Although the technical details of VMware’s version 4 product (dubbed the vSphere family) were known ahead of time, the product’s licensing model came as a surprise. Rather than go with the “base product + options” approach used by many software products, VMware decided on a flat tiered pricing scheme. Both approaches have their fans and detractors, but the details of VMware’s system left many off guard. Has VMware pushed the tiered model too far, eliminating flexibility and forcing enterprise customers to purchase pricey top-tier licenses? The Gestalt IT staff put our heads together to think the matter through.
EMC today announced a new generation of the flagship Symmetrix enterprise storage array by EMC: Initial reactions have compared it to the CLARiiON (with which it shares hardware), the DMX-4 (with which it shares software), the new 3PAR F-Class, the Compellent Storage Center, the HDS USP, and NetApp’s next-generation clustered filers. In every case, the V-Max is different enough to be compellingly new – it’s a true hybrid of monolithic (tiger) and modular (lion), thus its codename, “tigon”!
As large organizations begin to look towards cloud computing, many find themselves questioning the suitability of the infrastructure for their business needs. As consumer-focused services like Carbonite lose data and startup-focused systems like Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure suffer outages, the image of the cloud has darkened. How are providers protecting the data? What RTO and RPO is offered? Are these sufficient for the types of applications being considered for the cloud?
Reuven Cohen of Enomaly has penned an Open Cloud Manifesto. This might not have been news but for a curious backlash when two big cloud vendors, Microsoft and Amazon, refused to sign on, although IBM, Sun, and many others have endorsed it. In my opinion, the Open Cloud Manifesto is interesting, forward-thinking, provocative, and a bit naive.
While the bulk of Sun-related news this week relates to reported talks of a buyout by IBM, the company took a break from negotiations to introduce their own cloud computing and storage infrastructure, challenging Amazon, Google, Rackspace, and perhaps VMware, Microsoft, and Nirvanix.
Despite months of hyperbolic warnings, Cisco’s release today of their Unified Computing System blade servers (code named Project California) is gentle and evolutionary. The networking giant is challenging HP, IBM, and Dell, to be sure, but not with a slap in the face. Cisco is easing into the server pool with their UCS servers.
Virtualization is seen as the technology that makes it possible to do more with less, but there are many pitfalls to consider when virtualizing server infrastructure. This article suggests planning decisions to be considered that, if overlooked, could ruin the total cost of ownership (TCO) and the return on on investment (ROI) expected from this virtual infrastructure.
Although there is no word on a Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) initiator in the vein of their wildly successful iSCSI offering, Microsoft announced today that they are will be creating a logo program with test requirements for the new protocol. This certification program will likely follow the company’s similar work with iSCSI, Fibre Channel, and other products to ensure functionality and perhaps interoperability in the Windows market.
Along with many tidbits about storage advances in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, this WinHEC presentation by Microsoft’s Suzanne Morgan demonstrated that the combination of the Windows iSCSI Initiator and NetApp FAS 3070 filer could saturate a 10 Gb Ethernet link. How many other storage arrays can do that?
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.