Archive for the ‘Gestalt IT’ Category

Some very interesting articles on DROBO S and DROBO Elite

November 24th, 2009 No comments

If you haven’t already read about the DROBO S and DROBO Elite, released yesterday (11/23/2009), here are a few interesting links, nice comparisons,  details and info in these post….

Contemplating IT

Pack Rat – Stephen Foskett

Louis Gray

Sunshine Mugrabi



……And incase you missed the DROBO S and DROBO ELITE video on (YOUTUBE) from yesterday…….

DROBO S and DROBO Elite – Introduced 11/23/2009

November 23rd, 2009 No comments

As most of you know, DROBO has been in the market for the past couple of years. There are three primary units that Data Robotics has in the industry today. The DROBO – 4 Drive Unit, DROBO Pro – 8 Drive Unit and DROBO Share that enables you to connect two DROBO’s and run community designed applications.

As of 11/23/2009, there are two new DROBO devices being introduced, the DROBO S and DROBO ElIte.

Both these DROBO’s will compete in the similar market space of its predecessors, but has additional features compared to the DROBO and DROBO Pro devices.

The big marketing buzz Data Robotics uses with it products today is “Set it, Forget it”. Data Robotics has designed a technology called BeyondRAID that in essence is a self-healing storage solution. The market space that DROBO and DROBO Pro’s compete today is the home and SMB space.

Introducing DROBO S and DROBO ELITE: Movie by StorageNerve

Song: Blue Theme (Movie: Blue)


Connectivity to Host

USB 2.0 Connectivity

Firewire 800 / 400 Connectivity – 25% faster than USB 2.0

e-SATA Connectivity – 50% faster than Firewire


DROBO supported 4 drives, the DROBO S now supports 5 drives, expanding total storage to 10 TB’s.

Supports different drive sizes.

Supports failure of 2 drives in the unit with no Data loss.

Self-healing technology supported as a core feature within DROBO S.

Different drive speeds and different cache on drive supported within the unit.

SATA – I and SATA – II drives supported.


Windows – Win XP and Win 2003 onwards

MAC  – MAC OS X 10.5.6 onwards








Home User

Desktop Use in SMB space.

Power Save Mode

Seems like when you disconnect the DROBO S from a connected host, it enters in power save mode.


No Downtime with drive upgrades.

No Downtime with drive failure – upto 2.

No Downtime with new drive installations.

Take drives out of DROBO and plug them into DROBO S for data in-place upgrade.

For Home and SMB use it lacks the following

Entertainment – Photo Library, iTunes Library, FTP Support, NAS Support, Ethernet Support, iSCSI, AD integration, Turn off / on at a certain time of the day.


Technology Drobo S

Technology Drobo S


DROBO ELITE offers 50% faster throughput compared to DROBO Pro.

Connectivity to Host

USB 2.0 Connectivity (For Management only)

2 x Gigabit Ethernet

iSCSI Support

Upto 255 Host Volumes – (From Common Pool of storage – like Thin Provisioning)

Upto 16 host systems supported


DROBO ELITE supports 8 drives, expanding total storage to 16 TB’s.

Supports different drive sizes

Supports failure of 2 drives in the unit with no Data loss

Self-healing technology supported as a core feature within DROBO Elite

Different drive speeds and different cache on drive supported within the unit

SATA – I and SATA – II drives supported


Windows – Win XP and Win 2003 onwards

MAC  – MAC OS X 10.5.6 onwards


Vmware ESX 3.5 and V-Sphere support








SMB Market

Server Consolidation

Multiple Server Support

Vmware Support


No Downtime with drive upgrades

No Downtime with drive failure – upto 2

No Downtime with new drive installations.

Take drives out of DROBO PRO and plug them into DROBO ELITE for data in-place upgrade




I particularly like the self-healing no maintenance, no setup configuration. It has a great feature of plug it in, forget it…

I will start using the DROBO this week and hopefully be able to write more about the underlying technology, stay tuned!!!

Is Storage Tiering ILM or a subset of ILM, but where is ILM

November 20th, 2009 3 comments

I was writing a blog post on Storage Economics last night for ITKE (IT Knowledge Exchange). During some thought  process and writing, I got confused on a sentence I was trying to format. The confusion was between ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) and Storage Tiering. Though I think both the concepts are overlapping, most of the responses I got from twitter were Storage Tiering is a revamped ILM or ILM with lipstick. Twitter search: “ILM, Tiering”.

After thinking about this for the past 24 hours, I am still not sure if I am at the right conclusion.

What is ILM (Information Lifecycle Management):

A process to manage information through out its lifecycle from creation to deletion. Lets look at ILM from a storage perspective.

1) A user or an application creates data and possibly over time that data is modified.
2) The data needs to be stored and possibly be protected through RAID, snaps, clones, replication and backups.
3) The data now needs to be archived as it gets old, and retention policies & laws kick in.
4) The data needs to be search-able and retrievable NOW.
5) Finally the data needs to be deleted.

Though some argue protection (RAID, snaps, clones, replication, backups) are part of ILP: Information Lifecycle Protection and not ILM: Information Lifecycle Management.

Here is a definition of ILM as I found on google: “define: ILM”.

What is Storage Tiering:

A defined pool of Storage within a storage environment that is classified based on either speed, availability, protection levels, access times, SLA’s, frequency of use and possibly cost.

The higher the Storage Tier 0, 1, 2, the higher the cost of management, purchase, availability, speed, protection levels, frequency of use and least access times and outages. The lower the Storage Tier 3, 4, 5, the lower the cost of management, purchase, availability, speed, protection levels, frequency of use and higher access times.

As data gets old or unused, based on workflow, the data moves from higher tiers to lower tiers, could be an automated move, a manual move, a business rules defined move or a policies based move.

Data Protection, Tiering, Archiving, Backup, Retention, Search are all components of Storage Tiering these days. So does this mean, Storage Tiering is merely a subset of ILM.

The Overlap:

I have not heard the word ILM from large vendors in any tech-talk, on any blogs, nor any podcasts these days. So where is ILM or have the vendors given up on the concept of ILM. Is Storage Tiering the new ILM, if that is the case what is the difference.

ILM does include two major components which are data creation and data deletion, but storage tiering does not encompass those, it only preaches moving the data to a lower or higher tier based on availability, backup, archive, retention, search and retrieve features.

So is ILM still alive and if it is, where is it. If it is dead, does it mean we do not have workflows and automation around the other aspects of ILM not included in Storage Tiering. Is Storage Tiering just a marketing buzz and is still uses the underlying concept of ILM.

I am all confused!!!


GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009: Post 11 (The Fun Day)

November 19th, 2009 2 comments

After two long exciting and exhausting days, the GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009 officially came to an end.

Today, we were all by ourselves, but the game plan was to go visit SFO downtown.

Left the hotel at around 9 AM to head towards SFO. We were all exhausted from the past two busy busy days, but today was one of those relaxing early mornings. Enjoyed sipping coffee and having breakfast as we were not rushing.

In the car we had Nigel Poulton, Chris Evans, Simon Seagrave, John Hickson, Rodney Haywood, Bas Raayman, Ed Saipetch and myself. We dropped John Hickson at the airport and continued towards SFO downtown. Plan was to walk around, shop, see places and get tired again.

After we checked in the hotel, loaded everyone’s luggage, we started to walk around the SFO downtown area, including places like the Union Square and then ended up walking into an Apple store. We played around with the 27 inch apple monitors, the new iPhone 3GS, mac mini and learned how to use several different keyboard shortcuts on the Mac.

I have to honestly say, I love my MacBookPro, but even after owning one for 4 months now, I realized there was so much to learn from the Apple Technical Consultant showing kool things on the Mac.

Then we took a cab ride to Pier 39, from where you can clearly see Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the famous San Francisco seals. The cab driver knew we were new in the area, he probably made circles before bringing us to the destination, we ended up paying double the amount to this cab driver than the other guys did from the same place.

Had some nice food at the restaurant and than we started walking into some shops around the pier.

Did you know if you buy a knife you cannot loiter around, you have to keep walking or its a criminal offense to loiter, we just found that out at the local knife store.

We then walked into a SPY shop and learned a lesson on lock picking by Bas Raayman. This was a very interesting shop and had tons of spying tools. After walking around the Pier 39 area, we made it to a local bar!!! Called the Buena Vista, where they say, the IRISH coffee was invented. It was just so crowded there, no place to sit and enjoy a Irish coffee.

There is something about San Francisco, though I have only been there 3 or may be 4 times, I really like the city, its happening, lots of places to see, lots of things to do, weather is typically been okay, food is good, the bay area is the Technology hub, so many geeks around, Golden Gate Bridge is awesome and the list goes on…

Then we hopped on the Tram to come back to Union Square and started walking back to the hotel. On the way, we at least went in 5 to 7 different stores like Tumi, MontBlanc and many more. And every time we would walk into one, someone would buy something before we walk out of there.

Finally we made it to a bar and that’s where we sat had couple of drinks (may be some of us were drinking water and ice).

Somehow the discussion went into V-Max, which Nigel recorded here.

Finally we made it back to the hotel. Myself and Rodney picked the luggage and started heading back to the airport. Rodney had a long 14 hour flight back to Sydney and I was flying red eye back to NJ.

Made it to the airport on time, caught up on some emails, tweets and blog reading and finally boarded the plane.

It was great to hang out with everyone at the GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009, there is just so much to learn from everyone and so much to share with everyone. I absolutely love these events when you put 15 people in a room and you let them share, collaborate, discuss and come up with new ideas on technology.

I am personally seeing so much value out of these events, though I see the vendors and sponsors possible get a much larger exposure from these events. Its a marketing nirvana, by the time the event is done and the postmortem is finished. People just write, talk, tweet and discuss so much about these vendors and their technology that possibly opens up as a venue for people around the world to grasp and grab all the outflowing information, which may invisibly still convert into dollars and market reputation.

Landed back in NJ early morning for a warm breakfast…and the GestaltIT Techfieldday finally came to an end for me.

So starting next week, I will do some deepdive sessions on what we learnt at the Techfieldday.

Stay Tuned !!!