Category Archives: Storage and Information Management

Emerging Technologies Across the Storage Landscape

There has been an influx of emerging technologies across the storage landscape. Many vendors are using the exact same hardware but are figuring out ways to do a lot of smarter things with the software. In this post, I’ll cover a handful of vendors who are doing a great job innovating at the software layer to improve storage technology and performance.


Nimble was founded by the same people who did Data Domain and does data compression. Their success led to EMC buying them in June 2009. The company is known for its massively popular backup targets. They’re the one of the first ones to compress and duplicate the data as it was being stored to greatly reduce the amount of data that needed to be stored. Essentially, Nimble takes commodity solid state drives and slow 7,200 RPM spinning disks and turns it into an extremely fast, well-performing hybrid SAN, while delivering excellent compression ratios and the best support team in the business. Very simply, they’re doing smarter things with the same technology everyone else is using. It’s highly scalable and well designed. For example, you can change your controllers on the array during business hours with no interruptions, as opposed to having to wait until off hours as companies have been forced to do traditionally.


What’s interesting about DataGravity is that they have taken an entirely different approach to traditional storage. They make arrays that perform on par with just about everyone else’s, yet their secret sauce is taking unstructured, uncategorized data and categorizing it at the time it’s being written. Why is this important? A lot of companies have to keep track of Social Security Numbers, Credit Card Numbers, etc. Traditionally, you have to buy expensive software to do this. DataGravity does it at the time the Data is written. You don’t need to invest in any additional software. That sounds too good to be true, right? Every modern SAN has two storage controllers. Most are active passive or they are both on. DataGravity has one controller looking at these traditional things while the other storage controller looks at data, categorizes it and looks at data management functions. This eliminates the need for expensive compliance related software and data protection management.

Who should take advantage?

Any company that has to deal with regulatory compliance (Healthcare, Finance, etc.).


Simplivity offers hyper-converged infrastructure similar to Nuatanix, EVO Rails, and Dell Vertex. The piece that makes them unique is their dedication to reduce IO. They take all data and compress/duplicate at ingestion once and forever. This means that if I write a data block and the data is already on the storage system, there is zero IO; I don’t have to rewrite it. Furthermore, I can migrate virtual machines from one data center to another. It’s easy to migrate a 5 gig virtual machine and write less than a 100 mgs across the WAN. Also, when I clone a machine, there is no IO. IO is something companies can’t address during work hours because it takes up way too many resources and would bring them to their knees. You can’t do it without impacting the business. When you have Simplivity, there is no need for a third party backup vendor. Redundant data spreads through notes and only writes redundant blocks. It’s easy to have petabytes of backups living on terabytes of storage.

Who should take advantage?

We have a client who is currently in Massachusetts that is looking to move to a Colocation Facility in Florida. For this use case, Simplivity is a quick and easy way to migrate that data geographically without huge impacts on bandwidth, WAN costs, etc.

Pure Storage

If you’re looking for ridiculously fast storage, Pure Storage could be the solution for you. They use the same flash technology as everyone else, but they read and write to it differently so it’s much more efficient, optimized, and it matches the flash technology. Typically, vendors have been writing to flash drivers in the same way that they were treating spinning disk.

Who should take advantage?

If your organization has applications that require tremendously fast storage, this could be a good fit for you. One example would be if you have extremely demanding Oracle SAP or SQL applications.


VMware brings a lot of great benefits to the table with EVO: Rail. EVO: Rail is basically VMware SAN with prebuilt hardware that can very quickly and easily be deployed. It’s a scalable, software-defined data center building block that provides compute, networking, storage and management. Furthermore, it’s highly resilient.

Who should take advantage?

This is a good fit for organizations that have branch offices where there is a need for smaller VMware environments at multiple locations. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to manage them centrally from a virtual center.


Be sure to keep your eyes out for HP who is making innovations in flash storage. More on that soon.

Have you used any of these solutions? How have your experiences been? If you would like to talk more about this, send us an email at

Storage Has Evolved – It Now Provides the Context & Management of Data


Information infrastructure is taking storage, which is a very fundamental part of any data center infrastructure, and putting context around it by adding value on what has been typically seen as a commodity item.

Bits in and of themselves have little value. Add context to it and assign value to that information and it becomes an information infrastructure. Organizations need to seek to add value to their datacenter environments by leveraging some advanced technologies that have become part of our landscape. These technologies include software defined storage, solid state storage, and cloud based storage. Essentially, there is a new way to deliver a datacenter application data infrastructure.

Storage has evolved

Interested in learning more about the latest in storage technologies? Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you!

By Randy Weis, Practice Manager – Information Infrastructure

EMC Acquired TwinStrata in July. What’s This Mean For You Moving Forward?

Video with Randy Weis, Practice Manager, Data Center   Back in July, storage giant EMC acquired TwinStrata. Information infrastructure and storage expert Randy Weis breaks down TwinStrata’s capabilities and explains what this means for your organization.   Interested in speaking with Randy about the latest trends in storage? Email us at  …Read More »

Why Nirvanix Doesn’t Mean the End of Cloud Storage

By Randy Weis, Practice Manager, Virtualization & Data Management

By now everyone is familiar with the Nirvanix fiasco. Now that the dust has settled, I decided to talk about the implications this has had, and will have, on the cloud storage market as well as to highlight some silver linings organizations can take away from the meltdown.

If you’re looking for more content around storage and information management check out my recent posts “A Guide to Successful Big Data Adoption” as well as “10 Storage Predictions for 2014.”

Do you have questions for Randy about storage & data management? Email us at

A Guide to Successful Big Data Adoption

By Randy Weis, Practice Manager, Data Management & Virtualization

In this video, storage expert Randy Weis talks about the impact big data is having on organizations and provides an outline for the correct approach companies should be taking in regards to big data analytics.

What is your organization doing in regards to big data? Email us at if you would like to talk to Randy in more depth about big data, data management, storage, and more.

10 Storage Predictions for 2014

By Randy Weis, Consulting Architect, LogicsOne

As we wrap up 2013 and head into the New Year, I wanted to give 10 predictions I have for the storage market for 2014.

  1. DRaaS will be the hottest sector of cloud-based services: Deconstructing cloud means breaking out specific services that fit a definition of a cloud type service such as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and other specialized and targeted usages of shared multi-tenant computing and storage services. Capital expenditures, time to market, and staff training are all issues that prevent companies from developing a disaster recovery strategy and actually implementing it. I predict that DRaaS will be the hottest sector of cloud based services for small to medium businesses and commercial companies. This will impact secondary storage purchases.
  2. Integration of flash storage technology will explode: The market for flash storage is maturing and consolidating. EMC has finally entered into the market. Cisco has purchased Whiptail to integrate it into unified computing systems. PCI flash, server flash drives at different tiers of performance and endurance, hybrid flash arrays, and all flash arrays will all continue to drive the adoption of solid state storage in mainstream computing.
  3. Storage virtualization – software defined storage on the rise: VMware is going to make their virtual VSAN technology generally available at the beginning of Q2 in 2014. This promises to create a brand new tier of storage in datacenters for virtual desktop solutions, disaster recover, and other specific use cases. EMC is their first release of a software defined storage product called ViPR. It has a ways to go before it really begins to address software defined storage requirements, but it is a huge play in the sense that it validates a segment of the market that has long had a miniscule share. DataCore has been the only major player in this space for 15 years. They see EMC’s announcement as a validation of their approach to decoupling storage management and software from the commodity hard drives and proprietary array controllers.
  4. Network Attached Storage (NAS) Revolution: We’re undergoing a revolution with the integration and introduction of scale out NAS technologies. One of the most notable examples is Isilon being purchased by EMC and starting to appear as a more fully integrated and fully available solution with a wide variety of applications. Meanwhile NetApp continues to innovate in the traditional scale up NAS market with increasing adoption of ONTAP 8.x. New NAS systems feature support of the most recent releases SMB 3.0, Microsoft’s significant overhaul of Windows-based file sharing protocol (also known as CIFS). This has a significant impact on design Hyper V Storage and Windows file sharing in general. Client and server side failover are now possible with SMB 3.0, which enables the kind of high availability and resiliency for Hyper V that VMware has enjoyed as a competitive advantage.
  5. Mobile Cloud Storage – File Sharing Will Never Be the Same: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Huddle and other smartphone-based methods to access data anywhere are revolutionizing the way individual consumers access their data. This creates security headaches for IT admins, but the vendors are responding with better and better security built into their products. At the enterprise level, Syncplicity, Panzura, Citrix ShareFile, Nasuni and other cloud storage and shared storage technologies are providing deep integration into Active Directory and enabling transfer of large files across long distances quickly and securely. These technologies integrate with on premise NAS systems and cloud storage. Plain and simple, file sharing will never be the same again.
  6. Hyper Converged Infrastructure Will Be a Significant Trend: The market share dominance of Nutanix, Simplivity (based in Westborough, MA) and VMware’s VSAN technology will all change the way shared storage is viewed in datacenters of every size. These products will not replace the use of shared storage arrays but, instead, provide an integrated, flexible and modular way to scale virtualized application deployments, such as VDI and virtual servers. These technologies all integrate compute & storage, networking (at different levels) and even data protection technology, to eliminate multiple expenditures and multiple points of management. Most importantly, Hyper-converged Infrastructure will allow new deployments to begin small and then scale out without large up-front purchases. This will not work for every tier of application or every company, but it will be a significant trend in 2014.
  7. Big Data Will Spread Throughout Industries: Big Data has become as much a buzzword as cloud. The actual use of the technologies that we call big data is growing rapidly. This adoption is not only in internet giants like Google and companies that track online behavior, but also in industries such as insurance, life sciences, and retailers. Integration of big data technologies (i.e. Hadoop, MapReduce) with more traditional SQL database technology allows service providers of any type to extract data from traditional databases and begin processing it on a huge scale more efficiently and more quickly, while still gaining the advantage of more structured databases. This trend will continue to spread throughout many industries that need to manage large amount of structured and unstructured data.
  8. Object based storage will grow: Cloud storage will be big news for 2014 for two major reasons. The first reason stems from shock waves of Nirvanix going out of business. Corporate consumers of cloud storage will be much more cautious and demand better SLAs in order to hold cloud storage providers accountable. The second reason has to do with adoption of giant, geographically dispersed data sets. Object based storage has been a little known, but important, development in storage technology that allows data sets on scale of petabytes to be stored and retrieved by people who generate data and those who consume it. However, these monstrous data sets can’t be protected by traditional RAID technologies. Providers such as Cleversafe have developed a means to spread data across multiple locations, preserving its integrity and improving resiliency while continuing to scale to massive amounts.
  9. More Data Growth: This may seem redundant, but it is predicted that business data will double every two years. While this may seem like great news for traditional storage vendors, it is even better news for people who provide data storage on a massive scale, and for those technology firms that enable mobile access to that data anywhere while integrating well with existing storage systems. This exponential data growth will lead to advances in file system technologies, object storage integration, deduplication, high capacity drives and storage resource/lifecycle management tool advances.
  10. Backup and Data Protection Evolution + Tape Will Not Die: The data protection market continues to change rapidly as more servers and applications are virtualized or converted to SaaS. Innovations in backup technology include the rapid rise of Veeam as a dominant backup and replication technology – not only for businesses but also for service providers. The Backup as a Service market seems to have stalled out because feature sets are limited; however the appliance model for backups and backup services continue to show high demand. The traditional market leaders face very strong competition from the new players and longtime competitor CommVault. CommVault has evolved to become a true storage resources management play and is rapidly gaining market share as an enterprise solution. Data deduplication has evolved from appliances such as Data Domain into a software feature set that’s included in almost every backup software out there. CommVault, Veeam, Backup Exec, and others all have either server side deduplication or client side deduplication (or both). The appliance model for disk-spaced backups continues to be popular with Data Domain, ExaGrid, and Avamar as leading examples. EMC dominates this market share – the competition is still trying to capture market share. Symantec has even entered the game with its own backup appliances, which are essentially servers preconfigured with their popular software and internal storage. Tape will not die. Long term, long capacity archives still require use of tapes, primarily for economic reasons. The current generation of tape technology, such as LTO6, can contain up to 6 TB of data on a single tape. Tape drives are routinely made with built-in encryption to avoid data breaches that were more common in the past with unencrypted tape.


So there you have it, my 2014 storage predictions. What do you think? Which do you agree with/disagree with? Did I leave anything off that you think will have a major impact next year? As always, reach out if you have any questions!


Cloud Management, Business Continuity & Other 2013 Accomplishments

By Matt Mock, IT Director

It was a very busy year at GreenPages for our internal IT department. With 2013 coming to a close, I wanted to highlight some of the major projects we worked on over the course of the year. The four biggest projects we tackled were using a cloud management solution, improving our business continuity plan, moving our datacenter, and creating and implementing a BYOD policy.

Cloud Management as a Service

GreenPages now offers a Cloud Management as a Service (CMaaS) solution to our clients. We implemented the solution internally late last year, but really started utilizing it as a customer would this year by increasing what was being monitored and managed. We decided to put Exchange under the “Fully Managed” package of CMaaS. Exchange requires a lot of attention and effort. Instead of hiring a full time Exchange admin, we were able to offload that piece with CMaaS as our Managed Services team does all the health checks to make sure any new configuration changes are correct. This resulted in considerable cost savings. Having access to the team 24/7 is a colossal luxury. Before using CMaaS, if an issue popped up at 3 in the morning we would find out about it the next morning. This would require us to try and fix the problem during business hours. I don’t think I need to explain to anyone the hassle of trying to fix an issue with frustrated coworkers who are unable to do their jobs. If an issue arises now in the middle of the night, the problem has already been fixed before anyone shows up to start working. The Managed Services team does research and remediates bugs that come up. This happened to us when we ran into some issues with Apple iOS calendaring. The Managed Services team did the research to determine the cause and went in and fixed the problem. If my team tried to do this it would have taken us 2-3 days of wasted time. Instead, we could be focusing on some of our other strategic projects. In fact, we are holding a webinar on December 19th that will cover strategies and benefits to being the ‘first-to-know,’ and we will also provide a demo of the CMaaS Enterprise Command Center. We also went live with fully automated patching, which requires zero intervention from my team. Furthermore, we leveraged CMaaS to allow us to spin up a fully managed Linux environment. It’s safe to say that if we didn’t implement CMaaS we would not have been able to accomplish all of our strategic goals for this year.

{Download this free whitepaper to learn more about how organizations can revolutionize the way they manage hybrid cloud environments}

Business Plan

We also determined that we needed to update our disaster recovery plan to a true robust business continuity plan. A main driver of this was because of our more diverse office model. Not only were more people working remotely as our workforce expanded, but we now have office locations up and down the east coast in Kittery, Boston, Attleboro, New York City, Atlanta, and Tampa. We needed to ensure that we could continue to provide top quality service to our customers if an event were to occur. My team took a careful look at our then current infrastructure set up. After examining our policies and plans, we generated new ones around the optimal outcome we wanted and then adjusted the infrastructure to match. A large part of this included changing providers for our data and voice, which included moving our datacenter.

Datacenter Move

In 2013 we wanted to have more robust datacenter facilities. Ultimately, we were able to get into an extremely redundant and secure datacenter at the Markley Group in Boston that provided us with cost savings. Furthermore, Markley is also a large carrier hotel which gives us additional savings on circuit costs. With this move we’re able to further our capabilities of delivering to our customers 24/7. Another benefit our new datacenter offered was excess office space. That way, if there ever was an event at one of our GreenPages locations we could have a place to send people to work. I recently wrote a post which describes the datacenter move in more details.

BYOD Policy

As 2013 ends, we are finishing our first full year with our BYOD policy. We are taking this time to look back and see where there were any issues with the policies or procedures and adjusting for the next year. Our plan is to ensure that year two is even more streamlined. I answered questions in a recent Q & A explaining our BYOD initiative in more detail.

I’m pretty happy looking back at the work we accomplished in 2013. As with any year, there were bumps along the way and things we didn’t get to that we wanted to. All in all though, we accomplished some very strategic projects that have set us up for success in the future. I think that we will start out 2014 with increased employee satisfaction, increased productivity of our IT department, and of course noticeable cost savings. Here’s to a successful 2014!

Is your IT team the first-to-know when an IT outage happens? Or, do you find out about it from your end users? Is your expert IT staff stretched thin doing first-level incident support? Could they be working on strategic IT projects that generate revenue? Register for our upcoming webinar to learn more!


Top 10 Ways to Kill Your VDI Project

By Francis Czekalski, Consulting Architect, LogicsOne

Earlier this month I presented at GreenPages’ annual Summit Event. My breakout presentation this year was an End User Computing Super Session. In this video, I summarize the ‘top 10 ways to kill your VDI project.’

If you’re interested in learning more, download this free on-demand webinar where I share some real world VDI battlefield stories.



Software Defined Networking Series — Part 2: What Are the Business Drivers?

By Nick Phelps, Consulting Architect, LogicsOne


In Part one of this series on Software Defined Networking, I gave a high level overview of what all the buzz is about. Here’s part two…in this video I expand on the capabilities of SDN by delving into the business drivers behind the concept. Leave any questions or thoughts in the comments section below.


Free webinar on 8/22: Horizon Suite – How to Securely Enable BYOD with VMware’s Next Gen EUC Platform.

With a growing number of consumer devices proliferating the workplace, lines of business turning to cloud-based services, and people demanding more mobility in order to be productive, IT administrators are faced with a new generation of challenges for securely managing corporate data across a broad array of computing platforms.