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February 11, 2014


Stu Miniman

Thanks for the update Chuck. As you know from Wikibon's Server SAN post (we appreciate your coverage of the topic), we believe that this new architecture that includes solutions like VSAN hold a lot of promise. One questions is will this be a general purpose replacement for external storage, or targeted at specific applications. Is there any data from the Beta customers as to the first projects? VDI (Horizon View) seems like a likely target to reduce the complexity and cost of storage, a top impediment to adoption in the past. What others?
Some have brought up Hadoop as a potential workload. While a standardized hardware based, scale-out approach seems to match, I haven't seen similar alternatives gaining traction in Hadoop yet. Rather public cloud (AWS/GCE), dense DAS (looking more like HPC configurations) and some scale-out NAS deployments (not so much block like VSAN) are what I've seen.

Chuck Hollis

Hey Stu:

First question: replacement for general purpose storage? That's not really the goal -- we're targeting a new kind of storage buyer that looks at the world differently. I doubt that VSAN will be going head-to-head with the big-name storage arrays anytime soon.

Second question: specific applications? Yes and no. While there are a few targeted use cases (e.g. test and dev, VDI, etc.) customers appear to be quickly grasping where its strengths are, and finding places to use it, e.g. their new private cloud, etc.

Third question: we're investigating Hadoop, but there's more work to do. It "works", but there are probably a few things we need to do before it's "optimized". The tie-in with VMware's BDE (big data extensions) is not lost on us.

Fourth question: products like VSAN are reasonable on CAPEX, but absolutely dominate on OPEX, especially as part of a larger vSphere investment. As a storage guy, it was hard to wrap my head around just how significant this is, but it's there and the VMware crowd "gets it" more readily than us storage types.

All of this has been based on beta experiences, so expect a crisper update once VSAN has been GA for a while.

Always a pleasure to chat!

-- Chuck

Mac Binesh

Hi Chuck,

Great post!

I would be interested in your views on the LSI/VMware/EMC/Mellanox PR at VMware PEX last week on the new converged VDI appliance powered by ScaleIO from EMC:

LSI PR News release on Yahoo finance:

Its also posted on VMware vFast Reference Architecture site:




Thanks again,

Mac Binesh
Director, Flash Solutions Architecture

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Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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