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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

Cheers

@storagenerve

……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)

DROBO S FEATURES:

Connectivity to Host

USB 2.0 Connectivity

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

e-SATA Connectivity – 50% faster than Firewire

Drives

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.

OS

Windows – Win XP and Win 2003 onwards

MAC  – MAC OS X 10.5.6 onwards

Linux

Filesystems

HFS+

NTFS

FAT32

EXT3

Markets

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.

Upgrades

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

Technology Drobo S

Technology Drobo S

DROBO ELITE FEATURES

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

Drives

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

OS

Windows – Win XP and Win 2003 onwards

MAC  – MAC OS X 10.5.6 onwards

Linux

Vmware ESX 3.5 and V-Sphere support

Filesystems

HFS+

NTFS

FAT32

EXT3

VMFS

Markets

SMB Market

Server Consolidation

Multiple Server Support

Vmware Support

Upgrades

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

Technology

DROBO ELITE

DROBO ELITE

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!!!

.

Policy! Policy!! Policy!!!

October 20th, 2009 6 comments

It has been an exciting month, some new details are emerging related to automated storage tiering, workload distributions, workflow automation, SLA’s, QoS and how Policy based storage management can help solve these challenges. “Policy” as we all know in the “business world”, “advanced algorithms” as known in “scientific community” is used to solve complex storage challenges. This has been one of the favorite topics of discussion in the storage blogosphere these days.

Though there are two distinct groups of people, one favoring automation and the other half possibly thinking this technology brings no value-add in terms of how storage is utilized and managed today. This game was initially started by Compellent (Compellent Data Progression technology) about 4 years ago, then joined by Pillar Data Systems and now other OEM’s (including EMC, HDS, IBM) are starting to catchup on policy based automated storage tiering.

With private clouds in the near future and then hybrid clouds (a mesh of private and public clouds) in the horizon, automation, workload distribution, SLA’s, QoS will need to be monitored and managed to optimally run IT Infrastructures. Policy based management will create a new wave of storage management, automation and will act as a principle ingredient of hybrid clouds.

Generation 1 of policy based storage tiering works within a single storage subsystem.
Generation 2 in the near future should work across heterogeneous storage subsystems (by the same manufacturers).
Generation 3 over the next year or two will work across storage platforms irrelevant of the manufacturers.
Generation 3 of policy based management will include the entire stack of management. These products will be capable of not only managing the Storage, but also interact through policies at the Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware and other layers in the stack of Infrastructure management..

We should see an up-rise of new emerging technologies that will create these external policy based engines for data movement automation. All infrastructure components including Storage, Virtualization, Networking, Application, OS, Middleware will provide the necessary API’s for these external engines to interact and enable data automation and workflow automation in the hybrid clouds (irrelevant of the manufacturers).

www links

Here are a few articles from the past month related to the topics of Policy, Automated Storage Tiering, Workloads, SLA’s and QoS.

Pillar (OEM)

http://blog.pillardata.com/pillar_data_blog/2009/10/autotiering-of-data.html

EMC (OEM)

http://flickerdown.com/2009/09/why-policy-is-the-future-of-storage/

http://flickerdown.com/2009/10/why-policy-is-the-future-of-storage-part-2/

http://stevetodd.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/10/greenfield-monitoring-of-a-private-cloud.html

http://stevetodd.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/09/federation-and-private-cloud.html

Compellent (Partner Blog)

http://blogs.cinetica.it/cinetica/2009/10/19/dear-mike/

http://blogs.cinetica.it/cinetica/2009/08/25/tiered-storage-and-new-features-for-the-rest-of-us/

HDS (OEM)

http://blogs.hds.com/hu/2009/09/ilm-revisited-intelligent-tiered-storage-for-file-and-content-data.html

Independents

http://www.storagemonkeys.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=the-end-of-history-or-just-the-beginning-.html&Itemid=136

http://thestoragearchitect.com/2009/10/18/enterprise-computing-do-we-need-fast-v1-emc/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/22/emc_fast/

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/storage-soup/hp-drops-roadmap-nuggets-at-storageworks-techday/

http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/storage-soup/spinnaker-founders-bring-avere-out-of-stealth/

http://breathingdata.com/2009/10/18/can-and-when-will-ssds-sata-replace-fcsas/

http://gestaltit.com/featured/top/gestalt/emc-unified-platform-storage-tiering/

http://storagenerve.com/2009/10/14/enhancements-to-emc-symmetrix-v-max-systems/

Your thoughts always welcome!!!

cheers
@storagenerve