Wednesday, January 30, 2008

VMware I/O Virtualization HBAs and Xsigo Systems I/O Director

A partnership between VMware Inc. and Xsigo Systems Inc. will result in Xsigo's I/O virtualization product being integrated with ESX Server and its management software folded into VMware's Virtual Center GUI.

Xsigo's I/O Director consists of a rack-mounted switch that takes the place of Ethernet NICs and FC HBAs in physical servers, connecting them in turn to the user's network or storage fabric in a consolidated physical footprint. The switch also allows users to change connectivity on the fly.

The I/O Problem
I/O is a growing problem in large data centers. Thousands of interconnects link resources in complex configurations. Every data path must be redundant to guard against failure, and all paths must deliver the bandwidth needed for peak loads.

The resulting infrastructure involves a vast array of physical resources: adapter cards, networking switches, storage switches, and a maze of cables. Issues with large scale server I/O include:

  • Inflexibility: Multiple interdependencies limit agility.
  • High cost: I/O infrastructure cost (cards, switches) can exceed server cost.
  • Management complexity: Multiple teams must coordinate even simple changes.

According to Xsigo the benefits of using their director are:

  • Reduce server I/O cabling by 70%
  • Cut connectivity capital costs by up to 50%
  • Deploy connectivity to any server at any time
  • Migrate connectivity among servers transparently
  • Deliver 10Gb/s bandwidth to each server
  • Integrate with existing management frameworks

Vmware should be well aware that storage is the key a successful virtual infrastructure. By virtualizing storage, they will be able to provide a generic connectivity point for all 3rd party storage systems.
I/O Virtualization will be a major enhancement in upcoming VI releases and will future proof changes in storage going forward. Expect to see a number of specific IO solutions for vmware in the comming year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

EMC DMX-4 Delivers First Solid State Disks

Symmetrix DMX-4 is the first enterprise storage system to provide flash drives that break the performance barriers of traditional disk technology.

EMC plans to offer flash drives in 73 GB and 146 GB capacities for the Symmetrix DMX-4 platform beginning later in Q1 2008.

From the press release:

The flash drives for the Symmetrix DMX-4 system have been purpose built to EMC's exacting specifications and use single-layer cell (SLC) flash technology combined with sophisticated controllers to achieve ultra fast read/write performance, high reliability and data integrity.

This new solid-state storage tier, "tier zero," is fully supported by the Symmetrix software management suite, enabling storage administrators to simplify the provisioning of all of their storage tiers with advanced management tools including Dynamic Cache Partitioning, Virtual LUNs, Quality of Service Manager, and now Virtual Provisioning to simplify overall management and application performance

The Symmetrix DMX-4, with support for flash drives, Fibre Channel disk drives and SATA disk drives, offers the broadest range of 'in the box' storage tiering options to enable the consolidation of all application tiers within a single system.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

BiTMICRO 1.6TB Solid State "Soft Drive"

Update 2/5/2008 : E-Disk® Altima™ Ultra320 SCSI SSD combines up to 1.6TB pure solid state storage capacities with 30,000 IOPS and a lightning-speed sustained throughput of up to 230 MB/sec to deliver highly reliable and performance-driven storage solutions for enterprise, military, and industrial applications
Set for an official announcement at CES next week, BiTMICRO's 832GB SSD uses some sort of proprietary technology that they call MLC memory.
BiTMICRO hasn't made any mention regarding pricing at this point, but they do plan for a launch sometime in Q3 2008.

Virtual Optics's vision for 2008 was hot for solid state in 2008, however never this hot.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Netapp Grabs Onaro

Netapp announced today a definitive merger agreement to acquire Onaro, a privately owned company headquartered in Boston, Mass. Onaro's software, deployed in 32% of Fortune 50 companies, allows enterprises to manage storage with the highest possible data availability at a fraction of normal operational costs.

Netapp has been working hard at adding a new software look to it's hardware product line. Onaro not only adds SAN and NAS functionality, but also Vmware functionality. I suspect that Netapp is also looking at the talent pool as a key factory in the agreement. I see a tight integration comming in the future with all the Netapp functionality on the hardware side.

Watch the What's New Onaro Demo (4:00)

It's only January 3rd, and yet another Virtual Optics 2008 predition is on the table.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

IBM Grabs XIV Nextra Clustered SAN

Looks like my #2 predition for 2008 is already comming true. IBM throws down a rumored $350M for clustering startup

XIV is an unknown clustering solution with 40 customers that provides SAN connectivity in a cluster configuration. XIV's Nextra solution provides point in time snapshots and scales to 1 Petabyte

XIV is led by Moshe Yanai, one of the key architects of data storage systems and instrumental in the development of EMC's Symmetrix and DMX product lines throughout the 1990s. XIV was founded in 2002 by five graduates of the Talpiot program, Israel's elite military program for technology leaders. The innovative Nextra technology has been in development since 2002, with first customer installations in 2005.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well Happy New Year!

I started this Blog on 9/11/2007 and I just tracked my 3069th unique visitor (see above for their locations)

My visions for 2008

1. 10Gbe will become the standard for NAS storage
2. Clustered Storage (such as Isilon) will pick up steam
3. Solid State storage will be the talk of 2008
4. VMware will continue to increase market share
5. Infiniband Storage and VMware will be the 2008 solution
6. Several Storage vendors will consolidate
7. NFS RDMA NFSv4 pNFS over 10Gbe will outperform Fibre Channel for Vmware Datastores
8. FCOE will be limited to few applications
And on a green note, Nanosolar will change the world.
January 1 2008