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.

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.

VMTurbo has broken new ground by delivering the first application aware automated service assurance solution for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer. This is the first solution that takes advantage of the dynamic nature of these platforms and their control API’s to actually ensure something (throughput) that application owners care about. Preemptively assuring throughput (and hopefully response time in the future) may be a more effective approach than waiting for something to go wrong and then trying to pick the one root cause out of the hundreds or thousands of potential candidates.

Step back to Citrix CEO Mark Templeton’s keynote at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco and you would have heard him talk of “The Three Cs – the Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Personal Cloud.” Hang on a moment, “Personal Cloud” what’s that? For years Citrix used to talk about “any any any” and it did a pretty good job of delivering it provided any was restricted to meaning any Windows app. Now though, Citrix is wanting us to believe that it has moved past any app and extending that to anything digital.

News: VMware vCenter Operations Suite 5.0 Now Available

The delivery of vCenter Operations 5.0 to the market by VMware represents several important milestones in Operations Management for virtualized environments. The tight integration with vSphere and the integration of the Integrien analytics with real time configuration change detection and application mapping put a nail in the coffin of legacy solutions that rely upon periodically updated CMDB’s to understand the environment. The integration of performance, capacity, configuration, and application discovery first into a bundle and later into a full suite will put pressure on many vendors of point solution. However the biggest question remains the viability of a management strategy focused just upon vSphere, when every other vendor (including Microsoft) is taking a more open and cross-platform approach.

The answer is to dramatically narrow the scope and set of enforcement actions for SOPA and PIPA so that they target just offshore sites engaged in large scale commercial piracy and so that the existing safe harbor for sites that take content from users is both maintained and formally recognized as an exception to the scope of SOPA and PIPA. This will ensure that law enforcement can go after the really bad actors, and that the many good and useful sites and are the basis of the “good Internet” are not collateral damage in these enforcement efforts.

News: Virsto introduces new virtual storage options for VMware and Hyper-V

The virtual storage market is hotting up with Virsto Stoftware’s announcement of two new products for release Tuesday, January 17th. Following on from its June 2011 acquisition of EvoStor and building on its existing Virsto for VDI platform, Silicon Valley-based Virsto Software has made good on its investment by announcing the release of Virsto for vSphere.