Automatic Tiering - It Isn't HSM/ILM 2.0
Ever since NetApp's Tom Georgens said "I think the entire concept of tiering is dying" in an analyst call last month, the blogosphere has been all a-twitter about automated storage tiering, I mean George Crump alone got three blog entries out of it. Unfortunately, many of those writing about automated tiering are thinking about storage as strictly unstructured file data, arguing that better file management with an ILM-like solution would be a better idea. In array tiering, is the cost/performanc
SSDs Speed Up Online DBMS Performance
Founded in 1996, IC Source is one of many Internet-based businesses delivering product availability information to electronic components brokers. Daily, more than 3,000 brokers in 40 countries access the company's database in search of needed items. A few years ago, performance problems with the company's storage system arose, a problem that prompted the corporation to become an early user of Solid State Disk (SSD) technology.
Agility, Not Savings, May Be The True Value Of The Cloud
There are ways to calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) when moving IT from the data center to the cloud, but experts say the savings to the IT budget is only a fraction of the reason to do so. Analysts and proponents of cloud computing discussed calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) and the ROI of moving to cloud computing at Cloud Connect, a three-day conference this week in Santa Clara, Calif.
Cloud Connect: Grappling With Economics
Although the cloud has come to be viewed as part of IT's future, cloud users and vendors are still debating several key questions. If a company has virtualized its data center, is that "a private cloud?" The answer that came back over two days of the Cloud Connect show in Santa Clara, Calif., was a definite "no," virtualization by itself is not enough. "Virtualization is a foundation, but it doesn't equal cloud," said Valerie Knafo, senior manager of Data Center Solutions at Dell, member of a pa
In our next series of entries, we will begin to look at companies that do source-side deduplication. Actually, we already looked at one: Atempo. Source-side dedupe means that the redundant data is eliminated prior to it traveling across the network to the backup server. If you draw this technique up on the whiteboard, it seems like this would be the most logical place to eliminate redundant data, but it is not without its challenges and we will try to address those as we go through them.
Watch For The Sacred Cows On The Road To Enterprise Mobility
Several years ago, while working for a small manufacturer, I was tasked with mobilizing the salesforce. The goal, at least at the time, was pretty lofty: eliminate the need for a laptop for the sales guys. The project started off very well. I was able to get evaluation units of all of the latest devices running the latest operating systems. We put a few devices in the hands of the eventual end-users and gathered a wealth of feedback on what would work best for them out in the field. Synchronized
Fluke Networks' AirCheck WiFi Tester
Enterprise wireless networks are a blessing and a curse for IT administrators. While WiFi offers convenient, secure access to corporate network resources wherever the end-users roam, it also makes use of the unlicensed wireless spectrum. Without restrictions on who can be occupying the airwaves, it can be a challenge to provide a persistent and reliable connection for mobile clients. While many of the technologies within the spectrum, such as Bluetooth, are designed to play nice with your WLAN,
Gorillas In The Market
The lush, changing landscape of the Fibre Channel market took another interesting turn today with QLogic's announcement of their addition of the 5800V Series stackable switches to EMC's Select program of product offerings. While some may view this announcement as just another new reseller for the 20 port switch, there are several larger implications here to consider.
If Disk-Drives Weren't Proprietary, Storage Would Still Be Expensive
Every once in a while I'm chagrined when another storage blogger, who should know better, starts complaining about the huge difference between the cost of a 2TB hard drive they buy at Fry's and the cost of a similar amount of storage in an enterprise array. Ladies and gentlemen, while disk drives may account for most of the weight of a disk array, we're past the point where they make up most of the value.
4 Keys To Storage Management
Read this chapter of IT Systems Management and get familiar with the four pillars of storage management: capacity, performance, reliability, and recoverability.
Cisco Makes Good On Promises: MediaNet, EnergyWise, TrustSec And New Products
Cisco has big plans for IT, and when the company launches initiatives like EnergyWise or TrustSec, the industry listens. But at some point, Cisco has to start delivering on those promises. Cisco has started the next phase of their Borderless Networks initiative, the purpose of which is to make computing seamless regardless of location or platform, with new product and feature announcements for Medianet, Energywise and Trustsec. Supporting the initiative enhancements are new switches and Integrat
Stratascale's New Public And Private Cloud
Stratascale brings two new Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings, aptly named Public Cloud and Private Cloud, to their existing managed hosting service, rebranded from Ironscale to Automated Managed Hosting (AMH). The offerings are distinct in how the servers are provisioned. The public cloud servers are fully virtualized machines that share server resources with other hosts similar to other IaaS offerings. Private cloud is a dedicated server running a hypervisor and AMH is a dedicated se
FCC Aims For Nationwide Broadband Access By 2020
Every household and business in the U.S. should have access to broadband Internet with a minimum of 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload by 2020. That's the target set by the FCC's National Broadband Plan, released this week. The FCC was charged with the project a year ago. The plan outlines several ways that the government, including the FCC and Congress, can influence the development of broadband infrastructure in the United States, such as making 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband over th
Cisco Refreshes Switch and Router Lines
Cisco has been busy lately, wedging itself into new markets, such as energy management and integrated network, server, and data storage devices. Yet, the company has not pushed its bread and butter, switches and routers, completely to the backburner. In fact, the vendor made a broad suite of enhancements to those devices under its Borderless Network initiative.
Cloud Connect Conference: Cloud Is Where The Web Was In 1997
Speakers at The Cloud-Connect Conference in Santa Clara, Calif -- billed as the first-ever tech conference devoted solely to cloud computing -- said cloud's development is at about the same place that the Internet was in 1997. "Large potential, a huge market, at the same time a lot of hype, a lot of uncertainty," said M.R. Rangaswami, co-founder of Sand Hill Group, a consulting firm for software companies. The three-day conference is produced by United Business Media, also the publisher of Netwo
NetScout Rides Alongs For Branch Network Assurance
Network performance and forensics vendor NetScout has announced their new nGenius Integrated Agent software. A virtualized version of their nGenius Probe appliances, the new product utilizes Cisco's AXP platform and integrates with Cisco's popular Integrated Services Router (ISR) to extend the network assurance product to remote sites.
One of the problems with ever-increasing storage volumes is moving that volume of data to a new storage system. When that nice, new storage system is added to a row in your data center, after you turn it on, make sure everything lights up and finish connecting servers that at some point are going to have to migrate data from the old storage platform to the new one. New storage systems bring new technologies like thin provisioning and automated tiering. How do you make sure your migration does no
Ruckus Offers Affordable Access Point To SMEs
WLAN vendor Ruckus Wireless has introduced the ZoneFlex 7300 series 802.11n access points. Available in single or dual radio configurations, the new access points boast 802.11n performance at a sub-$500 price point for enterprise applications. While not necessarily a first shot in an 802.11n price war, the new access points represent a bridge to enterprise-class wireless networks for the SME customer.
New HP Servers: More Power, Lower Costs With Xeon 5600 Processors
HP has announced its enhanced G6 server line using Intel Xeon 5600 processors. The new machines, available in rack, blade and tower, offer better performance per watt and greater potential for consolidation than the G6s introduced last year with the 5500 processor. Where the G6s running the 5500 offered server consolidation ratios of up to 11:1 vs. the previous generation Proliant G4 line, HP claims the G6s with the 5600 chip boosts that ratio up to 20:1. This means one G6 with the newest chip c
IBM's Integrated Service Management Quickens Pulse
Despite all the buzz about software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS), IT as a service is nothing new. That is what IT, when provided by support organizations, always has been and always will be. However, making that service better and extending its reach and range beyond traditional boundaries is critical to forward movement. That is where service management comes in.
Pliant Claims 2.3 Million IOPS With Lightning SSD
Pliant Technology has released the results of independent testing, indicating that its Lightning family of Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) can reach 2.3 million I/O operations per second (IOPS). This suggests that data centers using the drives in their servers could see significantly faster performance than with competing drives. The Lightning line, which consists of a 2.5-inch and two 3.5-inch drives, has been shipping since September to licensees, says product manager C.T. Chu, though he refrai
Radware Revives Nortel's Alteon Line
Radware, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, acquired the Alteon line on March 31, 2009, as part of Nortel 's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Less then a year later, Radware has released its newest Alteon application delivery products, the Alteon 4408 and 4416. The Alteon 4408 and Alteon 4416 fill holes in the Alteon product portfolio, falling in between the high-end Alteon 5412 announced in November and the existing 2-series and 3-series, which were part of the original Nortel acquisition a year ago.
Jericho Forum's 11 Commandments Of Cloud Security Design
Enterprises are trying to figure out how to adapt their architectures to secure cloud computing as their vanishing perimeters trail off into wisps. The Jericho Forum's new Self-Assessment Scheme offers new guidance for both organizations and vendors, with a framework that fleshes out the Forum's 11 "commandments." These principles of sound security design are crafted with emphasis on de-perimeterization and externalization, that is, the move towards cloud-based IT.
Consolidating My Computers Onto A Single Laptop
It's no secret that I probably spend way too much time in front of my computer. I use them for work and for play. Over the years, I have accumulated a number of laptops and desktop that I have pressed into use for various projects and with each new machine, I had yet another box to manage not to mention the power and space requirements to hold all of this hardware. But I don't need separate hardware in most cases, especially when I am doing software development or proof of concept work. What I r
CA Buys IT Performance Vendor Nimsoft
CA announced on Wednesday that it is acquiring Nimsoft Inc., which makes IT performance and availability monitoring products for enterprises and managed service providers (MSPs). CA hopes the purchase will give it access to enterprises earning $300 million to $2 billion in revenue. The $350 million cash acquisition of the privately held company is expected to be complete by the end of the month, possibly as early as the end of next week. "Our plan is to keep Nimsoft pretty much like an independe
Will Cloud ISVs Determine Cloud Storage Winners?
Cloud storage providers are all actively pursuing Independent Software Developers (ISVs) to support their cloud at the back-end. The idea is to make cloud storage a simple option to your storage application of choice, making the use of cloud storage skyrocket. The provider with the most ISVs in their pockets wins. Will that strategy work?
Makin' It Rain: Cloud Revenues To Reach $45 Billion By 2013
IDC forecasts public cloud providers' revenues will reach $45 billion by 2013, up from $17 billion in 2009. That's a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent, which is more than six times the forecast growth rate for traditional IT spending. The analyst firm says cloud computing has moved from the early-adopter stage to more mainstream uptake by larger numbers of customers. "Last year we were at the end of the beginning. Now we're at the beginning of the middle," says Frank Gens, IDC vice presi
Get Out Your Checkbooks, The IT Recovery Is Here
Analysts from the research firm IDC say the IT economy will grow faster than the overall economy this year as the recovery from the recession builds. IDC forecasts information technology spending to grow by about 3 percent in 2010, modest by historical standards, but 1.5 times faster than the growth in the overall economy, said Stephen Minton, vice president of IT markets and strategies for IDC. Minton was one of a number of IDC experts who spoke Wednesday at the IDC Directions 2010 conference i
Avaya Targets SMEs With Newest IP Telephony Offering
Avaya has launched a new version of IP Office, the company's telephony product that targets small and medium enterprises. The 6.0 version adds new unified communications capabilities, including instant messaging and presence. It also supports video-conferencing. Avaya also says it has made design changes that reduce the price of the product by up to 30 percent, which they hope will attract small businesses.
IEEE 802 Standards Committee Turns 30
The IEEE 802 Standard Committee, turns 30 on March 13th and has been a major influence on data networking. Ethernet is the OSI layer two standard for data communications and in 30 years, the speeds at which Ethernet operates has risen five orders of magnitude from 10 Mbps to 100 Gbps, and the diversity of where it is used (LAN, WAN, wireless) has grown. Indeed, topics have exploded from frame formats to power management and study groups to analyze esoteric events like static discharge in copper
Brocade Shifts Ethernet Strategy
I must admit I was surprised when Brocade, in their quarterly earnings call last month, announced that while their total revenue and earnings were up, Ethernet sales were down almost 25 percent. Analysts were busy downgrading the stock, declaring the Brocade/Foundry merger a failure and generally decrying the foolishness of anyone that dared challenge Cisco in the market. Methinks they doth protest too much.
The Battle For WLAN Differentiation
The recent announcement that security vendor Fortinet is entering the enterprise wireless market highlights the ubiquitous availability of WLAN hardware. However, unlike the major players in the market, Fortinet does not have buildings full of RF engineers designing new radio hardware from the ground up. Today, just about any vendor can build (or have built for them) wireless access points based off of reference designs from the radio chip-makers. Add some controller and management software, and
Review: Vidyo Video-Conferencing
Vidyo provides a family of video-conferencing products that are designed to use the Internet rather than a private WAN to connect videoconferencing systems. Vidyo's product line includes a room system, VidyoRoom, as well as a PC client, gateway-to-SIP and H.323 devices, as well as a friendly administrative system. Vidyo uses off-the-shelf cameras and microphones that you can purchase anywhere. We tested VidyoRoom and several PC clients at Hippensteel Labs.
Issues With Automated Tiering
While the industry, myself included, has been busy extolling the virtues of automated tiering, it's important to understand that it's not a be-all-end-all for the storage manager. Certainly there is plenty to like but, there are a few caveats that you should be aware of. From a performance perspective most (if not all) automated tiering systems leverage SSD or RAM to accelerate I/O and reduce latency. The upside of this, as we have discussed, is that it provides an automated way for storage mana
Tone Software's New Knowledge-Base Puts Actions At Your Fingertips
Tone Software, who makes ReliaTel data and voice-management products for managed service providers, has recently added an in-depth knowledge-base that allows administrators to have all the knowledge and tools to troubleshoot and repair problems in a single, integrated set of portlets. Combining knowledge-base documents and troubleshooting tools with traditional management platforms is a growing trend among management software vendors that should be welcomed by IT.
FalconStor And Violin Add SSD To NSS
While I had been waiting for FalconStor to add flash support to their Network Storage Server (NSS) storage virtualization software, I was expecting flash volumes off a Fusion-IO or TMS PCIe flash card with promises of automated tiering to arrive sometime before Snow White's prince. I was pleasantly surprised when the folks at FalconStor called to tell me they were aiming a little higher than that and using Violin's solid state memory array as a cache.
Cisco Swings Open The Doors With New Carrier Router
With the promise of giving "an adrenaline boost to networking," Cisco Systems has announced the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System. Designed for the service provider market, the new router is a leap forward for Cisco both in bandwidth and throughput. While the new products will not be on any enterprise's wish list, the CRS-3 will grant the large service providers the ability to bring higher performance to the backbone of the Internet and will also streamline and enhance the cloud and video servi
IBM Reloads Enterprise Branding
Global CIO's Bob Evans and I were talking with Rod Adkins, the senior vice president who runs IBM's Systems and Technology Group. That operation is Big Blue's Big Kahuna, accounting for $19 billion in annual revenues and including IBM's chip, server, storage and systems software businesses. Did I mention that Adkins is also responsible for IBM's global manufacturing, procurement and customer fulfillment operations? All of this is by way of saying that, when Adkins speaks, one should listen.
Free Software Integrates Outlook And Google Docs
Mainsoft has announced a free Outlook plug-in called Harmony that links a user's Outlook UI with his or her Google Docs account. The plug-in creates a window sidebar in the Outlook user interface that shows documents stored in the Google service. Users can grab documents from the sidebar and drag them into an e-mail message to share with coworkers and colleagues. The document can be shared as a link rather than an attachment. This lets business workers collaborate on a single version of a docume