Everybody knows that data is continuing to grow at an alarming rate across all industries. Traditionally the way this problem has been handled was to throw more hardware at it. This model isn’t very cost effective and can also introduce added complexity and require new skillsets if unfamiliar hardware is adopted. In addition most organizations are looking at ways to help reduce cost and that includes keeping the cost of staff to the essentials, meaning even if your storage is experiencing large amounts of growth it is unlikely to be met with an increase in IT professionals to support it.
This forces a lot of organizations to look for innovative ways to help manage their data growth, that doesn’t include expensive hardware solutions. This is where Windows 2012 has some key features that can help manage data growth more efficiently, by either removing shared storage in some cases or helping to further optimize existing shared storage to gain additional efficiency.
Sharing Nothing Live Migration allows you flexibility to choose if you need shared storage or not for live migration of your virtual machines, eliminating additional complexity.
Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) allows data transfer to take place between storage hardware without requiring transfer through the server, this decreases the time taken for data transfers and reduces the workload on the servers providing much more efficiency.
File system de-duplication allows Hyper-V virtual machines to consume less space as it allows virtual machines that use the same operating system files to be de-duplicated to further increase consolidation rates and help lower overall storage costs.
Infographic: Transform your data management
Windows 2012 really presents a very innovative way to help manage storage growth for environments that have either shared storage, no shared storage or even both. A key benefit that comes with the Windows Server platform is that a lot of IT professionals already have knowledge and experience on Windows Server. There are also a lot of publicly available resources such as best practice guides, whitepapers and data sheets to help support IT professionals getting up to speed. This means existing staff doesn’t need a substantial time investment in getting up to speed with the new features and can quickly provide additional efficiency to companies.
The storage needs of consumers have evolved over the years as technology has created a need for faster, affordable solutions. Arrays have long been the storage method of choice, but these devices add bulk, taking up room in data centers as they struggle to keep up.
Image credit: iStockPhoto
For a solution, technology professionals needed to look no further than flash memory, which has been used in everything from smartphones to digital cameras for years. With flash memory, information can be erased and rewritten in blocks, which significantly speeds up the process. Additionally, flash memory takes up less space, can be used in much smaller form factors than traditional memory, are more agile than USB, leading to its growing popularity in the IT industry.
Flash memory in storage
Around the turn of the century, flash allowed manufacturers to create a small storage stick that would replace optical discs for consumer storage needs. These “flash drives” occupied much of the first decade of the century, but as cloud computing has become more popular, consumers are more likely to turn to a service like Dropbox or Google Drive to move files from one device to another.
At the enterprise level, however, storage needs still exist. Businesses are interested in shrinking data center sizes, as well as being able to access files at lightning-fast speeds. By attaching flash memory devices to PCI Express (PCIe) expansion buses, businesses are equipped to access network storage options that are dense, high performing and cost effective.
Business is changing
Corporations like Facebook and Google now utilize flash memory-powered PCIe to meet the demands of end users without frustrating slowdowns and outages. In addition, businesses are seeking out solutions like Dell’s dense storage options to improve upon current operations while also reducing data center space. Innovative approaches like those taken by Dell are revolutionizing the industry, opening up flash storage options for enterprises of all sizes.
Experts have noted the shift toward flash storage in companies. Hard disk drive (HDD) shipments are shrinking as businesses look to flash storage as a replacement for aging systems. This, coupled with the trend toward cloud services providers, has the industry expecting enterprise flash storage to become a big part of 2014. This is good news for environmentalists, since flash storage is often more compact and therefore reduces a data center’s carbon footprint.
Preparing for change
It’s important that the IT decision makers in an organization have an understanding for how flash memory works. This goes beyond simply understanding the mechanics of how information is written and erased to include how a flash-powered drive will impact overall network performance. Performance is a top concern for organizations today, with 82 percent of respondents surveyed listing it as the main consideration in making network changes. Respondents also acknowledged that enterprise flash storage will power the vast majority of organizations within the next year.
Many consumers don’t realize the degree to which flash memory impacts their daily lives. But businesses are now gaining from the benefits of this technology, as well, and soon it will appear in even more data centers around the world.
Maxium Barrault wanted to implement Jerry Seinfeld's productivity secret of forming a chain by crossing off the calendar every day, but apps like Habit Streak Plan weren't doing it for him. Barrault had multiple habits he wanted to form. So he went old-school and created this printable four-week calendar.
I decided the only solution was to take my ludicrously basic graphic-design skills to Illustrator and build my own calendar on which I could form chains in multiple different fields over a not-too-daunting 28 day period.
I quickly discovered that my crude calendar quite effectively mimicked the simplicity of the Seinfeld system and, what was more, it had the added advantage that breaking a chain wasn't as debilitating and morale crushing as it might once have been because you've always got the opportunity to maintain or start another.
Barrault is quick to add that he'd love it if there was an app that mimicked this with "big buttons and multiple categories", but for now, it seems like a good way to keep track of the habit streak. And while he doesn't mention it, the blank triangular space for each week could be used for additional notes, like why you missed a date or how you could improve one of your goals.
Colorado's marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to recreational users this morning, but their first customer was far from someone just looking to have a good time: Sean Azzariti, a Denver-area veteran of the Iraq war who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), instead purchased weed to help alleviate symptoms of his illness.
Azzariti's purchase was largely a symbolic one, orchestrated by activists who led the charge to pass Amendment 64 — the initiative that made marijuana legal in Colorado — following a press conference. Azzariti, who bought an eighth of an ounce of Bubba Kush and an edible truffle, earlier this year appeared in a TV campaign ad to tout the benefits of marijuana for PTSD. Despite repeated efforts by advocacy groups, only seven states currently recognize PTSD as a condition that would qualify patients like Azzariti to purchase medical marijuana. Colorado isn't one of them — though advocates say that the state's groundbreaking new laws mean that patients with various conditions won't need to push for medical access.
Azzariti bought an eighth of an ounce of Bubba Kush and an edible truffle
"Making marijuana legal for adults is not an experiment. Marijuana prohibition is the experiment, and the results have been abysmal," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project and co-director of the Amendment 64 campaign, in a statement. "Colorado is going to prove that regulating marijuana works, and it won't be long before more states follow our lead."
"Making marijuana legal...is not an experiment."
According to the Denver Post, some 37 stores are now licensed to sell marijuana based on Colorado's new laws, which permit weed purchases to anyone over the age of 21 for any purpose. And while marijuana sales are still illegal under federal law, Colorado is now the world leader with regards to legalizing and regulating the selling and purchasing of weed. Store owners, the Post notes, had to complete myriad applications and inspections, as well as shell out thousands of dollars in fees, to pass muster as licensed recreational sellers.