Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Storage & Data Deduplication

PTS continues to build upon our Storage & Data Protection Consulting Services aimed at providing the right storage solution for our client's needs. Therefore, the IT-side of this month's Solutions Showcase provides an overview of our newest storage and data deduplication solutions.

Compellent Fluid Data Storage solutions and ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup with Dedeplication solutions add additional depth to the PTS storage portfolio.

Compellent Fluid Data Storage

With a powerful data movement engine, intelligent software applications, and an open, agile hardware platform, Fluid Data storage is an enterprise-class solution which actively and intelligently manages data at a more granular level to cut cost, time, and risk.

Fluid Data storage dynamically moves enterprise data to the optimal tier based on actual use. The most active blocks reside on high-performance SSD, Fibre Channel, or SAS drives, while infrequently accessed data migrates to lower-cost, high-capacity SAS or SATA drives. The result is network storage that's always in tune with application needs, plus overall storage costs cut by up to 80%

The Fluid Data storage intelligent software applications enables enterprises of all sizes to move beyond simply storing data to actively, intelligently managing data. Powerful network storage software with built-in intelligence and automation optimizes the provisioning, placement and protection of data throughout its lifecycle.

Unlike network storage systems that require organizations to rip and replace hardware as business needs change, Compellent storage uses standards-based hardware and supports new technologies on a single, modular platform. Users can mix and match drive technologies such as SSD, FC, SAS and SATA, and utilize a range of interconnects - from FC to FCOE and iSCSI to 10GbE. Plus, fully redundant hardware components and advanced failover features ensure no single point of failure for high enterprise data availability.

To learn more about Fluid Data Storage, Click Here.

ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup with Deduplication

ExaGrid's EX Series disk-based backup with deduplication revolutionizes how organizations backup and protect their data. By leveraging your current backup application and replacing tape in your nightly backup process, ExaGrid's simple, turnkey appliance can:
  • Reduce the disk space required by at least 10:1, and up to 50:1
  • Shorten your backup window by 30-90%, ensuring all of your data is fully protected
  • Improve your disaster recovery plan through off-site disk-based retention of your data
  • Reduce the amount of time your IT staff spends on managing backups
  • Scale easily and cost-effectively with your data growth
  • Fully protect your virtualized environment
  • Reduce other costs associated with tape-based backup

The six core ExaGrid disk-based backup appliances include GRID computing software which allows them to virtualize into one another when plugged into a switch. As a result, any of the six appliance models can be mixed and matched into a single GRID system with full backup capacities up to 100TB (6 PB logical). Once virtualized, they appear as a single pool of long-term capacity. Capacity load balancing of all data across servers is automatic, and multiple GRID systems can be combined for additional capacity. Even though data is load-balanced, deduplication occurs across the systems so that data migration does not cause a loss of effectiveness in deduplication.

ExaGrid's unique approach to scalability provides the following benefits:
  • Performance is maintained as your data grows - each additional ExaGrid server added to a system provides disk, processor, memory and GigE
  • Plug and play expansion - adding an additional ExaGrid server is as simple as plugging it in and letting ExaGrid's automatic virtualized GRID software do the rest
  • Cost-Effective and Flexible Solution with No "Forklift" Upgrades - no need to over-buy storage capacity up front - modular systems are easily combined in a virtualized GRID to smoothly scale up for larger capacities as needed with no painful "forklift" upgrades.
  • Capacity utilization is load-balanced across servers - as a single server reaches full utilization, it can leverage space available on other servers in the GRID

To learn more about the ExaGrid EX Series, Click Here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

PTS Data Center Solutions Expands its IT Solutions Portfolio with Compellent Fluid Data Storage and ExaGrid Systems Disk-Based Backup Solutions

PTS Data Center Solutions has launched a strategic distribution relationship with Compellent Technologies and ExaGrid Systems. The relationship includes the full breadth of products from both manufacturers targeted for midsized enterprises.

As a data center consulting and turn-key solutions provider, PTS provides integrated data center facility and IT technical expertise for clients. With a proven process for understanding and addressing client needs, as well as integrated facilities and IT experience & expertise, PTS has a unique vantage point for executing data center, computer room, and network operations center projects. PTS understands the impact IT architecture and network design approaches have on the underlying facility layer in terms of power, cooling, and space considerations and seeks out best-of-breed IT solutions that reduce facility load requirements.

"PTS is often approached by clients requesting support to improve data center efficiencies through energy efficiency analysis, computational fluid dynamic modeling, and virtualization assessments. By expanding our portfolio of storage, backup, and data deduplication solutions with two leading providers in Compellent and ExaGrid Systems, we are providing leading edge solutions with proven track records. Compellent's block-level storage management offers a more granular approach to automatically and actively manage data resulting in reduced data center costs, footprint, and energy consumption. ExaGrid System's scalable disk-based backup solutions reduce the total amount of disk space needed through backup compression and deduplication. Together with PTS' consulting services, we are able to significantly reduce overall data center operational expenses," said PTS President, Peter Sacco.

Compellent's Fluid Data architecture enables superior utilization and efficiency while its unified storage with zNAS offers a single user interface to streamline management of heterogeneous Unix, Linux and Windows file and block data. The Fluid Data architecture increases storage efficiency and utilization by automatically tiering file storage at the block-level, intelligently thin provisioning storage for unstructured data, and delivering rapid data recovery and thin replication. Integrated SAN and NAS management simplifies planning, provisioning and recovery of virtual servers in VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, and Oracle environments.

The ExaGrid Disk-based Backup System is a turnkey, plug-and-play solution that works with existing backup applications and enables faster and more reliable backups and restores. Customers report that backup time is reduced by 30 to 90 percent over traditional tape backup. ExaGrid's patented byte-level data deduplication technology and most recent backup compression, coupled with high-quality SATA storage, reduces the amount of disk space needed by a range of 10:1 to as high as 50:1, or more, resulting in a price that's often less than traditional tape-based backup.

About PTS Data Center Solutions
Experts for Your Always Available Data Center

PTS Data Center Solutions specializes in the business strategy, planning, designing, engineering, constructing, commissioning, implementing, maintaining, and managing of data center and computer room environments from both the facility and IT perspectives.

Founded in 1998, PTS is a consulting, design/engineering, and construction firm providing turnkey solutions, and offering a broad range of data center, computer room, and technical space project experience. PTS employs industry best practices in integrating proven, ‘best-of-breed’, critical infrastructure technologies that result in always available, scalable, redundant, fault-tolerant, manageable, and maintainable mission critical environments.

In every engagement, PTS applies a disciplined, consultative approach to systematically survey and assess the situation and then develop effective plans for seizing opportunities and overcoming obstacles. And, PTS offers a full complement of services—from business strategy and planning to facilities engineering to IT design and implementation—to help transform those plans into reality.

For more information and news, visit the PTS website at

About Compellent

Compellent Technologies (NYSE: CML) provides Fluid Data storage that automates the movement and management of data at a granular level, enabling organizations to constantly adapt to change, slash costs and secure information against downtime and disaster. This patented, built-in storage intelligence easily delivers significant efficiency, scalability and flexibility. With an all-channel sales network in 35 countries, Compellent is one of the fastest growing enterprise storage companies in the world.

For more information, visit the Compellent website at

About ExaGrid Systems

ExaGrid Systems offers the only disk-based backup appliance with data deduplication purpose-built for backup that leverages a unique architecture optimized for performance, scalability and price. The combination of post-process deduplication, most recent backup cache, and GRID scalability enables IT departments to achieve the shortest backup window and the fastest, most reliable restores, tape copy, and disaster recovery without performance degradation or forklift upgrades as data grows. With offices and distribution worldwide, ExaGrid has more than 2,400 systems installed at 600 customers, and more than 170 published customer success stories.

For more information, visit the ExaGrid website at

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Contact Information:

Larry Davis
PTS Data Center Solutions
201-337-3833 ext. 123

Liem Nguyen
Compellent Technologies

Bill Hobbib
ExaGrid Systems
508-898-2872 ext. 286

Thursday, July 08, 2010

To Co-Lo or Not To Co-Lo?

I'm interested in hearing how organizations have come to the conclusion that this was their best alternative to expanding data center capacity?

We have seen some organizations dive into Co-Lo facilities because the industry is growing so they assume it is the right thing to do or they think it will be more cost effective before anyone has really analyzed the cost implications. I think it is critical for an organization to analyze all of the suitable approaches to their need of expanding data center capacity such as; upgrading existing facilities, Co-Location, building new or building a scalable Data Center Shelter that can be leased to provide tax benefits while the lease payments may be close to what you’d pay for suitable Co-Lo space.

First of all, what is driving your interest in Co-Location is it the costs of running your own facility? Or one of these issues:

• Have you outgrown your own facility?
• Is your facility unable to handle new higher density infrastructure?
• Are you looking to Co-Locate to have access to better carriers or lower your network latency to your business partners?
• Does your own organization lack the expertise to manage IT facilities?
• Is your organization just looking to get away from operating & managing IT facilities so you can focus on your core business?
• Is it for a new application such as DR or business continuity that is requiring a secondary site?

Next lets assume you have determined that Co-Location is right for your organization & application, there are now 1,000’s of Co-Location facilities, what one is right for your organization and your application? Sure you can spend a lot of time touring facilities & trying to find one that meets your availability, density, accessibility, service, budget, expansion & growth objectives, but what will you base your decision on and how long will your process take? Is there a need for an expert who has rated 100’s of Co-Lo facilities in all of the key areas and attributes within those areas? I think it is important for an organization to define their design criteria as well as assess their load, density and growth projections before the organization takes a step into any Co-Lo space for a tour. An ogranization can then quickly narrow its search from 100’s of suitable Co-Lo’s to the few that warrant further consideration thus saving time, effort & budget. Also, by having a detailed design criteria an organization is now in a better position to negotiate a contract and Service Level Agreement that is tipped in their favor and make comparisons on one Co-Lo vs another.

Curious to hear how others have made decisions to Co-Lo and what process they initiated to make their site selection? I'd like to hear both positive & negative experiences as well as where you thought your processes could have been improved?