NoSQL - The Great Escape from SQL and Normalization

For the last decade or so, data and data structures have been moving at the speed of the web. They change rapidly to keep pace with end-users and markets that are in constant flux. The data model is volatile and will continue to be as more and more unstructured data (images, videos, social media content, online purchase histories, and more) is generated. The solution of the pre-Internet era, meaning the RDBMS, can’t keep up. Enter the NoSQL database—a solution for handling data with highly variable formats in massive quantities at lightning speeds.

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI ESG Validation Services

Why Won’t the RDBMS Go Away?

The relational database management system was a breakthrough when it first appeared about 40 years ago. A relational database puts power into a user’s hands. Few assumptions are needed about how data is related or how it is to be extracted. Data can then be viewed in a variety of ways, each one illustrating different connections or correlations. This power, history, and a little user inertia have led to the RDBMS being implanted and used in practically every sector of business today. Well-known RDBMS product examples are IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle databases.

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI ESG Validation Services

Today’s Database Landscape at a 50,000 Foot Level

We all know the drill—data is exploding in size, but it’s not just the volume of data that is wreaking havoc on organizations. It’s how quickly it’s growing, how many different forms it can take, and how it’s constantly changing. And that’s just scratching the surface. How can the potential of data truly be harnessed? The database technologies for organizing the data that we generate and manipulate continue to morph and multiply. The hugely successful relational database management systems (RDBMSs) continue to soldier on using principles now over 40 years old, while newer database technologies have come along and been widely adopted to address specific needs in the data storage, management, and analytics space. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be going through the evolution of database technology at a 50,000 foot level to highlight the old and the new, how they’re used today, and what vendors to keep an eye on.

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI ESG Validation Services

Converged and Hyper-converged – We’ve Got It Covered

In the last few years, we’ve seen a major boom in the converged infrastructure space. This coincides with ESG research findings, where more than 50% of respondents said they currently or plan to utilize a converged solution in their IT environments. We’re not at all surprised, since they make infrastructure tasks significantly easier for IT pros – easier to plan, easier to configure, and easier to grow. By deploying a converged solution, companies have realized gains across all facets of IT, from faster deployment times and improved service and support, to ease of management and improved TCO, scalability, and agility.

Topics: Converged Infrastructure Cloud Services & Orchestration ESG Validation Services

Enterprise Hadoop with VCE and Isilon

What happens when you combine two field-proven, widely-adopted technologies from tech power houses? You get a super flexible, scalable Hadoop platform to address your big data analytic needs. And the best part is that it really doesn’t matter where you currently fall on the Hadoop adoption spectrum. Deploying a traditional Hadoop distribution? Expanding one that’s already deployed?  Starting a brand new Hadoop implementation to merge with your existing IT infrastructure? VCE and Isilon have come together to make your life easier.

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI ESG Validation Services

Backup AND RECOVERY for the Little Guy

Let’s face it, tools for backing up your data have become ubiquitous. Everyone can do it. It provides peace of mind, especially for small businesses (think law or a doctor’s office) who don’t have IT pros on staff. “All my data is backed up somewhere so if something bad happens, I’m covered.” Unfortunately backup is only a piece of the data protection puzzle. How do you get the backed up data back into production if something goes wrong? How long will it take to get up and running again? And the killer question: How will it impact my small business if it takes a long time to recover? Recovery is just as important as backup, and probably MORE important.

Dell is concentrating on just that for small businesses. It’s not just about backup. It’s about guaranteeing application uptime through various recovery options. And replication for disaster recovery. And archiving to the cloud. And keeping costs down. And making it dead simple for anybody to set up and manage a data protection solution. The Dell DL1000 Backup and Recovery Appliance is designed for smaller organizations to address their data protection concerns. It has a compact, lightweight design, runs quietly, cools easily, and won’t consume lots of power. And it comes packaged with Dell AppAssure software, which provides protection for local servers through incremental snapshotting.

Topics: Data Protection ESG Validation Services

Why ExaGrid & Veeam are Rockin' VM Backup and Restore - and ROI

Let's face it, you built your data center for one reason: to generate revenue. The return on investment of your hardware, software, and people really depends on what you do with that infrastructure: Is it mostly used for production activities? Or is there a lot of time when users are stymied because there’s a backup running? How much time is spent on essential—but non-production—activities like data protection?

Backup is the first line of defense, and if you’re like most organizations, you do some kind of backup daily, weekly, and monthly. To get the most out of your infrastructure and IT staff, you want to spend as little time and effort as possible on backup, but still be ready to restore fast. To that end, a common practice is to do incremental backups daily, and then once a week or so roll those incremental changes up into a synthetic full backup. This gives you a full backup that’s easier to restore from, but taking less time out of production. 

Topics: Data Protection ESG on Location ESG Validation Services

Is This Storage Solution the Holy Grail for Distributed Organizations?

Imagine you’re running IT for a major retail chain and you need to pick the best storage solution to be deployed at every branch office across the country. What would be on your requirements list? It would have to be easy to deploy and manage – gradually rolling out across every location. It would definitely have to perform well. Ideally, application downtime would be as close to zero as possible. If something went wrong, I would have to be 100% positive I did not lose any customer data. I would want a solution with as small a hardware footprint as possible to help minimize cost. Speaking of cost, let’s keep that as low as possible. Good luck finding all that with a traditional storage solution.

Topics: Storage ESG Validation Services

End-user Computing with EMC VSPEX, XtremIO, Brocade, and VMware

In my time with ESG Lab, I have seen and tested numerous virtual desktop solutions and reference architectures. It’s common knowledge that virtualizing end-user computing environments can present the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must support. Users have become accustomed to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers, making delivery of an exceptional user experience–essential to the success of desktop virtualization–even more challenging. If you can’t deliver performance equal to or better than what users already have, you’ve already lost.

Topics: Enterprise Mobility ESG Validation Services

Advanced Evasion Techniques: Dirty, Little, Secret Weapons.

Many organizations are so intent on identifying new malware that they are failing to address or in some cases even recognize advanced evasion techniques (AETs) that can enable malware to circumvent their security defenses. AETs pose a great threat because most security solutions can’t detect, much less stop them. Security professionals and executive managers need to wake up to this real and growing threat.

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) have been a huge focus in network security discussions over the past few years with good reason. Numerous organizations are implementing new solutions to protect themselves from this determined type of malware. Even so, cyber criminals have been penetrating the network defenses of even the most robust security infrastructures, including some very high-profile enterprises.

Topics: Cybersecurity ESG Validation Services