Happy Customer: City of Lenexa on EMC VNX (w/FAST) and VMware

In the video below, Justin Rairden talks about using FAST-enabled VNX storage for his VMware environment which hosts Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.

SUMMARY:  they went from 14 SANs with nothing centrally managed, taking hours and hours to manage… to a VNX 5500 running FAST for VMware datastores (which runs critical apps including a SQL-based police system).  Things are a lot better now.

WHAT IS FAST?

EMC fully automated storage tiering (FAST) automatically moves active data to high-performance storage tiers and inactive data to low-cost, high-capacity storage tiers. The result is higher performance, lower costs, and a denser footprint than conventional systems. With FAST, flash drives (aka SSDs) increase application performance by up to 800 percent, and lower cost (NL-SAS or SATA) disk drives lower costs by up to 80 percent. more here.

WHAT IS FAST CACHE?

EMC fully automated storage tiering (FAST) cache is a storage performance optimization feature that provides immediate access to frequently accessed data. FAST cache complements FAST by automatically absorbing unpredicted spikes in application workloads. FAST cache results in a significant increase in performance for all read and write workloads. more here

SOME NOTES:

  • “We can just throw it out there and automatically tier that up… You don’t waste money on the disks you don’t need”
  • Exchange 2010 is completely virtualized. We run SQL with VNX and VMware and performance has increased… “Performance is way better than before.”
  • Using VMware Plugin to manage EMC components from VMware GUIs and VMware components from EMC GUI – “I could literally live off of one pane – EMC or VMware”
  • Exploring VPLEX for business continuity
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