Recently Ryan Mulholland, CEO and president of Ptolemy Data Systems, told Healthcare IT News’ Jeff Rowe that his company sees itself as a facilitator. Ptolemy houses the technology and works with clinics across Wyoming to make connections. With Ptolemy’s help, the following three programs are leading the state’s telemedicine movement: the converged management application (CMA) video conferencing technology, the prison health services, and the Wyoming Telepsychiatry Project. Ptolemy leverages FalconStor’s storage virtualization and data protection solutions within the Wyoming Telepsychiatry Project, which brings much-needed medical and psychiatric care to isolated communities.
Mulholland tells Rowe that Ptolemy’s work in the telemedicine sector “isn’t about the money” but rather “something we get to do for our community.”
To learn more about Ptolemy Data Systems’ involvement in Wyoming’s telemedicine services, check out the full Healthcare IT News article.
FalconStor’s storage virtualization technology is a critical component of our efforts to transform the data center. The results of this transformation include optimized storage efficiency, consolidation of heterogeneous storage systems, native business continuity, and business application resilience via automated disaster recovery. While these individual features are known to most in the IT industry, it’s rare to find them all in one platform.
In a leading government institution in Berlin, FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) is providing flexible storage virtualization and a full array of sophisticated data protection services for the virtualized pool of storage. That deployment – which ensures high availability with a fully redundant and fault-tolerant storage infrastructure – just earned FalconStor an HP AllianceONE Partner of the Year Award in the category of Converged Infrastructure Solutions for Government.
I was at the annual VMware Partner Exchange event last week in Orlando. FalconStor is a technology partner for VMware as well as Microsoft (Hyper-V) and Xen hypervisors. The opening keynote was given by VMware CEO Paul Maritz. One of the key points that I remember was his goal of driving global virtual server deployments “north of 50 percent.” Of course, the preference is for those virtual servers to be of the VMware vSphere brand. What does that mean if you have a mixed physical and virtual server environment, or if you have non-vSphere hypervisors?
Thin Provisioning is a fairly well known concept in the storage marketplace; provisioning a logical volume larger than the physical capacity actually accessible by the application or server (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_provisioning ). Most storage array vendors offer thin provisioning on some or all their systems. Many charge a premium for this feature as the gains in efficiency, CapEx and TCO are obvious.
However, for data protection purposes (mirrors, snapshots, and remote replica volumes) few give this technology consideration. If your primary storage array does not have thin provisioning (or you did not pay for the feature), any underutilized capacity will be duplicated onto your data protection volumes. This “duplication of waste” results in higher costs from a CapEx and OpEx perspective, resulting in questionable TCO of any data protection solution.
I just spent an informative week traveling in Europe and speaking with analysts and journalists in London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich. First of all, let me remind our EU friends that the outlook for cloud services in the U.S. is not as clear as we are leading you to believe; in fact it is, well, still a little cloudy. I received a number of comments around this subject, and the general view was that the U.S. was well on the way to implementing cloud solutions across the modern enterprise. The reality is we in the U.S. are still working to figure it out.
Most of our conversations revolved around explaining our ideas about service-oriented data protection. I was excited to learn that the EU gets it. They understand that the first step to organizing IT and moving to a cloud-enabled architecture is to become service oriented. The idea is quite simple and can be organized as follows:
1. Identify the key and discrete functions you must deliver through IT
2. Determine which services are specific to your competitive advantage and which are fungible and can be delivered using best of breed
3. Push the non-strategic functions into the cloud
Sometimes, the best way to determine which of two options is preferable is to look at them side by side. Trying to decide between a Honda and a Toyota? Compare them directly on fuel efficiency, price, and reliability. Not sure which menu items at your favorite restaurant are healthiest? Evaluate them both in terms of calories, fat content, and sodium. Wondering whether storage virtualization with really transform your data center? Read The Aberdeen Group’s latest report on companies that deploy storage virtualization versus those who do not.
In a recent piece in the July issue Virtual Strategy Magazine, Aberdeen Senior Research Analyst Richard Csaplar shares the highlights of a recent study exploring the main reasons enterprises are adopting storage virtualization, the primary benefits they’re realizing by doing so, and the evidence that these companies are assuming leadership roles in data center transformation.
Csaplar notes that the combined pressures of increasing storage demands, lengthy backup and restore times, and dwindling space in the data center are moving organizations toward storage virtualization – and that these companies are the ones most savvy about virtualization in general. Csaplar writes, “Companies with virtualized storage show a wider range of virtualization projects across the organization than those with no storage virtualization. They are more likely to have server virtualization (95%), purchase servers optimized for virtualization (74%), have a converged network (49%), and have virtualized their desktops (35%). These organizations are clearly familiar with virtualization technologies and understand the benefits of deploying it.
Companies in the Aberdeen study and in practically every industry are seeking out more efficient business processes. They have to. The proliferation of data across the enterprise has become so extreme, they can no longer ignore the pressure to change the way they handle that data. Nobody wants to get stuck managing separate islands of storage in the data center. The most dedicated, hard-working, knowledgeable data center managers will buckle under the complexity of such a scenario, which requires independent management and protection policies and leads to resources that are either under- or over-utilized.
So, storage virtualization is becoming an attractive option for numerous enterprises. The Aberdeen study shows that the most skilled companies are leading the way. The study illustrates that the adoption of storage virtualization is not a random or impulsive move by inexperienced businesses. It is increasingly embraced by those who have achieved success in other parts of their infrastructure through the benefits of virtual technologies. Csaplar writes that deploying virtualized storage leads to significant benefits, including reduced strain of managing storage area network (SAN) devices, reduced number of SANs, and reduced time to deploy new servers.
And storage virtualization reduces something else too – cost. Our customers report that virtualizing their storage devices and servers saves them about half a million dollars a year. It doesn’t take a careful comparison to realize that kind of savings is a good choice.
VMware has delivered a virtualization option to businesses that might otherwise have missed out on the move away from physical data storage. These companies – small and large, in a wide range of industries – have benefited from the many advantages of virtualized environments. However, as these data centers mature, they are quickly realizing that they are ill-equipped for effective data backup and recovery. For continuous data protection and recoverability, third-party tools are essential.
And there are plenty of vendors eager to provide those tools. Of course, not all solutions are created equal, so how should VMware shops go about selecting data protection and DR technology? First, they should think about their work environments, their resources, and their ultimate goals.
Last year was a significant one for virtualized servers in the government-agency data center. Many such organizations took advantage of the opportunity to make better use of existing budgets by consolidating physical infrastructure and commoditizing server hardware.
What many of those agencies have yet to act on, though, is the other half of the story.
In 2010, these organizations will move to address the data aspects of information technology and the value of storage virtualization.There are real economic savings to be had here for any IT team that recognizes its job did not end with server virtualization. I actually wrote an article in Government Computer News that appeared this month on this very subject:"Why 2010 is the year of the virtual data center."
Storage virtualization is accomplished by creating a virtual abstraction layer between physical or virtual servers and the existing physical storage. Once the storage is virtualized and the physical location of data becomes abstracted from the hosts, some interesting opportunities for savings become apparent:
It’s been a while since my last post, and with summer officially over (I know most people think summer ends on Labor Day in the US, but the weathermen insist the official end is late September), it seems like a good time to look at a recent announcement. Among the flurry of press releases at the recent VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas, there was one in particular I’d like to discuss.