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May 12, 2010


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Nice article, Marc.

I'm still trying to figure out if the V-Plex virtualization works just like all other virtualizers - i.e. does it render the back-end arrays into plain disk, in order to provide more intelligence.

Does the V-Plex do the same thing?

If so, I see no mention of cloning, snapshots, deduplication, compression, thin provisioning or indeed any intelligent storage function besides replication.

To me, it seems like another EMC attempt to sell us futures. Just like FAST (http://bit.ly/9dj7XW), the current incarnation is really not that useful, the good stuff comes a year or two later.

HDS USP-V, SVC and our very own NetApp V-Series provide virtualization WITH extra functionality (and, in the case of NetApp Metrocluster, the similar ability to provide simultaneous access up to 100 miles apart - for several years now).

Cache coherency is interesting but in order to work it needs super-low latencies per EMC.

I think it's also important to understand the full ramifications of the "simultaneous" access. 2x the storage is needed, and I believe a LUN is still only seen by one side at a time, though I'm sure EMC will correct me if I'm wrong.

But, ultimately, aside from all of us giving EMC free publicity, what extra functionality do V-Plex customers get beyond migrations?



marc farley

I don't know for certain, but I don't think VPLEX provides much virtualization functionality and nothing in the way of storage management functions, such as snapshots, remote copy, thin provisioning. I think it has it's work cut out just managing the distributed write cache.


The following comment was received from somebody using the email address tomjessey@yahoo.com - an email address that has been disabled. (dd Sorry your message to tomjessy@yahoo.com cannot be delivered. This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. - mta1027.mail.sk1.yahoo.com ##)

I'm not sure who it came from, but I'm sure it's not worth responding to. Here is their comment:

LOL, its always funny to hear Marc talk about what he clearly doesn't understand...
By the way how is 3par doing anyway? are they still trying to sell Tier 3 storage...

Liem Nguyen

Good analysis Marc. For once I agree with you. :-)

marc farley

Liem, you should ID yourself as a Compellent employee - I'm not sure everybody knows you by name. Thanks.


Here's a VPLEX architecture and deployment guide: http://www.emc.com/collateral/hardware/technical-documentation/h7113-vplex-architecture-deployment.pdf

Nick Triantos


2x is the minimum. The recommendation is that for critical data you mirror "onto two or more storage volumes that are provided by different arrays". Different arrays is to be interpreted as in "distinct arrays of the same model as the source".

The other interesting thing I read was although EMC is showcasing Long Distance VMotion, they do not recommend the migration of a single VM across sites. Instead, the recommendation is you migrate all of the VMs in the datastore. Quite interesting. pg. 121 of the deployment Guide.

I think as you start peeling back the onion there are going to be lots of restrictions here, at least initially.

Nick w/ NetApp


My favourite part is that "long distance" is 100 km. Which isn't long since less than 5ms is easy. That's available today. But "really long distance" is sometime in the future.

As long as your storage is located in the same town, it's going to work today. Otherwise we will have to wait to see if the Powerpoint release becomes a reality.


Interesting article – Thank You for his.

I try to understand VPLX but I still have a missing piece. Can somebody help?

When I use a VPLEX Metro and use Metro distributed virtual volumes then I have a copy of my data on both sides.

Who performs the synchronous mirror operation? Is it the VPLEX code or is it the backend storage system?

If it is the backend storage system does VPLEX have all kind of storage systems supported? Each of them is talking a different language. It would be a highly complex thing to manage.

Is it VPLEX code internal operation? Is it then performed by each engine or through ISL kind of replication between two engines?

Hope for answers to better understand this system.

Thank You

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