EMC ViPR Review

We can determine “root cause analysis” internally with both EMC logging and using ViPR SRM, but I'd like more clarification with thin provisioning, such as how much space is used due to dedup factors.

Valuable Features

The would be the VNX Solution Pack which is basically an integration of the Watch4net M&R reporting. Since we have VNX’s all over the place globally, it helps keep on top of the performance and potential issues.

Improvements to My Organization

Before, we just gathered a lot of info and sent it off to EMC if we had issues. Now we can determine “root cause analysis” internally with both EMC logging and using ViPR SRM. Armed with all that information will help make any case on what we need to show server owners what is happening with their applications.

Room for Improvement

I would like to see a little more clarification with thin provisioning. In the Data Domain solution pack doesn’t really show how much space is used due to dedup factors, and I realize that would be a tough feature to add but it would be beneficial. I have had to export our trending to an excel and create a forecast based upon those numbers. In my thinking, that should be under the solution pack and not the forecasting which makes me dig pretty deep to find what I need.

Use of Solution

I was actually a beta tester from 1.5 that came out in 2012. EMC flew an engineer out to set it up and I was on a board panel with a group to tell them what I did and didn’t like about it. It went through a few phases before it became more usable. Prosphere was heavily integrated and was much slower. As it evolved it took over the Watch4net engine which was much needed.

Deployment Issues

Obviously I have had my issues since 1.5. In beta it was a 1.0 release. It’s only since recently they have approved that you can update all the back-end (Red Hat) yourself and then the front-end. I have always done it myself because it cost to have an engineer upgrade it. When I went from 2.5 to 3.5 SP1 was a big increase, our EMC guy helped us schedule a free upgrade. Not only did the they guide us through adding an extra VM to scale, they fixed a few minor issues that had come from previous upgrade I had done. Needless to say, I was very impressed with the differences and help.

Customer Service and Technical Support

For the most part I would say a solid 8/10. I have had times where I could hear the engineers talk about how they have never seen this kind of implementation. Thus coming from a 1.5 architecture will surely make support wonder a few things. I was able to keep a few things that people pay for because I never re-deployed the product. I make sure going forward that when engineers putty and get in the GUI that they do not mess with those aspects of the application.

Previous Solutions

We had what most users had that is an EMC shop. ECC, ProSphere (short-lived) and SolarWinds. Most will do the same thing, this one is just geared for storage architecture and connectivity.

Initial Setup

Deploying the vApp within VMware made it an easy setup solution. However, there are lots of changes since the last deployment and I bet there is more to configure than before.

Implementation Team

Implementation is pretty easy. I would say the hardest part is getting the various different communities inside the organization to help add systems was the toughest. The more individual pieces you put in this application will create a better synergy. You will definitely get more out of adding all the little networking switches and remote sites than if you just do the major items.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

If you are a big company it helps to just get an ELA to accommodate for all the various hardware solutions that you can other teams put in their arsenal. They initially harvested most of the common infrastructure, now they are just adding to it and making it better.

Other Advice

Just watch a demo and get EMC on the phone to schedule a WebEx with a live customer. See how they have implemented it and what results they have had.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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