Feb 212013
 

Confusing SAN Pricing with SAN Cost can be expensive

From a Buyer’s perspective: Price is what you initially pay for an item. Cost is what it takes to maintain the item until it reaches Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) also referred to as Life Expectancy (see UL rating to get MTBF). Example: Company A purchases a SAN system (whose Hard Drives have an MTBF rating of 3 years) for a price of $50,000.00. Company B purchases a SAN system (whose MLC NAND drives have an MTBF rating of 6 years) for a price of $80,000.00. Based on the MTBF ratings Company A will have to purchase their surveillance system twice for an actual cost of $100,000.00 over the 6 years. Then you factor the time value of money on your savings for your final evaluation on Price versus Cost. So it is important to evaluate MTBF as well as other overhead costs (increased administration, training, etc.) in order to make the most economical purchase.

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 February 21, 2013  Design Considerations
Feb 192013
 

Original article at Slashdot

Dell claims that any customers for its Compellent storage arrays will see a roughly 100 percent performance increase with the introduction of Compellent Storage Center 6.3, plus end-to-end 16-Gbit Fibre Channel technology.

In addition to Storage Center 6.3, the company has released new PowerVault MD3 array software with enhanced data protection, capacity utilization, and virtualization improvements. And on top of that, it issued new PowerVault appliances that integrate with AppAssure, NetVault and CommVault Simpana data protection software.

Bob Fine, a director and product director of Dell’s Compellent business, said that the company has previously taken incremental approaches to the platform’s code base, adding 64-bit OS support in January and transitioning off of EMC hardware and onto Dell’s own hardware in June. “In both of these cases, the primary aspect of these releases was stability,” he said.

With the new release of Storage Center, Dell has also moved to 16-gigabit Fibre Channel from end-to-end, from server to switch to storage, doubling the available bandwidth in addition to the performance improvements. Specifically, Fine said the Compellent architecture had undergone incremental improvements, in particular to the I/O stack and how Dell virtualized the storage.

“Here’s a very easy way to do twice as much,” Fine said. “You don’t have to have an outage, or replace an existing platform; from a cost standpoint this software is a no-charge firmware upgrade as long as you have a support contract in place. And that’s a pretty rare statement to make these days, to get customers that much more in terms of their productivity at this price point.”

Dell Compellent Storage Center 6.3 will enter beta in early 2013 and move to general availability in the second quarter, Dell said.

The new MD3 software release, available now, brings a virtualization layer and chunking architecture to the MD3 line, providing improved data protection and increased efficiency. This release also adds dynamic disk pooling—a self-healing, rebalancing technology for when a drive fails—plus iSCSI asynchronous replication, a first-ever feature within the MD3 line. The new software also doubles the snapshots from 256 to 512.

Additional enterprise enhancements to the MD3 software include Windows Server 2012 support, Active Directory, and LDAP support for automating and integrating Compellent storage with a corporate directory, and synchronous replication enhancements. New thin provisioning and VMware VAAI support are standard along with the arrays, a Dell spokesman said.

Dell also announced the Dell PowerVault DL4000, the first backup appliance based on Dell AppAssure software, which contains 5.5 TB of storage; its scheduled availability is the first quarter of 2013; Quest NetVault Backup 9.0, which combines Quest data protection with NetVault Extended Architecture and will ship in December; and Dell’s Dell PowerVault DL2300, which includes CommVault Simpana 9 for data backup, recovery, replication, archiving and de-duplication. The DL2300 is available now. The new DR4000 is a virtual tape (VTL) cost effective unit.

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 February 19, 2013  Compellent, Dell, Design Considerations
Jan 182013
 

IBM recently introduced their Storwize v3700 designed for the SMB market. They provide an online pricing/configuring tool here.

According to IBM, the v3700 highlights include:

Easily managed and deployed system with embedded graphical user interface based on the IBM® Storwize® interface design

Experience rapid, flexible provisioning and simple configuration changes with internal virtualization and thin provisioning

Have continuous access to data with integrated nondisruptive migration

Protect data with sophisticated remote mirroring and integrated IBM FlashCopy® technology

Benefit from advanced functionality and reliability usually only found in more expensive systems

Features dual controllers with up to 180 TB of capacity and 8 GB of cache packaged in a compact, 2U 19-inch rack-mount enclosure

Scales up to 120 2.5-inch disk drives or 60 3.5-inch disk drives with four expansion units

Provides host attachment through 1 Gb iSCSI ports (standard), with support for 10 Gbps, Fibre Channel over Ethernet and 8 Gb Fibre Channel available as options

Helps reduce power consumption with energy-saving features

Organizations of all sizes are faced with the challenge of managing massive volumes of increasingly valuable data. But storing this data can be costly, and extracting value from the data is becoming more and more difficult. IT organizations have limited resources but need to stay responsive to dynamic environments and act quickly to consolidate, simplify and optimize their IT infrastructures. The new IBM Storwize V3700 system provides a smarter solution that is affordable, easy to use and self-optimizing, enabling organizations to overcome these storage challenges.

Storwize V3700, the most recent addition to the IBM Storwize family of disk systems, delivers efficient, entry-level configurations specifically designed to meet the needs of small and midsize businesses. Designed to provide organizations with the ability to consolidate and share data at an affordable price, Storwize V3700 offers advanced software capabilities usually found in more expensive systems.

Web-based GUI with point-and-click management capabilities
Internal disk storage virtualization enables rapid, flexible provisioning and simple configuration changes
Thin provisioning enables applications to grow dynamically but only consume space they are actually using
Simple data migration from external storage to Storwize V3700 storage (one-way from another storage device)
FlashCopy creates instant application copies for backup or application testing

2U modular disk system
1 Gb iSCSI host interface with optional 8 Gb Fibre Channel or 10 Gb iSCSI/Fibre Channel over Ethernet host ports
Up to 180 TB of capacity
Maximum disk drives:
Small form-factor enclosure: 24 x 2.5-inch drives
Large form-factor enclosure: 12 x 3.5-inch drives
Supports up to four expansion units (up to 120 drives per system)
Dual-port, hot-swappable 6 Gb SAS disk drives
Support for RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10
4 GB cache (per controller) standard, upgradable to 8 GB
Redundant, hot-swappable power supplies and fans
AC power (110 – 240 V)

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Jan 072013
 

Original article By Karl Chen, CMO, Starboard Storage, Systems

There is no pricing information in this article.

The storage industry kicked the year off with an acquisition and while a small one it is a signal of the impact that next generation storage companies like Starboard are having on the market.

Imation announced that it is acquiring Nexsan. Nexsan has been around for a while and pulled back their IPO a few years ago. It is certainly not a very high value deal for Nexsan at 1.5x 2011 revenues. The bulk of Nexsan’s 11k installations are SATA Beast and SATA Boy disk systems and JBODs and it has been principally seen as a vendor of disk drive enclosures. Imation has been mostly an archive tape cartridge provider trying to move into storage systems with their acquisition of the ProStor RDX Intellivault product over a year ago.

In 2012 Nexsan had tried to move upmarket with the delivery of a new unified storage system incorporating solid state drives built on top of Oracle ZFS. Unlike Starboard, they did not own the core platform software and patented IP required to deliver and sustain innovative enterprise-class unified hybrid storage systems. This has clearly contributed to Nexsan seeking an exit strategy. Imagine having to be at Oracle’s mercy on storage software feature enhancements of your storage OS? That’s what ZFS-based unified storage vendors like Nexsan and Tegile are dependent on.

Imation will merge Nexsan into their securities business according to announcement articles, so it will be interesting to see how that will play out in the market.

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 January 7, 2013  Nexsan
Oct 012012
 

You can get Self-Service Nimble Storage Pricing at 4NimbleStorage.com, or follow this link:

Nimble Storage announced the availability of an entry-level converged primary and backup storage array designed and priced to meet the requirements of smaller IT environments and remote offices while delivering the functionality and performance associated with enterprise-class SANs.

The Nimble CS210 combines primary and backup storage in a single array, and is built around a new architecture designed for flash memory in combination with high-capacity drives – a solution that delivers high performance at a low cost.

While the system’s capabilities and usable capacity of 8TB for primary storage and backup system for smaller IT environments, its performance also makes it for I/O-intensive applications such as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments. Furthermore, built-in capacity optimization and WAN-efficient replication enable it to serve as a cost-effective offsite storage array for disaster recovery for small to midsize IT environments.

“With the CS210, Nimble has uniquely addressed the storage pains of the mid-market,” said Mitch Gram, vice president of professional services at Sovran, a technology solutions provider and Nimble partner. “Smaller firms have all the challenges of the enterprise for functionality, features and performance in a SAN, but on a smaller scale and with more constrained budgets. The CS210 can help our customers meet those challenges, while providing an ideal solution for demanding environments such as VDI.”

The CS210 breaks new ground in providing disaster recovery at an affordable price. Offering WAN-efficient replication, the solution is up to 20 times more bandwidth efficient than a typical SAN, making DR possible over even moderate-sized WANs and without requiring separate WAN optimization solutions. And the CS210 offers improved recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery-time objectives (RTOs) when compared with replicated disk-based backup solutions.

The CS210 delivers enterprise-class functionality:

Performance. The CS210 delivers performance in this form factor and price band, particularly for the most challenging random-read-and-write IO patterns.
Instant, integrated backups and restores. The CS210 eliminates backup windows by enabling instant backups on the same array used for primary storage. Backups take seconds and do not impact application or storage performance.
Intelligent data optimization. A copy of active ‘hot’ data is held in flash, enabling fast reads, while all data is stored in cost-effective, high-capacity disk. Data is laid out sequentially, enabling fast writes to flash and disk.
Inline compression. Unlike existing architectures that store data as fixed-size blocks, Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) stores variable-size blocks, achieving 50- to 75-percent compression with no added latency.
Replication. Disaster recovery with the Nimble CS210 is enabled by highly WAN-efficient replication, up to 20 times more efficient than typical SAN replication.
Data recovery. Sixty to 90 days of compressed, block-level incremental snapshots are captured on high-capacity disk at scheduled intervals, improving recovery-point objectives.
Virtualization support. The CS210 provides simplified application management and VM-consistent backups for Microsoft and VMware environments.
Thin provisioning. The CS210 maximizes storage capacity by allocating blocks of data on-demand, virtually eliminating instances of allocated but unwritten space.
Zero copy cloning. With zero copy cloning, the CS210 enables efficient data reuse by allowing entire storage volumes to be copied with no appreciable increase in storage capacity requirements.
High availability. The CS210 incorporates dual, hot-swappable controllers and power supplies with mirrored NVRAM, ensuring system availability.
Administration. An user interface eliminates the complexity of provisioning and managing separate storage, backup and disaster recovery devices, and also removes the administrative overhead of managing massive data copies between tiers. Predefined application and data protection policies allow new volumes to be created in just three steps.

“Smaller mid-market enterprises face the same storage challenges as their large counterparts, even if their storage capacity requirements are an order of magnitude smaller,” said Amita Potnis, senior research analyst, worldwide storage systems, with analyst firm IDC. “Nimble has taken a smart approach to the challenge, building on the exhaustive feature set and proven functionality of its enterprise-class CS220 and CS240 arrays. The CS210 is built for the IT generalist who needs a full-featured SAN with no compromises.”

Innovation
Nimble Storage’s CS Series is based on its Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL), which enables fast inline data compression, intelligent data optimization leveraging flash memory and high-capacity disk, instant optimized backups and WAN efficient replication – all in a single device. CASL allows organizations to reduce their capital expenditures for storage and backup while eliminating the need for separate, disk-based backup.

Self-Service Nimble Storage Pricing and Availability

The CS210 is available exclusively through authorized Nimble Storage partners.

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Jul 132012
 

We all know that there is a lot of wasted space in most VM storage repositories due to duplicate data. (Or we should.) But what isn’t as well known is the way the disk storage is configured can introduce a lot of delays in its throughput. This is because most storage arrays aren’t aware of the peculiarities of how VMs have to store their data on the specific blocks of their arrays, and the array can waste time seeking and retrieving information from its VMs.

A way around this is to re-align your VMs to make sure their information is stored properly on the array, but until now this has been a fairly complex process. Tintri is attempting to resolve this and other VM storage issues with its second-generation VMstore hardware storage appliance. Most of its storage input/output comes from its built-in flash memory and the new version has dual storage controllers for added redundancy.

The VMstore comes with the ability to do auto-alignment, to boost performance by anywhere from 10 to 20 percent. VMware is currently supported and other hypervisors are planned for the near future. Here is a description of the underlying issue.

The array has some additional features, including the ability to have visual and quantitative (real-time and historical) “end-to-end latency” from the application all the way down to the block storage level. You can now tell where your storage bottlenecks are, and be able to determine if you have throughput or application layer issues. Dashboard can either be run from a browser, as you see here, or fit inside a tab on vSphere’s vCenter.

Tintri Pricing isn’t cheap for this unit — $65,000 plus an Ethernet network adapter for 8.5 TB of usable space.

Original article from readwriteweb.com

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 July 13, 2012   Articles With Pricing
Jun 252012
 

Scale Computing sells servers loaded with the company’s custom storage software for small businesses that don’t necessarily need the petabytes of storage that massive companies need. The company offers 3TB nodes for $12,000, 6TB nodes that cost $15,000, and 12TB nodes that cost $21,000. The technology is designed to be plug and play, allowing businesses to plug in additional storage nodes without having to bring down their services or migrate data.

The Indianapolis, Ind.-based company’s funding comes at a particularly strange time, since cloud-based storage solutions are beginning to dominate the small- to mid-sized business space. Cloud computing products are typically much cheaper than building and maintaining databases in-house. They also charge per gigabyte of storage, so companies don’t end up paying for any wasted space.

There are some concerns with storing information on the public cloud — particularly in regards to security. Most major companies have strict security standards that can’t be fulfilled with public cloud storage services. That’s not to say cloud storage providers like Rackspace aren’t able to keep the data secure. It just means that the companies’ compliance requirements are often too high to effectively use the service.

There are also some performance concerns, because the information still has to be streamed through the internet from cloud storage servers onto a local device. That can lead to some lag, and the lost time can pile up after a while. Devices plugged into a local network are always going to be faster than having to stream information through a broadband connection. But as cloud computing becomes more advanced in the form of compression techniques and faster broadband infrastructure, those concerns are quickly disappearing.

Scale Computing’s most recent round of fundraising was led by Scale Venture Partners and Northgate Capital. Existing investors, which include Benchmark Capital, also participated in this round. Rob Theis, managing director of Scale Venture Partners, will join the company’s board of directors as part of the deal.

Scale Computing has secured more than 200 companies as customers and shipped 1,000 of its storage nodes. Scale Computing has raised a total of $31 million including the most recent round of fundraising.

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Jun 252012
 

SEPATON S2100® Data Protection V6.1 software is immediately available. S2100 systems start at $115.5K for the S2100-DS3.

SEPATON, Inc., the only company in the world that delivers disk-based data protection solutions specifically designed for large enterprises, today released DeltaStor® DBeXstream™ software, the only software in the industry that can back up and restore large databases at industry leading rates while also delivering unprecedented capacity reduction through byte-differential deduplication. The breakthrough software is part of the 6.1 release of its enterprise-optimized data protection software, which powers its S2100 systems.

Tweet this: @SEPATON unveils #dedupe for multistreamed databases for fastest, most efficient #Enterprise DB Protection http://tinyurl.com/cyuyqgw

“Until now, no technology could effectively deduplicate databases that were backed up through multiple ports in parallel (multistreaming), forcing enterprises to choose between fast backup and efficient capacity reduction,” said Linda Mentzer, vice president of product management and marketing, SEPATON. “EMC Data Domain’s integration of Boost with Oracle RMAN attempted to address the challenge of delivering fast backups for Oracle databases, but their option requires the installation of third party software on the database servers, which introduces complexity and performance issues. SEPATON’s breakthrough DeltaStor DBeXstream is the only technology that efficiently deduplicates multistreamed and multiplexed enterprise database backups for any very large database, including Oracle, SQL, and DB2. With it, enterprises get both maximum backup and restore performance and industry leading deduplication ratios, cutting the cost of VLDB data protection.”

“Large companies run large complex data sets. Database performance is critical – both in production and when being protected,” said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “Normally, users need to compromise between backup speed and deduplication efficiency, but SEPATON’s new release takes that compromise right off the table. Large shops should welcome this capability with open arms.”

In addition to DBeXstream, the 6.1 release includes several other important innovations. SEPATON is the first third party vendor to deliver Symantec-certified support for NetBackup OST A.I.R. and Accelerator and also supports Optimized Synthetics and Granular Restore. The 6.1 release includes new hardware accelerated replication, increased daily system throughput, and transparent space reclamation across all backup applications.

SEPATON S2100® Data Protection V6.1 software is immediately available. S2100 systems start at $115.5K for the S2100-DS3.

Available at no charge for customers under maintenance agreements.

Supporting Resources

Download the new Enterprise Strategy Group white paper titled, “SEPATON 6.1 brings truly enterprise backups to enterprise databases and new options to Symantec owners.”

http://go.sepaton.com/2012-Web-WP-ESG-Enterprise-Symantec.html

Original Article

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 June 25, 2012   Articles With Pricing, Sepaton
Jun 252012
 

Sepaton Availability and Cost
The SEPATON S2100-DS3 pricing starts at $110K for a 10TB usable system inclusive of compression and de-duplication.

SEPATON, Inc. announced the extension of its enterprise data protection platform with the introduction of the S2100-DS3 Series 1000 and 2000 systems.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of large enterprises with multiple remote locations, the DS3 gives enterprises the ability to deliver the same standard of data protection to remote offices that have previously only been available to primary data centers.

By delivering a data protection solution for remote offices that can be centrally managed and administered from the corporate data center, SEPATON eliminates a challenge to remote locations by backing up and replicating more data in less time and keeping more data online longer in a secure, high availability environment for quick restores.

“At the largest enterprises in the world, up to 30% of corporate data – the data in remote offices – goes unprotected, or protected by an ad hoc process,” said Mike Thompson, president and CEO, SEPATON, Inc. “This creates a significant data protection ‘gap.’ With the delivery of the DS3, large enterprises will be able to deploy the SEPATON data protection platform from core to the edge of the enterprise to the other. Finally, large enterprises will be able close the data protection gap, integrating all of their data protection into a single, centrally managed process.”

“Remote offices of larger firms are characterized as having local data critical to the organization and limited IT personnel to manage local backup processes. Delivering reliable backup that requires little to no local staff intervention and the ability to manage backup systems remotely is highly desirable. Optimized WAN data transfer from remote offices to the central data center to enable disaster recovery is an added bonus,” said Lauren Whitehouse, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “SEPATON’s DS3 offers IT organizations the means to effectively and efficiently ensure data protection in distributed environments.”

The DS3 platform is available starting with 10 TB or 20 TB usable capacity options in a 2U form factor.

Features include:

Performance: The DS3 cuts backup and restore times with two Fibre Channel and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports as a standard feature. The S2100-DS3 Series 2000e delivers backup speeds of up to 1500 MB/sec. Performance optimization features include automated load balancing of backup, restore, deduplication and replication for continuous, maximum performance. The DS3 delivers concurrent backup, deduplication and replication. It supports Symantec NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) on 10 Gb Ethernet concurrently with Fibre Channel tape emulation.

Simplifies complexity: Easy to implement, manage and maintain, the DS3 is designed for remote offices with limited IT resources. It installs quickly and without changes to backup policies. It features tape emula­tion and integration with leading backup software applications, saves administration time with advanced automation of all storage provisioning and performance optimization and replication as well as remote management from the main data center.

Flexibility: Each DS3 can provide up to 192 virtual devices simultaneously, each of which can be configured as a virtual library or virtual tape drive. Up to 64,000 virtual tape cartridges can be configured per platform. Up to three additional expansion disk trays can be added for a maximum usable disk capacity of 80TB per system.

Data deduplication: The DS3 includes compression and advanced DeltaStor deduplication tech­nology that reduces capacity usage without slowing backup or restore performance.

Remote replication: DeltaRemote replication software utilizing SEPATON’s delta differencing technology cuts the bandwidth required to replicate over a WAN by as much as 97 percent.

Reliability: The S2100-DS3 is designed to protect data from faults and failures for continuous access to stored data. High availability features include SATA RAID-based storage as well as redundant power and cooling and remote monitoring through alerts. In addition, the SEPATON system software is protected by redundant, internally mirrored drives.

Original Article from the Storage Newsletter

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 June 25, 2012   Articles With Pricing, Sepaton
Jun 132012
 

From The SSD Review

Starboard Storage Systems, a company that was launched in February, has announced the release of their AC72 mixed storage system.

Facilitating what Starboard is calling “Application Crafted Storage”, the new unit should allow administrators to employ a “set it and forget it” attitude when it comes to managing storage.

This will allow the focus to be exclusively on maintaining applications. Many an IT manager will no doubt appreciate this.

The new system will incorporate what the company is referring to as a Dynamic Storage Pool, which transfers data in parallel so that performance scales with the addition of new drives. The feature also allows new drives to be added on the fly and doesn’t require any array rebuilding, like a traditional RAID configuration would, which should make any wired techs job that much easier.

Starboard also mentions an SSD accelerator tier, which, like the name implies, is a multi-tiered SSD caching scheme which allocates the newest data to the fastest storage. Starboard states that performance is doubled by its inclusion, making it a welcome addition which should significantly improve application performance, providing consistent responsiveness for end-users and admins alike.

The AC72 will include support for protocols such as CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel, and will provide up to 474TB of storage. Starboard Storage Pricing starts at $59,995 for the 24 TB variant. Costs may vary based on location and channel method.

The interesting thing about this news is, of course, that Starboard Systems quite literally came into existence today. According to several different sources, they have their roots in a company called Reldata, which was also a provider of storage systems. Starboard has stated that they will continue to support existing Reldata products, though they will no longer be supplying new systems.

I do have to wonder, though, about Starboard System’s decision to enter the enterprise storage market just as other companies are beginning to diversify. It really does seem like a bit of a gamble at this point in time, even with the advanced capabilities of their new product. Perhaps previous reports regarding the saturation of this market segment were overstated. On the other hand, it could be that Starboard will begin expanding their business rapidly to ensure continued growth.

Whatever ends up happening, it’s certainly going to be an interesting year for the enterprise storage market, as we now have another strong player in what is turning out to be a fascinating part of the industry. I think what may be so intriguing, specifically, is the fact that multiple participants in this segment have released SSD caching solutions, Starboard Systems being the latest entry.

Seeing as only one company is supplying caching software for the consumer space at the moment, the opportunity seems ripe for the introduction of another contestant in this young but promising field. Being that Ultrabooks, one of the main benefactors of SSD caching, are expected to explode in popularity, this avenue certainly seems like an excellent path to business growth bliss. With any luck, enterprise oriented firms will embrace being diverse in lieu of having an adverse reaction to what could possibly be one of the most lucrative markets this year.

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