What’s All The Fuss About Hyper-Converged Infrastructure?

Post by Anita Kibunguchy (thank you)

Technology has made it so easy that customers looking to purchase a product or service need to simply look online for reviews. Did you know that 80% of people try new things because of recommendations from friends? It’s the reason why e-commerce companies like Amazon have thrived! Customers want to hear what other customers have to say about: The product, their experience with the brand, durability, support, purchase decisions, recommendations … the list goes on. This is no different in the B2B space. That is why IT Central Station is such an invaluable resource for customers looking to adopt new technologies like hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) with VMware Virtual SAN. Customers get a chance to read unbiased product reviews from the tech community which makes them smart and much more informed buyers.

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Tracking down noisy neighbors

Good post by Frank Denneman (thank you)

A big part of resource management is sizing of the virtual machines. Right-sizing the virtual machines allows IT teams to optimize the resource utilization of the virtual machines. Right sizing has become a tactical tool for enterprise IT-teams to ensure maximum workload performance and efficient use of the physical infrastructure. Another big part of resource management is keeping track of resource utilization, some of these processes are a part of the daily operation tasks performed by specialized monitoring teams or the administrators themselves. Service Providers usually cannot influence the right sizing element, therefor they focus more on the monitoring part.

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Object stores? more, fast and small!

Good post by Enrico Signoretti (thank you)

A couple of weeks ago I published an article about high performance object storage. Reactions have been quite diverse. Some think that object stores can only be huge and slow and then others who think quite the opposite. In fact, they can also be fast and small.

In the last year I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with end users and vendors concerning this topic. Having just covered the part about “fast object stores”, again I’d like to point out that by fast I mean faster and with better latency than traditional object stores, but not as fast as block storage. This time round I’d like to talk about smaller object stores.

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Snapshot 101: Copy-on-write vs Redirect-on-write

Good post by W. Curtis Preston (thank you)

There are two very different ways to create snapshots: copy-on-write and redirect-on-write. If IT is considering using the snapshot functionality of their storage system, it is essential to understand which type of snapshot it creates and the pros and cons of using either method.

Rather than the more common term volume, this column will use the term protected entity to refer to the entity being protected by a given snapshot. While it is true that the protected entity is typically a RAID volume, it is also true that some object storage systems do not use RAID. Their snapshots may be designed to protect other entities, including containers, a NAS share, etc. In this case, the protected entity may reside on a number of disk drives, but it does not reside on a volume in the RAID or LUN sense.

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VSAN 6.2 Upgrade – Failed to realign objects

Good post by Cormac Hogan (thank you)

A number of customers have reported experiencing difficulty when attempting to upgrade the on-disk format on VSAN 6.2. The upgrade to vSphere 6.0u2 goes absolutely fine; it is only when they try to upgrade the on-disk format, to use new features such as Software Checksum, and Deduplication and Compression, that they encounter this error.

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Pure Storage’s coming high-end array: We have the details

Good post by Chris Mellor (thank you) over at El Reg

We can tell you a few more juicy details about Pure’s coming high-end array, and we’re deducing that SolidFire has a product capacity refresh coming.

What we knew was that the new range-topper would boast up to 1.5PB usable capacity using 4 and 8TB 3D NAND modules (SSDs). It would have always-on QoS, support thousands of virtual machines and be priced at less than $1GB/usable capacity.

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vSphere tackles the Hyperconverged Infrastructure World: VMware VSAN 6.2

Good Post by W. Curtis Preston (thank you)

VMware is releasing VSAN 6.2, the third major release of VSAN since its introduction in August of 2014. (Like other VMware companion products, the release number is tied to the vSphere release number it is associated with.) This release gives vSphere most if not all of the major features found in other hyperconverged infrastructure products.

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Object Storage: S3 API and Security

Good post by Chris M Evans (thank you)

In the first post in this series on the S3 API, we looked at some general background information describing Amazon’s Simple Storage Service and the wealth of features it offers.  In this post we dig deeper into the way in which security features are implemented in S3.  The security aspects covered will include controlling access to data in S3; we’ll discuss the security characteristics of data at rest and in flight in another post.

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Tape vs Cloud for Archive and Cold Data

Post by Joseph Ortiz (thank you)

As my colleague, George Crump, discussed in a previous article, “What is Better than Cloud Storage for Cold Data”, cloud storage is great for processing active data but becomes increasingly expensive for storing cold data that is seldom accessed. While we have previously examined a few weaknesses of cloud storage such as latency and bandwidth issues, we have not really examined the actual costs of cloud storage in any detail to see the potential costs of storing large quantities of cold data and archive data long term in the cloud, or retrieving any of that archived data until now. There is a reason that many organizations are now starting to question their decision to store large quantities of cold and archive data in the cloud long term.

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Buying Guide: Backup Appliances

Post by Drew Robb (thank you)

IDC recently put out a report on the worldwide purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) market. The big news was declining revenues, which are likely to continue due to changes in the dynamics of this space.

“The worldwide PBBA market experienced a year-over-year decline in the second quarter of 2015 as the market continues to evolve,” said Liz Conner, a storage analyst at IDC. “Focus continues to shift away from hardware-centric, on-premise PBBA systems to hybrid/gateway systems. The results are greater emphasis on backup and deduplication software, the ability to tier or push data to the cloud, and the increasing commoditization of hardware, all of which require market participants to adjust product portfolios accordingly.”

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