Scott Delandy, Dell Technologies | CUBE Conversation, September 2020
From the cube studios in palo alto in boston. Connecting with thought leaders all around the world. This, is a cube conversation. Hi i'm stu miniman and welcome to a special, cube conversation. Gonna be going, through digging a little bit into the history, as well talking about. The modern, storage, environment. Happy to welcome back to the program, one of our cube alumni some of the i actually, known for many years we've worked together for a number of years, scott delandy, he is the technical director, of dell storage, and data protection division, of course with dell technologies. Scott. Great to see you hey, stu, it is so awesome to see you guys thank you for the opportunity, to come and chat with you, um today we've got some some really exciting stuff that we want to go through and i know, you and i are probably going to have, a little bit of an issue because i know when we get together we always want to reminisce, about, you know the things that we've done and you know the stuff that we've gotten to work on and and, as well as the cool stuff that's happening within technology. So. Um everybody buckle in because this is going to be cool. Unfortunately, you know we're both we're only a few miles away from each other in person, but, of course in in this time, uh we have to do it uh while remote, but uh we'll you and i walk side by side for a little bit of memory lane, uh, yes absolutely, you know, as, i hinted, uh you and i both worked at a company that many people will remember, i always worry scott you know the the younger people, uh you know will be like uh emc. You know who are they you know, um back when i started at emc, in 2000, it was you know you talked about prime, and deck and some of the other companies, here in massachusetts. Uh that had been great and then, been acquired, or uh things that happened, so uh you even had a little bit you've had a longer tenure, at what is now dell, emc. Of course you know the the mega merger a couple years ago so.
Talk About a little bit you know. Your journey, and, we're going to be talking about power mac, uh which of course, is the continuation. Of, the the long legacy, of the symmetric, platform. Yeah it's it's crazy so i hit i hit 30 years with uh with emc and now with with dell. Um back in july, so it's been you know an amazing. Uh three, now going on three plus decades, of being able to work. With, amazing, technology. Uh incredibly. Uh talented. Uh people within the organization. As well as, some of the best and brightest when it comes to to users, and customers, that actually deploy the technology, so it's been, um a, tremendous, ride in and you know i'm not planning on slowing down anytime. Let's just keep going man. Yeah, you talk about that decade scott uh it felt like 2020, has been a decade, into itself. Um, so, uh but we talked about that that histories, the metric. Really created. Uh you know that that standalone, storage uh business, uh you know created a lot of technologies. Uh that helped drive, a, lot of businesses, out there, uh bring us up to speed powermax, you know where does that business, fit in their portfolio. Got any good staff for us as the uh adoption, uh here in 2020.. Yeah i mean you you kind of said it so, so when symmetrics. Was origin, originally introduced, and that was, kind of one of the older generations. Architectures. Of of what we now know today as as powermax. A lot has changed. Um with respect to the platform, in terms of the technology. The types of environments, that we support. The data services, that we provide so it's been, you know again three plus decades, of evolution, in terms of the the technology, but, kind of the concept, of external, storage, buying a computer, deploying, compute. Separate, from. The storage, infrastructure. That was a an unheard, of concept, back in 1990. When we first introduced. Symmetric, so. This this month september. Um is actually the 30-year. Anniversary. From when we actually first. That that platform. And you know lots of things, have changed right it started as, you know a mainframe, platform, and then evolved, into mainframe, and open systems. And then we started looking at the adoption, of things like client, server. And then environments, became, virtualized. And, you know, throughout that entire, history. Symmetrics, and now powermax, has really been, one of the core tenets. In terms of, leveraging. Storage, infrastructure. To make a lot of those. Evolutions. Happen in terms of the types of applications. Types of operating, environments, and just, the entire, ecosystem. That goes around, supporting, an organization's. Applications. And helping them run their business. Now where, where, you know powermax, comes into play today it is still considered. The gold standard, when it comes to, high-end, technology. Providing, the the reliability. The automation. Um, the the data services. The, rich, functionality. That has made that that platform, the success, that it still continues, to be, you know one of the things that blows my mind is if you look at just the last earnings, call from from you know last month or a couple of months ago now, um. Powermax, business is still growing, what grew for that quarter. At a triple digit, rate. And you know you think of you know. You look at kind of what's happening from a technology. Standpoint. And, kind of you know external, storage has been a pretty kind of stable, segment in terms of the, infrastructure. Um, business, but but still being able to see that that type of growth and, and just talking to users, and in you know hearing, how much they they continue, to love the platform, how they continue, to. You know rely on the types of things that that were able to provide for for their applications. For their businesses, just, the tremendous amount of trust that's been built up for with with respect to that platform so it's cool. To be a part of that and to be able to hear those types of things from the people that actually. Use the products. Yeah. One of the the, the big changes during my time uh you know. In in the in the, portfolio, there, uh scott was of course the uh, uh the real emergence, of server virtualization.
With Vmware, of course. Uh you know i i've actually started working, you know when i was at amc with vmware, ahead of the acquisition. And then once the acquisition, happened, uh there was a long maturation. Of storage. In, a vmware, environment, we kind of look back and say you know we spent a decade. Trying to fix, and make sure that, you know storage and networking, could work well in those virtual environments, so we've got vmworld, going on understand you've got some news on the update. Uh you know that like constant, cadence, of always making sure, uh that that the storage, and the virtual environment, uh work work very well together, so so why don't you bring us up to date on on the news. Yeah so it's pretty exciting, so we are announcing. Um some new software, capabilities. Uh for the platform as well some some new hardware, enhancements. But basically, the the three focuses. Are, uh tighter integration. Uh with vmware, specifically. Uh by. Um, introducing, new support, for uh v-vols, and kind of changing the way that we we've been able to deploy. And support, um, evolves, within the platform. Um we're also introducing. Uh new cloud capabilities. So being able to take your your primary, storage your powermax. System. And being able to extend, that, um to leverage, um. Cloud deployments. Um so being able to. Consume, the, capacity. A little bit differently. Being able to to support. Um some real interesting, use cases in terms of why somebody might want to take their, their primary, tier one storage. And connect that and to be able to move some of those data sets, um into a um into, a cloud. Provider. And then the third part is is some really, innovative, things happening around, um, security. Really, around. Being able to. Provide. Additional, support, for for data protection, especially for things like encrypted, environments. While still being able to preserve.
The. Efficiencies. That we've built into these uh to these storage, platforms, so those are kind of the three big things there's a lot of other what we would call giblets, also, associated. With the launch but those are really the big ticket items that i think people are, are talking about in terms of this release. Well. Let's drill in a little bit there scott so if we take the cloud piece, you know a, clear message of course we understand, you know dell and vmware, partner very closely together. Uh vmware. Uh, very much is driving that you know hybrid and multi-cloud. Uh deployment, out there so when i talk to some of the product teams it, you know that that consistency. Of deployment. Uh you know say you take a bx braille, uh with vmware vcf. That that similar environment, what i could do in google cloud or in azure, um. How how does those, cloud solutions that you talk about. Fit into that overall discussion. Well when you look at something like like v-vols, right so so v-vols, is a little bit of a a. Change or a newer way of being able to connect. Into an external. Storage, platform. And, one of the things that that we're trying to solve, with v-vols, is being able to provide. Better, granularity. Um. In terms of the the storage, and the capacity. Being consumed. At the individual. Uh vm level, but also being able to plug into the vmware. Ecosystem. So that even though you have an external, storage device, connected into, that environment. The way it gets managed the way it gets provisioned, the way you set up replication. The way you recover, things, is completely, transparent, because all of that is handled. Through the vmware, software, that sits above that, so seems like a trivial exercise, to just you know plug in a storage system and kind of away you go, but there's there's heavy lifting required, in order to support that because, you've got to in sometimes. In some cases. Make changes, to the things that you're doing on the back end storage side, as, well as work with with the ecosystem.
Provider, In this case vmware. To have changes so that they can support some of the functionality. And some of the rich data services, that you're able to provide. Um under the covers, right i'll give you a great example, so, one of the things that we have the ability, to do today is when we plug into a vmware, environment, with a powermax. We can support up to 64. 000, devices. Right, and you just try and get your your head around that 64, 000 devices what does that even mean it sounds like a lot, is that just, a marketing, number and nobody would ever you know get get to that level in terms of the number of devices, that you would have to support. But one of the kind of the technical. Um. Challenges, that that we wanted to be able to solve. Is that when you deploy. A virtual, machine. Each individual, virtual, machine. Consumes. Minimally. Three v-valves, in order to support, that, and sometimes, dozens and dozens of v-falls, especially, if you're looking at doing things like copies, or making snapshots. Of that, so the ability to scale to that large, number, of, of, evolves, and being able to support that, in a single storage system, is very powerful, for our users, especially, folks out there that are looking to do. Massive, levels of consolidation. Where they really want to collapse. The infrastructure. Down they want to get as few. Physical, things that they have to manage, which means you're spreading. You know hundreds, thousands, of these virtual, of these virtual machines. Into a into a single piece of infrastructure. So, scale, really does matter especially, for the types of users that would deploy. A powermax, in their environment, because of again the things that they're trying to do from uh from from an i.t, perspective. As well as the things that they need to do in order to be able to support their businesses. Yeah well scott absolutely scale such an important. Piece of the overall discussion, today means different things to different people, could mean you're massively, scaling out like the hyperscalers. Uh, there's the edge discussion, of uh you know small scale but. Lots of copies. Uh, talk to me about scale when it comes to those mission critical, applications. Uh so you know i think about the solutions, and data service that you're talking about, uh. Of course. You know. Emc this metrics, really, helped create, that category, with with things like srdf, and timefinder, back in the day, um so. What are you hearing today what's most important. So so. Really, excellent, excellent point it really comes down to, automation. Right. Where you know you think of some of these these large environments, and and we have users out there today. Um that that, will have tens of thousands, of virtual, machines. Running in a single, system. And, you know the the, ability, to manage, those. You can't find.
Human Beings that are. Enough of them, as well as, you know ability, to, keep up with all the changes that happen in that environment it's just something that that cannot. Physically, be done in a manual, way so, having that environment, as automated, as possible. Is really important. But it's not just automation, it's being able to automate, at scale, right so if i have, 10 000 vms, and i want to go ahead and make a change in the environment. Going through and making those vm by vm by vm is incredibly. Impractical. So being able to, plug into the environment, and being able to have hooks, or apis. Into the interfaces, that sit on top of that, that's where a lot of the value, comes in right it's really that that automation, because. Again, tens of thousands of vms, 64, 000 devices. Cool cool stuff, but you're not going to manage those individually, so how do you take that infrastructure. And how do you literally make it invisible. To everybody, around it so that when you have something that you want to do, just worry about the outcome. You don't worry about the individual, steps required, in order to get to that outcome. Yeah well so so important scott i i love when when powermax, first came out i got to talk with some of the engineers. Uh and you know the comment i made is we've been talking about automation, for decades, you know scott you probably know better than most, uh, when some of the previous, generations. No automation, would be discussed, but it's different and, what they really said is it's so much about, you know machine, scale, and being able we've gone beyond human scale humans, could not keep up with the amount of changes, and how we do things and it's not just some scripts that you build so there really is that kind of machine learning built, into what we're talking about, uh the other thing we've talked about for a long time and has always been, critical in your space you've heated up before. Security. So, you know, give us the the the discussion, of, uh you know security, and powermax, how that fits over in companies, overall, security standpoint. Well. I mean at a at a very high level i can i can confidently, say that there is a. A heightened. Level, of. Awareness, around, security. Especially, for the types of applications. And the types of data. That we would typically, support within these platforms, so it is is very much a, top of mind discussion. And you know one of the things that people are looking at in terms of how do i protect, that data is it needs to be. Right. And you know we've been doing encryption, for many many years right we first introduced, that through a feature called dare which data at rest encryption. Which would allow us at the individual, drive level to encrypt it so if that drive was ever physically removed, either to be serviced, or you know someone just lost the drive. You wouldn't have to worry about that data being kind of out in the wild and being able to be accessed, by somebody because there was an encryption, key unless you had that key, you could not access, that data and for many many years that that became a, check in the box requirement, you cannot put your gear, in my data center unless i can assure.
That That data that that's being stored on that system is encrypted. Right. What's what's changing now is just being able to encrypt the data on the array is no longer good enough for some environments. The data needs to be encrypted, from the host from it being written, by the application. All the way through, the server, the memory, the networks. Um, everything. Controllers. Right to the backend, storage so it's not just encrypting the data that's at rest, but encrypting, the data end to end, right. And and one of the challenges, that you have is that when you, writing encrypted, data. To a to a storage, platform, especially an all flash storage, platform. One of the data services, that provides a lot of value is the ability to do data reduction. Through a combination, of things like data deduplication. And compression. And. Pattern recognition, there's all this kind of cool stuff that happens under the covers. So we will typically, see a three to one, four to one data reduction, for for a particular, application. But when that data is encrypted, you no longer get that efficiency, it won't dedupe, it won't. So that kind of changes. The, sort of economic. Paradigm, if you would. As you look at these external, storage devices. So. We've we've been talking to customers, we had one customer in particular, come to us they were um, a a large, insurance, company. And one of their biggest, customers, came to them and said our new policy, is that all of our employee, data. Has to be, encrypted. End to end. And so as they looked at well how are we going to address that that requirement, they quickly realized, that, in order to do that, they're going to need to increase the amount of storage that they have 3 to 4x. Because this data that they were getting, really, high deduplication. And compression, up against, they were no longer going to get that, so what we did is we looked at well what are ways that we can preserve. The data. Efficiencies. The data reduction, on the storage, side, while still being able to meet the requirement. To encrypt, that data, so one of the new features that we're introducing, within powermax, is the ability to do end-to-end. Encryption. While still being able to preserve, the efficiency, so i can turn encryption, on all the way at the host level, i can write that data, into the powermax. The powermax, has access to the encryption, keys that are on the host. It has the ability, to decrypt, that data. In line so there's no bump in the wire there's no performance, impact. Apply the data reduction. To it and then, re-encrypt. The data as we're writing it out to the back end, so it's a it's a hugely. Important, feature, for it, organizations. That are just now kind of getting their heads around, this emerging, requirement. That it's just not the stuff that's at rest that needs to be encrypted. It's the data, end to end that's in that process, so so big challenge there and it really is one of the innovations, that we're kind of pushing. In order to basically. Meet that requirement, for this, for this you know set of users, out there that that see this as either something that they need today. Or an evolving, requirement, where they want to put infrastructure. In place, so if they're not doing it today but they see maybe a couple of years down the line that's that's something that they're going to need to do, they have the ability, to enable that feature, on the storage, itself.
Wow So so scott. 30 years. Of, of, innovation. Uh driving, through this uh you know first of all i i hope if you haven't planned already you need to get uh one of those symmetric. Refrigerators. That i saw from back in the day, you know wheel that out to the parking lot of where our tools used to be, you know uh a sign of the times that you know it used to be a bar for a few times now, you know an organic sushi place, um but you know socially distant gathering to celebrate, but, give us uh give us a little look forward you know 30 years, i'm not resting on your laurels, always moving forward, so what, we expect to see. From power, uh you know going forward. So so two things number one. The person that came up with that idea, of the uh what we internally referred to as the v fridge was an absolute, genius, just. You know, i i would say that person, was a genius. Second thing is in terms of you know what we see going forward. Is i mean one of the top of mind discussions, for a lot of users is cloud, right, how do i have a cloud, strategy i know that i have applications. That. I'm going to continue to need to run in my in a. What we'll call a quote unquote, traditional, data center. Just because, of the sensitivity, of the application. Just the predictability. That they i need around that i need to basically, control, that, and i and i have the the, economics, in place where that becomes a really cost effective way of being able to support. Those types of workloads. But that said there are, other ways that i can consume. Storage, infrastructure. That doesn't require, me to go ahead, and buy a storage system and kind of deploy it in a data center, that i own so. Users, want to basically, be able to explore, that as an option. But they want to really understand, what's the right, use case for that so one of the things that we're also introducing, within powermax, and we expect there to be. A lot of interest, and we expect there to be. Definitely, a, solid, in, uptick, in terms of adoption. Is the ability to connect a power max, into a. Into a a cloud, right so this could be. A dell ecs. Platform, it could be, amazon. Um. S3, it could be. Microsoft, azure so there's a lot of flexibility, in terms of, the type of um, cloud connectivity, that i could support. But as we looked at you know what do we want to do we don't want to just you know connect into a cloud because that doesn't mean anything, right so we need to understand. You know what's what's the right use case right, so we, talked to a lot of our users they had their storage systems, and what they were doing is they were using a lot of capacity, for things like snapshots. Right, creating, point-in-time. Copies, of their applications. For a variety, of reasons doing those for database, checkpoints. Doing those, um to support, testing, and development. Environments. Doing those because they wanted to make a copy, and do some sort of offline, processing, up against that, but very mature, very well established. Concept, of making, copies. It's called snapshots. When we talk to some users, they are we have some out there that are very heavy, consumers. Of of snapshots. And in some cases. 25. 30. Of the storage, that they're using. Is being consumed, for, four snapshots. And what the requirement, was is, hey if i could, free up that space by taking these snapshots. That i create. And maybe i'll i'll use them within the first you know couple of days couple of weeks but then i want to keep those snaps but i don't really need to keep them, on my primary, tier one storage, maybe if i could offload, those to another. Type of storage. That's either more cost effective. Allows me to consume, it on demand. Gives me the ability, to free up those, resources. So that i can use, this capacity, that i already own for other things that are growing within the environment. That would be something that i would interest, be interested, in so we heard that requirement. And, you know from a product management, standpoint, when you look at. Developing, new new products new capabilities, there's kind of three things that you always want to do number one. You want to identify. What is the requirement. What is the use case what is the problem, that you're trying to solve and you want to make sure you understand, that really well, and you build a technology. That's designed, to do that in a in a very good efficient, way so that's number one. Number two, is, you want to make it um, easy to deploy. Right. We don't want to create, a a, an environment, where you need you know it's very fragile, and you need you know specialized. Skills to go in there and deploy it it's literally firing, up the the application. Putting in the ip, addresses, for the s3 storage that you want to connect to, and then away you go your setup is done, really really simple to set up but the third thing and really, you know one of the more important things is what's the user, experience, right is this something, bizarre, is this managed.
As A v app is this something that i have to you know click on another, application. I have to fire up another screen, so you want to take the management, of that data service and you want to build it right into the platform, itself. So with the cloud, snapshot, capability, that we're introducing. That's exactly what we're doing where we've, identified. A solid use case that we know a lot of customers, out there are going to be very interested, in understanding. What they can do with this and what type of new flexibility. It can provide. Number two making it super super simple to deploy a matter of fact it's included with the powermax, you buy the powermax. That software functionality, that capability, is included, with the platform so there's not even an additional. Licensing, charge required, to do that it's included, with the storage. And number three an ease of perspective, i create a snapshot, i have the option do i want that snapshot, to live on the array that created, it or do i want to take that snapshot, and do i want to push it off onto that, file provider whether it's an ecs, in my data center, or whether it's something that's sitting over uh in amazon, aws. Um but really easy to to basically, deploy, and what we plan to do is to take this capability, that we've narrowed down to a very specific. Use case in order to make sure, that we we have a clear idea of what the benefits, are in terms of why users would want to deploy it, look at other things because there are other opportunities. That we have to expand that too as that capability. Uh matures, and as we start to see adoption, really take off. Well scott great to catch up with you thanks so much for helping us you know look down memory lane as well as a look at the the new pieces today and where we're going future, so nice to talk about, stu always a pleasure thanks a lot great to talk to you uh again as always and hopefully we can get to do this again, uh sometime, soon and maybe, a real, kind of physical, sort of setting where you know we're not separated, by. You know a, a couple of counties, and having to go to the west coast and come back here but maybe, you know actually in a. Similar, physical location. Definitely we all hope for that in the future that we can get everybody back together in the meantime, we have all the virtual coverage be sure to check out thecube.net. Of course all the cube conversations. You can see linked on the front page as well as shows like vmworld, that we alluded to i'm stu miniman and thank you for watching. Thecube. You.