Exciting news from Vmware this week.
“Our customers who are most successful in meeting the changing needs of their customers simultaneously work on two initiatives: modernize their approach to applications, and modernize the infrastructure that those applications run on, to meet the needs of their developers and IT teams.
As part of these initiatives, customers want to gain the benefits of a cloud operating model, which means having rapid, self-service access to infrastructure, simple lifecycle management, security, performance, and scalability.
This is exactly what vSphere now provides. vSphere 7 is the biggest release of vSphere in over a decade and delivers these innovations and the rearchitecting of vSphere with native Kubernetes that we introduced at VMworld 2019 as Project Pacific.
The headline news is that vSphere now has native support for Kubernetes, so you can run containers and virtual machines on the same platform, with a simple upgrade of the system that you’ve currently standardized on and adopting VMware Cloud Foundation. In addition, this release is chock-full of new capabilities focused on significantly improving developer and operator productivity, regardless of whether you are running containers.”
StorCentric’s Nexsan Announces Major Performance & Connectivity Improvements for BEAST Platform with New BEAST Elite Models
BEAST Elite & Elite F with QLC Flash Deliver Industry-Leading BEAST Reliability with Enhanced Performance
Nexsan, a StorCentric company and a global leader in unified storage solutions, has announced significant enhancements for its high-density BEAST storage platform, including major improvements in performance and connectivity. The new BEAST Elite increases throughput and IOPs by 25% while maintaining the architecture’s price/performance leadership. Connectivity has been tripled, providing 12 high-speed Fibre Channel (FC) or iSCSI host ports, reducing the need for network switches.
BEAST Elite: Industry-Leading Reliability, Enhanced Performance and Scale
The BEAST Elite has been architected for the most diverse and demanding storage environments, including media and entertainment, surveillance, government, health care, financial and backup. It offers ultra-reliable, high performance storage that seamlessly fits into existing storage environments. In addition to a 25% increase in IOPs and throughput, BEAST Elite provides an all-in enterprise storage software feature set with encryption, snapshots, robust connectivity with FC and iSCSI, and support for asynchronous replication.
Designed for easy setup and streamlined management processes for administrators, BEAST Elite is highly reliable and was built to withstand demanding storage environments, including ships, subway stations and storage closets that have less than ideal temperatures and vibration. The platform now supports 14TB and 16TB HDDs with density of up to 2.88PB in a 12U system.
BEAST Elite F: QLC Flash Delivers Unrivalled Price/Performance Metrics
The BEAST Elite F storage solution supports QLC NAND technology designed to accelerate access to extremely large datasets at unrivalled price/performance metrics for high-capacity, performance-sensitive workloads. It is ideally suited to environments where performance is critical, but the cost of SSDs has historically been too high.
The BEAST Elite and Elite F both support the new E-Flex Architecture, which allows users to select up to two of any of the three expansion systems available. This gives organizations the flexibility to size the systems exactly as required within their rack space requirements.
“The new BEAST Elite storage platform with QLC flash provides a significant performance improvement over HDDs with industry-leading price/performance. This storage platform is ideal for customers who want extremely dense, highly resilient block storage data lakes, analytics and ML/AI workloads,” said Surya Varanasi, CTO of StorCentric, parent company of Nexsan.
“With a reputation for reliability stretching back over two decades, our BEAST platform has become a trusted solution for a huge range of organizations and use cases,” commented Mihir Shah, CEO of StorCentric, parent company of Nexsan. “BEAST Elite and Elite F retain those levels of superior-build quality and robust design while adding significantly to performance, scale and connectivity capabilities. We will continue to enhance and introduce new products as a testament to our unrelenting commitment to customer centricity.”
For further information, please visit https://www.nexsan.com/beast-elite/.
Global SAP® on AWS® services firm announces infusion of experienced board members and leadership team to bring renewed commitment to strategic vision and accelerate sales, marketing and execution of aggressive product roadmap.
ATLANTA, GA — Lemongrass Consulting, the leading professional and managed service provider of SAP enterprise applications running on AWS hyperscale cloud infrastructure, today announced it has completed a $10 million Series C round of financing. Blue Lagoon Capital led the investment round with participation from existing investor Columbia Capital. The investment brings Lemongrass’s total funding since launching its services to $29.3 million and will enable the company to build out its senior leadership team, broaden and accelerate product development, and aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts.
Lemongrass, founded in 2008 by Eamonn O’Neill and Walter Beek, is recognized as the leading professional and managed service provider focused solely on the complex task of running SAP on AWS. The company provides end to end support for the entire client lifecycle spanning discovery, landing zone build out, workload migration and implementation at scale, and ongoing operational services. Additionally, the company has developed a cloud management platform, MiCloud, widely recognized as the most sophisticated set of purpose-built tools to facilitate the migration of SAP to the AWS cloud, and to support the on-going operation of the resulting SAP on AWS environments. Automation includes a full suite of migration, build and steady-state run services, self-service deployments and self-healing capabilities.
Lemongrass works with leading enterprises, across multiple verticals in the Americas, EMEA and APAC. The company has been working with AWS since 2010, is a Premier APN Consulting Partner, was the second company globally to achieve the SAP on AWS capability and was just recently awarded the coveted AWS Migration Competency award, in addition to the AWS Managed Services Competency award, in recognition of the thousands of SAP systems that they have migrated with a 100% success rate.
“Lemongrass is an exceptional company. The magnitude of their vision and the quality of their solutions positions them well to dominate the SAP on AWS growth market,” said Rodney Rogers, Co-founder and General Partner, Blue Lagoon Capital. “We could not be more delighted about this investment.”
In addition to the investment, Rogers will join Lemongrass as Chairman of the Board. Rogers is an expert technologist with more than 30 years of success in the technology services industry, recognized most recently for his leadership as Virtustream’s co-founder and CEO, a technology startup that achieved a billion-dollar+ valuation through its acquisition by EMC in 2015. Also, new to the Board is Kevin Reid, co-founder and CTO of Virtustream and co-founder and General Partner at Blue Lagoon Capital. Kevin is a technology entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience creating software-enabled solutions that deliver efficiency, enable innovation and drive superior financial results for enterprises worldwide.
The company also announced new appointments to round out the global management team and bring aboard the additional experience needed to support Lemongrass’s next era of growth and maturity.
Mike Rosenbloom joins the company as the Group CEO. Mike has over 25 years in IT Leadership and comes to Lemongrass from Accenture where he was Managing Director for the company’s Intelligent Cloud & Infrastructure business.
Walter Beek, previous Group CEO of Lemongrass, will continue with the company in the role of Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer and will focus on his passion for driving the innovation agenda for the company’s services and the MiCloud platform.
“These are exciting times for Lemongrass and the momentum we have in our business is evident.” said Beek. “Our business has ambitious goals to pursue and achieving them will require immense skill, rapid growth and scale, and collaborative leadership. The addition of Rodney, Kevin, Mike and the rest of the new executives to our current accomplished team marks an important milestone in Lemongrass’s evolution. I’m confident we will grow faster, innovate as never before, and truly differentiate ourselves in this market.”
Other new leaders joining Lemongrass’s executive leadership team at this time are:
Mike Provenzano, Chief Financial Officer
- Mike has over 25+ years of high-tech and software executive experience providing strategic, financial and operational leadership to both public and private companies at various stages of their development. Prior to Lemongrass, Mike was CFO of Virtustream, a cloud services and software provider.
Lisa Desmond, Chief Marketing Officer
- Lisa brings 20+ years of experience in global IT marketing creating and operationalizing marketing visions for entrepreneurial tech businesses. Lisa was most recently CMO for Beep, an autonomous mobility solutions company, and before that, she was the CMO of Virtustream.
“The most exciting days for Lemongrass are ahead. This is a remarkable team and I am honored to be a part of this journey,” said Mike Rosenbloom, Lemongrass’s new CEO. “This latest funding and the strategic addition of these key leaders will drive exponential growth, enable strategic investments ‘ahead of the curve’, increase operational discipline, and inspire our team to be the absolute best as we execute on our commitments to our customers, partners, and investors.”
Lemongrass Consulting, headquartered in Reading with operations in all global geographies, was established in 2008 as a specialist SAP Technology consultancy. Lemongrass specializes in the implementation, migration, operation, innovation and automation of SAP on AWS, covering both the SAP Business Suite and Business One applications. The company is an AWS Premier partner, an Advanced APN Consulting Partner, an AWS accredited Managed Service Provider and was the second company globally to achieve the SAP on AWS capability.
To learn more about Lemongrass, visit https://lemongrassconsulting.com/
Thousand Oaks, CA – Jan. 15, 2020 – Nexsan announced the newest release of its Assureon Archive storage system. Version 8.3 includes Private Blockchain and end-to-end RMDA (Remote Direct Memory Access) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) both adding a whole new level of data security and protection.
Assureon is ideal for organizations that need to implement regulatory and corporate compliance, the long-term archiving of unstructured data, or storage optimization.
The Private Blockchain feature means that customers can now protect their data by:
Storing it in an immutable data structure
Utilizing cryptography to secure transactions
Relying on an automated integrity audit at the redundant sites to maintain data integrity and transparency.
Full press release :
Nexsan Adds RoCE and Private Blockchain Technology to Award Winning Assureon® Solution
Nexsan Assureon 8.3 includes Private Blockchain to protect and secure digital assets and RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) to enable over a 2x performance improvement for data retrieval
Thousand Oaks, CA – Jan. 15, 2020 – Nexsan, a global leader in unified storage solutions and part of the StorCentric family, today announced the newest release of its Nexsan Assureon active data vault storage solution. Version 8.3 includes Private Blockchain and end-to-end RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE). The latest version is also ideal for organizations that need to implement regulatory and corporate compliance, the long-term archiving of unstructured data, or storage optimization.
Assureon Private Blockchain enables organizations to protect and secure digital assets by storing data in an immutable data structure, utilizes cryptography to secure transactions and relies on an automated integrity audit at the redundant sites to maintain data integrity and transparency. Combined with Assureon’s unique file fingerprinting and asset serialization process, with metadata authentication and a robust consensus algorithm, Assureon Private Blockchain allows secure archiving of digital assets for long-term data protection, retention and compliance adherence.
Nexsan has adopted the high performance and low latency RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) to eliminate the performance-robbing layers of the network stack. Together, Nexsan with RoCE ensures all customers have ultra-low latency, are regulatory compliant and that the solution is ready for the ever-increasing data demands.
“Nexsan has a strong track record of creating products and services that capitalize on the advances in data archiving, security, protection and retrieval,” commented Surya Varanasi, CTO of StorCentric, Parent Company of Nexsan. “With the release of Assureon 8.3, we have implemented RoCE to provide over a 2x performance improvement and private blockchain technology for a secure, immutable data structure. Users are now able to quickly and efficiently retrieve data with a 40G RDMA Converged Ethernet connection between the Assureon server and Assureon Edge servers, and thereby accelerate access to archived data storage securely.”
Assureon 8.3 offers a number of benefits to Nexsan customers, including:
- Virtual shortcuts that require zero disk space and reside purely in memory as reference points to physical files in the Assureon archive.
- A 40Gb/s ethernet connection that provides blazing fast data retrieval from the Assureon server.
- Data is retrieved directly from user-space with minimal involvement of the operating system and CPU.
- In addition, zero-copy applications can retrieve data from the Assureon archive without involving the network stack.
- Security, traceability, immutability, and visibility of data with Assureon Private Blockchain technology.
Nexsan® is a global enterprise storage leader, enabling customers to securely store, protect and manage critical business data. Established in 1999, Nexsan has built a strong reputation for delivering highly reliable and cost-effective storage while remaining agile to deliver purpose-built storage. Its unique and patented technology addresses evolving, complex enterprise requirements with a comprehensive portfolio of unified storage, block storage, and secure archiving. Nexsan is transforming the storage industry by turning data into a business advantage with unmatched security and compliance standards. Ideal for a variety of use cases including Government, Healthcare, Education, Life Sciences, Media & Entertainment, and Call Centers. Nexsan is part of the StorCentric family of brands. For further information, please visit: www.nexsan.com
StorCentric provides world-class and award-winning storage solutions. Between its Drobo, Nexsan, Retrospect and Vexata divisions, the company has shipped over 1M storage solutions and has won over 100 awards for technology innovation and service excellence. StorCentric innovation is centered around customers and their specific data requirements, and delivers quality solutions with unprecedented flexibility, data protection, performance and expandability. For further information, please visit: www.storcentric.com
Financial Services Visionary to Help Shape Products and Accelerate Growth Strategy
Sunnyvale, CA – January 21, 2020 – StorCentric, a global provider of world-class and award-winning storage solutions, today announced it has added Manju Agarwal to its Board as an advisor. Agarwal brings over 30 years of banking experience in India and internationally, and has unique expertise in financial technology innovation and digital transformation.
Agarwal joins StorCentric during an exciting growth phase. The company has increased its pace of acquisitions and recently expanded its product line with All-Flash NVMe solutions to address the massive data growth and need for data driven applications in the financial services industry. “Manju’s incredible depth of experience and knowledge will be instrumental in helping to shape and enhance StorCentric’s products and services to further enable our customers to innovate, modernize and transform their IT infrastructure. In addition, Manju’s business experience will contribute significantly as the company executes on this strategy,” said Mihir Shah, CEO, StorCentric. “I am very pleased to add someone of Manju’s caliber to our team as we accelerate our growth strategy.”
“I am excited and honored to have been invited to join StorCentric’s board as an advisor,” said Agarwal. “StorCentric is a leader in the financial services market, with an enviable roster of high-profile customers. I look forward to teaming with what I view as one of the most stellar teams in the industry, as we work to cement StorCentric as the most recognized and trusted storage solutions company in the marketplace.”
Ms. Agarwal currently serves as Independent Director for Hinduja Leyland Finance, Indialdeas.com Limited and IFFCO Kisan Finance Limited. Prior, she held the position of Deputy Managing Director, Digital Banking and New Businesses, at State Bank India, the country’s largest bank, where she was responsible for all digital products and new initiatives, and led the government business, transaction banking, issuing and acquiring business initiatives of the bank. This included ensuring the opening of approximately 40 million new accounts, in a six-month time frame. She holds a Masters of Arts in Political Science from the University of Allahabad, a Certification in Documentary Credits from EuroMoney United Kingdom, a Certification in Marketing from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a Certification in Financial Inclusion from the Harvard Kennedy School.
StorCentric provides world-class and award-winning storage solutions. Between its Drobo, Nexsan®, Retrospect and Vexata divisions, the company has shipped over 1M storage solutions and has won over 100 awards for technology innovation and service excellence. StorCentric innovation is centered around customers and their specific data requirements, and delivers quality solutions with unprecedented flexibility, data protection, performance and expandability. For further information, please visit: www.storcentric.com.
I have previously written about Vembu BDR Suite, so lets go into a little more detail.
Vembu BDR Suite is a server based suite of packages integrated behind a single intuitive web console. once installed, logging onto the server gives a landing page with 4 common tasks, adding Virtualization servers, be it Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware, adding windows machines, and a link for files and applications
OK, so lets explore the menus a little. Dashboard shows a nice at-a-glance display of active and recent jobs, and the storage pools/quotas and their use. Exactly as you would want for a centralized backup system, how much space do we have, and are backups running and completing successfully.
Moving onto the Backup tab, we see a duplication of the options displayed on the landing screen, and an additional “list jobs” link
Under VMreplication we have a link to the add/manage Vsphere servers. configuration for failover and failback (covered in an interesting post here)
Under Tape Backup we have menus for configuring tape infrastructure where tape servers can be added and configured, and jobs scheduled.
Recovery takes you to a page listing (when populated) the machines that are backed up, allowing you to drive down by machine to individual backups, subsequently allowing recovery to be performed, be it file, disk, or machine level.
Reports menu group together the backup status and image integrity reports as well as configuring email reports if desired.
Management allows you to configure may aspects of the DBR suite, providing access to a credentials manager, data encryption, offsite copies, among others as well as virtual drive management for presenting backups in a user accessible manner.
Finally settings present time zone, email configurations and software updates and authorization (for managing access to the server).
Vembu BDR’s web console is an intuitive and self-explanatory interface, whilst not presenting an overwhelming or confusing array of options, it successfully provides access to them in a easy and concise manner.
If I were working in an organization utilizing Vembu in a support role I would definitely have the web console dashboard as one of my home tabs in my browser.
Continued from part 1 here
So, as i was saying a backup is no good unless you can restore, and as simple and intuitive Vembu’s windows Backup has been, let test an intriguing facility of BDR Quick VM Restore, allowing you to boot a backup as a virtual machine, facilitating migration to a virtual environment or for rapid disaster recovery.
Selecting Recovery from the banner shows a list of backed up machines, clicking the recovery icon by the backup seamed logical enough.
Brings up a list of restore options, from disk level to file level, including the restore of interest, Quick VM Recovery, selecting this brings up a page where we can choose which backup to restore and which disks.
Moving on we have to provide details of the virtualization server be it VMware or Hyper-V, its IP address , credentials, and target VM name and Datastore.
Clicking next brings us to a confirmation screen detailing the configured recovery.
Clicking restore now is self explanatory and carries out the restore.
After an appropriate time the restore completes, and logging onto the VMWare ESXi server shows a corresponding virtual machine
Which Starts up when you click on the power button
All in all it was a very slick, hands off and intuitive process, which i think performed excellently and offers great potential, both in terms of a fine grain simple backup solution, and in terms of a tool to facilitate migration from physical to virtual infrastructure.
The process wasn’t entirely straightforward, but that was mostly due to my odd network, and when problems occurred Vembu customer services were excellent, extremely responsive when called upon.
If your looking for a single point interface interface for your backup needs, Vembu BDR suite offers an excellent experience.
Windows Backup and Virtualization using Vembu BDR
One of the most appealing functionalities of Vembu BDR was the ability to back up stand-alone windows machines, and should the need occur, recover a backed up machine to a virtual machine, thus offering a easy route to migrating physical servers or workstations to a virtual machine. I have a spare windows box, so lets see how simple the process is
So after installing Vembu BDR suite trial on my desktop, lets connect to the server web console.
from the dashboard backup drop-down menu select microsoft windows
greats you with a self explanatory add Microsoft windows host page.
Adding the target machines DNS name and adding administrator credentials via the Add credentials button:
this has a convenient free test field to add a description for the machine, clicking save returns you to the previous screen with your added credentials selected. Clicking add host prompts you for confirmation?
After confirming, and a short delay, the windows host has been added to Vembu and you are dropped into the manage host screen:
So far so good, a standalone windows 10 machine has been added to Vembu with little hassle. Lets continue on and backup, clicking the backup button by the host takes you into a new wizzard. As its a newly added machine we get a warning about the Vembu image backup driver not being installed
Clicking on “click here to install” provokes a warning that it will result in the reboot of the host.
clicking on ok installs the driver on the host and causes it to reboot, so after a brief pause for the remote machine to reboot, the wizard continues with a drive selection screen
Wanting to do a complete backup i selected all physical volumes.
this provoked a warning that the system drive didn’t have a drive letter assigned:
selecting ok assigns a drive letter and selects the drives, clicking next moves onto the “Guest Processing” tab, which allows the selection of application aware processing, to enable Vembu to track critical applications such as AD/Exchange and ensure consistency of data backed up.
whilst the machine used in this example isn’t running any of these applications i thought it worthwhile to enable application aware processing for this test. Next moves us onto the scheduling tab, where we can set a schedule for regular backups and aditional full backups.
configured to my liking, with a full backup enabled, we move on to the settings screen, where retention policies encryption and storage pool to be used for this backup can be configured
Moving on to the final screen, we can name the backup job and review and confirm settings, as well as configure the job to run immediately after saving.
This gives an intermediary confirmation that the backup schedule has been saved, clicking ok, confirms and causes the backup to start running.
dropping back to the jobs screen, with a small green triangle to indicate the backup is running
going into reports we can see the successful backup.
Now a backup is only as good as its restoration, and is useless if we can’t restore it. Lets look at a restore in part 2.
At the end of last year, we were approached by Vembu technologies about producing some content for them, now to be honest they are not a company I have had any experience with and I wasn’t aware of their products.
So as would any self-respecting admin/Blogger would do, I paid a visit to their website to see what the deal is and headed over to their about section, which has the following to say:
“Vembu is a leading provider of a portfolio of software products and cloud services to small and medium businesses for more than a decade. Vembu’s vision is to make software and cloud services very affordable for the hundreds of thousands of small and medium businesses worldwide.
Vembu’s flagship offering is the BDR Suite of products meant for on-premise, offsite, cloud backup and disaster recovery across diverse IT environments including physical, virtual, applications and endpoints.
Since 2002, Vembu’s industry-recognized data protection solutions have delivered tangible value to more than 60,000 businesses worldwide through a network of 4000+ partners (MSPs/VARs & Resellers).”
Standard Fare, but promising. now what really caught my eye was their Philosophy:
“We are not gifted. We work hard.
We want a better tomorrow. We try even harder.
Nothing comes perfect the first time. We persist.
Nothing special about us. We want our work to be special.
It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about sincerity of purpose.”
This resonated well with me, struck me as an organisation willing to work with its customers and seek continual improvement.
OK stage 2, download and install a free trial, and have a play.
Now, i filled in my details (using my personal account and not my Vbrainstorm account) but before the trial had even completed downloading, my phone rang, and it was Vembu customer services ringing to schedule a product demo! This seriously impressed and showed excellent communication, and made me feel like I was a valued potential customer.
Sure enough, at the appointed time a couple of days later I was treated to a full product rundown of their comprehensive BDRSuite. and quite frankly it left me speechless. It left me with nothing less than the impression that BDRSuite is a complete backup solution allowing you to backup any system at any level of granularity, with complete application awareness. whether physical or virtual systems. Indeed, Vembu facilitates the virtualization of physical machines, a physical machine can be backed up and visualized in a single process. Indeed, any failed hardware that is backed up through BDRSuite can be booted in a virtual machine either to recover data or take the place of the failed hardware in a matter of seconds.
From my time in IT support, when large scale virtualization was in its infancy and Big Data was a new term, BDR seems like a solution to a broad range of problems, and is a product that interests me.
Dashboard, showing very simple clearly understandable user interface.
Interface for adding Vmware Vcenter server to the backups
Interface for adding physical windows machine to the backups
BDRSuite gives the first impression of being the holy grail of backups, comprehensive and simple to use, I look forward to playing with its functionality!
Stay tuned for some more in-depth product evaluations