VMware Software-Defined Data Center Introduction Video now available on YouTube

VMware may well be about to change the world again, with the final pieces of the Software-Defined Data Centre falling into place. Until recently – SDDC looked like vapourware, however – with the release of Virtual SAN, EVO:RAIL, Flash Read Cache and the much anticipated arrival of NSX networking, it is finally a reality. To get you up to speed, we’ve provided a short introductory video on VMware SDDC – It’s less than 10 mins and should allow you to get a good idea of what this latest development offers your organisation. Of course – if you want more information on any of the subjects covered – then give us a call, drop us an email to info@snsltd.co.uk, or drill Continue reading

What are the key features of a NetApp FAS storage platform?

Whereas the vast majority of storage arrays are block based, NetApp has taken a different approach – their main storage platform (FAS) uses a file layout to power a range of features (including integrated backup, de-duplication, and truly unified block and NAS) that their competitors struggle to compete with. Let’s take a quick look at the technologies that make FAS so unique: WAFL (Write Anywhere File Layout) Whether you are creating a block LUN to present using FC, iSCSI or FCoE, or an NFS or CIFS file system they both use the WAFL “file system” – WAFL then powers all of the capabilities discussed below. RAID-DP WAFL optimally writes data using large RAID stripes which avoids the small block random Continue reading

What questions should you ask when you are looking to purchase new storage arrays?

Purchasing new storage arrays is something most organisations do every 3-5 years and is generally one of the larger items to come out of most IT budgets. On paper (or even PowerPoint) all arrays come across as being excellent with a broad range of capabilities, but as we know from all other technology industries having a tick next to a feature does not mean it has been implemented to a high standard. In addition all architectural decisions regarding a storage array are a trade off: A NAS based solution enables thin provisioning, low overhead snapshots and de-duplication, but requires large amounts of metadata* A block based solution enables tiering and more consistent performance as large amounts of metadata do not Continue reading

EMC World 2013: MirrorView customers now have a much better way to replicate VNX arrays

MirrorView has been around for a long time and it is fair to say is now getting a bit long in the tooth – RecoverPoint is now the preferred method for replicating EMC arrays. If you are struggling to replicate all of your data, impacting users with replication hogging too much bandwidth or slowing down application response times when replication is in progress, then RecoverPoint could well be the answer to your problems. The key advantages of RecoverPoint are: Increased production array performance as replication processing is handled off the array Reduced bandwidth consumption (up to 90%) using advanced compression and de-duplication technology The ability to recover back to any point in time using continuous data protection The downside of RecoverPoint was that it required a dedicated Continue reading

How viable is it to use snapshots as backups with EMC and NetApp storage?

The amount of data organisations need to backup is growing every year, but backup throughput is just not keeping up. Having to move even a few TBs of data takes a long time and as more and more organisations need to backup tens or even hundreds of TBs this has become an enormous challenge. Alternative options need to be explored and probably the most popular one is replicated array snapshots: Instant backup and restore as data does not need to move Multiple backups can be taken throughout the day Backup data is automatically replicated off-site Tape backups only need to be performed infrequently or possibly not at all Combines storage, backup and disaster recovery into a single solution There are some issues though Continue reading