Beating the Odds with FAST Hinting

EMC World 2015 kicked off in Las Vegas on May 4th and it always reminds me of the many people who travel from all over the world to visit Vegas. They come for the gambling. They come for the nightlife. They come to just getaway or be somebody else for a few days. As for me, I usually go for tradeshows or conferences.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Those who come to gamble will bring their own gambling guidelines, algorithms or tricks to beat “the house”. Perhaps you recall the Hollywood film “21” where a group of MIT and Harvard University students used card counting algorithms to win at blackjack in Las Vegas.  For them it was all about having a competitive advantage. Whether in Vegas or in life; tell me someone who doesn’t want a competitive advantage.

 Now let’s pivot this casino scenario into YOUR data center. Who’s prepared to place similar bets on workloads and available IOPS in YOUR data center at any moment in time? All bets off, right? Or is that your poker face? Data and workloads are growing and changing, it’s a fact of life. Your IT staff no longer has the time to manage technology.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the discussion changed from “how many disks of what type to allocate to which workloads” to “What performance does an application need to meet our business objectives? And how do I meet that requirement easily?”

So how can you get ahead of the game with your IT workloads?  What you need is a competitive advantage against the ebb and flow of mission critical application IOPS that could kick off at any time. Well, the answer lies in EMC’s VMAX3 and the HYPERMAX OS. It’s the first enterprise data services platform in the industry to have the ability to move application workloads automatically inside the array or to an external storage based on workload requirements. We call this capability Service Level Objective Management.  We deliver this using EMC’s FAST (Fully Automated Storage Technology).

But we’ve done something really special recently. EMC’s added automated intelligence to FAST that I think you’d be willing to bet on. It’s called FAST Hinting and it provides users a way to accelerate mission critical processes based on business priority and service level objective management. FAST hinting uses intelligent algorithms and is application aware. It leverages the intelligence of EMC Database Storage Analyzer and Performance Analyzer to monitor the read/write status of the current workload and sends hints to VMAX3 for data that is likely to be accessed in a given period of time. In a way, you’re giving your mission-critical workloads a competitive advantage.

FAST hinting for OracleFAST Hinting for Oracle
Based on the hints you provided, Performance Analyze watches for increased workload demands before taking action. FAST receives hints from Database Storage Analyzer (DSA) through the hint manager API and proactively adjusts the FLASH to SAS drive mix inside VMAX3 according to priority set while maintaining the designated service level.  If you want to understand service level objectives better, we have a DEMO HERE.

Now I’m not a gambling man, but I’m willing to bet you’d be interested in leveraging this “trick” in your day to day IT operations. EMC’s Fast Hinting may just be your ticket to “beating the house” and maintaining that competitive advantage in your data center.

As I just said, I’m no betting man, but EMC’s VMAX3 with FAST Hinting; now that’s a sure bet!

About the Author: Howard Rubin