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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DEW17: Emphasizing Fundamental Storage Principles

Most large IT vendor conferences — especially those held in Las Vegas — tend to resemble a three-ring information overload circus. Attendees can easily be overwhelmed with the breadth and depth of what is being presented. At times, focusing on the tried and true basics helps to refresh and clear one’s mind. As an example, let’s turn to the storage solutions that were highlighted this week at Dell EMC World. Naturally, Dell EMC continues to evolve its storage portfolio, but it is not doing so by abandoning the core storage products and principles that have been fundamental to its success for more than two decades. Now, Dell Technologies is the rubric under which all the businesses of the company fall. Dell EMC is the data center infrastructure business and incorporates Dell’s business servers and a midrange storage product line as well as EMC’s traditional high end, midrange, and scale-out (unstructured data) storage systems. In addition, converged infrastructure solutions, including hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) offerings falls with the purview of Dell EMC. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Intel’s Optane Memory and Incremental Revolution

Vendors love the big splash. Being first to market with major new technologies or delivering wholesale revisions of existing solutions and platforms generates numerous headlines and kudos. But secondary ripple effects can reveal significant progress, too. That’s the case with the new Optane SSD DC P4800X Series offering that Intel announced last month, a solution targeting data center storage applications. That was followed on March 27th with the official introduction of Optane-based memory modules for PCs. This week, Intel announced the commercial availability of Optane memory modules for PCs and other systems leveraging the company’s 7th gen Core processors. Those use cases demonstrate both Optane’s flexibility and how Intel can leverage individual breakthrough developments to pursue multiple markets and deliver substantial benefits. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM’s DS8880: Sharpening the Focus on Mainframe Storage Needs

It’s been an odd half decade or so for the data storage industry. Despite the central roles that storage plays in IT products of every sort, storage vendors have been under pressure as traditional markets and opportunities continue to erode. Why so? For two reasons. First, because of the ongoing commoditization of storage components and hardware. Second, cloud players are using what are essentially loss-leading storage services to lure consumers and businesses, alike. What are storage vendors to do in such circumstances? There’s no single or simple fix, but one approach is to willingly embrace leading edge storage technologies, like NAND-based flash drives. Another involves closely tracking and developing solutions that address clients’ core business needs. IBM’s new DS8880 all-flash storage family highlights how the company is pursuing both these paths to its customers’ and its own benefit. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Cisco: On-Prem Storage 50% Better TCO Than Cloud

Cybersecurity may be Cisco’s current poster-child for revenue growth, but the company was also busy in the datacenter, with the launch of a storage-optimized server category, the UCS (Unified Computing System) S-Series. Designed to address the needs of data intensive workloads such as Big Data, and for deploying software-defined storage, object storage, and data protection solutions, Cisco is positioning its solution as ‘Data. Unstored.’ Less than 40% of stored enterprise data is ever used to create insight, but new applications such as video analytics, diagnostic imaging, streaming analytics, and machine learning demand and create data that is “un-stored” and actively processed in real time, states the company. It says traditional static IT infrastructure no longer works, while public cloud storage solutions can become expensive. The modular server, which features up to 600 terabytes of local storage in a 4-rack-unit (4RU) form factor, offers a number of benefits, including: -over 50% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) compared to public cloud (specifically Amazon Web Services); -reduces CapEx by up to 34%; -lowers ongoing management by up to 80%; -reduces cabling by up to 70%; -takes up to 60% less space; and, -consumes up to 59% less power. It’s easy to understand why Cisco might be interested in another server application. While server revenue declined 0.8% year over year, the public cloud services market is expected to grow 17.2% this year, to $208.6 billion, with the highest growth coming from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 42.8%. Data and business analytics (BDA) revenues will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%. Amazon Web Services is the undisputed leader of public cloud services, with 45% of worldwide revenues, twice as much as Microsoft, Google and IBM combined. Together, the three competitors amount to less than 20% percent of infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS, revenues in Q3 2016. “There’s a perception that the cloud is not only faster, but also a lower cost versus on-premise and that’s just not the case,” said Todd Brannon, director of product marketing at Cisco. To house 420 TB of cloud storage for three years on Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) costs around $550,000, compared with about $250,000 to house the data on the on-premise S-Series, Cisco said. In a one-on-one with IT Trends & Analysis Brannon said the modular approach will “allow customers to rightsize the infrastructure for the workload.” It’s less than half the price of public cloud, and provides “a completely modular platform approach to storage-optimized service.” Cisco is promising very attractive TCOs...

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