September 20, 2014

The Rack Endgame: Converged Infrastructure and Disaggregation

Cisco's new UCS M-Series puts two CPU/memory "complexes" on a cartridge, with all I/O disaggregated and supported on the back end over PCIe

As I’ve written about what I’m calling the “Rack Endgame”, the specter of converged infrastructure hasn’t been far from my thoughts. As others have pointed out, disaggregation of servers, networks, and storage doesn’t require a rack-sized stack; it can exist in a rack-mountable chassis and is already on sale!

The Rack Endgame: Open Compute Project

SAfa

On reading my thoughts about the evolution of enterprise storage, many pointed out that this looks an awful lot like the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP). This is entirely intentional. But OCP is simply one expression of this new architecture, and perhaps not the best one for the enterprise.

Cisco’s Trojan Horse

Cisco's UCS C3160 is a "storage server" for the all-Cisco rack

Industry watchers like me have long wondered when Cisco will transform itself into a full-line IT infrastructure vendor. This strategy was tipped in 2009 as Cisco barged into the server market with UCS. But one leg of the stool is still missing: Storage remains the province of Cisco partners like EMC and NetApp.

The Rack Endgame: A New Storage Architecture For the Data Center

Top of rack flash, bottom of rack capacity, and software gluing everything together!

Top-of-rack flash and bottom-of-rack disk makes a ton of sense in a world of virtualized, distributed storage. It fits with enterprise paradigms yet delivers real architectural change that could “move the needle” in a way that no centralized shared storage system ever will. SAN and NAS aren’t going away immediately, but this new storage architecture will be an attractive next-generation direction!

Virtualized and Distributed Storage: This Time For Sure!

The principles of data physics suggest that data should be located closer to compute

We were never able to achieve storage virtualization in mainstream enterprise IT because we lacked the ability to identify and move data non-disruptively. This has been solved by caching and distributed storage solutions, and it’s only a matter of time before the legacy need for centralized storage falls away.

The Fat Middle: Today’s Enterprise Storage Array

Today's storage arrays live in the fat middle of the market, striking a balance between capacity and performance

Ask any project manager if it’s possible to deliver something that is fast, good, and cheap, and they’ll laugh. The phenomenon known as the Iron Triangle limits just about everything in the world from meeting all three conflicting requirements. Yet, for the last two decades, enterprise storage array vendors have been trying to deliver just this. How’s that working out?

Why is DataGravity Such a Big Deal?

My God, It's Full of Data!

DataGravity is coming to market with a mainstream product differentiated by unique features at a reasonable price. Although similar data management technology has existed for a long time, DataGravity is bringing it to the IT infrastructure market at no additional cost. The questions are simple: Will IT want a new array with these capabilities? And will DataGravity have the resources to mature their initial product to compete with “real” e-discovery solutions?

EMC Redefine Possible (TL;DR Edition)

As Jeremy Burton says, "architecture matters"

EMC made quite a few announcements today at their “Redefine Possible” event in London. There’s a lot of coverage out there already, so I decided to present a summary of the whole thing in “too long; didn’t read” (TL;DR) fashion.

EMC Acquires TwinStrata

Jeremy Burton of EMC announces the TwinStrata acquisition

TwinStrata is a technologically impressive cloud gateway for enterprise, and as of now it’s part of EMC. This was the biggest news so far from today’s “Redefine Possible” event in London, which I’m attending. TwinStrata was founded in 2007 and has been shipping product since 2010. Their “cloud integrated storage” product is mainly known for adding iSCSI [...]

Why SanDisk + Fusion-io = Awesome

This car drove past me just as I learned that FIO had been acquired by SNDK!

The storage industry was abuzz yesterday with news that SanDisk will buy Fusion-io for $1.1 billion. Lots of folks seem confused by this, but I think that’s because they don’t know who SanDisk really are. After having been exposed to both companies’ management, products, and strategy, I think this is a great fit and excellent news for the storage [...]