Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting through a Cisco roadmap for what will be happening next year. Everyone else was a bit perplexed with the technical jargon but I thorougly enjoyed it especially the upcoming DWDM and CDWM integration directly into the Director classes and IPSEC for iSCSI.
I also asked if anyone was really using anything to do with the SSM and it appeared to be less than overwhelming in its take up. Considering we are a HDS shop, the regular EMC name dropping caused some stoney faced looks with our management. Is anyone out there using the SSM's and if so, what are they being used for? I quite like the idea of serverless backups.
cdwm is already there with the coloured SFP's! :-)
The SSM stuff is awesome. I have been looking and wanting it for ages, we will be able to do some really cool stuff with it.
The vendors who have embraced it properly are 1. Kashya 2. Topio 3. Falconstor
Unfortunately, Kashya was purchased by EMC, Topio was purchased by Netapp and the local Falconstor people advice against their product!
Hands up anyone for an open-source santap appliance? :-)
Its obvious Deakin Uni is a big user of the MDS as it had a large logo in the aussie users page shown during the roadshow.
Its a real pity that EMC is snapping up all the really good software out there. I was absolutely gob smacked when EMC purchased Smarts Incharge. We have an ELA with IBM and I would sell half of our grads at work just to get my hands on Incharge again.
We have a bunch of Netapp filers for NFS related sharing but I refuse point blank to even consider it for our high end systems that are mostly massive database apps so it has nothing to do with our SAN. Netapp come out with outrageous claims that I seriously doubt are achievable.
I have one system that gobbles up 16 Gpbs per second during heavy workload/queries and I expect it to double shortly. Each 2 Gbps port runs at about 50% utilisation and above and nearly 100% for internal disk backups. Fancy that on a filer...
So, that leaves not much we would consider. The SSM concept is a terrific idea but I am still not convinced...
Pretty happy user too! Our biggest frustration is the lack of reseller "know how".
This stuff isnt rocket science, just give it to us and let us rip!
I am red hot to do some replication between sites and I really want to do it via SSM so we can drop in any ole dodgy/fancy/superfancy/superdodgy array we want at the other site.
SSM tech is not new, it has been around since the inception of the MDS'. No vendor (EMC etc) has really picked up on it.
I would kill for a open-source one... How good is your c? :)
Not sure who you spoke with at cisco. If you want you can drop me a email and I can put you into contact with some guns...
I like the Cisco switches but I am disappointed or should I say frustrated that we cant fully utilise them. It just takes so long to get anything major done at work.
This reseller idea sucks big time. Sun and HP both sell our MDS switches and I know more about them than both vendors in our area. I cant ever get a CCO login. I find this forum invaluable for the minor issues I have. I would just like to deal with Cisco. My friends wife now works for Cisco so perhaps I can leverage that.
I cant say much about our replication but with FCIP or DWDM alternatives, who really cares right?
I never thought about writing something for the SSM. C/C++ perhaps but not Java... Heck, whats the point of doing a Computer Science degree if you cant waste some time mucking about. I wonder how the code is implemented in the SSM? Are there any papers on that?
yeah, we were lucky that we had direct cisco contact due to being the 1st production rollout.
I feel your pain with the vendors tho and i'm pretty sure Cisco feels it as well!
drop me a email firstname.lastname @ deakin.edu.au and can continue this offline :)
You do have a good point about the lack of VAR's. I did a search for Cisco VARs specialized in storage for all of america. I got a list with only 14 partners.
One more interesting point is that the resellers may have no high end technical knowledge of the devices. When these resellers are asked to be involved in the designing of complex solutions, I for one want to see previous experience by the staff (including resumes) and some reference sites. Just because the vendor sells the equipment does not mean they know how to consult on them. I asked one vendor about SSM options and they very quickly went to the web site to see what I was talking about. From what I have heard, IBM and EMC are very professional in their sales, consulting and on going support. The problem with that is with multiple vendors involved, sooner or later there is going to be some finger pointing.
Is Cisco bringing these "VARS" in? Or are they getting in just because they are the reseller in the account?
I did a search on the partner locator, and there are only 14 storage certified partners in america. I am guessing that the VAR's you encountered aren't on that list?
If so I would hope that Cisco would impliment the same whitelisting that they did with VOIP. (Only allow properly certified resellers to deploy the gear)
It never occurred for me to search the partner locator. Funny that none of the major global IT vendors are there. A couple of very worthwhile companies were listed and I hope that system engineers can do consultancy work.
I personally believe that only companies with certified engineers should be able to on sell the equipment and they should be involved in the presales side. I have worked for a number of companies that required me to become certified as part of the partnership agreement. Heck, I am even a HP Openview Certified Consultant.
Thats not my problem anymore as I leave for a Brocade shop on Wednesday. Hopefully I can convince them to make the move to Cisco as I seriously doubt the incumbent vendors will be pushing the wonderful benefits of the MDS series. I need the hardware to continue working towards my CCIE.
I agree, you should be certified in critical gear before you are allowed to impliment it (as a partner).
I am also going for my storage CCIE, written is scheduled for friday. I am actually trying to get a study group together. Have you passed your yet, and do you know of any storage study groups?
I am reasonably happy with my MDS knowledge but I have to do a lot of reading for the miscellaneous "industry standard" stuff before I would attempt to go for the written test. What also concerns me is the FICON questions that are bound to be part of the test as we don't use anything like that. My new job has mainframes so I could learn that rather quickly. iSCSI is also not implemented yet.
The blueprint is rather daunting when you look at it but it does give me hope in many of the topics.
The example questions:
has me concerned for two of them. Personally I don't care about industry standards. I want to be able to log on to the switch with a good knowledge of what to do.
I need to brush up on FICON, AAA and standards just incase it is my luck to get a bad exam.
Another important area is Storage Networking Application as there may be questions on SSM, etc. Thats got to be theoritical as not too many people seem to be jumping into that area.
I figure I am getting pretty good with some of the slight (not production) mixups I have made as you never forget those lessons.
I would probably look at a question about Intelligent Central Arbiter and think it is related to our local tree doctor.
You have to let me know how you think you went. The problem with going to a brocade shop is not getting any hardware hands on anymore.
My tactic has been to study and pass the Support and Design Specialist exams, and then to read Storage Networking Protocol Fundementals by long, along with all of the 1.3(x) documentation on the Doc CD.
I'll tell you Friday afternoon if it worked ;)
Well, my tactic worked. I passed my CCIE Written - Storage this morning.
My study materials were the knowlegenet courses for CSNSS and CSNDS, Storage Networking Protocol Fundamentals by long, and the MDS 9000 documentation on the DOC CD.
I felt pretty confident through the entire exam, except for the sections on FICON. At the end, I didn't totally blow the FICON sections, but my high scores on the non FICON sections pulled me through.
If I had to do it over again, I would use the study materials listed above, along with a IBM redbook on FICON.
But then.. a Pass is a Pass. And without heavy Ficon knowlege I was able to make it.
My advice, Schedule the exam for next week, by a copy of Cisco press storage networking protocol fundementals, and you should pass.
Well done. A nice Christmas present. FICON is bound to be my weakness so I will follow your advise. I am trying to figure out the mainframe storage at my new job. Pity they wont let me anywhere near it. The LAB should be a breeze compared to the written exam.
Three days into my new job and I wonder why anyone would choose Brocade SAN switches...
Thanks for your advise.
I have not heard of knowlegenet and I wonder could you expand on what they offer. Seeing as how both the CSNSS and CSNDS have been withdrawn, and the new ones are probably identical except for the word Solutions in the title, I expect nothing much has changed.
Knowledgenet does online classes and courses. I took the courses recomended for CSNSS and DS ( I took the newer tests though).
So I think you are dead on, that not much has changed.
I feel like a real idiot here but where are those courses. Can you give me a URL? I get to some strange page that askes me to login but I cant register. I thought the net was easy to use... DOH!!