Microsoft SQL Server and Applications Infrastructure Redefined

To redefine means you have to deliver increased IT agility.  By implementing EMC technologies, customers just like you have redefined their IT environments - experiencing 5X faster deployments and 4X less staff time and driving the overall cost 3X lower.  What’s more – with EMC Converged solutions, the process is repeatable and heavily automated; the Microsoft application availability increased 83X.  EMC solutions include VCE, VBLOCK and VSPEX to deliver tried and tested solutions for Microsoft environments.


EMC’s infrastructure products, services, and integration points provide improved productivity, eliminate risk, transform IT and maximizes the customer IT investment for Microsoft applications and SQL Server environments. Businesses are facing new, tougher IT challenges, as their customers and end-users become more demanding.  Business customers running Microsoft applications now require greater access to data on more platforms for more hours of the day. Many businesses struggle to provide the solutions their customers want.  Not to worry…. EMC enables you to satisfy your Microsoft SQL Server requirements through innovative products, services, and support options that work together to create end-to-end solutions.


Check back often to learn how you can leverage the latest SQL Server functionality with robust EMC Infrastructure solutions Microsoft SQL Server and Applications Infrastructure Redefined.




EMC's SQL Server 2014 Story

The rapid evolution of the SQL Server platform means that customers will be looking to EMC to provide advice on the infrastructure to support SQL Server and the applications that run on top of it.  Here is what’s most likely to impact our conversations around SQL Server:




Self Service SQL Protection for DBAs

EMC's AppSync makes it easy for DBAs to manage protection of SQL Server databases, independent of the storage system. Learn more about how to provide SLA-driven, self service capabilities for maximizing and simplifying data protection and reliability.




Why EMC for SQL Server 2012 Video

With explosive data growth for both structured and unstructured data types, customers need real time decision making and business intelligence with high performance and availability protection.  Watch this short video to learn how EMC provides comprehensive solutions to gain the maximum benefits of Microsoft SQL Server 2012.




EMC Solutions for SQL Server 2012


sqlsolutions.pngLearn how EMC technologies can assist a Microsoft SQL Server and infrastructure administrator through simple and easy to use management and protection of data. EMC tools such as Unisphere and EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) are demonstrated to highlight how easy it is to manage an EMC array in a Microsoft environment. EMC's AlwaysOn Availability Groups are highlighted to help ensure failover of SQL databases between SQL nodes. Finally, performance improvements can be realized through the use of EMC's FAST Cache including performance metrics highlighting the advantages of using EMC FAST Cache with a Microsoft SQL Server workload.






ESG.pngThis Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) Whitepaper discusses the new features found in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and key EMC technologies that assist SQL and infrastructure administrators for improved performance, scalability, data protection and services. Technologies discussed includes EMC VNX and VMAXe; Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) including EMC FAST VP, FAST Cache and VFCache; Backup and Deduplication; AlwaysOn High Availability; and EMC Consulting Services for Business Intelligence (BI) and Microsoft SQL Server







SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups provide the flexibility to protect specific databases, individually or collectively, in either synchronous or asynchronous availability modes. These configurations allow SQL Server 2012 the ability to replicate data to a secondary replica over distance.


This solution clearly shows the ability of EMC FAST Cache to significantly boost performance of the VNX Series storage array. Testing shows how enabling FAST Cache on a heavily utilized storage pool not only alleviated pressure, but allowed the same storage pool to service over four times the I/O (from 11,500 IOPS to 50,000 IOPS), while returning incredibly low SQL Server datafile average latencies times of 3 ms and less for reads and writes. The ability of FAST Cache to automatically react to the changes in OLTP workload I/O patterns is an invaluable tool for administrators.










SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability


SQL Server 2012 introduces two high availability configurations as part of SQL Server AlwaysOn, which provides availability at either the application database or instance level:

  • AlwaysOn Failover Clustering
  • AlwaysOn Availability Groups


Visit this overview page to learn more about Microsoft's new high availability configurations and EMC's support and integration for Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn!










EMC FAST Cache with SQL Server 2012


The testing of this solution validated the ability of the VNX5700 storage array to support SQL Server 2012 in instances running OLTP-like workloads that generated over 50,000 IOPS.








Customer Success Stories



brainshark.pngLearn how EMC helps meet the performance needs for Brainshark’s cloud offering based on Microsoft SQL Server.
ha.pngThe world's largest collectibles auctioneer, Heritage Auctions uses EMC to enable dramatic gains in performance and scalability for Big Data using Microsoft SQL Server.
loomis.pngInternational cash handling leader Loomis uses EMC to help manage their rapid growth of mission-critical applications such as Microsoft SQL Server for data mining and Business Intelligence including significantly reducing backup windows.
ht.pngHawaii's leading communications provider brought in EMC Consulting to use Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SIIS) to stream performance data to a SQL Server Analysis Services cube and present the data in a dashboard using Microsoft SharePoint Portal.
crutch.pngEMC helps electronics retailer Crutchfield deploy key Microsoft applications such as Microsoft SQL Server in a Hyper-V based Private Cloud.
      edgenetlogo_footer.pngSoftware provider trust its Big Data business to EMC and Microsoft and manages terabytes of virtualized SQL Server databases.




Overcoming the Barriers to Business Intelligence Success

ESG Research: EMC Consulting Big Data Advisory Service

Consulting Services for Microsoft SQL Server

Full list of Enterprise Information Management Consulting Offerings



More Information

Follow the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community for up to date discussions, documents and other information!



Windows File Server or EMC File Services? You decide…

I was just asked if EMC Marketing had a competitive slide deck covering the differences between Windows File Services in Windows Server 2012R2 and the EMC File Portfolio of products.  Hmmm, I thought… What ARE the differences?  There are so many, I'm not sure where to start.  So let's do this: let's start with an old expression; "the mother of invention is necessity".  In this context, that means, "what was the initial set of requirements?"  Let's take a look at a potential list:

  1. Store "home" directories
  2. Store high-performance VHDx files in a Hyper-V Server Cluster
  3. Replicate advertising content (videos, PowerPoint docs, and graphics files used for placing ads in our magazines and web sites) to another site 120-miles away so they can use the unified file space
  4. Link a bunch of file servers together using DFS-R (Distributed File System - Replication) Services
  5. Store a single department's files in a single remote location
  6. Store user files so that they can access them on any mobile device anywhere in the world without using VPN

Ok… that's a diverse set of requirements.  So many use cases, but all of them using file servers to reach the goals.  What should we do?

Here's where it gets easy, but also gets interesting. By clearly defining what you need to accomplish, you can easily match needs to features or offerings.  For example: 1. Store Home Directories: how large are they?, are there capacity quotas?, are they scanned for corporate governance compliance (data that might contain credit card numbers)?, are the directories synchronized to laptops using My Documents redirection?  If all these are true, you may need the advanced features offered by an Isilon Scale Out file system. Check out Isilon Family - Big Data Storage, Scale-out NAS Storage - EMC

What about #2. Store high performance VHDx files for use in a Hyper-V Cluster?  Well, now we are in a completely different place, eh? All of a sudden we have concerns for performance, availability, clustering support, metadata handlers, snapshots, recoveries, potential replication concerns, we need to arrange VSS backups of individual files.  It's like we aren't talking about a file server anymore.  We are finding more and more customers clamoring for the advanced, scale-to-fit, extremely efficient, and trusted VNX Family - Unified Storage Hardware and Software for Midrange - EMC.

#3 - Replicated and shared file spaces have been a challenge for IT professionals since the dawn of IT.  Microsoft's Distributed File System Replication is an extremely evolved solution for highly specific use cases.  Sharing replicated file spaces is a tricky task, Windows Server 2012R2 delivers a unique and highly optimized set of tools to allow small sets a data to be replicated among sites efficiently.  There are complex setup steps, but Virtualizing your Windows File Servers can ease management headaches and reduce costs!  Our paper on Microsoft Private Clouds is great starting place for your journey.  Likewise, #4, specifically calls for DFS-R -- EMC technologies, when working WITH Microsoft technologies will lower costs, reduce downtime, reduce support issues, and allow you to reach your business goals faster.

#5 -- Store a single departments files in a single location? This is one of the requirements that can go in so many directions because it seems as if the requirement is simple.  The problem here is latent -- it doesn't present itself at first.  At first blush, you might think, "hey, no problem: stick a VM out at the remote office.  Back it up with Avamar - Backup and Recovery, Data Deduplication - EMC , and I'm done.  Maybe you are, maybe you're not.  What if the remote location has power issues, physical security issues, the staff constantly deletes files and needs point-in-time recoveries routinely?  The simple problem just consumed your week.  EMC knows that these little "ankle biter issues" are detailers for IT shops. Handling remote file usage has become the bane of so many IT shops and IT managers.  EMC sees that there is more to remote file access than placing a VM at a remote location; that's why we introduced leading technologies to assist you and your users get what they want when they want it.  My ol' pal Paul Galjan has posted an article to get you thinking about the possibilities:

#6.  Access anywhere files.  Oddly, sometimes Dropbox just isn't good enough.  That's why EMC launched Syncplicity.  Please take a moment to see all you can do for your increasing group of remote and mobile users. Features

The summary to all this is that File doesn't mean File Server anymore.  It means storage.  Every storage scenario is different and that's why EMC has a proud portfolio of offerings.  Not just services, not just products, not just software.  EMC has become the answer to an ever increasing number of questions and scenarios.  Thanks for reading.

Mobilize SharePoint with Syncplicity

End users love file sync and share utilities – it helps them do their jobs efficiently.  Enterprises love their Enterprise Content Management (ECM) infrastructure – they enable compliance with any number of data governance and  eDiscovery regulations and policies.  Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to choose?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring your end users the functionality they want while retaining the ECM functionality you’ve already invested in?

Some folks will just invest in a new service to provide that sync and share functionality, then figure out how to apply their data governance policies.  This approach has a couple of pitfalls:

  • File collaboration is just one of the applications that ECMs like SharePoint support, and integration between file collaboration and other applications provides significant value.
  • Enterprises have real data governance needs, whether it’s DLP, legal compliance, eDiscovery, HIPAA or any number of other requirements.  Many enterprises have built their data governance models around ECMs they already have in place.  Re-establishing data governance capabilities around a specific service can be difficult (or impossible), and introduces path dependency to a particular service.   Nobody likes lock-in.

With Syncplicity, you don’t have to choose.  The Syncplicity SharePoint Connector allows you to seamlessly extend mobile access to your ECM systems like SharePoint and Documentum.  You can also choose to augment those systems with native sync and share functionality provided by the core Syncplicity service.  It’s all part of Syncplicity’s “no silos” approach.

A picture is worth a thousand words:




See what we did there?  You can extend access to SharePoint to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users.  There’s a fantastic (but brief) writeup on the functionality here.

EMC’s new VNXe3200: Come Fly with Me

I am very excited to write about the new VNXe3200 which brings a new level of power and flexibility to EMC’s entry level VNXe system, while retaining its simplicity for non-storage experts.

KittyHawk was a fitting codename we used for EMC’s 3rd generation VNXe platform – which flies at an altitude further up from any VNXe you may have seen before – yet remains simple and affordable at prices starting under $12,000 US list price.

So let’s jump right in and take a quick fly-by of the important features, shall we?


The VNXe3200 has many new features from larger VNX models:

  • FAST Suite (autotiering and SSD caching)
  • Fibre Channel Support
  • MCx Multicore Optimization
  • VMware support: VAAI, VASA
  • Microsoft support: SMB3 support, ODX support, on array SMI-S provider, NPIV

The VNXe3200 also has features which aren’t on larger VNX models – mostly features focused on the IT generalist.

  • A revised configuration wizard that lets you setup NAS or SAN in under 15 minutes
  • Unified Snapshots for file and block with new LUN groups (for grouping databases and logs together as an example)
  • New system metrics for simple performance collection and charting
  • Expanded EMC Connect Proactive Support ecosystem to help resolve issues 5X faster

And the hardware got a makeover too.

  • Compared to a VNXe3150, the VNXe3200 has upgraded processors, MCx multicore optimization, and a bump in system memory from 8GB to 48GB!
  • Like VNXe3150, we support SSD, SAS, and large NL-SAS drives, but the VNXe3200 now supports FAST Suite – FAST VP autotiering and FAST Cache to easily add up to an overall 3X performance boost over the VNXe3150.
  • We’ve expanded protocol and connectivity options from Ethernet only to Ethernet and Fibre Channel and support file and block protocols – iSCSI, FC, NFS, CIFS (including SMB3).

There’s far too much to say in a single blog post about all of the goodness around the new VNXe3200 – but that’s some more information to get you started.

Here’s some more links to check out:

Why does EMC World bring a smile to my face?

EMC World – Those words bring a smile to my face.  It gives me, and hundreds of others like me at EMC, the opportunity to meet with customers.   We cherish the opportunity to get out and meet with customers.  I know that I often work on projects for weeks, even months and never get the opportunity to get live feedback from customers.  Sure we get feedback second hand from sales or even technical engineers but there is nothing like the unfiltered feedback directly from a customer.


So, it is without hesitation, that I ask that you stop by Booth 850, take a look at the many technical solutions for Microsoft applications we have developed over the past few months and give us your candid feedback!  We welcome it.


We have solutions to help you find new power in System Center; we show you how to increase performance of SQL server; we help you regain control of your Exchange environment; we show you can easily manage and control storage infrastructure using the PowerShell toolkit; we show you how to save days deploying SharePoint  and so  many more.