Items Tagged: WAN+Optimization
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.
Congratulations to Riverbed on the launch of the new Whitewater appliance for cloud storage acceleration.
Riverbed and EMC Deliver Capacity-Optimized Cloud Storage for Backup, Recovery, Archiving, and DR
Many innovative enterprises are turning to cloud storage to meet their data protection demands. Cloud storage promises an elastic “pay-as-you-go” storage pool for backups and archives, which not only reduces expensive up-front backup disk and tape costs, but eliminates the need to maintain them off-site. This paper explores the factors that are driving the move to cloud storage and then introduces a solution from Riverbed and EMC that enables organizations to perform cloud backup and replication at LAN-like performance that is as reliable and secure as local disk or tape at a lower cost.
Hot on the heels of Riverbed’s cloud-focused announcements earlier this month, Silver Peak is keeping the pressure on with its new virtual WAN optimization appliance, the VRX-8, which accelerates multi-site replication and disaster recovery for “big data” among enterprise datacenters (or, in 2010 parlance, private clouds).
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.
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.
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
WAN Optimization came into our vocabulary early in the new Millennium as a technology that allowed globally disbursed enterprises to simply their IT infrastructures and make remote workers feel an integral part of the enterprise. Prior to it taking the industry by storm, global enterprises had to create mini-IT infrastructures at each branch office and run critical applications locally, in order to deliver reasonable performance to remote workers. But data needed to be shared. CAD files, for example, were often developed jointly by engineers in different states/countries/continents. These files had to be duplicated and replicated. In order to deliver on the “follow the sun” support model, large files had to be replicated across long distances. Even with all the heroic efforts on the part of IT, workers, especially those in remote locations, felt like second-class citizens. Simply put, it was a mess.
American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced the release of its StorTrends 3500i SSD Array, the first and only storage area network (SAN) to combine solid state drive (SSD) caching and SSD tiering into a single storage appliance.
American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced that The Taneja Group has recognized the AMI StorTrends 3500i Hybrid Storage SSD Array as “one of the most comprehensive, versatile and cost effective solid state systems on the market today.” In the Taneja Group’s December 2013 Technology Validation report, ‘StorTrends 3500i Solid State Performance for Everyday Business’ - the research firm recounts results of its hands-on lab evaluation which validates the system’s high performance in real-world application environments.
AMI StorTrends 3500i: Solid State Performance for Everyday Business (TVS)
Solid state storage technology – typically storage devices based on NAND flash – have opened up new horizons for storage systems over the past couple of years. The storage market has seemingly been flooded by new products incorporating solid-state storage somewhere within their product line while making promises of break through levels of storage performance. Vendors have found there are some challenges when it comes to putting solid-state technology in the storage system. Many storage products entering the market in turn have a few wrinkles beneath the surface.
Just recently, AMI has introduced yet another SAN storage appliance. The StorTrends 3500i integrates a comprehensive solid-state storage layer into the StorTrends iTX architecture. The 3500i brings with it the ability to use Solid State Drives (SSDs) in multiple roles – as a full flash array or hybrid storage array. As a hybrid storage array, the SSDs can be utilized as cache, tier, or a combination of the two. Along with SSD caching and tiering, the StorTrends 3500i incorporates these performance features with the field proven storage architecture validated by more than 1,100 global installs. The net result is a high performance and cost effective storage array. In fact, the 3500i array looks poised to be one of the most comprehensively equipped storage system options for the mid-range enterprise storage customer looking for solid state acceleration for their workloads.
With this most recent storage system launch, StorTrends once again caught our attention, and we approached AMI with the idea of a hands-on lab exercise that we call a Taneja Group Technology Validation. Our goal with this testing? To see whether StorTrends truly preserved all of their storage functionality with the integration of SSD into the 3500i storage system, and whether the 3500i was up to the task of harnessing the blazing fast storage performance of SSD.
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.
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.
A hyper-converged infrastructure tightly integrates storage, compute, networking and server virtualization resources in the same box, and now products are starting to offer more points of differentiation. Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Taneja Group in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, surveyed the hyper-converged product landscape in this podcast interview. He explained the distinction between hyper-converged and converged systems, updated the list of products that meet his definition of hyper-convergence, discussed the latest choices users will find for hypervisors and hardware, and offered his predictions on the direction hyper-converged storage products could take.
- Premiered: 06/02/14
- Author: Taneja Group
- Published: Tech Target: Search Virtual Storage
A hyper-converged infrastructure tightly integrates storage, compute, networking and server virtualization resources in the same box, and now products are starting to offer more points of differentiation.
Arun Taneja, founder and consulting analyst at Taneja Group in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, surveyed the hyper-converged product landscape in this podcast interview. He explained the distinction between hyper-converged and converged systems, updated the list of products that meet his definition of hyper-convergence, discussed the latest choices users will find for hypervisors and hardware, and offered his predictions on the direction hyper-converged storage products could take.
- Premiered: 06/02/14
- Location: OnDemand
- Speaker(s): Arun Taneja
- Sponsor(s): TechTarget
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
Converged infrastructures assemble components from multiple IT domains into one integrated system by combining virtualization, storage, networking and compute. A management framework is also included that allows orchestration of the entire infrastructure so that each constituent technology doesn't have to be managed separately. But from that set of basic parameters, the individual flavors vary significantly, and those different flavors are well worth a closer look.
- Premiered: 07/08/14
- Author: Taneja Group
- Published: Tech Target: Search Virtual Storage
If you feel you are already being left behind as the era of data center convergence unfolds, fret not—it seems that the convergence we have seen so far is just the opening act. The real action is yet to come in the form of hyperconvergence.
- Premiered: 07/09/14
- Author: Taneja Group
- Published: IT Business Edge
Executive Summary: VCE and Nutanix in the Real World
Taneja Group prepared a Field Report for Nutanix on the real-world customer experience for seven Nutanix hyperconvergence and seven VCE convergence customers. We did not cherry pick customers for dissatisfaction or delight; we were interested in typical customers’ honest reactions.
The same conclusions kept emerging: VCE users see convergence as a benefit over traditional do-it-yourself infrastructure, but an expensive one. Some of the concerns include high prices, infrastructure and management complexity, expensive support contracts, and concerns over the long-term viability of the partnership between EMC, VMware and Cisco. The Nutanix users also shared valuable hyperconvergence benefits. In contrast to VCE, they also cited simplified architecture and management, reasonable acquisition and operating costs, and considerably faster time to value.
Our conclusion is that VCE convergence is an improvement over traditional architecture, but Nutanix hyperconvergence is an evolutionary improvement over VCE.