Building a next-generation on-premises infrastructure

As much as the cloud is having a significant impact on how IT is deployed, on-premises infrastructure is here to stay. Over the last few years the industry has made huge progress with regard to Storage Performance, Systems Availability and Operational Simplicity – let’s take a look at some of our solutions that enable you to take advantage of these and build a next-generation infrastructure: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure We have several options available that: Combine compute and storage into a single scale-out solution Enable simplified provisioning, management and upgrading HCI solutions are taking over from separate compute and storage as they promise to deliver the simplicity of the cloud. Continuous Availability We have several options available that: Automate disaster recovery fail-over Achieve zero downtime even Continue reading

Transitioning to a “Cloud Ready” data centre

Most major software and hardware vendors have begun their journey to cloud enable their products thus providing the foundations for a “Cloud Ready” data centre. Let’s take a look at some of our solutions that can help you with the transition: Backup of cloud services (SaaS and IaaS) We have several options available that: Run in the cloud as SaaS applications Run on-premises and/or in the cloud Enable point-in-time recovery of SaaS applications and IaaS VMs Enable IaaS VMs to be restored back on-premises or to another cloud provider – no matter the hypervisor These solutions are targeted at the most popular SaaS applications – Office 365, G Suite (formerly Google Apps) and Salesforce, and the leading IaaS platforms – AWS and Azure. Continue reading

Why Commvault should be top of your list if you are looking at any kind of new Data Protection solution

Data Protection is a challenge for most organisations and with the move to virtualisation and the cloud things have just got more complicated. So if your current solution is struggling to backup your data in the available time, is becoming unreliable or just lacks the required features, then the time has come to re-think your Data Protection strategy. Now there are plenty of point solutions that are very good, the most obvious one being Veeam Backup and Replication, but it does tend to run out of steam as your data protection requirements and capacities increase. So what’s so good about Commvault? It’s open and flexible, minimises lock-in and maximises choice It is OS, hypervisor, public cloud, storage array and application agnostic Continue reading

NetApp FAS and E-Series – what’s new for 2016?

Most large IT infrastructure vendors are having a very busy time updating their products to better integrate with Public Cloud services and fully exploit the performance of flash. One such vendor is NetApp, let’s take a quick look at what they have been up to when it comes to their core storage platforms: FAS New hardware platforms: FAS2600 (2U including drives) 100,000 IOPS at <1ms latency 1 TiB on-board Flash Cache per HA pair FAS8200 and All-Flash FAS A300 (3U) 280,000 IOPS at <1ms latency 2 TiB (Max 4 TiB) on-board Flash Cache per HA pair FAS9000 and All-Flash FAS A700 (8U) 500,000 IOPS at <1ms latency 2 TiB (Max 16 TiB) on-board Flash Cache per HA pair With the following enhancements: Massive performance Continue reading

The Storage Array is dead, long live Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (or is it?)

All industries must strive for constant improvement to drive change (and therefore revenue), the objective is to periodically make the current install base of equipment obsolete so it must be replaced. Just take a look at TVs – in the late 1990s we had bulky CRTs, then flat screens appeared, but they were Standard Definition, so in the late 2000s they were upgraded to HD, but of course it does not end there, as in the last few years we have seen the introduction of 4K/UHD panels. The worst thing that can happen to any industry is for its customers to not see any benefit in upgrading, so the IT industry has tried hard to tell customers that they must change as the future consists of Continue reading

EMC Data Domain takes another significant leap forward

Data Domain has been a hugely successful product for EMC and as we enter the cloud and software-defined storage era they have once again enhanced the technology with a couple of great new features: Cloud Tier Data Domain can now support both an active tier and a cloud tier – using a Data Movement Policy. Data that is of a specific age will be automatically moved out of the active tier into your public or private cloud object storage platform of choice, fully de-duplicated, for long term retention. Data can be encrypted (using DD Encryption) and locked (using DD Retention Lock) before tiering it to the cloud, and a separate DD Cloud Tier licence is required. The capacity of the cloud tier can Continue reading

An introduction to EMC Unity – new mid-range unified storage platform

EMC has been on a journey for a number of years to truly unify the Block and File capabilities of their market leading mid-range VNX platform – that journey is now complete with the introduction of Unity. The overall goal of Unity is to be: Simple – even easier to deploy and manage than the current best Modern – take advantage of the performance and price points of the latest generation flash drives Flexible – more feature rich than any other mid-range platform Affordable – with prices starting at under £10K So what’s new in Unity? Simple to deploy with new setup wizard and simple to manage with a new HTML5 User Interface Designed for all-flash, with All Flash and Hybrid configurations Support for eMLC Continue reading

Move inactive data to the cloud with EMC CloudArray

Most organisations are seeing massive growth in their storage requirements, but a significant proportion of the data is old and inactive so for years IT departments have looked to reduce costs by moving inactive data to low cost storage – sometimes even optical drives and tape. As we are now in the era of public cloud computing we have another option – create a storage array that is essentially a cache to cloud storage, that way active data will be served from local storage and infrequently accessed data will be pulled from the cloud (i.e. Amazon, Microsoft Azure or Google). EMC CloudArray is one such product and it has the following capabilities: Looks, feels and performs like local storage Supports FC, iSCSI, CIFS & Continue reading

Protect SaaS applications from data loss with EMC Spanning

If you believe the current hype in the IT industry every organisation is rushing to remove on-premises infrastructure and move all workloads to the public cloud (Platform as a service – PaaS), but based on conversations I have it is clear that for most this is just not true. The reality is that they are sticking with on-premises kit, but on an application-by-application basis looking to see if there are advantages to running it in the cloud (Software as a service – SaaS). Who knows what will happen in the future, but today for most organisations SaaS is far more prevalent than PaaS and it is very rare to come across an organisation that is not running either Salesforce, Office 365, Google Apps or Continue reading

EVO:RAIL is dead long live VxRail

On paper EVO:RAIL was a great idea – VMware provides the Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) software (vSphere and Virtual SAN) and the major server and storage vendors provide the hardware, but one of the biggest problems was that it was 100% designed by VMware therefore how could the likes of EMC, NetApp, Dell, HP, HDS, etc. innovate? The answer of course was they couldn’t and the product was therefore not a great success  – something therefore had to change. The good news is that EVO:RAIL has become VxRail and it will be sold exclusively by VCE (a VMware and EMC company). Also with EVO:RAIL there was a very limited choice of hardware, you had to start with four nodes, scale in four node increments and use vSphere Continue reading