Too much hype and money for nothing = FAST V1

EMC released FAST (Fully automated tiered storage) V1 and bloggers, twitters, analysts are making a lot of noise on something technically poor feature but well driven by marketing!  I agree with people saying that FAST is a foundation technology for the future strategy of storage management and not only a product and we will see the real capabilities with the V2… (IMHO, V1 is only another way, for EMC, to earn some money from customers and show to the world the ability to follow the wave of storage virtualization). You can find here the EMC’s press release about FAST.

I would like to begin from the good things I saw about this announcement:

  • FAST V1 was released for all the families of arrays: Symmetrix, Clariion, Celerra (I think this is the first time for EMC but i’m not sure);
  • FAST V1 for Celerra can move volumes out of the box on other Celerras or Atmos/Centera (need to understand better what does it mean and how does it works but it sounds great);
  • sorry but I haven’t much more to say about good news, 🙁

BTW, you can find here a good post from Storagenerve were features and functions for each platform are explained  and I can mention, at least, other blog posts from EMC you will probably enjoy here and here (the second one is a veeeery long 3 parts post). The only comment I can do about the post from the Storage Anarchist is that I noticed the absence of a peacock in the pictures…. 😉

Now i would like to speak about my doubts about FAST V1:

  • FAST V1 is a very limited product, I wrote about it in the recent past.
  • FAST V1 isn’t free! Yes, you need to pay to have something comparable to a “Proof of Concept” and I hope V1 customers will not need to pay to migrate to V2.
  • FAST is not well integrated with other features (i.e.: it doesn’t work with Virtual Provisioning!)
  • FAST not working for DMX4! all DMX customers need to migrate to a V-Max if they want automated tiered storage.
  • FAST (CX version) does only some automated LUNs movements between specific, for different source/destination tiers you’ll need to operate manually, 😀
  • … and so on.

To recap:

FAST will be available for GA in the next days but I hope think customers will rather wait a bit before buy a “proof of concept” product suitable only to put more money in the EMC’s pockets.


PS: If you want to evaluate a true automated tiered storage, ready for production, with the right analytics and reporting tools, experience, available since years I suggest you to look for Compellent’s Data Progression…. it works fine without limitations described above!

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