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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

Testing from virtually anywhere

Seattle-based Skytap, formerly Illumita, has unveiled a Web-accessible testing lab for servers, software, networking and storage. It's designed to let firms quickly assemble testing and development environments to modify applications and storage configurations before moving them into production. The Skytap Library includes pre-built virtual machine (VM) images of major operating systems, databases, apps and test tools. The Skytap Virtual Lab can be provisioned with any browser by dragging and dropping preconfigured VMs. A configuration could consist of multiple Windows Vista client machines, an Oracle database server and a WebSphere Application Server. The lab would let a QA testing team and an app development team in different locations collaborate on software issues in real-time. The "biggest performance gains occur through application tweaking, not necessarily from upgrading [storage and server] hardware," says early lab user Clay Roach, president at J9 Technologies, an app tuning and debugging consultancy in Seattle. ...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue