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My briefing with Violin Memory, during the last Powering the cloud event, was with Garry Veale (Managing Director, EMEA).

The company was founded on 2005, but has started with first products released on 2009 (due to the long research and development and the high standard quality reached before goes to the market). The main focus is build Flash Memory Arrays for Enterprise Data Storage (note that the target is the Enterprise, and actually not the SMB). In the EMEA region they have offices in UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain with more than 50 people.

In the company’s board there are people with a lot of  previous experience:

  • Donald Basile – Chief Executive Officer – Prior to his role at Violin, Don was Chairman and CEO of Fusion-IO and pioneered the use of PCIe flash cards for servers and workstations.
  • Jon Bennett – Founder & CTO – Has a Bachelor of Computer Science degree (with Research Honors) from Carnegie Mellon and a Masters Degree from Harvard University.

They have a strong partnership with Toshiba for the required components of their storage.

Their products cover two different areas with two different approaches:

  • Application acceleration -> reduce the storage latency (interesting for Business Critical Applications, and not that there are some employees focused on Oracle and SQL database to help in performance tuning)
  • Virtualization -> 60% more dense (interesting for great consolidation projects)

The objective is reduce TCO, Capex, Opex in their solutions.

Products core is the Flash Memory Fabric, a resilient, highly available deep mesh of thousands of flash dies that work in concert to continuously optimize performance, latency, and longevity. Cache can work also on write to ensure maximum performance.

Contrary to SSD based systems that reuse legacy disk based architectures, the Flash Memory Fabric is the result of an all silicon system approach with patented flash optimization algorithms implemented in hardware, operating at line rate. All active components of the Flash Memory Fabric are hot-swappable for enterprise grade reliability and serviceability.

The arrays connect natively to existing 8Gb/s Fibre Channel, 10GE iSCSI, and 40Gb/s Infiniband network infrastructures. They are managed by the Violin Memory Operating System, providing a simple, easy GUI management interface for one or multiple enclosures.

 

In previous pictures you can notice a 6000 Series array that can reach 1 Million IOPS, latency in microseconds and up to 32 TB of RAW capacity in a 3U box.

Products are validated by several vendors, included VMware for the virtualization part (that include VAAI and a vCenter plugin), but also RHEL, SLES, Windows, Hyper-V, Citrix, AIX, Solaris SPARC, Solaris x86, HP-UX.

There are also interesting partnership with other vendor, especially with Fujitsu and Symantec:

See also: full report list of Powering The Cloud 2012 event.

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There is less than a month to the big HP european event. Here the top 10 reasons on why attend (from HP site):

  1. Vision: hear about HP’s vision for the future directly from Meg Whitman and HP’s top executives. Learn about new innovative technology that is shaping the industry and your enterprise.
  2. Strategy: understand how you can make big ideas happen in your enterprise with a strategic approach to converged cloud, information optimisation, security and risk management, and more.
  3. Technology: touch new products. See them work. Be there for the roll-out of the latest engineering marvels. Explore the HP Discover Zone that includes special access to HP Labs to get a view of future technology and inventions.
  4. Breadth: choose among 100s of business and technical sessions that expose you to the widest possible range of ideas. Attend demos, breakouts, keynotes, and tours. Explore pavilions and sponsor spaces.
  5. Focus: find just what you need — in your specialty. Sessions are grouped into ten tracks dedicated to today’s relevant topics such as converged cloud, information optimisation, security and risk management.
  6. Specialists: take advantage of a rare opportunity to meet 1:1 with HP experts. HP technology and business gurus are available for meetings via the HP Meeting Centre and the Partner Meeting Centre.
  7. Contacts: exchange ideas, information, tips, tricks, and best practices with people who share your interests. Meet with those you rarely get to see face to face and create new relationships with colleagues and customers.
  8. Sponsors: meet directly with top-tier industry influencers and see what HP and our partners are inventing together. Tap into the collective energy of our sponsor companies and see their innovations first hand.
  9. Insight: get a sneak peek at what HP has in development by attending one of our confidential disclosure sessions. You can apply for this unique opportunity to see what’s in the works for the next generation of HP products.
  10. Fun: have some. Top-notch entertainment and social events make your Frankfurt experience complete. At the Tuesday welcome reception and the Wednesday night HP party, you can take a break while you get to know fellow attendees.

To learn more and register to HP discove go on the event’s page.

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Interesting European IT events:

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So also this event is gone.

This was my first year at this kind of event and I think that was really useful and interesting, especially for the good meetings that I’ve got during those two days. I will post more about them on the next weeks.

continue reading…

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As already written, during this edition of Powering the Cloud, I have a speech:

In this session we will discuss how is possible increase the availability of business critical applications running in a virtual environment. First we will introduce the different level of availability and different type of technical solutions. Then we will discuss the difference between VMware HA (with VM and application monitoring), VMware FT and guest clustering. We will give more technical detail on how build a guest cluster (for availability purpose), by analyzing different approaches and different implementations. Finally we will discuss about applications designed to be scalable and high availability (and cloud ready).

All the session’s slides will be soon available on the event web site.

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The show begins and for me is the first time and will be a big opportunity to meet several vendors (some of them new for me).

Here is a list of my appointments at this event:

  • VMware, with Rob Jenkins (Director Advisory Services, EMEA)
  • Violin Memory, with Garry Veale (Managing Director, EMEA)
  • Datacore, with Alexander Best (Director Technical Business Development)
  • Quantum, with Stéphane Estevez (Sr. Product Marketing Manager EMEA/APAC)
  • Spectra Logic, with Molly Rector (EVP Product Management and Marketing Worldwide)
  • Virtual Instruments, with Skip Bacon (CTO and Chris James, EMEA Marketing Director)
  • Dot Hill, with Warren Reid (EMEA Marketing Director)
  • APTARE, with Nigel Houghton (regional director of sales EMEA)
  • Avere Systems, with Rebecca Thompson (VP Marketing)
  • Amplidata, with Tom Leyden (director of strategic alliances and marketing)

For more information about the event see my previous post. To follow the event on Twitter use the hashtag: #SNWEurope

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After years of development, Microsoft launched the latest version of Windows (with the NT version 6.2), with a official announce of its CEO Steve Ballmer during product’s launch event in New York on October 25, 2012.

It is most probably the most radical version of the Windows OS (at least in the aspect, in the design was NT 6.0) and the client OS is mainly designed for new mobile devices like tablets, but can also be used on desktop PC (but need more training on it).

Windows 8 is the new client OS and the launch event was focus on it and its different version, and of course on the Surface product (the Microsoft tablet). For more information see:

But there are also some negative opinions and and/or critiques on this OS:

And also there is the new Windows Server 2012 and the new Hyper-V3.

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VMware has recently released several patches for its vCloud Suite:

Note also that View 5.1.x is now finally supported on vSphere 5.1; you have to install the patch for vSphere 5.1 as described in the KB 2035268. For more information about the patch, see VMware ESXi 5.1, Patch Release ESXi510-201210001 (2034548).

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Veeam has recently released the new version of his backup product, announced during the VMworld EU and with several new features. Also it include new compatibility matrix:

To download the product, or the trial go to the download page.

There is also a video with Doug Hazelman that explain the main new features:

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Network tuning and offload

Specific technologies

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With the new Windows Server 2012 there are several improvements in the storage part, expecially when we apply to a Hyper-V enviroment.

The main news on the storage part, is that now is possible build a Windows Fail-Over Cluster with a shared SMB3 share and use it for store VMs (in a similar way as NFS could be use to NAS connectivity on a VMware vSphere cluster). Also a specific function (Virtual Fibre Channel) as been added to map a FC SAN LUN directly to a VM (similar to the same function in VMware vSphere).

The different scenarios are now changed from the Pre-2012 (on the left) and the new 2012 version (on the right):

The new CSV2 could also be used with SMB3 to build a Scale Out FileServer (SOFS) and implement an active-active clustered fileserver that could also scale-in by adding more disks and/or bays. But note that the shared enabled for applications (like Hyper-V or SQL Server 2012) have some limits (for example DFS could not be used with FRS to replicate the share content on two or more modes).

For more information about SMB history:

The best resource site for SMB is John Barreto’s Blog:

 

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With the results of the last VCDX defense (during VMworld EU), we have finally reach more than 100 VCDX (actually VCDX-DV) worldwide.

The VCDX directory seems already updated with recent people.

So, congrats to @chriswahl, @jpiscaer@fojta@baecke, @SimonLong_  and all new VCDX!

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