Saturday, December 7, 2013

AVNET "Rolls Out" New Solution for EMC

Avnet Technology Solutions has created a new mobile data center solution based on EMC's VSPEX architecture. It will be available for all U.S. and Canadian solution providers.

The new mobile data center solution for EMC VSPEX has been designed to be "ready to roll" wherever an enterprise customer needs a temporary setup for a data center. The mobile data center can be quickly deployed and will be available to work in extreme harsh and extreme environments to support business continuity, data center moves, disaster recovery, large-scale special events and/or remote field locations.

The mobile unit features a Full-Featured VSPEX-based data center with the main technology from EMC and other technologies from Cisco, VMware and others. All of the technologies are configured within the enclosure, which is sealed against the environment and includes an electric motor that propels it at up to 3 miles per hour.

Backup and Archive in The Cloud Environment

Cloud computing is becoming very prevalent in today's computing world. Users of the cloud vary from simple beginner users to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, many large companies are looking to the cloud for backups and archives of their data. I've recently read a very unique article on this topic, A Novel Approach to Automated, Secure, Reliable, & Distributed Backup of MER Tactical Data on Clouds. The article discusses NASA's MER (Mars Expoloration Rover) Project and how it became the first NASA mission to incorporate a public cloud into it's daily mission-critical operations in 2010. 

The operators and scientists have continued to use the cloud based project since the launch. They have continued to have 100% availability on tactical plan saves, searches, and retrieval. The MER project has also pushed Tactical data onto lower cost storage systems in the cloud environments, which still continue to deliver cost savings, durability, and reliability. 

NASA is clear-cut proof point that cloud storage provides a compelling alternative to traditional backup processes. The data transfer rates can support speeds that exceed common data backup strategies such as using an external hard drive and DVD archiving. The cloud provides a seamless integration of archiving, compressing, and encryption, along with virtually unlimited storage. It also adds to the convenience of the entire backup process for the cloud user. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Security Challenges in Cloud Computing

"Cloud Computing is becoming a more popular choice as an external business tool, personal computing, and also as an extremely better way to manage IT in the enterprise. But because Cloud comes in public, private, and hybrid models, all will face the same security and compliance challenges." 

 We are moving to a more Cloud-enabled future, however, security remains a particular issue for all adopters of the Cloud, regardless of the infrastructure of choice. One of the biggest issues facing Cloud users is data residency. This is particularly an issue for users of Public clouds. Public cloud is a major concern because the location of where the data is stored cannot be guaranteed, unlike Private cloud, where you know where you know at all times where data information is stored. This issue has an increased exposure to possible security breaches.

A View of Cloud Computing

"Clearing the clouds away form the true potential and obstacles posed by this computing capability."

This was a great collaborative article covering all aspects of cloud computing. It was intended to reduce the confusion of Cloud Computing by clarifying terms, providing simple figures to quantify comparisons between cloud and conventional computing, and identifying the top technical and non-technical obstacles and opportunities of cloud computing.

The article states that Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the data centers that provide those services. It is also explained that the data center hardware and software is what we ultimately will call a Cloud. 

The researchers and writers of the article feel that cloud computing has the potential to transform a large part of the IT industry, making software even more attractive as a service and shaping the way IT hardware is designed and purchased. With cloud computing, developers with innovative ideas for new Internet services no longer require the large outlays in hardware to deploy their service or even the human expense to operate it. Moreover, companies with large batch-oriented tasks can get results as quickly as their programs can scale, since 1,000 servers for one hour costs no more than using one server 1,000 hours. This flexibility of resources, without paying a premium for larger scale, is unprecedented in the history of IT.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Linux Virtualization on the Mainframe

What is Virtualization?

Virtualization is the process of consolidating physical machines and/or servers onto one physical machine, thus creating “Virtual Machines” that share the central Server’s resources (Processor, Memory, Storage, etc.) virtualization allows the creation of multiple systems, the physical systems that are already in use can have its data and information moved to the mainframe and used as if it was still a “physical” box.  This also will allow that system to be used from virtually anywhere access is allowed.  By being moved to the mainframe system, these existing systems will also become more isolated and secure than it was as an individual system.
Virtualization consolidation
As a Virtual Machine, or VM, the system has more controlled and secure access to its data. With adjusted settings, the VM will be completely isolated from other systems and completely unaffected by other systems on the mainframe, whereas in its physical state, the machine could be intruded or accidentally affected, or crashed, by other systems within that network.  Virtual Machines are impenetrable within a mainframe environment. Virtualization ultimately allows multiple, different operating systems to run on the mainframe at the same time.

Advantages of virtualization


The virtual machine environment is highly flexible and adaptable.  New Linux guests can be added to a VM system quickly and easily without requiring dedicated resources.  This is useful for replicating servers in addition to giving users a highly flexible test environment

Sharing resources

Resources can be shared among multiple Linux images running on the same VM system. These resources include: CPU cycles, memory, storage devices, and network adapters.

Server hardware consolidation

Running tens or hundreds of Linux instances on a single System z server offers customers savings in space and personnel required to manage real hardware.

System z advantages

Running Linux on VM means the Linux guest(s) can transparently take advantage of VM support for System z hardware architecture and features

z/VM Connectivity

z/VM provides high-performance communication among virtual machines running Linux and other operating systems on the same processor.  Simplification of the network by using HiperSockets may provide savings and reduce cabling, hubs, switches, and routers, as well as help to reduce maintenance effort.

Horizontal growth

An effective way to grow your Linux workload capacity is to add more Linux guests to a VM system.  z/VM V5 supports Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) processors, the attractively-priced hardware feature for Linux workloads available for System z.   An IFL is an dedicated processor for running Linux on the mainframe, designed to reduce software costs specifically.   
IBM introduced a new engine-based Value Unit pricing announced for z/VM V5, replacing the per-engine pricing model that was available with z/VM V4.  Engine-based Value Unit pricing is designed to provide a decreasing price curve as hardware capacities and workload grow, which may help improve price/performance.

So, why use Linux on the mainframe?

Linux is more secure and also stable than most OS’s.  Since its creation, Linux has been able to remain clear of mass-spread viruses or spyware.  This will disable the need for the organization to purchase any antivirus software and the subscriptions such as it would on Windows.   Also, by Linux being open source, the vast majority of Linux based software is also completely free and available for download at any time.
Mainframe customers just about always buy support.   Annual subscriptions for Red Hat is 15 to 18 thousand per IFL.   Suse is similar.  Linux on z is typically used to run licensed enterprise software rather than free open source, so there are costs as with most servers.  However  there is still cost savings for many workloads due to consolidation.
Some real examples of the benefits of virtualization, specifically Linux, includes Nationwide Insurance. runs on WebSphere¸ one of IBM’s lead web application server products, on Linux for System z.  They expect to save $16M over the next 3 years from their initial deployment of the Linux application.  The initial deployment consolidated over 250 Production, Development & Test Servers down to only 6 IFLs, or Integrated Facility for Linux.  
Bank of New Zealand also engaged in a consolidation of its own.  The bank reduced over 200 Sun servers down to one System z10 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  They also reduced their datacenter footprint by 30%, reduced the heat output by 33%, and power consumption by very close to 40%.  Also, they saved in human resources by having only one assigned administrator per 200 virtual servers.

As both of these examples show, benefits from virtualization are indeed REAL!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

VMWare Acquires Desktone For a New Idea


VMWare has recently announced the recent acquisition desktop service provide Desktone, in purpose of deploying a new cloud based PC for the price of a laptop. 

    This may be a very lucrative venture for VMWare. Google has recently released their cloud-based 
laptop, the Chromebook. The Chromebook is said to now have 25% of the laptop, a claim made by 
Google itself. The Chromebook has also been Amazon's #1 selling laptop since its release as well.With no major internal parts in the laptop, Google's Chromebook has a very convincing price of $280. This, in my opinion, is definitely a good sign for VMWare.

Because of the success of the cloud-based machine offered by Google, VMWare stands to be front runner for delivering a DaaS and Hardware integration at a very affordable and competitive price. Utilizing the virtualization technology that VMWare is proudly known for, their business and client growth opportunities are sure to grow already with just the already built clientele that they work with.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mythbusters: Big Data Edition

"Big data technology is a big deal for storage shops, and a clear understanding of what it means -- and doesn't mean -- is required to successfully configure storage for big data apps."

Since being introduced to mainframe technologies, I quickly became aware of the importance of BIG DATA and the almost "gold-mine" like qualities that the actual data can possess. There are valuable benefits within the stored data that can render a very lucrative return for companies and corporations if analyzed and handled correctly.
Companies and corporations of sizes can benefit from performing analytics on big data to gain an advantage over their competitors. With the data, analysts of the organizations can determine determine which products sell well with other products, what days and times customers use their debit cards the most in certain merchant stores, or which medications in a general area are used more frequently. Of course there are a plethora of ideas and concepts behind the storage and information of big data, but there are still plenty of misconceptions on what exactly BIG DATA is. 

The hype over big data is steadily growing, especially with storage cloud vendors pushing the idea of the technology to customers of all ranges; everyday household users to large corporations. The misconception of what exactly the technology is or does is shared by everyone in that range as well. 

The article on the Big Data myths is very informative and I feel that no matter your expertise or experience with Big Data, the information within the article can be very beneficial and informative to you... Check It Out Here!!!