September 28, 2011 10:11 AM
Amazon S3 continues its steady growth, attracting storage users from the startup to the enterprise. But many are concerned about putting all their eggs in the S3 basket, and other companies are rising to the challenge. Recently, Nasuni and Gemini briefed me on products that might ease the concerns of Amazon S3 users.
July 05, 2011 09:41 AM
Wireless local networking has been a massive hit with consumers and businesses, but the promise of 802.11n, the latest version of the Wi-Fi standard, is clouded with confusion.
June 20, 2011 07:01 AM
During my recent panel session with Howard Marks and Vanessa Alvarez at Interop, a question came up regarding the "big data" concept: How is it that storage capacity is so important to so many companies when performance has never been so critical? How can these two diverging requirements coexist in the same market, solutions, and devices?
April 28, 2011 13:43 PM
Applications and data center infrastructures are changing, and this puts a strain on conventional IT architecture. A number of recent announcements have really put this in perspective, with key network infrastructure components devolving from a centralized "hub and spoke" model to one that might even deserve to be called "cloud." Two key harbingers of this change are the shift from "North-South" to "all direction" network traffic and the decentralization of network device intelligence.
April 01, 2011 10:59 AM
The wireless LAN market is unusual in enterprise IT: It deals primarily with end users and features an unreliable physical medium, and getting a wireless design right requires experience beyond what most systems administrators posses. But all that is about to change, as leading WLAN chipmaker Narrowcom unveils Wi-FiBASE-T, a wired variant of the familiar protocol. By leveraging commodity Ethernet hardware, Wi-FiBASE-T reduces cost and improves reliability and performance. The initial wave of products should be released around the first of April.
March 08, 2011 07:00 AM
Last week, Intel and Apple dropped a bombshell on the consumer computer peripheral market. The new Thunderbolt port, a 10G bps interconnect found on Apple's latest MacBook Pro laptop computers, combines DisplayPort video and PCI Express and is opening a new world of expansion options. But how will this technology, formerly known as Light Peak, impact enterprise storage?
February 25, 2011 13:20 PM
Over its 20 year history, innovation in the field of enterprise storage has seemed to focus on two often conflicting goals: ever-expanding capacity and the need to access all of that storage. Nearly every development seems to come down to one of these two areas. In this time of cloud storage and big data, it is illuminating to consider the challenges in light of capacity and accessibility.
February 08, 2011 07:00 AM
FCoE may not be the slam-dunk portrayed by some analysts and vendors, but I'm confident an "everything over Ethernet" approach is the right one for the next generation of enterprise data centers. It's hard to argue with commodity pricing, solid 10Gbit performance, backward-compatible connectivity and network-enabled flexibility. Fibre Channel will eventually succumb to the Ethernet monster, and the data center will be better for it.
February 03, 2011 09:00 AM
There was a time when single-tasking data center equipment was all the rage. CPU cycles and RAM were at a premium, so it made sense to design equipment that did one thing and did it well. Intel has exploded this old assumption thanks to the continual proliferation of transistors according to Moore's Law: Today's processors, network adapters and buses have CPU cycles to spare, and most data center equipment is turning to software for differentiation.
January 20, 2011 14:11 PM
Last week's "Ethernet Has a Goldilocks Problem" post generated some thought-provoking responses, but one really caught my attention: If we are to suggest that iSCSI is a viable alternative storage protocol for converged networking, where does that leave NFS? After all, storage vendors are increasingly pushing NFS as an alternative to iSCSI for the storage of virtual machine environments. If it's good enough for VMware ESX, doesn't it deserve a place at the adult table when discussing converged networking?
January 10, 2011 09:00 AM
We're in the midst of a collision between data center networking and enterprise storage. Convergence is the clarion call from the halls of storage giants like EMC, Brocade, NetApp, QLogic and Emulex, as well as from networking powerhouses like Cisco, Intel and Broadcom. Although everyone seems sure that the future will converge on Ethernet, it is not clear how we will get there. Gigabit Ethernet is too slow for converged I/O, and 10Gbit hardware and cabling remains prohibitively expensive. Proponents of "everything over Ethernet" are stymied when they try to make a cost-based use case.
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