ITaaS is the new Holy Grail with 75 percent of IT managers saying ITaaS aligns with their organization’s philosophy and needs. Accustomed to living in a world where each application had dedicated servers, networking and storage, ITaaS eliminates this issue. It aggregates these resources into a common pool that is accessible by all virtual machines (VMs) and their hosted applications that may be owned by multiple different departments or even different organizations. These resources may then be allocated to them at any time.
Anytime DCIG prepares a Buyer’s Guide – whether a net new Buyer’s Guide or a refresh of an existing Buyer’s Guide – it always uncovers a number of interesting trends and developments about that technology. Therefore it is no surprise (at least to us anyway) that as DCIG prepares to release its DCIG 2014 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide that it observed a number of interesting data points about enterprise midrange arrays. As DCIG looks forward to releasing this Buyer’s Guide, we wanted to share some of these observations and insights that we gained as we prepared this Guide as well as why we reached some of the conclusions that we did.
The time for the release of the refreshed DCIG 2014 Enterprise Midrange Array Buyer’s Guide is rapidly approaching. As that date approached, we have been evaluating and reviewing the data on the current crop of midrange arrays that will be included in the published Buyer’s Guide (information on over 50 models) as well as the models that will be included in DCIG’s online, cloud-based Interactive Buyer’s Guide (over 100 models.) Here is a peak into some of what we are finding out about these models in regards to their ability to deliver on data center automation, VMware integration and flash memory support.
In the fast-paced, ever-changing world of virtualization, the ability for a storage array to deliver performance at exactly the right time is essential. Unfortunately, most tiered storage systems are poorly equipped to respond to these new dynamics. This is where hybrid storage arrays come into play. In this third installment of my interview series with Rob Commins, VP of Marketing at Tegile Systems, we discuss the practical applications of storage and data movement in a virtualized world, how storage tiering falls short of consumer requirements and why Tegile’s hybrid storage is so well-equipped to meet them.
DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its DCIG 2013 High Availability and Clustering Software Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 60 features on 13 different software solutions from 10 different software providers. This Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that all size organizations need when selecting high availability (HA) and clustering software for applications running in their physical or virtual environments.
As many new and existing vendors (Scale Computing, Simplivity, Pivot3, Nutanix) come out with these “Datacenter (DC) in a Box” and “Compute in a Can” types of solutions it is worth noting that these are not only for SMBs but also solutions that enterprise shops should consider as well.
There is a tendency among technology providers to sometimes pooh-pooh the virtualization needs of small and midsized businesses and only focus on the needs of the “really big enterprises.” However when one considers that the 900,000+ companies with 20-500 employees in Canada, the UK and US are less than 30% virtualized, a tremendous opportunity exists for the right technology provider to meet their specific needs.
IT staff in midsized organizations face a peculiar challenge: it is expected to be masters of the technology in use at the organization as well as being up-to-speed on all internal business initiatives. To accomplish this twin feat, they need a new type of product that takes the best technologies available today, packages them as a single SKU and then makes it easy to install and manage.
It seemed only moments after EMC announced its ViPR software-defined storage platform at EMC World this week that the attack dogs (primarily its competitors) were out in full force pointing out ViPR’s shortcomings and attacking its merits. But its competitors need to be careful how they go about discrediting EMC’s version of software-defined storage. EMC promoting it will lift the entire software-defined storage tide and help make it a viable option for end-users which many want and need.
The main theme at this year’s EMC World is “Lead the Transformation” that EMC is illustrating through the use of superhero characters. The superheroes are represented as end users who come up with solutions to manage today’s complex storage environment while the villain is pictured as “Doc Lock-in” who requires our superheroes to “lock-in” on a single vendor to mitigate this complexity. Yet for those users who think strategically about their storage acquisitions, Doc Lock-in may not be the full-fledged villain that EMC World portrays him to be.
About a decade ago, give or take a few years, a huge debate raged in the storage industry as to what was the best form of storage virtualization. However all that debate created over time was an equally large sense of fatigue with many people souring on the whole topic of storage virtualization. To resolve that, the term “storage virtualization” has been given a facelift at the 2013 EMC World and with it a politically correct name: Software Defined Storage – that is available from EMC as EMC ViPR.
Last week’s acquisition of NexGen Storage by Fusion-io was greeted with quite a bit of fanfare by the storage industry. But as an individual who has covered Fusion-io for many years and talked one-on-one with their top executives on multiple occasions, its acquisition of NexGen signaled that Fusion-io wanted to do more than deliver an external storage array that had its technology built-in. Rather Fusion-io felt it was incumbent for it to take action and accelerate the coming data center transformation that it has talked and written about for years.
The need of businesses for greater responsiveness from their IT departments is driving data center automation. Data center automation requires a new approach to network architecture that results in networks that are flat for high performance, multipath for high availability, and open to orchestration for quick provisioning and re-provisioning as application loads move within and among data centers.
As almost seems customary with any release of the DCIG Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide, it more so than any other Buyer’s Guide that DCIG produces elicits a number of responses from third parties. We are grateful that most of this commentary was quite civil and, in a couple of cases, actually helped to reinforce the points that DCIG makes either in the Guide or in other DCIG blog entries. However there are few of these comments that I wanted to respond to and add a few of my own thoughts.
DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its DCIG 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide that weights, scores and ranks over 100 features on 22 different backup software solutions from 18 different backup software providers. This Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that all size organizations need when selecting backup software that is specifically tuned to protect virtualized environments.
As recently as a few years nearly every backup software product licensed its software based upon criteria such as the number of servers protected and what applications their backup agents needed to protect. But with the rise of virtual machines (VMs) and the complexity that approach to licensing created, most have now switched – or at least offer as an option – the ability to do either capacity-based or socket-based backup licensing. As licensing is sometimes the issue that determines which product gets selected to perform backup in your environment, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each.
As companies of all sizes move from physical environments to ones that are more highly virtualized (or even entirely virtualized,) everything changes. While “how backups are done” is sometimes viewed as the biggest change, monitoring the virtual environment and leveraging the cloud are becoming higher priorities for end users. In this fourth and final blog entry in my interview series with PHD Virtual’s CMO Steve Kahan, he discusses how virtualization monitoring and the cloud are impacting the future of backup in general and PHD Virtual specifically.
One of the unique aspects about running a blog site that primarily does analysis as opposed to commenting and covering today’s news is that the most read blog entries on DCIG’s site each year are rarely from the current year. This year was no exception as only one of the Top 5 blog entries written in 2012 made it into the Top 10 of DCIG’s most read blog entries of 2012 that I will start to reveal in tomorrow’s blog entry.
This past week I received an email from someone asking for my help in their process of buying a backup appliance. This individual had just downloaded the DCIG 2012 Backup Appliance Buyer’s Guide but, due to the number of models included in the Buyer’s Guide (over 60), was looking for some recommendations from me as to which one to buy. While I sent this individual a list of backup appliances to look at more closely, it brought to my attention that there are five questions every organization should ask and answer before buying a backup appliance.
A “feature rich” product can mean a number of things. It can mean that it is flexible. It can suggest that is offers a good value for the money. It can imply that it can function as a one stop shop for managing your environment. It can also mean that it is too complex and takes too long to learn. In this second part of my interview series with PHD Virtual’s CMO Steve Kahan, he discusses how PHD Virtual introduces new feature functionality into its product without its backup software becoming too complex for users to effectively utilize.