The Virtualization Practice

Storage Networking

Storage Networking focuses upon virtualizing the storage and the SAN while collapsing and simplifying the management and performance of storage. This includes the role of storage virtualization in the Software Defined Data Center, and the comparison of pooled local storage options with traditional network attached storage (NAS) and fiber channel attached storage. Covered vendors include VMware, EMC, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, Tintri, and Nutanix.


Dell continues its expansion into the cloud and virtual desktop market with the announcement on Monday that it has reached agreement with Wyse Technologies to acquire the company.

Dell has had a long partnership with Devon IT,the Dell OptiPlex FX 130 and FX 170 thin clients and the Dell FX100 Zero Client are OEM editions of the Devon IT TC2, TC5, and TC10. Dell also OEMs Devon IT’s VDI Blaster software thin-client and its Echo Management Console software. All of which are considered to be high quality products. So if Dell already has access to its own thin client products and management software why did it need a thin client vendor of its own, and why didn’t it pick Devon IT instead of Wyse.


There are many different types of metrics pertaining to storage and IO that can be grouped into Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy (PACE). Every application or workload has some characteristics attribute of Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy that can be further broken down into metrics that are more detailed.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part IV: What type of SSD is best for your needs.

Let us continue to look at what SSD to use for different environments and build off the other parts of this series of articles. Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash Solid State Devices (SSD) with part II discussing endurance and performance. Part III looked at SSD options for virtual servers, VDI or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, usage and configuration criteria. So which SSD options are best for which environments?


Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3 may blow up the entire rationale for EMC owning VMware. Cheap storage for virtualization enabled by new Microsoft features will force VMware to embrace cheap storage as well. This will precipitate the commoditization of the storage market, and accelerate the pace of virtualization and cloud computing.


While participating in the GestaltIT Virtualization Field Day #2, I was asking PureStorage on whether or not SSD based storage was throwing hardware at a problem that is better fixed, by changing the code in question? What brought this thought to mind was the example used during the presentation which was about database performance. This example, tied to a current consulting problem, where fixing the database improved performance by 10x. This alleviated the need for over all storage improvements. So the question remains, is using SSD, throwing hardware to solve a basic coding problem?


Quest Software has turned the acquisition integration process on its head by integrating vFoglight with the vKernel vOperations Suite. This is one more feather in the cap of the “easy to try and easy to buy” model of selling operations software into the virtualization market, and one more arrow through the heart of the legacy process of selling operations software to the enterprise systems management and network operations teams. VKernel (Quest) now has the ability to bring substantial depth and breadth of functionality to both existing and new customers. A new chapter in the operations management industry has begun.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part III: What type of SSD is best for you?

Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash SSD with part II discussing endurance and performance. This part looks at SSD options for virtual servers, vdi or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, your usage and configuration criteria will have a bearing on what type of SSD solution is best for you.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments, Part II: The call to duty, SSD endurance

Let’s continue by taking a look at endurance for storing and retaining data using nand flash SSD. The importance of the first part of this series is to understand the basics of nand flash based SSD in order to make informed decisions on what is the best for your virtual or physical environment. In addition to SLC (high cost, improved duty cycles) and MLC (higher capacity, lower cost), there is also EMLC or Enterprise MLC which is striving for a balance between SLC and MLC characteristics.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments: Part I Spinning up to speed on SSD

Solid-state devices (SSDs) are data storage memory (Figure 1) mediums that utilize semiconductor based memoires as opposed to magnetic media found in hard disk drives (HDDs) or magnetic tape. Semiconductor memories include ultra fast volatile dynamic random access memory (DRAM) commonly found as main memory (e.g. RAM) in servers along with and non-volatile memory (NVM) typically NAND flash. Nand flash based SSDs can be found in cameras (as SD cards), cell phones, iPods, and PDAs, as well as in notebooks, net books, laptops, tablets, and workstations. SSDs are also appearing in larger servers, appliances, and storage systems from consumer to enterprise level.