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Benchmarking Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2
Posted by Taras Shved on March 24, 2017
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Everyone knows that, currently, the SSDs are one of the best storage devices that allow you to upgrade your architecture and significantly accelerate the performance of the computer. SSD accelerates the loading speed of your PC, applications opening and files searching speed, and generally increases the performance of your system. Despite the fact that solid-state drives are more expensive than standard hard drives, the performance improvement can hardly be overlooked.

The modern market is represented by a variety of storage devices that differ depending on the volume, interface, memory type, and vendor. The SATA SSDs are replaced by PCIe NVMe SSDs that deliver an increase in performance by connecting directly to the PCIe bus. A few months ago, Samsung announced the release of SSD 960 PRO and SSD 960 EVO NVMe,  which will be discussed in this post. As well as 950 Pro, which was released last year,  Samsung 960 Pro and 960 EVO are PCIe 3.0 x4 drives that utilize the latest version of the NVMe protocol for data transfer, designed to reduce delays, and utilize flash memory with maximum efficiency. Therefore, Samsung 960 EVO delivers performance close to 960 PRO, but at a much more affordable price.

Samsung SSD 960 EVO

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Hyper-V Networking 101. Part 1: NICs and Switches
Posted by Thorsten Windrath on March 22, 2017
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Network cables

Source: pixabay.com

Introduction

There are lots of posts regarding Hyper-V networking. But there doesn’t seem to be a single compiled and up to date guide covering fundamentals and some advanced topics alike. This article aims to fill that gap, without a wall of text but a few easy to understand diagrams, tables, and PowerShell snippets. We will take a look at Hyper-V’s basic networking concept, NIC teaming (Network Interface Card) and different approaches to let VMs (Virtual Machines) talk to specific VLANs or even VLAN trunks.

The first article in the Hyper-V Networking 101 series will cover everything you need to know about virtual switches and NICs. The last post is planned as a real-world example: A way to implement a secure Wi-Fi (and/or wired) guest network on top of a virtual firewall.

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Eliminating Blue Screen or Errors during failover
Posted by Taras Shved on March 15, 2017
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Introduction

The reason for writing this post was a recent case from one of our customers, who ran into an issue when their SAN switch failed. The problem was that their VMs were generating an enormous amount of errors that were caused by the switching of active paths at the time of failover.

Local Machine System Current Controller Set Services Disk

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Microsoft Expands Olympus: Adds NVIDIA support
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on March 13, 2017
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We’ve talked before in this blog about Microsoft Project Olympus and the Open Compute Project (OCP): “Microsoft, the Open Source Cloud Hardware and Why is it Important to You”. This time, Microsoft is expanding the Olympus ideal by adding NVIDIA support with their GPU capabilities into their Open Source Hardware.

Microsoft NVIDIA

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Fibre Channel: Concepts and Configuration
Posted by Taras Shved on March 3, 2017
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Introduction

This article is intended to introduce you to the main concepts and features of Fibre Channel (FC), the high-speed network technology and a relevant family of standards (protocols) for storage networking that was standardized in 1994.

FC is one of the first technologies used for connecting data storage to servers, for example, in Storage Area Networks (SAN). On the physical layer, it is typically built with optical fiber cables. There are three major Fibre Channel topologies: Point-to-Point, Arbitrated Loop, and Switched Fabric. FC is available at 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 16, 32 and 128 Gbit/s speeds.

Inverted pyramid of doom

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RAM Disk technology: Performance Comparison
Posted by Alex Khorolets on February 23, 2017
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Introduction

Since every computer now has a volatile amount of available storage located in the RAM, when compared to other direct-access memory used for data storage, for example, hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older drum memory, the amount of time used to read/write the data differs in correspondence to the physical location and/or the medium used for reading/recording (rotation speeds and arm movement) the data.

The implementation of RAM as a storage provides a list of benefits over other conventional devices, due to the fact of the data being read or written in the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the volume. Taken into consideration all the information mentioned above, it would be a crime not to take advantage of the provided conditions.

RAM

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Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 3 (Failover Duration)
Posted by Vladislav Karaiev on February 17, 2017
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We are continuing our set of articles dedicated to Synology’s DS916+ mid-range NAS units. Remember we don’t dispute the fact that Synology is capable of delivering a great set of NAS features. Instead of this, we are conducting a number of tests on a pair of DS916+ units to define if they can be utilized as a general-use primary production storage. In Part 1 we have tested the performance of DS916+ in different configurations and determined how to significantly increase the performance of a “dual” DS916+ setup by replacing the native Synology DSM HA Cluster with StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

Synology DS916 and StarWind

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Setting yourself up for a success with virtualization
Posted by Michael Ryom on February 16, 2017
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I am going to try to address a few issues I have seen quite a lot in my virtualization career. It is not that you have to take extra care when virtualizing, but your virtual environment will never be better than the foundation you build it on. The reason you do not see that many people fuss about it in non-virtualized environments (anymore). I believe, that resources are in abundance today. Well, they were so ten years ago as well, but since then we have only seen higher and higher specification on server hardware. It was the reason for starting to virtualize. Do not get me wrong – Lots of people care about the performance of their virtual and physical environments. Yet some have not set them self up for a successful virtualization project. Let me elaborate…

Mind the gap of virtualization

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Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 2 (Log-Structured File System)
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on February 13, 2017
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Introduction

In this article, we are going to continue testing Synology DS916+ with StarWind Virtual SAN. Our main goal today is to improve the performance of Synology boxes specifically on random patterns. Randoms were chosen for a reason. SQL and OLTP workloads tend to cause huge stress, especially, to spindle arrays, generating a heavily randomized I/O. Patterns we are choosing for today’s benchmark are common for such environments. There are different approaches, which can handle these workload types, such as caching and tiering. Our approach is to build environment with StarWind Log-Structured File System. LSFS was created exactly for this type of environments to improve the performance.

We will compare the results we receive to the ones from Part 1 of our research.

Synology DS916+ StarWind

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Create an ESXi 6.5 installation USB under two minutes
Posted by Vladan Seget on January 24, 2017
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The Installation of ESXi 6.5 did not change much since previous release. After you’re download your installation ISO, you need to burn it to a CD-ROM in order to proceed with installation. Know that there is a way to install ESXi from USB stick too. And in this post we will prepare one. You as an administrator or consultant have to have your toolkit with the latest ESXi installer ready in your pocket, so today we’ll show one of the methods to create an ESXi 6.5 installation USB under two minutes.

While this method of creation of USB media is quick and it is done under two minutes, it is not always obvious to deal with hardware compatibility and drivers and firmware (combination of those two) for latest vSphere 6.5. At the end of the post we’ll show you few ways how to deal with that.

Create ESXi 6.5 Installation USB

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