The Rack Endgame: Converged Infrastructure and Disaggregation

Good post by Stephen Foskett (thank you)

As I’ve written about what I’m calling the “Rack Endgame”, the specter of converged infrastructure hasn’t been far from my thoughts. As others have pointed out, disaggregation of servers, networks, and storage doesn’t require a rack-sized stack; it can exist in a rack-mountable chassis and is already on sale!

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Overcoming challenges when integrating Disk Backup Appliances with Veeam

Post by George Crump (thank you)

There is a new breed of backup applications that is gaining acceptance in data centers of all sizes, including the enterprise: VM Specific Backup Applications. These solutions were designed from the ground up, with virtualization in mind and they do their best to fully exploit the virtual environment. According to Storage Switzerland’s research, this new category of products, led by Veeam, represent the fastest growing segment of the data protection market. The challenge facing IT designers is making sure the rest of the environment can take full advantage of the capabilities of these new software solutions.

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EMC XtremIO Destructive Upgrade Demonstrates Architecture Matters

Good post by Chris M Evans (thank you)

News has emerged about a potential upgrade issue with the latest version of O/S code for the EMC XtremIO all-flash platform.  As discussed in this blog post, the upgrade to XIOS 3.0 is not simply disruptive but is destructive.  According to Chris Mellor’s post, the reason for the destructive nature of the upgrade is to change the on-disk de-duplication block size from 4K to 8K in order to ensure metadata can be managed efficiently.

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Top 4 Reasons Why The World Needs Tape More Than Ever

Post by Christian Toon (thank you)

Magnetic tape was first used to store computer data in 1951. By the mid 1970s pretty much everyone relied on tape cassettes and cartridges. Then, with the arrival of data storage discs and the cloud, tape’s popularity began to plummet. The shiny new alternatives positioned tape as a dated, costly, inflexible, unreliable technology that few forward-thinking organisations would dream of using as part of their data storage and protection infrastructure. Consequently, its image bruised and tarnished, tape was expected to quietly disappear into IT oblivion. Only it didn’t.

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HGST announces 10TB HDD, ‘Flash Fabric’, NVMe SSDs, Archive Platform

Post by Eric Slack (thank you)

At HGST’s Analyst’s Day in San Francisco this week the company announced several new storage products including a 10 TB drive that uses Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology in conjunction with the company’s Helium (He) technology platform, plus an 8TB He drive. HGST also announced software for creating a ‘flash fabric’, a new NVMe-compliant SSD and they previewed an Active Archive storage platform that’s ideal for creating high-density storage infrastructures with these new high-capacity disk drives.

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EVO:RAIL vs VSAN Ready Node vs Component based

Post by Duncan Epping (thank you)

EVO:RAIL is awesome! That is typically what I hear from customers when pitching the EVO:RAIL play and showing the config and management demo. Customers are all over it I can tell you. They love the ease of deployment, management, procurement and support… Now, every now and then this geeky person pops up and say: but euuhm, I want more disks and I want to scale per node and all of my configuration stuff is scripted. How will that work with EVO:RAIL?

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Hybrids Moving to All-Flash Configurations

Post by Brian Beeler (thank you)

Often we neatly categorize storage into a few convenient buckets; Big Storage, All-Flash Arrays and Hybrids. Each has a connotation of its own, big storage includes the usual suspects like EMC, Dell, HP, IBM and the like. AFAs generally include startups or recently acquired efforts like Pure Storage, XtremIO and at times flash offerings from big storage. The hybrid category is one of the most interesting because even though all the big storage vendors offer hybrid products, this loosely refers to the startups in the space like Nimble, Tegile and StorTrends. Definitions are perpetually changing though; the idea of hybrid itself is on the move.

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EMC XtremIO – Performance Testing

Post by Rene van den Bedem (thank you)

Today I completed the initial performance testing of my EMC XtremIO PoC system.  I wanted to take a shot at it myself before the EMC SMEs come in to tune and optimise the configuration.  In a single word, “Wow!”  This is the first time I have witnessed 400,000 IOPS in any kind of enterprise lab.  I look forward to seeing what additional tricks the experts can make my “X-bricks” perform.

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Ensuring the Future of Data Archiving

Post by Henry Newman (thank you)

The word “archive” has been thrown around for years and means lots of things to lots of different people. Hardware vendors offer various archive platforms, including tape, disk and optical, and some claim NAND flash will be used for archive eventually too. I could talk about the advantages and disadvantages of various hardware mediums for archive, but when the rubber meets the road, it is the software that is going to ensure that your data can be accessed after it is archived.

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Hyper-Convergence And All Flash On The Way

Post by Howard Marks (thank you)

Will a combination of the two shiniest technologies in the storage business make a match like champagne and caviar, or will it create a system looking more like a chocolate-covered pickle?

A few of my fellow storage pundits have lately taken to predicting the arrival of the all-flash hyper-converged system.

At VMworld this year, Micron was demonstrating an all-flash VSAN cluster. The company crammed a pair of Dell R610 servers with 12 core processors, 768 GB of RAM and two tiers of SSDs, a pair of 1.4 TB P420 PCIe cards to hold VSAN’s read and write caches, and 10 960 GB M500s as the “bulk storage” tier. And while some technologies —  like flash and data deduplication — go together like champagne and caviar, an all-flash hyper-converged system looks more like a chocolate-covered pickle to me.

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