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Erik Smith
Hopkinton, MA. USA
I'm a Consultant Technologist working at EMC as a member of the CTD - Connectrix BU.
Recent Activity
Just about 19 years ago, I pulled into the yard at Tresca Brothers and asked my dispatcher if I should wash out for the day. He said “No. One more up front” meaning I had another load to deliver and that I should get it from the Central mix (basically... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2016 at Brass Tacks
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The following diagram was put together for my EMC World 2016 presentation. It provides a graphical overview of the most commonly used Storage Protocols and how they relate to one another. A special thanks to David Black and Tony Rodriguez for their inputs! Thanks for Reading! Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2016 at Brass Tacks
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If you work with Fibre Channel on a regular basis and have come to depend on its excellent performance attributes, you might be surprised to learn that many of the cases handled by our SAN team in Customer Support are related to performance problems. Typically, as we dig into these... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at Brass Tacks
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…for Enterprise Storage. Although this blog post isn’t an April fool’s joke, I do greatly appreciate them when they are done well. As a result I’m slightly in awe of the amount of thought Tony Bourke has put into his last three (2013, 2014 and 2015). Truth be told, I'm... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2015 at Brass Tacks
It's almost time for EMC World (May 4th - 7th) and I’m happy to say that once again I’ve been honored with a couple of highly coveted EMC World speaking slots! Based on the very positive feedback I received from last year, I’ll be sticking to a similar format and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at Brass Tacks
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I'm still working on the fourth installment of the Virtual Storage Network (VSN) blog post series, but I wanted to share this link to a youtube video that shows a very simple (2 port) VSN demo that we'll be showing next week at EMC World. The topology that I'm using... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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This is part three of a blog series that describes a new concept we're referring to as a Virtual Storage Network. In part 1 of this series, I introduced the Virtual Storage Network or VSN as concept that enables the dynamic creation of storage service compositions. I also provided some... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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As I mentioned in a previous post, the E-Lab Navigator Team recently finished a complete redesign of their user interface. If you’re interested in much more detail, check out the introduction video and the user guide. Rather than repeat what they’ve provided in the guide and video, I'd like to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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I recently started a VSN blog series that describes (in great detail) a new concept that we’re referring to as a Virtual Storage Network or VSN. As I was writing the third installment in the series, I realized the approach I was using to define the VSN concept was analogous... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at Brass Tacks
It's almost time for EMC World again (May 5th - 8th) and I'm happy to say that I've been granted the privilege of presenting to our Customers again. I'm actually very excited about this year because we're introducing a few new concepts, demonstrating at least one of them and mixing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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Although I mentioned this functionality in a previous blog post, the impact that this type of use case will have on connectivity automation is so significant that it deserves to have it's own post. The first time I heard the FAST Sideways concept mentioned publicly was by Brian Gallagher during... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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In part 1 of this series, I introduced the concept of a Virtual Storage Network, provided some background information and stated what we believe the requirements for multi-tenant storage are. In this post I’ll dig into the details of those requirements. Requirements for multi-tenant storage As stated before, the following... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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As many of you know, E-Lab Interoperability Navigator (ELN) is a free E-Lab resource that anyone can use to determine which configurations and solutions have been tested and are currently supported by EMC. What many of you may not fully appreciate is the staggering amount of work that it takes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Brass Tacks
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We’ve been busy. For the past three years a group of people including Mark Lippitt, Vinh Dinh, Doug Fierro and I have been working on an idea that we’re referring to as a Virtual Storage Network or VSN for short. The VSN concept seeks to take advantage of the major... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Brass Tacks
An updated version of the FCoE Case Studies TechBook (v3.0) has been posted to powerlink and emc.com New in this version is a chapter titled “Brocade VDX Switches Setup Examples” that was written by Aditya Nadkarni. It provides an overview of the VDX switch/VCS Fabric, a description of supported topologies... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2013 at Brass Tacks
If you’re planning to attend EMC World 2013 May 6th-9th at the Venetian, Las Vegas, and you’re interested in FC, FCoE, iSCSI or Network Virtualization, please consider attending at least one of the following sessions: Storage Area Networking: SAN Technology Update & Best Practice Deep Dive for FC, FCoE, &... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2013 at Brass Tacks
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Thanks to EMC’s DJ Brown and some help from Blayne Rawsky at Brocade, we finally have TDZ running in the lab. The first peer zone was successfully registered on 3:55 PM EDT on Thursday April 4th 2013. Test configuration The test configuration was deliberately kept small and is shown below.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2013 at Brass Tacks
As I’ve mentioned in a couple of previous posts (see here and here), I believe that FIP Snooping is a requirement when you’re using FCoE. Recently, a friend from Juniper (Simon Gordon) shared a bit of information with me that supports this position and I found it interesting enough to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2013 at Brass Tacks
A new version of the “Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Data Center Bridging (DCB) Case Studies” TechBook is available. This version introduces a new Juniper QFX3500 case study as well as a few updates (bug fixes) to the existing case studies. The complete list of configurations described in the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2013 at Brass Tacks
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About 19 months ago I wrote a post that described two new FCoE protocols (PT2PT and VN2VN) being worked on by the T11 working group “FC-BB-6”. In that post I also promised to provide two additional posts describing how these protocol work and this post is intended to fulfill the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2012 at Brass Tacks
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Some number of weeks ago I helped troubleshoot an FCoE problem involving a flaky twinax cable that was causing excessive bit errors. The symptom being observed was very strange at first glance; CRC errors were being logged on interfaces that should have been idle. At first we thought the switch... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Brass Tacks
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This post was written with Patrick Mullaney. Overview Similar to the milestones in the space race timeline, I believe that Monday July 23rd (the day VMware announced plans to acquire Nicira) will be viewed by networking enthusiasts as a significant milestone in the evolution of our discipline. Just to keep... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2012 at Brass Tacks
If you’re planning to attend EMC World 2012May 21-24, The Venetian, Las Vegas, and you’re interested in FC, FCoE, iSCSI or Network Virtualization, please consider attending at least one of the following sessions: FC/FCoE – Topologies, Protocols and Limitations Days and times: Tuesday 10:00a and Wed 4:15p Presenter: Erik Smith... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2012 at Brass Tacks
Over the past couple of months we’ve been working on adding some FCoE specific “Blade Server” information to the FCoE TechBook. Actually the vast majority of the work was done by two of my colleagues, Aditya Nadkarni and Shreedhan Nikam (more about them later). Early on in this process of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2012 at Brass Tacks
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Before you jump into this post thinking a "storage guy" is in any way recommending that you disable RAID on your array, please understand that I’m talking about disabling "SW RAID" on a server ONLY! I’m writing this as penance for spending far too much time on this problem. To... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Brass Tacks