Today marks the first full day of EMC World 2012. While everyone is busy watching key notes and checking out the hands on labs, I thought I’d offer you a sneak peak at some new VNX features you can look forward to in the 2nd half of 2012.
New Raid Levels for Storage Pools
The first thing I want to talk about is storage pools. As you are well aware, when you add disks in to storage pool, you need to use the same type of raid level in all storage tiers in the pool.
As you can see from the picture above, when creating a typical pool from a RAID 6 configuration, you must use it for your FLASH, your SAS, and your NL-SAS drives. This means that you must use extra flash drives to fill out your pool. What is changing in the future is a shift towards towards tier specific raid levels.
As you can see in the picture above, now you will be able to have different raid levels at different tiers in your pool. By mixing a smaller amount of flash with a larger amount of spinning disks, you can put the majority of your unread / archived data on your cheaper storage while being able to afford flash drives as well for your performance data. This translates into a cheaper initial cost for your storage and offers a more affordable option for customers looking to start out.
What the SNAP!
The next big thing coming to VNX is enhanced block snapshots. I think everyone is well aware of the limitations of SNAPS of luns on the VNX. Well I’m proud to announce that those are a thing of the past! With the new functionality, the VNX has increased the maximum amount of writable SNAPS to 256 per lun. That also raises the limit to 32,768 per system. Picture me in my best Boston Accent when I say that is a “wicked” high number of snaps.
Also introduced in this new enhancement is the ability to take SNAPS of a SNAP. This opens up the possibility for all sorts of new use cases such as Testing and Development options as well as Point-In-Time backups. This is functionality that has existed on the FILE side for quite some time now and I’m glad to see it’s making it’s way to the lun level as well.
Windows Branch Cache Support for CIFS
With the release of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2, Microsoft added new functionality called Branch Cache. This functionality allows remote computers to cache files and server them out locally to their pears, thus reducing bandwidth over the WAN. This cached data can either be distributed from clients PCs or be held on a local server in the branch office. Application performance will be increased by reducing the number of hops the data has to travel.
In the next big release for VNX, we will see added support for this functionality to CIFS shares on the VNX. For more information on this, please read this Microsoft TechNet Article.
Well that about does it for now. 3 big new features to look forward to in the second half of 2012. Please feel free to ask a question in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them as best I can.