Fusion-io's VDI Reference Architecture Promises to Change the VDI Game

Virtual desktop environments can present one of the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must deal with. Random, shifting I/O and bottlenecks in the storage domain will have a significant impact on performance. Delivering an exceptional user experience is essential to the success of desktop virtualization deployments because users are becoming conditioned to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers. Users demand performance equal to or better than what they already have.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Enterprise Mobility ESG Validation Services

Video Blog: 2014 Interop Impressions

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Networking ESG on Location ESG Validation Services

137 Cents a Day Keeps the Cybercriminals Away

$2.79. Thats how much I spend every morning for my large iced coffee. From the very first sip I feel more alert, making the morning commute far less dangerous for the other drivers on the road. I am also far more productive at work which allows me to write interesting blogs like this. It would be difficult to think of a better daily investment for my $2.79.

Topics: Cybersecurity ESG Validation Services

Fusion ioVDI - Cost-effective VDI Performance Where it Matters

Fusion-io announced Fusion ioVDI software for VDI acceleration at VMworld this week. ESG Lab has gotten an early look, and is in the process of testing and analyzing for a Lab Validation report to be released soon.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Enterprise Mobility Cloud Services & Orchestration ESG Validation Services

Building a Private Cloud - Where's the Instruction Manual?!?!?!

EMC’s early challenges included long provisioning times, low storage and CPU utilization, not enough data center space or power, and an IT staff overwhelmed by growing demand. Sound familiar?

A lot of their success is summed up in the graphic below, which shows progress from 2004 and continuing into the future. I’ll stick to the highlights : EMC saved $66M in OPEX and $157M in CAPEX, reduced CO2 emissions by 100M lbs, and has increased both productivity and agility.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Cloud Services & Orchestration ESG Validation Services

Windows Server 2012 - It's a No-brainer

As part of my professional new year's resolution, I plan on blogging...a lot. I'll be blogging about anything I can get my hands on. First on the list is Windows Server 2012. I recently completed my first phase of Server 2012 testing focused primarily on the new and improved storage and networking features. More specifically, I played with Storage Spaces, the Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 protocol, Deduplication (yes, it's part of the OS now), Chkdsk, and Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX).

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Data Protection Networking ESG Validation Services

Remember When

Your pager goes off and wakes you at 4:00 AM to let you know that the power is back on at the office, and you think, “Oh Great.” You look out the window and see the ground covered with snow as you fire up the home computer to see if you can send an e-mail - nothing. The drive to the office is quicker than usual, because there’s no traffic. It’s dark as you walk down the hall past the empty cubes, swipe your security card past the reader and open the big steel door. Ah, the familiar sound of cooling fans as you flip on the lights and walk to one of the many computer racks in the room. You jiggle the mouse in front of the console, and it lights up with a blue screen and a half booted system. The only option is to hit the power button.

That memory ran through my head during one of the recent ESG Lab projects I was involved in. I was thinking how rare it is for the computer equipment an administrator manages to be in the same office they work in these days - or even the same state, for that matter. We were testing a solution that paired NEC blade servers and storage with PAN Manager software from Egenera at the time.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Cloud Services & Orchestration ESG Validation Services

Too Much of a Good Thing

IT has a complicated relationship with redundancy. Redundancy is built into equipment and processes as a hedge against failures – that’s good. We put redundant power supplies in our equipment so that if one fails the other takes over. We use RAID in various permutations to ensure data protection. We put up duplicate data centers so that if a primary site gets flooded out we have another location from which to work. And we do backups every day and/or every week to make sure we have a redundant copy of our applications and data.

And that’s where it gets complicated, because backing up the same data over and over again, day after day, week after week, has a big impact on how much storage we need, how much bandwidth we need for backups, and how long it takes to restore. Redundancy is good – but too much of a good thing can become a problem, affecting cost and performance.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Data Protection ESG Validation Services

Come One, Come All! To the Greatest Show on Earth!

There used to be a clear distinction between IT infrastructure components and an obvious division of labor – the application, server, network, and storage teams operated mostly independently. End-users and business managers were content to follow IT’s instructions, being told what applications were available and then figuring out how to leverage them.

In recent years, however, much has changed. Application virtualization, management automation, increasing “consumerization,” and the concept of service-oriented IT have conspired to dramatically increase user expectations and demands. At the same time, IT is now viewed more as a strategic asset, an arrow in the quiver that the business can use to hit customer and employee satisfaction targets. Instead of waiting to be told by IT what capabilities are available, constituents approach IT to request services, applications, and results.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure ESG Validation Services

Seriously Smart, Wicked Fast Data Storage

The real-time performance and efficiency of Dot Hill's seriously smart Automatic Tiered Storage was highlighted during recent testing by ESG Lab. As you can see below, the fine grain 4MB efficiency kicked in within minutes. Multi-user database nearly tripled on a hybrid storage configuration with a mix of traditional hard drives and a relatively small amount of solid state disk.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure ESG Validation Services