Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: David Paquette, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Sal Fernando, Nate Lindstrom

Blog Feed Post

March 2014 StorageIO Update Newsletter : Cisco Cloud, VMware VSAN and More

March 2014 StorageIO Update Newsletter : Cisco Cloud, VMware VSAN and More

By Greg Schulz

Industry Trends Perspectives: Cisco Cloud and VMware VSAN

Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the StorageIO Update (newsletter) containing trends perspectives on cloud, virtualization and data infrastructure topics. Technically it is now spring here in North America and to say that we have had abnormal cold weather would be an understatement. However it is March with April just around the corner meaning plenty to do including several upcoming events (see below).

Clouds and Cisco

Some recent industry activity has included Cisco announcing its Cloud intentions (e.g. more than simply selling servers and networking hardware). So far the Cisco Cloud move appears to be more about hybrid and partner ecosystem including channels vs. going toes to toe with an Amazon Web Service (AWS). Cisco appears to playing the hybrid theme of being a technology supplier as well as provider or partner. Thus, it looks like for the near term the Cisco cloud target is not as much AWS as the likes of an IBM who recently added Softlayer or an HP.

Greg Schulz Storage I/OGreg Schulz on break

This will also be interesting to watch where along with how other Cisco partners such as EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, VCE and VMware participate. Keep in mind that some of these and other Cisco partners also have their own public, private and hybrid cloud initiatives, services along with being a supplier to each other.

VMware VSAN Software Defined Storage

Another industry activity involving servers storage I/O networking hardware software and virtualization (aka software defined) was the general announcement (GA) by VMware of Virtual SAN (VSAN). VMware VSAN went into public beta shortly after VMworld 2013 timeframe when many of us downloaded, installed and did various types of testing with it.

For those not familiar with VSAN, it is added licensed software functionality for VMware that creates a cluster to host Virtual Machines (VMs) along with its own shared resilient storage solution (e.g. Software Defined Storage). How VSAN works is to use PCIe, SAS, SATA dedicated direct attached storage (DAS) including that are local to the VMware host server (physical machine or PM). The VMware host PMs support DAS Hard Disk Drives (HDD), Solid State Devices (SSD) including PCIe cards, drives or DIMMs, along with Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHD). This local DAS storage is served and shared among the nodes (up to 32 host or PMs) per VSAN cluster balancing performance, availability (and resiliency) along with space capacity to host VM objects. Note that VM objects include VMDKs (e.g. virtual disks) and are not to be confused with the other type of object storage or access such as CDMI/SWIFT/S3/HTTP/REST.

VMs (and those managing them) see in the VSAN cluster datastores that are familiar with other VMware implementations including storage policies and other tools. Here is a link to a great piece by Patrick Schulz a data infrastructure systems engineer in Germany (no relation, at least not that I know of yet) where he shares his experiences with VSAN implementation.

storage I/O vsan
Generic VSAN example

Instead of using an external iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC) or FC over Ethernet (FCoE) shared SAN or NAS storage system / appliance to create the storage repository, local DAS is leveraged in groups spread across the hosts in the VSAN cluster (up to 32 nodes ). VSAN requires a percentage of SSD for each storage group on the host cluster nodes that a part is used for caching data which is persistently stored on HDD based media.

VSAN software is licensed by the number of active sockets (not the cores) in the host servers (PM) that are in the cluster or by number of VDI users (guest VMs). For example if there are four servers two with one socket and two with dual sockets there would be six socket licenses. MSRP License cost per processor socket is $2,495 USD which also assumes core VMware licenses already exist. There are also a per guest VM license of $50 per VDI instance, as well as other optional license models and bundles with different features or upgrades.

What is different with VSAN vs. other VMware clusters is that a) the storage is only accessible to VMs that are in the VSAN cluster (unless a VM exports and serves to others via NFS, iSCSI, etc which is a different conversation for another day). Another difference is that today VSAN leverage storage inside of servers or direct attached as opposed to using iSCSI, FC, FCoE SAN or NAS storage systems.

Btw, the current maximum LUN, volume or target storage device size is 4TB so if you were thinking of taking a SAS attached storage system and creating a bunch of small LUNs, you might want to review that from a cost perspective, or at least for today.

There is much more to VSAN including how it works, what it can and can not do, who it is for and whom should not use for different app's, however IMHO besides lower-end, SMB, workgroup, departmental, VMware centric environments, the number one scenario today is VDI along with where converged solutions such as those from Nutanix, Simplivity and Tintri among others are playing.

Watch for more StorageIO posts, commentary, perspectives, presentations, webinars, tips and events on information and data infrastructure topics, themes and trends. Data Infrastructure topics include among others cloud, virtual, legacy server, storage I/O networking, data protection, hardware and software.

Check out our downloads page (Under the resources section on StorageIO.com) for extra content.

StorageIO Industry Trends and Perspectives Industry trends tips, commentary, articles and blog posts
What is being seen, heard and talked about while out and about

The following is a synopsis of some StorageIOblog posts, articles and comments in different venues on various industry trends, perspectives and related themes about clouds, virtualization, data and storage infrastructure topics among related themes.

StorageIO in the newsRecent StorageIO comments and perspectives in the news

SearchSolidStateStorage: Comments on automated storage tiering and flash
EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Cloud-Storage Mergers and Acquisitions
SearchDataBackup: Comments on near-CDP nudging true CDP from landscape
EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Ways to Avoid Cloud Storage Pricing Surprises
SearchDataBackup: Q&A: Snapshot, replication 'great approach' for data protection
SearchDataBackup: Comments on LTFS-enabled products

StorageIO tips and articles Recent StorageIO tips and articles in various venues

InformationSecurityBuzz: Dark Territories – Do You Know Where Your Information Is?
InformationSecurityBuzz: Rings Of Security For Data Protection Or For Appearance?
SearchSolidStateStorage: Q&A on automated storage tiering and flash
SpiceWorks: My copies were corrupted: The 3-2-1 data protection rule

StorageIOblog postRecent StorageIOblog posts and perspectives

  • Missing MH370 reminds us, do you know where your digital assets are? Click to read more
  • Old School, New School, Current and Back to School - Click to read and view poll
  • USENIX FAST (File and Storage Technologies) 2014 Proceedings - Click to read more
  • Spring 2014 StorageIO Events and Activities Update Click to view
  • Review - iVMcontrol iPhone VMware management, iTool or iToy? Click to read more
  • February 2014 Server StorageIO Update Newsletter
  • Remember to check out our objectstoragecenter.com page where you will find a growing collection of information and links on cloud and object storage themes, technologies and trends from various sources.

    Server and StorageIO seminars, conferences, web cats, events, activities StorageIO activities (out and about)
    Seminars, symposium, conferences, webinars
    Live in person and recorded recent and upcoming events

    The StorageIO calendar continues to evolve, here are some recent and upcoming activities.

    129/78/148/103/1527/350/242/91 = 650
    June 12, 2014 The Many Facets of Virtual Storage and Software Defined Storage Virtualization Webinar
    9AM PT
    June 11, 2014
    The Changing Face and Landscape of Enterprise Storage Webinar
    9AM PT
    May 16, 2014 What you need to know about virtualization (Demystifying Virtualization) Nijkerk Holland
    May 15, 2014 Data Infrastructure Industry Trends: What’s New and Trending Nijkerk Holland
    May 14, 2014 To be announced Nijkerk Holland
    May 13, 2014 Data Movement and Migration: Storage Decision Making Considerations Nijkerk Holland
    May 12, 2014 Rethinking Business Resiliency: From Disaster Recovery to Business Continuance Nijkerk Holland
    May 5-7, 2014 EMC World Las Vegas
    April 22-23, 2014 SNIA DSI Event

    Presenting - The “Cloud” Hybrid Home Run
    Life beyond they Hype

    Santa Clara CA
    April 16, 2014
    Open Source and Cloud Storage - Enabling business, or a technology enabler? Webinar
    9AM PT
    April 9, 2014
    Storage Decision Making for Fast, Big and Very Big Data Environments Webinar
    9AM PT
    April 8, 2014 NAB National Association Broadcasters (e.g. Very Big Fast data Event) Las Vegas
    March 27, 2014
    Keynote: The 2017 Datacenter - PREPARING FOR THE 2017 DATACENTER SESSIONS Edina
    8:00AM
    Register Here

    Click here to view other upcoming along with earlier event activities. Watch for more 2014 events to be added soon to the StorageIO events calendar page. Topics include data protection modernization (backup/restore, HA, BC, DR, archive), data footprint reduction (archive, compression, dedupe), storage optimization, SSD, object storage, server and storage virtualization, big data, little data, cloud and object storage, performance and management trends among others.

    Vendors, VAR's and event organizers, give us a call or send an email to discuss having us involved in your upcoming pod cast, web cast, virtual seminar, conference or other events.

    Thank you to the current StorageIoblog.com site sponsor advertisers

    Druva (End Point Data Protection)
    Unitrends (Enterprise backup solution and management tools)
    Veeam (VMware and Hyper-V virtual server backup and data protection tools).


    Contact StorageIO to learn about sponsorship and other partnership opportunities.

    Click here to view earlier StorageIO Update newsletters (HTML and PDF versions). Subscribe to this newsletter (and pass it along) and click here to subscribe to this news letter. View archives of past StorageIO update news letters as well as download PDF versions at: www.storageio.com/newsletter

    Ok, nuff said (for now)

    Cheers
    Gs

    Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
    twitter @storageio

    All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2014 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

    Read the original blog entry...

    More Stories By Greg Schulz

    Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

    In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

    @CloudExpo Stories
    While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
    The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
    Although it has gained significant traction in the consumer space, IoT is still in the early stages of adoption in enterprises environments. However, many companies are working on initiatives like Industry 4.0 that includes IoT as one of the key disruptive technologies expected to reshape businesses of tomorrow. The key challenges will be availability, robustness and reliability of networks that connect devices in a business environment. Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is expected to...
    DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
    Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
    Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
    Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
    We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It doe...
    As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
    As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today’s global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
    Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
    Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
    19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
    Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
    SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.