12 Nov 2020

IBM Expands Its Hybrid Multi-Cloud Capabilities

    If you follow enterprise computing, you know that hybrid multi-cloud technologies and solutions are driving many companies’ IT discussions, strategies, plans and implementations. The reasons for that are pretty straightforward; though organizations continue to enjoy the easy access of public cloud, few are embracing those platforms for most or all their IT needs.

    In fact, a recent Forrester study found that 85% of respondents are increasing funding for IT infrastructure outside of public cloud. But how and how effectively businesses achieve their hybrid multi-cloud goals is another thing entirely. The vast majority enlist trusted vendors to help them on that journey, but the results of those engagements can vary significantly. That’s why IBM’s recent announcement of new hybrid cloud capabilities spanning its IT infrastructure portfolio is worth investigation.

    Let’s consider what the company is doing and how it will impact IBM customers.

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    27 Oct 2020

    What are data centers, and how are they changing?

      aintain their reliability and security.

      What is a data center?

      Data centers are often referred to as a singular thing, but in actuality they are composed of a number of technical elements. These can be broken down into three categories:

      • Compute: The memory and processing power to run the applications, generally provided by high-end servers
      • Storage: Important enterprise data is generally housed in a data center, on media ranging from tape to solid-state drives, with multiple backups
      • Networking: Interconnections between data center components and to the outside world, including routers, switches, application-delivery controllers, and more

      These are the components that IT needs to store and manage the most critical systems that are vital to the continuous operations of a company. Because of this, the reliability, efficiency, security and constant evolution of data centers are typically a top priority. Both software and hardware security measures are a must.

      In addition to technical equipment, data centers also require a significant amount of facilities infrastructure to keep the hardware and software up and running. This includes power subsystems, uninterruptable power supplies (UPS), ventilation and cooling systems, backup generators and cabling to connect to external network operators.
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      12 Oct 2020

      Intel, Nvidia launch new networking processor initiatives

        In recent days Intel and Nvidia have introduced or announced new networking products with a common goal of offloading networking traffic to the network processor, thus freeing up the CPU for computational work.

        Intel announced a new networking initiative to capitalize on what it calls “a perfect storm of 5G, edge buildout and pervasive artificial intelligence” with an expanded lineup of hardware, software and solutions for network infrastructure.

        This includes enhancements to Intel’s software reference architecture, FlexRAN; Intel virtualized radio access network (vRAN) dedicated accelerator; network-optimized next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable and D processors (codenamed “Ice Lake”); and upgraded Intel Select Solutions for Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI).

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        29 Sep 2020

        Should you upgrade tape drives to the latest standard?

          With the recent release of the linear tape–open 9 (LTO-9) standard, tape drives with increased capacity and speed should be available soon, but that doesn’t mean users of tape drives should rush to buy them.

          Here are some of the pros and cons to weigh when considering whether an upgrade is in order.

          Tape drives are a very reliable way to write data to storage, and are very good at holding onto data for multiple decades. They make an excellent medium for long-term storage and for shipping large amounts of data across long distances (a FedEx truck has unlimited bandwidth).

          What tape is not good at is going slow. LTO-8 has a compressed transfer speed of 900MB/s, which is significantly faster than most any backup you’re going to send to it. It’s definitely faster than any incremental backup that will be sent to it, and that comprises most backups. That makes tapes as the initial target of backups problematic.

          It’s OK to use tape to copy your backups for off-site purposes, because your disk-based backup system can be used as a cache for your tape drive, which should allow it to stream at a decent rate during the copy process. But it is next to impossible these days to properly design a backup system that sends incremental backups across the network directly to tape.

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