One thing I think is important is to share when we find something cool.
This past week, I found 3. So, I’m sharing :-)
Also – I think it’s important that we share “uh ohs” (to avoid any pain and suffering we can)
Read on for my 3 cool “somethings”, and 2 “uh ohs” from the last week.
Cool Something #1: One of the best videos on “big data” I’ve seen to date.
While there is no doubt a bit of the “buzzword effect” going on re: Big Data, there’s a reason. When I talk to customers across a ton of businesses they are realizing the business value inherent in their data (and this is happening within EMC too!) I’m not talking Facebook, or Amazon – but regular businesses, in every size, segment around the globe. If anyone questions the value of their data – did you look at the Facebook revenue model? Put another way – in talking with a friend of mine in the food business, they found that if they could predict how people would consume bread in stores, it represented many, many millions in savings for their business – every month.
Two people within EMC were touched and inspired on reflecting on the death of Steve Jobs, and started a “big ideas” series. Those two people were Mike Phelan and Patricia Florissi. Patricia is our Americas Field CTO – wicked smart, and her thinking is delightfully “orthogonal”. For EMCers who want an example, see the first EMC Presales Black Ops posting on the EMC ONE Presales Channel, which is a Patricia Florissi special (and a very cool idea for the right few to dive into).
Patricia recorded one of the best “Big Data” videos I’ve ever seen. Patricia – I’m with you! Think Big, think Data, think Big Data!
Cool Something #2: vLab opens up to Partners
The EMC vLabs are a large scale “Labs as a Service” (LaaS) offering that runs out of the EMC Durham mega datacenter. It runs on vSphere (of course), and on Vblocks (of course). Here’s what it looks like – this makes me always think of the scene in “The Matrix” where Neo says “we need guns… lots of guns” and they stream in:
vLabs have supported (with critical vSpecialist support) EMC World, VMworld, and PEX for 2 years running.
It’s a way for us to provide support infrastructure for people who want to play/learn on a ton of stuff. It’s a way for us to provide “VNX VSAs” out there without breaking our licensing clauses with Microsoft (who won’t let us do a redistribution deal for virtual appliances in non-prod use cases.. boo!). This week at VMware PEX, we opened this up to our partners for the first time.
To play on vLab, you need to be an EMC employee, an EMC Velocity Affiliate Elite, Premier, or Signature level partner, and then go to https://portal.demoemc.com and register - it’s as simple as that.
A few comments to set the right expectation:
- This is our first public beta of vLabs – we want feedback
- While my personal experience in using this for customer demonstrations has been powerful – I would be careful, and request the demos in advance (while the iPad browser isn’t supported, and has some funkiness, I have had success in making a request while mobile) – sometimes it takes 5 minutes to provision, sometimes it takes longer.
- As I noted, it open to Affiliate Elite, Premiere, Signature Partners
- Support goes to to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a support SLA, but it’s not 24x7. Think 3AM - 8PM EST
(Best Effort support occurs outside this window)
- are working to get TSSO and PSSC (more scale on support)
- There are reports of end-user experience for some labs (VNXe) in Asia-Pacific
PLEASE GIVE FEEDBACK!!!!
Cool Something #3: Salesforce Chatter
Totally an insider comment (sorry). Yesterday night, we refreshed our instance of Salesforce.com (SFDC) which took Salesforce Chatter out of beta for EMC Sales/Presales folks. While it’s too early to tell – I can see the upside of Chatter almost immediately. It’s best characterized as a combination of Facebook and Twitter, targeted at the enterprise. It’s easy to setup internal groups (for example, a global account team could create a group for everyone that supports their account) and then they can see messages and rich content from anyone they are following. There’s a pretty swank iPhone app (and also for BlackBerry and Android – but I can’t comment on them personally). I’m going to use this – and encourage my presales brothers and sisters to try it.
… now onto the less cool – the things from last week that fall into the “uh oh” category.
Uh Oh item #1: VAAI XCOPY on VMAX when using Timefinder
The price we pay for supporting far and away the largest number of customers is sometimes finding stuff first. Sometimes it’s on the VMware side, sometimes it’s on our side. This was well documented (see H8115 here), but I missed it. When you have any local replicas (San Copy, Timefinder/Snap or /Clone, ChangeTracker, and certain RecoverPoint sessions) on a VMAX, hardware accelerated full copy won’t work.
Uh Oh item #2: SRM support on VNXe
I haven’t forgotten what I talked about here at the VNXe launch (see in the comments) – and here at the most recent update…. and believe me, I know how much SRM support is needed on VNXe. To make a long story short, the VNXe team wanted to hold off development on anything around SRM 4.x because the APIs were changing dramatically for SRM 5 (which is a tradeoff I tend to agree with). But then, as SRM 5 was coming out, the APIs for the VNXe were also changing, so the team has delayed what was originally targeted to be coincident with the SRM 5 launch (Q3 2011) to later in 2012. I’m very sorry for this delay to all the customers out there. Please understand it was a tradeoff not made lightly.
So there you have it – 3 “Cool Somethings” and 2 “Uh Oh” items. Input (either way) welcome!