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Trusted Business Advisors, Expert Technology Analysts

Items Tagged: TVS

Profiles/Reports

EVault from i365 – Lab Validating EVault Endpoint Protection

In this Taneja Group Technology Validation exercise, we put an endpoint protection solution – EVault Endpoint Protection, a solution from i365, a Seagate company – to the test. Could the recently released, completely hosted (on top of the elastic Microsoft Windows Azure cloud) EVault Endpoint Protection suite be as quick to deploy and easy to use as i365 claims? To find out, we put the suite through the paces at a remote site – in essence simulating exactly what an EVault customer would see and do when they sign up for this cloud service. What did we find? Our conclusion is that it is easier and faster to protect the business with EVault Endpoint Protection than with anything else we’ve seen.

Publish date: 07/07/11
news

Taneja Group Validation: Making Endpoint Protection Practical

The idea of desktop, or endpoint, protection has long been the thorn in the side of IT. We’ve struggled to figure out how to effectively protect desktops, and nearly anything proposed has suffered in one dimension or another. Some solutions have been too cumbersome and complex for either administrators or users (or both), some solutions simply overwhelm the existing infrastructure, and some solutions are simply overbuilt and too intrusive. Moreover, the vast majority have suffered from cost models that simply are too expensive to protect what is at the end of the day one of the most important, but also most price sensitive, IT assets – the desktop.

  • Premiered: 07/08/11
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: InfoStor
Topic(s): TBA TVS TBA Technology Validation TBA i365 TBA endpoint protection
news

Taneja Group Validation: Storage Done the Right Way With StorSimple

In this Taneja Group Technology Validation exercise, we put an innovative new array to the test to see just what was possible when a vendor stretches its wings and takes on much more than just another version of storage done the same old way.

  • Premiered: 07/25/11
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: InfoStor
Topic(s): TBA TVS TBA StorSimple
Profiles/Reports

10X The VM Density With Marvell Dragonfly: Turning up IO density, no storage change required

There’s good news this year – the long and most tenacious vexation of the storage engineer is finally receiving redress. That vexation is none other than performance. This year, the market is seemingly awash in innovators paying attention to the challenges of performance, and the solutions are very, very real.

Yet as has always been the case, most are very hard solutions to engineer into production data centers. The storage challenge is such that it isn’t easy to shoehorn a solution into the place of an existing storage system or product that simply isn’t measuring up. Aside from the basic mechanics around floor space, SAN connections and physical cabling, storage performance solutions in the past have often looked entirely different logically (different storage pool, with potentially foreign provisioning and configuration), and standard storage features such as snapshots may be completely missing. And that’s just the case with the most typical of performance solutions – when dabbling in the extremely exotic like Oracle’s Exadata, the re-engineering can become truly significant.

But amongst this backdrop, some vendors are crafting together solutions that are much different. Such products are the benefactors of significant leaps ahead in technology over the past year. It is now possible to harness extremely high power special purpose processors of all sorts, store data on high performance solid state media of many types and form factors (NAND, RAM, disk, expansion cards, appliances, and more), and the storage industry’s collective knowledge of how to architect software innovation in the path of latency sensitive IO has advanced by leaps and bounds. Emerging solutions are solving extreme IO challenges with a nearly transparent software, adapter, or appliance model, and whole new generations of performance-geared storage are entering the market.

With this in mind, Taneja Group has eagerly awaited hands-on time with one of the first products that looks poised to represent the easiest to use and most cost effective platform available to address pressing performance issues – the Marvell DragonFly storage accelerator for virtual and bare-metal applications. This product typifies a category of solution that we recently labeled “Server-based Storage Accelerators” (our recent article on this topic is available here: http://bit.ly/GU6UjS). Server-based Storage Accelerators are server-integrated devices that are coupled with a host-based software layer to intercept, cache, and optimize IO transactions so that data remains stored on backend, consolidated and feature rich storage, but the transactional IO is offloaded to an in-the-server acceleration card with massive horsepower. Market entrants have proliferated through startups, acquisitions, and major vendor announcements. Marvell was certainly one of the first to announce product development in this area, and with a long pedigree in storage intellectual property (all the way down to NAND interfaces and HDD read channels) as well as a product that embodied the perception of simplicity, we looked forward to a closer examination.

In early February of 2012, we began spending that hands-on time with the Marvell DragonFly accelerator, and as testament to our findings, we continue to run the Marvell DragonFly accelerator in our lab facility in Phoenix, Arizona to this day. 

We’ve had significant opportunity to put Marvell’s DragonFly to work in several different ways during that time.  Early on, we validated how DragonFly performed under synthetic read and write benchmarks on Linux workstations (using 4K FIO benchmarks on Redhat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6), and we’ve periodically used the Marvell DragonFly with various read/write small block workloads from various virtual and physical systems, and across both block and file storage.  But as we began intentionally evaluating the DragonFly in-depth, we most wanted to examine the DragonFly behind a meaningful, real world workload that both storage and server managers would look at as representative of their own current challenges.  With this in mind, we set out to evaluate virtual machine density, otherwise known as VM density. 

We define VM density as the maximum number of virtual machines that can be run with acceptable performance by a given set of infrastructure.  Over the past few years, the age of virtualization has rapidly changed the importance of storage performance.  Storage performance can have a drastic impact on VM density by choking off the precious IO that the hypervisor and virtual machines need, and thereby drastically increasing apparent CPU load because of IO wait cycles and latency.

The bottom line is the Marvell DragonFly accelerator can let the customer put a unique combination of commodity, off-the-shelf SSD to work behind a specialized, high performance PCIe controller, and turn solid state to the task of pure IO acceleration in a way that few others can.  Because the pure performance of SSD is unleashed without changing the centralized storage of data, and the effect is completely transparent to the infrastructure, the DragonFly accelerator’s ability to combine SSD with PCIe means massive performance without compromises.  For those who have not been watching, this is a first for a storage performance product.  A few highlights from our findings include:

  • A cost per IO that looks to be many times more cost effective than other approaches to enterprise class SSDs, or PCIe attached solid state storage.
  • Storage acceleration that can be implemented with no reconfiguration or alteration of current enterprise storage.
  • Acceleration that can optimize the sustainable IO from SSD media by as much as 19X (Marvell DragonFly + SSD, versus SSD only).  DragonFly acts as a cache for much larger backend storage by using SSD in this manner, and can deliver total IO that is well beyond the limits of dedicated server storage today (solid state or otherwise), and compares favorably to the horsepower behind entire enterprise class arrays.
  • All told, this translates into a real world 10X improvement in a tested virtual environment, specifically a 10X increase in IO-limited virtual machine density, allowing IO constrained organizations to run 10X as many desktops per physical server.

All told, the Marvell DragonFly looks like a mature product that delivers tremendous performance acceleration for enterprise and cloud data centers. For a product that may cost substantially less than any given single server, this is a notable accomplishment.  Moreover, since this technology can be deployed in front of a shared backend storage system (block or file) the performance acceleration can be applied against terabytes of capacity.  Then a business can in essence “scale-out” this performance by purchasing more accelerators for more servers, assuming a working set of data is small enough to fit inside of the SSD devices attached to the DragonFly.  The dollars per IO may not get much better than this.

Publish date: 08/20/12
Profiles/Reports

Integrated Disaster Recovery: Technologies for Comprehensive Storage Array Protection

DR has long been particularly challenging for the midmarket customer. It usually requires multiple layers and components, host-based software, replication gateways or appliances, and often array-based functionality that is licensed and managed separately. Add to this complexity the need for robust bandwidth or an expensive WAN optimization approach and it’s no surprise that DR can have a significant impact on both OPEX and CAPEX budgets.

The cost to manage all of these different elements can dwarf the cost of a primary storage system itself. The enterprise faces many of the same challenges, but they also have bigger budgets and more specialists to manage the complexity. Midmarket businesses and organizations may not have the same level of budget and specialists, but they certainly face the same challenges.

Recently, Taneja Group Labs put the StorTrends 3400i array through a Technology Validation exercise to evaluate how StorTrends measured up as a SMB/SME storage solution in terms of ease of use, performance, availability, adaptability, and innovative features. Over the course of our Technology Validation exercise, it was clear that one particular StorTrends capability rose above all others: StorTrends built-in multi-site WAN optimized data replication. Specifically, StorTrends suite of replication functionality looks poised to equip SMB and SME customers with the tools that for the first time makes robust DR really achievable. In this report, we’ll highlight what we found, and why it stood out.

 

Publish date: 09/06/12
Profiles/Reports

StorTrends 3400i - Reinventing the value of storage

Selecting a primary storage solution is undoubtedly one of the most critical decisions an IT department can make. As the foundational piece of the modern datacenter, it represents perhaps the single most important piece of IT infrastructure for businesses large, medium or small. Business critical applications will live and breathe on the performance of the selected storage system, and business data will be inevitably constrained by the capacity of that storage system.

In the mid-market, making a storage investment can be particularly daunting, as the stakes are higher, and the selection is harder. Compared to larger enterprises, in the mid-market, storage dollars are fewer and harder to come by. Precious and often limited IT staff time is spread across more systems and technologies, their core skills are often not rooted in storage, and technically vetting a storage system can be all but impossible. This makes storage a risky proposition for the small enterprise (SME) and SMB customer. We frequently hear tales of storage system purchases where I/O is not sufficient, features are missing (or require additional licenses and cost to acquire), or where architectural compromises create availability issues that regularly impact the entire business.

For several years, the developers of the StorTrends line of NAS/SAN solutions have been working hard to architect a storage system for the mid-market that puts an end to these risks and compromises. By harnessing the engineering expertise from their parent American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI) – an innovator in storage and BIOS technologies – StorTrends has been tackling the challenge of delivering abundant performance, robust reliability, and feature rich storage with the SMB and SME customer in mind. Their claim is that the StorTrends 3400i is both one of the most cost effective choices in the market, and one of the most well rounded. 

In mid-2012, StorTrends caught our attention with these claims and a series of notable customer wins in a highly competitive market. To learn more, we approached StorTrends with the idea of a hands-on lab exercise, what we call a Technology Validation, to examine in more depth how StorTrends was delivering comprehensive value for customers in the mid-market space. Utilizing our proven validation methodology that included time spent at AMI headquarters in Norcross, GA, we put a set of StorTrends 3400i storage systems through the paces, with an eye toward examining several capabilities that StorTrends claims makes the 3400i one of the best value storage options in the mid-market.

 

Publish date: 12/10/12
Resources

Taneja Group Technology Validation Webinar on Tintri VMstore

Join Jeff Boles, analyst from Taneja Group, and Tintri experts in this technical webinar as they discuss the results of the recently concluded technology validation of Tintri VMstore. Together, they will cover the details of real-world testing, ranging from operational tasks such as provisioning and ongoing management of storage for VMs, to performance and efficiency characteristics of Tintri VMstore. The discussion will also cover best practices for performance and data protection of storage infrastructure.

*On Demand link currently unavailable, please contact us for more information*

  • Premiered: 02/04/14 at 9am PT/ 12pm ET
  • Location: Live
  • Speaker(s): Jeff Boles
  • Sponsor(s): Tintri
Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): Tintri Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): Jeff Boles Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): TVS Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): Virtualization Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): VM Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): Virtual Machine Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): VMstore Topic(s): TBA Topic(s): Data protection
news

Storage for virtual servers getting smarter

New products designed from the ground up to specifically serve storage for virtual servers can offer dramatic savings in terms of dollars and the time spent managing storage.

  • Premiered: 03/03/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Virtual Storage
Topic(s): TBA VSAN TBA Taneja Group Labs TBA Technology Validation TBA TVS TBA VM TBA Tintri TBA VMstore TBA VMWare TBA HP TBA StoreVirtual VSA TBA SPBM TBA Virtualization TBA Storage TBA Automation
news

StorTrends Sees Strong Momentum as $10.9 Billion Market for Solid State Drives Escalates

StorTrends today announced significant momentum as demand for its hybrid and all flash storage arrays for virtual and physical environments escalates.

  • Premiered: 08/26/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: MarketWired
Topic(s): TBA StorTrends TBA StorTrends 3500i TBA TVS TBA Lab Validation
Profiles/Reports

Scale Computing HC3: A Second Look at a Hyperconverged Appliance

Consolidation and enhanced management enabled by virtualization has revolutionized the practice of IT around the world over the past few years. By abstracting compute from the underlying hardware systems, and enabling oversubscription of physical systems by virtual workloads, IT has been able to pack more systems into the data center than before. Moreover, for the first time in seemingly decades, IT has also taken a serious leap ahead in management, as this same virtual infrastructure has wrapped the virtualized workload with better capabilities than ever before - tools like increased visibility, fast provisioning, enhanced cloning, and better data protection. The net result has been a serious increase in overall IT efficiency.

But not all is love and roses with the virtual infrastructure. In the face of serious benefits and consequent rampant adoption, virtualization continues to advance and bring about more capability. All too often, an increase in capability has come at the cost of complexity. Virtualization now promises to do everything from serving up compute instances, to providing network infrastructure and network security, to enabling private clouds.

For certain, much of this complexity exists between the individual physical infrastructures that IT must touch, and the simultaneous duplication that virtualization often brings into the picture. Virtual and physical networks must now be integrated, the relationship between virtual and physical servers must be tracked, and the administrator can barely answer with certainty whether key storage functions, like snapshots, should be managed on physical storage systems or in the virtual infrastructure.

With challenges surrounding the complexity in managing a virtualized datacenter, Scale Computing, long a provider of scale-out storage, introduced a new line of hyperconverged appliances - HC3 in April, 2012 and updated the appliances with the new HyperCore software in May, 2014. HC3 is an integration of storage and virtualized compute within a scale-out building block architecture that couples all of the elements of a virtual data center together inside a hyperconverged appliance. The result is a system that is simple to use and does away with much of the complexity associated with virtualization in the data center. By virtualizing and intermingling compute and storage inside a system that is designed for scale-out, HC3 does away with the need to manage virtual networks, assemble complex compute clusters, provision and manage storage, and a bevy of other day to day administrative tasks. Provisioning additional resources - any resource - becomes one-click-easy, and adding more physical resources as the business grows is reduced to a simple 2-minute exercise.

While this sounds compelling on the surface, Taneja Group recently turned our Technology Validation service - our hands-on lab service - to the task of evaluating whether Scale Computing's HC3 could deliver on these promises in the real world. For this task, we put an HC3 cluster through the paces to see how well it deployed, how it held up under use, and what special features it delivered that might go beyond the features found in traditional integrations of discreet compute and storage systems.

Publish date: 09/30/14
Profiles/Reports

HPE StoreVirtual 3200: A Look at the Only Entry Array with Scale-out and Scale-up

Innovation in traditional external storage has recently taken a back seat to the current market darlings of All Flash Arrays and Software-defined Scale-out Storage. Can there be a better way to redesign the mainstream dual-controller array that has been a popular choice for entry-level shared storage for the last 20 years?  Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) claims the answer is a resounding Yes.

HPE StoreVirtual 3200 (SV3200) is a new entry storage device that leverages HPE’s StoreVirtual Software-defined Storage (SDS) technology combined with an innovative use of low-cost ARM-based controller technology found in high-end smartphones and tablets. This approach allows HPE to leverage StoreVirtual technology to create an entry array that is more cost effective than using the same software on a set of commodity X86 servers. Optimizing the cost/performance ratio using ARM technology instead of excessive power hungry processing and memory using X86 computers unleashes an attractive SDS product unmatched in affordability. For the first time, an entry storage device can both Scale-up and Scale-out efficiently and also have the additional flexibility to be compatible with a full complement of hyper-converged and composable infrastructure (based on the same StoreVirtual technology). This unique capability gives businesses the ultimate flexibility and investment protection as they transition to a modern infrastructure based on software-defined technologies. The SV3200 is ideal for SMB on-premises storage and enterprise remote office deployments. In the future, it will also enable low-cost capacity expansion for HPE’s Hyper Converged and Composable infrastructure offerings.

Taneja Group evaluated the HPE SV3200 to validate the fit as an entry storage device. Ease-of-use, advanced data services, and supportability were just some of the key attributes we validated with hands-on testing. What we found was that the SV3200 is an extremely easy-to-use device that can be managed by IT generalists. This simplicity is good news for both new customers that cannot afford dedicated administrators and also for those HPE customers that are already accustomed to managing multiple HPE products that adhere to the same HPE OneView infrastructure management paradigm. We also validated that the advanced data services of this entry array match that of the field proven enterprise StoreVirtual products already in the market. The SV3200 can support advanced features such as linear scale-out and multi-site stretch cluster capability that enables advanced business continuity techniques rarely found in storage products of this class. What we found is that HPE has raised the bar for entry arrays, and we strongly recommend businesses that are looking at either SDS technology or entry storage strongly consider HPE’s SV3200 as a product that has the flexibility to provide the best of both. A starting price at under $10,000 makes it very affordable to start using this easy, powerful, and flexible array. Give it a closer look.

Publish date: 04/11/17