Category Archives: Stiri IT Externe

What Users Say About Top Vendors

The all-flash array has matured to the point where it is now powering much of the growth in the enterprise storage business. Advances in the design, performance and management capabilities of solid state drive (SSDs), coupled with declines in cost, make flash storage viable for many workloads. Enterprise storage is relentlessly demanding, though, so potential buyers need to think critically when they choose an AFA.

According to product reviews by IT Central Station users, the top all-flash array vendors on the market are Hewlett-Packard Enterprise with 3PAR flash storageNetAppTintri, Nimble Storage (now part of HPE), Pure Storage, and IBM.

Based on their experience with AFAs from these vendors, contributors at IT Central Station shared their thoughts, including benefits the products provide and areas where they could improve.


Brent Dunington, systems architect at a university, described his company’s decision-making process for choosing HPE 3PAR flash storage:

“We went through a whole data center refresh cycle and one of the things is that we needed to look at our disk system. Everything was for spinning disks, so we decided to make the leap to an all-SSD data center. We brought in all the competitors, went through an RFP process, and 3PAR came ahead.”

A system administrator at an insurance company shared how HPE 3PAR compares to other storage solutions he has used in the past:

“The speed of the Flash Array is better than what we had with the previous products. We like their blades better than the Cisco blades. It is easier to manage.”

Eric Slabbinck, project manager at a government agency, suggested specific features that could improve HPE 3PAR:

“From a personal point of view, what would interest me is a mechanism that detects file rot, i.e., whether a file or sector has become corrupt, e.g., as a result of copying the sector to other locations from the original location.”


A lead storage/system engineer at a financial services firm described how NetApp All Flash has helped his organization:

“We have been looking for a flash solution that scales horizontally along with a proven application integration stack. NetApp has been helpful and stable, and enabled us to buy capacity as needed, as well as help in quickly refreshing UAT/DEV environments as needed.”

An R&D executive supervisor at a media company explained what he values most in All Flash FAS:

“It is very user friendly. Someone in my position needs to be able to bring up the system quickly, efficiently, and shut it down if there’s a power outage quickly and efficiently without having trouble. It also supports VMware, which is what we use; but we use the NetApp as our only filer.”

A computer systems engineer at a government agency wrote about product improvements that he’s looking forward to using once they’re released by NetApp:

“We’re interested or excited in getting to 32 GB fiber channel. With their new models, NetApp will be moving to 32 GB fiber. That would potentially raise performance and or lower our port counts, simplifying or minimizing the amount of cables we need to put in places.”

Tintri VMstore

Mike Geller, network administrator at a healthcare company, wrote about the value Tintri has added to his organization:

“Tintri has a great web UI that allows you to view performance of individual VMs, as well as performance of the overall VMstore. Code upgrades are really simple.”

Donald Lopez, IT manager at a tech services company, shared how his organization has benefitted from Tintri:

“Immediately upon installation, we benefited from a 5X speed/performance increase in the overall system for all of our VMs migrated to the unit from an old unreliable Synology storage unit.”

Raymond Handels, system engineer at a university, weighed in on how Tintri could further improve its storage solution:

“Speed of our VDI machines. We have a very high login and logout ratio and machines are being refreshed instantly so we have a constant boot storm on our storage.”

Nimble Storage

Brian Butler, senior network analyst at a financial services firm, explained how deploying Nimble Storage benefitted his organization:

“It has vastly improved the responsiveness of our servers. It adds snapshots to help with our DR. The snapshots are sent across the way into our DR site, so we have DR copies of everything. It’s all around just improved the flow of everything.”

Paul Sabin, senior network and infrastructure manager at a legal firm, noted a shortcoming with Nimble Storage:

“I really would like to see synchronous replication. This is something that when we have multiple arrays in our environment and being able to do something like a zero RPO. Being a law firm, we really want our data to be protected all the time.”

Pure Storage

An information systems analyst at a pharma/biotech company described the value in Pure Storage’s VDI capabilities:

“For VDI, there’s a consistent user experience. Users don’t switch to VDI if it’s not at the same speed as a laptop or desktop, and Pure Storage provides that.”

Andrea Spinazi, chief of information, facility, purchasing and services manager at Roma Metropolitane S.r.l., explained what he finds most beneficial with Pure Storage:

“The most valuable features are extremely low latency, high IOPS with VMware, inline deduplication and compression….We liked the non-disruptive downgrade from FA-420 (POC) to FA-405 in production and the non-disruptive upgrade from FA-405 to M20.”

However, Leonardo Perez, deputy head of IT at a government agency, warned of a Pure Storage drawback:

“Be careful with the type of information you allocate to this storage. The solution is good for virtual machines and databases, but not for images and videos. Compression rates are not good for these types of data.”

IBM FlashSystem

A design engineer at a recruiting/HR firm described the features he values most in IBM FlashSystem:

“The performance is really good. From an operations perspective, definitely the ease of use stands out. Compared to other products and other vendors, it’s much, much easier.”

A senior solutions architect at a tech services company shared how his company has benefitted from IBM FlashSystem:

“The V9000 incorporates both the Spectrum virtualization layer as well as flash technology. It does it in such a unique manner that it provides super-fast response times. There’s low latency for the customers. It’s very simple and easy.”

Joseph King, CTO at CAS Severn, suggested a way IBM FlashSystem could improve:

“We think that IBM has to continue to invest in additional data reduction capabilities, which are on their roadmap. Being able to use flash most efficiently, where the least amount of data is physically being stored on the V9000, is really where IBM needs to make additional investment. They are doing that.”

You can read more all-flash array reviews on IT Central Station.



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Red Hat to Drop Support for Btrfs » Linux Magazine

With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, Red Hat has signaled that it’s deprecating support for the Btrfs filesystem. The fact is, however, that Btrfs has always been in “technology preview” in RHEL.

Red Hat states that the goal of a technology preview is to get user feedback to see what features they want and don’t want.

Btrfs was once considered the successor of ext4. Even Red Hat praised the filesystem when it was introduced: “Btrfs is a next generation Linux file system that offers advanced management, reliability, and scalability features. It is unique in offering snapshots, compression, and integrated device management.”

However, despite being under development for more than 10 years, Red Hat discovered through feedback that Btrfs was not considered stable enough by its customers.

As a result, Red Hat is focusing on offering the features that its customers need without relying on Btrfs.

Red Hat is working on a fully open source project called Stratis that has borrowed many concepts from Btrfs.

According to the white paper, “Stratis is a local storage solution that lets multiple logical filesystems share a pool of storage that is allocated from one or more block devices. Instead of an entirely in-kernel approach like ZFS or Btrfs, Stratis uses a hybrid user/kernel approach that builds upon existing block capabilities like device-mapper, existing filesystem capabilities like XFS, and a user space daemon for monitoring and control.”

The white paper further says that the goal is “to provide conceptual simplicity of volume-managing filesystems, and surpass them in areas such as monitoring and notification, automatic reconfiguration, and integration with higher-level storage management frameworks.”

That doesn’t mean Btrfs is dead. SUSE and openSUSE use Btrfs as the default filesystem, as does Facebook. Different companies will pick different filesystems for their customers, depending on what their customers need.

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LibreOffice 5.4 Released » Linux Magazine

The Document Foundation has announced the release of LibreOffice 5.4, a major release of the 5.x family that comes with significant new features, and especially with a number of incremental improvements to Microsoft Office file compatibility.

“Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’, LibreOffice developers have focused on file simplicity as the ultimate document interoperability sophistication. This makes ODF and OOXML files written by the free office suite more robust and easier to exchange with other users than the same documents generated by other office suites,” said The Document Foundation in a blog post.

Out of all the new features in this release, the most notable include a new standard color palette based on the RYB color model. File format compatibility has been improved, with better support for EMF vector images, and importing PDF files offers a much better rendering quality.

If you are a LibreOffice Writer user, you will be happy to learn that the full structure of a document is preserved when exporting or pasting numbered and bulleted lists as plain text.

You can already use LibreOffice Online with Kolab Now. With the 5.4 release, LibreOffice Online has been improved as well. Performance is better, and the layout adapts responsively to mobile devices. Additionally, a read-only mode has been added.

LibreOffice 5.4 is available immediately for download.

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14 Storage Startups Breaking New Ground

The advent of very high-performance, high-capacity SSDs, coupled with new interfaces such as NVMe over Fabrics and software-defined networking give storage a major creative boost. We are migrating from RAID systems to compact appliances that deliver storage, and, in the form of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems, compute as well.

A number of innovative storage startups are helping drive this evolution. The list of startups is growing fast and new companies appear out of stealth mode on a regular basis. These are not companies chasing existing business with a better mousetrap. Many of them have game-changing approaches to how enterprises will implement and manage storage in the future.

For some startups, the appliance and HCI models provide a standard COTS-based platform, which is essential to economies of scale and time to market. The resulting software is “portable” between platforms, with a consequently wider market opportunity, but also a tougher competitive environment.

Portability and scalability are enhanced by software-defined storage (SDS), which abstracts the code from underlying hardware platforms and operating systems. As SDS evolves —  it’s still in its early days — the agility provided by encapsulating storage microservices will create new ways to build storage software stacks, resulting in overall lower costs due to a competitive environment for each type of service.

Another focus of the current batch of storage startups is data management. Addressing data sprawl and migration between memory tiers will radically reduce storage costs, which will become critical  as we add flash/Optane tiers in the memory bus and move to all solid-state storage. Making data in disparate silos or clouds look like one pool is another issue that startups are addressing.

The challenges of replacing traditional SCSI-based networked storage to match the speed demands of solid-state drives and the performance/complexity of shared memory in the HCI model also is spawning startups. Here, the focus is on removing bottlenecks in the system and providing a mechanism for accessing the distributed storage pool. Given its complexity, this market is just emerging, but we can expect a good deal of future activity, especially with byte-addressable persistent memory on horizon.

All in all, this is a good time to be a storage startup. Click ahead to check out some of new companies worth watching as the storage industry continues its remarkable transformation.

(Image: ESB Professional/Shutterstock)

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Reinvent your network with DevOps tools and techniques:

Opportunities and Risks: Containers for DevOps

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Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana – The ELK stack 

Are you ready for DevOps? Try your luck with the beta version of Linux Professional Institute’s new DevOps exam

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