Greg “EtherealMind” Ferro recently “mused” that it might be a good idea to replace PCI Express (PCIe) inside servers or rack-scale infrastructure with Ethernet. But this seems to be the exact opposite of the direction the industry is headed. Rather than replacing PCIe with Ethernet, companies like Intel seem set on replacing short-range Ethernet (in rack-scale systems) with PCIe!
The most exciting enhancements in VMware vSphere 4.1 is the addition of vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). This new API allows VMware ESX to offload storage processing functions to capable storage arrays, reducing the workload on the server hardware in introducing new and exciting possibilities for performance and efficiency. VAAI in ESX 4.1 includes three separate capabilities: block zeroing, full copy, and hardware assisted locking.
After years spent focusing on personal technology, businesses are increasingly turning back to the enterprise. The corporate IT market is much more dynamic and competitive, with a few very large “superpower” companies discovering their power to drive purchasing decisions. If a supplier can create an integrated “stack” of hardware and software, they can push product purchases that might otherwise be overlooked or postponed. This is the main reason that enterprise IT acquisitions work so well: Where a small company must fight to sell their product, a large one can hitch it to a much more strategic sale and have it pulled along.
After a very, very long wait, Apple has finally updated their entry-level “bridge” Mac, the Mac Mini. It’s amazing that, after 19 months without an update, Apple’s new Mini looks exactly the same as the old Mini. But what’s under the hood matters, and Apple delivered a mixed bag there. The new Mini is an excellent home server, which is how mine will be used, but some poor choices limit its abilities out of the box.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) just bought Fabrik (SimpleTech and G-Technology). So is Hitachi’s combination with SimpleTech a response or challenge to EMC’s acquisition of Iomega? In a word, no.