A first look at ClearSky Data

clearskyI had a heads-up recently on a new company, ClearSky Data, who only exited stealth today. I want to make it clear that I have not yet been briefed by the folks from ClearSky, but I am definitely hoping to chat with them at VMworld 2015 (they’ll be at booth 441). Therefore a lot of what I have in this post is conjecture on my behalf. It seems to me that their goal is to help change how enterprise IT teams buy, manage and optimize their storage. Instead of consuming traditional storage arrays (alongside backup and disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure) in data centers, they want customers to reconsider another approach with ClearSky. However they do realize that while the current storage clouds offer great scalability and economics for archives and infrequently used data, they’re not so good for primary storage workloads. So how can this be addressed?

Continue reading

Rubrik 2.0 is out, with a new model and a new service

rubrik2Rubrik, who exited stealth only a few months ago, and launched their r300 series of converged data management appliance, have just announced version 2.0. You can read up of the Rubrik launch here. The 2.0 version has a new service called “Unlimited Replication” and a new appliance to the r300 series, the r348 “Hybrid Cloud Appliance”. Rubrik co-founder and CEO, Bipul Sinha, stated in the press release that Rubrik continues to transform “how companies approach data protection and recovery at scale”.

Continue reading

New storage vendors to check out at #VMworld 2015 (SFO)

vmworld2015As usual, there have been loads of things happening over the last 12 months in the storage space. The Solutions Exchange at VMworld is always a great place to meet new storage startups, and get some further information on their respective products and innovations. This year, I’ve made a note of a few startups that I wish to catch up with at VMworld 2015 and find out what issues are they trying to address with their technology, and why should a customer choose  their solution over some of the others in the storage space.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not endorsing any of these vendors. This is simply technology that I am interested in, and something I want to learn more about at VMworld. I’d urge any readers attending VMworld to do the same. For those not attending, my goal is to learn enough about these new startups so that I can write an article about them at some point (if I haven’t already done so).

Continue reading

A closer look at Rubrik

rubrik2A couple of months back, I wrote a short article on Rubrik. They were just coming out of stealth mode and had started an early access program. Since they had not officially launched, there wasn’t a lot that I was allowed to say about the company, other than give a high level overview. As they have now officially launched their r300 series of products, along with news of a massive $41 million Series B of funding, I can now share some additional details about their products and technology. Just to recap on what Rubrik do, they are offering a converged and scale-out backup software and backup storage appliance. The Rubrik appliance (Brik) is a “rack and go” architecture, with the ability to scale from three to thousands of nodes (unlimited) using industry standard 2U commodity appliance hardware.

The whole pitch is the idea that “backups suck”, and they want to give administrators a much better back and restore experience, similar to Apple’s ‘Time Machine’ feature.

Continue reading

VMworld 2014 – Storage News Part 2

VVolsI guess the next big tech preview at this year’s VMworld was around Virtual Volumes. Yes, we’ve done this before, but this year there were so many vendors showing demos of their VVol implementation, and so many presentations/sessions on the topic that I believe folks are beginning to realize that we are very close indeed to finally having this feature ready. It’s hard to believe that this was first discussed at VMworld 2011, and I alluded to this when I presented a VVol session that I co-delivered with the folks from Nimble Storage at this year’s VMworld.

This topic is going to be huge, and it is going to change the way storage is designed for virtualization environments. And I think almost every storage partner I spoke to at the show is on-board. In fact, “The Register” asked the question last month if there was ANY storage vendor that wasn’t doing a VVol implementation?

I’m not going to get into any technical details of Virtual Volumes in this post – there will be lots of time for this later. Instead, I’m going to share how we believe VVols will now enable Software Defined Storage (SDS) for SAN & NAS arrays, similar to how we have achieved this already with VSAN.

Continue reading

vCenter Server Appliance and vSphere Data Protection Interop

vCenter logoIn this next test of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) interoperability, I wanted to see if a restored vCenter Server appliance would still be able to work with pre-configured vCloud Suite products such as vCenter Operations (vCops), vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), vSphere Orchestrator VCO and Network Virtualization (NSX). All of these products were running to some extent in my environment; vCAC had a simple blueprint for VM deployment, VCO had a simple workflow for renaming a VM and NSX included an Edge device providing a DHCP service. If all of this functionality was still in place post restore, then the backup and restore will have worked. Testing was done with vCenter Server appliance version 5.5U1 and VDP version

Continue reading

Network Virtualization (NSX) and vSphere Data Protection Interop

NSX-300x206In this third article in the series of backing up the vCloud Suite, we turn our attentions to NSX, VMware’s Network Virtualization product. Before starting, I should point out that NSX has a recommended way of backing up and restoring configuration information via the use of an FTP server, which you need to configure in your infrastructure to hold this exported metadata. However this exercise looks at how you might be able to use VDP to back up and restore an NSX configuration using image level backups. Once again, I wanted to see whether I could restore the NSX environment to a particular point in time, in-place and also by restoring to a new location. This is the same infrastructure that I used for backing up and restoring vCops and backing up and restoring vCAC and VCO. On this occasion, I was using NSX version 6.0.4, vCenter 5.5U1 and VDP version

Continue reading