service, Professional Services, and, for the past 10 years, Symmetrix Engineering. The products that he's currently supporting are FTS, FAST.X and ProtectPoint. Andrew also does a lot of work involving migration strategies and best practices.

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Mike Adams

Consulting Corporate Systems Engineer

Mike has been with EMC for over 15 years and part of the VMAX engineering team for the past 10 years. Mike's areas of expertise include SRDF, ORS, FLM, Access Controls, User Authorization, Host IO Limits, Performance, Databases, Code Development, and FAST.

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James Salvadore

Manager Corporate Systems Engineer

James joined EMC in 2004. His current roll involves pre-sales customer support. James regularly performs numerous demonstrations of EMC technologies for customers. He is also heavily involved in new product introductions specifically in the Symmetrix beta programs.

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John Adams

Manager VMAX Global Performance Engineering

John is currently managing the Symmetrix Global Performance Support group. This group deals with all of the outwardly facing performance topics, including documentation to the Symmetrix performance gurus in the field, as well as being the engineering escalation path from customer support level 2. Twitter: @Quincy56.

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This discussion will take place Mar. 14th - 25th. Get ready by bookmarking this page or signing up for e-mail notifications.

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16 Replies
8 Krypton

Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

This Ask the Expert session is now open for questions. For the next couple of weeks our Subject Matter Expert will be around to reply to your questions, comments or inquiries about our topic. Let’s make this conversation useful, respectful and entertaining for all. Enjoy!

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8 Krypton

Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Congratulations on this launch folks. I'm looking forward to seeing more about this new product in the Symmetrix line and hopefully getting my hands on one in the near future. I've been slogging through the documentation on it trying to pick out the differences that are most relevant and there is one thing that I'm curious about right from the start. I suspect I will have more questions the further I dig, but for now...

If the initial capacities are set at 53TBu with each engine and the growth capacities are 13TBu per unit.... why are there three different drive sized available at launch? What exactly would drive the need for multiple drive sizes? Is 13TBu different from 13TBu when you order? How do you know which 13TBu you should be ordering?

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8 Krypton

Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

I have an all flash VMAX3 200K, where does it fit in this discussion ? Can i take advantage of some of the licensing ?  We bought the 200K in December, so can i get the "ALL FLASH"  front panel  ? 

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jimsalvadore
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Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Greetings Allen,

Thank you for the kind congratulations. Many people worked hard and long hours to make this launch happen.

The size of drives in the VMAX All Flash depends on two factors: the total usable capacity ordered and the RAID protection scheme selected for the system (either RAID5 7+1 or RAID6 14+2). The initial V-Brick 53TBu capacity is comprised of two RAID groups (one for each director) of 26 TBu each. For systems using RAID5 7+1 protection, the initial V-Brick will use 3.8 TB drives to achieve the 53 TBu. For systems using RAID6 14+2 protection, the initial V-Brick will use 1.9 TB drives to achieve the 53 TBu. Any additional 13 TBu capacity blocks required by the system also have to be a full RAID group. If your system requires an odd number of 13 TBu capacity blocks to achieve the desired total usable capacity, the capacity blocks could end up using a smaller size drive than was used by the initial V-Brick 53 TBu. A configuration with mixed drive sizes is perfectly fine on the VMAX All Flash. The details on the size of drives used will change over time as new drives are qualified for the VMAX All Flash so I wouldn't get overly concerned understanding the rules behind this. What you need to remember is that your VMAX All Flash will come pre-configured with the best possible drive combinations to achieve your desired total usable capacity and chosen RAID protection scheme.

I hope this helps.

Jim

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jimsalvadore
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Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Greetings Dynamox!

Systems that are sold as VMAX3 hybrid arrays are different from VMAX All Flash even if they have a single all flash tier. These VMAX3 hybrid systems are not designed for compression (expected to GA later this year). The VMAX3 hybrid software is licensed by usable TB and not bundled into the system as it is with the VMAX All Flash. Customers interested in VMAX All Flash should have a discussion with their sales team about details.

Jim

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8 Krypton

Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Thanks Jim. That helps a bit... and raises more questions in my mind. From a more technical perspective it sounds like the growth limits of these arrays is more "fluid" than they may at first seem. This is concerning to me in trying to plan a configuration and future growth as we would always want to make sure that we weren't making choices today that would "shoot us in the foot" tomorrow.

How can we avoid making config choices now that may result in smaller drive sizes (thus higher drive counts) which could negatively impact the overall growth potential (scalability) for the array as a whole? Or are there mechanisms in place that make this a moot point?

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jimsalvadore
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Re: Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Hi Allen,

Each V-Brick can support up to 500 TBu when using a 2 TB cache engine. Each of the two DAEs shipped with the V-Brick have 120 drive slots in them (240 drive slots per V-Brick total). Having this many drive slots for each V-Brick means that a customer can easily expand by simply adding the additional capacity pack drives in the empty drive slots of the V-Brick DAEs. This was done by design as it makes capacity upgrades much simpler and easier to plan for.

Jim

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8 Krypton

Re: Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

So if I understand that correctly the V-Brick actually consists of the Engine and two 120 drive DAEs right up front so you don't have to worry about DAEs in the future? And I think I was reading it right that you could do two V-Bricks per cabinet. So the only time you have to worry about anything more than just drives is when you are adding a new V-Brick to an existing cabinet or a new V-Brick in a new cabinet? Or in our case, adding a new cabinet as we never put in a single engine at a time.

Based on that it looks like you could potentially limit yourself to less than the 500TBu per V-Brick unless there were at least some of the 3.8TB drives included in the config. That being said, there is also a good possibility that you wouldn't run into that situation as newer larger drives are introduced and shift the balance back within the 240 drive "limitation". I think I can live with that.

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jimsalvadore
1 Nickel

Re: Re: Ask the Expert: VMAX All Flash – Extreme Performance at Petabyte Scale, and Best Practices

Hi Allen,

You understanding is correct. We tried to make adding capacity as simple as possible so that all that is needed is to add drives in the empty DAE slots up until the maximum V-Brick usable capacity is reached. The probability of running out of drive slots in a V-Brick is pretty slim, especially as higher capacity flash drives become available. With dual v-bricks in a single cabinet, you have two engines and 4 DAEs (480 drive slots) on a single floor tile. This gives you a very dense all flash solution.

Jim