Equinix Invests $42M In London Data Center Expansion

Equinix Invests M In London Data Center Expansion

Equinix, Inc. has announced that it has completed the second phase expansion of its LD6 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Slough, London. This new phase further supports businesses expanding in the UK, providing customers with the critical IT infrastructure required to gain competitive advantage.

With $42M of capital investment, the second phase of LD6 will add 1,385 cabinets, bringing the total operational capacity of the data center to 2,770 cabinets. This expansion is also an indicator of Equinix’s continued commitment to the UK, where demand for data centers and colocation services in the cloud, enterprise, and financial services sectors continue to grow.

“Platform Equinix has been a cornerstone for the Beeks Financial Cloud — enabling the speed, resilience and reduced latency our customers have come to expect. Our presence in the Equinix’s London data centers provides connectivity to all the major networks and cloud service providers, as well as financial services companies. This level of interconnection is what helps a business like Beeks to thrive. It’s more than a data center platform — it’s a platform for innovation,” said Gordon McArthur, CEO, Beeks Financial Cloud.

With the fifth largest GDP by metropolitan area in the world, London is a key player in the global digital economy. Equinix’s LD6 campus is one of the fastest-growing in the UK and has been established as a hub for businesses to interconnect in a secure colocation environment.

With more than 90 network service providers and access to a range of transatlantic sub-sea cables, LD6 is one of the busiest network nodes in the UK, and offers latency in the region of 30 milliseconds to New York and 4 milliseconds to Frankfurt. This makes it an optimal high-performance hub for cloud and content service provision.

The facility also houses LINX, one of the world’s largest Internet Exchanges, and serves as a virtual financial center for more than 170 financial services companies. A quarter of European equities trades flow through Equinix data centers. 

Following this latest investment, Equinix’s LD6 London Slough campus will provide more than 408,000 sq ft (38,000 square meters) of net premium colocation space interconnected by more than 1,000 diverse dark fiber links, increasing scale and resilience. Additionally, with seven data center sites strategically located throughout London, Equinix provides businesses with increased options for business continuity and disaster recovery.

According to a recent report by Gartner entitled, Colocation-Based Interconnection Will Serve as the ‘Glue’ for Advanced Digital Business Applications, “Digital business is enabled and enhanced through high-speed, secure, low-latency communication among enterprise assets, cloud resources, and an ecosystem of service providers and peers. Architects and IT leaders must consider carrier-neutral data center interconnection as a digital business enabler.”

LD6 houses many customers benefiting from Platform Equinix™. Beeks Financial Cloud is a UK-based customer that leverages Platform Equinix across a number of markets, directly connecting to financial market participants, cloud services providers and networks. Originally deployed in LD4, Beeks has continued to expand to other Equinix sites across the globe as its business required more capacity and scale.

Another London customer is CFH Clearing. Part of the CFH Group, the STP trading venue provides sophisticated technology solutions for global clients including banks, brokers and professional traders. The company works with both Beeks and Equinix, relying on Equinix for maximum connectivity and low latency.

With 146 IBX data centers in 40 markets including seven data centers in London (LD1, LD3, LD4, LD5, LD6, LD8, and LD9), Equinix provides customers with even more ways to connect with other businesses across the globe.

Source: CloudStrategyMag

Meet the newest member of SAP's Hana family: a data warehouse

Meet the newest member of SAP's Hana family: a data warehouse

SAP has already placed big bets on Hana, and now it’s adding more with a new data warehouse tailored specifically for the in-memory computing platform.

Launched on Wednesday, SAP BW/4Hana promises to minimize data movement and duplication by enabling data to be analyzed wherever it resides, whether within or outside the enterprise. It can also integrate live streaming and time-series sensor data collected from internet of things (IoT) environments. 

Back in 2014, SAP added Hana support to its longstanding Business Warehouse data warehousing software, but BW/4Hana goes a big step further. Like S4/Hana, the enterprise suite SAP released last year, the new data warehouse is optimized for Hana, and will not run on any other platform.

“We believe we have to adhere to the principles of real-time, in-memory computing,” said Ken Tsai, a vice president and head of cloud platform and data management product marketing at SAP. “The classic way of building a data warehouse is no longer viable.”

Get started in data science: 5 steps you can take online for free

Get started in data science: 5 steps you can take online for free

Making a career change is never easy, but few things are more motivating than the prospect of a good salary and a dearth of competition. That’s a fair summary of the data science world today, as at least one well-publicized study has made clear, so why not investigate a little further?

There’s been a flurry of free resources popping up online to help those who are intrigued learn more. Here’s a small sampling for each step of the way.

1. Understand what it is

Microsoft’s website might not automatically spring to mind as a likely place to look, but sure enough, a few months ago the software giant published a really nice series of five short videos entitled “Data Science for Beginners.” Each video focuses on a specific aspect, such as “The 5 questions data science answers” and “Is your data ready for data science?”

2. Dig a little deeper

If you think you might be interested in a career in data science, you may want to start getting a feel for the lay of the land by tapping into some of the big blogs and community websites out there. The newly revamped OpenDataScience.com is one example; KDnuggets is another useful resource. A recent post on Data Science Central (another good site) lists key accounts to follow on Twitter. KDnuggets suggests some good e-books to read before plunging into a data science career.

IBM Named A Strong Performer In Global Public Cloud Platforms For Enterprise Developers

IBM Named A Strong Performer In Global Public Cloud Platforms For Enterprise Developers

IBM announced that Forrester Research named IBM a strong performer in its latest Wave™report1 evaluating global public cloud platforms for enterprise developers. Forrester analyzed and scored numerous public cloud platforms and identified IBM as a “strong performer” for combining its broad and deep portfolios of application and development services with solid infrastructure offerings. IBM also received the highest possible score in the private and hybrid cloud strategy criterion, and it secured the top ranking in the infrastructure services criterion.

The 34 evaluation criteria used in the report are designed to help application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals select the right public cloud platform partner for their needs. Cloud platforms were evaluated on current offerings, strategy, and market presence.

Forrester noted that IBM “takes an enterprise-first, hybrid approach to the cloud platform market,” and “clients with complex hybrid cloud requirements demanding a mix of on-premises and public cloud services should consider IBM Cloud.”

The report also named IBM’s strengths as “its platform configuration options, app migration services, cognitive analytics services, security and compliance certifications, complex networking support, growing partner roster and native DevOps tools.”

“IBM gives enterprises the fastest path to real business value in the cloud,” said Bill Karpovich, general manager, IBM Cloud Platform. “We believe being recognized as a strong performer in Forrester’s latest Wave report reinforces what we hear from our clients every day — that cloud is not ‘one size fits all.’ Enterprises require choice and expertise to evolve their diverse application portfolios, and IBM Cloud was designed to deliver on those core tenets.”

IBM’s status as a strong performer in global public cloud platforms for enterprise developers was based upon the evaluation of its IBM Cloud portfolio, specifically its Bluemix Cloud platform and IBM SoftLayer infrastructure as a service. Bluemix has grown to become one of the world’s largest open, public cloud deployments, with more than 150 APIs and services in 179 countries. IBM Cloud infrastructure is available from 47 data centers worldwide, providing clients diverse locations for data backup and recovery, data locality and the ability to securely analyze data across geographies. SoftLayer services include bare metal and virtual servers, storage, security services and networking.

IBM continues to see momentum in the number of enterprises turning to IBM Cloud for development and infrastructure needs. Just this month, Workday adopted IBM Cloud as the foundation for its development and testing environment for greater efficiency, flexibility, and global scale, and Vodafone India selected an IBM hybrid cloud platform to enable delivery of faster and more insightful data intelligence and support faster decision-making.

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to public, private and hybrid cloud services to help clients digitally transform. IBM Cloud is a growing collection of services including analytics, blockchain, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, mobile, networking, and storage. With nearly 50 global cloud data centers, IBM helps companies securely manage and gain insight into their data no matter where it resides.

1.      The Forrester Wave™: Global Public Cloud Platforms For Enterprise Developers, Q3 2016, Forrester Research, Inc., August 29, 2016.

Source: CloudStrategyMag

Rackspace Private Cloud To Support VMware SDDC Technologies

Rackspace Private Cloud To Support VMware SDDC Technologies

Rackspace® has announced that it will support VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) technologies including VMware NSX®, Virtual SAN™, and vRealize® Suite as a part of Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware. The offering, available in early access in October 2016, will accelerate enterprises’ journey from their data centers to the hybrid cloud by transitioning on-premises workloads into a Rackspace-hosted SDDC environment.

Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware helps enable enterprises to run, migrate, or extend their on-premises workloads into a dedicated single-tenant private cloud. With this new offering, Rackspace is extending support beyond VMware compute virtualization to include network virtualization, software-defined storage and cloud management platform support. This will give customers native access to VMware SDDC technologies with the enhanced security of a single-tenant private cloud, backed by Fanatical Support®.

“With more than a decade’s worth of VMware operational expertise gained from operating thousands of virtual machines and hypervisors on a global scale, Rackspace is well positioned to extend support capabilities to VMware SDDC technologies,” said Kaushik Balasubramanian, senior director of VMware Practice at Rackspace. “This is a logical step toward helping facilitate enterprise adoption of the hybrid cloud model, while accelerating businesses’ journey toward the software-defined model of infrastructure. This also furthers our company mission to provide the best expertise and support for the world’s leading clouds.”

Rackspace support for VMware SDDC technologies allows customers to offload daily management while gaining the following benefits:

  • Consistent Tooling and Code: Customers can migrate or extend to the VMware cloud without retooling environments or refactoring code by leveraging the same VMware technology that enterprises run in their data centers through Rackspace Private Cloud powered by VMware.
  • On-Demand Access and Automation with Control: Customers receive self service access to VMware virtualization infrastructure, applications and custom services in the cloud. Enterprise central IT can further enable the DevOps model by automating the rapid delivery of resources internally, while maintaining control through policy-based governance and resource quotas, service levels, and security and compliance standards.
  • Leverage Existing VMware Investments: Customers maintain value of existing investments made in training, VMware technology and familiar tools by accelerating adoption of software-defined infrastructure.
  • Managed by Rackspace, Powered by VMware: Customers have access to 24x7x365 Fanatical Support more than 100 VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) to help migrate, architect, secure and operate VMware clouds. Rackspace was named Service Provider Partner of the Year in the 2015 Americas VMware Partner Innovation Awards for achievements in the partner ecosystem.

“VMware software-defined data center technologies aim to meet enterprise demand for a solution that will ease adoption and automation of the cloud,” said Geoff Waters, vice president, Global Service Providers at VMware. “We are excited to strengthen our alignment with Rackspace, a strategic vCloud Air Network partner, as the company extends its Fanatical Support to the SDDC stack to help bring this technology to more enterprises across the globe. We look forward to our continued collaboration.”

According to Gartner, “For data center and infrastructure software providers, investing in the development of appropriate and disruptive SDDC technologies is essential. Customers and prospects are looking for benefits such as improved agility and reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX), which SDDC technologies can deliver. SDDC also includes features and capabilities such as abstraction, instrumentation and policy management, which should be programmable, automated and orchestrated. The combination of these capabilities fosters innovations that optimize infrastructure and application use of underlying infrastructure.”1

1. Gartner, SDx: Build and Market Software-Defined Data Center Offerings Primer for 2016, Fabrizio Biscotti, Roger W. Cox, Michael Warrilow, Joe Skorupa, Naresh Singh, 28 January 2016

Source: CloudStrategyMag

Digital transformation is giving IT spending a big boost

Digital transformation is giving IT spending a big boost

Digital transformation may promise critical benefits for the companies undertaking it, but it’s also delivering a major boost to IT spending around the world.

That’s according to market researcher IDC, which on Monday released new data indicating that global spending on IT products and services will grow from nearly $2.4 trillion in 2016 to more than $2.7 trillion in 2020. A big part of that growth, it says, will come from companies investing in cloud, mobility, and big data technologies as part of their digital transformation efforts. Such efforts are now particularly prominent in financial services and manufacturing.

Purchases on the consumer side accounted for nearly a quarter of all IT revenues in 2015, thanks largely to what IDC calls “the ongoing smartphone explosion,” but in general consumer spending on PCs, tablets, and smartphones has been waning. Even the modest growth forecast for the tablet market will be driven by commercial segments, it said.

“While the consumer and public sectors have dragged on overall IT spending so far in 2016, we see stronger momentum in other key industries including financial services and manufacturing,” said Stephen Minton, vice president of customer insights and analysis at IDC. “Enterprise investment in new project-based initiatives, including data analytics and collaborative applications, remains strong.”

IBM And VMware Expand Partnership To Enable Easy Hybrid Cloud Adoption

IBM And VMware Expand Partnership To Enable Easy Hybrid Cloud Adoption

VMware and IBM announced the availability of industry-first cloud services that enable organizations to quickly and easily move enterprise workloads to the cloud. With more than 500 clients engaged, the global partnership between IBM and VMware is helping more organizations extend existing workloads to the cloud in hours, versus weeks or months.

Earlier this year, IBM and VMware set out to tackle one of the industry’s most pressing challenges: extending existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to the cloud without incurring the cost and risk associated with retooling operations, re-architecting applications and re-designing security policies.

“IBM and VMware are making great strides to enable enterprise hybrid cloud adoption through automation,” Melanie Posey, vice president of Research, IDC’s Hosting and Managed Network Services. “The IBM – VMware partnership offers enterprises the ability to extend existing on-premises workloads to the cloud seamlessly without the need for a major IT operations overhaul, thus greatly simplifying the entire migration process.”

Rapid Enterprise Adoption of VMware Environments on the IBM Cloud
Since then, more than 500 mutual clients have begun moving their VMware environments to IBM Cloud including Marriott International, Clarient Global LLC, and Monitise. IBM is a strategic cloud platform for VMware users with a growing footprint of nearly 50 highly-scalable and security-rich cloud data centers across the globe. With almost 100% of the Fortune 100 customers using VMware technologies, the partnership is designed to preserve and extend customer investments across thousands of data centers.

“Enterprises need fast and easy ways to deploy and move workloads between on-premises and public cloud environments,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud. “Our collaboration with VMware is becoming the glue for many organizations to scale and create new business opportunities while making the most of their existing IT investments in a hybrid cloud environment.”

IBM Provides First Offering For VMware Cloud Foundation as a Fully Automated Service
Today’s introduction of VMware Cloud Foundation™ combines VMware’s market-leading compute, storage and network virtualization solutions into an integrated platform. For the first time, organizations can now automatically provision pre-configured VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) environments on IBM Cloud in hours versus weeks or months. The platform integrates VMware vSphere®, VMware Virtual SAN™, VMware NSX® and VMware SDDC Manager™, and gives customers broad choice in their infrastructure decisions.

In addition to new services, IBM is training more than 4,000 service professionals with the expertise required to provide clients with VMware solutions. This expansive team of sellers and advisers will provide clients with the expertise to extend VMware environments to the cloud.

“IBM and VMware share a common vision for providing customers with an easy path from the data center to the cloud,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “This collaboration has been so successful that we’re investing more deeply so our customers can quickly deploy software-defined solutions in just hours to IBM Cloud with all the sophisticated workload automation they have within their own data centers.”

Marriott Enhances Customer Service Experiences via the Cloud
Marriott International is a globally recognized hospitality company, reporting more than 4,500 properties in 88 countries and territories. The company is constantly looking for ways to innovate and transform the guest experience. By extending their VMware investments on IBM Cloud, without the need to re-architect applications, development teams have the ability to focus on innovation and preserve their existing IT investments.

“It’s more than just keeping our guests happy, it’s about helping them create a memory by exceeding their expectations,” said Alan Rosa, senior vice president of Technology Delivery and IT Security, Marriott International. “From reserving and booking rooms, planning their next family vacation or facilitating an important business event, the process of consuming our services and products needs to be seamless and integrated into our guest’s style of working and transacting. Marriott has been able to keep innovating by rapidly launching new customizable applications that support these experiences. The partnership between IBM and VMware gives us an advantage in that Marriott can continue to do what we do best but expands our reach on a global scale with trusted partners whom consistently deliver.”

Source: CloudStrategyMag

VMware Releases New Cross-Cloud Architecture™

VMware Releases New Cross-Cloud Architecture™

VMware, Inc. has announced the extension of the company’s hybrid cloud strategy with the new VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture™, enabling customers to run, manage, connect, and secure their applications across clouds and devices in a common operating environment.

In support of the company’s cloud strategy, VMware also announced the following:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation™ is a unified software-defined data center (SDDC) platform that makes it easy for customers to manage and run their SDDC clouds;
  • Technology Preview of Cross-Cloud Services™ to showcase how customers can manage, govern, and secure applications running in private and public clouds, including AWS, Azure and IBM Cloud;
  • VMware vCloud® Availability™, a new family of disaster recovery offerings purpose-built for vCloud Air™ Network partners;
  • A new release of VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager™ to provide VMware vSphere® users zero downtime application migration to VMware vCloud Air.

“Customers are increasingly relying on multiple public and private clouds to run their applications, but are daunted by the challenge of managing and securing applications across diverse cloud platforms,” said Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president and general manager, software-defined data center division, VMware. “When customers combine a best-in-class private cloud with leading public clouds, all enabled by VMware, they have the strongest, most flexible hybrid cloud strategy. VMware is delivering cloud freedom and control by providing a common operating environment for all clouds with our unique Cross-Cloud Architecture.”

As the world’s most complete and capable hybrid cloud architecture, the Cross-Cloud Architecture enables consistent deployment models, security policies, visibility, and governance for all applications, running on-premises and off-premises, regardless of the underlying cloud, hardware platform or hypervisor. VMware’s Cross-Cloud Architecture builds on its leading private and hybrid cloud capabilities by offering customers the freedom to innovate in multiple clouds, and is delivered through VMware Cloud Foundation, a new set of Cross-Cloud Services which VMware is developing and the VMware vRealize® cloud management platform.

Unified SDDC Platform for the Hybrid Cloud

VMware Cloud Foundation delivers the next-generation hyper-converged infrastructure for building private clouds that for the first time combines VMware’s highly scalable hyper-converged software (VMware vSphere and VMware Virtual SAN™) with the world’s leading network virtualization platform, VMware NSX®. VMware SDDC Manager™, a core component of VMware Cloud Foundation, helps customers and service providers automate the deployment and management of VMware cloud software. SDDC Manager helps to build and maintain the entire VMware cloud software stack, freeing cloud administrators from the complex and tedious task of installing, configuring, managing and updating their cloud infrastructure, making it possible to build a complete cloud in a matter of hours. The result is that customers can gain a 6 to 8x reduction in time to deploy cloud infrastructure, and save 30% to 40% on TCO.1

For the first time, VMware Cloud Foundation offers a new “as-a-service” option that delivers the full power of the SDDC in a hybrid cloud environment. IBM is the first VMware vCloud Air Network partner delivering new offerings based on VMware Cloud Foundation with its VMware Cloud Foundation™ on IBM Cloud offering. VMware Cloud Foundation will be available on additional public clouds, including vCloud Air, in the future.

For private clouds, customers can procure turnkey VxRack Systems integrated solutions from EMC today, or combine Cloud Foundation software with qualified VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and QCT.

VMware Cloud Foundation runs any traditional or cloud-native application, from business-critical scale-up applications to distributed scale-out applications. Regardless of whether they are in virtual machines or containers, VMware Cloud Foundation provides a consistent infrastructure platform that delivers the unique performance, resiliency, security and manageability benefits of vSphere, Virtual SAN and VMware NSX. VMware Cloud Foundation integrates with existing VMware solutions to support cloud flexibility and choice, and enable business mobility, including:

VMware vRealize Suite delivers a comprehensive enterprise-ready cloud management platform (CMP) that can speed up IT service delivery, improves IT operations, and delivers end-user choice with control, across heterogeneous, multi-cloud environments (vSphere and non-vSphere).

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers™ will enable developers to innovate faster with secure, multi-tenant self-service access to containers, while IT will be able to leverage existing tools, knowledge, and processes to deploy and manage container services.

VMware Integrated OpenStack gives customers the fastest path to deploy and manage a production-grade OpenStack cloud on top of a VMware-based SDDC infrastructure.

VMware Horizon® enables customers to quickly deliver virtualized desktops and applications through a single platform, creating a secure digital workspace.

Tech Preview: Cross-Cloud Services

Cross-Cloud Services are new Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings under development to enable visibility into cloud usage and costs, enhance consistent networking and security policies, and automate the deployment, management, and migration of applications and data across vSphere and non-vSphere private and public clouds. With a common operating environment for both public clouds and on-premises workloads, central IT can protect data and applications and control costs while enabling developers and the business to innovate freely in the clouds they choose. The Cross-Cloud Services VMware will preview at VMworld and include:

  • Discovery and Analytics: enabling discovery, onboarding, and governance of public cloud applications;
  • Compliance and Security: using micro-segmentation and monitoring to provide security and compliance for applications across clouds;
  • Deployment and Migration: providing developers the ability to work cross-cloud, and IT the ability to manage cross-cloud applications with security and compliance​.

Continued Innovation for vCloud Air and the vCloud Air Network

VMware vCloud Air and the VMware vCloud Air Network service provider ecosystem remain critical parts of the company’s hybrid cloud strategy. VMware vCloud Air Network partners offer a wide array of services, provide geographic and industry specialization, and help customers meet complex regulatory requirements.

VMware is announcing VMware vCloud Availability for vCloud Director®, which will enable partners to offer simple, cost-effective cloud-based disaster recovery services that seamlessly support customers’ vSphere environments by leveraging native vSphere replication capabilities. This solution will be designed expressly for VMware vCloud Air Network service providers to be easy to operate, and foster customer adoption and growth, with a radically simple on premises installation process. The solution will also enable further monetization of existing VMware cloud environments based on VMware vCloud Director’s multi-tenant cloud management capabilities.

To extend a VMware private cloud to VMware vCloud Air, the latest version of Hybrid Cloud Manager offers new enhancements that simplify application migration and improve the performance of the connection between the two environments. vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager enables customers to extend on-premises networks to vCloud Air over an optimized, software-defined WAN, enabling networks to stretch in the cloud, yet perform almost as if they were local. vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager also enables zero downtime, bi-directional migration of entire applications, as well as the migration of NSX security policies to vCloud Air Advanced Networking Services. Customers can move virtual machines up to 20x faster with an optimized network while retaining the same security policies and controls available on-premises, all with the least disruption to the business.

 (1) Based on VMware internal testing and estimates from January 2016

Source: CloudStrategyMag

Primary Data To Launch Datasphere At VMWorld

Primary Data To Launch Datasphere At VMWorld

At the VMworld 2016 U.S. conference next week, Primary Data is introducing its new DataSphere data orchestration platform to automate IT storage services and ensure applications meet business objectives by uniting enterprises’ different storage resources across flash, object/cloud, SAN, and NAS systems for the first time. Through data virtualization, the Primary Data DataSphere platform transparently connects storage infrastructure from any vendor, media or protocol under a single, global dataspace, allowing data to easily move between server, shared and cloud storage without application interruption.

“Storage diversity across flash, cloud, hyper-converged, and traditional systems give enterprises the right storage tool for any job, but until now, data has been trapped in the typical storage silos, forcing IT to overprovision and limit the value of billions of dollars of enterprises storage investments,” said Lance Smith, Primary Data CEO. “DataSphere automatically orchestrates the right data to the right place at the right time according to IT-defined objectives, without business or application disruption. This industry first can easily cut customers’ storage costs in half by finally aligning data to the ideal storage system according to business needs.”

DataSphere unites heterogeneous storage resources across file, block and object protocols by separating the data path from the control path through data virtualization. The uniquely storage-agnostic DataSphere architecture gives customers the flexibility to easily add new storage resources to their infrastructure. By connecting storage resources across a global dataspace, DataSphere significantly increases utilization of existing storage to reduce overprovisioning and save budget.

DataSphere sets a new standard for enterprise agility with storage policies down to file-level granularity. Application admins are now able to select easy-to-use storage policies on a per application basis and continually validate if the storage is delivering according to the defined policy. DataSphere automatically aligns application I/O with available storage resources to meet the application owner’s business needs. In addition, Smart Objectives, a unique feature of DataSphere, enables IT to manage the data lifecycle without any impact to application data availability and performance. Data is load balanced across all available resources in real-time to ensure business requirements are continually met by the infrastructure, minimizing overprovisioning and the cost of maintaining individual storage silos for each application.

The DataSphere platform delivers numerous benefits to enterprises, including the ability to:

  • Simplify management by converging data using automated orchestration across all storage
  • Reduce costs of overprovisioning up to 50% by increasing storage utilization
  • Respond instantly to new and changing application needs
  • Increase application uptime during migrations and upgrades
  • Gain agility and customer choice by enabling scale out storage with any vendors

In addition to delivering unprecedented automation and optimization across storage systems, DataSphere enables enterprises to maintain service level agreements (SLAs), automate data lifecycle management, expand scale out storage to more workloads, and add VMware Virtual Volumes for VM-aware storage using existing storage resources. Primary Data features detailed solution briefs for these and other use cases on its website.

DataSphere utilizes next-generation storage analytics and efficiency through a number of features that automate data orchestration across enterprise storage systems. These include:

  • Data Awareness offers insight into applications’ storage usage and requirements, as well as storage utilization across systems connected to DataSphere
  • Storage Awareness provides visibility into storage system capabilities to ensure the appropriate storage type is paired to meet application needs
  • Dynamic Data Orchestration places data according to data objectives and storage resource availability for optimal data placement
  • Non-Disruptive Data Mobility automatically realigns data placement as business needs change, to ensure service levels are met, without application disruption or any impact to performance
  • Unified Storage Management simplifies administration of storage capacity across separate systems by delivering a single virtual pool of aggregated storage managed in DataSphere

IT industry analyst firm Gartner has taken note of how data virtualization software can introduce new operational efficiencies beyond traditional architectures, and recently reported that new computing styles and approaches will complement server virtualization.

“As an increasingly important part of a comprehensive data integration strategy, data virtualization is attracting renewed interest as organizations recognize its potential for a growing range of use cases*,” according to Gartner. “Data silos slow organizations’ transformation into digital business by limiting information discovery and access. Data virtualization offers information leaders a mitigation strategy that can lead to new analytical and operational opportunities. Through 2020, 35% of enterprises will implement some form of data virtualization.**”

*Gartner, Market Guide for Data Virtualization, Ehtisham Zaidi, Mark A. Beyer, Shubhangi Vashisth, 25 July 2016

**Gartner, Use Data Virtualization to Help Resolve Data Silos, Mark A. Beyer, Eric Thoo, Nick Heudecker, 20 May 2016

Source: CloudStrategyMag

DataCore Releases Second-Generation Universal VVols Software Functionality

DataCore Releases Second-Generation Universal VVols Software Functionality

DataCore Software has unveiled the second generation of its universal vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols) software technology. DataCore is the only VMware-certified software vendor supporting universal VVols functionality, and these powerful new capabilities allow VVols to work across a wide diversity of other vendors solutions and all types of storage (disk subsystems, flash/SSD arrays, DAS, etc.).

With VVols, server administrators can create policies and self-provision storage that suits their needs. DataCore adds the ability to provide a universal control plane that allows the instrumentation and administration of virtual machine-based storage policies to be easily managed across a mix of new and existing storage infrastructure investments from one or many vendors. This improves operational efficiency through a common management and policy platform where data services and performance service level demands are decoupled from any underlying deficiencies.

“DataCore is a great example of a company that has taken the powerful capabilities of what VMware has done with VVols and developed a software-based universal control plane so VVols can be used by a wider-base of customers and architectures,” said Rawlinson Rivera, principal architect, office of CTO at VMware.

The challenges of managing storage for virtual environments have driven the need for simple policy based techniques and VMware’s VVols technology has proven to be a major advance forward. However, many existing and current storage offerings are not yet VVols certified. Even with a growing number of storage vendors providing VVols support, each has their own offering and enterprises can face the issue of having multiple VASA (VMware vSphere API for Storage Awareness) providers. The misalignments created as different generations or storage from multiple vendors occupying the datacenter can lead to a sprawl of provider and storage silos. 

DataCore delivers a software-based VVols VASA provider, so that vSphere high availability and/or multiple VASA provider installations can provide full redundancy and availability across a full heterogeneous environment. DataCore’s implementation of VVols creates a storage services platform that unifies data storage resources whether they are SAN, converged, hyper-converged, or cloud. This provides one set of universal storage services across all storage devices regardless of type — internal or external based storage. As a result, diverse storage platforms are now able to communicate seamlessly, reducing complexity and improving operational efficiency. 

For example, DataCore’s universal VVols VASA provider empowers vSphere administrators to allocate datastores from Western Digital’s SanDisk® InfiniFlash™ platforms using familiar VM provisioning and storage allocations without any special training on SanDisk or DataCore technologies. Behind the scenes, DataCore SANsymphony software pools capacity from multiple high-density InfiniFlash systems and synchronously mirrors data across them for high-availability.

“By using DataCore’s software, vSphere administrators can easily see and manage multiple petabytes of high-performance storage for rapidly expanding at-scale data centers,” said Gary Lyng, senior director of marketing, Data Center Systems business unit, Western Digital. “In addition, multiple SanDisk InfiniFlash platforms can be added economically and non-disruptively to fully redundant storage pools supporting growing high-performance and massive capacity demands of hyperscale and cloud customers.”

The vendors that have no plans to support VVols in their current architecture simply cannot afford to retrofit equipment with the new VM-aware schema. DataCore software allows VVols to work universally across all types of storage — regardless of whether the systems support VVols or not. This enables enterprises to benefit from VVols on popular storage systems and all flash arrays simply by layering storage virtualization software in front of them. As a result, vSphere administrators can self-provision virtual volumes from virtual storage pools — they can specify the capacity and class of service without having to know anything about the hardware.

“The ‘universalism in the datacenter’ that DataCore is providing with its universal VVols support greatly improves storage provisioning, resulting in numerous benefits, including VM policy automation, a more logical process in setting up virtual machines, and the proper alignment of resources to storage demands,” said Todd Mace, tech evangelist for DataCore Software. “We are enabling our customers to extract the maximum value out of their legacy storage and arrays even if their equipment does not yet support VVols.”  

The benefits of using DataCore’s universal VVols software technology include:

  • Only one VASA provider is needed for all disparate arrays
  • No firmware upgrades or special licensing is needed to support storage
  • Local storage and external array are fully supported with VVols
  • All FibreChannel and iSCSI based storage can now be VVols capable
  • Virtual Machine migrations VMFS > VVols or vice-versa are fully supported with no application down time
  • Full availability and redundancy for VASA providers 
  • Up to 16,000 VVols per Protocol Endpoint are supported

DataCore also now includes enhanced support for VVols’ VM-centric storage policy-based management (SPBM) using multi-tiered storage pools. The new virtual disk templates can be tailored to establish different classes of service (storage profiles) that the vSphere administrators can choose from when creating virtual machines (VMs) or adding disks to those VMs.  DataCore software becomes a universal adapter, providing universal data services where virtual machines can be based on a defined policy or through virtual machine provisioning when using SPBM. The data services that DataCore currently supports is aligned with the vSphere certification for the current VVols framework including multi-writer support, deduplication support, synchronous mirroring support, snapshot support, and caching support.

DataCore will be demonstrating its universal VVols software technology in booth #2406 at VMworld 2016, taking place from Aug 28, 2016 – Sept 1, 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Source: CloudStrategyMag