IBM Storage Insights: Here’s To Your Storage’s Health…

Storage systems are inherently complex and IT users need to manage their storage environment’s performance, capacity utilization, and health constantly. Vendors have long helped with Call Home capabilities where a storage system sends storage usage data to a vendor. Now IBM has turbocharged Call Home with Storage Insights where more data is collected, where users are able to better self-service their needs through using a feature-rich dashboard, and where IBM can provide deeper and broader technical support when the user needs that extra level of storage management support. Let’s look more deeply into IBM Storage Insights. IBM Storage Insights Delivers a Turbocharged Call Home Capability Call Home has long been a standard and well-accepted feature for many block-based storage systems whereby metadata (such as on performance and capacity utilization) is transmitted from a customer datacenter to a vendor site for storage monitoring purposes. The data can then be used for diagnostic, analysis, and planning purposes that can include proactive alerts to avert a potential problem (such as an early detection of a bad batch of disks that are starting to degrade below acceptable levels) or to more rapidly accelerate the resolution of a problem that has unexpectedly occurred. Although Call Home capabilities vary among vendors, traditional systems can be limited in a number of ways: Reactive alerts only to error conditions such as hardware failures as limited metadata prevents broader usage value; for example, among many other concerns, this means that proactive support for configuration optimization may not be available Users do not have an interface with the system at the vendor site that allows them to self-service, self-manage the process as much as possible; that means a greater (and unnecessary) level of reliance on the vendor for support; while necessary support is valuable, you do not want to in-effect delegate decision-making to someone who is not as familiar with your storage systems as you are May focus on individual storage systems rather than on all the storage systems so there is no unified pane of glass for an IT user to view all critical events easily (usually at a single glance); this makes a storage administrator’s life more difficult The overview of IBM Storage Insights below reveals how IBM turbocharges Storage Insights to overcome those limitations and to provide even more features and functionality. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM Continues to Think Ahead Clearly

IBM recently concluded its first IBM THINK conference in Las Vegas. In THINK, IBM combined several former events into one comprehensive conference that covered the breadth and depth of the entire corporation. Although the 40,000 some attendees could explore in depth particular products or services in a plethora of educational sessions or at the huge exhibition hall, in a sense THINK was a coming out party that showed how IBM is reinventing itself in what is called the “data-driven” era. What turns the future into the era of data? The Economist has stated that the most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data, and supported this mammoth assertion in a seminal May6, 2017 article entitled “Data is giving rise to a new economy.” Therefore, both IBM and the Economist are responding to broader business and societal events. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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dinCloud Continues to Forge a Path in Hosted Workplaces

The “cloud” continues to manifest itself in a very wide range of incarnations and use cases. Specialty clouds in the form of [whatever]-as-a-service address special purpose needs. For example, Los Angeles-based dinCloud plays in the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) arena as part of its larger focus on hosted workspaces and cloud infrastructure services. Hosted Workspaces: Offering VDI as DaaS In essence, DaaS is a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted as a cloud service. DaaS has found its greatest success in small to medium businesses (SMBs) so dinCloud targets the mid-market of say 100 to 700 users where the IT staff is typically very small, but the targeted businesses have to have the same requirements as much larger organizations. With VDI, a desktop operating system is hosted on a virtual machine (VM) that runs on a centralized server where all processes, applications and data reside and run. The primary benefits for customers are in reduced administrative burdens as trying to upgrade, provision and manage a large number of devices — not only desktops, but other devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones in a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) world — can be a real headache. The challenges that face VDI from an IT perspective are maintaining security, avoiding downtime, and the general complexities and high initial costs of VDI purchase and deployment. In contrast to on-premises offerings, a cloud-hosted VDI solution can provide the necessary security, high levels of uptime and greatly reduce complexity, while at the same time providing economic benefits. A roll-your-own VDI infrastructure also tends to be CAPEX (capital expense) heavy whereas a DaaS solution contained within a hosted workspaces cloud is OPEX (operating expense) friendly, with a monthly subscription fee per user model. Organizations can thus easily plan their monthly expenses and alter them to account for unexpected changes in headcount which is always desirable. In its hosted workspaces model, dinCloud includes not only DaaS per se, but also the data and the applications — most notably Microsoft applications, such as Office 365 (which is also subscription-based). But dinCloud does not stop there as it wants to further leverage its cloud-based environments to offer more services to its hosted workspaces customers, as well as provide potential services to non-DaaS customers. It does so under the label of cloud infrastructure, including dinServer (hosted virtual server) and dinSQL (SQL database-as-a-service), To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dell Technologies Surveys the Digital 2030 Future

As it has for past future-focused studies, Dell teamed up with the well-respected Institute for the Future (IFTF) to forecast how emerging technologies — notably artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) — may change the way we live and work by 2030. To extend that work, Dell Technologies commissioned Vanson Bourne, an independent UK research firm, to conduct a survey-based research study to gauge business leader predictions and preparedness for the future. The Realizing 2030 survey was quite large and wide in scope and reach, extending to 17 countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Japan, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Secondly, more than 10 industries including financial services, private healthcare and manufacturing were covered. Finally, the survey had 3800 complete responses from director and c-suite executives in midsized and enterprise organizations involved in key functions, including finance, sales and R&D in addition to IT. That is an impressive number of respondents and thus should be considered statistically reliable across a number of dimensions. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM’s Strong Commitment to the NVMe Storage Revolution

IBM’s recent storage announcement covered a number of new and enhanced solutions across IBM’s Storage software and Storage systems portfolio, but for simplicity’s sake, my focus today is the significant support the company is throwing behind the revolution inspired by NVMe (nonvolatile memory express Note that the business storage market has changed dramatically in recent years with revolutions sparked by software-defined storage technologies and flash-based storage hardware, in both of which IBM has been a leader. To those two we can now add a storage connectivity revolution or NVMe. Although this revolution could be considered separate, the primary benefit is to increase the performance of flash storage (not hard disk storage). Therefore, it can also be considered a subset of the flash storage revolution. As it has demonstrated in past such events, IBM has a well-articulated strategy that includes necessary planning and R&D investments to deliver NVMe as a part of its storage environment in a reasonable, achievable time frame. However, before we see what the company is doing we need to understand the technology and why it is important. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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