IBM… Big Step Forward with Flash Storage for the Hybrid Cloud

Eddie Cantor once said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” That is certainly the case with flash storage which has been around for many years, but high cost limited its acceptability to a limited number of high-performance/high-value-added applications. Declining prices have led to broader acceptance of flash storage for a broader base of high performance (tier 0) applications. Then came a seemingly overnight (although it was actually a couple of years) transition where flash storage was seen as capable of replacing traditional primary disk storage (tier 1). That made the economics of flash quite justifiable to data center owners and the adoption of flash storage as primary storage is proceeding rapidly. Related to this, much of the exponential growth of storage comes from new and emerging trends that are related to the Internet of Things (IoT), social media and Web services. Big data and the emerging trend of cognitive analytics thrive on not only the humongous quantity of data that these trends produce, but also the need to process much of the data very rapidly in order to derive the benefits (such as actionable, near-real-time insights) that enterprises seek in trying to gain a competitive advantage. The “cloud” in some form is likely to be the recipient of that data as traditional IT infrastructures are neither cost effective or performant enough. With the introduction of IBM FlashSystem® A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R, IBM delivers the necessary purpose-built flash storage infrastructure to meet the demands of the cloud both from a scale and performance basis. So IBM is taking the next step for flash storage beyond primary storage for traditional applications to meet the new and emerging needs of the cloud. But before we get to the new products, let’s examine IBM FlashCore™, the foundational IBM technology for all of its FlashSystem solutions and briefly review FlashSystem 900 for tier 0 application acceleration and FlashSystem V9000 as an all-flash array for tier 1 primary storage. To read the complete article, CLICK ON AUTHOR’S BYLINE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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VDI Will Eat Your Storage System – And What To Do About It

As we’ve mentioned in previous columns, in order for a VDI project to have any chance of success it has to deliver at least the same computing experience users had prior to their desktop being virtualized. That makes sense, but it’s not that easy. In fact, we’ve blogged about this in not so uncertain terms “Users hate VDI and why that’s a problem”. But why do many users dislike their VDI solutions? In a word it’s the “experience”. The infrastructure used often can’t keep up with demand so performance suffers and users’ virtual desktops slow down. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Storage Switzerland Weekly...

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HP Tests Mobile DevOps For The Real World
Oct28

HP Tests Mobile DevOps For The Real World

In the mobile-first, apps-driven world speed and quality are the table stakes and HP is looking to deal itself a winning hand with Mobile Center, an on-premise solution for testing mobile application functionality and performance across real-world network conditions on real-devices. The company said mobile app developers require solutions that can rapidly adapt and test new environments, and that connect to their overall application lifecycle management strategies. Now shipping, the solution is intended to address the critical need for a consistent and enjoyable app experience, said Genefa Murphy, Sr. Director, Application Delivery Management HP Software. “Only HP can deliver a unique blend of domain expertise, big data analytics, and seamless integration with an overall application lifecycle management suite to enable mobile DevOps teams to predict how an application will respond in the real world, no matter the device, OS or context,” she said in a prepared statement. We want to help out customers essentially extend best practices to mobile devices, “because there are so many nuances that come about on the real device,” she told IT Trends & Analysis in a phone briefing. “We’re bringing in the real device element and making sure the app is going to behave in the real world as you expect”. Mobile Center is replacing HP Unified Functional Testing (HP UFT) software, formerly known as QuickTest Professional, which will stop shipping in January 2015. Charlie Dai, Principal Consultant, Forrester Research, think it’s time for technology decision-makers and enterprise architects to seriously consider adopting mobile app delivery management solutions and to evaluate HP for that purpose. Although his new blog was targeted at the Chinese networking market, where HP is rumored to be looking to sell at least 51% of its corporate-networking business in the country, H3C Technologies Co, he said HP’s portfolio now covers the entire mobile app life cycle, from app design, development, and optimization to distribution and monitoring. ‘At the mobile app optimization stage, HP’s Mobile Center uses a comprehensive approach to functionality, interoperability, usability, performance, and security to consolidate and automate mobile testing.’ He noted from an interoperability perspective, the product can simulate exceptional conditions such as voice or SMS interruptions and resource conflicts with camera or GPS apps. It also supports peripheral testing of components including near field communication, Bluetooth, and iBeacon. According to a recent SolarWinds survey, application performance matters. “It’s no longer just about if an application working, it’s about that application working to end user expectations,” said SolarWinds Products and Markets EVP Suaad Sait. “These survey results should be a wakeup call for IT pros everywhere.” Key findings included: -93% of business end users said application performance and...

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Why Virtualized Backup Design Matters

VM specific backup solutions like Veeam are increasingly being used to protect virtualized environments instead of more traditional enterprise backup systems. They provide a seamless way to non-disruptively and efficiently backup virtual machine data plus they include a number of advanced features like change block tracking (CBT) of VMs, replication and the ability to perform recoveries directly off disk backup resources. Most disk based backup appliances, however, weren’t designed with these features in mind. As a result, organizations using Veeam may incur backup performance problems which could lead to extended backup and recovery windows and missed SLAs. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Storage Switzerland Weekly...

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Tableau 7: Sleepless In Seattle Because Data Never Sleeps
Sep12

Tableau 7: Sleepless In Seattle Because Data Never Sleeps

SEATTLE: It’s been my experience that when a vendor hosts an annual customer event, there are new products being launched and orders being taken,, but the seventh Tableau Conference wasn’t about the products so much as about the customers and how to get the most out of Tableau’s BI tools. The 5,500 customers and partners, almost double last year’s attendance of 3,000, were more than politely interested in what was previewed – Project Elastic and new features and functions in Tableau 9 – but they’re not going to ship until sometime next year. As Francois Ajenstat, Senior Director of Product Management, put it, they’ll ship the products when the customers tell Tableau they’re ready. TC14 was about the customers, their success stories, workshops and certifications, industry breakouts (i.e. manufacturing, banking and finance, government, education and retail) and a healthy dose of Tableau Doctor appointments, one-on-one consultations and group sessions. More than 100 Tableau customers shared their success stories and business intelligence wins, including Citrix, Coca Cola, Facebook, GM, Goodwill, Kelly Services, Verizon, VMware and Wells Fargo. “At Tableau, we believe that empowering people to unleash their creative genius is the most important goal which drives modern analytics strategy,” said Tableau CEO Christian Chabot in his keynote. I had a chance to talk to a couple of Tableau’s customers, who shared some of their experiences with “The Art of Analytics”. The following are some highlights of what EMC and the University of Washington had to say. “We recognized that we needed to do strategic analysis on our data,” said Ann Wunderlin, Education & Communication Manager, Enterprise Data & Analytics, Information Technology, University of Washington. One of the reasons the university decided on Tableau was a desire to have an easier way to deliver this data, said Bart Pietrzak, Business Intelligence Architect/Technology Manager, UW-IT. They wanted to make it accessible to a much broader range of users. The legacy systems were too complicated, so UW moved to Tableau and started building dashboards. The university said Tableau met two different needs: to expose the data, and to explore it. “Tableau freed us up,” said Pietrzak. Tableau was used as a catalyst of change, he said. “Time and time again we heard we need to put the people’s hands on data.” But the data needed to be cleaned up and made easy to access, and users were getting frustrated and stopped using the existing tools. However, this is a journey, and will take time, added Wunderlin. People are living with real data now, not anecdotal, but it takes time to get familiar with that, she said. But the change will come, because as...

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