October 9th, 2013 by JFrappier


With converged infrastructure appliances (compute, storage, networking) being all the rage, why haven’t we seen such a device from the likes of EMC, HP or NetApp yet?  With Nutanix and Simplivity, and to a lesser extent Scale being fairly popular choices I would have expected such a device from the large storage and server vendors by now; Dell after all jumped right in with the VRTX (though there is not support for clustering multiple VRTX’s (yet?)) earlier this year.

Storage arrays, are for the most part, have been almost been ready for such a convergence – they contain CPU’s for data processing, drives for storage and some type of interconnect to have them all talk to each other.  So why haven’t others followed along?  Nutanix was able to build a very compelling product in just a couple of years, I would think with the resources someone like EMC has that they could turn such a product around in a few months (though the UI would not be very good;).  These “next gen” converged platforms should provide simplicity both in scaling the environment, and for support which I think is a huge factor with companies constantly trying to cut cost.  Even if I have to give up a feature or two to go with a converged appliance, that may be acceptable when I offset the cost of having to maintain expertise in house or thought consultants in the compute, networking and storage areas.

EMC would seem to have the leg up on such a product, after all with their stake in VMware, and VMware releasing VSAN that it would already be in the works.  Any bets as to who will be the next vendor to release such a product?

When will we see a converged infrastructure appliance from EMC, HP or NetApp?

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September 13th, 2012 by NerdBlurt

I had the chance to visit with the PHD Virtual team during VMworld and see some good stuff coming from them. Below watch the video they created showcasing their new release. You can also read the shared information I’ve copied here & watch their video.


PHD Virtual Technologies recently released PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 at VMworld.

This latest version builds on unique, patented virtual appliance architecture to deliver a powerful, feature-filled, easy to use backup solution for virtual servers at a fraction of the cost of competitive alternatives. Designed from the ground up as an exclusively virtual solution for the virtual environment, additional functionality in PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 includes:

  • PHD Instant Recovery for VMware: Eliminate downtime and meet SLA’s

Make any application available as quickly as possible in the event of a failure. PHD Instant Recovery gets you back up and running in less than 3 minutes.

  • Full/Incremental Backup Mode: Optimized for Moving Data Offsite & to the Cloud

Extending the flexibility of PHD Virtual Backup, full/incremental mode is ideal for organizations leveraging third party tools to copy backup files to the Cloud, or Tape, or those utilizing a hardware deduplication appliance or CIFS as a backup target.

  • Application Aware Backups: Ensure Application Consistent Backup

Take an application aware backup for any application every time. Maintain full confidence that backups of your mission critical applications will complete without fail.

  • Enhanced File Recovery: Dramatically Simplified File Recovery

Consume fewer resources and take advantage of unprecedented flexibility with enhanced file recovery.

  • Email Report Enhancements: Manage Your Daily Backups with Ease

“Set it and Forget it” backup management with daily, easy to read, HTML emails detailing backup jobs.

  • Encryption and Security Improvements: Meet your Organization’s Compliance Policies with Ease

Enhance security with built-in encryption and meet compliance requirements with customizable security certificates.

  • Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA) Tools: Efficient Backup Infrastructure Management

Simplify and streamline backup infrastructure management even further with new VBA Tools like Health Monitor.

How does PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 deliver value compared to other backup products?

The main points are listed below although there are more!

  1. PHD Virtual installs and configures in 10 minutes or less sporting one of the easiest installations for a ranking backup product.
  2. It also has menus that are integrated into your existing hypervisor client and an intuitive, wizard-driven interface. This means you don’t need to read the documentation. It’s just that easy!
  3. One of the best features of PHD Virtual is their unique architecture! You can easily deploy a new Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA) to handle additional workload and set up a new backup job takes only minutes.
  4. PHD Virtual Backup performs much faster on incremental backups than most other vendors maximizing speed by leveraging the best technologies available, including hot-add from VMware, change block tracking, and deduplication.
  5. Instant VM Recovery is a great new feature of 6.0 allowing you to get back up and running in less than 3 minutes while File Recovery options provide access to your backed up files, folders, and application objects within seconds.
  6. Virtual Backup Appliance also mean there are no management servers, proxy servers, or data servers (usually required by many other solutions)
  7. PHD Virtual costs up to 40% less than its competitors while delivering product value to rival any other vendor!

For more information on PHD Virtual Backup 6.0 please go to http://PHDVirtual.com


Nerd’s Blurt

I am definitely keeping an eye on PHD Virtual and their latest release.

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July 16th, 2012 by NerdBlurt

So back at EMC World I met Chris from Clearpath Solutions Group out of the Baltimore, Washington D.C area. We had some great talks and it shows power of Social Media. We got to talking and I found out  that Clearpath was going to be expanding up into the Boston Area. Seeing how I am from the Boston area , it was nice to hear of another company coming here.

Who is Clearpath Solutions Group?

Clearpath helps you store, protect, and manage your organization’s most valuable asset – information – while increasing your efficiency and decreasing your costs. As a leading provider of IT infrastructures, Clearpath specializes in:

  • Implementing and supporting virtualized IT environments
  • Building virtualized desktop environments
  • Managing private cloud systems
  • Unifying computing systems
  • Creating customized design and architecture solutions
I pulled this from their website as I myself and am still getting familiar with them.
Find out more about Clearpath solutions group
This upcoming Wednesday 18th July 2012 come out to Boston and meet the Clearpath team. Nimble Storage and Oxygen Cloud will also be on site.
Event Details
Date: Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
Time: 3:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: Seaport Hotel – Lighthouse Level
One Seaport Lane
Boston, MA 02210
Click here to Regiser (RSVP is REQUIRED prior to event!!)
How do I get Gronked?
I know I wait until the very end to say the best part!! Being a diehard Patriots fan I’m very excited to say that Rob Gronkowski will be attending the event and taking pictures with all attendees!
Please note that if you are an early bird to the event that Rob will be signing some autographs as well. Unfortunately you can not bring your own stuff in to be signed. However Clearpath and it’s partners are raffling off not one but two signed Jerseys!!
Nerd’s Blurt
I’m excited for this event as it is a good primer for the NEVMUG on the 19th. I mean who doesn’t want to socialize with technology peers, meet football stars and I’ll be there with my #nerdherd counter parts Matthew Brender & Sean Thulin


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July 24th, 2010 by NerdBlurt

This week I got the pleasure to attend an event held at F1 Boston. Now those not familiar F1 Boston is a place where you can race go-karts. VMware has a tractor trailer and decked out that you can take a tour of it. I had seen the truck while attending EMC World but it was always packed. VMware Express was parked outside and waiting for me. I go inside and find out my slated tour time (1130am). To my delightful surprise VMware was allowing us to race there as well! We only had to wait until after the kids were done racing. F1 Boston has clinics for kids of all ages to learn Go-kart racing. I’m no sarnger to F1 and was more excited that I can see some great Technology and race, Who could ask for anything more.

Tour Time

Just before 1130  tour slot they gathered us up; gave a brief overview and had us introduce ourselves. It was a hot day and we were glad the truck had air conditioning! 1st up was the VMware gentleman; he described that we were going to see some demo’s on VMware View. The 1st thing he showed us was PCoIP (PC over IP)

VMware View 4 with PCoIP delivers an optimized desktop experience complete with all applications, data and settings, to thin clients and laptops, in the office or on the road.

This looked pretty nice.

The biggest thing the people liked inside was the Follow-Me Desktop. This allows for your session to be running and you leave 1 room and go into another room login and your session is there. This is a huge benefit for the healthcare industry among others. We saw some devices along one of the walls displayed the Thin clients and Thinapp capabilites. Wyse was just one of the vendors products displayed.

Finlly an EMC vSpecialist discussed the mulitple monitors then described the vBlock that was running the truck.


I sat with some great people from a local school who was just starting to research virtulization. while we were eating one thing we all agreed on was that the tour was nice but it was kind of rushed.  They wish there was some more time or maybe a smaller group. I agree with them that the only real draw back was how much time you spend inside the truck. I personally love to tinker and play thats when I get questions and am more apt to ask.

Race time

While waiting to race I had a nice chat with some people about virtualization. They didn’t know much just that they were looking into it. I mentioned what I could as far as recommendations and was promoting the VMUG (VMware User Group) to them as I find that a great resource. Now I never started the race bad was in 7th spot and my kart had a flat tire, even before leaving the gate! This proved to be great though; I switched cars to #22 there was a gentleman in car #8 right in front of me. Once we got the green fla the race was on!!! I was slowly waiting my chance to pass the #8 car without doing it dirty(bumping, hitting) finally as we turned a corner we bottlenecked with the rest of the pack. Bam! I floor my pedal and pass everyone on the outside!! Now the driver of # 8 snuck behind me and the real race was on. He would pass me, I then would counter and pass him.. it was exciting! Now at the end of the race Myself and the #8 car should have been 1&2 however there’s slight glitch in F1 Bostons finishing system. What happens is once they end the race whichever car crosses the line 1st (whether lapped or not which both #8 and myself did to everyone) records them as being 1st and so forth. I ended up 3rd #8 4th. But after we didn’t care we were pumped as the race we had with each other was awesome. I went over and shook his hand and said thanks for such a fun time; he said he was going to race his buddy but was having to much fun racing me forgot about him. So it was a great experience for all of us. I got to not only talk about stuff I love but got to have a kick ass race all courtesy the VMware Express and it’s sponsors!

Thanks to all the above!!

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July 14th, 2010 by NerdBlurt

I’ve noticed that people have come to expect people to like this or that or because of company affiliations. Has the mainstream idea of a person’s thoughts are their own disappeared? Yes, circumstances in life may make us try and promote an agenda or certain company more. But could this just because of how we truly feel? I’m trying to break into a very competitive but great market- Data Storage. Now there are some very smart individuals in this industry. They can be cut throat at times as they each are trying to stick to their teams. I also observe within these same gentleman a commonality and great knowledge. But the biggest thing is the respect each has for the other. When I first witnessed the “FUD” slinging I thought the Netapp guys were childish and starting a war with the EMC guys. But after watching these two groups EMC & Netapp banter back and forth on the social media front I saw that there are far more good times and great conversations then the “FUD” slinging.

I use EMC & Netapp only as an example as they are two major forces in the industry I am choosing to get into.  But take into contention that this doesn’t just happen in the Data Storage world w/Netapp & EMC it’s in all industries. The truth is every company has great things, good things and the WTF were we thinking things. That’s how people, companies and societies grow.

Media impacts us all

I’ve stopped watching the news at night as it was to negative. Where was the coverage on the local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts doing something good? Not there! It was the police are searching the area for a man groping women. So for years I didn’t watch at all. I happened to stay tuned with the news during the NBA Finals. The Los Angeles Lakers were playing the Boston Celtics. The news showed New England Patriot Tom Brady laughing and having a grand ole time with the Lakers Kobe Bryant.


The local fans and sports talk stations had a field day on this. Fans from Boston expected Tom Brady to be rooting for the Celtics. Last time I checked Tom Brady is from the West Coast so why the big fuss? I personally am a diehard New York Yankee fan, I respect the Red Sox players for their ability but I root for them to loose!!

Nature of the beast

I was in the military so I can understand the EMC & Netapp pride wars as I look at the Army vs. Navy each thinking they are the best. I respect all service members but will always have a deeper connection and affinity towards the Army Corps of Engineers!! But ask any member if when the going gets tough and the other needs help you can guarantee without question that the colors are set aside and fellow soldier is standing next to you. This will not be the case in corporate America and that’s ok.  People always ask if my dog will bite and I say probably not but she is a dog you never know.

Fuel to the fire

I’m in no way saying that either EMC or Netapp is better each has it pro’s n cons. Both companies are very passionate and competitive which is great. I have many great conversations with EMC people and a great conversation with a Netapp person.  Hopefully many more to come with others. I love this industry as a whole and someday may work for a vendor but remember people are just people!

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