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February 06, 2012


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Mark Burgess

Hi Chad,

When do you expect vMotion and shared VMFS support?

Also I was hoping that there would be a use case for VMware View - can you comment?

From what I have seen of pricing combined with the 1.0 limitations it looks like it will be very niche in the short-term.

Hopefully as the year progresses most of the limitations will be removed and we will see low cost MLC based cards.

I was hoping that every VNX level customer would want VFCache, but clearly initially this will not be the case.

Just my thoughts.

Best regards


Great post Chad!

Carlos Soares

I find it curiously ironic that EMC chose Lightning and Thunder as project names for these products. Lightning and Thunder were the names for the Hitachi high-end and mid-range modular products that transformed Hitachi Data Systems to a storage company and an EMC competitor, as seen in the press releases below:
I know this history well, as I named the Hitachi products.
FYI: I left HDS in 2006. Prior to that I worked at Data General's AViiON and CLARiiON divisions.


Using this in conjunction with FAST is going to be mind blowing...


I think that VFCache it's an amazing project and most of the customers will be interested.
But i also agree with Mark. No clusters, no DRS, no automatic vmotions are strict limitations for the VFCache first release.

Let's see.

Dennis Ryan

Hi Chad - great blog. I get to talk to a lot of experienced storage people at some quite large customers and something curious is coming out of all this. The products vary a bit so I will just focus on the VNX. If you count FAST Cache as a storage tier and then add SSD, SAS and NL-SAS we have 4 tiers of storage here. Factor in 10K vs. 15K drives and you could call that five tiers. With VFCache we now have six. Up until only a couple of years ago storage was FC or SATA. The quick applications went on the FC and everything else wound up on the SATA. Many of the people to whom I speak are at a loss as to how to manage the new model and I've been asked more than once "what is everybody else doing?". The technology is accelerating away from the technologists and customer techies are really struggling to keep up. To help we are working on improving our own and our partners' consultative, application-focused skills and use of tools to get levels of application information that were irrelevant before. We live in interesting times.

Mike Galford

Wow. Vfcache is a flawed and weak design. Its an SSD on a PCIe card. Rubbish. Lots of data loss exposure. No wonder best practice is to RAID them like hard drives because that's what this product emulates. While your implementation use cases are cool, they are supported by bad technology. VMWare is best of breed, pity emc storage isn't anymore.


VFCache provides a lot of read-only cache capacity. However, for the database use case, the same could be achieved with a lot of RAM. The latest server hardware supports up to 4TB of RAM that could be dedicated for read-only caching (via database memory partitioning). As we know RAM is quite a bit faster than Flash PCIe based cache. Moreover, the price point per GB for RAM and VFCache is on par, with RAM actually being cheaper in the 1-2TB server capacity range. What we are struggling with is to understand the VFCache v1.0 business case? If I can get the same amount of RAM for the same or lower price than Flash PCIe-based cache (and RAM being so much faster with lower latency), what is the main use case for VFCache? I would really appreciate your input.

Joe Onisick

Great post Chad, really like the way EMC's flash story is panning out. Tons of options and lots of power when used in combination = customer win! great things coming out of EMC lately both internal dev, and aquisition wise.


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