January 20, 2016
It's January, people, and you know what that means -- awards season! Not one to be left out of the party, Modern Infrastructure is happy to announce the winners of its third annual Impact Awards, where readers, industry experts and editors weigh in on the products and technologies that will have the biggest impact on IT operations in the coming year. Congratulations to all the winners.
Part of the fun of holding an awards program is watching the returns roll in (over 800 readers participated in this year's voting). But for me, the fun comes much earlier -- back in the summer when we're thinking about which categories to keep, which categories to add, which categories to tweak, and which to retire. We don't want to boil the ocean and recognize every conceivable product category on which IT spends time and money. The idea is to highlight the technologies that are effecting the most change in the data center -- and the areas where infrastructure and operations folks can use a little help from their friends. And now, the winners are!
December 11, 2015
Blending LAN and SAN networks cuts a lot of management headaches -- and miles of cable -- out of the data center.
October 28, 2015
Dell's blockbuster EMC acquisition would leave overlapping storage products -- especially in the midrange array space, with EMC's VNX and Dell's SC/PS Series.
September 30, 2015
Philadelphia Mixing Solutions ditched four isolated SANs to deploy two hybrid NexGen arrays, with 32 TB of capacity apiece for primary storage and DR, avoiding storage silos.
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Microsoft wants sysadmins to get their heads in the clouds by packing support for containers and Azure services into Windows Server 2016. Continue Reading
Get the latest tips on compute, networking and storage to choose the best server hardware to tackle IT workloads. Continue Reading
Storage Spaces Direct pools server storage to build failover clusters without using cluster shared volumes, making it an inexpensive storage option. Continue Reading
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Before you buy, check out this comparison of leading data center-class switches to understand the different features and capabilities. Continue Reading
Now that we have significant exposure to converged infrastructure and hyper-converged products, more is known about how -- and where -- these products work best. This three-part guide looks at potential uses for converged infrastructure (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), and how an organization should evaluate its options. The up-front cost of converged infrastructure and hyper-converged infrastructure products are high, but for the right type of IT shop these investments can pay significant dividends. IT organizations see the advantages of CI and HCI (including compatibility between systems and lower facilities costs) but only certain types of businesses will want to make the move. Given the cost, prospective buyers must be diligent in their research and sort through the CI vs. HCI questions. This guide examines the use cases for where CI fits, where HCI might make more sense, and where neither is practical. Continue Reading
All-flash arrays increase the number of VMs allowed per physical host. This affects the configuration, performance and even spending decisions in a virtualized data center. Powerful all-flash arrays compress data at impressive levels. As a result, admins who put flash into action in a data center can improve storage performance and at the same time increase the number of VMs per physical host.
This has effects on server selection, VM configuration and overall performance of an IT infrastructure. While there'll be reasonable concerns about the purchase costs, there are factors that can make calculating the ROI for an all-flash array less daunting. This three-part guide explores these issues and considers why an organization might consider adopting all-flash arrays.Continue Reading
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SDN promises to transform the wide area network. Network pros should consider how SD-WAN will also change operational and organizational needs. Continue Reading
Historically, Fibre Channel technology has been a top choice for enterprises in need of a high-speed interconnect for SANs. With the introduction of iSCSI storage, however, the landscape shifted. Ethernet networking gained acceptance for block storage and became popular for file, and later cloud-based, object storage. It costs less, requires no dedicated switching and special training, and offers adequate performance for most business applications. But don't sound the death knell for Fibre Channel technology; market research indicates widespread use and a slow decline.
Most storage vendors today offer object-based storage, and interest in these systems is high. Object storage offers massive scalability, potentially better data management with extended metadata, cloud storage integration via support for RESTful APIs and lower overall storage costs. The trick, of course, is integrating object and all of its capabilities into environments still dominated by SAN, NAS, and applications that continue to expect file or block storage interfaces. But, it's being done.
Big data, Hadoop, MapReduce, data warehousing, business intelligence… All of these analytics applications place new demands on storage systems and often require new or modified storage structures. The special requirements of these analytics-on-a-massive-scale apps, and how to effectively manage their supporting storage infrastructures, are detailed in this issue of Storage magazine.Continue Reading
The SMB protocol allows admins to achieve high availability, reduce operational costs and migrate virtual machines faster. Continue Reading
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Should data center managers pine for the good old days of direct-attached storage? Or is adding a little flash the way to counter-act the fundamental storage changes wrought by virtualization? Continue Reading
As with any product still in its infancy, an exact definition for virtual machine-aware storage can be difficult to nail down. In simple terms, VM-aware storage is an appliance that vendors build specifically with virtual machines in mind in order to cut back on some of the most pertinent issues in virtual environments: complexity, difficult management and lagging performance.
Using VM-aware storage typically means there's no need to configure logical unit numbers and volumes, and because VMs are directly associated with the storage they reside on, priority can be given to more demanding apps and VMs can be granularly managed. This guide will walk you through what products classify as VM-aware storage, how they are implemented in virtual environments and what benefits they can bring to storage and virtualization administrators so you can make an informed decision about whether they're the right choice.Continue Reading
For 12 years, Storage magazine has presented its roster of new data storage trends that are ready to have an impact in data centers. We’ll tell you why VMware VVOLs, all-flash arrays, cloud disaster recovery, flash caching, server SANs and hybrid arrays should be on your short list for storage technology refreshes.
Admins struggled with backing up virtual machines (VMs), until vendors responded with updated suites and new backup apps especially for VMs. But there were more basic issues with supporting virtual environments with traditional SAN and NAS systems. A handful of startups stepped up with arrays that shed the paradigms of the past in favor of a hypervisor-centric approach. Find out what life after LUNs is all about.
Our ninth annual Quality Awards survey for tape libraries reveals our readers' choices for the midrange and enterprise libraries that stand out in their environments.Continue Reading