JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  ibm cloud available storage reliable disk scalable iaas 2,109 Views
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage iaas enterprise range disk avaiable reliable scalabe mid 2,107 Views
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  san iaas cloud paas mid saas range nas enterprise storage 2,105 Views
"There’s a battle going on between CEOs and their IT organizations. The CEO is saying “hey – I go home on the weekends, my kids are on Facebook storing pictures and videos for free, Gmail is always on, this new Web stuff is cheap and simple, I can get to these services from any device, Amazon is selling compute and storage for peanuts – why am I spending so much on IT?—Outsource the lot to the cloud!”
IT’s response? “Uh oh – we’re gonna get squeezed. We need to: Virtualize. Simplify. Do more with less. Cut the fat. Increase responsiveness.”
Technology companies, seeing the pickle their best customers are in, the threat to their business and a way to compete, are responding with VMware and Hyper-V integration, thin provisioning, automated tiering, compression, data deduplication; plenty of marketing too – “to the cloud.” And the last year or so has brought lots of high profile M&A, aimed directly at filling portfolio gaps for areas like unstructured data and simplifying IT (Data Domain, 3PAR, Compellent, Isilon, Storwize, Ocarina, etc). It kind of reminds me of the Three Stooges a little bit – “to the hunt” – lots of action but I can’t help wonder if the big IT vendors really know where they’re going with this over the long haul.
What I mean is that business is good right now. The market’s up; demand looks solid; everyone seems happy. But there’s a big change coming. We’ll look back five years from now and the gains being made in the data center will be ancient history. CEOs will be happy for a while that CIOs are reducing costs. They’ll keep taking down IT as a percentage of revenue. But CEOs are greedy and we all know they’ll want more; much more. It’s why smart people like Paul Maritz say that VMware needs to move beyond cost cutting into delivering deeper business integration and more substantial value. "
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  cloud iaas saas ibm brocade internet storage paas switch virtualize networking 2,102 Views
Leading-edge Developments to the Data Center SAN Environment
Based on years of proven success, Brocade SAN fabrics provide the most reliable, scalable, high-performance foundation for private cloud architectures. Brocade continues that leadership with the industry's first 16 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN solutions:
Advancements to the NetIron® MLX Series
Brocade network solutions for service providers combine high scalability and performance to transform your customer's business with new revenue-generating cloud services—increasing their overall level of profitability. Key offerings include:
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  cloud technology compression ibm business storwize storage virtualization data deduplication replication real-time it 2,097 Views
by Steve Kenniston Alright, landed safe in Prague and was picked up by one of my colleagues and whisked away to the IBM office. There we did an interview with Czech writer Martin Noska from Computerworld for IDG in Czech Republic. The first Noska informed me was that IBM is the number one in storage sales in Czech Republic (just like Poland!). He also had some very good questions and he with “What are IBM’s biggest challenges in the storage business”? I had thought about this for a while and I would have to say it is really about marketing our storage “solutions” to the customer base. IBM is a double edge sword. IBM is so big and has so many products it becomes difficult to market or message all of our products without inundating all of our customers and confusing them. If you think about it, IBM has hundreds of thousands of customers and business partners, if not more. This is one of our strengths. When customers have needs or requirements we have very good input into our product portfolio, perhaps the best in the business. Combine this with the fact that IBM has not only storage solutions but technology across the entire stack from servers to networking. So when it comes to developing the right technology, that solves real customer problems, I would argue that IBM’s portfolio is the best in the business. IBM takes an extreme amount of care when developing a solution to ensure that it matches the customer requirements based on the changing needs of IT. Having an integrated portfolio that works well with our ISV partners, VMware for example, allows us to help customers speed their time to ROI and be very competitive in the market place. The challenge is, how do we properly message our new solutions to our customers, in a timely manner so that they are well aware of new products without giving them too much information such that it just becomes noise? It is difficult to say the least.
The interview went very well. There were questions about tape, where we discussed the advantages of IBM’s LFTS technology for more advanced tape usage, we discussed the direction data deduplication will go as well. Noska’s view was that there hadn’t been any advancement in data deduplication in the last 5 years. I told him that for secondary storage, backup, that he is right, I also told him that the real advancement to deduplication will come when it is ready for primary storage. Today deduplication isn’t ready for primary, but it will be soon.
On Monday the 13th we traveled to visit Avnet. They are a great IBM partner. Like most partners they have a very large SMB install base and also like a lot of SMB feedback I have been getting, they are looking for a building block solution that has all of the software features implemented as a part of the stack. SMB and Enterprise alike are starting to realize that the value in any array is becoming the software stack that makes the hardware, efficient, optimized, flexible, and dynamic. IT’s job continues to get more and more challenging with developing strategic initiatives for the business to make them more competitive and it is the job of the vendor to make sure these solutions are as optimized and cost effective as possible.
We also visited DHL. These guys have one of the greatest datacenters I have ever visited. They are very advanced and push a lot of data. The do some very strategic logistics for a number of companies in Europe and Asia. They, like many others have a number of challenges. Since my blog post about “The 5 Most Interesting things at VMworld” (#4) I heard something very interesting today. I asked “What is your most challenging storage issue”? He told me that storage was not is “most difficult” challenge. Storage efficiency was important to him in order to keep driving down costs for his organization as they deliver a service to the different groups that make up DHL, but his most difficult challenge was with server I/O in his VMware environment. If you read #4 in my post, regarding Proximal Data, this is exactly the issue the address. As VM instances grow on the physical servers, the I/O starts to become the big problem. DHL runs over 4000 instances of VMware and as the business demands more applications and application resources, they are bound by the I/O of the server, which also causes them to WAY over provision their storage for performance reasons. This is very time consuming, management intensive and expensive. The combination of a solution like Proximal Data as well as compression can help them optimize their infrastructure to save money and deliver better, more cost effective services to their lines of business.
On the lighter side, I spend the weekend in Prague. What an amazing city. The weather was fantastic and I was able to take a lot of great photos. I walked around Prague Castle, ate some authentic Czech food, visited the memorial for the Czech hockey players that passed in the Russian plane crash and met some pretty interesting people. You can check out some of my photos of Prague at www.facebook.com/skenniston. Coincidentally the photo above shows the "Golden Lane" where the Alchemists worked to turn anything they could find into gold in the city of Prague.
Systems combining block and file storage maximize benefits of server virtualization.
The data center of the future looks an awful lot like data centers of the past in one important respect: storage demands. While the trend toward server virtualization and consolidation is transforming the way data centers are being designed, built and managed, rampant data growth continues to be a limiting factor.
In its annual “Digital Universe” study, EMC projects a nearly 45-fold annual data growth by 2020. Data growth was cited as the No. 1 data center hardware infrastructure challenge in a recent Gartner survey of representatives from 1,004 large enterprises in eight countries.
“While all the top data center hardware infrastructure challenges impact cost to some degree, data growth is particularly associated with increased costs relative to hardware, software, associated maintenance, administration and services,” said April Adams, research director at Gartner. “Given that cost containment remains a key focus for most organizations, positioning technologies to show that they are tightly linked to cost containment, in addition to their other benefits, is a promising approach.”
In order to drive down costs and reduce operational complexity, organizations virtualizing their data centers and beginning the journey to the cloud require a storage infrastructure that is both simple and efficient. Unified storage delivers on both counts.
Unified storage is the combination of block- and file-based storage in the same system with common management. These multiprotocol systems can be attached to servers via IP and/or Fibre Channel.
The Road to Unification
Unified storage is an evolving technology, but not a new technology. A variety of vendors have taken stabs at providing block- and file-oriented storage in a single box since the late 1990s. Some of the earliest attempts involved simply putting two machines together in a single enclosure and then creating a GUI to handle management of both.
Next came NAS gateways, which used a NAS box as an entry to SAN storage. In this setup, a NAS box provides file-based access to applications via a LAN port, and then stores the data on a block-oriented storage array that can be accessed across the SAN. While this approach accommodates both block and file protocols, it has some disadvantages. One of the major problems is that data must be transferred twice — once across the NAS Ethernet connection and again across the Fibre Channel or IP SAN — which adds to I/O latency. Another issue is that the management of NAS gateways continues to be separate from the management of SAN arrays.
More recent unified storage platforms leverage virtualization technology to offer a much deeper integration of file- and block-based storage. A file system performs I/O to disk blocks using a common virtualized disk-volume engine. Virtualization allows administrators to create a seamless pool of unified storage and enables transparent data movement for tiered storage.
While NetApp introduced unified storage to the market several years ago, it is now available from most storage vendors. Many of these solutions include features such as data replication, incremental snapshots and remote mirroring that contribute to robust business continuity capabilities.
Aligning Storage with Virtualization
IT organizations face growing pressure to transform the data center to meet increasing demands for wider access to information, transactions and services. To a great degree, this means creating a technology infrastructure composed of virtualized computing and networking. By breaking the relationship between applications and the IT systems on which they run, virtualization frees system administrators from providing specific hardware with static configurations.
However, many organizations have found that the benefits of virtualization are offset by increased storage complexity and expense. For example, the creation of hundreds or even thousands of virtual server image files often leads to massive storage waste. Because each of these images is typically many gigabytes in size, the total storage required in virtual environments can be 30 percent more than in an equivalent physical environment. As a result, virtual machine sprawl increases operational overhead and compromises storage utilization efficiency and overall business agility.
Unified storage improves utilization by allowing organizations to consolidate and virtualize storage across storage protocols, environments and mixed storage platforms. Combinations of block storage (Fibre Channel or iSCSI) and file storage (NAS systems with CIFS or NFS) can be managed via a common set of features such as snapshots, thin provisioning, tiered provisioning, replication, synchronous mirroring and data migration — all from a single user interface. This shift toward a shared infrastructure enables organizations to achieve storage utilization rates of 85 percent or more, compared to the sub-50-percent rates in standalone storage silos.
“IT managers are looking for storage solutions that not only deliver immediate value, but also enable flexibility and growth over time, so that storage can adapt to changes in an organization's applications, user needs or business demands,” said Mark Peters, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “Storage solutions that are both virtualized and unified are ideal to address the needs for both storage flexibility and data growth.”
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  available reliable san scalable storage ibm systems nas 2,084 Views
Manage storage more effectively with virtualizationcapabilities from IBM
As the need for data storage continues to spiral upward, tradi-tional physical approaches to storage management becomeincreasingly problematic. Physically expanding the storage environment can be costly, time-consuming and disruptive—especially when it has to be done again and again in responseto ever-growing storage demands. Yet manually improving stor-age utilization to control growth can be challenging. Physicalinfrastructures can also be inflexible at a time when businessesneed to be able to make ever-more rapid changes in order tostay competitive.The alternative is a virtualized approach in which storage virtualization software presents a “view” of storage resources toservers that is different from the actual physical hardware inuse. This logical view can hide undesirable characteristics ofstorage while presenting storage in a more convenient mannerfor applications. For example, storage virtualization may presentstorage capacity as a consolidated whole, hiding the actualphysical boxes that contain the storage. In this way storagebecomes a logical pool of resources that exists virtually, regard-less of where the actual physical storage resources are locatedin the larger information infrastructure. These software-definedvirtual resources are easier and less disruptive to change andmanage than hardware-based physical storage devices, sincethey don’t involve moving equipment or making physical con-nections. As a result, they can respond more flexibly anddynamically to changing business needs. Similarly, the flexibilityafforded by virtual resources makes it easier to match storageto business requirements.Learn More>
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage ibm disk virtualization time real reliable compression 2,063 Views
History truly does repeat itself. We are talking about the history of data storage. Every once and a while a new technology comes along that requires a new way to think about infrastructure. Notice I said “infrastructure”. I’d like to paint two analogies:
FleetCor Selects Brocade to Provide Cloud-Optimized Network Services for 500,000 Commercial Accounts
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage infrastructure saas networking servers paas iaas cloud 2,044 Views
Leading Fuel Card Provider Values Brocade Market Leadership, Reliability and Network Security
SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 07/19/11 -- Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) today announced that FleetCor, a leading independent global provider of specialized payment products and services to businesses, commercial fleets, major oil companies, petroleum marketers and government fleets, has selected Brocade as the vendor to build its cloud-optimized network. This new network enhances FleetCor's ability to securely process millions of transactions monthly and ultimately better serve its commercial accounts in 18 countries in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Millions of commercial payment cards are in the hands of FleetCor cardholders worldwide, and they are used to purchase billions of gallons of fuel per year. Given this volume of network-based transactions, network reliability, scalability and security were critical factors for FleetCor to consider in its selection process to maintain superior customer satisfaction.
In addition, FleetCor selected Brocade as its networking expert to help evolve its data center and IT operations into a more agile private cloud infrastructure. Brocade® cloud-optimized networks are designed to reduce network complexity while increasing performance and reliability. Brocade solutions for private cloud networking are purpose-built to support highly virtualized data centers.
"When we evaluated networking vendors to build our private cloud, we looked at market leadership and non-stop access to critical data," said Waddaah Keirbeck, senior vice president global IT, FleetCor. "Brocade cloud-optimized networking solutions are perfect for our data centers because they allow us to optimize applications faster, virtually eliminate downtime and help us meet service level agreements for our customers. Moving to a cloud-based model also provides us the flexibility to make adjustments on the fly and access secure information virtually anywhere and anytime."
FleetCor installed a Brocade MLXe router for each of its three data centers, citing scalability as a major driver for the purchase. This approach enables FleetCor to virtualize its geographically distributed data centers and leverage the equipment it already has, at the highest level, to achieve maximum return on investment. The Brocade MLXe provides additional benefits for FleetCor by using less power and has a smaller footprint than competitive routers; critical in power-and space-constrained locations in order to allow for growth. The Brocade MLXe also enables continuous business operation for FleetCor based on Multi-Chassis Trunking, massive scalability supporting highest 100 GbE density in the industry with no performance degradation for advanced features like IPv6 and flexible chassis options to meet network and business requirements.
The Brocade ServerIron ADX Series of high-performance application delivery switches provides FleetCor with a broad range of application optimization functions to help ensure the reliable delivery of critical applications. Purpose-built for large-scale, low-latency environments, these switches accelerate application performance, load-balance high volumes of data and improve application availability while making the most efficient use of the company's existing infrastructure. It also delivers dynamic application provisioning and de-provisioning for FleetCor's highly virtualized data center, enables seamless migration and translation to IPv6 with unmatched performance.
As an added benefit for its bottom line, through the use of Brocade ADX Series switches and Brocade MLX™ Series routers FleetCor has eliminated thousands of costly networking cables, saving it hundreds of thousands of dollars and allowing the company to segment, streamline and secure its network. FleetCor has also been able to easily integrate Brocade network technology with third-party offerings already installed in the network, for complete investment protection. FleetCor anticipates moving to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) solutions for its backbone switch in the near future.
"We wanted a dependable, secure, redundant, 24 by 7 backbone switch in each of our data centers to help us leverage the benefits of cloud computing and the Brocade MLXe delivered on all fronts," said Keirbeck. "By virtualizing our data center, Brocade allows for non-stop access to the mission-critical data that FleetCor and its customers rely on every day. We chose the Brocade MLXe because of the tremendous results we already saw from our existing Brocade solutions and the exceptional support and service."
According to a report from analyst firm Gartner, "Although 'economic
affordability' is an immediate, attractive benefit, the biggest
advantages (of cloud services) result from characteristics such as
built-in elasticity and scalability, reduced barriers to entry,
flexibility in service provisioning and agility in contracting."(1)
IBM Selected to Manage First Phase of New York City's Data Center Consolidation and Modernization Program
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  capacity performance service enterprise cloud storage ibm 1,967 Views
Project to Streamline IT Infrastructure to Improve Service Delivery, Reduce Energy Consumption and Strengthen Security
NEW YORK, N.Y. - 31 Jan 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has been selected by the City of New York to build a more efficient, smarter technology platform for CITIServ, the City's IT infrastructure modernization program. The goal of the project is to streamline delivery of City services by consolidating and updating outdated and incompatible IT, thereby reducing energy consumption, strengthening security, and providing City workers with faster access to the latest technologies.
"The contest between man and machine on Jeopardy! was decided when IBM’s Watson computer landed on the second Daily Double on day three. The clue was: “This two-word phrase means the power to take private property for public use as long as there is just compensation.” Watson’s response: “What is eminent domain?”"
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  storage iaas paas saas enterprise swiching cloud networking 1,904 Views
IBM 8800 Storage Array
IBM has announced a new model in its 8000 Tier 1 series of storage arrays, to be generally available November 19, 2010. The key differences between the previous 8700 model and the new 8800 model is the use of 2.5 inch 6Gb/sec SAS-2 drives for the back end, and up to 8Gb/sec FC front-end ports.
It uses the same packaging as the new Storwize V7000 with 24 SAS drives in a 2U space.The total number of drives is 1056 taking three frames.
The 8800 storage array is a welcome addition to the IBM 8000 series, providing additional power and reducing the footprint and power consumption significantly compared with earlier models. The 8800 comes with all the tier 1 functionality that is expected, and is an excellent tier 1 performance array. The Easy Tier software is best of breed for tier 1 storage arrays, and Wikibon believes that it will be extensively deployed.
The IBM 8800 does not have the drive and capacity options of EMC or Hitachi. IBM outperforms the EMC VMAX on environmentals for performance-focused arrays but needs significant work to compete with Hitachi’s VSP environmentals.
Action Item: Organizations that have IBM 8000 series installed will be very pleased to have the performance and environmentals of the 8800 storage array, and will usually be best served by continuing to use the well established 8000 software, processes, and procedures for true tier 1 applications rather than converting to other vendors. IBM 8000 users should put Easy Tier on a fast track for adoption. However, IBM will need to do more to attract new users to the IBM’s tier 1 offering.
JeffHebert 060001UEQ2 Tags:  range saas virtualize paas mid iaas reliable enterprise available scalable disk ibm torage cloud 1,896 Views