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Storage newcomers deliver on predecessors’ promises

CDP and DPRM software are relative storage newcomers, but they may be the software that finally delivers on the promises of their SRM and storage virtualization software predecessors.

Storage resource management (SRM) and storage virtualization software have taken their turns sharing the storage spotlight over the past few years but have, for the most part, largely failed to deliver on their promise. Though companies may use them in some tactical way, such as doing LUN masking, fabric zoning or data migrations, neither has really delivered the simplified, automated storage management environments that vendors promised and customers hoped they would.

Working for a company that tried both, my company saw the strategic value that both SRM and storage virtualization software could deliver but never could figure out a way to turn that promise into a reality. For when push came to shove, it became almost impossible to find a risk-averse and profitable way to transition from Excel-based FC SAN management to SAN management based on the use of these two software tools.

What my company needed, and what is still needed, is a method to segue from FC SANs managed by Excel spreadsheets to the introduction of SRM and storage virtualization software without a rip-and-replace strategy. So, it was while I was evaluating the latest generations of data protection and recovery management (DPRM) software and continuous data protection (CDP) software that I may have stumbled across a way for companies to make this transition.

Companies usually bring DPRM software in-house to report on the success and failures of backup jobs. Though DPRM software still does that, DPRM software is quickly expanding to monitor and report on other components of the backup infrastructure, including server performance, fabric switches and virtual and physical tape libraries. Though the impetus for offering these features is to better troubleshoot systemic problems in the backup infrastructure as well as do capacity planning, companies are inadvertently using DPRM software in much the same way SRM software was intended.

A similar pattern is emerging with CDP software at the high-end, with products such as EMC’s RecoverPoint, HP’s CIC and Symantec’s CDP/R. These CDP software appliances install into FC SAN fabrics and operate just like the original FC SAN-based storage virtualization products except CDP appliances journal all writes and are only used when production storage fails. But other than these characteristics, they are essentially the same as the original FC SAN-based storage virtualization appliances.

The reason users are now willing to introduce either CDP or DPRM software into their production environments is that they no longer feel like they are risking their production applications or stretching their budgets for products whose value proposition is dubious. CDP and DPRM products solve immediate corporate pain points, are justified with existing dollars and require less risk — a win for both the vendors and the users.

Now the question is, will CDP and DPRM software eventually evolve to assume responsibilities that their SRM and storage virtualization software predecessors never really delivered on in the minds of customers? My guess is yes.

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For a small VDI deployment, which Citrix option do you prefer?
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The CAPTCHAs for contributing to the conversation are too difficult!
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done.
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VDI-in-a-box does have high availability inherent in the grid architicture. Lack of Business Continuity (with SAN) would be a better description of how XenDesktop differs from VDIIAB. I'm sure in part 2 you will cover flexcast and PVD technologies which futher distinguishes the 2 VDI solutions. Great job.
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h
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For large deployment too
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Great article! We just wanted to clarify a few of the items on VDI-in-a-Box:
i) XenServer: VDI-in-a-Box actually automatically upgrades the XS free to XS-enterprise at no additional charge. Simply download the free XenServer, use it with ViaB, and you will get the full features of XS Enterprise.
2) Device licensing. VIAB provides a Kiosk mode for manufacturing, class labs, nurses station where many users can indeed share a device.
3) VIAB has no high-availability. As a previous comment mentioned, VDI-in-a-Box provides high-availability built-in using local storage. Key things here are that it is automated and built-in and so IT administrators don’t have to spend any time at the whiteboard designing in and verifying HA which is what you must do with all the shared-storage VDI systems available on the market today. HA means that if a server goes down, you can lose that current session but you can reconnect to a new session. This is the same for other shared-storage HA solutions. If a user does not lose their session or any data you have a fault-tolerant system. None of the VDI solutions on the market today shared-storage or otherwise are fault-tolerant. So VIAB provides full on HA without shared storage.
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Both XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-Box provide high availability options at multiple levels. Both support shared storage and redundancies in connecting to the environment. XenDesktop has additional considerations for HA on the database; however, while VDI-in-a-Box uses local configuration files on each host as opposed to a central database. VDI-in-a-Box also has the HA capabilities built-into the product with no additional requirements outside of adding two or more hosts to the grid.
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ViaB is easier to SMB
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Easy to install, setup and maintain
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VDI-in-a-Box - start small and easy to expand
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Citrix VDI-in-a-Box is best solution for small budget company.
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Simpler implementation
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VDI-in-a-Box is easy to size and scale. I like that both have HDX.
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If they require a basic VDI implementation.
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XenDesktop is more powerful solution
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Xendesktop coming with the license of XenApp, so, it's actually more cost-efficient.
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simpler = better
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VDI in a box
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More options with xendesktop...
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Xendesktop as even though in future the environment needs scalability the cost will be in control & it is scalable too
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I think for small college labs, school labs etc. VDI-in-a-Box is much prefered solution.
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