Whatever Hyperconvergence Is or Isn’t, It Is Hot!
Aug04

Whatever Hyperconvergence Is or Isn’t, It Is Hot!

HP is expanding its hyperconverged infrastructure portfolio with the 2U, 4-node ConvergedSystem 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS250) appliance. Designed for virtual desktops and remote office productivity, as well as offering an easy path to hybrid cloud, it is ‘configurable in minutes for nearly half the price of competitive systems.’ “We’re focused on bringing more choice to our customers,” said Rob Strechay, Director, Product Marketing and Management, Software-Defined Storage, HP. The 4-node appliance (the starting price initially quoted is apparently now under review) will ship on August 17, while the 3-node CS250 with Foundation Carepack and VMware vSphere Enterprise, starting at a list price of $121,483, will ship on September 28, he told IT Trends & Analysis. Back in December the company unveiled its Helion CloudSystem CS200-Hyper-Converged StoreVirtual and ConvergedSystem 700. In June it introduced its next CI, the Composable Infrastructure (API), intended to support a new class of infrastructure that will be “composable”, built to fit the specific needs of an application or workload that will run on it. While HP’s initial foray into HCI nine months ago exceeded expectations, Strechay said customers indicated they were looking for “simpler, lower-cost solutions that had better performance”. The CS 250 allows customers to tailor the system with a choice of up to 96 processing cores, a mix of SSD and SAS disk drives, and up to 2TB of memory per 4-node appliance, double that of previous generations, and includes three 4TB StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) licenses delivers multi-site business continuity by leveraging the system’s ability to flexibly replicate data to any other HP StoreVirtual-based solution. The appliance is pre-configured for vSphere 5.5 or 6.0 and HP OneView InstantOn, with daily management from VMware vCenter via the HP OneView for VMware vCenter plug-in. The system will also be cloud-ready, at least for HP’s Helion, said Strechay. While definitions vary, hyperconvergence appears to be a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor, and enabling cloud-like economics and scale without compromising the performance, reliability, and availability (i.e. Nutanix and SimpliVity). Unlike HCI, HP’s CI, or converged infrastructure – not to be confused with HP’s other CI, composable infrastructure – is a mix of compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies – from two or more vendors (i.e. Cisco and EMC). “There is no one-size-fits-all solution for infrastructure,” said Manish Goel, SVP and GM, HP Storage, in a prepared statement. “This is why HP continues to offer flexible and interoperable solutions based on HP StoreVirtual technology to help our customers lower costs...

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Dell: Disk Isn’t Dead But…
Jul22

Dell: Disk Isn’t Dead But…

If it was just about adding the latest media type – in this case SSDs based on Triple Level Cell 3D NAND technology – then Dell’s bragging rights for the lowest-cost enterprise flash would last just as long as it took for its flash storage competitors to jump on the TLC bandwagon. In other words, not very long. However Dell’s secret sauce – a virtualized storage array architecture that automatically leverages multiple flash types and hard drives in the same array based on workload goals and usage patterns – gives it a significant advantage over the competition that must offer less elegant, and more expensive, solutions. “Dell’s unique intelligent data placement strategy allows different types of flash storage — SLC, MLC and TLC — to be efficiently deployed in multiple tier architectures that can be more cost-effective than single tier flash-based arrays,” said Eric Burgener, research director, storage systems, IDC, in a prepared statement. “Dell’s announcement of flash drives built on TLC 3D NAND technology puts them in the storage density lead at 45TB per rack unit for flash-based arrays and drops the dollar per gigabyte cost of enterprise flash storage to roughly the same cost as 15K RPM HDDs — with significantly higher performance. Cost has been the single biggest stumbling block to flash adoption in the data center, and Dell’s announcement of a new lower dollar per gigabyte price point for all-flash configurations enables the use of flash technology across an even greater variety of enterprise workloads.” Due to ship next month, the Dell Storage SC Series arrays with TLC-based Mainstream Read-Intensive (RI) SSDs offer up to 24x performance improvement and the same price for capacity as 15K hard disk drives, and double the density – 90 terabytes of raw flash capacity per 2U array. The company can now offer SC4020 all-flash mid-tier solutions for as low as $1.66 per gigabyte and as low as $0.58 per gigabyte for typical mid-tier hybrid flash configurations, said Travis Vigil, Executive Director, Dell Storage. The $1.66/GB claim is based on an SC4020 with the raw capacity of (24) 3.8 TB Mainstream RI (TLC 3D NAND) drives. It includes comparing this 2U “all-in-one” solution (which includes dual controllers, core software, installation services and the typical industry 3-year support contract) against the industry’s leading storage vendors’ street price on similar mid-range all-flash arrays over 1TB: Dell (SC4020); EMC (VNX5200; VNX-F5000); HP (3PAR 7200 and 7200c); NetApp (FAS2520); IBM (V5000); Pure Storage (FA-450); and HDS (HUS110). The numbers are misleading, adds Vigil, however, which weights the advantage even more in Dell’s favor. The $1.66/Gb price is based on Dell’s raw numbers compared with...

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FalconStor Lassos A Piece of SDS’ 35% CAGR
Feb27

FalconStor Lassos A Piece of SDS’ 35% CAGR

If llamas can stage a prison break in Arizona, then why can’t the struggling  FalconStor Software try and find freedom by busting out to the hottest storage commodity? Software Defined Storage (SDS) is still in its infancy, said storage guru George Crump, Storage Switzerland. “FalconStor’s new FreeStor solution promises to mature the category in a hurry.” By ‘freedom’, FalconStor means an approximate 2X surge in its ‘attainable market’, the market growth it thinks it can achieve on strictly product revenue, without maintenance or professional services. ‘With FreeStor and by targeting the SSD, Hybrid and Cloud MSP markets, we believe we can reasonably grow to $56.6 million.’ Originally pre-announced back in October by CEO Garry Quinn, following another quarter of declining revenue, the company’s approach is to let the data center adopt SDS at a pace that makes sense for the organization. “More importantly, this adoption can include the aggregation of existing storage assets, leveraging them as it makes sense,” said Crump. While worldwide disk storage systems factory revenue grew 5.1% year over year to nearly $8.8 billion during the third quarter of 2014, the SDS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 35.20% over the period 2015-2019. SDS helps enterprises reduce storage infrastructure costs through efficient allocation of resources, which is the reason many large enterprises have added it to their infrastructure paradigm. Currently, the key players are EMC, HP, IBM, NetApp and VMware. FalconStor can now add its name to the list of SDS wannabes that also includes Coraid, DataCore, Dell, Hitachi Data Systems, Nexenta, Pivot3 and RedHat. Building on FalconStor’s ’15 years of innovation in virtualization, data protection and migration,’ FreeStor is ‘the first truly horizontal, software-defined storage platform for unified data services. Due to ship no later than May, the unified platform provides migration, continuity, protection, recovery and optimization for any storage environment through a single management interface – all for a single price based on managed capacity across arrays, servers, hypervisors, data centers, and the cloud, said the company. Last year was an inflection point for FalconStor, said Quinn, during the 2014 earnings call two weeks ago. ‘Throughout the year, we’ve stabilized our employees, partners and customers with updates of our new products, discussions of new products on the horizon, and launching of a new FalconStor image and message #BEFREE.’ Talking about the upcoming FreeStor announcement, he said it ‘addresses the heterogeneous storage portfolio of just about every large enterprise customer. It addresses those all-Flash array and Hybrid Flash array hardware manufacturers which do not have a software stack or do not have an enterprise ready software stack, as well as it provides...

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NetApp’s Insight Event is Insightful re NetApp (+ Video)

Last week saw the 14th edition of NetApp’s Insight event…and the first to officially open its doors to users, media, and analysts. Keen to stick to its technical roots, the vendor kept the production values of the event at a workman-like level rather than piling on the flashy marketeering. WIth the resulting high levels of candor from—and access to—key NetApp personnel, the event was compelling. More important perhaps, a lot of the PowerPoint promise of NetApp’s emerging vision of recent years seemed to finally coalesce and make sense. What were the key aims and take-aways? The following 6 minute video should serve to answer that question: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Election Special: Is Cloud the “Third Party” of Storage?

As we head toward the mid-term elections in the US, I figured that “cloud” is an IT term worthy of an electability check! I was reminded of a political story from the UK a few years back about the third party [in politics that is] and I wonder whether the cloud—of whatever flavor—is the technology equivalent of that particular lifeform? To read the complete article, CLICK...

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