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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.

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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.

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The Importance of Storage Virtualization

Storage virtualization was initially introduced via the volume manager, which allowed a user to slice and dice a hard drive into multiple volumes. Over time it evolved to include functions like RAID, thin provisioning and snapshots. Marks says most operating systems include volume managers that can create RAID sets and divide them into volumes.

The most common platform for external storage virtualization is the dedicated storage appliance, which sits in the SAN data path between host servers and storage arrays. Because data access passes through the appliance, most organizations will deploy appliances in redundant pairs or clusters so the failure of one appliance won’t cut off access to the storage system.

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Storage vendors have developed software called virtual storage appliances (VSAs). These perform some of the same functions as physical appliances but are instead delivered as a virtual machine that runs on a hypervisor. Because many of the most interesting hypervisor features, such as live migration and high availability, require some sort of shared storage, VSAs make these features available to branch offices and SMB server rooms that can’t justify the cost and complexity of traditional SANs.

Virtualizing storage in the array can bring the advantages of storage virtualization to the data center without the complication of additional appliances. Simplifying migration is one of the biggest reasons to implement storage virtualization, so the appliance approach, which can be used with any storage system, is probably more appropriate for most users.

Learn more about Strategy: Storage Virtualization Guide by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports (free, registration required).

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