Rolling dice might be an innocent enough diversion for most visitors to casinos, but not when it comes to protecting sensitive enterprise data. According to 2,200 IT decision makers worldwide who took part in the 2016 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index Study, only about 1 in 10 companies have what are considered mature data protection: short recovery times; solid backup infrastructure; modern backup systems; and off-site replication.Data protection: More vital than everNo one has to tell IT professionals that data is exploding. They can see it all around them. Structured data, ka-boom. Unstructured data, ka-boom. Mobile data, ka-boom-boom-boom. Forget petabytes, even exabytes. By 2020, some experts think the world’s total data will total 40 zettabytes, while others think the world might generate that much each year.Much of this data growth is mission-critical, generated by virtual machines, mobile apps and the ever-growing Internet of Things. Plus, there’s an increasing number of compliance requirements for data archiving, especially in finance and healthcare.At the same time, the potential for data losses has never been greater. Data today needs protection from corruption, cyber intrusions, hardware failures, software errors and power losses, to name some of the biggest threats. What’s at stake? Costly business disruptions, diminished brand reputations, expensive litigation, regulatory penalties and reduced market capitalizations. And what is the average cost of data loss? Nearly $1 million!Why “one-size-fits-all” solutions don’t workWhen we’re talking data protection service levels, all data is not the same. That’s because organizations have wide-ranging combinations of data growth, data mobility and varied SLA requirements. And that’s not to mention different workloads and consumption models: on-premise, virtualized, hybrid cloud and native cloud. So it’s impossible for one solution to be optimized for all situations.What’s more, data must be protected across a continuum, spanning continuous availability, replication, snapshots, backup and archiving requirements. Organizations with multiple data-protection vendors can increase their risk because having two or more vendors can create coverage gaps and, in the case of an intrusion, finger-pointing. According to the Dell EMC-sponsored study, about two-thirds of respondents use two or more suppliers, despite evidence that data loss, costs and downtime rise as vendor numbers rise.Then there are vulnerabilities posed by outdated technology approaches, such as tape backups, fragmented across the organizational landscape. These can impose unneeded costs of time, money and performance against recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs).Solution: Purpose-built data protection, tailored to specific enterprise requirementsStandardization on a single, proven vendor platform can simplify IT staff time and costs, while reducing risks. Take medical-device maker Boston Scientific, for example. It chose to standardize on a single data protection platform, the Dell EMC Data Domain, across its entire global enterprise, saving $100,000 a month in tape costs and greatly simplifying its once-fragmented storage capabilities. This also saves IT time so they can focus on more-strategic projects.Today, data protection can take advantage of economical and highly scalable flash and cloud storage technologies. These can be fine-tuned to provide greater performance and solution flexibility, especially when combined with auto-tiering and de-duping. One example is the Dell EMC Data Domain storage solution.With models sized to match a wide range of data protection needs, this platform offers scalable, reliable and cloud-enabled protection storage for cost-effective data backup, data archive and disaster recovery. Compared to competing solutions, its validated performance metrics include: 1.5 times faster; 5 times more streams; 7 times more scalable; and, via flash, up to 20 times faster when restoring data.And integrating the Dell EMC Data Domain solution with Data Protection Suite software delivers the fastest and most reliable performance available so companies can meet all of their service level requirements.Don’t roll the dice on data protection any longerFind out where your company compares to the firms that responded to the 2016 Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index Study Report. Get the report’s highlights in a quick-to-read, color infographic or download a full copy. You can also watch an informative, three-minute video to learn more about the Dell EMC Data Protection portfolio to help you decide if it suits your needs.
Dell EMC World 2017, Las Vegas style, is now midway through Day Three and I can finally stop, catch my breath, and read up on some of the coverage. This year we were delighted to be able to invite a nice-sized group of bloggers and podcasters to attend the general and breakout sessions, meet with spokespeople, network with each other, and get a first-hand look at what Dell EMC has been cooking up over the last few months. In between all of that excitement they somehow also managed to create some content.Media, analysts and influencers gather for a Day One welcome sessionIn this post, I thought I’d do a few call-outs on some of blogs and podcasts that have already started hitting my RSS feeds.Lots of folks did summaries of the Day One news (and there was a LOT of news), including this thorough write up from Dave Henry on Geek Fluent:Dell Technologies really seems to be taking their message of transforming IT to heart. Personally, I believe that the announcement of new pricing models is the biggest news from today. This will likely be a huge agent of change in IT.Didier Van Hoye sums up some of the strategy around our digital transformation strategy in this post.Given the vast amount of attention digital transformation gets nowadays it will be no surprise that DELL EMC is focusing its efforts to facilitate this transition for its customers. After all, an unrelenting focus on real customer needs is one of the cornerstones of digital transformation. As such, DELL EMC is drinking its own champagne.Andrea Mauro joined us all the way from Italy for his first Dell EMC World. In his blog, he focused on the announcement of our 14th generation of PowerEdge Servers.The newly designed 14th generation of the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio forms a secure, scalable compute platform that is the ideal foundation for cloud, analytics or software-defined data center initiatives.John Herbert helped to provide some context and perspective on our networking announcement on his Moving Packets site:Dell EMC has moved from being a network vendor whose equipment sits within server racks, and is now a player capable of providing the whole switching infrastructure for the data center or campus network. That’s quite a transition…Greg Schulz had this writeup on the Microsoft Azure Stack announcement.…essentially you can have the Microsoft Azure experience (or a subset of it) in your own data center or data infrastructure, enabling cloud experiences and abilities at your own pace, your own way with control.“We have @SPEAKINGinTECH on the #vBrownBag stage at #DellEMCworld @Knieriemen will not sleep tonight until the episode is published pic.twitter.com/E2eEUHNeuI“— Alastair Cooke (@DemitasseNZ) May 9, 2017ShareLast but not least, we got the whole gang together for a Speaking in Tech reunion of sorts. You can listen to the episode on The Register. And I haven’t seen Keith Townsend all week because he’s been subbing in on theCUBE. Their Dell EMC World interviews are all here. And the vBrownBag crew has been set up in the Village space all week recording interviews with subject matter experts and community members. There’s some great content already hitting their YouTube channel.I’ll be watching my feeds for more content over the next few days and will follow up next week with some highlights. In the meantime, there should be plenty here to inform and entertain you! Thanks again to all the bloggers who made the trip to Las Vegas, it’s great to have you here at the show.
Co-authorsJoseph White, Senior Distinguished EngineerJoe Ghalam, Distinguished EngineerMark Sanders, Distinguished EngineerSince joining Dell as CTO for Networking & Solutions in June 2019, I have been energized by the opportunities and the extent of technology development at Dell Technologies, as well as the deep partner engagement in R&D. Heading into 2020, our customers require distributed and automated infrastructure platforms that support a wide range of use cases from data center automation to edge and 5G enterprise verticals. Let’s take a closer, more technical look at what’s behind these trends.Cloud-native software drives intelligent automation and fabrics in data centers Advances in infrastructure automation are leading to full automation stacks incorporating OS configuration management, DevOps tools, and platform stack installers and managers. These bundles enable a new operational model based on fully-automated, zero-touch provisioning and deployment using remote tools for networking, compute and storage infrastructure. This has become a critical requirement for large deployments, delivering the ability to rapidly deploy and manage equipment with the least amount of operational cost at scale. This is a key enabler for edge use cases.Network configuration and fault mitigation is rapidly becoming automated. Telemetry data availability and integration with orchestration applications allows the network to be more than one static domain. Using data analysis and fault detection, automatic network configuration and self-healing can become a great differentiating factor in selecting one solution over another.The tools for infrastructure lifecycle management, including firmware upgrades, OS updates, capacity management and application support, are becoming an integral part of any infrastructure solution. These trends will accelerate with the help of AI software tools this year and continue to expand to every part of the infrastructure.Micro-services based NOS design fuels the next wave in Open NetworkingNetwork operating systems (NOS) are evolving into flexible cloud-native microservices designs that address many of the limitations of traditional networking platforms. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to support different hardware platforms and customize the services and protocols for specific deployments. Gone are the days when the only option network operators had was to accept a monolithic, generic OS stack with many features that would never be used. This new architecture is critical for supporting edge platforms with constrained CPU and power with targeted networking missions.Community-based NOS platforms such as SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) have the added benefit of accelerating development through a community. SONiC is gaining momentum as a NOS for both enterprises and service providers due to its disaggregated and modular design. By selecting desired containers and services, SONiC can be deployed in many use cases and fit in platforms of many sizes.The recent increased industry involvement and community creation has placed SONiC on an accelerated path to support more use cases and features. The increased development activity will continue through 2020 and beyond. SONiC has also grabbed the attention of other projects and organizations such as ONF and TIP/Disaggregated cell site gateways. These projects are looking into ways to integrate with SONiC in their existing and new solutions and driving a new set of open networking use cases.Merchant silicon extends to cover more complex networking requirementsProgrammable packet forwarding pipelines, deep buffers, high radix, high line speeds, and high forwarding capacity merchant silicon switches coupled to a new generation of open network operating systems are enabling effective large scale-out fabric-based architectures for data centers. These capabilities will enhance both data center and edge infrastructure, replacing the need for a chassis design or edge routers with custom ASICs. In 2020, for the first time, we expect to see merchant silicon-based network solutions achieve parity with most of the traditional edge and core networking platforms, providing a scale out design that is better aligned to converged infrastructure and cloud requirements.Programmable silicon/data plane enabling streaming analyticsProgrammable data planes are maturing with P4 compilers (as the community approach) and many other available languages for creating customized data pipelines. There is also a growing number of NOSs that support programmable data plane functionality. These new software tools enable the creation of unique profiles to support specific services and use cases, including edge functionality, network slicing, real time telemetry and packet visibility. These powerful new capabilities provide control and AI-based mitigation, as well as customized observability at large scale in real time. Developers have access to the data pipeline and will be able to create new services that are not possible in traditional networking. This is going to be one of the key new trends in 2020.Storage fabrics using distributed NVMe-oF over TCP/IP solutionsNVMe has emerged as the most efficient and low-latency technology for storage access. NVME-over-Fabric (NVMe-oF) extends the protocol to work across networks using fabric-based networks (Fibre Channel, RoCE, TCP/IP). TCP/IP and RoCE have a clear cost effectiveness advantage with 100GbE being four times as fast as 32GbE FC at about 1/8th of the cost. Between those two protocols TCP/IP emerges as the solid choice due to similar performance, better interoperability and routing, and utilization of lossless networks only where needed. NVMe-oF/TCP transport provides the connectivity backbone to build efficient, flexible, and massive-scale distributed storage systems. The key to unlocking this potential is service-based automation and discovery controlling the storage access connectivity within the proven SAN operational approach and orchestration frameworks extended across multiple local storage networks through both storage services and fabric services federation.Distributed edge emerging as a requirement for Industry vertical solutionsEmerging use cases at the far edge for analytics, surveillance, distributed applications and AI are driving the need for new infrastructure designs. Key constraints are the operating environment, physical location, and physical distribution giving rise to the need for a comprehensive remote automated operational model. New workload requirements are also driving the design. For example, Gartner predicts that “by 2022, as a result of digital business projects, 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside the traditional, centralized data center or cloud*.” New innovations at the edge include converged compute and networking, programmable data plane processors, converged rack-level design, micro/mini data centers, edge storage and data streaming, distributed APIs and data processing. We are at the start of new phase of development of custom solutions for specific enterprise verticals that will drive new innovations in infrastructure and automation stacks.Wireless first designs are driving new infrastructure platforms for enterprises and service providersThere is tremendous growth in wireless spectrum and technologies including 5G, 4G, shared spectrum (CBRS), private LTE, and WiFi, coupled with a new desire to transition to wireless as the preferred technology for LAN, campus, eetail, etc. This is driving the need for wireless platform disaggregation into cloud native applications for core, radio access network (RAN) and WiFi that support multiple wireless technologies on shared infrastructure. Disaggregation is starting at the core and moving to the edge levering edge compute with automation in a distributed model, which is bringing all the benefits of cloud economics, automation and developer access to wireless infrastructure and creating massive new efficiencies and new services.Smart NICs are evolving to address massively distributed edge requirementsThe new generation of powerful Smart NICs extend the model of simple NIC offload and acceleration by adding heavy data plane processing capacity, programmable hardware elements, and integrated switching capabilities. These elements allow many data flow and packet processing functions to live on the smart NIC, including networking, NVMe offload, security, advanced telemetry generation, advanced analytics, custom application assistance, and infrastructure automation. Smart NICs will be a key element in several valuable use cases: distributed network mesh, standalone intelligent infrastructure elements (e.g. radio controllers), autonomous infrastructure, distributed software defined storage, and distributed data processing. Smart NICs will serve as micro-converged infrastructure extending the range of edge compute to new locations and services beyond edge compute.The age of 400G – higher speeds driving new fundamental network switch architectureNative 400G switches coupled with 400G 0ptical modules are now available and breaking the 100G speed limit for data center interconnects. This is creating challenges with power and thermal, as well as space and layout, and moving the industry to co-packed optics.In addition, new silicon photonics (ZR400 and others) enable long reach Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) transport given the availability of merchant optics DSPs. This is going to fundamentally transform networking, data center interconnect and edge aggregation by collapsing the need for a stand-alone DWDM optical networks, therefore bringing great efficiencies, automation and software-defined capabilities to the entire networking stack.Stay tuned—2020 is set to be a year packed with innovation as we strive to deliver customers the technology that will drive their businesses into the future.Additional ResourcesTechnical Disruptions Emerging in 2020 – Direct2DellEMC blog by John Roese, CTO, Products & Operations, Dell TechnologiesFour Mega-trends Disrupting Data Protection – Direct2DellEMC blog by Yossi Saad, Lead Technologist for Data Protection Strategy, Office of the CTO, Dell TechnologiesDell EMC’s 2020 Server Trends & Observations – Direct2DellEMC blog by Robert Hormuth, Vice President & Fellow, Chief Technology Officer, Server & Infrastructure Systems, Dell EMC*Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020, 21 October 2019, David Cearley, Nick Jones, David Smith, Brian Burke, Arun Chandrasekaran, CK Lu