All posts by Steve Beaver

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

What Do You Know about Asigra?

VirtualizationBackupWhat do you know about Asigra? What if I told you there is a good chance that you have used its products but never knew it? During VMworld 2014 in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to sit in on a briefing from Asigra at the Tech Field Day Extra event. I had heard of Asigra before but could not have told you much about the company or its product offerings before this briefing. Asigra is a company that specializes in backup and recovery, and it has been doing so for over a quarter century.

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XtremIO Flash Storage Array


While attending VMworld this year in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to sit in on a briefing with EMC about its XtremIO flash storage array at Tech Field Day Extra. In my humble opinion, flash is going to be the way forward in the world of storage, especially as the cost of flash drives keeps coming down while their capacity keeps increasing. Will we get to a point where flash drives will be the standard for storage systems in the data center? Better yet, will spindled disks become the backup media stored off-site? Time will tell, but for now, flash arrays are quickly working their way toward becoming the industry standard for Tier 1 storage and beyond. 

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Big Data

CloudComputingHave you noticed lately that the term “big data” is being used with increasing frequency? It seems that working with big data is one of the more desired and in-demand skill sets in the technology space. What you think “big data” is, and what do you think it represents? One definition to consider is this one from Wikipedia: “Big data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.” So, who benefits the most from its use? Have you stopped to consider just what makes up big data? Let’s explore that question a little deeper.

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News: Infinio Accelerator 2.0

StorageNetworkingWhen you work with virtual or cloud environments, there is a very good chance that at some point you will have to deal with I/O performance–related issues. A company named Infinio has a solution. Infinio just announced the release of Infinio Accelerator 2.0 at VMworld. Infinio Accelerator is a server-side, software-based storage I/O optimization program. It works by creating a server-side cache that, according to Infinio, “is the only true scaling out of the performance layer that will also perform cache encryption, compression, [and] deduplication and is listed at half the cost of the competition.”

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News: DataGravity Wins Best of Show at VMworld

StorageNetworkingVMworld 2014 is in full swing, with more than 23,000 people having made the pilgrimage to San Francisco for this this year’s show. Thus far, things appear to be well-organized and running very smoothly. During my first walk through the Expo Center, I could not help but notice the sheer number of booths showcasing products that are storage-specific in nature. Flash drives appear to be the focus in quite a few of the booths. I have to wonder what the field will be like down the road as the price of flash continues to drop and the capacity of flash drives continues to grow. I believe that in the near future, most storage devices will be all flash-based, with any drives that spin becoming bottom-tier storage or owned just for fun. Could we get to a point at which physical hard drives actually become the media with which to replace backup tapes? Hmm, wouldn’t that be interesting?

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Annual Pilgrimage

CloudComputingIt is that time of the year again when we make our annual pilgrimage to San Francisco’s Moscone Center for VMworld. I am looking forward to talking with all the friends and colleagues I only see in person once a year. This time around, VMworld will be a little different for me in that I will be one of the Tech Field Day delegates on Monday and Wednesday. Each year before the conference, I like to share some tips on surviving the show and offer some thoughts on what I believe will be the up-and-coming tech to look out for.

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