All posts by Bob Plankers

Bob Plankers is an IT generalist with direct knowledge in many areas, such as storage, networking, virtualization, security, system admistration, and data center operations. He has 17 years of experience in IT, is a three-time VMware vExpert and blogger, and serves as the virtualization & cloud architect for a major Midwestern university.

Dell FluidFS 4 and Dell Compellent FS8600

DataCenterVirtualizationDell FluidFS is a scalable NAS software storage solution sold as an independent front end to Dell’s storage offerings (Compellent and EqualLogic). FluidFS provides file-level access to Dell Compellent and EqualLogic traditional block-based arrays, using protocols like SMB and NFS. FluidFS is also where Dell has chosen to implement technologies like deduplication and compression (which it calls “Fluid Data Reduction”), as well as more complicated security protocols and models.

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Dell PowerEdge FX2 Converged Architecture

DataCenterVirtualization

Dell PowerEdge FX
Dell PowerEdge FX

The Dell PowerEdge FX2 is a 2U rackmount blade chassis with a common infrastructure allowing servers and storage to share power, cooling, network switching, and chassis management. When it was announced last fall, there were two options: the FC630 two-socket, half-width Xeon blade, and the FM120x4, an Intel Atom–based microserver option. Dell quietly started shipping two additional modules this week. The FC430 is a two-socket, quarter-width Xeon blade, allowing up to eight servers in the FX2, for a total of 224 cores. The FD332 is a direct-attached disk module that contains up to two RAID controllers and sixteen 2.5-inch drives, assignable to the compute nodes inside the FX2.

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Six Features You Absolutely Need on Your Storage in 2015, Part 2

StorageNetworkingIn part one of this article, I lamented the state of our enterprise storage arrays and talked about the features we absolutely need on any new arrays bought this year. Why the lament? Because this is 2015, and we’re tired of the 1995 technology we’ve been using. When you send out your RFPs this year, the following are things you should score vendors on.

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Six Features You Absolutely Need on Your Storage in 2015

StorageNetworkingIt’s 2015, but you would think it was 1995 based on what we’re still using in our data centers for enterprise storage. We still have gobs and gobs of spinning disks, sucking power and boring us to death while they find our data. Convergence is largely unconverged—we still have separate Fibre Channel and IP data networks, and the only things that got converged were our bills of materials and the sides of our wallets. And for some inexplicable reason, we’re still debating how and when to use flash. Continue reading Six Features You Absolutely Need on Your Storage in 2015

vSphere Delay: Good Sign or Bad?

DataCenterVirtualizationVMware500x60Every VMworld conference is different, with a different tone and pace to it. At this year’s VMworld US, it felt like everything was evolutionary and very little was revolutionary. Icing that cake, VMware broke the decade-old trend of new vSphere announcements. Sure, the keynotes mentioned the next version, mostly by talking about some of the features it contains, but release dates, feature sets, and details were scarce, if available at all.

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Three Big Themes at VMworld 2014

DataCenterVirtualizationEvery year, VMware has new product and strategy announcements that steal the show at VMworld, so vendors tend to make their own announcements in the two weeks leading up to the conference. This year is no different, with nearly all vendors in the virtualization space announcing and readying their latest wares for the 25,000+ people who attend. Let’s look at the bigger themes in play this year and think about how to differentiate the competition at VMworld 2014.

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