Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nimble Storage Reinvents Storage With Adaptive Flash Platform

Recently, Nimble Storage released a new technology they call their Adaptive Flash platform. This technology combines Nimble’s existing, patented Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture and their cloud-based InfoSight storage lifecycle management platform. The combination of these two features enables storage resources to be intelligently and dynamically deployed to better support a wide range of mixed data center workloads.

Key benefits of Adaptive Storage include:
  • Non-disruptive scaling of both performance and capacity
  • Enterprise-class performance and capacity in a small footprint
  • Eliminate forklift upgrades for investment protection
  • Sustain peak health of your storage infrastructure 
  • A flexible, building-block approach to achieving Cloud scale

Nimble’s Adaptive Flash platform incorporates both SSDs (solid-state drives) and HDDs (hard disk drives) and is engineered to allow enterprises to add flash incrementally as they need it. The new CS700 series model offers more flash capacity than the CS200 and CS400 series with increased maximum flash capacity in the head unit as well as maximum flash capacity with the new All-Flash Shelf. The new All-Flash Shelf is an add-on component to the CS-series systems that can accommodate up to 12.8TB of SSDs.

The Nimble Storage CS200 Series supports workloads such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), Microsoft applications, and virtual server consolidation. It is ideal for medium sized IT organizations or distributed sites of larger enterprises. The Nimble Storage CS400 Series is ideal for IO-intensive workloads including large-scale VDI, SQL or Oracle server databases and offers advanced performance for large-scale deployments. Ideal for midsize IT organizations or distributed sites of larger organizations, the CS300 Array is a 3U dual controller hybrid flash system that offers the best capacity per dollar amount for workloads including VDI and virtual server consolidation. Offering advanced performance for large-scale deployments or I/O-intensive workloads such as large-scale VDI, and Oracle or SQL Server databases, the Nimble Storage CS500 array delivers the best performance and IOPS per dollar amount.

The new CS700 series arrays are targeted towards enterprise-class customers with the ability to create a four-node, scale-out CS700 cluster that delivers an aggregate of 500,000 I/O operations per second and 1 PB of capacity. The CS700 utilizes Intel Ivy Bridge processors for around 125,000 IOPS, up to 2.5x the CS400 arrays. VMware, a strategic partner of Nimble Storage, said it is combining Nimble’s Adaptive Flash technology with their Horizon 6 virtual desktop suite that was rolled out in April.

The All Flash Shelf (AFS) comes in the same 3U enclosure as the CS700 base unit, but can also be used with Nimble’s CS400 series arrays. These all-flash expansion shelves deliver up to 12.8 TB of SSD capacity and provides the CS700 with a maximum flash storage capacity of 16 TB when it is combined with the CS700’s 3.2 TB of flash. Each controller unit can also have an AFS to expand the default 4 SSDs for the flash pool. The AFS provides solid-state drive (SSD) capacity behind a Nimble Storage CS700 or CS400 hybrid arrays. The power requirement for the AFS is 200W, which is considerably less than other expansion shelves. Both the CS700 and the AFS are now generally available.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

HP Announces New ProLiant Gen9 Servers

HP recently announced a new addition to its HP ProLiant server portfolio with the release of Generation 9 (Gen9) servers. The HP ProLiant Gen9 servers will allow users to reduce complexity and cost while accelerating IT service delivery to promote business growth. This release of the new server line furthers HP’s vision for compute, the future of data center technology with the Gen9’s new technology features and workload-optimized design. The new Gen9 systems include blade, rackmount, tower, and scale-out architectures. HP has said that ProLiant Gen9 servers will launch in waves between now and June 2015.

The new ProLiant Gen9 server line is designed to address challenges such as the ability to deliver more services, applications, and storage while reducing costs by providing flexible, scalable computing resources that are tailored to users’ business goals. Optimized for convergence, cloud, and software-defined environments, the HP ProLiant Gen9 server line features many new innovations. Some of these features include converged management across servers, networking, and storage to provide a software defined enterprise as well as HP-unique PCIe accelerators and HP DDR4 SmartMemory to increase compute capacity. Other innovative technology features include quick setup, monitoring, and firmware maintenance with secure embedded management including RESTful APIs and UEFI for hybrid cloud environments and increased performance with HP SmartCache and HP FlexFabric adapters.

HP Gen9 servers are designed to run modern workloads that provide organizations with new capabilities. By deploying ProLiant Gen9 servers, businesses will be able to triple compute capacity and increase efficiency across many workloads at a lower TCO with design automation and optimization. The workload performance of applications that are business-critical will also improve by up to four times to accelerate business growth through memory, networking, and HP storage advances.

For more information please visit

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Juniper Networks Improves DDoS Protection

For over a decade, Juniper Networks’ DDoS Secure technology has been ensuring availability of critical business resources for public sector, e-commerce, and financial customers, protecting applications against volumetric flood and application layer distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS Secure utilizes advanced heuristic DDoS mitigation technology that dramatically responds to over-loading of the protected resources, automatically providing the full spectrum of DDoS defenses to detect and block attacks. Today, DDoS Secure is the most comprehensive DDoS mitigation solution that is available, delivering protection against multi-vector DDoS attacks before they disrupt applications.

Recently, Juniper announced improvements to its DDoS Secure solution that help companies more efficiently and effectively mitigate complex attacks by leveraging security intelligence throughout the network fabric, bringing them one step closer to building a High-IQ Network. The goal is to deliver tighter integration into routing and service provider infrastructures with BGP Flowspec and GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP) protocols to enable new forms of protection that can mitigate a variety of DDoS attacks without restricting or impacting normal service. These new enhancements allow attacks detected by DDoS Secure at the network and application-layer to be stopped closer to the source through networking protocols to make the Juniper MX Series routers function as enforcement points.

Some highlights of Juniper’s announcement for upstream attack mitigation include distributed enforcement at the network boundary to protect the edge equipment as well as the resources behind it from becoming overwhelmed, especially when large or more challenging volumetric attacks take place. Also, the use of Flowspec provides the ability to take enforcement actions such as source-based black hole filtering to drop malicious packets or redirecting traffic to select network points for mitigation.

Accurate enforcement on mobile networks with GTP network protocol unwrap include new capabilities that protect against the escalating issue that service providers face in detecting and mitigating malicious traffic originating from botnets exploiting users’ devices. Also, DDoS Secure now also provides a look into malicious and errant mobile devices by identifying both User Equipment (UE) to UE and UE to Internet traffic.

For DNS inside-out attack protection, DDoS Secure now protects the core DNS infrastructure from participating in DNS amplification and reflection attacks that are difficult to detect and can have disastrous effects on network availability. DDoS Secure also applies heuristics-based intelligence to automatically mitigate attacks by rate limiting and black listing certain DNS requests. Also, this can generate a BGP Flowspec rule that allows attack traffic to be blocked upstream at the MX.

From a security standpoint, most businesses are completely REACTIVE.  They don’t take action or implement protective measures until they experience a compelling event.  When a DDoS attack does occur, not only does the business lose money, but also the trust and reputation of its employees and customers. DDoS Secure is necessary for all business to implement into their data centers as these types of attacks continue to increase each year. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

VMware Announces vCloud Air

Days before VMworld 2014, VMware announced the rebranding of its vCloud Hybrid Service to vCloud Air. This name change was made to highlight and focus the company’s commitment to the hybrid cloud category and emphasize their belief that the hybrid cloud is the future of professional deployments.

VMware vCloud Air is built on the foundation of vSphere, is compatible with any on-premises data center, and allows users to simply extend their workloads into the cloud. Users can migrate existing virtual machines (VMs) from on premise private clouds to the public cloud or deploy new applications directly in the cloud, creating a seamless hybrid cloud. vCloud Air reduces the risk and cost of ownership by offering automated replication and monitoring without requiring any modifications to existing applications. Delivering the reliability, performance, and security users demand from a hybrid cloud platform, vCloud Air provides only one support call for on-and-off-premises clouds.

Some benefits of using vCloud Air include its compatibility, agility, and ease of use. With support for over 90 operating systems and more than 5000 applications, vCloud Air has support delivers reliable and secure service that users expect from VMware while leveraging existing investments, processes, and expertise, as well as familiar tools and services that make moving to the cloud simple. The agility of vCloud Air empowers users to do more in less time. Users can set up, tear down, deploy, and test without the need to build a new infrastructure, as well as provides room for future growth. vCloud Air is easy to use and allows users to understand and plan their budgets through a capacity-based subscription, as well as employ existing policies in the cloud and rely on the same source of support as the onsite data center.

Users can start using VMware vCloud Air in any of the following ways:
  • Develop/Test – A first step into the hybrid cloud allows users to free up on premise resources by running pre-production in the cloud and choosing to deploy on or off-site.
  • New Enterprise Applications – Using the hybrid cloud, users can host and build new applications in traditional architectures (Java). 
  • Disaster Recovery – vCloud Air provides a reliable failover environment. 
  • Packaged Applications – Allows users to use their next application upgrade cycle of existing virtualized desktops and applications and host in hybrid cloud.
  • Next Generation Applications – Move from traditional to next generation and mobile applications and test, develop and deploy in hybrid cloud with advanced tools. 

To learn more about VMware vCloud Air please visit