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Network Infrastructure

Often I hear people talk about scaling only in the context of space capacity. However there are aspects including performance, availability as well as scaling-up or scaling-out. Scaling from application workloads perspectives include four main group themes which are performance, availability, capacity and economics (as well as energy).
Earlier this year I did a review of the Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 in the StorageIO Labs (see the review here), in fact I ended up buying a TS140 after the review, and a few months back picked up another one. This StorageIOlab review looks at the Lenovo ThinkServer TD340 Tower Server which besides having a larger model number than the TS140, it also has a lot more capabilities (server compute, memory, I/O slots and internal hot-swap storage bays.
Hello and welcome to this joint September and October Server and StorageIO update newsletter. Since the August newsletter, things have been busy with a mix of behind the scenes projects, as well as other activities including several webinars, on-line along with in-person events in the US as well as Europe.
In case you have not heard, the joint initiative (JV) founded in the fall of 2009 between Intel VMware Cisco and EMC called VCE had a change of ownership today. For those not familiar or who need a recap, VCE was created to create converged server, storage I/O networking hardware and software solutions combing technologies from its investors resulting in solutions called vBlocks.
These HHDDs or SSHDs are self-contained in that the flash are built-in to the actual drive as part of its internal electronics circuit board (controller). This means that the drives should be transparent to the operating systems or hypervisors on servers or storage controllers without need for special adapters, controller cards or drivers. In addition, there is no extra software needed to automated tiering or movement between the flash on the HHDD or SSHD and its internal HDD, its all self-contained managed by the drives firmware (e.g. software).
Docker is a new way of abstracting applications and the data infrastructures (servers, storage, networking, hardware) they run on using containers. Check out this StorageIO Industry Trends Perspective video podcast to get an overview of docker including hearing from a docker.com systems engineer from VMworld 2014.
In case you missed it, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) recently released their version 1.1 of its Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI) specification.
CompTIA needs input for their Storage+ certification, can you help? The CompTIA folks are looking for some comments and feedback from those who are involved with data storage in various ways as part of planning for their upcoming enhancements to the Storage+ certification testing. As a point of disclosure, I am member of the CompTIA […]
Welcome to the August 2014 edition of the StorageIO Update (newsletter) containing trends perspectives on cloud, virtualization, software defined and data infrastructure topics. This past week I along with around 22,000 others attended VMworld 2014 in San Francisco. For those of you in Europe, VMworld Barcelona is October 14-16 2014 with registration and more information found here. Watch for more post VMworld coverage in upcoming newsletters, articles, posts along with other industry trend topics.
VVOL’s are accessed via the VMware software and associated API’s that are supported by various storage providers. VVOL’s are not LUN’s like regular block (e.g. DAS or SAN) storage that use SAS, iSCSI, FC, FCoE, IBA/SRP, nor are they NAS volumes like NFS mount points. Likewise VVOL’s are not accessed using any of the various object storage access methods mentioned above (e.g. AWS S3, Rest, CDMI, etc) instead they are an application specific implementation.
Instead of a VM host accessing its virtual disk (aka VMDK) which is stored in a VMFS formatted data store (part of ESXi hypervisor) built on top of a SCSI LUN (e.g. SAS, SATA, iSCSI, Fibre Channel aka FC, FCoE aka FC over Ethernet, IBA/SRP, etc) or an NFS file system presented by a storage system (or appliance), VVOL’s push more functionality and visibility down into the storage system. VVOL’s shift more intelligence and work from the hypervisor down into the storage system.
For those of you in VMware environments, now is the time to add VVOL to your vocabulary which might mean simply taking the time to read a piece like this, or digging deeper into the theories of operations, configuration, usage, hints and tips, tutorials along with vendor specific implementations.
Recently the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) made an announcement pertaining to the continued development and enhancements including FC-BB-6 that applies to both "classic" or "legacy" FC as well as the newer and emerging FCoE implementations. FCIA is not alone in the FCIA activity as they are as the name implies the industry consortium that works with the T11 standards folks. T11 is a Technical Committee of the International Committee on Information Technology Standards (INCITS, pronounced "insights").
Server and StorageIO Update newsletter – July 2014 Welcome to the July 2014 edition of the StorageIO Update (newsletter) containing trends perspectives on cloud, virtualization and data infrastructure topics. For some of you it is mid summer (e.g. in the northern hemisphere) while for others it mid-winter (southern hemisphere). Here in the Stillwater MN area […]
In case you missed it today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced Zocalo an enterprise class storage and file sharing service. As you might have guessed, by being file sync and share of cloud storage Zocalo can be seen as a competitor or option to other services including Box, Dropbox and Google among many others in the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) space.


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