Jack of all trades: New Cisco UCS S-Series and Red Hat Storage

imagesToday, Cisco announced its new UCS S-Series storage-optimized server with the introduction of the UCS S3260, marking its entry into the emerging server market for data intensive workloads.

Red Hat and Cisco have worked together for a long time, including our collaboration on Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Out with the old…

By jumping into the high-density storage-optimized server market, Cisco validates what we see as the continued movement to emerging software-defined, scale-out architectures for solutions like OpenStack and container-native storage and hyper-converged infrastructure.

With the ability to spread data across multiple servers, both Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage are helping to drive this trend. Open, software-defined storage enables enterprises to build an elastic cloud infrastructure for newer, data intensive workloads.

Ceph provides unified storage over a distributed object store (RADOS) as its core by providing unified block, object and file interfaces, while Gluster provides an elastic, scale out NAS file storage system.

As more organizations move to open source SDS from appliances / traditional SAN arrays, they often miss the recipes for a best practice deployment. Red Hat has worked with Cisco to produce reference design architectures to take the guess work out of configuring throughput-optimized, cost / capacity-optimized and emerging high IOPs performing clusters, including whitepapers for both Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage with Cisco’s previous generation of the S-Series, the C3160 high density rack server.

Open source drives storage innovation

Both Ceph and Gluster use community-powered innovation to accelerate their core feature sets faster than what is possible via a single proprietary vendor. Red Hat is a top contributor to both Ceph and Gluster upstream development, but several hardware, software and cloud service providers, including eBay, Yahoo!, CERN (Ceph) and Facebook (Gluster), all contribute to the code base. Cisco itself is a top-50 contributor to Ceph in terms of code commits.

Versatility

The Cisco UCS S-Series builds on the x86 storage-optimized server trend – but seemingly shuffles the deck with more of an enterprise spin via features such as dual-node servers, quadruple fans and power supplies, connected to Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.

One aspect of the new UCS S-Series design we are excited about is “versatility”. UCS offers common, consistent architecture for variety of IT needs that we expect may enable it to become a standard hardware building block for enterprise environments. S-Series includes features such as a modular chassis design, facilitating upgrades to new Intel chipsets including its disk expander module, providing the ability to swap out a server node for an additional 4 drives (increasing the raw capacity from 560 to 600 TB).

Cisco has also integrated networking fabric into its storage-optimized servers, making it easier to extend your interconnect as your cluster scales out. The S3260 offers dual 40GbE ports for each server node. As one moves to denser servers (with more than 24 drives) in Ceph configurations, the need for 40Gb Ethernet becomes greater. Enterprises can benefit from tightly-integrated fabric interconnect which translates to less latency, which is important for applications like video streaming.

A key piece is the UCS Manager configuration and handling tool which can simplify deployment. UCS Manager enables the creation of an initial configuration profile for storage, network, compute, etc. for the S3260, helping customers to more easily grow their Ceph environments by pushing out the profile to additional S3260s as they expand.

Combined with the Red Hat Storage ability to handle block, object and file access along with being flexible enough to handle throughput optimized, cost / capacity and high IOPS workloads, Cisco’s UCS S-Series may not just be a jack of all trades, but also a master of many.

Stay tuned for more upcoming joint solution papers from the Cisco UCS S3260 and Red Hat Ceph Storage teams. In the interim, learn more about the UCS S-Series at cisco.com/go/storage.

What Can a Paper Shredder Teach Us About Big Data?

by Irshad Raihan, Red Hat Storage – Big Data Product Marketing

The trusty paper shredder in my home office died last week. I’m in the market for a new one. Years ago, when I purchased “Shreddy” (of course, it had a name) after a brief conversation with a random store clerk, choices were few and information scarce. In fact, paper shredders weren’t really considered standard personal office equipment as they are today. Most good shredders were built for offices not homes. Back in the market more than a decade later, it’s clear that the search for a new shredder is going to be trickier than I had imagined.

A paper shredder is a lot like big data.

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Linux, Gluster and the FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER!!!

I_Frankenstein_Poster(WARNING: Video contains graphic, horrific fight sequences, which contain violence and gore; parental guidance suggested)

What do open source software solutions like the Linux operating system and the Gluster distributed file system have in common w/ the Frankenstein Monster? Don’t know?!? Arrrgghhh!!!

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The Data Life Cycle Has Changed. Are You Ready?

by Irshad Raihan, Red Hat Storage – Big Data Product Marketing

Digital data has been around for centuries in one form or the other. Commercial tabulating machines have been available since the late 1800’s when they were used for accounting, inventory and population census. Why then do we label today as the Big Data age? What dramatically changed in the last 10-15 years that has the entire IT industry chomping at the bit?

More data? Certainly. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are two big drivers that have contributed to the classic V’s (Volume, Variety, Velocity) of Big Data. The first is the commoditization of computing hardware – servers, storage, sensors, cell phones – basically anything that runs on silicon. The second is the explosion in the number of data authors – both machines and humans.

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Red Hat Summit 2014, day zero recap

Although April 14 was the first day of the full Red Hat Summit, the event really kicked off April 13 with a reception in the partner pavilion (think expo hall) with…

2014-04-14 17.49.01

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Red Hat Storage Adds Enhanced Data Protection and Volume Snapshots for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0

We are pleased to announce new Red Hat Storage Server capabilities in conjunction with the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0. With enhanced data protection for OpenStack and volume snap shot creation and management, Red Hat Storage and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 help optimize the overall data footprint for enterprise cloud infrastructure.

Red Hat Storage, an open software-defined storage solution, provides multiple data access methods including File (Glance), Block (Cinder) and Object (Swift) Storage for OpenStack deployments in a truly elastic, scale-out approach. Red Hat Storage deployed with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 provides Cinder, Glance and Swift Object services for a unified storage approach that eliminates disparate silos of data and scales to petabyte levels.

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Red Hat’s Approach with Open, Software-Defined Storage (A Four Part Series)

Today’s Post: Red Hat Storage Server In Action

By Steve Bohac, Red Hat Storage Product Marketing

Several weeks ago, we posted the blog “Open Software Defined Storage – Don’t Get Fooled By The False ‘Open’ and Get Locked-In Again”. Today’s entry is the conclusion of this four part mini-series.

We understand how difficult it is to optimize your storage for innovation and growth, and our goal is to help enterprises on their journey to convert their data centers from cost centers into revenue-generators. Red Hat Storage Server has helped businesses of all varieties achieve their objectives. Here’s how open, software-defined storage has helped a few organizations get to the next level:

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Red Hat’s Approach with Open, Software Defined Storage (A Four Part Series)

Part 3: Red Hat Storage Server Delivers on the Promise

By Steve Bohac, Red Hat Storage Product Marketing

Several weeks ago, we posted the blog “Open Software Defined Storage – Don’t Get Fooled By The False ‘Open’ and Get Locked-In Again”. Coincident with that blog, the IT analyst firm Gartner placed ‘Software Defined Anything’ in its list for Top IT Trends for 2014. With this proclamation, as well as recent discussions in the storage market about software-defined storage, we wanted to spend some time to discuss the graphic shown in our original blog and what Red Hat’s approach is to this important and growing market trend and why we believe that a truly open approach will ultimately win the day.

Continue reading “Red Hat’s Approach with Open, Software Defined Storage (A Four Part Series)”

The Importance and Improvements in Red Hat Storage’s Geo-Replication

by Veda Shankar, Product Marketing @ Red Hat

Red Hat Storage (RHS) is delivering a different approach to the storage requirements of today’s data center: Open, software-defined storage (SDS). This approach differs from the traditional, hardware-centric data storage model, which limits a business’s flexibility by tying it to proprietary vendor solutions. With Red Hat’s storage offering, RHS, the design focuses on solving storage challenges with software at a petabyte scale.

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IDC Study in Enterprise Hadoop Deployments

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IDC Study Finds Customers Use More Than Hadoop to Holistically Analyze Data

IDC has taken a look at the ways businesses are using Hadoop in conjunction with traditional analytics to draw insight out of their data. The IDC White Paper, sponsored by Red Hat, entitled “Trends in Enterprise Hadoop Deployments” (October 2013) takes a look at what percentage of businesses have existing Hadoop deployments, immediate plans to deploy, and long-term plans to deploy. The white paper also investigated the ways in which businesses use Hadoop to analyze big data. What becomes clear is that businesses use Hadoop in a variety of ways and in concert with other platforms. The outcome of this is that some enterprises are looking to alternative persistent storage systems that go beyond HDFS. Red Hat Storage offers GlusterFS as an alternative to HDFS and ranks with IBM’s Global File system (GPFS), and EMC Isilon OneFS as the top offerings, thanks to its strong reputation for being robust, scale-out and open source.

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Red Hat – Mountain View Gives Back to the Community

by Brian Chang, Global Brand Manager

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Each year, we at Red Hat celebrate our brand, culture and people. Called: “We Are Red Hat Week,” we take time to honour our achievements and accomplishments of helping Red Hat to grow from a Linux-only company to one that offers a full suite of software products.

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Red Hat’s Approach with Open, Software Defined Storage (A Four Part Series)

Part 2: Community Driven Innovation

By Steve Bohac, Red Hat Storage Product Marketing

Two weeks ago, we posted the blog “Open Software Defined Storage – Don’t Get Fooled By The False ‘Open’ and Get Locked-In Again”. Coincident with that blog, the IT analyst firm Gartner placed ‘Software Defined Anything’ in its list for Top IT Trends for 2014. With this proclamation, as well as recent discussions in the storage market about software-defined storage, we wanted to spend some time to discuss the graphic shown in our original blog and what Red Hat’s approach is to this important and growing market trend and why we believe that a truly open approach will ultimately win the day. Today’s entry is the second in a four part mini-series.

Continue reading “Red Hat’s Approach with Open, Software Defined Storage (A Four Part Series)”

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