VMware debuted on Tuesday its vCloud Air for government and public sector enterprises to purchase, both directly and as part of the G-Cloud 6 framework – the latest version of the government’s cloud-based services network. This offering will help boost efficiencies and bring down costs using VMware’s Hybrid Cloud platform to change their IT infrastructures.

G-Cloud 6 is a set of structures for the public sector to buy cloud-based services through a digital marketplace. Public sector bodies can review the cloud services available and buy them through the Digital Marketplace. VMware has been awarded a place on the Framework agreement for the supply of VMware vCloud Air Dedicated Cloud, VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud and VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery as a Service.

VMware vCloud Air enables public sector organizations to extend their on-premises IT infrastructure seamlessly to the public cloud. VMware vCloud Air can integrate seamlessly with the existing estate, giving the ease and flexibility to extend workloads, even mission critical applications, into the public cloud as and when additional capacity is needed. The resulting hybrid cloud is compatible with existing public sector applications and also makes it easy to build new cloud-native applications, delivering agility and efficiency in a secure, reliable and compliant manner.

IT departments can view, manage and operate this “best of both worlds” cloud environment in a unified way using the VMware vSphere platform they already know and trust. As the data center for the service is based in the UK, all citizen data is stored under UK and EU compliance and data sovereignty standards.

Vmware launched last month enterprise-class hydrid cloud service for U.S. public sector organizations to realize the government’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) provisional authority to operate. The general availability of VMware vCloud Government Service provided by Carpathia has achieved the Provisional Authority to Operate (ATO).

FedRAMP ATO is mandatory for any cloud service provider serving the Federal government, and VMware’s offering is now generally available to U.S. government and defense organizations.

VMware vCloud Government Service, an infrastructure-as-a-service hybrid cloud, is based on the VMware vSphere platform used by cabinet level agencies, military services, the Department of Defense, and the judicial and legislative branches of government.

“VMware vCloud Air is gaining rapid traction across the globe as IT departments see what can be achieved with true hybrid cloud,” said Andy Tait, VMware ‘s head of public sector strategy. “Many government services — such as passport processing or tax returns — have significant peaks and troughs throughout the year; yet have stringent data security requirements all year round.”

“vCloud Air enables the public sector to keep business-critical applications in-house and also take advantage of the enormous scalability of public clouds securely, without having to invest in new tools, skills or under-used on-premises capacity,” Tait added.

vCloud Air provides application interoperability with no changes to current applications, making the process of extending existing applications to the cloud easy. vCloud Air supports more than 5,000 applications and over 90 Operating Systems certified to run on vSphere – the largest supported base available in any cloud service.

vCloud Air also offers high availability and  consistent performance of packaged applications, whether they run onsite, offsite or across a combination of both. vCloud Air comes with interoperability needed to ensure application services run reliably across onsite and offsite infrastructure, using the exact same tools and processes.

vCloud Air extends security and performance of current onsite VMware environment to cloud-based application services, while adding capacity, allocating resources, and managing timing of upgrades and patches without having to worry about application support, interoperability and IT training. vCloud Air provides the perfect destination to deploy existing applications in the cloud while leveraging existing IT investments.

Red Hat launched Tuesday its new Cloud Innovation Practice, a global team of experts that will assist companies with more quickly on-ramping to the cloud, particularly vendors adopting Agile and DevOps best practices. The Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is designed to help users reduce project risks, expedite delivery, and manage the lifecycle of individual solutions.

 

Formed out of the storage virtualization vendor’s acquisitions of Ceph storage system provider, Inktank, and cloud computing services provider, eNovance, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice is born out of the integration of technology and engineering expertise gained through these acquisitions. Both companies provided the highly specialized skills, solution sets, methodologies and product expertise required to launch a truly forward-looking cloud practice capable of helping companies manage the complexities associated with the cloud.

 

With an eye on helping customers increase their business agility and ability to quickly adapt to changes in their environment, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice can define and develop standard operational procedures, methodologies and governance for cloud and DevOps strategy development and deployments across Red Hat’s current portfolio of integrated products and services, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, OpenShift by Red Hat, Red Hat CloudForms, and Inktank Ceph Enterprise.

 

Additionally, the Red Hat Cloud Innovation Practice will aggregate product feedback and provide the technical leadership, evangelism, best practices, research, support and dissemination services needed to create relevant use cases outlining ways to help increase delivery efficiency, speed up deployments, and achieve a quicker return on investment.

 

Last week, Red Hat announced OpenShift Commons, its open source community initiative to collaborate and deepen engagement with OpenShift, Red Hat’s open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and the open source technologies that OpenShift is built upon.

 

OpenShift by Red Hat adopts numerous open source technologies, including OpenShift Origin, Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic. OpenShift Commons brings together these communities and is designed to facilitate sharing of knowledge, feedback and insights into best practices across the OpenShift ecosystem and enable collaboration on the dependencies that can best advance open source PaaS.

 

OpenShift Commons operates under a shared goal to move conversations beyond code contribution and explore best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in today’s continuous delivery and agile software environments. For companies not yet deploying OpenShift, OpenShift Commons can help connect them to large scale delivery experts in the context of other common open source projects, including Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic.

 

There is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

Global flash storage vendor SanDisk debuted Sunday its iNAND 7132 embedded storage offering for use in mobile devices, whose storage architecture allows 1Gb per second or higher data transfer speed on demand. The company also introduced its high endurance microSDXC memory card built to withstand up to 10,000 hours of full HD video recording, and its 200GB SanDisk Ultra video monitoring microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition to give mobile users the ability to capture, save and share photos, videos and other files without worrying about storage limitations.

 

Samples of the iNAND 7132 storage solution are currently available to customers in capacities up to 64GB. The SanDisk microSDHC/microSDXC cards come with a two-year warranty and are priced at an MSRP of US$84.99 and $149.99 for the 32GB and 64GB capacities, respectively. The cards will initially be available only in the United States, and select retailers in Europe and South Korea. The 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, features a ten-year limited warranty and will be available globally in the second quarter at an MSRP of $399.99.

 

The iNAND 7132 storage solution features SanDisk’s new iNAND Accelerator Architecture with SmartSLC technology, a storage architecture that responds on-demand to mobile users’ needs and boosts experiences for data-intensive applications. iNAND 7132 storage solution is supported by advanced simulation, trouble-shooting and engineering tools that enable mobile manufacturers to quickly and easily integrate the device into mobile device designs, thereby significantly reducing time from product development to product availability.

 

Available in capacities up to 64GB, iNAND 7132 storage solution enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to introduce a new generation of high-capacity smartphones, tablets and connected devices that improve user experiences.

 

iNAND 7132 storage solution is built with SanDisk’s 1Y nanometer 3-bit-per-cell (X3) NAND flash storage. When combined with the drive’s SmartSLC technology, this storage solution offers near single-level-cell performance when the user need demands it, with the storage solution providing sequential write speeds of up to 1Gb per second and beyond. It also brings performance to more data-intensive business, video, photography and mobile gaming applications, as well as supports 802.11ac and 802.11ad network standards.

 

The speed of the iNAND 7132 storage solution enables device makers to push the design boundaries of smartphone photography and video functionality. When used in optimized smartphones, the performance of the iNAND 7132 storage solution supports professional grade digital photography capabilities, including image capture in RAW format, thereby expanding the possibilities of image capture and processing. In addition, 4K Ultra HD video can be captured and played back with ease.

 

Using NAND flash and systems technology capabilities, SanDisk developed the microSDXC memory card using a proprietary technology and process to enable high-intensity recording. Through rigorous testing, the new technology has proven itself to enable the company to reach a new milestone — a 64GB microSDXC card that allows consumers to write and rewrite up to 10,000 hours of Full HD video recording.

 

The SanDisk high endurance video monitoring microSDXC/microSDHC cards are targeted at dash cameras and home video monitoring systems, ensuring drivers and homeowners have reliable video evidence at their fingertips. The card is also available in 32GB capacity, which can withstand up to 5,000 hours of full HD recording.

 

With the new SanDisk microSDHC/microSDXC cards, security-minded users need not worry about their card sustaining long-term, continuous recording scenarios. These cards have also been designed to weather the elements. Whether out in the rain or snow, or sitting on the dash of a hot car, users can expect seamless performance. The cards have been tested and proven to be shock and water proof, so they deliver in even the harshest environments.

 

Ideal for Android smartphone and tablet users, the 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card combines high capacity and quick transfer speed of up to 90MB/s to deliver premium performance.  At this transfer speed, consumers can expect to move up to 1,200 photos per minute.

 

Through SanDisk’s updated Memory Zone app users will more control over their mobile device’s memory storage. In the Memory Zone app, users can engage the OptiMem app feature to keep a check on the phone’s memory levels to inform users whenever the internal memory falls below a user-defined threshold. Once this threshold is reached, the OptiMem app feature will automatically transfer some of their old photos and videos to their microSD card, leaving them with more internal memory to continue making memories.

 

The app, available for free download from the Google Play store, is compatible with most Android-powered devices and allows users to locate, organize, transfer and backup data.

Red Hat 

Red Hat launched an open source community initiative to collaborate and deepen engagement with OpenShift, Red Hat’s open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and the open source technologies that OpenShift is built upon. OpenShift Commons extends and facilitates network effect by empowering direct connections.

OpenShift Commons builds connections and collaboration across OpenShift communities, projects and stakeholders, while getting clients, users, partners, and contributors to work together. The community wants to bring together OpenShift’s diverse groups of customers, contributors, operators, cloud providers and partners directly with each other, and with open source technology initiatives incorporated in OpenShift.

At launch, the list of OpenShift Commons participants include over 30 member companies and spans multiple industries, technologies, and geographies including organizations such as Accenture, Amadeus, AppDirect, Dell, Docker, FICO, GetUp Cloud, T-systems and Shippable.

OpenShift Commons enables participants to collaborate, through special interest groups on various areas of PaaS innovation, such as containers, OpenShift 3 and PaaS operations. It also uses Commons Briefings led by participant organizations and OpenShift team members on a number of topics including DevOps best practices, containerization, PaaS operations, container networking and storage, OpenShift on OpenStack and big data. It also uses Commons mailing lists on several topics, encouraging participants to join the conversation.

OpenShift by Red Hat incorporates several open source technologies, including OpenShift Origin, Docker, Kubernetes, Project Atomic, and more. OpenShift Commons integrates these communities and is designed to facilitate sharing of knowledge, feedback and insights into best practices across the OpenShift ecosystem, and enable collaboration on the dependencies that can helped advance open source PaaS.

Participants in the OpenShift Commons program can deepen their knowledge through collaboration while enabling the success of OpenShift and its various stakeholders. Unlike the foundation approach, OpenShift Commons does not require a Contribution License Agreement (CLA) or large donation to join; it is a fellowship without any barriers to entry other than a willingness to engage.

OpenShift Commons operates under a shared goal to move conversations beyond code contribution and explore best practices, use cases, and patterns that work in continuous delivery and agile software environments. For companies not yet deploying OpenShift, OpenShift Commons can help connect them to large scale delivery experts in the context of other common open source projects, including Docker, Kubernetes and Project Atomic.

There is no Contributor License Agreement, code contribution requirement or fees to join, just a commitment to collaborate on the new PaaS stack.

“We want to extend collaboration beyond code development and foster a community of users, customers, partners, operators, service providers, contributors and others with an interest in OpenShift and help them share their experiences, best practices and knowledge related to PaaS,” wrote Ashesh Badani, a Red Hat executive in a blog post. “Having the source code available in the open is critical, but establishing and facilitating connections across the diverse communities that can help users, organizations, partners and other stakeholders be successful is very important and critical to support innovation and PaaS adoption.”

Open Interconnect Consortium 

The Open Interconnect Consortium entered into a liaison agreement with the Industrial Internet Consortium to share information aimed at restructuring interoperability for the Internet of Things (IoT). This technical collaborative between the IoT consortiums will help to accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade IoT architectural framework.

Through this formal liaison, the Industrial Internet Consortium will share its use cases and architectural requirements focused on the industrial market. In turn, OIC will ensure that its specification and associated open source project (IoTivity) will deliver the necessary features in an IoT communications framework to meet the requirements and make the use cases not just real, but also easy to implement.

The IoTivity project was created to bring together the open source community to accelerate the development of the framework and services required to connect these billions of devices. Sponsored by the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), the IoTivity will deliver an open source reference implementation of the OIC standard specifications, yet will not be limited to those requirements.

With 4.9 billion connected devices to be in use in 2015, the need to create industry standardizations in IoT is increasing rapidly.

OIC is working towards defining a connectivity framework that abstracts complexity. This standard will be an open specification that anyone can implement and is easy for developers to use, while including IP protection and branding for certified devices (via compliance testing) and service-level interoperability. There will also be an open source implementation of the standard. This open source implementation will be designed to enable application developers and device manufacturers to deliver interoperable products across various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Tizen.

The OIC aims at connecting the next 25 billion devices for the Internet of Things through a secure and reliable device discovery and connectivity across multiple OSs and platforms. OIC has over 50 members that include Dell, HP, Siemens, and Honeywell, among others, while the Industrial Internet Consortium supports a diverse public-private ecosystem of 141 member companies in 20 countries.

Founded in March last year, the IIC aims to drive innovation through the creation of new industry use cases and testbeds for real-world applications; define and develop the reference architecture and frameworks necessary for interoperability; influence the global development standards process for internet and industrial systems; facilitate open forums to share and exchange real-world ideas, practices, lessons and insights; and build poise around new approaches to security.

“This liaison was developed as a result of both consortiums’ desire for interoperability in the industrial IoT,” said Richard Soley, executive director, Industrial Internet Consortium. “OIC’s focus on developing standards through an open source project makes it an ideal partner for the Industrial Internet Consortium. By sharing use cases with the OIC, we will identify new scenarios that will ultimately result in systematic interoperability between devices.”

“This strategic liaison between the OIC and IIC is extremely complementary and a huge win for the industry,” said Imad Sousou, vice president and general manager, Intel Open Source Technology Center and vice president of the board at the OIC. “By ensuring the standards and associated open source software from the OIC support the use cases and requirements defined by the IIC, we can accelerate the delivery of an industrial grade communications framework for the IoT.”

altby Michael Gold

I’m obsessed with cloud apps. But it’s not any one app that interests me. Nor is it any particular category of apps. With thousands of SMB-focused apps in the world, I’m obsessed with the one point where all these apps potentially intersect: your business.

In its 2014 SMB Cloud Landscape Report, Intermedia and Osterman Research found that the average business now runs over 14 apps (and growing). This typically includes email, phones, file sharing, CRM, email marketing software, finance tools, social media accounts, and others.

The overhead required to manage any one of these apps isn’t terribly significant. But when you add 14 apps together, your overhead increases exponentially.

(more…)

NetApp 

NetApp added new software and solutions for hybrid IT deployments that improve data backup and recovery times, and give users more control over how, when and where they store their data throughout its lifecycle.

Customers can leverage the flexibility of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to address their backup, recovery and archive challenges. NetApp is also adding support for Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as a storage tier to StorageGRID Webscale for long-term archives. The company also released updates to its OnCommand Cloud Manager, OnCommand Insight software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription, enabling new abilities to speed business innovation and IT responsiveness.

NetApp also unveiled three new models of SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to offer a secure approach to back up cloud-based workload. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection to the cloud.

StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 comes with the tools to securely store data in the right place, at the right time. Fully supported by a dynamic policy engine, StorageGRID Webscale leverages Amazon S3 to store data on AWS. Geo-distributed erasure coding reduces on-premises costs and increases security. The StorageGRID Webscale object storage solution is available in appliance and software delivery models, and both types can be mixed in the same grid.

NetApp also added three new models of its SteelStore cloud-native backup solution as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to offer an efficient and secure approach to backing up cloud-based workloads. Customers can also choose on-premises SteelStore physical appliances for seamless, secure data protection in the cloud.

NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software delivers Storage Resource Management (SRM) for hybrid environments. Clients can ensure service level agreements are met through performance monitoring, capacity management, identifying reclamation opportunities and greater awareness of IT costs. The new software includes enhanced features for brokering and monitoring hybrid storage deployments as well as innovations that reduce storage OPEX and CAPEX costs and improve capacity planning.

NetApp also boosted usability through advanced data visualization features such as new widgets, dashboards, and additional data points.

Customers can now utilize Cloud Manager software and Cloud ONTAP software subscription to manage NetApp’s customer data replication to the cloud with a single application. In addition, customers can now simplify deployment of Cloud ONTAP software subscription and OnCommand Cloud Manager and automate NetApp service and support registration.

New versions of OnCommand Cloud Manager and Cloud ONTAP software subscription and NetApp’s three new models of SteelStore Amazon Machine Image (AMI) software subscription are currently available on AWS Marketplace. StorageGRID Webscale 10.1 and the StorageGRID Webscale appliance are planned to be available in April, while NetApp OnCommand Insight 7.1 software will be available next month.

NetApp’s new data lifecycle solutions allow users to control, integrate, move, secure and consistently manage it, while benefitting from the company’s investments and expertise in building enterprise-class hybrid deployments that are designed to evolve as customer needs change. More than 275 service provider partners are contributing to the development of the data fabric, enabled by NetApp technology.

The enhanced NetApp SteelStore and StorageGRID Webscale solutions provide the flexibility of Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier for long-term archiving. Customers gain an additional secure physical location to address single-site or local-site risks as well as tape risks. This addition to the NetApp portfolio creates ideal solutions designed to help customers integrate their storage with AWS resources.

NetApp offers Private Storage for AWS to give users the benefits of cloud elasticity and savings with the performance, availability and control of dedicated enterprise storage. NetApp Cloud ONTAP software subscription, an instance of NetApp’s storage OS running as a software subscription on AWS Marketplace, offers a cost-effective option for cloud bursting and disaster recovery.

Dell 

Dell unveiled the second wave of Dell XC Series of web-scale converged appliances to help streamline data centers and provide over 50 percent storage capacity and up to twice the rack density to support customers deploying a range of workloads, including virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI), private cloud and big data.

Dell XC line of web-scale converged appliances offer higher performance servers and additional drives options (flash and hard disk) support more demanding workloads in VDI, private cloud and big data initiatives. It also doubles density to 16 terabytes per rack unit, supports the same amount of data in half the rack space, benefiting all types of customers, and especially managed service providers and those in co-located data centers.

The Dell XC Series, version 2.0, will be available in North America, South America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa on March 3, and elsewhere worldwide later this March.

Dell XC Series integrate the company’s proven x86 server platform and Nutanix web-scale software to provide enterprise-class, hyper-converged appliances for virtualized environments. Backed by Dell’s Global Service and Support organization, these 1U and 2U appliances consolidate compute and storage into a single platform enabling application and virtualization teams to quickly and simply deploy new workloads. This solution enables data center capacity and performance to be expanded — one node at a time — delivering linear and predictable scale-out expansion with pay-as-you-grow flexibility.

XC Series appliances include advanced software technologies that power web-scale and cloud infrastructures such as Amazon, Google and Facebook, but are engineered for all enterprises, regardless of size. It offers a hyper-converged offering to seamlessly integrates server and storage resources in a self-healing system, delivers all services through software using proven Dell hardware, enables data, meta data and operations are distributed across the entire cluster, while increasing performance linearly by adding capacity one node at a time, and providing automation and analytics to offer system-wide monitoring.

XC Series appliances simplify the deployment of virtual machines in any environment. The Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) runs in a Controller VM (CVM) on each node, aggregating direct-attached storage resources (hard disk drives and flash storage) across all nodes. This pooled storage is made available to all hosts through a fault-tolerant architecture. With the ability to run VMs out of the box, XC Series appliances deliver an easy, modular approach to building modern data centers.

XC Series appliances are ideal for workloads running in virtual environments. Preconfigured appliance options with flexible ratios of compute and storage capacity coupled with support for VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V, make them ideal for running different workloads in a unified Dell XC cluster. They can be integrated into any data center in less than 30 minutes, and can support multiple virtualized, business-critical workloads including VDI, private cloud, database, OLTP and data warehouse as well as virtualized big data deployments.

IT and storage administrators no longer have to manage LUNs, volumes or RAID groups. Instead, they can manage their virtual environments at a VM level using policies based on the needs of each workload.

The Nutanix Prism management framework provides a highly intuitive, easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). All information is organized and presented through elegant touch points to facilitate easy consumption of operational data. Prism provides the ability to define and manage a complete hyper-converged infrastructure from nearly any device and includes REST APIs for integration with third-party cloud management systems.

Prism Central gives administrators a bird’s eye view of resources across multiple clusters running different hypervisors and enables them to manage individual clusters using the GUI or a Windows PowerShell command-line interface. The GUI simplifies configuration and management of replication, DR and compression policies, which can be applied to individual VMs. Compute and storage scaling and maintenance are automated through a simple, one-click add-node feature, auto-discovery protocols, and a non-disruptive, one-click upgrade of the Nutanix CVM and host hypervisor.

Cluster Health provides comprehensive monitoring of VMs, nodes and disks in the cluster. It proactively flags potential issues in the hyper-converged infrastructure stack and provides the ability to visually navigate issues by grouping and filtering resources at VM, host and disk levels.

Scale Computing 

Scale Computing added built-in virtual machine level remote replication and debuted a new, streamlined user interface to make its HC3 platform ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses and enterprise departments looking to overcome the barriers of implementing virtualization and fast recovery from IT disasters.

The company’s newest release expands on the feature set first introduced in HyperCore v5 to further overcome barriers of virtualization adoption at smaller companies or departmental organizations. Scale Computing’s HC3 virtualization platform is a complete ‘data center in a box’ with server, storage and virtualization integrated into a single appliance to deliver simplicity, availability and scalability at a fraction of the cost of similar solutions.

Scale Computing’s 6.0 release is available with HC1000, HC2000 and HC4000 purchases or as an upgrade to existing installations.

Instead of considering storage, servers, virtualization and management as different data center silos, HC3 products combines them in a comprehensive system and automates overall management. This allows IT to focus on managing applications, not infrastructure. With no virtualization software to license and no external storage to buy, HC3 products lower out-of-pocket costs and radically simplify the infrastructure needed to keep applications running. HC3 products make the deployment and management of a highly available and scalable infrastructure as easy to manage as a single server.

As data requirements at organizations of every size continue to require more storage assets and additional compute power, virtualization becomes a more-attractive option. For IT staffs at smaller organizations, the introduction of a virtualization layer can add complexity and management issues beyond what they are often prepared to handle. 

Addressing disaster recovery is often out of reach due to increased cost and complexity of point solutions. Scale Computing’s HC3 products give users server hardware, virtualization software and storage capabilities needed in a hyperconverged platform that can be managed from a single, unified interface to streamline data center management, and comes with the same simplicity to extend to remote disaster recovery.

Scale Computing’s latest release features built-in remote disaster recovery to allow users to set up continuous replication on a VM by VM basis between two HC3 clusters with space-efficient snapshot technology replicating to a secondary site, tracking only the blocks unique to each manual or automatic snapshot and sending the changed blocks. Testing a DR infrastructure plan is now as simple as cloning a snapshot on the target cluster and starting a VM with no disruption to ongoing replication.

In case of disaster, users can simply “clone” a snapshot on the target cluster for the manual failover of a VM that is immediately bootable or simply replicate changed data at a DR site back to the primary site for simple failback. This capability is built in at no additional charge and is available as a non-disruptive “rolling upgrade” for users of HC3 HyperCore version 5.

The HC3 platform is an all-in-one appliance which can be installed in less than an hour, used to deploy new VMs in minutes, and comes with a built-in browser-based management system. It comes fully integrated, cluster-wide resource utilization and alerts, without storage provisioning or management (LUNs, targets, data stores) abilities. Its single vendor support experience allows no disparate systems to integrate.

Scale Computing’s HC3 and the HyperCore architecture were designed to provide highly available, scalable compute and storage services, while maintaining operational simplicity through software automation and architecture simplification. HyperCore puts intelligence and automation in the software layer and was designed to take advantage of low cost, replaceable and upgradable “commodity” hardware components including the virtualization capabilities built into modern CPU architectures.

By clustering these components together into a single unified and redundant system, these attributes combine to create a flexible and complete “data center in a box” that operates as a redundant and elastic “private cloud” with additional nodes being automatically “incorporated” into the cluster and failed hardware being expected, and replaced with minimal effort or disruption.

The new user interface deployed in Scale Computing’s version 6 upgrade features an intuitive design with almost no learning curve that allows administrators to employ a “set it and forget it” mentality where they only need to periodically log in to make changes to the system. The intelligence of Scale Computing’s patented HyperCore software handles the heavy lifting of VM failover and data redundancy. Pop-up notifications display in-process user actions, alerts and processes to present users with relevant information about active events on the system.

Scale Computing’s built-in browser-based management console streamlines workflows for administrators with a 60 percent reduction in clicks during the VM creation workflow and quicker access to VM consoles directly from its Heads-Up Display (HUD). Users can now combine VMs into logical groups via tagging and set multiple tags for easy filtering through spotlight search functionality that matches names and descriptions for quick access in larger environments. Snapshot, cloning and replication functionality are now integrated into the card view of each VM for easy administration.

Last October, Scale Computing released its patented Ultra-Easy HyperCore Software system, which enlarged capabilities of its HC3 family to provide greater scalability and storage computing power. HyperCore integrates storage, servers and virtualization software into an all-in-one appliance based system that is scalable, self-healing and as easy to manage as a single server.

HyperCore continuously monitors all virtual machines, software and hardware components to detect and automatically respond to common infrastructure events, maintain application availability and simplify data center management.

HyperCore v5 comes with non-disruptive / rolling updates so that workloads are automatically live-migrated across the HC3 appliance to allow for node upgrades, even if such an upgrade requires a node-reboot. Workloads are then returned to the node after the upgrade is complete. It also features near-instant VM-level snapshots, Scale Computing’s proprietary Allocate-on-Write technology allows for no disruption at the time of the snapshot, no duplication of data, and no performance degradation even with thousands of snapshots per VM.

HyperCore was optimized to support new HC3 nodes with twice the virtual machine density by doubling I/O performance, CPU and memory resources per node. All HC3 systems are highly available and include built-in unified management. The result is a data center solution designed to help mid-to-large size companies seamlessly scale their infrastructure simply and cost-effectively.

Imation 

Imation introduced Tuesday Nexsan NST2000, its ultra-efficient hybrid storage appliance purpose-built for media and entertainment and data protection workloads that will deliver Fibre Channel connectivity, apart from providing hybrid storage to mid-sized organizations

NST2000 expands the Nexsan NST family’s unified block and file sharing capabilities by adding Fibre Channel connectivity for those small and medium-sized organizations that prefer it for their applications. This gives organizations the ability to take advantage of the benefits of NST’s hybrid storage using a full range of unified storage protocols, including iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, FTP and now Fibre Channel.

For applications with stringent workload requirements like cloud computing, server virtualization, desktop virtualization (VDI) and databases, the NST2000 delivers performance to ensure application demands never outpace available I/O again. Applications will have never performed faster on a system operating at the economics of spinning disk storage.

“With the introduction of the NST2000, organizations have an entirely new set of options for storing, managing and protecting the high-value data they create in situations like digital asset management in media and entertainment workflows,” said Mike Stolz, vice president of marketing and technical support for Imation’s Nexsan solutions. “They can deploy hybrid storage, realize new levels of performance, scale their data centers to new levels of capacity and much more – all at a price point that was previously inaccessible to them given their limited budgets and resources. We’re excited to help these organizations operate more efficiently and generate more ROI from their storage investment – and to add the NST2000 to help address a full range of application requirements.”

The NST2000 comes fully featured with snapshots, replication, thin provisioning, replication and compression, a GUI (graphical user interface) and scriptable CLI streamline setup and management for the time-constrained IT administrator. As with all Imation storage, the Nexsan NST2000 no single point-of-failure architecture boosts reliability, so that enterprises are offered the best performance and functionality without the enterprise-class price.

NST2000 storage systems utilize SSD, NL-SAS or SAS drives; two redundant, high performance, multi-core Xeon-based storage controllers; high speed I/O subsystems and a fully redundant architecture. All active components are hot-swappable, including power supplies, disks and controllers.

FASTier read and write cache complements 96GB DRAM to speed up IOPS and throughput. The NST2000 features 16 Xeon CPU cores, up to 168TB of capacity and up to 2TB of SSD in FASTier cache. FASTier flexible hybrid caching provides high performance where needed, while NestOS software optimizes the hybrid storage architecture and resources.

The NST2000 provides CIFS and NFS shared folders as well as fibre channel or iSCSI volumes. Snapshots do not require the pre-reservation of storage capacity, and they may be scheduled and managed from the management GUI or initiated from Windows VSS requestors.

Individual shares, LUNs, or entire storage pools may be replicated asynchronously to a second NST2000 storage system, with snapshots intact for use on the target side for backups, testing or data mining. Active Directory integration enables user identities and access rights on the NST2000 shares, while CHAP, iSNS and LUN masking protect iSCSI traffic. Quotas limit storage consumption by share, and oversubscription is permitted for thin provisioning storage, along with alarms which notify when additional storage is needed. Capacity can be expanded by adding additional storage to a running system, so future needs can be met without incurring downtime. Besides, link aggregation combines Ethernet ports for faster throughput.

“The new NST2000 is just the latest proof point that Imation has raised the bar with its Nexsan product portfolio,” said Deni Connor, founder of SSG-Now. “Now with its NST2000, mid-sized organizations can take full advantage of the benefits this product provides.”