Monthly Archives: February 2010

Virtual Winfrastructure – EMC and Hyper-V

I’d like to help introduce a new blogger in the house at EMC.

Adrian Simays will be blogging and advocating EMC’s approach towards Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

His blog, named Virtual Winfrastructure, aims to highlight the fact that EMC has a large group of people and projects dedicated to Microsoft’s Hyper-V.  We also have a lot of customers using a hybrid approach of both Hyper-V and VMware in their virtualization efforts.   And each of our product teams have been busy working on documentation that shows how it all works.

Here’s a small sample here:

I am subscribing, and look forward to reading some more good stuff from Adrian – a really smart dude that can put it in simple terms.  Learn more about Adrian here.  Subscribe here.

EMC World Microsoft Sessions

Yes, the session catalog is up.

SharePoint

  • Deep Dive: EMC SourceOne Archiving for Microsoft SharePoint
  • EMC NetWorker’s New Capabilities to Simplify and Improve Application and Database Protection
  • Fundamentals of SharePoint Archiving: Cut Costs and Sleep at Night with EMC SourceOne
  • Get Instant Control of Documents and Images with EMC Documentum ApplicationXtender
  • Improve Document Management Processes with EMC Documentum ApplicationXtender and Microsoft SharePoint
  • Maximizing Document Capture with Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft SharePoint: Storage Best Practices

Exchange

  • CLARiiON: Virtualized Exchange 2010 Configurations
  • EMC NetWorker’s New Capabilities to Simplify and Improve Application and Database Protection
  • Make the Move: How EMC SourceOne Extends Information Governance to Exchange 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010: Virtualization and Storage Best Practices
  • Ordinary to Extrodinary Customer Communications with Documentum xCP and Document Sciences
  • Performance and Optimization of Microsoft Exchange Server Deployments on Symmetrix V-Max

SQL Server

  • Application Integration with EMC Centera: SDK, XAM, RBS, and File System Interfaces
  • Best Practice for Deploying Microsoft SQL Server on VMware vSphere
  • EMC NetWorker’s New Capabilities to Simplify and Improve Application and Database Protection
  • Performance and Optimization of Microsoft SQL Server Deployments on Symmetrix V-Max

ReBlog: SAN 101 for the DBA

Merrill Aldrich (SQL DBA) writes a great post that highlights some excellent points when thinking about your storage choice for SQL databases – or any mission critical applications for that matter.

His rules are solid pieces of advice that I would advocate to any application or database owner that has data that could potentially get put on a storage array or on the storage area network (SAN).

Rule 1: There is no Magic

Basic idea: For the most part, storage is a bunch of spinning disks.  Sure, some advanced features can enable advanced capabilities, but try not to overthink it.

Rule 2: Performance Costs More than Space

Basic idea: Always size based on performance – make sure you have enough spinning disks to service your workload and then, make sure you have enough capacity.

Rule 3: Yes, Direct Attached Storage is Cheaper … But

Basic idea: You can get good deals on a 2TB SATA drive and drop them into a cheap disk housing and call it a storage array.  But you could really lose out on the flexibility that comes with networked storage (SAN) to rebalance workloads, to reclaim underutilized space and provision it to another server… DAS has it’s place, but make sure you aren’t making a cost based decision that might not suit your goals or your company’s goals.

Rule 4: You Need a Good Relationship with the SAN Admin

Direct Quote: “I’ve blogged about this before, but suffice it to say that bad communication with the SAN admin = FAIL.” SQL Server often has unique and demanding IO requirements that don’t go away just because you have a fancy array. You have to be able to work that out with the storage admins, if you have them, or the vendor, if you are in a smaller shop. Together you will have to talk through the need to separate logs, data and backups, and what the performance profile of each “virtual” disk system needs to be, backed by perf counter data, to prevent the SAN nightmare: “We spent our $5,000,000 and the VP wants to know why it’s SLOW.”

Please check out this article and let me know what you think

Upcoming Free SharePoint Webinars!

Due to popular demand, EMC will be putting on a series of webcasts around SharePoint.  Sure, this isn’t until March but based on the demand we’ve gotten for SharePoint solutions this year already, I can tell these are going to be a hit.

If this is the slightest bit interesting to you, signup today and put them on your calendar.

Here’s what’s on the agenda:

SharePoint Storage Design Guidance and Virtualization Best Practices

Thursday, March 4, 2010 – 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET
Learn how to design your SharePoint infrastructure to ensure optimal performance and scalability, as well as leverage the benefits of virtualization. [Comments: this is where we tell you what we’ve tested in the labs, what customers have told us, and how virtualization (Hyper-V or VMware) combined with EMC storage can be leveraged to create a dynamic, flexible infrastructure… the presenters on these topics are really pushing the limits when it comes to scalability and performance of SharePoint.]

SharePoint Archiving and Storage Management

Thursday, March 11, 2010 – 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET
Find out how to mitigate risk, reduce costs, and improve SharePoint performance with EMC SourceOne.  [Comments: this one is where we’ll talk about a new component of EMC SourceOne.  Third party archiving still plays a huge role in the protection of Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 as the built-in archiving is currently lacking.  With SharePoint, there are a few products in the market, but you’ll see our new architectural approach (roles-based) and how it can be leveraged in both physical and virtual server environments.]

Protecting SharePoint Farms – What’s Realistic and What’s Possible

Thursday, March 18, 2010 – 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET
Learn how to design, deploy, and manage your SharePoint infrastructure to ensure availability and rapid recovery, as well as understand what options are available—from native SQL Server functionality to array-based replication. [Comments: We’ve done lots of work here from testing the limits of SQL database mirroring to complete farm protection with array-based options and talk about how virtualization really lends itself well to SharePoint protection – effectively grouping major components together into consistent (index/contentdb) recoverable units so that no re-indexing is required.]

Enhancing SharePoint to Meet Your Information Management Needs

Thursday, March 25, 2010 – 12 pm PT / 3 pm ET
Discover how EMC Documentum integrates SharePoint into your broader information infrastructure, enabling you to cut operational costs and reign in server sprawl. [Comments: Many companies want to utilize SharePoint as part of a larger organizational push towards governance, compliance, and advanced business workflows and in some cases, the native functionality of SharePoint is a limiting factor.  Come and see what is possible and how invisible our SharePoint and Documentum integration can be].

Here’s one link you can click to sign up for all four:

March to EMC’s SharePoint Series

Come with questions about your SharePoint deployments – it’s more fun when it’s interactive……..

Making a Game out of Microsoft Office

Every now and then you come upon something that is just impressive.

Usually, these days it comes from companies like Google or Apple – and sometimes it comes from EMC – and sometimes it comes from Microsoft.

I subscribe to Microsoft’s Research Blog and in their stream of content and news, I noticed something really cool – the ability to learn the new Office 2010 in a game-like fashion with scoring and points and achievement goals.

The idea is to complete routine (and some advanced) office tasks using the new Ribbon interface at the top of the Office menu. Insert and style this picture.  Make this part of a picture transparent.  Change the layout of this.  In the process I learned a bunch of things about Excel, Word, and PowerPoint that I am already using again and I didn’t have to spend all day at a class (and no you don’t have to share your score with your Facebook friends and start the next Mafia Wars, Farmville, Fish Pond game hate fest).

We all need training on stuff, even if seems to be second nature like Word, Excel, PowerPoint (provided you use these tools with some regularity).   And if more companies can make learning their software fun, and somewhat achievement oriented, then their software also gets stickier.

Once a product is sticky, it makes it harder for them to switch.

And when people don’t want to switch, you continue selling the worlds most successful office productivity suite.

You need Vista or Windows 7 and Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2010 Beta and then you are good to grab Microsoft’s Ribbon Hero software (technically an Office Add-in).

The big question is this: Can you beat 246 in Word??