VMworld provides insight into some of the biggest tech trends occurring in the enterprise data center space and, once again, this year did not disappoint. But amid the literally dozens of vendors showing off their wares on the show floor, here are the four stories or products that caught my attention and earned my “VMworld 2018 Best of Show” recognition at this year’s event.
For an HCI solution to not have a clear path forward for public cloud support is almost anathema in the increasingly hybrid cloud environments found in today’s enterprises. That’s what makes this week’s CloudShift announcement from Datrium notable – it begins to clarify Datrium’s strategy for how Datrium is going to go beyond backup to the public cloud as part of its DVX solution and puts the concept of flawless DR on corporate radar screens.
Companies are either moving or have moved to the cloud with backup TO the cloud being one of the primary ways they plan to get their data and applications into the cloud. But orchestrating the backup of their applications and data once they reside IN the cloud… well, that requires an entirely different set of tools with few, if any, backup providers yet offering features in their respective products that deliver on this requirement. That ends today with the introduction of HYCU for GCP (Google Cloud Platform).
When organizations deploy HCI at scale (more than eight nodes in a single logical configuration), cracks in its architecture can begin to appear unless organizations carefully examine how well it scales. On the surface, high end and standard hyper-converged architectures deliver the same benefits. They each virtualize compute, memory, storage networking, and data storage in a simple to deploy and manage scale-out architecture. They support standard hypervisor platforms. They provide their own data protection solutions in the form of snapshots and replication. In short, these two architectures mirror each other in many ways. However, high-end and standard HCI solutions differ in functionality in ways that primarily surface in large virtualized deployments.
DCIG’s analysts (myself included) have lately spent a great deal of time getting up close and personal on the capabilities of public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. We have also spent time talking to individuals deploying cloud solutions. As we have done so, we recognize that the capabilities of these cloud offerings should meet and exceed the expectations of most organizations regardless of their size. However, impeding their cloud adoption are three concerns that have little to do with the technical capabilities of these products.
Both Hitachi Vantara and NetApp refreshed their respective F-Series and A-Series lines of all-flash arrays (AFAs) in the first half of 2018. While some of these changes reinforced the respective strengths of each of their product lines, other changes provided some key insights into how these two vendors see the AFA market shaping up in the years to come. Features such as host-to-storage networking connectivity, predictive analytics, support for public clouds, and data protection and flash performance optimization are key areas where these two products differentiate themselves.
Living in Omaha, Nebraska, one cannot help but be influenced by Berkshire Hathaway and its CEO, Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world, when it comes to making investment decisions. However, the process that Berkshire Hathaway uses to make investment decisions has multiple other applications to include helping guide you in making decisions about which cloud technologies to adopt and when
In between my travels, doing research, and taking some time off in May, I also spent time getting up to speed on Amazon Web Services by studying for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associated exam in anticipation of DCIG doing more public cloud-focused competitive research. While I know it is no secret that cloud adoption has taken off in recent years, what has puzzled me during this time is, “Why is it now that have enterprises finally started to embrace public clouds?”
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have staked their claims as the Big 3 as providers of enterprise cloud services with their respective AWS, Cloud, and Azure offerings. Enter Nutanix. It has from Day 1 sought to emulate AWS with its on-premise cloud offering. But with the announcements made at its .NEXT conference last week in New Orleans, companies can look for Nutanix to deliver cloud services both on- and off-premise that should fundamentally change how enterprises view Nutanix going forward.
Ransomware gets a lot of press – and for good reason – because when hackers break through your firewalls, encrypt your data, and make you pay up or else lose your data, it rightfully gets people’s attention. But hackers probably have less desire than most to be in the public eye and sensationalized ransomware headlines bring them unwanted attention. That’s why some hackers have said goodbye to the uncertainty of a payout associated with getting a ransom for your data and instead look to access your servers to do some bitcoin mining using your CPUs.
Almost any article published today related to enterprise data storage will talk about the benefits of flash memory. However, while many organizations now use flash in their enterprise, most are only now starting to use it at a scale where they use it to host more than a handful of their applications. As organizations look to deploy flash more broadly in their enterprises, here are six best practices to keep in mind as they do so.
The exhibit halls at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas always contain eye-popping displays highlighting recent technological advances as well as what is coming down the path in the world of media and entertainment. But behind NAB’s glitz and glamour lurks a hard, cold reality; every word recorded, every picture taken, and every scene filmed must be stored somewhere, usually multiple times, and available at a moment’s notice. It is these halls at the NAB show that DCIG visited where it identified two start-ups with storage technologies poised to disrupt business as usual.
Organizations of all sizes now look to hyper-converged infrastructure solutions such as the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform to provide them with their next generation of data center IT infrastructure services. As they do, they need software optimized for protecting Nutanix environments. HYCU, Inc., and Rubrik are two early leaders in this space. Each possess distinctive attributes that make one or the other better suited for providing data protection services when these conditions exist in your environment.
A virtualization focused backup software play may be perceived as “too little, too late” with so many players in today’s backup space. However, many former virtualization centric backup software plays (PHD Virtual and vRanger come to mind) have largely disappeared while others got pricier and/or no longer do just VM backups. These changes have once again created a need for a virtualization centric backup software solution. This plays right into the hands of the newly created HYCU as it formally tackles the job of ESX virtual machine (VM) backups in non-Nutanix shops.
Non-volatile Memory Express (NVMe) has captured the fancy of the enterprise storage world. Implementing NVMe on all-flash arrays or hyper-converged infrastructure appliances carries with it the promise that companies can leverage these solutions to achieve sub-millisecond response times, drive millions of IOPS, and deliver real-time application analytics and transaction processing. But differences persist between what NVMe promises for these solutions and what it can deliver. Here is a practical look at NVMe delivers on these solutions in early 2018.
Hyper-converged infrastructure architectures (HCIAs) are foundational for the next generation of data centers. Key to realizing that vision is to implement HCIA solutions for both primary and secondary storage. The Cohesity DataPlatform and Rubrik Cloud Data Management solutions have emerged as the early leaders in this rapidly growing market segment. While these two products share many features in common, seven key points of differentiation between them yet exist as the latest DCIG Pocket Analyst Report reveals.
In the last few years all-flash arrays have taken enterprise data centers by storm but, as that has occurred, the criteria by which organizations should evaluate storage arrays from competing vendors have changed substantially. Features that once mattered considerably now barely get anyone’s attention while features that no one had knowledge of a few years ago are closely scrutinized. Here are three features that organizations should examine on all-flash arrays and one feature that has largely dropped off the radar screen in terms of importance.
Amazon has made significant progress in the last few years to dispel the notion that Amazon Web Services (AWS) primary purpose is as a repository for archives and backups. During this time, it has demonstrated time and time again it is well suited to host even the most demanding of production applications. However, what companies may still fail to realize is just how far beyond being a leading provider of cloud storage services that AWS has become. Here are some recent cool new offerings and features available from AWS that indicate how far it has come in terms of positioning itself to host enterprise applications of any type as well as satisfy specific enterprise demands.
One of the more perplexing challenges that Nutanix administrators face is how to protect the data in their Nutanix deployments. Granted, Nutanix natively offers its own data protection utilities. However, these utilities leave gaps that enterprises are unlikely to find palatable when protecting their production applications. This is where Comtrade Software’s HYCU and ExaGrid come into play as their combined solutions provide a more affordable and elegant approach to protecting Nutanix environments.
The all-flash array market has settled down considerably in the last few years. While there are more all-flash arrays (90+ models) and vendors (20+) than ever before, the ways in which these models can be grouped and classified has also become easier. As DCIG looks forward to releasing a series of Buyer’s Guides covering all-flash arrays in the coming months, it can break these all-flash arrays into five (and soon to be six) general classifications based upon their respective architectures and use cases.