I just wanted to try on for size how it would feel to build a “The Register” style headline for a topic which has subtleties (Chris Mellor, I will always love you :-)
I’ve had analysts say that the mere existence of VSAN and ScaleIO points to an “unrecoverable schism” in the federation model.
LOL – the core federation principle is one of “provide customers CHOICE and overall, they will tend to pick you”.
I’m in Australia (go #VMUG!) and with customers this week, and I JUST left a CIO who commented on how much value he places on the fact that VMware and EMC are loosely coupled, and how wise it was to have the Federation members operate independently, but also in partnership.
There are also places where, when customers ask “I want your collective answer, together and aligned” – it is ONE – for example: the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud is the fastest way to get to “One Cloud, Any Application on Any Device” – and is a tightly integrated and packaged combination of the vSphere, vRealize Suite, vCloud Air – delivered on EMC Converged Infrastructure, and also integrated with Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
While we have 100% alignment at the strategic level, there will always be point elements where there are overlap, or more than one way to solve a customer issues inside the federation. The core principle of “choice” will creates some overlap.
So then: When ScaleIO, when VSAN?
Disclosure: I am sure I’m biased based on what I see every day – but I always disclose who I am, and who I work for. The driver isn’t what someone tells me. I ignore pleas from product teams and marketing to be their mouthpiece – ew. I share based what I see at customers, and that informs my personal guidance. Take it for what it’s worth. I’m sure I’ll catch some flack for this one – but hey :-)
Let me net this out as simply as I can:
- Distributed software storage stacks that run on industry standard hardware are increasingly important. VSAN and ScaleIO are two great examples.
- In the category of these transactional distributed software stacks - if you like the idea of a “VMware-only” storage stack I think VSAN is great. If you want an OPEN storage stack, I think ScaleIO is a better choice.
- Even in “VMware-centric”, and “VMware-only” environments at very large scale (think service providers, think enterprises with many huge vSphere clusters) – I think ScaleIO is a better choice – and customers should evaluate both ScaleIO and VSAN and decide for themselves. Why ScaleIO in those scenarios over VSAN?
- The ScaleIO capability to have storage that spans multiple vSphere clusters – and be able to freely move between them.
- The ScaleIO capability be able to scale capacity and IOps and CPU/Memory very separately – including dense CPU/Memory blades (with no local HDD or SSD storage) that access dense capacity/IOps rack mounts over a network
- The ability to direct IOps and capacity to specific use cases and tenants, including with rich QoS capabilities.
- At scale, to have very strong failure domain isolation, simple models for tenant pools, very strong rapid rebuilds.
- … and to be able to do it all with kernel integration, vCenter integration and automation.
World, welcome to the ultimate OPEN Software-defined SAN - ScaleIO.
- ScaleIO can scale to infinity and beyond.
- Scale IO can be used in a ton of use cases (including, but not limited to VMware).
I want to be clear. I love VSAN. I consider myself to be “Captain VSAN” and a strong VSAN supporter. I think that VSAN can be a great choice for customer that are happy with all their compute being VMs on vSphere at moderate scales – and if you want to build “one cloud stack for everything” – VSAN 6 and vSphere 6 is a great choice. While here in Australia visiting customers and supporting VMUGs – I’m talking to them about VSAN 6.0.
The trigger for this post was where there was some “poop flung” (competitor of course) on the topic of “if EMC is getting behind VSAN in VSPEX Blue (which we are) that means ScaleIO is going to be put to pasture” – see here (and let me know if you think I’m off base on the “poop flinging” call).
EMC BACKING OFF FROM SCALEIO? NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
Choice is an important idea, and one that EMC fully embraces.
ScaleIO plays a critical role in our view of the storage world. To fully understand how this nets out, and to dive a little deeper, and to understand what’s coming in ScaleIO read on!