I Hooked Up With EMC and She Gave Me VE!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the title, but I bet it got your attention.  Don’t worry it’s nothing that requires a trip to the clinic or a shot of penicillin.  In fact, it’s a good thing.  “VE” is techno-acronym for Virtual Edition and is used to identify products that either run as a VM or virtual appliance or are geared specifically toward virtualization.  Over the past year it seems EMC has gone VE crazy.  Here is a short list of some of the recent “VE” products from EMC:

–          PowerPath/VE

–          Avamar/VE

–          Rainfinity/VE

If you have or are planning a Virtual Infrastructure, VMware more specifically, then you may be able to benefit from some or all of these technologies.  So let’s take a brief look at what each of them do.


It’s all about throughput and path redundancy for your VMware hosts.  But wait, VMware vSphere already has built in failover.  Correct but it is only failover multipathing, so if one path fails the other takes over.  With PowerPath/VE you can now do failover and active load balancing which can give you 2x – 3x the throughput you would normally get.  If you have VMware Hosts with heavy I/O like databases this can significantly improve your performance.


Ok, everyone who loves backup to tape please raise your hand.  Now, both of you put your hands down.  Avamar is EMC’s cutting edge source based de-duplication backup solution which is appliance based.   The solution can completely eliminate tape from your environment, reduce backup windows and bandwidth usage and de-dupe data up to 500:1 or more.  For smaller remote sites that may need local restore capabilities a full blown appliance based solution is probably overkill and more importantly overspend.  With Avamar/VE you can run the Avamar software found in the appliances as a virtual appliance on your existing VMware infrastructure and replicate it back to a larger Avamar solution in the datacenter.


Rainfinity FMA is EMC’s File Management Appliance which basically allows you to move files between different tiers of storage based on policies.  For example, let’s say you want to file data off of a Celerra that hasn’t been access in 6 months or more to your Centera CAS system.  Rainfinity would handle this for you.  Now with the FMA/VE edition this too can be run in a virtual appliance on VMware.  I hope to have some future posts on this in the next few weeks.

So, what does all this really mean for you the client?  Money saved, in the case of Avamar and Rainfinity and performance gained for PowerPath.  Appliance based solutions such as Avamar and Rainfinity can be pretty expensive, especially for smaller environments and remote offices.  VE additions are significantly less expensive.  So check out the technology and jump into bed with EMC and get yourself some VE!

Have a great New Year!


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2 Responses to “I Hooked Up With EMC and She Gave Me VE!”

  1. Johannes Says:

    Hi Calfo.

    I’m glad to discover your blog here.

    With the Rainfinity tool, can you use that to manage more than one NAS / CIFS server? Will this tool fit in a FC SAN environment?


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