Future Storage Systems: A pause in workflow

October 17, 2008

Since I started this article series, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to have my ideas (well, some of the early articles at least) reviewed by person(s) who deal with the actual infrastructure of storage systems day in, day out.  The benefit of such peer review is that you get to learn at the symbolic “feet” of the masters and discover flaws, omissions, and understated features that need to be understood and incorporated.  This post is dedicated to some of those discussions and, where applicable, my understanding of how the FSS either incorporates or misses the boat.

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Configuring nVidia SATA controllers for use with VMware ESX

October 16, 2008

Part of the beauty of ESX 3.x from a hardware support standpoint was the addition of SATA as a viable install media for the hypervisor and service console.  However, opening up support for SATA also included a few hiccups along the way, most related to the SATA controllers officially supported by VMware.  For folks like myself who spent a lot of time with AMD-based platforms, the only real choices for SATA controllers (onboard the motherboard, not discrete) were offerings from Broadcom and nVidia.  This post will highlight how to configure your ESX 3.x host to use nVidia SATA controllers.

Note: This information is available within the VMware user community as well.  I am indebted to the person(s) in that community who provided this information, albeit in a slightly less “visual” way.

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Search Term Reviews: October 15th Edition

October 15, 2008

It’s been awhile since I last did a review of what people are searching for (July 30th was the last time…wow) so, let’s see what’s new.

Search Term #1: EMC NX4

Not really suprised here.  Honestly, take the Celerra NS-20, cut the price signficantly, allow blended SAS/SATA drive trays, Read the rest of this entry »


Future Storage Systems: Part 4: Operating System – Conceptual Overview

October 13, 2008

In the previous Future Storage System articles, we’ve covered the basic hardware foundation for what I envision to be a powerful future-oriented storage solution for the commercial midrange.  However, as you’re probably aware, hardware is meaningless without software to provide the operational capabilities that are needed to mange information.  In this article, I will focus on a general design for an extensible software layer (an OS) that will provide future-oriented capability expansion as well as robust analytics, capabilities, and integration with business continuity principles.  As always, please reference the diagram below.

Future Storage System - Operating System - Conceptual

Future Storage System - Operating System - Conceptual

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NX4: bringing NAS to the masses…

August 26, 2008

So you’re reading this at 12:01AM on Tuesday, August 26th…to paraphrase “Captain Awesome” from Chuck (on NBC), “Early morning group hug? AWESOME!”

Anyhow, let’s get straight to the point here: the NX4 is here. It has arrived in all of its SAS/SATA disk goodness. It brings with it CIFS/NFS capabilities, iSCSI for IP-based block level access, and 4Gb/s Fibre Channel for those moments where massive bandwidth and low latency are priorities. Sounds good, huh? Let’s toss in IP-based and Fibre replication facilities, auto volume management (for thin provisioning), and writable Celerra snaps and you’ve rounded out the solution completely. Did I mention that you’re going to layer this on top of the category-busting (sales-wise) AX4-5? Read the rest of this entry »


EMC CX4 is ALIVE!

August 6, 2008
Which memory locations can be cached by which ...Image via Wikipedia

Is it just me or have we been waiting for this for a while? 😉  Today is officially the EMC Clariion CX4 public GA (general availability) date.  Good news: they’re shipping TODAY!  No paper launches, folks…this is immediate availability.  The other good news: you get to do more with your storage; faster, cheaper, stronger, more flexible, etc.  Let me rip through some highlights for you:

a.) Cache and SP Processor increases.  Across the board, processor “speeds” and cache sizes have been increased.  Now, this may appear somewhat odd in that the CX4-120, for example, only has two dual core 1.2ghz processors, but, when you consider that the onboard L2 cache is greater in size (and Woodcrest processors were HANDILY more powerful than the older Nocona Xeons), it actually has more innate processing power than the previous generation processors.  Cache sizes, when coupled with the 64 bit FLARE OS for the array, allow for better allocation and utilization within the array. 

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Search Term Wednesday – July 30th Edition

July 30, 2008

So, it’s been awhile since we last did one of these posts.  To that end, let’s dive in and see what people are looking for these days.

Search Term(s):  EMC CX4, Clariion CX4, EMC Clariion CX4

No suprises here, but then again, I can’t talk about the CX4 just yet.  Suffice it to say, I’ll be prepping a few auto-posts on the CX4 (and another product that may be announced during the same timefram) to give you a high level overview of such.  There IS a post out there @ Block and Files that is somewhat correct but….somewhat off. 😉  You’ll get the “truth” on Monday.

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