Tagged in: geek

E8 Storage Announces InfiniBand Support Extending High Performance Compute (HPC) Options for New and Existing Customers

Big news from growing storage player, E8.  Bringing InfiniBand to its blazingly fast storage solutions. In a very welcome move E8 have announced added support for InfiniBand to their storage solutions for customers looking to leverage the blazing speed of the centralized NVMe flash only storage, in storage intensive workloads via the speed of InfiniBand.

This will allow local flash storage speeds from networked centralized storage ensuring sufficient IOPS for even the most intensive workloads.

Their press release follows

E8 Storage Announces InfiniBand Support Extending High Performance Compute (HPC) Options for New and Existing Customers

 

Support for the solution highlights the close alignment with Mellanox Technologies and delivers unrivaled performance and ultra-low latency     

SANTA CLARA, CALIF., April 17, 2018 – E8 Storage today announced availability of InfiniBand support to its high performance, NVMe storage solutions. The move comes as a direct response to HPC customers that wish to take advantage of the high speed, low latency throughput of InfiniBand for their data hungry applications. E8 Storage support for InfiniBand will be seamless for customers who now have the flexibility to connect via Ethernet or InfiniBand when paired with Mellanox ConnectX InfiniBand/VPI adapters.

As our economy becomes more digitally-defined, HPC environments play a critical role in unlocking and harnessing the transformational power of data,” commented Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG. “InfiniBand connectivity combined with the full potential of flash as delivered by E8 Storage is an almost unstoppable partnership in terms of speed, low latency and scalability. Together, this makes E8 Storage and Mellanox a powerful combination for data center implementations and for databases that drive financial trading systems, real-time data analytics, and healthcare applications.”

The announcement also strengthens E8 Storage’s long-standing technology partnership with Mellanox that originally enabled the integration of E8 Storage’s rack scale flash architecture with selected Mellanox adapters. Today, this relationship allows E8 Storage systems to attach directly to existing RDMA high performance networks over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) or InfiniBand connections and makes E8 Storage’s full support of InfiniBand possible especially in HPC environments where the majority of InfiniBand adoption is occurring. Like Ethernet, the InfiniBand products perform at 100Gb/s allowing enhanced scalability as E8 Storage solutions are deployed.

According to the most recent Top 500 supercomputer rankings (Nov 2017), InfiniBand is the second most-used internal system interconnect technology. Further, in a recent evaluation by Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing for HPC products at Mellanox Technologies, Mellanox accounts for 62 percent share of the compute clustering of the true HPC systems.

“We are very pleased that E8 Storage is expanding this partnership to offer full support for our InfiniBand products. Working closely together, our combined products can deliver the lightning-fast and highly scalable network necessary to power data intensive applications, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning that now drive today’s economy,” stated Scot Schultz, Senior Director, HPC/AI and Technical Computing, Mellanox Technologies.

“Today we demonstrate once again that E8 Storage’s architecture can expand, evolve and always extract the full potential of flash performance,” comments Zivan Ori, co-founder and CEO of E8 Storage. “Partnering with market leaders like Mellanox that deliver the very best network connectivity technology ensures we continue to meet and, frequently, exceed the needs of our HPC customers even in their most demanding environments.”

E8 Storage software and appliances with InfiniBand support are available now, contact E8 Storage or your reseller for information on pricing.

E8 Storage is also a sponsor of the IBM Spectrum Scale (GPFS) User Group which will be held in London from April 18-19, 2018. The event features Spectrum Scale filesystem experts sharing the latest updates. To schedule a meeting with executives, visit https://e8storage.com/events/.

 

About E8 Storage

E8 Storage is a pioneer in shared accelerated storage for data-intensive, high-performance applications that drive business revenue. E8 Storage’s affordable, reliable and scalable solution is ideally suited for the most demanding low-latency workloads, including real-time analytics, financial and trading applications, transactional processing and large-scale file systems. Driven by the company’s patented architecture, E8 Storage’s high-performance shared NVMe storage solution delivers 10 times the performance at half the cost of existing storage products. With E8 Storage, enterprise datacenters can enjoy unprecedented storage performance density and scale, delivering NVMe performance without compromising on reliability and availability. Privately held, E8 Storage is based in Santa Clara with R&D in Tel Aviv, and channel partners throughout the US and Europe. For more information, please visit www.e8storage.com, and follow us on Twitter @E8Storage and LinkedIn.

 

Who wouldn’t be excited by faster access to their data? i know i am!

Thanks for reading

Tchau for now!

Installing ESXI 6.5

OK, So its been a while and now the holidays are over i’m back on it, so after discovering that there were significant changes between ESXI 6.0 and 6.5 I decided it was time to start over with 6.5.

so without further ado lets rebuild my virtual lab and get a hypervisor installed.  As a reminder, I’m building my lab within VMware Workstation Pro 12 so upon firing it up I hit the handy “Create new Virtual Machine button”, bringing up the “New Virtual Machine Wizard”

Defaults should work in the majority of cases so i figured lets go with that…

Hitting Next brings up the Guest OS selection page,  pointing it at the downloaded iso of VMVisor-installer 6.5

Give the machine a name, the disk location is set automatically, but you can change it here if you like.

You can change disk capacity here if you like, I left it at defaults in the knowledge that more than likely as my virtual environment grows i will need to provision more space, but i want to see how to do that.  Moving on…

Gives a summary of my selections and the opertunity to go back, or to edit the hardware configuration, being happy i clicked Finish

To be greeted by the installer boot loader, which automatically boots from the cd unless you intervene. But as that’s exactly what i wanted I let it go.

after a couple of minutes watching the installer screen.

I got a compatibility warning, but as im installing within a VMware VM I was pretty confident i need not worry about that, so hit enter to continue.

Accept the ELUA (F11)

Select the disk to install to.

Keyboard layout..

And set a root password.

Again you get an opertunity to sanity check your selections before hitting F11 to install.

A couple of minutes later its installed, and you get a useful reminder to remove the installer disk before rebooting.

And Hey Presto! a running hypervisor!

 

This process was beautifully simple for anyone with basic IT skills,  and remarkably fast, a real advantage when i think about enterprise level infrastructure, any new hardware can be installed with a hypervisor ready to e integrated into an existing setup within minutes and requires no special knowledge. Overall a very slick and smooth proces for which VMware should be congratulated.

So the first step in my virtual lab is done and i look forward to creating VM’s on my hypervisor.

Thanks for reading

Tchau for now

Phil

Let’s get started…. with VMware workstation pro (12)

Let’s get started….

So, I need to learn about VMware, what’s the best way to go about it I asked myself?  Jump on In and install VMware workstation pro (12) and have a play!

My desktop has 8 4ghz cores, 24 gigs of ram and a few terabytes of disk, I think I should be fine. So, of to vmware.com to download VMware workstation 12 after creating a free account.

I`m running windows so ill grab the appropriate version, I have a key for version 12 so that’s what I’m getting, the 400ish Mbyte download is quick and slick, as is the installer to follow, the usual ELUA fare and customise options, but if you’re considering VMware you have enough knowledge I don’t have to go through the installer process the only thing of note is you get a full featured 30-day evaluationSo, if you want to play and explore the possibilities you can.

Frankly installing VMware to this point has been simple slick professional installer as to be expected from VMware’s reputation and industry standing.

Now, for learning VMware I figure I need a virtual environment, so I`m going to set up a virtual server within VMware workstation on which I will install a hypervisor (esxi) and use that as a base for a home lab.

So, let’s see what we have and open workstation for the first time…

 

 

Not unlike a Microsoft management console (MMC) window, and immediately feeling at home, with the addition of some helpful shortcuts on the home screen.

Strikes me as VMware workstation is very easy to install, for anyone with basic computer skills, and that’s great its accessible for people to learn, and it’s  quick and easy for tec-heads like me to install, and i can only imagine that as a a plus in the enterprise world..

Next time installing the hypervisor..

Tchau for now..

Phil

 

 

It Begins…

Howdy!

Phew, now that’s out the way, I was expecting writers block, but hey, no!

 

Who is this fool you ask?
Well let me introduce myself, My name is Phil Marsden and I have been invited by @rogerlund to start blogging my experiences, well at least my experiences in the world of cloud computing and virtualization. To that end I think It’s only fair that you should be familiar with the guy currently occupying your eyeballs. I met Roger through a shared love of photography and it is true, photography has become somewhat of a passion of mine, but that is unimportant for now.

What is important is I love technology and what technology can do for us, I could use a photography analogy here, old school photographers, shot film and developed their own film in a dark room patiently waiting for the developing and fixing chemicals to fix the image. They then take this fragile negative and lovingly enlarge and process a print, a process in the most professional of labs, for “instant news” may take an hour or more. Today we shoot digital, and have a 15 + Mb data dump RAW from every shot and load it and develop in digital darkrooms in a matter of minutes, not only can we replicate old systems much faster, technology allows us to go much further than ever before. Part of my love for technology comes from my background, I’m nearly 40 and I grew up in a nice southern English market town where I was always a bit of a nerd at school, never enjoyed school very much but I did well at it, and finally at the ripe old age of 18 I shipped off to university. I studied chemistry at university, which again was fascinating, and I did well at it understanding and growing in the process, but nothing really grabbed me and shouted this is what you want to do!!
In the final year of my degree we had a module called computer aided-drug design and I was hooked, hooked by the concept of a computer being able to model a chemical process. calculating a chemicals properties and interactions with other properties we could virtually screen compounds in silico or design the perfect compound for a drug to act on a specific target. Now this process wasn’t perfect, in matter of hours, or days or weeks we could come up with something that through traditional methods would have taken years with dozens of chemists synthesizing and testing compounds. In short, we could get faster and better, thanks to computers.

I was so hooked, this took me on to do my PhD at Cambridge in molecular informatics, where my project was very cool, and I got to play with stereo 3D visualization long before 3d was even in the cinema. Even in the sea of intellectuality that was the theoretical and computational chemistry department at the university of Cambridge, I was still a nerd, when it came to computers, as I gamed, and I was a poor student, I’d build my own computers, I frequently overclocked them too far and broke components, so I was always fixing something, and that carried over into my professional life and I was frequently the person asked to help out when workstations did funny things so I’d help out after (finally writing up my Ph.D.) I had nothing planned and the head of the group asked me if I wanted to stay on as a computer officer (now we are getting somewhere) and very quickly I realised it was the challenge of learning things coupled with the use of technology that gets me going!

When I joined the group IT was basically firefighting, all users had root or admin on their workstations and frankly it was a nightmare, there were network policies that defined if personal machines were allowed on the network, so this department of 2500 registered machines and around 10k registered users had a team of 7 computer officers managing everything, OS installs, upgrades, application installs, machine meltdowns network infrastructure maintenance and socket patching. It was all firefighting, there was no man power for development and departmental infrastructure.
Now I came on as an assistant to the computer officer in the Unilever centre (hello Charlotte!) and Charlotte to my eternal gratitude, instead of using me as a personal slave assistant in a very hectic work environment (which for future reference contained a “training area” of 25 identical workstations for us to host events and workshops.) decided she wanted me to manage the training area. The training area was frequently reinstalled and having various packages installed for certain workshops. Indeed, one of my first tasks was to install office 2000 on each machine, amazingly we only had one cd and it involved going to each machine in turn, powering up, logging on inserting the disk and installing office – 25 times!

Now I’m not the brightest, but even to me it seamed there must be a better way. Charlotte sat me down and said she wanted me to go on a training course for Active Directory, as she had done one “a while ago” and was “fairly sure it had the answer”. And boy was she right!

The next couple of years of my life were spent implementing a AD infrastructure in out little sub department, and as our carrot to entice the user into letting us manage their machine was a little fileserver I knocked together out of recycled bits kicking around, IIRC it had a 6TB raid 6 array. On which I gave the user space mapped as a network drive. And an assurance that any data put there needed 3 disks to die simultaneously for their data to be lost.
Over time this grew, and when charlotte went to follow her passion of marine biology and her job became available I was successfully recruited, and the domain slowly grew research group by research group. The domain also only grew thanks to a cohesive strategy emerging within the department, which resulted in departmental resources, which we spent on servers. Partly because the domain had proved its worth both in terms of network security and machine maintenance and resiliency of user data and now justified departmental resources. When we first set up the domain we used old workstations, probably 1Ghz Celerons as Domain Controllers and made sure we had enough for replication to keep us safe.

Now with investment we moved onto virtualized servers where each virtual server would be hosted on a pair of real servers with network mirrored hard drives, with automatic failover etc, System uptimes from that point on were just great 99.9% upwards.
No whilst at the university I met a lovely Brazillian doctor and we fell in love and got married, and in time my eldest son was born. Well circumstances led us down a path which resulted in us moving to Brazil and my becoming a stay at home dad.
Fast forward 7 years I was talking to my family at lunch about this opportunity to be blogging this today, and my son ended up asking “what is cloud computing?”

That’s pretty much where I am, I was a sysadmin 7 years ago I’m familiar with the concept of virtualization, I’ve run virtual machines in the real world. I’m a bit out of touch at the moment, but I am now at a point in my children’s life that I have more time to develop and a brain that still wants to learn
I eagerly accept Rogers invitation to learn about the VMware platform and blog about my experience.

Thanks Roger!

 

Philip