EMC gives up the goods at storage shindig: VMAX3 speeds, feeds

What's it all about, Alfie?

EMC's been keeping quiet on the whole "how fast can this baby go" front when it comes to the VMAX3 range.

But the storage vendor used its megalaunch – with its "Redefine Possible" tagline and futuristic look – to break its silence. So what's under the hood?

EMC has extended VMAX to run more and different workloads. Each of “Gen 2” VMAX's models was treated to a controller refresh. The Enginuity operating system has been rebranded HYPERMAX OS, and being made capable of running more system software applications.

Some system compute has gone to the array but it is not being positioned as a general converged compute and storage system.

The new models, the 100K, 200K and 400K, can have 2, 4 and 8 dual-controller engines respectively.

  • 100K - Xeon E5-2620-v2 2.1GHz 6-core; 24 cores/engine and 48 cores max,
  • 200K - Xeon E5-2650-v2 2.6GHz 8-core; 32 cores/engine and 128 cores max,
  • 400K - Xeon E5-2687-v2 2.7GHz 12-core; 48 cores/engine and 384 cores max.

Each engine has a Dynamic Virtual Matrix dual 56Gbit/s InfiniBand interconnect.


EMC Redefine theme at MegaLaunch

The 100K can have two DAEs (Drive Array Enclosures, the 200K four but only two if 2.5” and 3.5” drives are mixed. The 400K can have eight DAEs whether mixed drives or not.

The TwinStrata acquisition is clearly about bolting a public cloud storage backend on VMAX. Perhaps that potential for offloading bulk, low-access rate data explains the otherwise curious lack of any significant capacity increase for VMAX:

  • 10K maximum usable capacity is 1.5PB while the new 100K's is 496TB
  • The 20K's usable limit is 2PB; the 200K's is 2.04PB
  • The 40K's top usable capacity is 4PB; the 400K's is 3.97PB

Yet disk drive counts have increased at at the mid-range and top end. If we look at the drive counts, 2.5" drives first:

  • The 10K tops out at 1,560 x 2.5" drives; the 100K at 1,440
  • The 20K could have up to 2,400 x 2.5" drives; the 200K can have up to 2,880
  • The 40K supports up to 3,200 x 2.5" drives; the 400K a massive 5,760
  • The 10/20 and 40K support up to 1TB 2.5" drives; the VMAX3 models support up to 1.2TB drives, which is not much of an increase

Quite a lot of raw capacity is used up to produce the usable capacity numbers. The 400K's theoretical raw capacity of 5,760 drives, using 1.2TB drives, is 6.912PB. Yet the maximum usable capacity, according to the datasheet we have seen, is 3.97PB.

Turning to 3.5" drives, the largest capacity is 4TB as before, even though 6TB drives are becoming available. The drive counts and raw capacity numbers for old and new VMAX models are:

  • The 10K tops out at 2,400 as does the 20K and 40K, giving a 9.6PB raw capacity, with 3TB usable
  • The 100K can have 1,440 drives
  • The 200K can have 2,880
  • The 400K can have 5,570

Again, drive count increases and, again a lot of disk drive capacity is used up moving from raw capacity to usable capacity.

VMAX3 systems have twice the number of 16 Gbit/s full line-rate ports to double throughput compared to the previous VMAX generation.

Jeremy Burton

Jeremy Burton, EMC president for products and marketing

What we didn’t hear about was any VMware VVOL support, VVOLs being VMware’s virtual storage containers for virtual machines. EMC’s Jeremy Burton, president for products and marketing, said the VMware schedule is for VVOLs to come in the first quarter of next year, with VMAX and XtremIO VVOL support in the following quarter, also ScaleIO and VNX but not Isilon, it not being a transaction-oriented system. ViPR, EMC’s overall storage resource management software product, will also support VVOLs.

VMAX has become a much more capable array. It should be easier to manage and could simplify a customers data protection arrangements with the direct link to Data Domain arrays. Yet ViPR is also getting stronger and it has its own block storage capability, although nowhere near as performant as VMAX, being oriented towards commodity, relatively dumb arrays.

In theory it looks as if customers could move towards interacting with VMAX more and more through ViPR in the future.

There were several other parts to this launch-fest.

Megalaunch tidbits

  • ViPR 2.0 and ViPR SRM are now available
  • EMC's Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) appliance, which uses ViPR 2.0, is now available with the first 3PB system going to the Vatican Library. It will have a file capability added to it as well as flash. More Pivotal integration is coming
  • Stifel Nicolaus MD Aaron Rakers notes Isilon will introduce CloudPools next year which will likely involve TwinStrata cloud gateway functionality to move data to the public cloud, such as AWS and Azure. A cloud pool will be a single filesystem embracing geo-distributed data centres and the public cloud
  • Brocade has announced 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel support for VMAX3 and XtremIO. EMC resells Brocade HBAs and switches as Connectrix-branded products.
  • VCE has announced it will will offer Vblock Systems with Isilon storage for Hadoop analytics and XtremIO for VDI (Vblock Systems for Extreme Applications.). It will also integrate and support Isilon and XtremIO as options for new and existing Vblock Systems. Vblock Systems’ technology extensions deliver native Hadoop (HDFS) integration, with the ability to support multiple Hadoop distributions and versions

The Direct Protect data protection route between VMAX and Data Domain is only the beginning. It uses changed block tracking and dedupes them.We can assume it will be extended to other EMC storage arrays, such as for example, VNX, Isilon and XtremIO. With it backup software becomes a manager, not a mover. The array moves the data, and media servers have less of a role, if they have one at all, in future.

VCE Vblock Systems technology extension for Isilon is expected to be orderable in Q3 2014 and its technology extension for XtremIO should be orderable in Q4 2014.

Overall this launch demonstrated the breadth and depth of EMC’s storage portfolio. The only obvious hole is for so-called hyper-converged systems like those from Nutanix, Simplivity and NIMBOXX. However Project Mystic, according to Burton, will fill that cavity, using VMware vSphere and VSAN software, EMC storage hardware (not ScaleIO) and, possibly, Brocade networking. The target market are SMB and departments in enterprises, and sub-1,000 VDI opportunities.

It’s not a traditional EMC market sweet spot and work is being done on it. Any product has to be inexpensive and simple to use. Maybe we'll see an EMC MysticPod, a template for VARs to build to, like the Cisco/NetApp Flexpod. The Vulture expects EMC to crack that nut and a hyper-converged box to come sailing down the Mystic River ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Zuckerberg sued for alleged role in Cambridge Analytica data-slurp scandal
    I can prove CEO was 'personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect privacy', DC AG insists

    Cambridge Analytica is back to haunt Mark Zuckerberg: Washington DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit today directly accusing the Meta CEO of personal involvement in the abuses that led to the data-slurping scandal. 

    DC AG Karl Racine filed [PDF] the civil suit on Monday morning, saying his office's investigations found ample evidence Zuck could be held responsible for that 2018 cluster-fsck. For those who've put it out of mind, UK-based Cambridge Analytica harvested tens of millions of people's info via a third-party Facebook app, revealing a – at best – somewhat slipshod handling of netizens' privacy by the US tech giant.

    That year, Racine sued Facebook, claiming the social network was well aware of the analytics firm's antics yet failed to do anything meaningful until the data harvesting was covered by mainstream media. Facebook repeatedly stymied document production attempts, Racine claimed, and the paperwork it eventually handed over painted a trail he said led directly to Zuck. 

    Continue reading
  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022