Hands-On Testing and Analysis

2013 Will be a good year to buy used servers

I’m not above admitting that we at DeepStorage Labs use eBay as often as any reseller when buying equipment for the lab. When we’re looking for Ethernet switches, servers, KVM switches and other data center gear we can frequently buy equipment with several years usable life left in it for less than half what we would have to pay for …

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Practicing What I Preach, New Desktop w/SSD cache

I’ve been following developments in the server-side flash caching market pretty closely over the past few months. When I decided it was time to replace my former trusty desktop with a new, more powerful PC I decided to put my money where my mouth is and put some flash in the new system to speed things up. This month my …

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How to Get Me to Pay Attention to Your Product, Company or Client

Know who you’re talking to: I’m a technical guy, spent 25 years as a hands-on consultant building networks for mostly midsize organizations. By any definition I am both a tech journalist, having written for print and web publications since 1987, and an industry analyst, testing products and writing reports. In addition I blog and tweet. If your company or division …

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2012 Will Be Another Busy Year

Looking at my friend Stephen Foskett’s Enterprise IT Events Calendar I sometime think I could do nothing all year but attend conferences. That would unfortunately mean I’d have to give up beating storage equipment into submission in the lab for a living—So I have to pick and choose the events I attend. I’ve nailed down my schedule for at least …

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Vendors Speak on 10Gig Cables – Part 2

Cisco wasn’t the only vendor to respond to our email about their support for 10Gig Ethernet direct attach cables (DAC) that use twin-axial cable with permanently attached SFP+ transceivers. Extreme Networks gave what Joe Friday would have called “Just the facts ma’am”: Do your devices support both active and passive DAC cables? Extreme Networks Response: YES. Do your devices check …

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Vendors Speak on 10Gig Cables – Cisco

I discovered all 10Gig Ethernet SFP+ direct attach cables aren’t alike, a tale I recount in my NetworkComputing blog, I decided to ask the various players in the 10Gig Ethernet market to explain how they, and their products, meet the interoperability challenge. I sent several vendors the following email: I’m writing a blog post for NetworkComputing about the various compatibility …

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New in the lab, SuperMicro mini servers

Like your data center, we at the DeepStorage labs are constantly refreshing our hardware to keep up to date with current technology.  As the equipment that vendors send us to test becomes more capable, we have to upgrade the lab so that we can continue to generate enough load to bring the systems under test to their knees.  When Riverbed …

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Greybeards Rock On InfoSmack

I was once again a guest on the infamous Infosmack podcast this week. The hosts Nigel Poulton of Technical Deep Dive and the Rickatron-Rick Vanover invited me to join in their periodic smackdown quiz show. I was teamed with fellow storage analyst Ray Lucchisi on the Greybeards facing Greg Schulz, known as Storageio on Infosmack, and StorageNerve’s Devang Panchigar as …

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Backup Boy Hits The Road

The good folks at TechTarget, publishers of Storage magazine and all those IT related websites that start SEARCH including SEARCHSTORAGE.COM and SEARCHDATABACKUP.COM, have asked me to teach a one day Next-Gen Backup School seminar series around the country during 2011. I’m looking forward to introducing attendees to the changes in backup technologies the 21<sup>st</sup> century has brought us from disk to …

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