Prepare for the era of the data center in a box

Start-up SimpliVity touts an all-in-one array, its OmniCube

By , Computerworld |  Data Center, data center

OmniCube plugs into VMware's vCenter hypervisor, and simply becomes another tab that an administrator clicks on to manage all the virtual machines (VMs) on the array.

Adam Winter, president of IT service provider SwiftecIT in Shrewsbury, Mass., is currently beta testing two OmniCubes. Over the past four years, Winter said his company, which hosts applications, has grown to three data centers hosting 30 servers and 20TB of networked storage on arrays from three companies: Dell EqualLogic, QNAP Systems and Drobo. His servers are virtualized using VMware.

Winter said he likes the tight integration with VMware's Vcenter software, which allows his administrator to see server, storage and backup environments through one management interface.

"We don't need to deal with different interfaces for every device," Winter said. "If I want to set up storage, all I have to do is load the GUI and manage the storage and then use a different GUI and manage the switch, and then another GUI to mange the VMs."

Power savings, too

Winter envisions the potential for 80% power savings by changing to OmniCubes.

"We own our building, so I see the energy bill every month and say, 'wow,'" Winter said. "The benefits of OmniCube are pretty clear. You're talking about going from all those pieces of equipment to two."

Along with energy savings, Winter said deduplication will help save on storage capacity and backup times. For example, his company now runs 20 copies of Windows Server R2. That means everytime he performs a full backup, the company is storing the same 20 copies of Windows. With deduplication, and a multi-tenant architecture, one version of Windows Server R2 would be shared among clients and only one copy would be saved during backups.

Additionally, if Winter wants to replicate his VMware environment to his disaster recovery site, it means using Veeam Software to replicate 100GB of data, because none of the data is deduplicated or compressed.

The OmniCubes not only deduplicate and compress data, but they have continuous data protection that takes snapshots and moves them to a remote disaster recovery site, where they can be stored as a full backup.

"When I click on the OmniCube tab for VMware, I not only see my local virtual machines, but I also see all the snapshot copies and the copies in my DR site," Winter said.

Taneja said while IT infrastructures as a whole have gone to more open concepts, that hasn't lead to a more consolidated infrastructure. And, while each element of a data center, such as virtualized servers and networked storage systems, has its merits, when viewed in totality, they still end up looking like "a mumbo jumbo of gear."

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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