2015 Predictions: What Goes Around Comes Around

by Michael Letschin, Director of Product Management, Solutions, Nexenta

Everything in culture has a way of repeating itself, it happens in every arena of our life.  In fashion we look at items as vintage, whether it is from the 70s or the roarin’ 20s.  In music, artist like Justin Timberlake harken back to the days of early Michael Jackson and we have some artists today that people view like the modern day Rat Pack of Sinatra’s era.  Technology is no different, and as we move into 2015, life is in fact repeating itself.  I have spent nearly 20 years in technology, starting with working on mainframes and green screen clients, then came the shift to the x86 server. Over the past few years we have seen virtual servers become mainstream, being us back to a centralized server setup and as virtual desktops gain traction we move towards thin clients and back to what I remember from growing up… simplicity and efficiency.

What have we learned from all this?  The importance of versatility, simplicity and efficiency… Over the past few years we have heard buzzwords that have driven the technology decisions but now that IT departments have finally shrunk to point where you can’t “do any more with less”, CIOs have the choice of either outsourcing all their products or going with something that makes it easier on the staff they have.  The efficiency comes from not only simplicity but also on an economic front, you pay for a service like you would electricity.  During 2014 we talked of Software-Defined Data Centers but I have yet to see any single enterprise truly adopt the notion that hardware is not the answer.  Deploying hardware in the traditional sense is starting to move to the wayside, with the software controlling the hardware, the “bent metal” is not the treasure.  Add in the idea that an enterprise can have freedom to deploy their choice of hardware and remove the proprietary upgrades and process of the past and we move towards the software defined future.

2015 will begin with more and more enterprises adopting the idea that hardware independence means that their staff can be more efficient by concentrating on the software and letting the hardware vendors spend their time competing for their business.  The rise of DevOps will continue to make datacenters simpler and more automated.  Projects like OpenCompute can finally gain traction in the enterprise as hardware is bought as simply a platform regardless if the need is for servers, storage or networking.  Software-Defined Storage will continue to grow in the enterprise as IT staff see that they no longer can support the complexity of forklift migrations just to get some more speed.  Software-Defined Networking has been lagging in the past year or so but the efficiency need will surely allow networking teams to built the global enterprise.

We used to say that no one got fired for buying IBM, well now IBM is services and buying from all the cloud based services.  What goes around comes around and the giants in the IT industry may just end up being the users and admins in 2015, not the hardware vendors of the last decade.

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Posted in Corporate, Software-defined storage

Epidemics at the Speed of Software

By Michael Letschin, Director, Product Management, Solutions, Nexenta

In today’s global economy and 24/7 news culture, word of health risks spread faster than ever before. If a child is diagnosed with a rare disease in Asia at 10 AM, it could be sent to the US Center for Disease Control and reported on US news outlets in time for the 11 o’clock news (a 2 hour time lapse). But, that’s even slow compared to how quickly it could spread through social media. This is not to say that health concerns are sensationalized or should not be treated with the utmost urgency and concern.

The scare over Ebola has shed new light on how quickly news and information flows around the globe. It also showcases how quickly NGOs (non-governmental organizations) can be spun up around an issue. A quick search on the USAid web site lists 60 NGOs responding to the Ebola crisis. These organizations range from religious groups to relief groups to groups dedicated to specific continents. Some of which are smaller organizations, scarcely known of, like BRAC (creating ecosystems in 11 countries in which the poor have the chance to seize control of their own lives), while others are some of the largest organizations in the world, like the Red Cross. One thing that ties all of these groups together is their need to keep up-to-date on news and information, which is highly dependent on technology. It’s these same technology networks that spread panic and concern via the news and social media, that also transport critical, life-saving information to these organizations in need.

The worldwide growth of this need-to-know data is exponential. Some Gartner reports have shown that enterprise data is growing at rates of 40-60% year over year. If enterprises are growing this fast, you can only imagine the growth rate of data collection during a health crisis. This explosion of data is also what drives innovation, enabling organizations to move away from legacy systems that slow down data accessibility.

A key innovation in the effort to easily track the spread of disease is the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). The SDDC changes the game by providing software based solutions where any hardware can be repurposed for various purposes. In the time of a crisis, these Software-Defined solutions will ensure your data includes the most up-to-date trends for the next airborne illness.

While server virtualization has made a huge impact by enabling compute power to live in the data center, storage has previously lagged behind. Now, Software-Defined Storage, a robust scalable storage solution, is being deployed on any existing hardware allowing organizations to rapidly analyze complex issues. For instance:

Imagine being a researcher or doctor in a remote location. You have critical information that could show trends of treatment practices, but you have no place to store all the millions of data points that have been collected on paper. You also have no way to get or install traditional legacy limited hardware solutions, nor a place to power and store such solutions. The easy answer is to use the existing industry standard hardware and deploy a software solution. I am in no way saying that the Software-Defined movement is going to save the world in a health crisis, but I only hope that the NGOs and world leaders see that Software-Defined technology can lead to a more cost-effective and faster time to market. And hopefully time to cure.

To hear more about the benefits of Software-Defined Data Centers and Storage easing health crises, please join Forrester, VM Racks and Nexenta on 12/16 at 8am PT. Click here to register for this webinar.

Posted in Corporate, Software-defined data center, Software-defined storage

Big Data Meets Software-Defined Storage at EngineRoom.io

Allison Darin, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Nexenta Systems, Inc.

Big Data and Software-Defined Storage go hand in hand as part of the NexentaStor implementation for EngineRoom.io. EngineRoom.io – the world’s leading Secure Private Cloud Service for the entire Big Data Pipeline – are market leaders in the innovative area of “high performance data analysis ” (HPDA) for industries from media and entertainment, life sciences, financial services, oil & gas, engineering and more.

They recently added Software-Defined Storage to their IT toolkit through their deployment of NexentaStor and other leading Software-Defined Data Center solution providers including Brocade, SanDisk (FusionIO) and VMware. Take a look at our new case study here for lots more information.

Posted in Corporate, Software-defined storage

Managing Dynamic Storage Demands at ServerCentral

Allison Darin, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Nexenta Systems, Inc.

Scalability and economics go hand in hand as part of the NexentaStor implementation for ServerCentral. ServerCentral has been delivering managed data center solutions since 1999 for customers such as Ars Technica, CDW, DePaul University, Discovery Communications, New Relic, Outbrain, Shopify, TrueCar, and USG.

They recently added software-defined storage to their IT toolkit through their deployment of NexentaStor. Take a look at our new case study here for lots more information.

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Sofware-Defined Storage – Vertical Sectors Sharing the Love

Allison Darin, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Nexenta Systems, Inc.

First, the good news. We are in a year that promises to shake up the storage world with open source Software-Defined Storage (SDS) solutions revolutionizing the market and helping today’s organizations build toward the Software Defined Enterprise (SDE) of the future.

Even better, the SDS revolution, spearheaded by Nexenta, is spreading to more and more vertical markets and countries. And while the institutions and organizations adopting an SDS approach have made their choice for a number of reasons, they all have one thing in common: they’re very happy with what it delivers. But don’t take our word for it – read on for the stories of several customers and their journey towards becoming Software Defined.

In Germany, regional energy supplier Stadtwerke Tuttlingen (SWT) provides electricity, gas, and water utilities to over 34,200 residents across 980 square miles in the South West area of the country.

SWT’s existing storage solution was proving inadequate to run multiple high performance databases (Oracle, MSSQL) and incapable of supporting a planned VDI deployment. Searching for a storage system that offered high performance, flexibility and high availability, SWT found NexentaStor.

One of the key selling points for SWT was the simplicity of Nexenta’s products. There was no need for complex licensing and NexentaStor provided features such as unlimited snapshots, thin provisioning and hybrid storage pooling that helped SWT to implement cost-effective storage with high performance.

In the UK, the University of Sussex turned to Nexenta when its original solution started to approach end of life. The IT department at the University provides support to the entire university – 13,000 students and over 2,100 staff – with a single home directory service that enables users to access files from whatever device and operating system they are using, wherever they are on the campus.

NexentaStor was selected because of its flexibility, scalability and attractive economics. It delivered the performance the University sought, and paved the way for sustainable expansion. The stability, scalability and performance of Nexenta has proven so effective that it has prompted the IT department to look at other campus storage systems and further opportunities to consolidate, increase speed and grow efficiently.

In the media industry, London-based boutique VFX organization BlueBolt was searching for an adaptive storage solution to manage the growing workload of its creative and technical staff and to keep up with the evolving demands of the industry.

BlueBolt has provided the visual effects for many award-winning productions including the BBC’s Great Expectations, Game of Thrones (Season 1) and Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom. Needing to implement a secure, reliable, scalable storage solution, the company chose Nexenta’s SDS solution to centralize and manage its storage infrastructure and replace the various storage platforms in situ.

Best of all, Nexenta provided all of the features BlueBolt expected from an enterprise storage platform while remaining one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market.

There are many advantages for organizations like SWT, University of Sussex and BlueBolt that opt for Nexenta’s SDS approach. They escape from vendor lock-in, total cost of ownership (TCO) is radically improved, performance gets significantly better and the result is true scalability. In other words, it’s future-proof.

Nexenta helps customers to bypass the MESS (Massively Expensive Storage Systems) produced by traditional vendors and concentrate on growing and building their business – boosting productivity and customer service. It’s a win win for everybody.

No wonder customers in industries as diverse as media (BlueBolt), energy supply (SWT) and education (the University of Sussex) are turning to Nexenta, the global leader in SDS, to deliver easy to use, secure and ultra low cost storage software solutions.

By now, some of you are probably starting to ask: That’s great, but what happened to the bad news? Good news everybody, there isn’t any.

Posted in Corporate, Software-defined storage
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