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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

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SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

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Is Microsoft Ready To Be A Storage Player?

Microsoft's Storage Spaces may not have every enterprise feature yet, but don't dismiss it as a marginal product.

Would you expect Microsoft to offer enterprise-class storage? It sounds a bit silly given that a) Microsoft isn't a storage vendor and b) the storage industry behemoths offer plenty of innovative products. But the fact is Windows Server 2012 includes quite a repertoire of storage features, from deduplication to thin provisioning, including the product I'm focusing on here: Storage Spaces.

I don't often focus on a particular vendor in this column, but Storage Spaces is worth covering for two reasons: because Microsoft is an integrated part of the "IT furniture," and because of the view this product gives to a new storage approach.

Formally introduced last September, Windows Server 2012 includes appealing new features for cloud environments, such as improvements to Hyper-V virtualization. A significant chunk of the improvements are storage-focused, letting customers add advanced SAN features to commodity hardware and/or existing storage investments, but with significantly less complexity and cost. Customers gain access to features such as thin provisioning, multi-pathing, deduplication, continuous availability and live migration, which in the past demanded large budgets and storage expertise.

At a high level, Storage Spaces lets organizations buy commodity disk drives (e.g., an array of hard drives often called JBOD, or "just a bunch of disks"), connect them to a Windows server and quickly deploy inexpensive storage with high-level features. Without buying fancy SAN components, customers can get enterprise-class security, performance, scalability and dynamic provisioning. Companies can deploy Storage Spaces on application servers, file servers and Hyper-V virtual machines. The product virtualizes disk resources -- SAS, SATA, JBOD -- into a single pool or multiple pools, with easy capacity expansion.

... Read full story on InformationWeek

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