2013 is the year of caching. The VMworld conference was full of news about startups using expensive-yet-fast technologies like flash, SSD, and RAM to make up for deficiencies in storage performance. One of those startups was PernixData, announcing their FVP caching product.
Let me paint a scenario for you. You’re virtual/cloud computing environment is just plain rocking. This environment is a well-oiled machine capable of handling all your company’s needs, but you still find yourself in need of extra resources at times and make the leap into a hybrid cloud configuration. Everything is going well, really well, actually, and you have moved more and more resources into your hybrid space. Life is good…Up until you receive your two weeks’ notice; now the fun really begins. Not really. Continue reading What Has Nirvanix Done and What Would You Do
The focus of many of my blog posts is on topics around how to be more agile. One key strategy for increasing agility is to focus on core competencies and leverage the cloud for all non-core functions. Much of the discussion about cloud services focuses on IaaS, specifically AWS versus the various private cloud solutions, but another way in which companies are achieving agility is by leveraging SaaS solutions for key operations functions. Continue reading PagerDuty: A One-Stop Shop for Alerts
Ask any virtualization administrator what their major pain points are and the first thing on the list will be storage. It isn’t surprising. Storage was likely the first major bottleneck for virtualization, back when it was “the Internet” and not “the cloud.” And as any IT person can tell you, there are two ways storage can be a bottleneck: performance and capacity. Traditionally, the problem of capacity is less complicated to solve than that of performance. To gain capacity you just add disk. To gain performance you needed to select a disk form factor (2.5″ or 3.5″), connection technology (SAS, iSCSI, fibre channel), rotational speed (7200, 10000, 15000 RPM), sometimes a controller (do I get the Dell PERC with 512 MB of cache or 1 GB?), and do the math to figure out how many disks you need to match both the problem of your I/O and its corollary: the problem of your budget. Complicating things, virtualization turned most I/O into random I/O. What might be a nice sequential write from each virtual machine looks pretty random in aggregate. Of course, random I/O is the hardest type of I/O for a disk to do. Continue reading Caching as a Service
Earlier this week Cisco announced its intention to acquire Whiptail, its 6th acquisition for 2013. The addition to the Unified Computing (UCS) line made sense, as it continues to support their vision to be the infrastructure that clouds run on. To achieve this vision, Cisco will need to make some strategic acquisitions to keep them on track. Even at its current $12 billion evaluation, Citrix would be a great buy. The synergies between the two companies have already been proven with joint development and sales efforts in the field. Let me speculate on what could happen with the products if Cisco picked Citrix up. Continue reading Thinking of a Logical Acquisition for Cisco – Citrix
Is the backup licensing model about to change? While I was at VMworld in San Francisco, I took notice of all the different Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) options that are available, and I believe this service has reached its maturity. The number of options and services available seems to have taken a solid leap forward in the last few years. Most of the companies follow the same type of licensing model, in that the software is licensed by the number of agents that are deployed in the environment, the number of hosts, or the amount of data being backed up. Most of the companies, except for one particular company I talked to, followed this model. Continue reading Is the Backup Licensing Model About to Change?