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

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

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

VMware Virtual SAN is now ready for mainstream adoption

Virtual SAN (VSAN) was released two years ago and I think it is fair to say that the initial release was never going to “set the world on fire”, but roughly every six months a new version appeared with a huge list of improvements. This brings us to the recently announced 6.2 release, which for me is the first version that is ready for mainstream adoption – highlights include: De-duplication – 4K blocks within a disk group with the process occurring when the blocks are de-staged to the capacity tier (All-Flash only) Compression – attempts to reduce de-duplicated 4K blocks down to 2K or less (All-Flash only) RAID 5/6 – in addition to the existing RAID 1 (All-Flash only) Checksum data integrity on reads and periodic scans Quality Continue reading

An introduction to SimpliVity OmniCube – a superior Hyper-converged platform

I have looked at many storage technologies over the last few years – these include All-Flash Arrays, Software-Defined Storage, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and Cloud Gateways. The vendors of these products claim that they deliver something significantly better than what can be found in most data centres today, and in certain ways they do, but they always have a big list of areas that need significant improvement (one key example is that storage platforms that do not have 100% inline de-duplication and compression are starting to look “a bit long in the tooth”). I have also studied VMware Virtual Volumes in depth and the vision of the technology is impressive, the problem is that the current 1.0 version does not deliver on this vision – we Continue reading