Sept. 2011 lab updates

By Datalink

(quick aside before we start) Thanks to my post I'm sure, Iceland is getting that data center. Thanks, Lambert. I'm not sure who the "little people" are that Engadget is referring to: I didn't see any Icelandic natives under 5'10" in my admittedly brief stay there. Perhaps they all live in the moon surface-like island interior, or under volcanoes.

Riding high over the earth, heading to a wedding in Kansas City, MO. Perfect time for some quick notes on recent and current events in Datalink labs

Anyhoo - a smattering of recent stuff:

1) NetApp V6280 controller testing (for internal learning and an anonymous customer).

2) Product test and demo for VMware 4.1 on Cisco UCS B, with Oracle 11g versus Symantec AppHA; perhaps I can bribe the engineers running that to do a guest post or interview soon.

3) Customer dedupe bakeoff between Quantum DXiEMC Data Domain DDR, and Symantec’s 5200 Dedupe Appliance. Dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

4) Engineering skill refinement for an upcoming PS engagement (legacy HDS USP-V to VSP Dynamic Tiering+Provisioning environment)

(I’m just churning through some recent lab event history here, so my apology if this post has all the rhythm and charm of a typewriter. Speaking of which, I re-watched Episode I: The Phantom Menace on Blu-ray last weekend; I used to think it was cheesy but OK. Now I realize it's just pathetic.)

5. One, actually two more demos/customer tests with Quantum DXi (with NetBackup 7.1 and Backup Exec). Looks like Quantum's been the belle of the ball in the lab over the last month.

6. A couple more Cisco UCS B-series (blade) demos policy-based provisioning and configuration with Cisco UCS Manager.

7. Some self-led NetApp OSSV configuration training for some of our engineers.

Last but not least... DETONATION.

The labs are a place of constant creative destruction, yin and yang. It would be foolish of me to mention this truth without noting that it really tends to irritate people (unless you are the ones strapping on the TNT and pushing the plunger at any given time... because that part is fun).

When we blow things up, we try to limit collateral damage, but when there's limited equipment there's going to be shrapnel. The good news is that there are never-ending opportunities to build things, so if you're interested in building... you know, let us know.

The most recent victim was our original V-Scape reference environment (RIP) in Santa Clara, which was rocked by an awesome series of explosions that started the minute VMworld 2011 spun down in Las Vegas. Right now it sort of looks like... wires and an array sitting on a crate. I have a picture but I'll leave it to your imagination because showing it wouldn't do us any marketing favors.

So although it's a smoking pile of beeping and screaming equipment right now[1], it will be rebuilt stronger and crazier than ever in October, this time as a V-Scape built on EMC VNX storage. Also, a new V-Scape environment running on NetApp will come to Chicago during roughly the same timeframe.

That's it for this time. Be careful out there, request events in our labs, talk to us (mash that comment button), and we'll see you out there. --Rick

[1] Believe it or not, it actually still works (with degraded capability) despite losing its original storage and half its networking -- thanks to the resilient networking courtesy of vPC and a Storage vMotion migration frenzy. Cloud, baby!