Storage Networking

Storage Networking focuses upon virtualizing the storage and the SAN while collapsing and simplifying the management and performance of storage. This includes the role of storage virtualization in the Software Defined Data Center, and the comparison of pooled local storage options with traditional network attached storage (NAS) and fiber channel attached storage. Covered vendors include VMware, EMC, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, Tintri, and Nutanix.

Will Scale-Out Architectures Kill Enterprise Storage?


In 1980 I was working for Datapoint, a vendor with proprietary client hardware, proprietary server hardware, a proprietary LAN, and proprietary systems software. In 1983 IBM introduced the PC, and in 1985 it introduced the PC-XT with a hard disk. 3Com introduced Ethernet, and Novell created a network operating system. All of a sudden, Datapoint was on the wrong side of history in the computer business. In five short years, Datapoint went from six thousand employees to sixty.  Continue reading Will Scale-Out Architectures Kill Enterprise Storage?

News: VMware VSAN GA Release Ships with vSphere 5.5 Update 1

VMware100x30After months of beta testing boasting 12,000+ beta testers, VMware has finally thrown its hat into the hyperconverged virtualization space with the GA release of VMware vSphere 5.5 Update 1. Among numerous bug fixes to vSphere, this release contains the GA code for VMware VSAN. VSAN is a shared-nothing clustered storage technology embedded in the vSphere hypervisor, ESXi, that uses collections of local, direct-attached host storage to provide reliable and high-performing storage to a vSphere cluster. It relies on both traditional rotating disk media and modern flash and solid-state drive (SSD) storage, forming clusters of up to 32 ESXi hosts over 1 Gbps or, preferably, 10 Gbps network connections.

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VDI, a Beauty & a Beast: A Nutanix Story

DesktopVirtualizationRecently, I wrote an article about what Citrix has done around virtualizing GPUs and GPU sharing, based on a podcast with Derek Thorslund, director of product management for HDX at Citrix. When the story hit the social media sphere, I got clobbered with hits about Nutanix and its partnership with Citrix and NVIDIA, along with a handful of requests to lead a podcast and write about its involvement with the GRID vGPU tech in its virtual desktop infrastructure  (VDI) business. So, just for the folks who reached out, here is my response.  Continue reading VDI, a Beauty & a Beast: A Nutanix Story

Dell Fluid Cache for SAN

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Back in mid-2011, Dell acquired RNA Networks, a small startup out of Portland, Oregon. At the time Dell purchased it, RNA had a product, MVX, that employed three different ways to pool memory across multiple servers in order to accelerate workloads. One was a way to pool memory as a storage cache in order to speed disk accesses using system RAM. In the spring of 2013, we saw some of these features emerge again as Dell’s Fluid Cache for DAS (direct-attach storage) morphed to use the incredible speed of PCIe-based SSDs instead of RAM. Now, in late 2013 at Dell World, we finally get what many of us have been waiting for: the announcement of the expected availability of Dell Fluid Cache for SAN.

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