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September 22, 2008

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Matt Lavallee

Thanks for posting this, Chad. I just couldn't get over how disparate most IO results seem to be. Some companies use objWinDisk (which I can't even find), some use IOMeter with biased settings, etc.

I'll send a link when we have a complete baseline of our system.

-Matt

Jay Weinshenker

As always good technical info, but I want to point out one I think one minor point you made was probably the most important - getting a real DB expert to look at the system.

When I was at VMWorld I attended a Virtualizing Oracle breakout. Out of the couple hundred people in the room, I think I was one of about 8 DBAs, going by the show of hands at the start of the sessions. I talked to a number of people after the session and handed out cards so they could ask questions - they almost universally had the same issue - their DBA doesn't speak storage or understand OS.

There's a huge huge information gulf there. It works well for me, but there's big money to made for a company that actually come in and educate DBAs on storage / VI.

Chad Sakac

Jay, you're right - that one sentence in my post is possibly the most important.

I've always found that people who can be deep in a couple knowledge domains, but also ACROSS a couple knowledge domains - they have a huge impact (and huge value)

It's been interesting for us, because even within EMC there are two opposing forces. On the storage/compute side, we continue to apply brute force efforts (the OOW announcements around EMC and Oracle and large scale SSD as one example, around our CX4/Dell BI appliance as examples, and at the same event, the Oracle/HP Infiniband connected BI appliance as another).

Conversely we have a couple other groups that focus on the app side first.

Sometimes a customer CAN'T (for non technical reasons) look at the application or DB structure, and so brute force measures are the right way to help them.

Sometimes, our salesforce isn't sophisticated enough, and in spite of the fact that they COULD start from the app, we push the brute force solution (not good, but I'm being honest)

Increasingly (but this is still relatively rare in the 40K person company), we're leveraging EMC consulting services (which isn't focused on infrastructure per se) to work to figure out the right way up front. They're just as likely to recommend DFS and DFS-R as they are Celerra and Celerra Replicator. They're just as likely to recommend "we think you can solve this without spending a penny on hardware/software" as they are to propose a platform solution.

As a company, we're on the first step of a long journey, but bit by bit, cusomter success after customer success, we're figuring it out - and by "IT" I mean that our best way to help is by having great information infrastructure (software/hardware that helps store/manage/organize/protect/virtualize information in all it's forms), great knowledge about how to apply those technologies (basic services), but most importantly knowledge about the CONTEXT where it is applied (advanced services and contextual know-how). That's why I'm proud every day as the roll of new VCPs comes in (3 new ones on Friday!) - it's investment in CONTEXT. Likewise our EMC consulting arm is filled with DBAs, AD experts, Sharepoint architecuts, Exchange Rangers, etc.

Our goal is not to be IBM GS, or Accenture, we know we're a hardware/software vendor first and foremost. BUT, it's fun to see us try to transform to learn more and more about context.

When we do it right, we win (because we help the customer win) regardless of whether we sell a single piece of tin :-)

QuocX

Thanks for posting this, very informative.

In respect to "Round 1: Use IOmeter up front" test case,
what range of values constitutes 'good'. In another word, if I'm looking for a iSCSI target and it has a number of xxx IOPS.
How do interpret that xxx IOPS is suitable for my storage deployment.

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