Some interesting new ways to improve your IT infrastructure in 2016

It’s an exciting time in IT; there is so much innovation going on, often driven by start-ups, and many new ways of doing things compared to a few years ago. The good news is that generally the affordability of high-end technology is better than ever, bring them within the reach of most organisations. So let’s take a look at what’s now available: 1. Availability – Improving your Disaster Recovery processes by enabling vMotion and HA between sites I believe that current DR practices built around active passive asynchronous replication and VMware Site Recovery Manager are just not good enough: Data is lost in the event of a fail-over Local array failures cause downtime Failing-over/back causes significant disruption to the organisation Testing is difficult therefore Continue reading

Is there another storage platform as feature rich as NetApp FAS?

I think it is fair to say that NetApp FAS running Clustered Data ONTAP is a very feature rich platform – the move to the clustered version of ONTAP has brought many next-generation features including Scale-out and Non-disruptive Operations. As a benchmark let’s compare FAS to EMC’s solutions – I fully appreciate that EMC has taken a best of breed approach, but my feeling is that for most non-enterprise customers this is not a sustainable strategy – customers want simplicity and ease of use, and you are not going to get that by deploying four different storage platforms to meet your needs. I have chosen EMC because they are the overall market share leader and they have the broadest set Continue reading

Comparing NetApp MetroCluster with EMC VPLEX Metro Continuous Availability solutions

MetroCluster was the last major feature of 7-Mode to be ported over to Clustered Data ONTAP (it is included in the recently announced 8.3 version). Metro cluster solutions enable zero RPO and near zero RTO and they are typically a requirement for building a VMware Stretched Cluster (to enable vMotion, HA, DRS and FT over distance). Let’s take a look at how MetroCluster compares with EMC’s flagship continuous availability solution – VPLEX Metro: MetroCluster is standard feature of ONTAP, rather than a separate product, and requires: A 2-node cluster at each of the two sites – all nodes in a MetroCluster need to be identical (FAS2500 series not supported) 2 x FC switches per site and 4 x FC ports per controller – Continue reading

EMC, HDS & NetApp Storage Portfolio Videos now available on YouTube

As well as being one of the most expensive, your storage infrastructure is likely to be the single most critical element of your physical and virtualised IT environment. While CPU, RAM and Network resources can directly affect the performance of some of your systems, poorly sized or badly integrated storage, will damage the performance of ALL your systems and may render servers and services unusable. So it’s always worth taking the time to understand the storage that’s available and digging a little deeper to ensure it’s going to deliver great performance and good value for money. To start the ball rolling, we’ve provided three short videos that give a quick introduction to the storage offerings available from the three major storage Continue reading

What were the major announcements at EMC World 2014?

Now that the dust has settled on EMC World 2014 we have put together a quick summary of the major announcements: VNX – Hybrid Unified Array D@RE (Data-At-Rest-Encryption) will enable a fully integrated and simple to deploy option to encrypt all the data within the array. Interestingly all VNX2s have shipped with the encryption hardware included, it will just require a software update and license to enable the feature. Support for 800 GB eMLC drives should make it more affordable to create a large all-flash tier and take advantage of the MCx flash-optimisation technology. It was announced that later this year vVNX (aka Project Liberty) will be released which will make it possible to spin-up a fully featured VNX either in your “Private Continue reading

EMC Storage Solutions Overview – Q4 2013 update

This is our regular update providing a summary of EMC’s storage solutions that SNS focus on. The following core products are covered – VNX, RecoverPoint, VPLEX Metro, XtremIO, XtremSF and XtremCache, and Data Domain. VNX – Unified Storage The VNX builds on the popular CLARiiON and Celerra platforms, and provides dual controller block (FC, FCoE and iSCSI) and NAS (CIFS, NFS and pNFS) scale-up storage. The recently updated platform (“VNX2″) focuses on Flash drive performance scaling, tier 1 capabilities such as Active-Active LUN access, and capacity optimisation using de-duplication and tiering. Key strengths: Multi-core optimisation designed for Flash, 4th generation Flash Cache and tiering technology, de-duplication, and state-of-the-art VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V support across all protocols and replication technologies RecoverPoint – Continue reading

What does EMC’s storage portfolio have to offer small to medium sized organisations?

EMC has traditionally been known for providing solutions to enterprise-class organisations with technologies such as Symmetrix VMAX (scale-out block) and more recently Isilon (scale-out NAS). They also have a great technology stack for small to medium sized organisations built around the VNX mid-range storage platform, so we thought it would be useful to put together a quick summary of the key products: VNX – Unified Storage The VNX builds on the popular CLARiiON and Celerra platforms, and provides dual controller block (FC, FCoE and iSCSI) and NAS (CIFS, NFS and pNFS) scale-up storage. The recently updated platform (“VNX2″) focuses on Flash drive performance scaling, tier 1 capabilities such as Active-Active LUN access, and capacity optimisation using de-duplication and tiering. For smaller organisations Continue reading

Event: Extreme Application Performance and Availability Seminar in London

Improving application performance and availability are key requirements for many organisations. Over the last few years Flash storage and Continuous Availability technologies have matured and are changing the way data centres of all sizes are architected. The SNS technical team has put together a briefing that includes a deep-dive into EMC’s Flash and Continuous Availability solutions: Agenda 09:30 – Registration 09:45 – Welcome and introductions 10:00 – Metro Clusters 10:45 – Break 11:15 – Hybrid Flash arrays 12:00 – All-Flash arrays and PCIe Server Flash 12:15 – Break 12:30 – Continuous Data Protection 12:45 – Disaster Recovery and Workload Mobility 13:15 – Case Study 13:30 – Lunch and Close Reasons to attend Determine which Flash solutions will have the biggest impact on your Continue reading

EMC World 2013: VPLEX Metro now more affordable for VNX customers

Here at SNS we really like EMC VPLEX Metro, here are some of the reasons why: Mission critical application availability – Provide users with non-stop access to applications even when a storage array fails Enable stretched clusters – With support for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Oracle RAC Downtime avoidance – Utilise VMware vMotion to migrate virtual machines between data centres before the outage occurs Automated disaster recovery – Utilise VMware HA across data centres to re-start virtual machines in the event of a site failure Oracle RAC HA over distance – Provide better performance and ease of deployment compared to Oracle ASM host-mirroring Migrate data without downtime – From one array to another within and across data centres Non-disruptive storage maintenance – Take an array or Continue reading

Coming soon: Enabling VMware Stretched Metro Clusters Seminar

Many organisations have deployed storage array replication with disaster recovery automation technologies like VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, but what’s next? The SNS technical team have put together a briefing focused on Next-generation Continuous Application Availability technologies from VMware and EMC. Dates and locations will be released shortly, but here is a sneak peak of what will be on offer: Agenda 09:30 – Registration 09:45 – Welcome and introductions 10:00 – VMware Metro Cluster best practices 10:45 – Break 11:00 – Stretching your storage with EMC VPLEX Metro 11:45 – Adding Site Recovery Manager to your Metro Cluster 12:00 – Break 12:15 – EMC “VNX2″ the optimal storage to use with VPLEX 12:30 – University of Westminster Case Study 12:45 – Demonstrations Continue reading