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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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Ceph-all-in-one
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on August 16, 2017
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Introduction

This article describes the deployment of a Ceph cluster in one instance or as it’s called “Ceph-all-in-one”. As you may know, Ceph is a unified Software-Defined Storage system designed for great performance, reliability, and scalability. With the help of Ceph, you can build an environment with the desired size. You can start with a one-node system and there are no limits in its sizing. I will show you how to build the Ceph cluster on top of one virtual machine (or instance). You should never use such scenario in production, only for testing purposes.

The series of articles will guide you through the deployment and configuration of different Ceph cluster builds.

 

check the ceph cluster status

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Microsoft Azure Stack in General Availability (GA) and Customers will Receive it in September. Why is this Important? Part I
Posted by Augusto Alvarez on July 18, 2017
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Microsoft’s Hybrid Cloud appliance to run Azure in your datacenter has finally reached to General Availability (GA) and the Integration Systems (Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo for this first iteration) are formally taking orders from customers, which will receive their Azure Stack solution in September. But, what exactly represents Azure Stack? Why is this important to organizations?

Microsoft Azure Stack logo

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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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Data Management Moves to the Fore. Part 3: Data Management Requires Storage Resource and Services Management Too
Posted by Jon Toigo on April 7, 2017
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Previously, we discussed how data might be classified and segregated so that policies could be developed to place data on infrastructure in a deliberative manner – that is,  in a way that optimizes data access, storage resources and services, and storage costs over the useful life of the data itself.  From the standpoint of cognitive data management, data management policies constitute the instructions or programs that the cognitive engine processes to place and move data on and within infrastructure over time.

Cognitive Data Management Facility

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Data Management Moves to the Fore. Part 2: Data Management Has Many Moving Parts
Posted by Jon Toigo on April 4, 2017
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In the previous blog, we established that there is a growing need to focus on Capacity Utilization Efficiency in order to “bend the cost curve” in storage.  Just balancing data placement across repositories (Capacity Allocation Efficiency) is insufficient to cope with the impact of data growth and generally poor management.  Only by placing data on infrastructure in a deliberative manner that optimizes data access and storage services and costs, can IT pros possibly cope with the coming data deluge anticipated by industry analysts.

The problem with data management is that it hasn’t been advocated or encouraged by vendors in the storage industry.  Mismanaged data, simply put, drives the need for more capacity – and sells more kit.

COMPONENTS OF A COGNITIVE DATA MANAGEMENT SOLUTION

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Software-Defined Storage: StarWind Virtual SAN vs Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct vs VMware Virtual SAN
Posted by Anton Kolomyeytsev on June 16, 2016
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This is a comprehensive comparison of the leading products of the Software-Defined Storage market, featuring Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct, VMware Virtual SAN and StarWind Virtual SAN. It provides numerous use cases, based on different deployment scales and architectures, because the mentioned products all have different aims. As the market is already large enough, the vendors used to dwell its different parts, but lately they entered a full-scale competition, adapting their products to meet general demand. This post is an analysis of how Microsoft, VMware and StarWind fare in in the Software-Defined Storage market right now. The approach is practical and all the statements are based on the experience of virtualization administrators and engineers from all over the world.

SMB and ROBO

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