The Virtualization Room

Dec 22 2009   8:46PM GMT

All I want for Christmas is … a clustered file system?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Having a hard time finding a holiday gift for that special admin in your life (or yourself)? We’ve asked two of our virtualization experts what was on their letters to Santa Claus; maybe their wish lists will inspire you. Remember, there are still two shopping days left!

Rob McShinsky, senior systems engineer at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, would love to find the Sanbolic Melio FS under his IT department’s tree. The hospital is virtualized on a combination of Hyper-V and Hyper-V R2, and the Melio FS file system will provide improved, VMware-like disk management for the original Hyper-V platform, he said.

“It will allow us to get rid of the disk bloat that Hyper-V R1 had,” he added.

McShinsky also ho-ho-hopes for BL460c G6 blade servers from Hewlett-Packard with Intel Nehalem processors. Dartmouth Hitchock runs G5 blades now, but the G6 blades offer “lots more power in a small package for virtualization,” he said.

The final item on McShinsky’s wish list is a backup and deduplication solution from Data Domain. The hospital has 17 TB of data backed up in its virtual environment alone.

“We’re thinking we can boil that down to a third of that,” McShinsky said.

Storage is also a hot technology for Rick Vanover, IT infrastructure manager at Alliance Data. He bought himself an early present for his personal test lab: a DroboPro iSCSI device from Data Robotics.

“I’m really excited about that,” Vanover said. “It’s iSCSI, it’s expandable storage, and it has a pretty slick RAID algorithm.”

The device will also be compatible with VMware vSphere 4 in the future, which fits with Vanover’s upgrade plans.

“That’s a great resource so that I don’t have to rebuild stuff so frequently,” he said. “I could buy a new server, but this is half the price of a new server.”

And in the office, a great present would be vSphere training for the full IT staff, Vanover said. Although vSphere upgrades are relatively painless, the platform itself has some significant differences from its predecessor.

“It’s the new computer, and we need to make sure we’re doing it right,” Vanover said.

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