In just a few days, Dell Storage Forum 2012 kicks off at the Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London. I will be in attendance and I hope that you will have the chance to join myself and the rest of the Dell staff and of course an array of storage customers, channel partners, enthusiasts, and analysts. At DSF your appetite will be satisfied with Executive lead Keynote sessions, Breakout sessions delivered by Technical Experts, Instructor lead training, and Hands-on/Self-Paced labs covering Compellent Storage Center, Dell EqualLogic, and PowerVault storage.
This venue won’t be an exact carbon copy of past DSF events. Dell Storage will be showcasing an updated product roadmap and we’ll also see new product announcements. One of the announcements you’ll hear about is the availability of Compellent Storage Center 6.0. As a Technical Marketing Product Specialist who spends all time working on the VMware integration points, this is a release I’ve been looking forward to since starting my career at Dell Compellent in May of last year. This is a significant launch for Dell Compellent from an architectural perspective. SC 6.0 now leverages the FreeBSD 64-bit platform. The 64-bit architecture is the springboard for new features launched this week (such as multithreading opportunities and 12GB memory per Series 40 controller) and will serve as a key enabler for future scalability, integration, and feature enhancements.
If you’re a current Dell Compellent customer with vSphere 4.1 or newer in your datacenter, you know that through SC 5.5.x we supported one VAAI primitive: Zero Blocks or Write Same. Storage Center 6.0 supports additional VMware vSphere VAAI primitives:
- Copy Offload
- Hardware Assisted Locking
- Of course we still support Block Zeroing
On a side note, VMware also released a 4th VAAI primitive in vSphere 5 focusing on Thin Provisioning for block storage arrays. However, shortly after the release, VMware pulled support on this primitive (applies to all storage vendors) to work out some kinks. I wrote about that here.
VAAI excites me because of the performance and scalability gains it brings to the vSphere virtual datacenter in addition to vSphere bolt ons such as VMware View and vCloud Director.
Compellent SC 6.0 VAAI support:
- 41% faster block cloning operations on Eager Zeroed Thick and Lazy Zeroed Thick virtual disks
- 98% faster Eager Zeroed Thick disk creation
- Up to 100% reduction in Block Zeroing data traffic from host to storage
- Offloaded operations result in significantly reduced copy traffic between host and storage
- Offloaded operations result in reduction of ESX(i) host resource and storage fabric utilization
Find more details about VAAI at VMware KB 1021976 vStorage APIs for Array Integration FAQ.
This should be a really great week. Personally, it will be my first Dell Compellent focused conference. I do hope to see you there and look forward to some good discussions. If you’re not able to attend in person, you can use these links to follow the action remotely:
Twitter/Social Media Links:
- #DellSF12 hashtag
- Dell Storage: @Dell_Storage
- Dell Storage Forum: @DellSF
- Gina Minks: @gminks
- Lance Boley: @iSCSIKing
- Jason Boche: @jasonboche
- Dell Storage Forum on Facebook