I recently had the pleasure of spending some time at the EMC Factory in Cork, Ireland where vBlocks are assembled for the EMEA region.
The full name as shown at the entrance below is the ‘EMC Ireland Centre of Excellence’… not sure what a Centre of Excellence is but I guess it sounds better than the EMC Ireland Factory.
I cant think of many adjectives that do the size of the factory justice – gargantuan springs to mind. Visiting the EMC factory must be every storage engineers wet dream. A couple of football fields worth of every bit of EMC storage kit you can imagine.
The purpose of the visit was to spend time with the VCE team while they complete the logical configuration of the vBlock 300HX for our client’s main data centres. This involved trying not to get in their way as all the components were configured and trying to assimilate as much information as possible about the AMP Cluster, VNXe, the VNX 7500, UCS Manager, Service Profiles, IONIX UIM and Unisphere.
Once the vBlock order has been raised, the first week is usually spent with physical assembly. Weeks 2 and 3 are spent doing the logical configuration before the vBlocks get shipped to site in the 4th week, meeting the 30 day lead time. As 95% of the configuration is done onsite at EMC the time required at each client site is minimal. This usually involves DOA testing to make sure there has been no damage during transit, integration with the clients aggregation network and then a thorough test plan where every components is pulled, badgered and poked to stress test every possible failure scenario to ensure all parts are acting as required.
Not wanting to get anyone in trouble, I obviously couldn’t take any photos even though the urge was overwhelming. I did however recognise this picture on the web. All vBlocks outside the North America region were assembled in the hallowed turf shown in the picture below.
And lastly I must add that even though this was my first visit to a Centre of Excellence, I was pleasantly surprised at the local talent.