Archive for the 'EMC' Category

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Eagle Eye on EMC DMX

EMC on the Set of This weekend, I saw producer Steven Spielberg’s latest #1 blockbuster Eagle Eye. In a particularly exciting scene, the cameras flashed to the front of a some impressive looking information processing equipment. When they needed equipment to represent the super-computer named ARIA, they used EMC’s DMX arrays. The “Direct Matrix” Symmetrix storage systems are indeed the most powerful platforms one would think of, and an outstanding visual selection for the movie as well. As you can see along the left wall in the picture, they have a next generation look that fits in well with the sophistication of the set used to represent the super-computer complex.

In the movie, ARIA is located far below the Pentagon and contains a phenomenal amount of surveillance information. What better platform than the DMX to store, manage and protect this information? So, how much information storage are we talking about? If these DMX arrays were filled and powered on, they would represent multiple petabytes of information. What’s a petabyte? If we put it in perspective, according to Wikipedia:

  • The Internet Archive contains almost 2 petabytes of data.
  • Google processes about 20 petabytes of data a day
  • The 4 experiments in the Large Hadron Collider will produce about 15 petabytes of data per year, which will be distributed over the LHC Computing Grid
  • 88 petabytes is the storage capacity of Star Trek’s android “Data”

The movie production company got 30 DMX arrays which were lifted by crane into the massive set, situated inside large airplane hangers that once housed Howard Hughes’ airplane The Spruce Goose in Playa Vista, Southern California. You can see all the photos on Flickr here.

Eagle Eye (2008) PosterEagle Eye is a dramatic techno-thriller that opened in late September as a standard film as well as an IMAX movie. And, as the subject of the movie is concerned with mobile devices, there is a mobile version of the Eagle Eye: the Mobile Game available on a variety of BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Java powered devices.

BillPetro.com

B2D and TiVo

image While giving a talk to a group of sales reps in New York, we were discussing the concepts of Backup to Disk (B2D) and Virtual Tape Libraries (EMC Disk Library). Some of these folks were quite experienced as sales reps, but didn’t quite understand the value proposition of the Disk Library.

At one point, the conversation got around to the Yankees, as I imagine often happens in NYC, and the Sales Manager said,

“Yeah, I’m going to TiVoTM the game tonight so I don’t miss it while I am taking the train home.”

I asked the group, knowingly,

“How many of you use TiVo or other Digital Video Recorders?”

Most of the hands went up.

“Would you ever go back to using VCR tape recording?”

Universal “No’s” came back.

I continued,

“That’s what backing up to disk is all about. You get the benefits of speed, faster seeking, instant playback, etc…”

You could see the lights going on in their eyes.

I love it when that happens.

BillPetro.com



VMworld 2008: Day 2 Review – Virtually Anything is Possible

VMWORLD 2008: DAY 2 REVIEW – VIRTUALLY ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

VMworld is not just a trade show about virtualization, it uses virtual technologies and Web 2.0 technologies in a way I’ve never seen before. Here’s an example:

Blogging:

IMG_0145Not only is blogging encouraged, but it is honored. There is a special set of tables in the keynote auditorium for bloggers to set up their laptops for blogging. Or in my case, I was Twittering about the keynote with my iPhone. Indeed, during yesterday’s keynote with with VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the announcer invited attendees to use Twitter to send in their questions. The person next to me was from Denmark and didn’t understand what I was doing. He had never heard of Twitter, so I sent him to Twitter.com. By the way, my real-time “Tweets” (noun form of Twitter) on this show can be found at this link. Note, they’ll appear in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top.

Podcasting:

IMG_0153John Troyer of VMware, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, was doing several podcasts live from the Communities Lounge at the Solutions Exchange on the show floor. John is very involved in VMware’s blogger community and end user communities. He has lots of community management experience. Here you see John interviewing user moderators from VMware’s communities. You’ll find John at the VMTN Blog and his podcasts here.

Virtual Pavilion:

MainFloorWhile this is a show about virtualization, there is also a virtual show going on at the same time. Eric Nielsen, VMware’s Director of Web Communities showed me around the virtual, online pavilion.

You can access it directly from the VMworld.com website, or from here. It is a two dimensional virtual world that an attendee can navigate through and visit various rooms.

As an attendee navigates around the Virtual Pavilion he or she can see other attendees, participate in contests and games, gain points for answering questions on multiple choice questions, etc. This virtual navigation system is a 3rd party module for Clearspace, the social networking technology that VMworld.com uses. There are even “Expert Sessions” non-synchronous “events” — talks that you need not be present to hear — where a speaker will provide audio, video, content or a whitepaper which is then attached to a forum. The expert will visit daily for the next two weeks to answer any questions.

restroomThe Virtual Pavilion also features 15 “hidden rooms” where you can find special clues, quiz answers, and secret codes for a free t-shirt at the Communities Lounge. One of these hidden rooms is the Restroom, which itself has a portal to a hidden room.

Eric manages VMworld.com year round. It is active not just during the semi-annual shows, but throughout the year. Various Partners have “booths” here. Can you find the “hidden room” in the Dell booth?

Blogs:

And as I mentioned before, the VMworld.com website features attendee blogs as well, found here.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

© Bill Petro – visit the author for more great content.

VMworld 2008: a Veritable Verdant Venture (Green)

TIGVMWORLD 2008: A VERITABLE VERDANT VENTURE

“Green, that’s what it’s all about,” Larry says as he shows me the eco bag that TIG is handing out at the VMworld 2008 show. Many of the booths say “Green IT” right on their signs. Virtualization can contribute to Energy Efficient IT in a number of ways, not the least of which is consolidation and containment of servers, thus reducing power requirements, but also the associated savings in data center cooling.

From the initial registration for the conference, there has been an emphasis on Green. During the registration process, there is a discussion of transportation options to Las Vegas and their carbon footprint implications.

Upon arrival, the notebook that attendees received comes with a pen made from recycled cardboard and a wooden clip.

Timbuk2BagIn the VMware Store on premise, there is a Timpuk2 messenger bag for sale. It’s a special limited edition of 75, made from the recycled banners from last year’s VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, available in blue, black, orange and green. The beanies are made from recycled cotton, and the polo shirts from recycled polyester. No new polyesters need give their life to make a new polo shirt.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

© Bill Petro – visit the author for more great content.

VMworld 2008: Day 1 Keynote

Paul MaritzVMWORLD 2008: DAY 1 KEYNOTE

Following yesterday’s opening event, both the Technology Exchange and Partner Day, the conference started in earnest today with a keynote by Paul Maritz, VMware President and CEO.

Paul is quite an articulate speaker, sounding both like a savvy businessman and an erudite professor. For many, his accent is difficult to place, is it Australian, South African? Turns out he was born in Zimbabwe, next door to South Africa, but he went to school in Cape Town, South Africa. Someone remarked that he pronounces some words like Sean Connery. Paul did work at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Sean Connery grew up in nearby Edinburgh, Scotland.

Back to the keynote, Paul amplified many of the concepts introduced and announced yesterday, specifically by drawing on the past to explain where VMware is going in the future. I found the history a good review of many of the events I’d witnessed in my own long career with computing, and a fascinating basis for describing where he sees the company going, as well as a foundation for the many announcements this week. How did he do this?

Two Models

He went back to the ’60s and ’70s (mainframes) and outlined the contrast between the Centralized vs. De-centralized models of computing. While he did not say so, the industry has swung between them several times over the last 30 years. He pointed out that we initially saw mainframes in the early days, and the proliferation of PCs in the ’80s. The early ’90s saw the rise of x86 Servers as well as the rise of the Client/Server model.

A Third Alternative

He quipped that it’s ironic that he is now profiting from his previous sins in promoting the Client/Server model, which got us into a world of hurt so that we now seek another path, the best of both the Centralized and the De-centralized models. The advent of the Web in the mid-’90s offered the promise of this. He paid tribute to the founders of VMware, who started the company ten years ago back in 1998.

VMware’s Initial Offerings

He described VMware’s early efforts with both VMware Workstation (on the client, or De-centralized side in 1999) as well as the early VMware Server (GSX, on the Centralized side in 2000.) He pointed out that many other companies are currently virtualizing on the Centralized (server) side, but reminded us that VMware has done both sides, but raised the bar in 2004 with the introduction of VMware Infrastructure, a higher level of abstraction than either Server or Client side virtualization.

Paul pointed out that the “Best of Both” on the Web is now more promising with a variety of new (Web 2.0) technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML), Ruby on Rails, and Python. 2007 saw the launch of VMware’s Fusion, virtualization of Windows on the Macintosh and the popularity of Cloud computing.

It’s The Platform

At this point, I reflected that during my career I’d seen software engineers write to whatever the leading “platform” was at the time. In the ’80s it was Unix, and particularly SunOS (Solaris). The virtuous cycle had the platform supporting applications that led to more volume… which made the platform more viable. With the rise in popularity of Windows, it became the platform of choice. In the mid-’90s it was Java, with the promise of “Write Once, Run Anywhere” across a variety of devices. But last year, it became clear to me, especially following VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, that VMware was becoming the “platform”. Both the Press and the Analysts “got it,” and Wall Street saw a huge jump in VMware’s stock price following the ESXi announcement and others.

The New Platform

VDC-OS So, what’s the new “platform”? Paul explained the Virtual Datacenter OS, or VDC-OS. It is a way to support a variety of current popular “platforms” line .Net, Windows, Linux, Java, Software As A Service… with Application vServices that provide Availability, Security, and Scalability. This rests upon Infrastructure vServices called vCompute, vStorage, and vNetwork… as well as Cloud vServices. These in turn live on either the On-premise cloud, or an Off-premise Cloud (for additional resources.) Meanwhile, all of this can be managed by vCenter (the rebranded Virtual Center management framework) which handles both Application Management at the top end and Infrastructure Management at the backend.

To this end, many announcements fit into this new, higher level of abstraction. Once again, VMware raises the bar.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

© Bill Petro – visit the author for more great content.