Data storage has always been one of the most conservative areas of enterprise IT. There is little tolerance for risk, and rightly so: Storage is persistent, long-lived, and must be absolutely reliable. Lose a server or network switch and there is the potential for service disruption or transient data corruption, but lose a storage array (and thus the data on it) and there can be serious business consequences.
People call on storage devices and systems to do lots of things, from accelerating I/O to copying and sharing data. But at the heart of it all, storage arrays really have just one job: Do not lose data!
Virtual desktop designs tend to overlook two key infrastructure components: Storage responsiveness and wireless network availability and performance. Yet without these two ingredients, VDI is doomed!
Storage Field Day has an amazing lineup of presenters, with a special focus on disruptive market entrants. We will start off on Thursday with Kaminario, Nimbus Data, Drobo, Coraid and Quest Software. Friday we visit Dell, Brocade, Tintri, and Pure Storage!
VMware is adding storage integration features to their flagship vSphere server virtualization product line at a rapid pace. From backup to enterprise array offload, VMware is staking their claim. But information about one new storage feature in vSphere 5 has been scarce: The true nature of the Storage API for Storage Awareness (VASA) is only just beginning to be revealed.
Why do we care about thin provisioning? Because storage is not getting cheaper. If you went to buy a disk ten years ago, you’re going to spend about the same as would today, but you’re going to get a lot more capacity – a lot more capacity! The fact that we have terrible utilization of enterprise resources is really not helping us, and it’s not getting any better. It hasn’t improved because they are “doing storage” the same way.
Perhaps the previous discussion of spindles left you exhausted, imagining a spindly-legged centipede of a storage system, trying and failing to run on stilts. The Rule of Spindles would be the end of the story were it not for the second horseman: Cache. He stands in front of the spindles, quickly dispatching requests using solid state memory rather than spinning disks. Cache also acts as a buffer, allowing writes to queue up without forcing the requesters to wait in line.
Oracle has its sights set very high. Although the company is best-known for its namesake database software, a steady string of acquisitions has transformed the company (and its colorful leader, Larry Ellison) into an industry powerhouse. Much speculation revolves around Oracle’s next move, and a surprising meme is developing, suggesting that the company is looking at making another massive purchase. Could HP or NetApp follow Sun into the hands of Oracle?
Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
It’s fun to bash Microsoft. It’s easy, too, with Apple solidly conquering the high end of the PC and mobile markets and Google’s command of the Internet. But how fair are these articles skewering Microsoft, such as “Microsoft’s chronic lack of innovation” published today at Techworld? I suggest that Microsoft innovates as well as, if not better than, any other massive company. But no one innovates like an outsider.