Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Virtualizing Graphics Desktops: Customer Perspectives

Chhandomay Mandal

Chhandomay Mandal

Solutions Marketing Director for EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

This blog was written by Chhandomay Mandal, Solutions Marketing Director for XtremIO

Last week Josh blogged about XtremIO reaching zero to $1 billion revenue in record six quarters. He also talked about us providing lots more detail about how organizations of all sizes are using XtremIO to achieve data center agility in ways never thought possible before in the coming days. Here is the first installment.

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From Zero to a Billion in 588 Days – XtremIO Enters the Enterprise Computing Record Books

EMC Corporation has made history once again. In just over six quarters—actually 588 days—the XtremIO product line achieved $1B in aggregate bookings. This is certainly a record for EMC, and very likely, XtremIO could be the fastest-growing enterprise IT product ever. (We will complete the research to prove this out once we catch our breath. Things have been quite busy lately!)

This monumental achievement can only happen when the right product and the right sales and marketing machine come together at the right time. It’s the story of perfect alignment. EMC saw the future in flash storage, and placed its big bet on all-flash arrays when it acquired XtremIO in 2012.

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The Next Frontier in End-User Computing: Virtualizing Graphics Desktops

Chhandomay Mandal

Chhandomay Mandal

Solutions Marketing Director for EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

This blog was written by Chhandomay Mandal, Solutions Marketing Director for XtremIO

Virtual desktops for task and knowledge workers are commonplace today. As we think beyond these use cases with next generation VDI desktops, the next frontier to conquer is the virtualized graphics desktops.

So far virtual desktops are delivering limited graphics experiences for demanding 3D applications. Yet, there are many business drivers for this to change. Couple of minutes of high definition video recording can generate gigabytes of data. From digital media entertainment applications like YouTube to collaboration applications with video messaging capabilities like Skype, from multi-billion dollar gaming industry to workstations-caliber applications in CAD, from radiologists looking at medical imaging to security analysts visualizing high resolution satellite data, the need for graphics-rich computing is pervasive today.

Every PC, tablet, smartphone, or laptop has Graphics Processing Unit (or GPU) for graphics acceleration. So why shouldn’t we have GPUs for virtual desktops?

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Better Together: Citrix and XtremIO for Desktop Virtualization

Chhandomay Mandal

Chhandomay Mandal

Solutions Marketing Director for EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

This blog was written by Chhandomay Mandal, Solutions Marketing Director for XtremIO

How many devices do you use for work today? And how many of those are your own personal gadgets? I am sure you will not be surprised to know that 43% of us use at least three, and a significant portion of these are “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD,” even if that’s not the official policy.

It is not about the devices though. It is about being empowered to choose when, where and how work gets done, having a new level of freedom, flexibility and choice. The days of the 9-5 job are long gone. As the reality of the new “24 hour work day” takes hold, IT must support this mobile work style to make us work better, be more productive, collaborative and creative.

Desktop virtualization – also known as VDI – is the technology that separates the desktop environment and associated application software from the physical client device that is used to access it. VDI gives IT the opportunity to centralize, virtualize and deliver apps, desktops and data with greater control, security, and efficiency, and ultimately lower costs.

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XtremIO – The TCO Story

Chhandomay Mandal

Chhandomay Mandal

Solutions Marketing Director for EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

This blog was written by Chhandomay Mandal,
Solutions Marketing Director for XtremIO

The growth story has been phenomenal for XtremIO. Earlier in the year, Josh mentioned about how XtremIO achieved $1B revenue run rate within one year of the first product shipment. We have more than 1,700 unique customers with over 50% of Fortune 100 companies running XtremIO in production today. In May 2015, Gartner published the All-Flash Array market shares and we came in first with 31.1%. More importantly, we gained 19 points of market share in one year and the second best vendor is over 11 share points behind us!

Oftentimes I get asked the reasons behind XtremIO’s wild success. There are many, but today I am going to focus on one that is dear to the CIO’s heart: Total Cost of Ownership or TCO.

XtremIO’s clean sheet design with innovative use of Flash technologies, advanced data services, unique copy data management coupled with automated self-service workflows for application administrators enable organizations to not only improve their infrastructure and application agility but also transform their businesses.

XtremIO’s performance, efficiency, and automation capabilities coupled with highly differentiated copy data management techniques allow for the consolidation of diverse tier-1 workloads and non-production copies, reducing infrastructure sprawl and management complexity. XtremIO can consolidate cloud, database, VDI, software development, mail server, and enterprise business applications that once required multiple, dedicated storage systems, lowering costs and providing both operational and business process advantages.

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XtremIO 4.0 – The Beauty within ‘The Beast’

A couple of weeks ago at EMC World we announced XtremIO 4.0, a new operating system release with over 50 new features. Part of XtremIO 4.0 are new configurations that significantly step up the already amazing performance and scale of XtremIO arrays. We lovingly refer to these as “The Beast”.

'The Beast' - an XtremIO array that can deliver over 1PB of all-flash capacity and well over 1M sustained mixed workload IOPS

‘The Beast’ – an XtremIO array that can deliver over 1PB of all-flash capacity and well over 1M sustained mixed workload IOPS

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XtremIO in VMware environments – the hidden gems!

[This blog was written by Avishek Kumar, Product Manager for XtremIO]

Our customers have been using XtremIO extensively in their VMware environments since the initial days of the array’s availability. And the logic is easy to understand – virtual environments typically have a lot of random workloads and duplicate datasets; making XtremIO a perfect fit for those applications. Even if an application might be running a purely sequential workload (as rare as it is), multiple sequential workloads from multiple virtual machines will eventually translate into a highly random access pattern for the storage array. This is where an all-flash array (AFA) like XtremIO with its true scale-out architecture excels by delivering consistent and predictable performance at sub-millisecond response times. VMware has used XtremIO for hosting their Hands-on lab environment at VMworld – and you can find some interesting details in a blog that we wrote about it earlier.

Being a part of the EMC Federation, we have been able to leverage some of the unique relationships that we have with VMware. In a lot of cases, we go way beyond just providing a ‘checkbox’ indicating that a specific product or feature is supported with XtremIO. It is important for the customers to go a bit beyond the feature comparison matrix, and evaluate the real benefits that they are getting with XtremIO in VMware environments. Often times, there are hidden gems that you will be pleasantly surprised to know about! I will focus on some of these integration points with VMware in this blog.

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XtremIO Makes History with a Blowout Q4

Since early January, I’ve barely been able to keep a lid on my excitement.  That was the day when I received the Q4’14 sales report from EMC finance, which confirmed that XtremIO had just made history by becoming the fastest-growing enterprise storage product ever – for the company, and likely, the industry.

Reporting the results internally to the XtremIO team was the proudest moment of my career.  We had all worked tirelessly since introducing XtremIO in November 2013 to build the deal pipeline.  And by last summer, we all shifted into a new gear most of us didn’t know we had as we could feel we were on record pace to close out the year on December 31st.

Now that we have all caught our breath, and EMC’s leadership has announced Q4 earnings for the entire company, I can spend a few minutes to recap the highlights of XtremIO’s blowout results:

  • A near $300M quarter, with doubled Q/Q bookings. Q3’14 was fantastic at approximately $150 million. Then we doubled it again in Q4!  On the earnings call last week, David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure, said XtremIO is “by far the fastest growing product in the history of EMC… this is because XtremIO has the right architecture…” What he didn’t mention on the call, but has said many times before, is that XtremIO’s success is also due to the brilliant execution of the best worldwide sales force in the information infrastructure business.
  • XtremIO bested the competition. By a lot.  Our internal analysts estimate the all-flash array market was approximately $645 million in Q4, and we won 45% of those bookings. We believe the next closest all-flash array product captured 15% of the market.  There are many product-related reasons for our success, which we will cover in future blog posts.
  • More than 40% of the Fortune 200 bought XtremIO.  Dozens of large customers signed with XtremIO in Q4, helping us further establish dominance in the top of the market. Our mid-market penetration isn’t too shabby either: we now have 26% of the Fortune 1000. In addition, customers are buying larger XtremIO arrays and re-ordering from us frequently. We now have over 130 customers that have spent $1 million or more on XtremIO.
  • A stellar 2015 ahead.  Back in November 2014 when we celebrated XtremIO’s one-year anniversary, we announced a $500 million annualized run rate for Q3’14.  We more than doubled that run rate in Q4’14.  This year we have XtremIO 4.0 coming which will be simply amazing.  We will continue to define the All-Flash Array market, continue to drive XtremIO’s growth, continue to make history, and continue to break records.

It’s been no small feat to achieve all of this growth. It takes an amazing product, brought to market at the right time, with the right team. I am so proud to be part of this effort, and so excited about the year to come.

I’ll report back on our market progress in a few months.

-Josh

Delivering the Promise of the Cloud: Desktop as a Service

Chhandomay Mandal

Chhandomay Mandal

Solutions Marketing Director for EMC All-Flash Storage
Chhandomay Mandal, a 20+ year storage industry veteran, is the Director of Solution Marketing for EMC All-Flash Storage. He is currently responsible for the integrated leadership of all EMC All-Flash End User Computing (EUC) solutions enablement, partnering, and business development. Prior to EMC, Chhandomay led Dell’s storage solutions marketing efforts for desktop virtualization, server virtualization and private cloud. He spent 11 years at Sun Microsystems holding different leadership positions across marketing and engineering organizations. Chhandomay has been awarded 13 patents by US Patent and Trademark Office. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University of Florida, MBA from Kelley Business School of Indiana University, and BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

By Anthony Foster, EMC Global Solutions, and Chhandomay Mandal, XtremIO Solutions Marketing

Today at VMware Partner Exchange 2015, (PEX), EMC and VMware together said that they plan to offer a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) Reference Architecture (RA) that will be available soon. The “EMC Desktop as a Service with EMC XtremIO All-Flash Array for VMware Horizon DaaS” RA shows the transformational DaaS  solution from the combination of VMware Horizon DaaS Platform and EMC XtremIO All-Flash Array to deliver rapid deployment of DaaS environments while realizing increased operational efficiencies.

This RA demonstrates the ongoing commitment of both EMC and VMware to deliver the most flexible and agile solutions for cloud-based desktops.  It enables service providers (SPs) and organizations both large and small to take advantage of top of the line cloud-based desktops tailored to their needs and their budgets.

The RA helps SPs gain time to market efficiency with unmatched scalability and performance for new product and service levels that expand the DaaS market to even the most demanding enterprise knowledge worker desktops. For DaaS consumer organizations, they can respond with new agility to their changing end user computing demands. Perhaps most importantly, for end users, they can now connect to their desktops from any browser on any of their devices, and be productive from anywhere with unmatched user experience.

DaaS Platform: VMware Horizon DaaS

VMware Horizon DaaS simplifies desktops and applications delivery by removing the complexity of deploying and managing desktop virtualization infrastructure. It is possible to deliver cloud-hosted virtual desktops and RDS-hosted shared desktops and applications to end users with just a few clicks!

Blog_Graphic_1 2

By moving to cloud-hosted virtual desktops, costs become more predictable by reducing upfront expenditures. This allows organizations to move from a CapEx to OpEx model for desktops, making a clear impact on the bottom line.

VMware Horizon DaaS provides integrated security and control. IT can manage virtual desktop and hosted application security just like they manage their existing infrastructure today, with the same credentials and permissions. With built-in security capabilities like secure point-to-point network connectivity, and dedicated compute and network isolation, IT can have the confidence that their corporate data and applications are secure.

DaaS Infrastructure: XtremIO for Desktops, VNX/Isilon for User Data

The #1 XtremIO All-Flash array, with its scale-out architecture and always-on inline deduplication, compression and copy services, is the core building block of the EMC DaaS solution. The scale-out architecture reduces planning complexity – the DaaS providers can start small and grow non-disruptively as the demand increases. It delivers high performance with consistently low response time, delivering uncompromising user experience – at scale, all the time, and for all user types.

EMC DaaS with XtremIO solution is not only powerful but also simple to use from the ground up.  XtremIO delivers radically simple administrative experience – intuitive, easy-to-use interface and zero tuning enables smooth roll-outs as well as live upgrades, patches, and rollback for desktops.

XtremIO’s exceptional performance, capacity savings from unique data reduction capabilities and ease of use lead to low $/desktop and breakthrough total cost of ownership in the DaaS environments.

The RA design supports the XtremIO Starter X-Brick up to a six X-Brick cluster (each active-active dual controller X-Brick is the building block of XtremIO storage.) The Starter X-Brick can support up to 1,250 full-clone virtual desktops which can be upgraded with zero downtime to a full X-Brick supporting up to 2,500 full-clone virtual desktops. Additional X-Bricks can be added to scale out performance and capacity linearly as demand increases while still meeting SLAs.

For user data, either EMC VNX or Isilon storage is used providing the end users with a reliable location for all of their files, whether in the datacenter or in the cloud.

Tenants groups using DaaS can each have their own access zone on EMC Isilon storage without the cost and complexity of setting up virtual file servers. This allows users to access data more efficiently making them more productive and providing a better user experience. This also allows cloud providers a faster, more efficient way to deliver file storage for DaaS for tenants, which in turn helps keep storage and administrative costs low.

Many paths to DaaS

Daas_Image

There are several ways organizations can leverage this reference architecture. Desktops can be consumed from a service provider’s cloud, a hybrid cloud, on premises cloud managed, or an on premise solution. The first three of these solutions are managed by service providers and the last one is managed by the organization.

In a cloud solution, the service provider manages 100% of the infrastructure, allowing organizations to create DR solutions for the desktops in the cloud while still having all the benefits of EMC storage with no hardware or other upfront CapEx costs.

With a hybrid cloud model the infrastructure can exist both on premise and in the cloud. Organizations can leverage the operational advantages of both. This also enables elastic growth that is ideal for seasonal businesses. This provides all of the advantages of EMC XtremIO in the cloud and datacenter.

Using an on premise cloud managed solution alleviates the management constraints and is ideal for remote sites, lights-out locations, and for mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This can make it ideal for organizations looking to take on the role of an internal service provider.

On premise solutions offer the power of the cloud without the need for a service provider. This gives organizations maximum flexibility in their DaaS design while leveraging the advanced features of EMC XtremIO.

Journey to DaaS: The Service Provider Perspective

EMC continues to work with service providers helping them deliver comprehensive DaaS offerings that can provide a full range of services for their existing and new enterprise customers. As an example, ScanPlus, a managed service provider in Germany, collaborated with Deutsche Telekom to launch an innovative VDI offering, “Büro-To-Go” (Telekom Managed Workplace), leveraging the company’s own business cloud services, VMware Horizon Suite and EMC XtremIO.

They needed a competitive DaaS solution that can be deployed quickly and effectively. ScanPlus had to deliver a no-compromise, highly responsive, fully-customizable cloud desktop solution while achieving a lower cost per user than traditional managed desktops.

XtremIO played a pivotal role in ScanPlus’ success with its unmatched scalability, performance, and cost-effective data reduction. In the words of CEO Jürgen Hörmann:  “[XtremIO] is very compact in the data center, very energy saving, and the user experience with essentially a zero latency system is unbeatable both in the server and desktop environment. In addition, because of inline deduplication and compression we can achieve a financially viable storage price, and that is fantastic. It is a high-performance environment that delivers a very competitive price per gigabyte. What’s more, I can scale horizontally, so I can expand the system in the current operation without any performance problems.”

What’s Next?

In addition to the RA, EMC is developing sizing tools for costing and pricing of different DaaS configurations. These tools will enable SPs and organizations considering DaaS to deliver sensibly priced desktops that are responsive and efficient.

The “EMC Desktop as a Service with EMC XtremIO All-Flash Array for VMware Horizon DaaS” reference architecture, sizing guidelines, and other DaaS offering tools will be available soon. To learn more about VMware Horizon DaaS, visit www.vmware.com/products/daas-vspp. To discover more about XtremIO, visit www.XtremIO.com. For an additional post about this RA, visit http://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2015/02/emc-reference-architecture-for-daas.html.

XtremIO & AppSync – Magic for Application Owners!

[This blog was written by Avishek Kumar, Product Manager for XtremIO]

When talking to our customers these days, I find very few people who want to understand what flash technology is – most of them are already on the path to using flash-based products in some way, shape or form. There is no point in telling them that flash is faster than spinning disk drives and that their application will run faster when they move it to flash – they already know that!  It’s not about flash vs. disk – each has a place.  It’s about making the best choice for an all-flash array.

Some of the thought provoking questions that I hear customers asking is – “how do I integrate XtremIO technology in my application stack in the most effective way?” and “does XtremIO enable new use cases and deployment models for my application that I have not even thought about yet?”  Our customers don’t just want their applications to run faster; they want their storage and application architecture to leverage all the other benefits XtremIO provides.  The integration between XtremIO and AppSync is a step in that direction. And this is what I will focus on in this blog.

AppSync for XtremIO

What is AppSync?

EMC AppSync allows you to manage XtremIO snapshots from an application perspective. In other words, it allows you to schedule the snapshot management activities in an “application aware” fashion.  It comes with additional goodies like being able to take (and delete) application consistent snapshots according to a pre-defined schedule and subscribing applications to a “service plan”.  AppSync provides integration for Oracle, SQL Server and VMware when working with an XtremIO storage array, with more application stacks coming in the future.

Simplified Replica Management

Okay – but how is it going to help me and why should I care?

A very good question for you to ask J AppSync is mainly beneficial for the following three use cases.

AppSync Use CasesLet’s go one level deeper and find out the benefits of this integration with XtremIO and some real world applications.

  • Databases (Oracle and SQL Server): Databases are they #1 customer use case for XtremIO.  Among other architectural benefits of the array, things like space & metadata efficient snapshots and inline, always-on compression make XtremIO a very attractive choice for our database customers.

However, the DBAs want us to go the extra mile and make it easier for them to take application consistent snapshots without having to go through the typical headaches.  AppSync provides exactly that capability. With AppSync, you can discover the database – which means that AppSync will automatically know the LUNs on which your database is provisioned.  When you want to take an application consistent snapshot for the database (manually or through a scheduler), AppSync will:

    • Quiesce the database in the background
    • Create an application consistent snapshot on XtremIO
    • Enable the database for normal processing
    • If you want, AppSync can automatically mount the snapshots to another server for test/dev, reporting, or backups and repurpose the database.

AppSync Provisioning Management

  • Server Virtualization (VMware): The second most popular use case for XtremIO is in a virtualized environment.  Virtualized applications typically have lot of deduplication and compression friendly datasets and the applications exhibit high amounts of random I/O – ideal conditions for XtremIO. But there are some unique challenges that AppSync helps solve in such use cases. For example, let’s assume you have a VMware datastore with 50 virtual machines and you take a snapshot of that datastore through AppSync.  Now, you can do any of the following:
    • You can restore the entire datastore – wherein all the virtual machines on that datastore will be restored to their previous state. Assuming that you have taken multiple snapshots, AppSync will allow you to choose the snapshot that you want to restore the datastore to, but this is not all that you might want to do in certain situations.
    • You may not want to restore/penalize all users using the VMs on that datastore just because one specific VM needs to be restored. With AppSync, you can restore a particular virtual machine within the datastore to a previous state. That’s right – AppSync will identify all the VMs that exist on that datastore and allow you to restore a specific VM, if you wanted to.
    • You may not want to restore the entire datastore or even the entire VM – you may want to restore a particular file within a specific VM on a specific datastore. Guess what – AppSync allows you to do that too!

There are some customers who want to be able to do all storage related activities – which includes XtremIO and AppSync operations – from within the vCenter environment. You could already do that for XtremIO using the VSI plugin for XtremIO.  With the VSI plugin 6.4 release, AppSync is also supported through the VSI plugin and you can configure protection, run AppSync service plans, mount datastores, restore files – all from within vCenter!

AppSync & VSI Plugin

The Sky is the Limit!

All the use cases and examples discussed above are very powerful, but more importantly – storage operations are now becoming much simpler and intuitive for the application administrator.  We already have customers who are leveraging XtremIO snapshots for their database copies and for the first time the application owners are not worried about the performance and storage capacity needed by all the database copies. AppSync makes this story even better!  Use the AppSync free 90 day trial and give it a try.

AppSync Free Trial

The opportunities and potential use cases with AppSync are endless. Think about more enterprise applications that we can support, think about more application operations that can be supported, think about being able to handle replication through AppSync – and you get the idea!  To learn more, check out the demo below for what AppSync can do today (Thank you Itzik!) – and stay tuned for more goodies to come soon.

Visit EMC.com/XtremIO for more information on all-flash storage

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