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Vince Westin
Atlanta, GA
IT Architect and Dell EMC Technical Evangelist
Interests: Technology in general, performance in particular, strategy games, LEGOs, good chocolate, and swimming
Recent Activity
Hi UX_admin, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I have to say that I have found very few customers who only need "the fastest possible performance". Most large customers are very focused on data integrity, the ability to recover from errors, system availability, and any number of other operational items. Seymour Cray used to say that any system that did not crash at least once a month was not properly optimized - but then he did not sell systems into markets that wanted anything other than raw performance. I find it interesting that you say that the VMAX is a firmware-laden, hardware-laden path. We essentially build an MPP computer (lots of parallel threads sharing a common system configuration) that is software on top of Intel chips and drive media. We have zero custom hardware components. And if you find the VMAX to be evil because it is proprietary, what do you consider the Exadata to be? Can it connect to any other server to use as compute or block storage (yes, it has external backup media support)? It is not also a collection of hardware with exclusive software? I would like to understand how you reach the conclusion that VMAX is "evil" and Exadata is somehow fundamentally different. I would also note that there are plenty of daily examples of raw evil in this world, where innocent people are physically and emotionally harmed or killed for the amusement or other satisfaction of their tormentors. I find it difficult to consider the architecture of any computer system as the root of insidious evil - humans seem to have the corner on that market.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2015 on Thank you, Larry Ellison at ApplyIT
The phenomenon of 3D printing has been spreading rapidly over the last several years. Design and manufacturing teams with sufficient resources have been taking advantage of this technology for a much longer time. As the prices have come down and they have become easier to use, there are many more uses being found. With the latest price drops, every home hobbyist should be considering one. Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2015 at ApplyIT
The flagship EMC VMAX 400K sets a new world record for SPC-2 (bandwidth) performance, delivering more than 30 percent greater performance compared to any other storage array. Achieving a SPC-2 aggregate result of 55,643 SPC-2 MBPS™, an all-flash VMAX 400K leads the pack, beating the nearest competitor, the HP XP7... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at ApplyIT
EMC has announced the new VMAX3 Family of storage systems: the 100K, 200K, and 400K. These systems offer dramatic new density and performance options for tier 1 storage customers. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2014 at ApplyIT
I have to admit I am hooked. I have the new iPad, and I often prefer to read mail on it than in Outlook. And since EMC does not allow me to access gmail from my MacBook Air (yes, I have been converted - I think I am rational, though that may be fanboi denial), I find that I can better share my other messages (blog related, personal, etc.) with the iPad mail interface. And I do not have EMC guiding me on which web sites I can access (including annoying things like warnings on the twitter feeds on pages). Maybe this is more about EMC IT rules than about the tablet.... But I like other things better. The WebEx app for me is better than the desktop version (I can zoom and such). Of course, I can also have WebEx up on my iPad (in full view) while I work on other things on my MacBook... And I carry all my books on my iPad. I read them there. I use it for most of my media consumption. I did try an iPad mini, and while the screen is not as nice (nor as large), getting things done in half the weight has some real advantages. So my next version may be a mini. Every now and then, I find myself without my iPad and trying to do some of the same things on my phone. And every time it reminds me why I have the iPad.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2013 on Why My Tablet Isn't Getting Much Use at Chuck's Blog
During his opening keynote at Oracle OpenWorld 2012, Larry Ellison launched the new Exadata X3. The new version appears to have some nice new capabilities, including caching writes to EFD, which are likely to improve the usability of Exadata for OLTP workloads. And he was nice enough to include the EMC Symmetrix VMAX 40K in detail on 30% of his slides as he announced the new Exadata. And for that, I give thanks. Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2012 at ApplyIT
When migrating data from an old array to a new one, there are many tools to help. EMC VMAX provides a built-in tool called Open Replicator for Symmetrix (ORS), which can push and pull data to and from other arrays. This is a quick review of the benefits one customer has seen using ORS. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2012 at ApplyIT
Vince Westin is now following InvisiTech
Oct 18, 2011
Yes, he had an amazing impact. The biggest change that I think he brought was to really focus on the user experience. And with the iPod/iPhone/iPad, the focus has been on making technology simple for non-geeks. I believe he will long be remembered for showing IT companies how to really build products for the mass market.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2011 on A Thoughtful Day at Chuck's Blog
Vince Westin added a favorite at Virtualization for Service Providers
May 7, 2011
Customers prefer to spend as little as they need to on infrastructure. With the price of disk capacity dropping each year, customers would love to buy the largest/cheapest drives that they can to support their workload. This is a description of the smart new Symmetrix VMAX FAST VP software, with an example of a customer getting the benefits of simplified storage tiering. Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2011 at ApplyIT
VMAX customers can more easily manage both private and shared LUN access to clustered servers thanks to Auto-provisioning Groups and the cascaded initiator groups they support. And simpler storage management is always helpful. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at ApplyIT
Customers can benefit from documenting the business/application requirements for their systems and leaning on their vendors to meet those needs. The vendors understand the abilities of their systems much better than most customers ever will. And, of course, the customer needs to 'trust but verify.' In the process, everyone will learn more about the final solution before it goes into production. Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2010 at ApplyIT
Chad, I thank you for taking the time to drill into the detail on these options. You are right that a lot of the customers I talk to get these options confused, and start thinking they can mix vMotion and SRM for the same VMs between the same sites. I look forward to the 2 follow-on posts on this subject. (Disclosure - I work for EMC)
I share your sense of having an abundance of good fortune/blessing in my life. I came to EMC 15 years ago just looking for another Systems Engineer job, and thinking that the Symmetrix had some interesting qualities. I found a great set of products and a group of people with a maniacal focus on customer success, and I have been caught up in it ever since. I also share your desire to extend the circle of those who are sharing in this good fortune. We find good folks and get them to join the team. We find new team members and help them learn/do more. The virtuous circle. I look forward to the ways we will extend it further over the coming year. I am truly blessed.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Thankful at Virtualization for Service Providers
** Disclaimer: I work for EMC ** Welcome to the fold. I hope that you find the right balance on the rules. Having been with EMC for 15 years, I have seen plenty of competitive challenges. And I have seen bad data used by others as well as some from EMC. I believe that most of our folks are trying to be accurate, or I would have trouble working here. I believe that the same is true of most of the competitors I meet as well. It is impossible for any of us to be up to date on everyone's technology all the time. With the rate of change it is sometimes difficult just to keep up with changes in the EMC product lines (especially as we keep adding them). And there are times when we do want to make a comparison to make a point. For example, when talking about thin devices and space reclamation, not all implementations are equal. Some allocate in chunks under 1 MB, some over 40 MBs, and others over 500 GB. Are they all thin? Yes. Do they use close to the same amount of space for a given set of data? Probably not. We tested SQL Server building out an 'empty' data file. DBAs do that all the time, and the data fills in later. But SQL Server puts some markers out there in the file - a dribble of data. With chunk sizes under 1 MB, these files may allocate ~2% of the requested capacity. But even a move up to 40 MBs can cause the allocation for this (still basically empty) file to be over 60%. Is this real? Yes. Does it apply to every customer file? Absolutely not! But it does seem useful as en example of why a customer might care about the granularity of the architecture. So I try to start any competitive items like this that I discuss with customers with a disclaimer: this was true the last time I tested it, but you, as a customer, should ask the other vendor(s) about this. And if a customer is going to make a purchase decision based on vendor claims, I would hope that they would both get the claims in writing and have a way to validate those claims. If customers do not hold their vendors accountable (if there is no penalty for lying), then the vendors are less motivated to be accurate.
Vince Westin is now following Jeramiah Dooley
Nov 16, 2010
Thank you for sharing, Chris. My ix-2 only has two drives, so I mirrored them. Unless I go crazy on video, 1 TB is plenty of space.
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2010 on Sharing Information at ApplyIT
I am a geek. As such, I have a tendency to over-engineer solutions, especially when it comes to solving personal challenges. And while I may be able to make my ‘solutions’ work, my family sometimes finds them difficult/frustrating/impossible to live with. This is the story of how I made data sharing work in my home. Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2010 at ApplyIT
Vince Westin is now following Virtual Winfrastructure
Aug 28, 2010
Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) have made a big splash in the storage world over the past 2 years. Many customers are interested in how they might apply this new technology to speed up applications. And given a cost of roughly 20 times that of the same size 15K Fibre Channel (FC) drive, they want to be sure they can get a good return on their investment. Finding the right targets to make that happen can be fairly simple. Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2010 at ApplyIT
Vince Westin is now following marc farley
Aug 19, 2010
Vince Westin is now following Mcowger
Aug 19, 2010
I got an e-mail question about the snaps and the full restore testing on the SRDF target array. It seems I could have been more clear in the explanation. When doing a restore test, the restore is done against the SRDF target volumes. SRDF would be suspended for this operation, as the target devices need to be made writable. Since the restore does not check to see what is already on disk and only restore the changes, essentially all of the target space will be updated by the restore. Since the updates are so large, the snaps on the target do not have the space to hold all of the changes, and they will be lost. Once this restore operation is completed, testing can be done against the restored database to ensure that the recovered image is correct. And once that is done, SRDF can be used to push this image back to production if that is needed. Or SRDF can be restarted and all of that data will be replaced with the current production data. I hope that clarifies how this is operating.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2010 on Big Warehouse, Small Backup at ApplyIT
This customer has a data warehouse that drives internal research and is sold to external customers. The data needs to be accurate and available at all times. Their goal was a new storage architecture to maximize availability and data protection while optimizing operational complexity and cost. We were able to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2010 at ApplyIT