EMCWorld 2008 Day 1 and Day 2 Recap

EMCWorld 2008 is well underway.  The keynote was much like last years keynote in that there was talk about how information growth is continuing to explode.  Unfortunately cloud computing was touched on only briefly and specific EMC strategy wasn’t discussed.

I did meet with Ryan Johnson who is the product manager for EMC’s Lifeline software.  Lifeline is “Network storage OEM software for the SOHO and Prosumer market.”  In a nutshell, this is home centralized storage done right.  You can store your music, movies and even surveillance camera data all on one device that will support remote backup to EMC’s Mozy online backup service.  The software is at release 1 today but a ton more features will be coming in version 2.  The Intel demo was really slick with about 4-5 HD videos streaming simultaneously to a TV, an iMac and an xbox 360.  Currently Intel has a product that holds 4 drives and is starting to ship today.  Iomega will have a device with 2 drives shipping in August.  The biggest challenges for EMC have been making a easy to use interface but giving the device a lot of features.  I did mention silent data corruption and ZFS to Ryan and he said they were looking at innovating in the data integrity area.

I attended a lot of VMware-specific architectual and performance engineering sessions since that seems to be my focus with my customers right now.  Some of the information was new but a lot of it I have heard last year.  Interestingly enough, it seemed that there were some mixed messages emerging from VMware folks who work on the same team.

A lot of my customers are just getting into centralized storage for VMware and are having a hard time deciding if they should do fibre channel, iSCSI or even NFS.  There are no performance differences between storage protocols (iSCSI, fibre channel or NFS).  Now there is a throughput difference between 1 gigabit iSCSI and 4 gigabit fibre channel.  Most importantly, if you’re going to consolidate a lot of hosts and could push the 1 gigabit barrier, 4gb fibre channel makes things a little easier without having to aggregate lots of smaller links.

That’s all for now, on to day 3.

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