Planning a Hypervisor Strategy? Take the Wikibon Survey and win an iPad mini


I’m passing on this opportunity to take this Wikibon survey with our followers….Now is the time to share your plans and help set the direction of the IT industry.  Plus, you may just win an iPad mini.

Here is a link to Stuart Miniman’s blog with video explaing more about the survey…

…. if you want to go direct to the survey… the link is below..

Wikibon, the site where IT practitioners go for peer-based research, is conducting a survey of technology leaders to better understand Hypervisor applications, practices, and plans with a focus on Multi-Hypervisor environments. 

 Virtualization and Hypervisor decisions for x86 Servers have evolved to include more options, workloads, and environments. Decisions have become more complex and more important for many practitioners in the Wikibon community.

We think you will find the topics in the study interesting and very relevant. It should take about 5-10 minutes to complete the questionnaire.  Wikibon will publish the results in the coming months.  In addition, at the completion of the study, we will be awarding an iPad Mini to a randomly selected survey participant.

Thank you for your time and participation in this study.



Take the Survey Now!


Thank you for taking the survey and thanks for being a Wikibon contributor!

The Hype v. Reality of Software Lead Storage and Windows Server 2012…Infrastructure matters to the tune of 15% lower TCO and 33% lower staff costs!

I recently read an interesting perspective on Software defined data centers and storage. The blog by David Vallente at Wikibon- entitled Windows Server 2012 Falls Short on Software-Defined Storage ( David and his team including David Floyer recently did an analysis of Windows Server 2012 and the new features such as OffLoad Data Transfer (ODX) , Storage spaces, SMB 3.0  etc. ( David Floyer’s blog -  Windows Server 2012 Falls Short on Software-Defined Storage

The folks at Wikibon have been predicting for some time that ISVs like Microsoft (and Oracle) would increasingly try to grab more storage function and pressure traditional storage models.   

In this analysis, Wikibon conducted a number of interviews with customers that had some level of experience with Windows Server 2012.   This group represented a range of industries and account sizes.  What they found was that Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is an important and successful new release.

He further elaborates that in Wikibon’s view – “specifically as it relates to Windows Server 2012, arrays that integrate with this new platform will provide better tactical ROI in the near term.” 

But the potential challenge is in the robustness and maturity of this new functionality and deployment model.  As Wikibon further elaborates, its Windows Server 2012 lack of robustness and storage function maturity that cautions them on the true Software-led storage from Microsoft is still a release cycle or two away. Specifically, array-based storage will continue to provide the best ROI for many small and mid-sized Microsoft shops over the next 18-24 months.

In both of these cases, Wikibon’s research found that to the extent an array had the capability to exploit these new features, the value proposition of array-based storage was significantly better than relying solely on a Microsoft-led (Software-led) storage stack ( aka the do it yourself model) .   As such, the array-based capability that Wikibon modeled to evaluate the business case demonstrated significantly better value than a Microsoft Software-led approach using commodity disks . 

 What array did they use in the modeling and analysis?  The EMC VNX platform.  Wikibon further cautions folks looking at using Windows Server 2012 to ensure that their arrays can exploit the new functionality.   

Wikibon highlighted in their analysis that: 

  • Spending 10% more on disk array hardware that can exploit Windows Server 2012 capabilities can lead to 14% lower overall costs relative to today’s Microsoft Software-led approach using JBOD;
  • While server costs will be somewhat lower and largely offset more expensive array costs, the real savings come from infrastructure management costs (i.e. lower people costs).
  • By utilizing array-based hardware that can integrate with and exploit Windows Server 2012 function, IT organizations will free up staff time and reduce management complexity by approximately 33%. This can lead to better IT staff productivity and reduction in time spent doing non-differentiated heavy lifting for storage.

 Wikibon sums it up:”  Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 delivers some compelling function, but critical storage capabilities are lacking, such that true Software-Defined Storage from Microsoft remains elusive. In the near-to-mid term, to achieve maximum efficiency IT organizations must either investigate alternative software-defined offerings or stick with array-based storage solutions that integrate with Windows 2012. Importantly, to the extent these traditional arrays exploit key new features in Windows Server 2012, business value will likely exceed all-Microsoft storage stack approach.”

No surprise here at EMC…. we agree that Windows Server 2012 is very interesting.  EMC was the first to announce our intent to deliver support ((June 2012 –

; were the first storage provider to deliver support for SMB 3.0 and our award winning VNX platform was used to showcase the TechEd keynote to show case the ODX functionality.  We also are leading the pack with quite a bit of integration with Windows Server 2012 and System Center.  Let us not forget our recent announcements around VSPEX support for Windows Server 2012 as wellIn addition to checking out the Wikibon blogs, I would recommend checking out:

Everything Microsoft at EMC

 Also, there are additional assets that may help you understand the role infrastructure plays when deploying Windows Server 2012 in a Private Cloud Environment.  More information can also be found on

EMC Perspective:  The Power of Windows Server 2012 and EMC Infrastructure –

Whitepaper: EMC VNX3 Introduction to SMB 3.0 –

There is a wealth of opportunities at #EMCworld to learn more about EMC and Windows Server 2012.   I am also looking forward to talking with the Wikibon folks at EMCworld to learn more about their analysis. 

So much to understand about your Cloud Options for Microsoft Applications …The path you take matters! The Radicati Group Perspective

In the world of IT…. things are moving very quickly.  In my role at EMC, I have the opportunity and quite frankly privilege, to talk to many customers, partners, press and analysts and as well as EMC’s many experts on Microsoft.  Consistently I hear from all about the abundance of information out there on cloud computing and virtualization… and how confusing it can be to cut through all of the noise and truly educate yourself.   

There are a number of EMC resources and  sponsored opportunities for IT professionals to do just that –  educate themselves on technical considerations for deploying Microsoft Applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server database and Windows Server in a cloud environment.  

EMC recently worked with industry leading analysts and thought leaders  to discuss what customers should begin to think about as they evaluate which path to take regarding their Microsoft applications and cloud computing.  I am going to be posting a weekly blog on our efforts to help our customers, partners and  the broader  Microsoft community on the role that infrastructure can have in helping your transform your Microsoft environments to the Cloud.

As always – key place to start your education process is here on this blog and also on our Everything Microsoft Community on ECN.

Radicati Group Whitepaper- Benefits of Consolidating and Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint in a Private Cloud Environment – Understanding the Role of Infrastructure to Ensure Success

EMC experts partnered with Sara Radicati and her team at the Radicati Group to create a whitepaper and webcast to discuss the benefits of consolidating and virtualizing Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint in a Private Cloud Environment and how infrastructure such as that offered by EMC and our channel partners.   In this paper, Sara and her team discuss the benefits of consolidating and virtualizing  Microsoft

Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint Consolidation and Virtualization in a Private Cloud Environment Webcast Replay – A Customer perspective.

EMC also had the opportunity to continue our work with Sara and her team and also Phillip Reynolds , Associate Director of Technology, Williams & Fudge an EMC customer.  The web conference was moderated by Sara Radicati and brings together guest speakers from EMC and one of its customers, financial firm Williams & Fudge, to discuss how customers can best leverage virtualization technologies and other key infrastructure components that are critical to the deployment of a successful private cloud environment.  This web conference looked at the benefits of virtual private cloud deployment, and how EMC’s private cloud virtualization technologies and solutions can support the implementation of secure private cloud deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint. 

See the webcast on replay – 

And the Premiere Opportunity to Learn More about Cloud –  EMCWORLD 2013

 EMCWorld – so many session and demos in so little time

Adrian’s Virtual Winfrastructure blog – Painting a Picture of Microsoft Solutions at EMCworld does a great job of providing an overview on all of the EMC Solutions and demos focused on Microsoft environments.. 

His blog is here –

Expanding on EMC’s Support for Windows Server 2012 Storage Features

Guest blog by Francisco Blasco

Windows 2012 introduces a lot of new features and capabilities helping IT organizations to lower cost when using these built-in features.  Last week, Michael Otey of Windows IT Pro posted a blog talking about new Windows 2012 Storage Features and I wanted to add additional information regarding EMC capabilities and integrations with this new technology.

EMC is leading the Datacenter transformation and in Big Data and currently supports many of these new features and capabilities found in Windows 2012

One example is data de duplication, a new feature that performs data de duplication in the background without any performance impact to primary workloads and includes the option to schedule the process for the volume or files.

The best candidates for deduplication are file shares, software deployment shares and virtualization deployment shares such as VHD libraries. Applications which continue access like Microsoft SQL and Exchange Server are not good candidates for deduplication.

Deduplication also could be a great benefit for backup and restore processes, Microsoft provides a VSS writer for data deduplication backup and restore process.  For customers who run data deduplication on Windows Server 2012 with supported EMC arrays, Windows will use the deduplication processes directly from the array extending the storage feature through to Windows.

SMB 3.0 protocol is another feature that brings new capabilities including performance and high availability improvements. This is great for new implementations and deployments and in the near future we will see applications such as Hyper-V and SQL Server be implemented on SMB file shares in our Datacenters where EMC storage is present.

We can also expect to see different DR Solutions where we can leverage some of those functionalities, for instance latency reduction over WAN is an example of performance improvement in this new SMB version.

Overall the new features for Windows 2012 SMC protocol includes:

  • SMB Transparent Failover
  • SMB Scale Out
  • SMB Multichannel
  • SMB Direct
  • SMB Encryption
  • VSS for SMB file shares

These new features and capabilities provide flexibility and reliability to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V deployments with SMB-based storage on EMC storage arrays.  EMC fully supports SMB 3.0 within its unified storage platforms, such as EMC VNX.

For more information about Windows 2012 SMB please visit:

 Thin Provisioning technology provides efficiency for storage provisioning and business applications. This new feature of Windows 2012 is integrated with EMC arrays, so that EMC virtual provisioning gives storage administrators flexibility in deploying storage to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V hosts.

Windows Server 2012 can detect thin-provisioned storage on EMC storage arrays and reclaim unused space, including when Windows Server 2012 is deployed within a Hyper-V virtual machine.

 Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) is a feature that enables you to be more efficient when you are moving data in a shared storage array. This reduces CPU and network resources consumption on the physical host and increase data movement speed. This is a great functionality in virtual environments when we have to move Virtual Machines between different locations.

 Windows Server 2012 and EMC intelligent arrays make ODX-enabled file functions transparent to applications, which means that Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V hosts that use EMC storage arrays automatically optimize file and move functions without administrator intervention.

 More information about ODX in this link

 EMC is excited to support these and many more new features found in Windows Server 2012!  For more information, be sure to visit the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community.


Hear the Customer Perspective on Why EMC VNX is a Great Option for Microsoft Environments

Customers of all sizes – across all industries – are seeing tangible benefits of using VNX as their storage platform of choice for Microsoft environments.   VNX provides a multitude of benefits for Microsoft environments by providing automated and economical unified storage with pace-setting performance, optimized for virtual applications.  It’s easy for EMC to promote the benefits of our technology…we work with it all the time.  But its even more interesting to hear from actual customers who have deployed VNX and our management solutions on how EMC has helped them to achieve their IT and business objectives.  

Watch European and American companies discuss the increased performance and management simplicity of running their Microsoft applications on EMC VNX unified storage.