Back to Enterprise Storage
Posted by Jon Toigo on October 11, 2017
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An under-reported trend in storage these days is the mounting dissatisfaction with server-centric storage infrastructure as conceived by proprietary server hypervisor vendors and implemented as exclusive software-defined storage stacks.  A few years ago, the hypervisor vendors seized on consumer anger around overpriced “value-add” storage arrays to insert a “new” modality of storage, so-called software-defined storage, into the IT lexicon.  Touted as a solution for everything that ailed storage – and as a way to improve virtual machine performance in the process – SDS and hyper-converged infrastructure did rather well in the market.  However, the downside of creating silo’ed storage behind server hosts was that storage efficiency declined by 10 percent or more on an enterprise-wide basis; companies were realizing less bang for the buck with software-defined storage than with the enterprise storage platforms they were replacing.

Shared and Silo'ed storages' components

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Hyperconvergence – another buzzword or the King of the Throne?
Posted by Ivan Talaichuk on September 7, 2017
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Before we have started our journey through the storage world, I would like to begin with a side note on what is hyperconverged infrastructure and which problems this cool word combination really solves.

Folks who already took the grip on hyperconvergence can just skip the first paragraph where I’ll describe HCI components plus a backstory about this tech.

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is a term coined by two great guys: Steve Chambers and Forrester Research (at least Wiki said so). They’ve created this word combination in order to describe a fully software-defined IT infrastructure that is capable of virtualizing all the components of conventional ‘hardware-defined’ systems.

Hyperconverged system

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The Pleasant Fiction of Software-Defined Storage
Posted by Jon Toigo on August 22, 2017
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Whether you have heard it called software-defined storage, referring to a stack of software used to dedicate an assemblage of commodity storage hardware to a virtualized workload, or hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), referring to a hardware appliance with a software-defined storage stack and maybe a hypervisor pre-configured and embedded, this “revolutionary” approach to building storage was widely hailed as your best hope for bending the storage cost curve once and for all.  With storage spending accounting for a sizable percentage – often more than 50% — of a medium-to-large organization’s annual IT hardware budget, you probably welcomed the idea of an SDS/HCI solution when the idea surfaced in the trade press, in webinars and at conferences and trade shows a few years ago.

storage total cost of ownership

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The Need For Liquidity in Data Storage Infrastructure
Posted by Jon Toigo on August 17, 2017
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Liquidity is a term you are more likely to hear on a financial news channel than at a technology trade show.  As an investment-related term, liquidity refers the amount of capital available to banks and businesses and to how readily it can be used.  Assets that can be converted quickly to cash (preferably with minimal loss in value) in order to meet immediate and short term obligations are considered “liquid.”

When it comes to data storage, liquid storage assets can be viewed as those that can be allocated to virtually any workload at any time without compromising performance, cost-efficiency/manageability, resiliency, or scalability.  High liquidity storage supports any workload operating under any OS, hypervisor, or container technology, accessed via any protocol (network file systems, object storage, block network, etc.), without sacrificing data protection, capacity scaling, or performance optimization.

Hard disk drive cost per gigabyte

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Design a ROBO infrastructure. Part 4: HCI solutions
Posted by Andrea Mauro on June 7, 2017
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2-nodes hyperconverged solution

As written in the previous post, for ROBO scenario the most interesting HCI (Hyper-Converged Infrastructure) configuration is a two nodes configuration, considering that two nodes could be enough to run dozen VMs (or also more).

For this reason, not all hyperconverged solutions could be suitable for this case (for example Nutanix or Simplivity need at least 3 nodes). And is not simple scale down an enterprise solution to a small size, due to the architecture constraints.

Actually, there are some interesting products specific for HCI in ROBO scenario:

  • VMware Virtual SAN in a 2 nodes clusters
  • StarWind Virtual Storage Appliance
  • StorMagic SvSAN

StarWind Virtual SAN overall architecture

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Design a ROBO infrastructure (Part 3): Infrastructure at remote office side
Posted by Andrea Mauro on March 30, 2017
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Design a ROBO scenario must match finally the reality of the customers’ needs, its constraints but also the type of workload and the possible availability solutions of them.

Logical design of a ROBO scenario

When can found the different type of approaches:

  • No server(s) at
  • Few servers (that maybe can fail)
  • Some servers with “relaxed” availability requirements
  • Some servers with reasonable availability

Let’s analyze each of them.

Design a ROBO scenario must match finally the reality of the customers’ needs, its constraints but also the type of workload and the possible availability solutions of them.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure structure

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HYPER-CONVERGENCE TAKES HOLD
Posted by Jon Toigo on February 18, 2016
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Hyper-converged infrastructure, when we started to hear about it last year, was simply an “appliantization” of the architecture and technology of software-defined storage (SDS) technology running in concert with server virtualization technology. Appliantization means that the gear peddler was doing the heavy lift of pre-integrating server and storage hardware with hypervisor and SDS hardware so that the resulting kit would be pretty much plug-and-play.

HCI

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