Full Disclosure: First of all, I was a Sun employee just 8 months ago. While I am not currently a Sun employee, myself and/or my company does consulting work for Sun from time to time. I also work with other storage vendors as well, including significant work with EMC. Suffice to say, this blog consists of my own opinions based on public record, and do not represent the views of any of my former employers or current clients.
I resisted a blog on the IBM/Sun acquisition due to my recent busy schedule, but this news is just too big and exciting to pass by.
A comment on acquisitions: I know a lot about IT industry acquisitions; I have been through 6 of them! I also did the due diligence on the Sun/StorageTek acquisition (as an employee of StorageTek), and lived through that 2005 $4B merger. By rule, acquisition integrations (of this size) are always harder and longer than expected or desired. They will benefit and challenge companies, partners, and end users in ways that are difficult to predict.
With that said, I thought I would take a different tact than other chatter out there and comment on who I *assume* is happy about this deal, who is not happy, and who is neutral on the matter…
Sun: While Sun’s plan was to stand on its own, a purchase by Oracle must make Sun much happier than a purchase by IBM (and the higher price tag makes shareholders happy). IBM and Sun had significant software and hardware overlap, and while IGS would have been a boon to Sun technology – the overlap consolidation would have been painful to Sun, IBM, and end users. With Oracle, there is more innovative opportunity than there is overlap. Sun engineers are already excited about getting their DTrace hooks into Oracle’s applications. Oracle is interested in and/or has already invested in Java, Solaris, and ZFS. Sun has also invested in ensuring some of its newest OpenStorage and server platforms support Oracle apps. And while Oracle has dabbled in storage with Exadata and funding part of Pillar, they now get Sun’s total portfolio.
I think this is a win for Sun’s install base as well. Sun customer’s won’t have to live through the product and service overlaps that would have happened with IBM. Customers can also get better platform and application integration benefits with a complete stack under one roof. Some of Sun’s open source communities may not be too happy about joining a “proprietary” software vendor, but they should be happy that Sun’s technology and innovation will continue to be funded.
The services opportunity for Oracle/Sun is also huge, as there is a lot of new green field opportunities that can be monetized. From Oracle Apps + ZFS/DTrace solutions to integration services all along the disk-middleware-application stack.
The one aspect of Sun’s business that is the most questionable is their desktop and mobile efforts with OpenSolaris for desktops, desktop virtualization, JavaFX, OpenOffice, etc. Most of these offerings are open source, and Oracle is an enterprise player with an eye on revenue and profit.
Oracle: With this move Oracle has jumped into the systems market with other big systems players like IBM, HP, and Dell. I have heard bloggers and tweeters voice concerns about Oracle’s ability to sell hardware – but while Sun’s largest criticisms to date have been “good vision, but inability to execute” – I have not heard anyone complain about Oracle’s business acumen and execution. And while clearly Oracle is more interested in Sun’s software side, all (I believe) Sun needs on the hardware side is solid sales, marketing, portfolio, and fiscal management. This will be a challenge, but I think Oracle has the opportunity to push innovation while growing Sun’s traditional/legacy business. Lastly, Oracle could sell off Sun’s hardware business as some speculate, but as long as the new owner has solid business acumen and execution, they have an excellent portfolio of technology to work with.
Java Users: Java and Java users have more future security with Oracle. Oracle is one of the largest Java users and will continue Java’s investment in enterprise applications. This is good news for most Java users. The future of JavaFX and Java for desktop or mobile platforms is not as clear. Oracle may not see much revenue potential from client-side Java.
Solaris users: Oracle has invested in “Unbreakable Linux“, but commercial Solaris can be much more robust and a perfect fit for Oracle’s enterprise customers. In addition to commercial Solaris, Oracle gets OpenSolaris. The opportunities for Solaris users just got much larger on the database and application side.
HDS: Sun OEMs HDS’ bread and butter USP disk array with its Sun StorageTek 9000 series. If Sun went into IBM, HDS’s revenue stream through Sun would be challenged by IBM’s products in the high-end disk array category – the DS series and XIV. With Oracle, HDS can continue its relationship with Sun and even have more access to Oracle’s install base. This looks like good news to me. Consequently, users who have bought Sun’s 9000 products have a more secure roadmap with Oracle than they would have had with IBM.
LSI: LSI OEMs its midrange products to IBM and Sun. In fact, LSI’s midrange storage products contribute significant growth and revenue to Sun’s storage business (Sun Storage 6000 Modular Arrays). If the IBM/Sun merger happened, LSI would have two vendors consolidate into one. Now, LSI still gets IBM and Sun as partners, and better access to Oracle and Oracle’s customer base. Good news for the great folks over at LSI, as well as Sun Storage 6000 users who will avoid the product/services overlap issues that IBM would have posed.
IBM: Oracle caught IBM, and the industry, by surprise with their bold move. The Sun acquisition would have given IBM even more market share dominance in the UNIX, server, storage (disk and tape), software, and services markets. Sun’s install base, although not as large as years past, in addition to Sun’s newest open source communities would have been the prized possession for IBM (in addition to some cool Sun technology). Now, IBM has a partner than has become more of a competitor. Regardless of this Oracle news, I think IBM will fare well as they always do.
MySQL: MySQL prided themselves on offering an open source offering that has been disrupting Oracle’s closed, proprietary database market share for a while now. Sun’s open source strategy was a perfect fit for MySQL’s strategy. They didn’t expect to be owned by Oracle in the end. However, while they are not thrilled about this news, MySQL will do well regardless for these three primary reasons:
So, Oracle can try to monetize MySQL and the MyAQL community can still run an truly open source fork of the software.
Microsoft: Microsoft just got a larger competitor with Oracle and Sun. Microsoft now has a combined competitor against its NT platform, SQL server, .NET Framework, and even desktop software (although OpenOffice’s appeal to Oracle is hard to call.) What’s more, Oracle now has commercial and open source versions of these products which puts it in an excellent strategic position. Additionally, Oracle and Sun’s mix of commercial and open source technology combined with industry standard hardware gives Oracle the components of an excellent Cloud platform which can compete with Microsoft’s efforts in this space.
NetApp: NetApp and Oracle are partners, but now Oracle will own its own storage devices including Sun’s network and storage file systems – NFS and ZFS. Additionally, the Sun/NetApp patent litigation between Sun’s ZFS file system and NetApp’s WAFL file system is still in play. Having ZFS and Sun’s Amber Road NAS platform (the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System) in the hands of one of the world’s largest software companies isn’t the best news for NetApp. Regardless, NetApp continues to prove it can innovate, challenge, and play with the large systems vendors like the rest of them – and their partnerships with Cisco and VMware will serve them well.
HP: HP can be too happy about this merger. Oracle’s Exadata storage platform is based on HP hardware, but now Oracle will have hardware of its own. Additionally, Oracle will now compete with HP in the systems vendor space. HP will continue to do well, but having long-time partners tuned server competitors (Cisco and now Oracle) isn’t the best of news for the company.
Linux users: Linux is a significant partner to Oracle. While the prospect of bringing in another open source platform into Oracle is not the best of news, Linux support will remain strong in the market and inside Oracle (Oracle made a point to say in their press release that they are “committed as ever to Linux and other open platforms”). What’s more, even though Sun offers an open source OS like Linux, Sun has been an avid Linux supporter, and more importantly, supporter of open standards with Linux. It looks like Oracle will follow Sun and Linux’s lead in this space – to build the best open source OS you can and let the users decide which one to deploy.
VMWare: VMWare continues to lead one of the fastest growing and disruptive IT trends to hit the data center in decades – server virtualization. And their recent VMware vSphere 4 announcement shows just how innovative they continue to be in systems and storage . But VMWare has a competitor in the making with the Oracle/Sun announcement. First of all, Oracle took a run at the server virtualization market with Oracle VM, and secondly they are about to acquire Sun’s new xVM server virtualization products. With both Oracle and Sun eyeing VMWare’s market prior to the merger, you can bet they will target VMWare post merger. And Oracle will have something VMWare does not – physical servers.
EMC: EMC is well positioned in the storage market and I don’t see any near-term significant impact. A significant amount of Oracle users and Solaris users will still use EMC as their storage platform of choice. The Oracle/Sun deal may pose some future competition to the company – Oracle may try to push users to use their storage offerings (but they won’t rock the boat too much on a hardware sale). Sun’s OpenStorage offerings could be more competitive in the hands of Oracle, but EMC has proved it can keep up to date with recent software and storage commoditization trends. Oracle and Sun’s new open source technology mixed with industry standard hardware will give Oracle the components of a good Cloud platform, and this can compete with EMC’s future Cloud Storage efforts. Overall, EMC may see a better/stronger competitor out of this – but EMC tends to do well against competitors, large and small.
Cisco: Cisco must be upset that the Sun/IBM and then Sun/Oracle news took some attention away from the launch of their impressive Unified Computing System (UCS). Cisco will continue to partner with Oracle, but the two have now become something no one in the industry could have predicted last year – they are now server competitors. Oracle now has all the compomnents to build a “unified computing system”, but Cisco is ahead of the game here and seems to have a brilliantly integrated system. Time will tell as the Cisco UCS and Oracle announcements are still very new.
Please let me know if I have missed anyone or any point….
It was difficult to make it through this week without hearing about Solid State Disk (SSD). SSD seems to be following the Gartner Hype Cycle model to a T. Basically, every vendor on the planet has an evolving SSD strategy and is blitzing the media will a bazillion press releases on their latest and greatest flavor. Despite confusing customers, some cool technology is coming out of this – SSD is a game changer: to applications supported by SSD and basic storage economics.
EMC looks to be leading the pack. They were first out of the gate with SSD in their DMX systems, they are articulating the value proposition of “SSD-inside” better than anyone else right now, and they are already embarking on phase two to stay ahead of the pack. Other vendors are following – with basic support of SSD like HP, to large investments. SSD vendors are happy, coming up with new innovations (like Texas Memory) and looking to tie up as many OEM deals they can in this feeding frenzy. Sun is also investing heavily, putting SSDs everywhere they can. But the winners are going to be the ones that can provide true solutions to problems – not just cool technology…
In: SSD | 5 Minutes Ago: Flash | Out: Memory
Boiling Tape, Screaming Disk & Windows on Steroids
The smartest move I have seen any marketing professional make is walk right into their local IT manager’s office and ask them what would get them excited about whatever technology their company is hocking…
Stephen Foskett’s Blog: Ten-Year Trend: Mobility
Dave Hitz at NetApp simulated some brain cells with his post asking what ten-year trend the industry is building to – in the 80’s it was getting a computer on every desk; and the 90’s brought networking all those computers together. Mr. Hitz throws out three trends: Clouds, Virtualization, and SSD. I like Stephen Foskett’s response – he pins the new trend as “information mobility” and I wholeheartedly agree. Our information no longer lives on a single device or in an application – it lives on an ever-growing and changing network of information and services. Clouds, Virtualization, and even SSDs are enablers to this macro trend….
Chuck’s Blog: EMC 2009 Strategic Forum
A great recap from Chuck on the main points of Joe Tucci’s keynote at EMC 2009 Strategic Forum. Some points that peaked my interest: In Q4, EMC did over $90M+ in dedupe products; Chuck’s analogy that SSD is “I/O dedupe”; EMC completely sold out of EFDs (enterprise flash drives) for DMX and CX in recent quarters; DMX-4 w/ SSD has 60% more IOPs and is 17% lower in cost than DMX-4 w/o SSD.
EMC CEO drops storage product hints at investors’ forum
Doesn’t look like Tucci spilled the beans on too many futures – most of it we already know: SSD, virtualization (VMware NOT for sale), Dedup, etc. A couple points – Data Domain is clearly in Tucci’s (and EMC’s) crosshairs. And the next SSD step for EMC looks to be array controllers that provide automated data migration to SSDs. Archive/compliance search and eDiscovery across multiple storage repositories continues to be a focus as well. (I am wondering where the EMC Cloud stuff is going however…)
Texas Memory brings out PCIe-based solid state
This type of SSD implementation is pretty cool because it leverages the small form factor of SSD by attached the high I/O and dense storage medium to a computer expansion card. Texas Memory has rolled out the RamSan-20, its first SSD-based PCIe card – It has a 450GB drive that delivers 120,000 IOPS. Pricing starts at $18,000 ($40/GB), which opens a whole new market opp for them – they are looking for OEMs and the SSD PCIe card will be targeted to apps that need large/fast buffer areas – DBs, financial modeling, scientific computing, video editing.
Sun flashes new NAND module
Sun is putting SSD everywhere – packed in storage appliances managed by ZFS as well as Flash-enabling their servers. Today they launched a module for holding NAND chips (Open Flash Module) which consists of 24GB attached to a small board with the same footprint as a SO-DIMM module. They also added support for small form factor (SFF) Intel SSDs.
Pillar adds solid-state disks to Axiom arrays
Pillar jumps on the SSD bandwagon with an SSD “brick” for its Axiom system. Pillar’s Axiom arrays are built with capacity nodes it calls “bricks” and compute nodes it calls “slammers”. Customers must purchase 12 SSDs in a brick; primarily b/c Axiom has up to 96GB of cache. Oracle-backed Pillar focuses on high-performing transactional storage systems.
HP puts solid state in EVA storage arrays
HP follows EMC, HDS, IBM, Sun with support for SSDs from STEC, their new EVAs will support six to eight 72GB FC SSD drives.
Isilon expands with transactional and archive systems
Isilon, best known for its clustered NAS systems, is looking to break into adjacent markets by coming out with two new NAS platforms: The S-Series that will target the primary/transactional market with quad-core x86 processors, 16GB of memory per node, and 15,000 rpm SAS disks. And the NL-Series node that will target the archive market with 36TB of SATA disk per 4U node.
I have been in many a marketing meeting and it can be easy to get caught up in grandiose “creative” plans and “out-of-the-box” thinking – and fly right over your target audience’s head (or at most make their eyes either roll or glaze over).
The smartest move I have seen any marketing professional make is walk right into their local IT manager’s office and ask them what would get them excited about whatever technology their company is hocking.
Boiling Tape Cartridges
About 10 years ago I was with a start-up that invented a new tape technology – VXA (now owned by Tandberg Data). The cool thing about VXA was that is writes data to helical tape in data packets – then multiple read heads scan the tape to pick up the data. If there are tape errors, ECC can use data around the surviving packets to rebuild lost data.
But how to market it?
We walked down to the IT folks and they said, “prove it to me.” How to prove it? They said, “boil the tape, freeze the tape, dunk it in coffee – torture it and then try a data restore – show me it works as advertised.”
Well, we did it in our labs first – and it worked! Our VXA “extreme tested” marketing campaign was born. We attended a Linux World conference and did a live test – we wrote data to a VXA tape, and then asked conference users to drop it into a large container of hot coffee. We dried it overnight and the next day we restored 100% of the data from the tape – and signed two Linux OEM deals after that conference.
I am glad to say that this campaign is still being touted today, 10 years later!!!
Screaming at Disk Arrays
Sun Solaris has some pretty amazing monitoring and analytics software built in it. But the best marketing of it I have seen didn’t come from Sun Marketing. It came one of its developers posting a video of himself yelling at a couple JBODs.
Windows on Steroids
One of my best friends and best reporters on the planet, Hari Sreenivasan, sent me the following video because he knows I am a storage geek. Kudos to the marketing folks at Samsung for walking down the hallway to talk to their IT folks on what would get other IT folks excited about SSD…
So, another video to add to the IT marketing Hall of Fame:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/96dWOEa4Djs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
In: “The Current Environment” | 5 Minutes Ago: “These Economic Times” | Out: “The Recession”
SRM Tools – an Extreme Cash Cow?
I have personally seen raised frustrations around SRM tools from end-users ever since the “Single-Pane-of-Glass” glory days – pitched by every storage vendor under the sun…
VMware makes world takeover bid
VMware Infrastructure 4 will now be called “vSphere.” VMware CEO Paul Maritz at VMworld related vSphere to a “giant software mainframe” with management at the service level. This is exciting, in my StorageTek days I helped open-source StorageTek’s first an only open source initiative – OpenTMS. The thought was to embed data management services in the OS-layer, similar to Mainframe’s DFSMS offerings. At Sun, I became an Open Storage advocate with the agenda of seeing DFSMS-like functionality embedded in OpenSolaris. But with Mr. Maritz’s latest keynote, I now see that VMware “gets it” and may just have the technology, resource, and momentum to actually pull it off…
Chuck’s Blog: It’s Happening Again
Chuck sees a new trend happening that looks like an old one – the Golden Age of UNIX was in the mid-1980’s. Will the new Golden Age of the 2000’s be VMware???
Will the SAN Market become a Feature?
A bright engineer at StorageTek used to say, “Never put a product where a feature should be.” He was talking about tape encryption, when we put an encryption chip right next to the compression chip on the STK T10000. This was a better approach than a separate appliance. My friend, Mr. John McArthur, asks a similar question. And it looks like StorMagic is trying to turn a SAN into a feature…
Products of the Year 2008
And the winners are….VMware Site Recovery Manager takes Gold for Backup & DR software; Data Domain DD690 wins Gold for Backup hardware; BlueArc Titan 3200 takes Gold for Disk systems; Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) takes Gold for Networking; and VMware VMotion brings home Gold for Storage management tools.
EMC beefs up Celerra NAS
The Celerra NS-120, NS-480, and NS-960 models pull in hashing codes from Avamar for file-level dedupe, but no block-level dedupe yet. Additionally, code from the Kashya file-system crawler was pulled into Celerra to locate inactive files for dedup and compression. On the hardware side, larger disk systems were added from Clariion CX4 (NS-960 has up to 960 drives & 8 blades) – and the new NS series will support Flash drives. Also see Chuck’s blog, NAS Evolved.
HP Joins Solaris Community (Live Free or Die)
Sun just inked a deal with HP’s ProLiant server business. Now you can get Solaris on HP, IBM, and Dell servers. Good for Sun’s Solaris business (and a testament to Solaris’ strength as an OS). Good for customers. Good for HP because they can now access customers that won’t move off of Solaris. But I suspect difficult for Sun’s server business – if you want Solaris, but are happy with your HP hardware, no need to change. On the other hand, if you are not happy with your HP hardware and like Solaris, you may look at Sun’s now.
Latest Sun/NetApp clash: SPEC SFS
Yet another benchmark debate. I managed the Sun Storage benchmark team for a short stint, and in that time I learned a lot about benchmarks, SPEC, and SPC. Without a lengthy post, I can make two general observations: 1. There is a LOT of science that goes behind these benchmarks and a lot off good people that try to make them fair. 2. If a vendor’s product performs well, then there is little complaint. But if it does not, that vendor will always discredit the benchmark and/or try to change the “criteria” so that vendor’s product performs better.
Iron Mountain opens file archiving service
Iron Mountain Digital rolled out a new cloud storage offering this week with a service called Virtual File Store (VFS).
In the storage blogosphere, Storagebod’s posts hold particular weight for me because he is one of the few bloggers that are NOT working for a storage vendor. He writes from an end-user perspective…because he is one.
I found his latest post representative of storage user’s thoughts on the topic of Storage Resource Management (SRM). In his Extreme Cash Cow – Redux post, he writes about challenges he had with ECC, but his comments are geared towards general SRM providers.
I have personally seen raised frustrations around SRM tools from end-users ever since the “Single-Pane-of-Glass” glory days – pitched by every storage vendor under the sun.
What’s going on?
My take on SRM can be summed up on a recent client call. We were talking about developing a storage strategy and storage infrastructure optimization plan:
Client: We already deployed a Storage Optimization plan.
Me: Great! How did you do it?
Client: We bought an SRM tool from XYZ vendor (one of the big disk vendors)
Me: Great, so how did it go? Did you return wasted space to free pool? Did you locate allocated but unused space, orphaned space and files, inert or unreferenced data, etc.?
Client: Well, no. It didn’t work.
Me: Why? What happened?
Client: Well…we bought the tool, and had some issues with deployment. And we couldn’t get the tool to accurately identify inert space. And we needed some information from our application admins, but they wouldn’t cooperate.
Me: So what did you do?
Client: We told management we needed another headcount. To manage the SRM tool and extract and interpret the data from it. It turned out to be a full-time job.
Me: What did management say?
Client: No. They said they freed resource to buy the tool, but can’t justify more headcount to manage it.
In essence, this optimization/SRM tool turned into Shelfware. Storagebod sums up part of the problem on his blog – this stuff isn’t easy. It’s pretty complex and each environment is different, so building one tool to management everything is extremely hard to do.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is this: You need an expert with your expert SRM tool. It may not be what you want to hear (we all want a magic bullet solution) – but it is reality. Consider these tasks:
A single tool can’t do this. A person with a tool has to. So, we have two choices here
Storagebod cautions in his blog post that the service cost should be more than just fixing the tool and getting it to work properly. What clients need is a fact-based Storage Optimization Plan and Roadmap based on tool findings.
If you are not buying that (the reason why you want an SRM tool in the first place) then you are buying Shelfware.
What SRM tool do I use?
Again, it’s not about the tool alone, but the interpretation of the tool’s data. But, if you are interested, the best tool I have seen is from pure-play SRM vendor Tek-Tools. They cover primary, backup, and virtualized environments. The folks there are great and the tool continues to improve. But again, make sure you have a storage expert or service to go with that tool to accomplish what you are really looking for.
Sun jumbles key management picture
Right after EMC/RSA, HP, and IBM proposed a new Key Management protocol through OASIS, Sun releases an open-source protocol. Sun says the proposed OASIS protocol is lower-level – which wouldn’t surprise me. But OASIS claims its protocol will address more devices (disk, tape, laptops, mobile devices, switches, applications). This also doesn’t surprise me as the Sun protocol got its roots in Tape Drive encryption, and OASIS members (esp RSA) play in multiple areas of the market. Another standards battle to watch, although the majority of vendors are with OASIS…
Brocade sees slowdown in convergence demand
Quick primer: iSCSI sends SCSI commands in TCP/IP over Ethernet = cheaper SANs. FCoE maps FC natively over Ethernet = iSCSI competitor. Stephen Foskett gives a great summary of the FCoE vs. iSCSI battle. So now Brocade has slowed its FCoE rollout – but is this because market demand is low; or Brocade is focusing more on its FC roots in this tough economy? (Be sure to read Scott Lowe’s excellent question on his blog post, “Is Unified Fabric an Inevitability?”
Storagezilla: Emulex converges
While we are talking convergence, Mr. Zilla gives a great summary of the recent Emulex convergence announcements. It was a good week for the HBA player – they celebrated their 30th anniversary, rang the bell at the NYSE, and announced a ton of new products. New products include their Universal Converged Network Adapter (CNA) called OneConnect which handles multiple network protocols (Ethernet, FC, iSCSI); as well as their EmulexSecure Encryption HBA.
Storage industry debates standardized cloud API
Moving on from Key Management protocols…..now we need to hash out Cloud protocols! A standard API for moving data in and out of the cloud. My take is that it is way too early for this. Startups will try to make a standards play to get more traction, Amazon won’t play unless they really need to. And today Amazon is the furthest ahead in the Cloud race – so they don’t need to. How easy Clouds are to access and utilize is still a differentiator for companies – so any standard is far off in my book.
In: Cloud Storage | 5 Minutes Ago: Utility Storage | Out: Grid Storage
Storage Explained: Cloud storage
Is your definition of Cloud Storage…cloudy? This article gives a good general overview and definition. Cool stat: Amazon S3 held 800,000 objects at the end Q2 06, grew to 5 billion in a year, and then to 40 billion by the end of 2008.
HP releases first LeftHand iSCSI SAN products
Good to see after last year’s $360M acquisition. The new SAN product comes in a two-node configuration (with HP ProLiant servers of course), is SAS-based (15,000 rpm), and offers 4.8TB at $35,000. HP is positioning LeftHand products for the server virtualization market.
IBM updates DS8000, XIV, deduplication and cloud
Speculation of DS8000’s longevity arose after the XIV acquisition at IBM. But it looks like IBM is still investing – DS8000 will support FC-attached SSDs (from STEC), and DB2 for z/OS will automatically place active database tables on SSD. DS8000 will also offer Seagate disk encryption. Still no thin provisioning however.
HP, IBM, EMC propose encryption key management standard
What happens when you lose your encryption key? You lose your data! So, the “key” to encryption is good Key Management. The right players (major vendors + RSA) are aligned around the newly proposed Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP) spec. This is one area where a standard is needed.
Obama stimulus plan offers funding for storage, IT industries
I like the technology investments in the stimulus plan, for example – $20 billion for digitizing healthcare records. More money coming into our industry is a good thing. But, like a lot of other taxpayers, I’d still like more detail on the planned stimulus spending and anticipated results. That’s a lot of our money going to a lot of different places, thrown together in a very short amount of time…
IBM XIV Announcement, Meh?
Storagebod chimes in on IBM’s XIV announcement…he’s not too excited. IBM launched a smaller version of XIV – it had an 80TB model last year, and now has a 27TB model. Still no added software functionality like replication, dedup, etc. So the jury is still out for XIV and IBM is still looking for a good market for it – maybe it started too high (Moshe would like nothing better than to take out DMX), and they are trying to make it play more down-market.
Quantum holographic storage
Awesome article for the storage geek. If the air I am breathing feels a little too thick, it may be because some scientists have crammed bits of data into the electrons around me…
Top 4 things that impact storage costs
David Merrill is spot on with his potentially wasted space analysis. He talks about four main capacity-draining causes. Although we have identified around 8-10 causes, he hits the nail on the head…
A couple months ago we had a client that needed to migrate production data from one data center to another across geographies. There were a couple of complications, so our team put their heads together on a solution.
A Client’s Need
We determined it would be faster (and cheaper) to replicate the data from Data Center A’s production environment to some sort of storage repository. Then we would truck/plane that repository to Data Center B – which had a much faster transfer rate than sending the data over the network (given the amount of data we were dealing with). Once at Data Center B, we could copy the data from our storage repository to its new home. But the production data at Data Center A would have changed over the time the replicated copy was on its trip. So once were up at Data Center B, we would need to sync the delta in data to capture all these changes. This could happen over a network line, as the delta in data would be much smaller than the entire production environment.
It sounded like a good plan – and we had everything we needed to do it but a unified appliance that could handle iSCSI, FC, and NAS protocols as well as WAN replication.
We sat down with the folks at RELDATA, troubleshot the problem, threw a couple tough questions their way, and…were very impressed. What stood out to me was the following:
RELDATA is a young company, and its roots started in Europe (although they are now HQ’d in NJ). But they are old enough to have several successful implementations under their belt, and newer versions of their systems are coming out. I also found the people and support in the company to be very good and responsive.
The 9240i is their latest system, some quick specs and highlights:
A Solid Appliance
So, if you are looking for a practical, solid unified appliance for iSCSI SAN, NAS, replication, migration, consolidation, etc. take a look at RELDATA. It may not have all the bells and whistles as larger vendors, but it looks to be a well-built and designed gateway/appliance that can get the job done – simply and affordably.