Internal cloud computing with free tools

SearchNetworking has an article about cheap, and even free, internal cloud computing. Check out the tools that are available. OpenFiler is recommended for storage allocation and consolidation:

Freeware: The answer to internal cloud computing?

If IT does not have the tools it needs, it can fill many gaps with free software, either permanently or simply as a starting point while budgets are tight. It’s important that IT keep its processes modular so that using a freeware tool to replace a manual process, or a commercial tool to replace a free one, will be straightforward. Beyond the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl), free packages can fill many gaps in a data center looking to gear up for more cloud-like operations. Examples include:

  • Monitoring tools such as Hyperic, Zenoss, OpenNMS, Cacti, and Nagios can provide visibility into server and storage utilization. SolarWinds supplies a free VM Monitor tool.
  • KVM, Xen, and VMware ESX are free hypervisors; Citrix XenServer is a multi-machine resource pool manager; Microsoft HyperV is cheap or already included in many organizations’ MS licenses.
  • jManage handles Java applications in application servers.
  • FastSCP helps move data between physical and virtual environments.
  • OpenFiler and Veritas Storage Foundation Basic allow consolidation and allocation of storage. StarWinds provides a free version of its iSCSI Target software.
  • Eucalyptus is a cloud-management tool that ties together other systems to provide automation.

Source: searchnetworking.techtarget.com.au (12/08/2009)

Coping with SAN Storage Frustration caused by Server Virtualization

Coping with SAN Storage Frustration Caused by Server Virtualization

Server virtualization is clearly one of the breakout technologies in the first decade of the 21st century. The results are both operationally and economically compelling, however, they are not without their pitfalls as server virtualization unless properly managed with appropriate SAN storage.

Is this your case? Here’s a whitepaper from NEC to help you out (registration required).


iXsystems unveils new line of ‘Earth’ series servers

iXsystems has unveiled the iX-Green Neutron, a new line in the ‘Earth’ series of environmentally friendly servers. The announcement is made at OpenSource World, Next Generation Data Center, and CloudWorld 2009 events.

iXsystems customers asked for an ultra-efficient green solution tailored specifically to the power constraints of a datacenter. iXsystems responded by introducing the iX-1282 and the iX-2216 in the iX-Earth Series line of environmentally friendly servers. The iX-Earth server line features power-efficient 2.5″ hard disk drives, low-power Intel CPUs, Low-Voltage Memory, and highly efficient power supplies. The 2.5″ SAS and/or SATA hard drives featured in the iX-Earth server configurations can reduce power consumption by 40% over standard 3.5″ hard drives. Use of optional Solid State Drives (SSD) equates to a power savings of up to 95% over 3.5″ standard spinning drives.

iXsystems said that the new iX-Green series features the iX-GN1204, the iX-GN1208 and the iX-GN 2216 servers. These servers utilise power-saving DDR3 memory, 2.5” SAS and/or SATA drives,

and come equipped with improved power supplies.

“The iX-Earth Series was developed as p

art of our commitment to green technology. iXsystems leverages advanced technology and system design expertise to minimize power consumption in all of our servers, making us a leader in power saving technology. Helping companies minimize their carbon footprint is a primary server design objective that results in a significant reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of our systems, through savings on energy and cooling costs.”

says Michael Lauth, CEO of iXsystems

According to iXsystems, the DDR3 memory is expected to provide up to 1333MHz performance speed while averaging 20% to 30% less power consumption than its FB-DDR2 predecessors. The new iX-Green series also leverages Intel’s Xeon Processor 5500 series to enhance performance and energy-efficiency over previous version processors.
The company said that the iX-GN1204 1U configuration features 4 physical cores (8 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading enabled), up to 24GB of low voltage RAM, and 4 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA drives. The iX-GN1208 1U configuration features up to 8 cores (16 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading enabled), up to 96 GB of low voltage RAM, and 8 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA drives.

The iX-GN2216 2U server provides up to 8 cores (16 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading), 144GB of low voltage RAM, and 16 hot-swap 2.5” SAS/SATA hard drive bays in a 2U form factor, the company said.

Andrew Madrid, product marketing manager of iXsystems, said:

“The iX-Green Neutron Series features three initial configurations, able to be tailored to a customer’s exact specifications.

“The focus of each configuration is to provide the highest performance levels possible, while using our knowledge of power saving technologies to exceed the demand for green data centre technology while simultaneously saving our clients money on operating costs.”

Information and product features

Accelerating Secure Storage on FreeBSD

Intel has put together a whitepaper on Secure Storage and FreeBSD

It goes without saying that Information Security is extremely important in today’s connected world. Protecting the vast quantities of digital information stored by companies is critical to maintaining business integrity and reducing the risk related to the unintentional disclosure of private information. Storing data securely is one mechanism that can help reduce the risk of attackers gaining access to sensitive information. This paper examines some of the secure storage solutions that are available on the FreeBSD operating system and discusses options for the acceleration of processor-intense cryptographic operations.

Download from zdnet

9 Data Storage companies to watch

Building a data storage start-up in this economy is quite a challenge, but there is room for innovation in an industry suffering from inefficiency and massive growth in data volumes. CIO.com has put a list together of nine data storage start-ups that are trying to address such problems with technologies including memory virtualisation, flash-based solid-state disks and cloud storage.

One particularly interesting start-up is Scale Computing

“Founded: October 2007

Headquarters: Indianapolis, Inc

What it offers: SN 1000 and SN 2000, storage nodes which use Scale’s clustered file system to create storage-area network (SAN) or NAS systems with commodity hardware.

How company got its start: The founders were trying to build a supercomputer for less than $60,000 using commodity hardware, and needed a clustered file system and storage, and discovered a problem: they couldn’t find 5TB of appropriate storage for a price less than $50,000.

Why it’s worth watching: With clustered systems lacking a single point of failure, Scale Computing can offer reliable Tier 2 and Tier 3 storage for prices starting at $11,000. Forrester Research analyst Andrew Reichman notes that Scale will face stiff competition from the likes of Dell EqualLogic and HP LeftHand, but that it does offer the advantages of low cost and native NAS capabilities.

“For a small company that has both file and block storage, it’s nice to have SAN and NAS in one system,”

Reichman says.

How company got its name: The name, not surprisingly, refers to scalability of computing resources.

CEO: Jeff Ready was previously CEO and co-founder of Corvigo, an anti-spam appliance vendor acquired by Tumbleweed Communications.

Funding: $5 million from BlueChip, Springmill, CID and State of Indiana 21st Century Fund

Who’s using the product: Customers include a Fortune 500 telecom company, and others in the legal and health-care industries.”