Category Archives: Hard disk drive

Can You Run a VM from an External Drive?

At a recent conference for Mac® IT admins, I was asked, “Can you run a VM from an external drive?” Short answer: “Yes, absolutely. I do this all the time.” Longer answer: You have always been able to run a Parallels Desktop® for Mac virtual machine from an external drive. In Parallels Desktop 13, this […]

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Seagate’s eVault Reportedly Developing New “Cold Storage” Tech to Compete with AWS Glacier

Very interesting, though somewhat speculative, article today in The Register that outlines some new technology that may make a disk-based competitor to Amazon’s Glacier as cheap but faster:

“EVault, according to our storage gossips, is going to use disks, next-generation slow and energy-efficient drives from parent Seagate, probably shingled magnetic recording drives, and thus be able to generate restores which are potentially faster than those achieved on Glacier.”

For details and full-on speculation, read the article.

Think You Know About Storage Devices? Take a Quiz To Find How Much

“From punched cards to disks, from CDs to SSDs, impressive technological progress has enabled us to store more and more data – and access it with increasing speed. But how well do you know these storage devices that make our lives so much easier?”

Tech Week Europe has an online quiz to test your knowledge.

ScaleIO Releases New Version of Its Elastic Converged Storage

ScaleIO today announced the release of ScaleIO ECS v1.1 scale-out storage software, bringing operational flexibility and cost savings to high-performance databases, virtual servers, end-user computing, and high-performance computing.

ScaleIO ECS eliminates the dependence on complex, expensive external SAN storage and fabric by presenting business application servers’ local disks as a robust, high-performance, shared virtual SAN. ECS provides hyper-scalability and enterprise-grade resilience while also reducing storage costs by more than 80%, delivering a direct savings of over 28% on an organization’s total IT budget.

“As enterprises consolidate into mega-data centers and SMEs move to cloud and hosting infrastructures, data centers are rapidly expanding to many thousands of servers. As a result, data center operators face constantly increasing levels of complexity and costs,” explained Boaz Palgi, CEO of ScaleIO. “ECS helps organizations manage these challenges by providing a scale-out storage solution that was designed for hyper-scalability, high performance, unprecedented elasticity, and low total cost of ownership. ECS makes storage as inconspicuous as CPU and RAM. Running seamlessly alongside business applications, ECS enables data centers to be built wall to wall from commodity servers only.”

With ECS, any administrator can add, move, or remove servers and capacity on demand during I/O operations. The software responds automatically to any infrastructure change and rebalances data accordingly across the grid. ECS helps ensure the highest level of enterprise-grade resilience by deploying advanced clustering algorithms whose distributed rebuild capabilities achieve the quickest handling of failures while maintaining maximum storage performance.

Breaking traditional barriers of storage scalability, ECS scales out to hundreds and thousands of nodes. Performance scales linearly with the number of application servers and disks. Deploying ECS in both greenfield and existing data center environments is a simple process and takes only a few minutes.

ECS can be managed from both a command-line interface (CLI) and an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). ECS v1.1 natively supports all the leading Linux distributions and hypervisors; works agnostically with any SSD or HDD, regardless of type, model, or speed; and runs on x86, ARM, and other chipsets—giving organizations complete freedom of choice. Additional functionality includes encryption at rest and quality of service (QoS) of performance.

“Software-defined storage enables IT organizations to break out of the traditional SAN model that requires a staff of minions to perform mundane storage tasks,” commented Matthew Brisse, storage research director at Gartner. “Software-defined storage enables the promise of storage elasticity to match storage needs for traditional, virtual, and service-oriented cloud strategies in response to the ever-changing business requirements found in most IT organizations.”

“ScaleIO offers an innovative solution enabling customers to utilize capacity on hundreds of compute nodes and to aggregate that capacity into a single shared LUN,” said Julian Fielden, managing director, OCF. “OCF has deployed and tested ScaleIO ECS on a cluster with several hundred nodes in a large customer’s high-performance computing environment. The software made previously unused capacity available to the business applications and to a distributed file system while demonstrating impressive performance and resilience.”