EMC CLARiiON and RecoverPoint announcements
EMC recently announced updates to their CLARiiON product line.
Virtualization-aware Navisphere Manager
One chronic problem with managing storage in a virtualized data center today is determining what is going wrong with VM performance. One key to resolving this is the ability to understand the relationship between physical storage and virtual machine execution. VMware’s server virtualization technology has made it much easier to consolidate applications but by design has also obscured the physical storage to application mapping.
To solve this problem, EMC has released virtualization-aware Navisphere Manager which now supports better integration with VMware and helps storage admins understand how physical storage maps to ESX servers and more importantly virtual machines (VMs). This helps storage admins be more productive, supporting their virtualized server environment without leaving the more familiar storage management software they are accustomed to working with.
Virtualization-aware Navisphere Manager provides a direct mapping between VMs and physical storage. Now when complaints arise about VM service times, a storage administrator can trace its storage access directly without having to log on to Virtual Center and copy down information manually to a spreadsheet; and then bring up Navisphere to find out what’s going on.
CLARiiON now supports 10GbE ports, with between 2 (CX4-120 & -240) and 4 physical ports (CX4-480 & -960) per system. EMC has also increased the number of initiators supported per physical iSCSI port, which increases the number of host initiators supported per storage processor (2 SP’s per system in CX4), specifically:
- CX4-120 now supports 256 iSCSI initiators per SP
- CX4-240 now supports 512 iSCSI initiators
- CX4-480 now supports 1024 iSCSI initiators
- CX4-960 now supports 4096 iSCSI initiators
Disk spin down
CLARiiON now supports disk spin down. This facility has been qualified to work with EMC Networker, Documentum, and Disk eXtender and over time, will also be qualified for other applications. Disk spin down provides significant energy savings for those applications that can use it.
EMC also released a new virtualization-aware RecoverPoint that enables customers to:
- Manage replicated storage for virtualized and physical servers from a single view. It is the only solution integrated with VMware vCenter for automated virtual machine replication management.
- Identify unprotected virtual machines, while improving proactive management of the environment via automatic alerts, particularly in CLARiiON environments.
RecoverPoint now also supports dynamic toggling between synchronous and asynchronous replication modes. This new feature detects network performance degradation and automatically switches from synchronous to asynchronous replication. Before, the only alternative was to cease or pause replication. With this new capability, replication can continue to operate in asynchronous mode in order to maintain acceptable performance levels.
To support dynamic toggling, a user must specify the throughput or latency threshold amounts that trigger going from synchronous to asynchronous and also specify throughput or latency thresholds where synchronous replication will be restored. Dynamic toggling is currently available for any RecoverPoint supported replication solution for CLARiiON, Symmetrix V-Max, Symmetrix DMX-4, certain Celerra offerings, and non-EMC storage.
Dynamic toggling is an interesting feature and should probably be more widely available. Often synchronous replication services drop offline and now require operator intervention to re-instate them. This new approach continues replication asynchronously and can return to synchronous mode without operator intervention
Disk spin down and more iSCSI initiators mean that CLARiiON can now be used in more environments. CLARiiON can now scale higher with less hardware for iSCSI users and for users of qualified applications disk spin down can generate significant power savings.
It seems that EMC continues to tighten their integration with VMware. Virtualization-aware Navisphere Manager joins the CLARiiON vCenter plug-in that’s already available to help the VMware administrators understand CLARiiON storage mapping. Navisphere Manager now brings this capability to the storage administrator as well. Virtualization-aware RecoverPoint enables the management of VMs and physical storage from a single management interface. With RecoverPoint, CLARiiON users have a single solution and a single pane of glass across both physical and virtual environments. VMware is rapidly becoming a major consumer of enterprise-class storage and anything vendors can do to make it easier to use their storage within the virtual server environment is well worth it.
A PDF version of this can be found atEMC 2009 August 25 Announces new CLARiiON and RecoverPoint functionality
Silverton Consulting, Inc. is a Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting services company, based in the USA offering products and services to the data storage community.