CTR Exclusives

Software Defined Networking: Coming Soon to a Network Near You

Software Defined Networking: Coming Soon to a Network Near You

by Justin Hadler

The buzz around software defined networking (SDN), an approach that abstracts control from network endpoints to a centralized process in software, is getting louder and louder. SDN is poised to improve security, network efficiency, and flexibility while reducing complexity. But, shouldn’t your organization have an understanding of how SDN will infiltrate the network community?

Rather than a quick implementation of SDN into the industry, we will see a progressive transition as SDN infiltrates the market place. The evolution of SDN can be broken into three phases, one which is currently underway, and two that are likely to occur over the next three to five years. Since SDN is going to overhaul network management, it’s critical for organizations to clearly understand when adoption should occur and what hurdles to overcome in order to reap the benefits of SDN.

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Accelerating SAN Storage with Server Flash Caching

Accelerating SAN Storage with Server Flash Caching

by Tony Afshary

The data deluge, with its relentless increase in the volume and velocity of data, has brought renewed focus on an old problem: the enormous performance gap that exists in input and output (I/O) operations between a server’s memory and disk storage. I/O takes a mere 100 nanoseconds for information stored in a server’s memory, whereas I/O to a hard disk drive (HDD) takes about 10 milliseconds — a difference of five orders of magnitude that is having a profound adverse impact on application performance and response times.

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Performance Requirements Rekindled in NAS Environments

Performance Requirements Rekindled in NAS Environments

by Rob Commins

As datacenter managers continue squeezing more and more from their server platforms through virtualization, they quickly encounter the complexities of managing a shared storage environment. Traditional disk arrays were never architected for the chaotic I/O patterns created by virtualized server platforms. To simplify their storage environment, many turn to a Network Attached Storage (NAS) architecture. While easier to manage than a block-based storage area network (SAN), most NAS systems induce performance bottlenecks that hinder their ability to scale. Before the days of server virtualization in the open data center, NAS storage systems were often relegated to second-tier applications and general-purpose file/print services; performance was rarely a top-priority buying criteria.

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NAS Targets Disk - and Tape

NAS Targets Disk - and Tape

by Molly Rector

Addressing astronomical data growth and increasing accessibility demands

Over the last 10 years, “Data Growth Continues its Breakneck Pace”1 could be the name of a regular column in any storage publication. Massive data growth has become the norm, which means that data center strategies have to address constantly increasing storage requirements. Many technologies have emerged to meet this need, and most attention has been showered on disk technologies such as virtualization, deduplication, and replication.

One of the more recent advancements involves a proven veteran of the data center: tape. Industry analyst Jon Toigo writes that “one of the most exciting developments in storage last year [was] Tape NAS [network attached storage].”2 Advances in tape have moved it from primarily backup to the first and second lines of data defense. The key advancement: making tape look like disk.

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Ethernet SAN: At the Intersection of Enterprise Storage and Cloud Scale

Ethernet SAN: At the Intersection of Enterprise Storage and Cloud Scale

by Kevin Brown

Business demand for technology continually increases, but businesses have no tolerance for waste. This forces IT into a survival-of-the-fittest mode, ridding the data center of underperforming products -- and storage is currently under fire.

Two major industry trends are driving change in enterprise storage. The first is the rapid growth in data and the increasingly sophisticated efforts to analyze it by businesses, governments and scientists. Collectively known as “big data”, this includes sensor data, social media pictures and videos, satellite imagery, genome sequencing, and all kinds of other human- and machine-generated data. Organizations are seeing their data storage requirements grow by 50 percent or more per year. The second trend is the drive toward cloud computing models that are highly elastic. Businesses are demanding ever more agility from IT organizations and want applications and data provisioned instantly and available on demand.

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