Unified Storage Systems – What are they and which one I need?

January 26, 2012

You probably have heard the term “Unified” a lot in storage industry. It started when NAS companies started adding iSCSI to their storage. And that is still the most common use of the term and the most popular Unified product in the market. But different companies started creating other type unified products. If you search the web, you can find companies who added Fibre Channel, Infiniband, or even Servers into Unified products.

 So all Unified products are not equal, and there is no right or wrong. But you do need to know what you need and understand the options available to you from different vendors.

 So which one makes sense to get? Like any other question, it depends. If you already have an environment that needs all these interfaces, then you need to find a product that has all these options. But if you are just setting up a new environment, your most logical choice is a “NAS + iSCSI SAN” Unified Storage. That is because of these two main facts:

  1. It will give you both block level storage (SAN), and file level storage (NAS)
  2. iSCSI SAN and NAS both use the same cabling, switches, and infrastructure

If you want to consolidate your storage and servers into the same chassis or same rack, then Unified Storage and Server products are for you.

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StoneFly Introduces 365Vault™ Private and Cloud Enterprise Backup Solution

January 19, 2012

StoneFly, Inc is proud to introduce 365Vault™, the smart solution for robust data protection and seamless disaster recovery.With 365Vault™, users can backup distributed data from desktops, notebooks and servers to on-site and/or off-site resources, including cloud storage, providing organizations with the flexibility to protect their critical data effectively and affordably. Immediately-deployable Vault™ Appliances provide affordable secondary storage and a powerful cloud gateway. Vault™ Appliances deliver quality turnkey storage solutions which is the core of StoneFly products.

365Vault™ from StoneFly raises the bar on backup, with:

• Support for ReST protocol—compatible with Amazon S3, Windows® Azure and AT&T Storage-as-a-Service, EMC Atmos platform and many others;
• One-Click Backup Selection for Common Backups,
• Open File Backup,
• 448-bit Blowfish Encryption,
• Powerful Data Compression,
• Continuous Data Protection.

For more information about 365Vault™ and/or Vault™ appliances, please contact StoneFly at marketing@stonefly.com.


USO™ Appliance raises the bar again by delivering another best-in-class storage product

January 16, 2012

StoneFly, Inc., is proud to deliver feature that our customers have been asking for –  the Unified Scale Out (USO™), and USO-HA™ Storage Appliances. USO™ and USO-HA™ add NAS & clustered NAS functionality to Stonefly IP Storage appliances. This new generation of storage appliances bring in unprecedented scalability that can add capacity and increase performance at the same time. Fully redundant active/active nodes of USO-HA deliver robust functionality in a fully redundant package to eliminate loss of access to storage in case of Hardware failures.

Catered to Cloud Computing Providers and Small and Midsized Enterprises (SMEs), this appliance is ideal for virtualized environments and mission critical applications.

“USO’s unique architecture of having no meta-data enables one volume to be distributed across multiple nodes and provide a Single Namespace. This is a feature that our customers have been asking for, and that is what StoneFly is delivering with USO™” says, Mo Tahmasebi (President/CEO) of Stonefly Inc.

Additional key features include:

• Fully Redundant Components (Nodes, Power Supplies, Fan, etc..)
• Hard Disk RAID Protection
• Active/Active nodes
• Synchronous, Campus, and Asynchronous Mirroring
• Thin Provisioning with Space Reclamation
• Snapshot with schedules & roll back
• Encryption (AES256)

For all other information about StoneFusion and StoneFly’s IP SAN products and features please visit www.Stonefly.com or www.iscsi.com


Storage Tiering- What is it and what does it give me?

December 28, 2011

What is it?

Since there are many disk drives types, it is very important to optimize use of different drive types to achieve best price/performance ratio for your storage. Storage Tiering allows usage of different type of drives for different applications.

Common disk drives used in storage subsystems such as Stonefly’s IP Storage products are: SATA HDD, SAS HDD, and SSD. SATA and SAS HDDs are both mechanical disk drives with spinning platters. SSD stands for Solid State Drive and is made from non-volatile flash memory. HDDs come in different rotation speeds ranging from 5400 RPM (Rotation Per Minute) up to 15000 RPM.

 

In storage Tiering, the most reliable high- performance equipment is used to support the most critical data. Whereas, the most cost-effective resources to support older, less critical information

 

All three drive types are available with:

–      3 or 6Giga-Bit-Per-Second per port

–      Single port which is commonly called SATA interface, or SAS interface which is commonly called SAS interface.

All three drive types come in different capacities of up to 3Tera-Bytes, and these capacities keep increasing each year.

 

This many variations in drive type, capacity, interface, and speed results in large differences in price for each drive.

 

Storage companies offer wide variety of drive types to accommodate needs of different customers with different applications. Storage Tiering allows customer to have multiple drive types in their storage units, and gives them the ability to allocate certain type drives to certain applications depending on what that application needs.

What does it give me?

Answer is simple: Freedom to choose drive types depending on application, and overall reduction in data storage costs.


Why Shared folder encryption makes sense, despite Full disk encryption.

December 21, 2011

Firstly, Shared folder encryption means when files and folders are shared over networks, they are protected using encryption rules and protocols, hence securing sensitive data being shared.

Full Disk encryption is when the entire hard drive is encrypted sector- by – sector, rather than just encryption certain files or folders. The contents of the physical hard disk are encrypted. In Full disk encryption, separate protection rules are not defined for specific files, reducing the risk of leaving temporary files, et al unprotected.

StoneFly supports Block level encryption:  This type of encryption is applied to all data files, so that no data files are accidentally skipped. This is one of the most preferred option for data encryption as there is less room for mistakes with this type.

When it comes to encryption of data, there are pros and cons, Full disk encryption is good in a case when your laptop is stolen, but when u consider sending sensitive information over a network, you would need to rely on a different protection scheme. Sometimes, different encryption products are needed to be used at the same time for full protection of data.


Will Cloud Storage Replace Local Storage?

December 20, 2011

With Cloud Storage gaining hype in providing storage solutions and recent developments in its technology, there is a mis-conception that local storage will soon become outdated.

As much as Cloud storage is useful for some applications, local storage is preferred for applications that demand better storage options. This is so because large enterprise applications need high speed access to their storage, which is not practically possible by cloud storage due to the low WAN access speed to the cloud.

Also, in Local storage, you are in control of your data, it is accessible without an internet connection and more secure when compared to the data stored on a cloud.

Although cloud storage is perfect for enterprise computing, local storage benefits outweigh cloud storage.

For more information on the local and cloud storage solutions, visit StoneFly’s iSCSI.com.

The link below talks about StoneFly’s product, Windows ESS, giving you a better understanding on how Local as well as Cloud storage solutions can be uses as per the enterprise’s requirement.

http://www.iscsi.com/products/software/ess/


What is snapshot, why do I need it?

December 19, 2011

Currently, most storage providers use this technology called Snapshot. This technology uses a method called “Copy On Write” which means that, if a location is changed, old data from the time snapshot for that location is stored in a repository called SnapSpace. The consequential snapshot will look like an actual volume, containing data at the time of snapshot taken.

Snapshot is also called Shadow Copy in windows Terminology. But the difference between windows based shadow copy and storage based snapshots are that windows based shadow copy will take the CPU cycles of the server, but storage snapshot does not.

Why do I need it?

Below listed are some usages of Snapshot.

–       Backup: Take a snapshot, backup the snapshot.

–      File Recovery: In case a file is deleted accidentally, it can be retrieved by going back to the snapshot.

–       Take a snapshot, give that to one or more other groups to work on it, while live volume is changing.

For more details on StoneFly’s Snapshot, Visit StoneFly’s  iscsi.com

Also refer the link given below:

http://www.iscsi.com/news/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=265