May 252016
 

The field of all-in-on hyper-converged platforms has certainly grown over the past 24 months. While some smaller startups (Nimboxx?) could not gain enough traction early, others have been delivering robust, time-tested gear for several years. Here’s a run-down of a few of the top names.

Scale Computing

Scale Computing enters the best hyper converged solutions category by differentiating its HC3 and HC3x hyperconverged platforms with ease of use and simplicity. The company chose to standardize on KVM as a single hypervisor and built its own management layer, creating high functionality without the need for a virtual storage appliance, coupled with object-based storage with direct access to the hypervisor. Reliance on KVM also eliminates licensing fees for commercial hypervisors, making the product attractive to smaller organizations. Scale Computing recently added integrated disaster recovery capabilities into its HC3 platform.

Pivot3

Pivot3 is hardly a newbie, founded in 2002 with a focus on converging virtual servers, storage and networks. The company says it launched its best hyper converged appliance in 2008, when a casino asked for a secure and cost-effective way to store video streams (at the time, Pivot3 called it “serverless computing.”).”

Using Scalar Erasure Coding, Pivot3 developed vSTAC OS, which the company says “allows any program running on one appliance within the cluster to access resources across all the appliances in the cluster.” Pivot3 focuses on the video surveillance and virtual desktop markets and counts more than 1,300 customers worldwide. Recently, Pivot3 acquired NexGen Storage to flush out it’s all-flash offerings.

Nutanix

Hyperconvergence pioneer Nutanix launched its first product in 2011 and initially focused on a message of “ban the SAN.” Today, the company’s Virtual Computing Platform provides integrated compute and storage through servers running a standard hypervisor and the Nutanix OS. According to Gartner’s report on integrated systems, Nutanix’s technology is unique in that “the storage and compute elements are natively converged to create a much tighter level of integration”; a node-based approach that “enables theoretically limitless additions of new compute or storage bandwidth in very small increments.”

Nutanix, which released what it claims was the industry’s first all-flash hyperconverged array last year, has raised $317 million in funding, filed 43 patents, and touts an annualized sales run rate of $300 million. Last year, the company inked an OEM deal with Dell to offer converged appliances built with Nutanix software running on Dell PowerEdge servers.

Gridstore

Gridstore offers best hyper converged solution purpose-built for Microsoft Hyper-V. The startup’s hyperconverged appliances come in both all-flash and hybrid versions. Unlike other scale-out storage products, which use standard storage protocols such as SMB or iSCSI, Gridstore places much of the work of managing the scale-out cluster into the client as a virtual controller. Gridstore may have an advantage in the market if it can capitalize on its position as the first Hyper-V optimized storage system.

Dell’s Nutanix-Based XC Series

Dell’s first Nutanix based hyper converged solution is the XC730xd, which is based on Dell’s PowerEdge R730xd rack-mount server platform. The XC730xd, based on Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 processors, fits up to 32 TB of storage capacity in a 2U enclosure, or about 60 percent more capacity than the previous model based on the PowerEdge R720xd servers. The second model, the XC630, is based on Dell’s 1U PowerEdge R630 platform, and can be configured with up to 9.6 TB of storage capacity.

EMC VSPEX BLUE

The EMC VSPEX BLUE best hyper-converged infrastructure appliance delivers compute, storage, networking and management through VMware EVO: RAIL and EMC software. EMC claims the solution goes from power on to provisioning virtual machines in less than 15 minutes.

Included with the appliance is VSPEX BLUE Manager, which provides access to electronic services and automated patch and software update notifications; VSPEX BLUE Market, which gives access to pre-validated solutions; and EMC Secure Remote Support for monitoring of the appliance.

Hewlett-Packard HPE

Hewlett-Packard in December entered the best hyper-converged infrastructure market with its HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual. Based on the company’s StoreVirtual virtualized storage solution, it provides advanced data services, disaster recovery, and heterogeneous interoperability across physical and virtual application domains. HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC StoreVirtual includes the converged management of HP OneView for VMware vCenter, as well as robust VMware vSphere integration. A version running the HP Helion cloud was released recently.

HP also recently unveiled its HP ConvergedSystem 200-HC EVO: RAIL, a new hyper-converge appliance based on the VMware EVO: RAIL platform. This combines HP ProLiant SL servers with the VMware suite including VMware vSphere, vCenter Server and VMware Virtual SAN.

Riverbed SteelFusion

The SteelFusion 4.0 from San Francisco-based Riverbed Technology targets the simplification of branch-office IT support by virtualizing and consolidating 100 percent of data and servers from remote sites into data centers to centralize data security and IT management. SteelFusion does this with a series of hyper-converged appliances that are deployed in a remote office to run applications over a WAN using data stored in a central data center.

New with SteelFusion is FusionSync, which provides seamless branch continuity by ensuring all branch data is accessible across private and hybrid cloud environments. This, according to Riverbed, gives remote offices the ability to withstand and recover from data center failures with zero downtime.

SimpliVity

Another pioneer in the hyperconvergence space, SimpliVity came out of stealth mode in 2012. The startup’s OmniCube platform combines compute, hypervisor, storage services and network switching on x86 server hardware with centralized management. OmniCube goes further than other integrated systems by incorporating features such as built-in VM backup, in-line data deduplication, compression and optimization at the source, according to Gartner.

Tintri

Tintri VMstore best hyper-converged appliance consists of a fully redundant box containing flash and spinning storage, designed to simplify the task of providing storage for VMs while adding performance.

Unlike traditional networked storage systems, even those that also integrate flash and spinning disks, there are no LUNs, volumes or tiers, which Tintri says present barriers to virtualization because they have no intrinsic meaning at the VM level. Instead, each I/O request maps to the particular virtual disk on which it occurs, the system accesses the vCenter Server API to monitor and control I/O performance at virtual disk level, and you manage in terms of virtual disks and VMs.

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Mar 262015
 

Dell SC4020 Pricing

To compete with big business, you need efficient, real-time data access to quickly turn customer interactions into transactions and information into insights. The Dell Storage SC4020 puts the high IOPs and low latency your applications demand within reach.

A six drive configuration lists for around $25,000. SC4020 configuration is unique for a few reasons, primarily though it’s the lowest-priced all flash configuration from a top-tier enterprise storage vendor. Granted, it’s not a high-capacity offering, though out of the gate it only uses six of the available 24 bays. The goal in this case is simple. Besides playing well in ROBO with existing Compellent storage at the enterprise, this SC4020 has the promise of offering some of the highest performance per dollar, which is an increasingly valuable metric. For those with low capacity needs, this configuration works well to satisfy latency-sensitive applications with a mature stack and robust support infrastructure. Of course the SC4020 can scale to higher capacity demands too, giving this $25k configuration plenty of headroom as requirements scale

Product Configurations

Internal Storage
24 x 2.5” drive bays

Supported expansion enclosures
Dell SC200: 12 x 3.5” drive bays
Dell SC220: 24 x 2.5” drive bays

Maximum drive count
120 (24 internal, plus 96 external)

Total storage capacity
408TB based on maximum number of drives (120) and current largest capacity supported drives

Supported drive types
HDD: 15K, 10K, 7.2K RPM; SDD: write-intensive SLC, read-intensive MLC (different drive types, transfer rates and rotational speeds can be mixed in the same system

Controllers
2 controllers per SC4020 array

Processor
Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1265L v2, 2.50GHz, 4 cores

Memory
32GB per SC4020 array (16GB per controller)

Network/server connectivity (front-end)
8 x 8Gb FC ports per SC4020 array (4 per controller)

Internal drive connectivity (back-end)
4 x 6Gb SAS ports per SC4020 array (2 per controller)

NAS deployment connectivity (optional)
Supports file-based storage via FS8600 NAS appliance

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Oct 142014
 
Our self-service quote system will send you general pricing information via email quickly, often in minutes! This tool is provided by EchoQuote™ and should be used for planning and budgetary purposes only. Your actual pricing may be higher or lower.

Dell EqualLogic Pricing
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 October 14, 2014   Articles With Pricing, Dell
Mar 062013
 

Have you ever wished you could just borrow some equipment for a short-term project? Maybe you’re migrating to a new platform and just need some breathing room while you make the move.

Here are several situations where renting, not buying, may make sense:

Data Center Migration – Rentals keep a data center operational during a move with critical ‘swing’ equipment for your migration.

Software Testing, Proof-of-Concept, or Virtualization Planning – Rentals enable a full load test of new hardware or software, matching production environment.

Facing Peak Capacity Issues or Planning a Short-Term Project – Renting is a cost-effective option for seasonal or short-term business needs.

Creating a Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity Plan – In the event of a disaster or unplanned outage, rentals can keep your business running.

Managing Infrastructure During an Asset Acquisition Freeze – Renting is typically an expense on the balance sheet – not a capital outlay. As a result, it might be an easier case to make to your CFO.

There are many sources for refurbished gear; from ebay to the top disposition handling companies. For corporate projects, I would steer clear of “self-service” goods via ebay, etc. There are options like Avnet Remarketing Solutions (ask for AJ Harradine) that provide industrial strength gear at self-service prices.

I asked AJ to give me some 3-month EqualLogic rental examples and here’s what he came up with.

Model Per Month (Estimated)
S6510E – 48TB $4,875/month
PS6010XV – 9.6TB $3,900/month
PS6510E – 96TB $7,020/month

Keep in mind that inventory is in constant flux so contact AJ and get in the queue quickly. He’ll put you on their “watch list” for the gear you need.

Thanks for the info AJ!

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