Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

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Hadoop And Enterprise Storage?

Both NetApp and EMC have announced that they're turning the turrets of their marketing battleships toward the Apache Hadoop marketplace that provides the back end to many Web 2.0 implementations. While I understand how Hadoop is attractive to these storage vendors--after all, a typical Hadoop cluster will have hundreds of gigabytes of data--I'm not sure I buy that Hadoop users need enterprise-class storage.

EMC's Greenplum division is introducing its own distributions of Hadoop with an all-open-source community edition and a ruggedized enterprise edition. These will be available as software and installed on the Greenplum HD Data Computing Appliance, which uses SATA drives in a JBOD configuration. However, since it's from EMC, it will certainly cost more than using Supermicro servers and Western digital drives from NewEgg.

NetApp is pitching the concept of shared DAS by SAS connecting the Engenio RAID arrays it just bought from LSI (now renamed the E-Series). NetApp is pushing the E2600 low-end array for Hadoop clusters.

The key to these announcements may be in Informatica CEO James Markarian's statement from a stage in the EMCworld pressroom that some companies are more willing to adopt new technologies like Hadoop if they can buy them from trusted suppliers such as EMC.

Personally, I'm not so sure. To get the full benefits of the Web 2.0 architecture, organizations may have to--for those applications where it's appropriate--adopt the whole Web 2.0 toolkit and design model. Hadoop's Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) is designed to distribute data across multiple nodes so it can survive node failures without data or even data availability loss. This enables Web 2.0 site operators to use large clusters of very inexpensive nodes with SATA JBODs to store their data and process it at a very low cost per gigabyte.

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