IBM chief engineer Barrera talks EMC-Cisco, XIV and solid-state drives
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With virtualization and the cloud taking a larger role in data storage strategies, vendors are forging new alliances and approaches to the way they deliver technology. IBM has been at the center of several of those competitive and technical battles, and its chief technical strategist Clod Barrera sat down with SearchStorage.com recently to discuss IBM's plans for offering a vertically integrated virtualization stack to compete with the Acadia alliance between EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc.; management software for solid-state drives (SSDs); and the future of its XIV Storage System and DS8000 high-end disk arrays.
SearchStorage.com: What's IBM's reaction to the new Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition between VMware, Cisco and EMC?
Barrera: It's a recognition that these are areas where there's important growth going on in the world, and that integration of technology in front of the customer is going to be an important thing as people build out these environments everyone's expecting or talking about. You have to do one of two things to be successful -- either you have to be IBM or you have to emulate IBM. So what we see happening is companies starting to try to aggregate together collections of technologies and if they can't do that as a single enterprise, they have to do it as sort of a virtual corporation. The announcements that have been made are codifying activity and behavior we've seen going on for a while now.
Read the rest of the interview with IBM chief engineer Barrera.
NetApp's Georgens reports improved revenue; shrugs off EMC-Cisco deal
NetApp's sales results were better than expected last quarter, which CEO Tom Georgens said indicates a thaw in storage spending. He also said he doesn't expect the new Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition between his rival EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. to hinder NetApp's ability to continue its momentum from last quarter.
NetApp's revenue of $910 million was higher than the $881 million Wall Street analysts expected, and just below NetApp's revenue from last year. NetApp also increased its forecast for this quarter to $935 million to $955 million, up from its previous guidance of $910 million to $930 million.
"With the overall economy appearing to stabilize, we're seeing more and more customers begin to have forward-looking discussion again," Georgens said on NetApp's earnings conference call.
Read more about Georgens' comments.
EMC Centera Virtual Archive enables larger Centera clusters
EMC Corp. recently launched Centera Virtual Archive, a management layer for its Centera data archiving system that lets customers build a "cluster of clusters" to federate 512 nodes into one domain.
EMC Centera Virtual Archive lets organizations aggregate and manage four 128-node Centera clusters as one. That brings the total capacity of a virtual archive to more than 2 PB with 1 TB of SATA drives.
By building a "cluster of clusters," said Peter Thayer, EMC's director of product marketing for archiving, organizations can expand their data archive across geographically dispersed data centers.
Read the full story on EMC Centera Virtual Archive.
Engineering firm picks FalconStor CDP over EMC and NetApp remote office data protection tools
An engineering firm looking to replicate remote office data to its main office picked FalconStor Software's Continuous Data Protection (CDP) over offerings from EMC Corp. and NetApp Inc. because FalconStor required no proprietary hardware and fewer software licenses for remote and local replication than the competitors.
Strand Associates is a 380-person firm headquartered in Madison, Wis., with 11 remote office locations. Before buying FalconStor's CDP virtual appliance with continuous data protection (CDP), local and remote replication last September, Strand used a local instance of Symantec Corp.'s Backup Exec data backup software and tape drives attached to local servers at each remote office.
Besides wanting to get rid of tape in remote offices because of reliability and manageability issues (Strand Associates has a total of eight IT staff, but only two outside of Madison headquarters), network administrator Justin Bell said he wanted to get away from the Windows operating system required by Backup Exec.
Learn about CDP vs. snapshots for Exchange data protection.
Medical research foundation plugs in Isilon clustered NAS for vSphere
Bioinformatics specialist Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OKMRF) brought in Isilon Systems Inc.'s clustered network-attached storage (NAS) system this year to support a new gene-sequencing tool, but found the clustered NAS system could also support a new VMware Inc. vSphere 4 deployment with adequate performance for both environments.
OKMRF software engineer Stuart Glenn said the gene sequencer and Isilon storage to support it were funded in part by a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also referred to as the stimulus package) put into effect earlier this year. Previously, the foundation used a hodgepodge of home-built and commodity NAS servers, direct-attached storage (DAS) and Apple's Xserve RAID SAN storage.
Read our Project FAQ on parallel NAS.
Brocade CEO Mike Klayko: We're not for sale
Brocade Communications Systems CEO Mike Klayko said his company is not for sale, and has not been shopping itself.
Brocade has been the subject of acquisition rumors since an Oct. 5 story in The Wall Street Journal said the storage and networking vendor put itself up for sale. Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. had been considered the top candidate to buy Brocade, until HP acquired 3Com Corp. instead for $2.7 billion last month.
Klayko addressed the acquisition rumors publicly for the first time on Brocade's earnings report conference call with analysts.
"We don't like to comment on rumors, we've never commented on rumors and we will continue that practice going forward," Klayko said.
Read the full story on Brocade CEO's reaction to acquisition rumors.
Nexenta Systems pushes NexentaStor forward with open storage and ZFS
Nexenta Systems Inc. is sticking with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Zettabyte File System (ZFS) despite uncertainty around the open-source file format, and recently upgraded its NexentaStor unified storage software based on ZFS and Sun's OpenSolaris.
NexentaStor lets organizations run CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel (FC) storage on commodity hardware. NexentaStor 2.2 released adds a policy-based management application called Pomona, open virus scanning, database snapshot integration and Asian language search. NexentaStor 2.2 follows a "NexentaStor 2.0" July release that added automated high availability (HA) and 24/7 phone support.
Policy based Operations, Management and Optimization for NexentaStor Appliances -- or Pomona for short -- automates common storage tasks such as provisioning for NexentaStor and OpenSolaris-based network-attached storage (NAS) and iSCSI products, and LSI Corp. disk arrays.
"ISPs and Web 2.0 users are using dozens of NexentaStor appliances but usually need between three and five common configurations of drive types and access protocols," said Evan Powell, CEO at Nexenta Systems.
Read about storage array compression with a ZFS-based Sun Fire x4500.
Texas Tech turns to data deduplication for data backup, disaster recovery
When Texas Tech University began to move away from relying solely on tape for data backups, it found it easier and less expensive to add data deduplication licenses to its backup software than buying a dedicated deduplication hardware system.
Texas Tech's 28-person depart of Technology Operations and Systems Management (TOSM) handles centralized backups for the entire Lubbock, TX-based university system, which includes nearly 600 servers and more than 420 TB of data on Dell Inc./EMC Corp. Clariion and Symmetrix systems.
TOSM assistant managing director Dustin Jordan said the university's data was growing about 1 TB a month, and it would run out of capacity on its Quantum Scalar i2000 tape library without an upgrade. So, last year he decided to switch to disk backup to reduce backup windows and facilitate remote replication to a new disaster recovery site Texas Tech will open before the end of this year.
Look here for a cheat sheet on data deduplication.
Simply Continuous cloud disaster recovery service offers 'what if' testing with RecoverNow
Cloud disaster recovery service provider Simply Continuous is updating its data management software to let customers create "what if" scenarios to calculate how long it will take to recover data sets from the cloud.
Simply Continuous came out of stealth this year with a new cloud disaster recovery service. The service requires the deployment of a Data Domain data deduplication array at the customer site, which can then send deduplicated data from the customer's site to the Simply Continuous cloud. Last month, the company launched a public beta of a new feature for the service called RecoverNow.
Read here to learn more about your cloud storage services options.
Evolving Solutions donates storage technology and services
Evolving Solutions, an IT storage solutions provider based in Minnesota, recently donated more than $50,000 worth of enterprise storage technology and services to CaringBridge, a web-based charity, to solve its website storage challenges.
CaringBridge provides free websites to connect family and friends during serious health events. CaringBridge stores about 35,000 photos, journal entries and guestbook messages every day. With more than 170,000 personal sites on the CaringBridge network, CaringBridge needed to upgrade its storage infrastructure. Evolving Solutions designed a storage solution, including integration, implementation, training and support services.
Additional storage news
Check out the prior storage channel news roundup.