DEW17: Storage On Steroids (& Cloud and Networking)

LAS VEGAS: Digital transformation is the (current) be-all and end-all, but for IT vendors, it’s all about building and selling the products and services that facilitate the DT journey, and in the second segment of our preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 2 we look at Dell EMC’s more mundane announcements, while Part 3 will focus on the revolutionary new payment program that turns CapEx to OpEx and might even help reduce the fear of vendor lock-in. As the dominant enterprise storage vendor, there were a number of storage announcements, including a heaping helping of software-defined storage news: a new release of ScaleIO; Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) platform updates; IsilonSD Edge enhancements; new and updated Dell EMC Ready Nodes; and a preview of Project Nautilus, a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings,” said Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, in a prepared statement. “Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.” Available now are Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes, with availability on the new PowerEdge servers scheduled for mid-2017. Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes are scheduled for June, followed shortly on the servers, while Next, ScaleIO.Next, ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge are also expected out soon. If IT is now all about transformation, storage is all about flash, and the two are inseparable, noted Mark Peters, practice director & senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a prepared statement. “… All-Flash and scale-out storage solutions — capable of delivering both the high performance and rich data services needed for today’s demanding applications — are critical elements for any enterprise that wants to achieve IT transformation.” Dell EMC made a number of flashy announcements: the VMAX 950F, up to 4x faster than the nearest competitor; XtremIO X2 delivers new levels of efficiency for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) and large scale snapshot use cases, with 3x higher capacity, 25% better storage efficiency on average and 80% better response times; Unity All-Flash storage models feature up to 4x larger file system capacity, 8x increase in density and sub 10-minute deployment; SC5020 midrange hybrid storage array offers up to 45% more IOPS, 2x greater capacity and market’s lowest hybrid array $/GB;...

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Portability Is Essential In The Multi-Cloud Future
Apr20

Portability Is Essential In The Multi-Cloud Future

Pretty much everybody agrees the world is moving to the cloud — public, private (which includes managed as a service) but predominantly the combination of both (hybrid) — and the primary questions are what to move where, and when (how is also a huge concern, but while not easy, it’s really just fiddly bits). Four years ago Cisco started using the concept of the ‘world of many clouds’ to describe its customer-choice model, and earlier this month data and analytics leader Teradata unveiled database license flexibility across hybrid cloud deployments. There has been an “aggressive uptick in interest, if not deployment of public cloud” by the company’s global 1000 customers, said Brian Wood, Director, Cloud Marketing, Teradata. He told IT Trends & Analysis that over 90% of their customers plan to have hybrid IT by 2020, and “85% want to consume as a service.” The company has 100 customers in the multi-petabyte range, with the largest customer in the 90Pb range, so licensing becomes critical, smoothing out the investments, he said. With portability, “ it’s have your cake and eat it too.” This massive move to the cloud, with a mix of public, private, hybrid and on-premise resources means portability — data, software and licenses — is a critical component. Cloud lock-in is no more palatable than vendor lock-in, and while only one vendor, with a limited set of offerings — albeit a set of significant offerings — Teradata says its newest capability, an industry first, gives its data management solution for analytics the ‘very best value proposition.’ “Not only is the database license portable across the hybrid cloud options, but so are workloads, enabled by a common code base in all deployments,” said John Dinning, EVP and Chief Business Officer, Teradata, in a prepared statement. “This flexibility is a first in our industry and means that data models, applications, and development efforts can be migrated or transferred unchanged across any ecosystem.” Looking ahead reinforces the growing cloud-first future, although this cloud shift is not just about cloud, stated Gartner. “This cloud-first orientation will continue to increase the rate of cloud adoption and, consequently, cloud shift,” said Ed Anderson, research vice president. “Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.” Spending on datacenter systems is forecast to be $175 billion in 2017, growing to $181 billion through 2020. However, while DC budgets will be relatively flat, spending on cloud system infrastructure services (IaaS) will grow from $34 billion in 2017 to $71 billion through 2020, account for 39% of total spending on datacenter systems. The latest market data/forecasts demonstrate the headlong rush to...

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…Dell EMC World 2017: Is it One Company or Two?

Dell EMC World 2017, or DEW — which I honestly hope does not catch on as the acronym/nickname — is just around the corner. To prepare, I wanted to pull together a short summary of my expectations for the event. With this event taking place only a few months after the 2016 event in Austin, it is difficult to have high expectations in terms of new technology or a new product introduction. But honestly, I have reached the point with Dell EMC that I expect new technologies to be there when the market needs them. If there isn’t a ton to announce this year due to the short time between this event and the last Dell EMC World, I expect there will be a larger announcement next year. That being said, Dell EMC could certainly surprise me. The combined firm has a wealth of smart engineering talent, so if any company could produce a few new offerings that quickly, it would be Dell EMC. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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IBM Continues to Advance Its Strategic Storage Investments

In 2015, IBM announced that it would spend $1 billion on software-defined storage (SDS) R&D over the coming five years. Recent enhancements in its SDS portfolio — namely the IBM Spectrum Storage family — reflect how that ongoing investment is benefiting storage users and IBM customers. IBM Spectrum Storage family: Responding to changing times Regarding IBM’s Spectrum Storage family, recall what SDS is and why just one product won’t do. SDS decouples the software that manages storage from the underlying physical storage hardware. That increases the flexibility of deployment. So customers can choose to use software-only with virtually any heterogeneous storage systems, i.e., not necessarily IBM storage, although all or part of the mix could include IBM equipment. A second SDS deployment model is with an appliance. In the case of selected IBM Spectrum Storage products, the software can be sold with specific IBM hardware making it a more traditional approach, but it also means that the software can take fuller advantage of the underlying physical hardware. An example is the tight coupling of the IBM DeepFlash 150 with IBM Spectrum Scale that results in a high-capacity, all-flash (meaning high performance) system (called DeepFlash Elastic Storage Server) with the scale-out file management capabilities. A third SDS deployment model is as the foundation of a cloud service. Since the “cloud” in its many permutations and manifestations continues to proliferate applications and data, SDS can provide the support needed for accompanying storage systems. But why the need for multiple products? The answer is that the variety of applications and data types continues to explode in numerous dimensions, all of them additive with none taken away. Traditional block-based, structured data online transaction processing systems and file-based systems, such as for semi-structured data as document management, are still critically important. But now, big data, Internet of Things, Web-based applications, and mobile applications are taking center stage, as well. NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT Review. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dropbox Seeks New Growth/Opportunities in the Enterprise

It’s no surprise that vendors are systematically targeting workers who leverage their own personal technologies for company projects and functions. That practice has been commonplace since the 1980s when employees first began sneaking home PCs into their offices to run spreadsheet and word processing programs. On the plus side, those efforts can increase flexibility and efficiency but they also circumvent established IT and, increasingly, traditional IT vendors. More recently, vendors, like Amazon with its AWS solutions, recognized that proactively engaging individuals and work groups, and thus entering their workplaces through the “side door” constituted a highly effective business model. Many others have followed or tried to follow Amazon’s lead, especially software as a service (SaaS) vendors and others leveraging cloud computing infrastructures. Those that succeed eventually reach an interesting position where pursuing or achieving upward growth requires them to prove their solutions are worthy of broader adoption within the enterprises they initially entered informally. This can result in a fascinating dance, technologically and rhetorically as proved by this week’s Dropbox announcement of new cloud, workspace and collaboration services and solutions. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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