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.

The End of an Era: The End of Backup Exec

VirtualizationBackupIt’s the end of an era: the end of Backup Exec. Symantec has released a notice that it will stop selling the Backup Exec 3600 appliance on January 5, 2015. When this topic caught my eye while I was reading the latest cloud computing news, I must admit the announcement brought on a feeling of nostalgia about the early days in my IT career. Backup Exec was one of the earliest products that I supported and became proficient with, and now, about twenty years later, this announcement brings on what I would call an end of an era in itself. I understand that the Backup Exec 3600 appliance is a completely different product than what I worked with in those early days, but let me ask you this. How many of you reading this post have worked with some version of Backup Exec throughout your career? I am willing to make a small wager that if you have a few years under your belt, and especially if you have been working in IT since sometime around the turn of the century, you have.

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The Software-Defined Data Center with Nuage

Network VirtualizationThe software-defined data center was all the rage at VMworld 2013, when NSX, VMware’s network virtualization platform, was announced. At VMworld 2014, the honeymoon of the NSX hype had worn off some, yet network virtualization is still a key growing and maturing technology. Nevertheless, it is still too immature for an all-out adoption at this point, in my opinion. I had an opportunity during the VMworld 2014 Tech Field Day Extra to sit in on a briefing and demo from Nuage Networks.

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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

StorageNetworking

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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