SDDC14: introducing the next gen SDDC leaders Part 1

SDDC 2014

Stephen Foskett opens the symposium by welcoming this he guests and crew. It’s the 3rd Software Defined Data Center symposium and the number of people attending is quite good. The goal of this symposium is to find out what SDDC is in reality. The day schedule looks good with various companies sharing their thoughts.

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WiFi – Dublin Airport

Free WiFi

Free WiFi

DUB – Dublin Airport

Well, I wish all hot spots were like this! After I got off the airplane, I enabled WiFi again and voila, I saw this “Dublin Airport Free Wifi” hot spot. I selected it, got a new page:

DUB Free Internet

Click to accept and I was ready to go! This was really easy! No limits, not forms to fill out. Fantastic!

WiFi – Brussels Airport

Free WiFi

BRU – Brussel Airport

My first report in the series “WiFi all over the world” is about BRU. The airport offers free WiFi through the TELENETHOTSPOT. It’s available just about everywhere you go on the airport, but on an Apple device this can be a bit of a hassle if you try to connect for the first time.

After selecting the hot spot, you are supposed to be connected to a logon page, but I faced that this page didn’t appear until I retried 3 or 4 times. Opening a browser and surfing to a random site might help.

You are presented with a page on which a commercial is shown. Again, on an Apple device this didn’t work, but I found out that simply waiting half a minute, maybe a minute, helps.

15 seconds (a bit longer)

You now see a page on which you need to fill out a form with PIn codes, passwords and your wife’s birthday (just kidding, but that form is unnecessary long).

You will then get logon credentials and you’re good to go. Enjoy your WiFi!

WiFi all over the world

WiFi

(Free) WiFi all over the world

This year I’m doing my fair share of traveling again and I’ve decided to write a blog on each of my Free WiFi experiences during the year (or longer?) It could very well be an ongoing comparison of the various places, public or private and even airplanes!

Free WiFi

WiFi at work is fantastic and at home it works like a charm as well, but tomorrow I’m flying to San Jose (California) and I need my internet access! I brought a book just in case I’ll be disconnected for a long period of time.

WiFi radiating

The “WiFi all over the world” series will start tomorrow when I’ll be flying from BRU to DUB to start with and from there to SFO. I will be picked up at the airport and I’m told the ride has on-board WiFi as well. I’ve never tried using WiFi in a car so far, but hey! I’m not driving myself this time, so I should be able to get some airtime when driving to the hotel :-) During my stay in San Jose and around there, in Silicon Valley, I will be using a variety of hot spots and I’m told I should have 99% coverage. I’ll be flying back home from SFO to DUB on Saturday and from DUB to BRU on Sunday.

WiFi antenna

I will dedicate a separate blog on each of the experiences and link to each of them from this starting point (this first blog). So expect to see some editing in this piece of text in the future.

Think about Free WiFi (or paid if I really really have to) in places like hotels, airports, a symposium, work, at customer’s sites, in cities, airplanes, taxis, regular cars (I’m getting one with WiFi in it myself in a few weeks)

Enjoy my first, but ongoing series!

WiFi on black square

 

April 21, 2014: Brussels Airport (BRU): Free WiFi. Read all about it here.

April 21, 2014: Dublin Airport (DUB): Free WiFi. Read all about it here.

Storage Field Day 5 – what’s happening?

Storage Field Day 5

Suddenly, I received this tweet. Something about Tech Field Day, Storage Field Day. What? Ok, I actually met Stephen Foskett last year in Las Vegas and I know Gabrie Van Zanten, a colleague of mine, visited the TFD event. Also Roy Mikes, another friend of mine attended the event in the past. I had a decent share of information about the event, but it was still no surprise that I was honored by the invitation I received.

Software Defined Data Center Symposium

The first full day the delegates will attend the SDDC Symposium in Santa Clara. On April 22 the whole day is for discussions of OpenFlow, software-defined networking (SDN), software-defined storage, converged infrastructure, and the greater software-defined future! I’m quite curious who will be there, what we can discuss about and the depth in which discussions will go, but I guess I’ll have to see and find out. It’s exciting for sure!

The actual SFD5 event Read more »

Are my EMC products affected by the bleeding heart SSL bug?

Bleeding heart

It’s been all over the news this week:

Bleeding heart

Heartbleed OpenSSL bug

OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f  as well as 1.0.2-beta1 are indicated to be vulnerable to Heartbeat Vulnerability.

Due to a missing bounds check in OpenSSL during the TLS heartbeat extension, a maximum of 64 KiB of memory can be revealed to a connected client or server. This may potentially allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to gain access to sensitive information such as private keys, login passwords, and encryption keys (the so-called Secret Keys). As a result of this disclosure of potentially sensitive information, these Secret Keys could be leveraged to decrypt other sensitive information or conduct so-called man-in-the-middle attacks.

References:

I won’t copy/paste the complete list in this post as the list will be updated over time, but in general I can disclose that (according to EMC) Brocade FOS, Centera, Clariion, Connectrix Manager, Control Center, Data Domain OS, ESRS, Isilon OneFS, , Networker, RecoverPoint, Replication Manager, ViPR, VNVe, VNX1, VNX2, VPLEX, XtremIO are not vulnerable.

You should read the article on bit.ly/1hwgFpW for specific other products as there are a few that might need attention.

Make sure you patch your products if you need to and please change your passwords every now and then (and in this case as soon as possible).

Reaching USPEED – EMC Walhalla

It sure took me a while to read through the tons of performance related materials, but I admit that having done the Clariion IE Expert, Clariion TA and of course the latest VNX IE Expert and VNX TA Expert exams also helped. I got my invitation to join the USPEED gang a little over a year ago, in early 2013 and just like my fellow colleagues I was swamped in work and unable to even start reading through all the material.

During a beta I did for EMC in February ’14 I became interested again in actually getting that certification and all the goodies that come with it and I started reading and testing myself. For a test I just did the free VNX IE Specialist and Expert test exams as well as the TA specialist and expert exams: these are wonderful exams that can prepare you to actually enter the major league of storage gods (ahem).

EMC Walhalla!

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Software-Defined Data Center Symposium 2014

SDDC 2014

Tech Field Day plans SDDC Symposium

Being part of the SFD5 gang I was invited to join the Software-Defined Datacenter Symposium as well! This event will feature many key figures from the industry and end-user community, and will include discussions of OpenFlow, software-defined networking (SDN), software-defined storage, converged infrastructure, and the greater software-defined future!

Note that the event capacity is severely constrained. Therefore, the SDDC Symposium is focusing on end-user implementors and encouraging others to participate online by viewing the live video stream on this page!

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Fixing misalignment without moving data

Fixing misaligned partitions

It’s quite an old topic, but I recently found a great tool which allows you to re-align partitions without the need to manually move data from the misaligned disk to a new aligned disk.

First of all I must add that all the credits go to Nicholas Weaver, since he wrote the original blog and the actual tool!

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EMC World 2014 discount codes available – first come, first serve

EMC World 2014 discount

On behalf of EMC Elect 2014 I’m able to provide three (3) discount codes for the upcoming EMC World 2014, in Las Vegas. Its worth is $150, so if you haven’t registered yet, contact me and I’ll help you getting this nice discount.

But don’t hesitate too long, the codes will only be valid until April 7th!

How to translate Windows disk ids to storage array’s LUNs

Converting disk information in a VM into the actual LUN information

We’ve all been there: you have a certain Windows virtual machine with several disks of the same size and you don’t know which Windows-disk is in fact which storage LUN.

The VMware settings for this VM might look like this:

VM-config

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Will the new WiFi super antenna change the world?

A Dutch invention will change the WiFi world drastically

At least, that’s what Roel Pieper and Marcel Boekhoorn are convinced of. The revolutionary super antenna should cause all problems concerning the reach of indoor WiFi signals to disappear. Furthermore this new product is supposed to make an end to wireless antennas interfering with each other’s frequencies and smartphones will get a better reception because of this new invention. The new antenna should be better and more advanced than anything else currently known to mankind. On average a smart phone needs about seven different antennas, but with the new invention only a single one is needed. And on top of this using the new antenna more data can be sent and received compared to the existing ones.

Mathematical super-formula

Boekhoorn and Pieper worked together in a company called “Antenna Company”, which will produce these next-gen antennas. The technique is based on a mathematical super-formula made up by Professor Gielis and it’s called the “Super-formula“.

Roel Pieper is appointed as the CEO of the “Antenna Company” and they’re already talking to various multinationals about applying the antenna in cell phones, cars and routers according to the Dutch newspaper “de Telegraaf”. Other applications could be airplanes, medical equipment, weaponry and radar systems, but other equipment that needs to communicate with other equipment, such as central heating thermostats.

World hit

Antenna Company “promises to be my most successful company ever”, according to Boekhoorn in an exclusive interview by Quote. The 3D-optimized antenna can potentially make billions of Euros. “This super antenna will be a hit.” HTC, LG and Samsung are potential customers according to the billionaire. The Antenna Company is already talking to several of these multinationals. Even Cisco is supposedly interested.

High Tech Campus

Production of these super-antennas will start in March. The Antenna Company will settle at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. The Head Quarters is formally located on Curacao. Exactly how much Boekhoorn has invested in the project, he’s unwilling to say..

 

Source: http://www.it-infra.nl/default.aspx?page=7364

Which Cisco NX-OS should I use?

This time a really short reminder-like post. Somehow I often end up trying to locate certain release notes of various equipment, but Cisco organized theirs for the SAN switches in an orderly manner: Release Notes

Every NX-OS version is listed here and in each all supported equipment is named. I found this to be very helpful.

Which Hot Spare will be used for a failed drive? – part 2

Hard Drive

A while ago I talked about Hot Spares and how they are picked when a rebuild is necessary. It was almost 2 years ago and you can read it here.

Since then the rebuild / equalize technology has changed! Well, not for existing systems, but the new VNX family aka VNX2 does things a bit differently.

In the old days when a drive failed, a suitable Hot spare would kick in and the unprotected LUNs (regarding the failed drive) would be rebuild onto the Hot Spare. After a while, when the rebuild was done and the failed drive was replaced by a replacement drive, the data on the Hot spare would need to be copied to that new drive. This was called equalizing.

In the VNX2 (with MCx) this last step doesn’t exist anymore. So that means the Hot spare that was used to contain the rebuilt data is not longer a Hot Spare! It has become a regular drive! And that replacement drive will now be a new Hot Spare. When configuring a new VNX2 you’d see rules about Hot Spares and you simply don’t even need to configure Hot Spares anymore. Just make sure you have some unconfigured drives and you’re good. Your VNX2 will make sure they’re used as Hot Spares from then on.

If I remember correctly the DMX4 had a similar feature back in 2008, but it now flowed to the midrange platform as well.

 

We did it! Open Line is now an EMC Signature Partner!

EMC Signature Partner

It’s not a technical post or a personal achievement post this time, but a warm congratulations to my employer, Open Line Consultancy. It took us 10 years, but leaving the EMC Velocity partnership we are now rewarded with the EMC Signature Partner status!

By posting this little post I’m saying congratulations to my employer, Jo Verstappen in particular and all my colleagues that made this happen over the last 10 years.

EMC Signature Partner

CX or VNX Mirrorview with Snapview active on the remote side

If you have a primary LUN which is replicated using MirrorView/S and you decide to run SnapView snapshots on the remote side, consider that writes to the secondary LUN may have to wait for the COFW activity to complete before an acknowledgement is sent back to the primary array.

So if you’re performing tests on the remote site by using SnapView snapshots, you may want to consider suspending the MirrorView session(s) first in order to guarantee performance on the production site.

A good scenario would be to create clones from the temporary fractured mirrors and as soon as the clones are fully in sync, split the clone from its primary – being the MirrorView secondary – and start the resync in MirrorView.

MirrorView has to wait for SnapViewAfter the write from the primary array (1) a COFW (Copy On First Write) (2) must take place if the write (1) overwrites a block that hasn’t been written to yet in order to maintain the point in time of the snapshot. After the COFW (2) is complete the acknowledgement (ACK) (3) can be sent back to the primary array.

So even if the snapshot isn’t used by a host, there’s already an increased activity on the remote array.

If the snapshot is in use by a host that writes to the snapshot, an unchanged block on the secondary LUN need to be copied to the RLP (Reserved LUN Pool) first before the overwrite can take place. This will also slow down any ACKs that need to be sent back to the primary array.

Conclusion

Be very careful when starting SnapView sessions on a secondary LUN and even more careful when using the secondary LUNs since it can have a severe impact on the response times of the primary LUN.

EMC Elect 2014: here we are!

Elect 2014

It’s that time again: 2013 has past and a lot of vendors have nominations running on who their most loyal “servants” were in the past year. All large vendors do this and even Cisco joined the ranks with their Cisco Champions appreciation program. Microsoft has its MVP, VMware is known for the vExperts and since last year EMC has their Elect group.

EMC Elect 2014

Compared to 2013 the group has grown a little bit from 75 to 80 members and the list consists of some great minds that you might have met over the past 12 months. Some of them are hyper active on Twitter, some on ECN, EMC’s own Community Network (the forums) and some (or most) simply write what’s on their minds on their blog websites.

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EMC 2 or EMC II: which is which?

David Goulden is the new CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II)

Joe Tucci remains Chairman and CEO of EMC Corporation. But what is the difference between the two EMCs? EMC2 or EMC II, which is which?

EMC Information Infrastructure, AKA EMC II is one of the businesses in the EMC Federation.

In their press release on January 8, 2014 EMC says: “Over the past year David has done a phenomenal job of running EMC’s Information Infrastructure business.  David is both knowledgeable and widely respected across EMC and fully deserves this promotion,” said Joe Tucci.  “I am looking forward to continuing to work with David in my current capacity as Chairman and CEO of EMC Corporation.”

EMC2 (Joe Tucci) is the major brand name and lies “on top” of the whole EMC family and the companies EMC II (David Goulden), VMware (Pat Gelsinger) and Pivotal (Paul Maritz) as such. IIG and RSA are part of EMC II.

EMC World 2014: Dutch Delegation

EMC World 2014

First thoughts on EMC World 2014

Are you planning on going to EMC World in 2014? The attending Dutch people (or people working for a Dutch company) are in for a treat. Once again EMC Netherlands offers the so-called “Dutch Delegation” package. In short this means that EMC NL organizes several events during the week where you can gather with other Dutch speaking customers during a field trip, dinner or hanging out at a bar.

The full program is:

  • Round-trip to Las Vegas*
  • Stays at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas**
  • Transfers from airport to the hotel and back (afterwards)
  • Field trip ‘Valley of Fire Jeep tour’ on Sunday May 4
  • Dutch Delegation welcome reception at Serendipity 3, Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino on Sunday evening May 4
  • Two Dutch drinks; evening in the V-Bar and the Zebra Lounge on Wednesday the 7 and Thursday the 8th of May
  • Visit to the show ‘Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson One’, including dinner at RM Seafood on Tuesday evening May 6
  • Possibility to go shopping in a real American shopping mall (Fry’s)
  • EMC World 2014 reminder
  • Reunion-afternoon in the Netherlands

* And ** are optional

More details can be found on http://www.jibe-group.com/nl/marketing-services/emc-world-2014-dutch-delegation

In 2012 the Sunday field trip was a really nice helicopter flight through the Grand Canyon starting at the Grand Canyon Ranch including a BBQ-lunch.

In 2013 the Sunday field trip included a boat experience on the Colorado river.

And in 2014 it’s going to be a visit to the “Valley of Fire National Park”. I visited the “VoF” in 2013 and it was amazing! Check out my photos in this post!

 

See you there?

Cisco anounces their Data center Champions for 2014

Cisco Champions badge

Cisco Data center Champions 2014

Just like other big IT names like VMware with their vExpert, Microsoft with their MVP and since last year EMC with their Elect, now Cisco started their own community appreciation program called Cisco Champions. I want to focus on Data center Champions in particular since that’s the business I’m in myself. I’m not (much) into Cisco Data center networking technologies myself (yet), other than SAN related Fibre Channel equipment, but I’d like to dedicate this post to the start of this new community appreciation program nevertheless. The “community” is all that matters these days, right? Sharing knowledge to enhance the community “brain” as a whole. Being part of the 10 original founders of the EMC Elect I know how important proper communication can be for new programs like this and since Amy Lewis was kind enough to invite Allen Ward, Sergey Kamenetskiy and myself to shine in one of the “Engineers Unplugged” series in May 2013 in Las Vegas during EMC World, I thought, let’s return the favor and promote the Cisco Champions a bit, hoping for more collaboration and improvement of the awareness that even though social networking is some way of “virtual presence to people you might not even know”,  if your network is large enough it can also be seen as your online think-tank.

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