Items Tagged: ROBO
Improving remote office management is one of the key initiatives in practically every IT shop we have talked to in the past eighteen months. The reason is simple: greater than 60% of corporate data is outside the data center and often half of that is in remote locations. Practically all data outside datacenters is poorly managed today.
The world of the remote and branch office (ROBO) has become increasingly complex in the past two years. As more and more enterprises seek to address business challenges that span many geographies, developing a coherent, converged wide-area strategy becomes paramount. We see that customers need to find solutions that optimize their flexibility from a converged platform.
Riverbed RIOS 4.0
On March 14th, Riverbed released RiOS 4.0, a major enhancement to its flagship operating system behind the Riverbed Steelhead WDS (wide-area data services) appliance. With RiOS 4.0, Riverbed has addressed several crucial areas in terms of accelerating encrypted, secure traffic and improving the performance of chatty web-based applications that previously had been unaddressed by WDS products.
Riverbed Extends From Wan Optimization To Global Storage Infrastructure: Enabling Next Generation...
Riverbed and Taneja Group have identified a critical emerging challenge that limits IT performance in highly distributed customer environments: costly, complex, and hardware-heavy branch offices. Riverbed customers report that they are struggling to achieve the same level of consolidation (and cost efficiency) in their branch offices that server and storage virtualization have enabled in their datacenters. So the WAN optimization pioneer has now turned its full attention to overcoming its customers’ top barriers to further branch office consolidation. The result is the new Steelhead EX + Granite, which extends the virtual edge of the data center, combining a true “branch-office box” virtualized hardware platform with a first-of-its-kind block storage technology.
CTERA: Simplifying ROBO Storage Using Hybrid Cloud/Local Architecture
This paper examines CTERA’s storage and data protection solution for large-scale remote and branch offices (ROBOs), and demonstrates its fundamental advantages over alternative approaches, including a real-world customer example and comparative cost assessment.
Remote and branch office (ROBO) storage presents unique challenges to enterprise IT and storage professionals. Meeting the needs of dispersed end-users with limited on-site IT support while managing growth in capacity, taming complexity, and keeping costs under control is a daunting task. The larger the number of remote sites, the bigger the challenge becomes.
However, a new approach is redefining ROBO storage deployments. It leverages both cloud and local storage, resulting in significant cost reduction and simplified management while providing end-users with fast access to files, easy recovery of backups and the ability to share files both locally and in the cloud.
Join storage analysts from Taneja Group and CTERA in this December 2012 on-demand webcast as they explore a comprehensive approach to ROBO storage and discuss:
*ROBO end-user storage needs vs. corporate IT considerations
*Pros and cons of alternative approaches to managing ROBO storage, including: Traditional approaches employing local file servers and tape backup, as well as remote backup, WAN optimization, and cloud storage gateways
*How leveraging cloud storage technology integrated with managed local storage appliances can optimize cost, performance and management overhead
*How this approach can scale to many thousands of sites, providing speedy deployment, centralized management and ease of use for ROBO end users.
Listen to the webcast --> http://www.bitpipe.com/detail/RES/1354203236_310.html
- Premiered: 12/20/12 at OnDemand
- Location: OnDemand
- Speaker(s): Jeff Byrne & Paul Stich
- Sponsor(s): CTERA & TechTarget
Providing and managing ROBO storage can be a challenge, but a hybrid approach using a combination of local and cloud-based storage may be the best solution.
High-End Storage for Everyone: Exablox OneBlox
Reliable storage is critical to the lifeblood of every data-driven business, and operational storage capabilities like non-disruptive scalability, continuous data protection, capacity optimization, and disaster recovery are not just desired, but required. But enterprise-class storage features have long been out of reach of organizations that don't have enterprise-sized budgets, storage experts and large data centers. Instead, they make do with low-end disk arrays or even just a box of disks patched together with a minimal amount of data protection in the form of manual backups. The problem is that disks fail, organizations change, and data continues to grow – organizations that pile up disks under the desktop are taking big risks for significant business failure while those that pay up for traditional arrays and even cloud storage incur significant cost and management overhead.
Having to step up to deliver these advanced storage requirements challenges growing organizations with big adoption hurdles, not the least of which is both OPEX and CAPEX cost. Far too many organizations struggle along with high-risk storage or feel forced to allocate significant energy, cost, and staff time into acquiring, deploying, and operating high-touch storage arrays with layers of complex add-on software. Even larger enterprises with expert storage gurus and big data centers can feel the weight of managing complex SAN’s for departmental, ROBO, and other practical rubber-meets-road storage scenarios. What’s really needed is a new approach to storage - an affordable, expandable array solution with advanced storage capabilities baked in. Ideally it should be simpler to operate than even setting up a file system on raw drives and it should be available at a justifiable cost for even small data driven businesses.
In this solution brief we are going to look at what SMB and departmental storage buyers should both require and expect from storage solutions to meet their business goals, and how traditional mid-market storage based on old technologies can fall short. We will then introduce Exablox’s new OneBlox storage array to highlight how purposefully designing storage from the ground up can lead to a simple but powerful hardware design and software architecture that features built-in high availability, easy scalability, and great data protection. Along the way we’ll see how two real-world users of OneBlox experience its actual benefits, cost effectiveness and true ease of management in their live customer deployments.
HP StoreOnce Boldly Goes Where No Deduplication Has Gone Before
Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery. Vendors may argue over product features – where to dedupe, how much capacity savings, how fast are its backup speeds -- but everyone knows how central dedupe is to backup success.
However, serious pressures are forcing changes to the backup infrastructure and dedupe technologies. Explosive data growth is changing the whole market landscape as IT struggles with bloated backup windows, higher storage expenses, and increased management overhead. These pain points are driving real progress: replacing backup silos with expanded data protection platforms. These comprehensive systems backup from multiple sources to distributed storage targets, with single console management for increased control.
Dedupe is a critical factor in this scenario, but not in its conventional form as a point solution. Traditional dedupe, or Dedupe 1.0 as it is sometimes referred to, is suited to backup silos. Moving deduped data outside the system requires rehydrating, which impacts performance and capacity between the data center, ROBO, DR sites and the cloud. Dedupe must expand its feature set in order to serve next generation backup platforms.
A few vendors have introduced new dedupe technologies but most of them are still tied to specific physical backup storage systems and appliances. Of course there is nothing wrong with leveraging hardware and software to increase sales, but storage system-specific dedupe means that data must rehydrate whenever it moves beyond the system. This leaves the business with all the performance and capacity disadvantages the infrastructure had before.
Federating dedupe across systems goes a long way to solve that problem. HP StoreOnce extends consistent dedupe across the infrastructure. Only HP implements the same deduplication technology in four places: target appliance, backup/media server, application source and virtual machine. This enables data to move freely between physical and virtual platforms and source and target machines without the need to rehydrate.
This paper will describe the challenges of data protection in the face of huge data growth, why dedupe is critical to meeting the challenges, how HP is achieving its vision of federated dedupe with StoreOnce –- and what HP’s StoreOnce VSA announcement and achievement means to backup service providers, enterprise ROBO, and SMB customers.
Nutanix Inc. today expanded its line of converged storage systems by launching an entry-level platform for small enterprises and branch offices, and a data center platform that handles more data-intensive applications than its earlier systems.
Here at Taneja Group, we think enterprises ought to be agile and flexible, quickly leveraging their forward deployed remote and branch offices as a competitive weapon to gain market opportunity with the presence that only a physical office brings. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that as a business expands its footprint into new regions it can also suffer major growing pains with slow unwieldy deployment and an increasingly costly IT burden.
Six data storage technologies -- nex-gen solid-state, primary storage dedupe, hyper-converged storage, backup appliances, OpenStack and cloud-integrated storage -- will impact your shop.
- Premiered: 12/12/13
- Author: Taneja Group
- Published: Tech Target: Search Storage
I just had the pleasure of sitting with Rob Whitely from Riverbed and Michelle Tidwell from IBM to discuss their solution that combines IBM enterprise class storage in the data center with Riverbed Granite in branch locations. Together, the result is as if you had enterprise class storage in each branch location, but really all data is managed and protected in the data center. And each branch gains resiliency to network failures and local storage performance. See the video of our talk...
Convergence for the Branch Office: Transforming Resiliency and TCO with Riverbed SteelFusion (TVS)
The branch office has long been a critical dilemma for the IT organization. Branch offices for many organizations are a critical point of productivity and revenue generation, yet the branch has always come with a tremendous amount of operational overhead and risk. Worse yet, challenges are often exacerbated because the branch office too often looks like a carryover of outdated IT practices.
More often than not, the branch office is still a highly manual, human-effort-driven administration exercise. Physical equipment too often sits at a remote physical office, and requires significant human management and intervention for activities like data protection and recovery, or replacement of failed hardware. Given the remote nature of the branch office, such human intervention often comes with significant overhead in the form of telephone support, less than efficient over-the-wire system configuration, equipment build and ship processes, or even significant travel to remote locations. Moreover, in an attempt to avoid issues, the branch office is often over-provisioned with equipment in order to reduce the impact of outages, or is designed in such a way as to be too dependent on across the Wide Area Network (WAN) services that impair user productivity and simply exchange the risk of equipment failure for the risk of WAN outage. But while such practices come with significant operational cost, there’s a subtler cost lurking below the surface – any branch office outage is enmeshed in data consequences. Data protection may be a slower process for the branch office, subjecting the branch to greater risks with equipment failure or disaster, and restoring branch office data and productivity after a disaster can be a long slow process compared to the capabilities of the modern datacenter.
When branch offices are a key part of a business, these practices that are routinely accepted as the standard can make the branch office one of the costliest and riskiest areas of the IT infrastructure. Worse yet, for many enterprises, the branch office has only increased its importance over time, and may generate more revenue and require more responsive and available IT systems than ever before. The branch office clearly requires better agility and efficiency than it receives today.
Riverbed Technologies has long proven their mettle in helping enterprises optimize and better enable connectivity and data sharing for distributed work teams. Over the past decade, Riverbed has come to dominate the market for WAN optimization technologies that compress data and optimize the connection between branch or remote offices and the datacenter. But Riverbed rose to this position of dominance because their SteelHead appliances do far more than just optimize a connection – Riverbed’s dominance of this market sprung from deep collaboration and interaction optimization of CIFS/SMB and other protocols by way of intelligent interception and caching of the right data to make the remote experience feel like a local experience. Moreover, Riverbed SteelHead could do this while making that remote connection effectively stateless, and eliminating the need to protect or manage data in the branch office.
Almost two years ago, Riverbed announced a continuing evolution of their “location independent computing” focus with the introduction of their SteelFusion family of solutions. The vision behind SteelFusion was a focus on delivering far more performance and capability in branch offices, while doing away with the complexity of multiple component parts and scattered data. SteelFusion does this by transforming the branch office into a stateless “projection” of data, applications, and VMs stored in the datacenter. Moreover, SteelFusion does this with a converged solution that combines storage, networking, and compute all in one device – the first comprehensive converged infrastructure solution purpose-built for the branch. This converged offering though, is built on branch office “statelessness” that, as we’ll review, transparently stores data in the datacenter, and allows the business to configure, change, protect, and manage the branch office with enterprise tools, while eradicating the risk associated with traditional branch office infrastructure.
SteelFusion today does this by virtualizing VMware ESXi VMs on a stateless appliance that in essence “projects” data from the datacenter to a remote location, while maintaining localized speed of access and resilient availability that can tolerate even severe network outages. Three innovative technology components that make up Riverbed’s SteelFusion allow it to host virtual machines that access their primary data via the datacenter, from where it is cached on the SteelFusion appliance while maintaining a highly efficient but near synchronous connection back to the datacenter storage. In turn, SteelFusion makes it possible to run many local applications in a rich, complex branch office while requiring no other servers or devices. Riverbed promises that SteelFusion’s architecture can tolerate outages, but synchronize data so effectively that it will operate as a stateless appliance, enabling branch data to be completely protected by datacenter synchronization and backup, with more up to date protection and faster recovery regardless of whether there’s a loss of a single file, or the loss of an entire system. In short, this is a promise to comprehensively revolutionize the practice of branch office IT.
In January of 2014, Taneja Group took a deeper look at what Riverbed is doing with SteelFusion. While we’ve provided other written assessments on the use case and value of Riverbed SteelFusion, we also wanted to take a hands-on look at how the technology works, and whether in real world use it really delivers management effort reductions, availability improvements, and increased IT capabilities along with consequent improvements in the risks around branch office IT. To do this, we turned to a hands-on lab exercise – what we call a Technology Validation.
What did we find? We found that Riverbed SteelFusion does indeed deliver a transformation of branch office management and capabilities, by fundamentally reducing complexity, injecting a number of powerful capabilities (such as enterprise snapshots and access to all data, copies, and tools in the enterprise) and making the branch office resilient, constantly protected, and instantly recoverable. While the change in capabilities is significant, this also translates into a significant impact on time and effort, and we captured a number of metrics throughout our hands-on look at SteelFusion. For the details, we turn to the full report.
With today's rebranding of Riverbed Granite as SteelFusion, Riverbed is prodding all branch IT owners to step up and consider what branch IT should ideally look like. Instead of a disparate package of network optimization, remote servers and storage arrays, difficult if not foresworn data protection approaches, and independently maintained branch applications... converged SteelFusion edge appliances sit in the branch to provide local computing performance but work on "projected" data... A big part of the unique magic in SteelFusion is that it enables branch locations to leverage enterprise storage actually located in the data center as if it were local high performance storage....
Converging Branch IT Infrastructure the Right Way: Riverbed SteelFusion
Companies with significant non-data center and often widely distributed IT infrastructure requirements are faced with many challenges. It can be difficult enough to manage tens or hundreds if not thousands of remote or branch office locations, but many of these can also be located in dirty or dangerous environments that are simply not suited for standard data center infrastructure. It is also hard if not impossible to forward deploy the necessary IT experience to manage any locally placed resources. The key challenge then, and one that can be competitively differentiating on cost alone, is to simplify branch IT as much as possible while supporting branch business.
Converged solutions have become widely popular in the data center, particularly in virtualized environments. By tightly integrating multiple functionalities into one package, there are fewer separate moving parts for IT to manage while at the same time optimizing capabilities based on tightly intimately integrating components. IT becomes more efficient and in many ways gains more control over the whole environment. In addition to obviously increasing IT simplicity there are many other cascading benefits. The converged infrastructure can perform better, is more resilient and available, and offers better security than separately assembled silos of components. And a big benefit is a drastically lowered TCO.
Yet for a number of reasons, data center convergence approaches haven’t translated as usefully to beneficial convergence in the branch. No matter how tightly integrated a “branch in a box” is, if it’s just an assemblage of the usual storage, server, and networking silo components it will still suffer from traditional branch infrastructure challenges – second-class performance, low reliability, high OPEX, and difficult to protect and recover. Branches have unique needs and data center infrastructure, converged or otherwise, isn’t designed to meet those needs. This is where Riverbed has pioneered a truly innovative converged infrastructure designed explicitly for the branch which provides simplified deployment and provisioning, resiliency in the face of network issues, improved protection and recovery from the central data center, optimization and acceleration for remote performance, and a greatly lowered OPEX.
In this paper we will review Riverbed’s SteelFusion (formerly known as Granite) branch converged infrastructure solution, and see how it marries together multiple technical advances including WAN optimization, stateless compute, and “projected” datacenter storage to solve those branch challenges and bring the benefits of convergence out to branch IT. We’ll see how SteelFusion is not only fulfilling the promise of a converged “branch” infrastructure that supports distributed IT, but also accelerates the business based on it.
The era of IT infrastructure convergence is upon us. Every major vendor has some type of offering under this category. Startups and smaller players are also "talking" convergence. But what exactly is convergence and why are all the vendors so interested in getting included in this category? We will explain below the history of convergence, what it is, what it is not, what benefits accrue from such systems, who the players are, and who is leading the pack in true convergence.
- Premiered: 06/10/14
- Author: Arun Taneja
- Published: Virtualization Review
HP ConvergedSystem: Solution Positioning for HP ConvergedSystem Hyper-Converged Products
Converged infrastructure systems – the integration of compute, networking, and storage - have rapidly become the preferred foundational building block adopted by businesses of all shapes and sizes. The success of these systems has been driven by an insatiable desire to make IT simpler, faster, and more efficient. IT can no longer afford the effort and time to custom build their infrastructure from best of breed D-I-Y components. Purpose built converged infrastructure systems have been optimized for the most common IT workloads like Private Cloud, Big Data, Virtualization, Database and Desktop Virtualization (VDI).
Traditionally these converged infrastructure systems have been built using a three-tier architecture; where compute, networking and storage, integrated at the rack level gave businesses the flexibility to cover the widest range of solution workload requirements while still using well-known infrastructure components. Emerging onto the scene recently has been a more modular approach to convergence using what we term Hyper-Convergence. With hyper-convergence, the three-tier architecture has been collapsed into a single system appliance that is purpose-built for virtualization with hypervisor, compute, and storage with advanced data services all integrated into an x86 industry-standard building block.
In this paper we will examine the ideal solution environments where Hyper-Converged products have flourished. We will then give practical guidance on solution positioning for HP’s latest ConvergedSystem Hyper-Converged product offerings.
Cloud and on-premises storage are increasingly becoming integrated so cloud is just another tier available to storage administrators.
- Premiered: 06/02/15
- Author: Mike Matchett
- Published: TechTarget: Search Cloud Storage
SimpliVity OmniCube hyper-converged family gets a little brother for remote offices and file restores for more granular backups.
- Premiered: 08/26/15
- Author: Taneja Group
- Published: TechTarget: Search Virtual Storage