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 & Nutanix: A Web-Scale Partnership with the XC Series

DataCenterVirtualizationDell and Nutanix have jointly announced the Dell XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances, a Dell hardware solution running Nutanix hyperconverged software, as an open-ended partnership. Available in October, the XC Series will function similarly to Nutanix’s current proprietary hardware, except that it will be based on specific (and as-yet-unannounced) configurations of Dell PowerEdge rackmount hardware, with Nutanix hyperconverged software on board. Continue reading Dell & Nutanix: A Web-Scale Partnership with the XC Series

News: Violin Memory Announces Concerto 7000 All-Flash Array

Violin Memory Concerto 7000
Violin Memory Concerto 7000

Violin Memory announces the Concerto 7000, which builds on its success with its 6000-series All-Flash Array (AFA). On top of Violin Memory’s proprietary all-flash hardware, this new model adds a comprehensive set of data services focused on business continuity, data protection, scaling, and efficiency.

The Concerto 7000 can now replicate to remote arrays either synchronously or asynchronously over Fibre Channel or IP-based WAN links with built-in WAN optimization. The 7000 also adds snapshot capabilities that enable new backup software integration and can be used as copy-on-write thin writable clones. Consistency groups, also a new feature, are an important but often overlooked way to keep multiple storage volumes in lockstep to guarantee application crash consistency in a disaster recovery/business continuity situation.

On the hardware side, Violin has improved the density of its all-flash array from 70 TB to 280 TB and can now pool capacity across separate storage units, or “shelves.” Customers can also have a single name space across shelves, making management of their arrays much easier. Finally, Violin adds online LUN and array capacity expansion, meaning no downtime to grow their offerings.

Violin and its customers claim massive savings by switching to these all-flash arrays. Not only are they much more power-efficient than traditional disk, but their incredible performance (500,000 sustained IOPS at 0.5 ms latency with a mixed workload) often means fewer servers are needed for a workload. In turn, that means fewer software licenses as well as compound savings for power, cooling, and overall data center space.

Current Violin Memory 6000 customers will be able to upgrade to the 7000 series through a predefined hardware upgrade path.

News: Dell Storage SC4020 Announced in US Market

Compellent SC4000 Storage
Compellent SC4000 Storage

At its User Forum this week, Dell announced Dell Storage SC4020 availability in the United States. The SC4020 is a small- to mid-size Compellent Storage Center array running the same Storage Center 6.5 software as the SC8000 enterprise arrays, but with a smaller form factor and more limited scalability. The SC4020 has been available in APJ markets since earlier in 2014.  Continue reading News: Dell Storage SC4020 Announced in US Market

News: New PernixData FVP Features: NFS, In-Memory Support

PernixDataAt Storage Field Day 5, PernixData announced new features for its flagship product, PernixData FVP. FVP greatly accelerates storage performance in VMware vSphere environments by leveraging SSD and flash technologies to do read and write caching in a protected, clustered way. Continue reading News: New PernixData FVP Features: NFS, In-Memory Support

The SolidFire Storage System: Reducing Complexity at Scale

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get to know SolidFire and its Storage System product, an all-flash array designed for on-premises use but with some attractive cloud functionality. At first glance, the array looks like many of those in the all-flash space. It’s built out of discrete nodes; uses 10 Gbps networking to present iSCSI; does inline deduplication, compression, and best-effort real-time background replication; has copy-on-write, space-efficient snapshots; and scales linearly.

Continue reading The SolidFire Storage System: Reducing Complexity at Scale

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