It’s the end of the road for Equallogic. Now what?

Dell and EMC are getting married again. In this being their second marriage, they are taking Compellant and Powervault, but leaving Equallogic as the possession sold in the Saturday morning garage sale.

What does this mean for the current Equallogic users? The support is ending, to extend support if even possible, is really expensive. So you, the IT person says, “well I’ll limp along until my budget allows me new storage”. Oh wait, no support contract, no firmware upgrades you think to yourself. “Will my critical data be unstable with no firmware updates?” I’ll be able to get hardware for a while should something fail, but… that …software……sigh.

You don’t have to be held hostage by the hardware OEM’s for your storage. The 3 to 5 year rip and replace cycle of pain, agony and expense doesn’t have to continue to be part of your daily pain and suffering. The difficult marriage to your storage can be repaired with a little information,  some trust and your current hardware. Yes your CURRENT hardware if you desire to keep it. Or, get a little crazy and mix your hardware up. Live dangerously, but keep your data safe.

What makes storage smart isn’t the hardware, it’s the software.  So why not get the smartest software out there that can run on ANY OEM and out perform everyone else and why not get the best least expensive hardware to run it on. www.velocitytechsolutions.com

One word…… DATACORE. Datacore San Symphony V Software defind storage  is hardware agnostic. It will run on any OEM hardware. If your need is for speed check out the SP1 RECORD BREAKING SPEED:  https://www.datacore.com/best-price-performance-fastest-response-time. If your need is high availability or business continuity, there are real cases of years of zero downtime. Is managing data in one pane of glass a dream for you? They have that covered too.  Latency is minimal with Datacore as their parallel i/o keeps those multi cores working as they can simultaneously handle compute, networking and i/o loads with minimal hardware.

Let’s talk dollars and “sense”. At $ .08 /SPC-1 IOPS Datacore blows away the $.41/SPC-1 IOPS of and EMC VNX8000 storage array. In real dollars we can say as an example an  EMC VNX8000 will run about $177,000 for a mid range storage. Datacore $38K. And oh by the way, get ready to spend more than $177,000 in 3 to 5 years when support ends and you get ready for a rip and replace that EMC array. If you want to change your hardware with Datacore in 3 to 5 years aside from the hardware you want to purchase your cost:  $0.00. You don’t have to EVER buy a new license. What makes sense to you?

Datacore really does what Nutanix does for Dell, what ScaleIO does for EMC , and  what On Command does for Net Apps array. The difference is you no longer have to be bullied by the OEMS to spend excessive amounts of money just for it to do the same thing Datacore can do on a JBOD, or a DAS. So keep your old hardware, buy some new less expensive hardware, or go for recertified. Keep that return on investment to invest in your organization.

The partnership of Velocity Tech Solutions and Datacore Software gives you the best of all things storage. Low cost, high availability, speed and ease of use. Check us out, ask some questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for a demo.

Velocity Tech Solutions and Datacore

Press Releases

Try SANsymphony-V

Velocity Tech Solutions Partners with DataCore to Deliver Hyper-converged and Software-Defined Storage Solutions

World-Class Provider of Custom Servers joins DataCore as new Value-Added Reseller

ROSEVILLE, Minn. and FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. December 1, 2015 – DataCore Software, a leader in Software-Defined Storage and Hyper-converged Virtual SAN solutions, today announced that it has signed Velocity Tech Solutions as a new value-added reseller (VAR) serving the United States. Velocity Tech Solutions primarily resells server and storage hardware offerings from HP and Dell, including EqualLogic.

“We uncovered DataCore as part of a market research initiative we were conducting, and were drawn to the fact that DataCore is hardware-agnostic,” stated Kay Winchell, president, Velocity Tech Solutions. “It does not matter to DataCore what hardware is running, and what is even better – the hardware does not have to be brand new. DataCore helps to position our firm in the storage space, which was exactly what we wanted in becoming a DataCore VAR.”

Velocity owns thousands of servers which enable the firm to customize and deliver an order exactly the way that customer wants it and when they need it. Now, Velocity Tech Solutions’ engineers will be able to combine the benefits of Hyper-converged storage with central SAN functionality – supporting any storage, hypervisor, server, and topology.

The Answer to the Customer’s Storage Problem is DataCore

“Because DataCore offers a software-based approach to storage virtualization, the software lives beyond devices that ‘come and go’ – thereby extending the useful life of storage investments,” explained Devi Madhavan, vice president of sales channel enablement at DataCore Software. “DataCore enables customers to reduce storage costs by up to 75% in large part due to reducing operating expenses via market purchasing power and by removing disk vendor lock-in. This fact really resonated with Velocity Tech Solutions who valued that DataCore enables the user to only pay once for intelligent software and run it on the hardware of their choice.”

Customers use DataCore’s SANsymphony-V Software-Defined Storage solution to transform disparate storage resources into a unified and efficient infrastructure that is flexible, fast, reliable and scalable. The solution virtualizes and manages the capacity, performance and data protection capabilities of multiple instances of the same or different storage devices. DataCore Software also enables virtual disks or pooled storage resources to serve as a shared storage infrastructure for physical or virtual host systems.

The key benefits that prompted Velocity Tech Solutions to resell DataCore all concern the “empowerment’ DataCore gives to its users, including:

  • Substantially reducing capital and operating expenses associated with storage
  • Avoiding costly hardware lock-in and opening doors to more attractive alternatives from competing suppliers
  • Extending the life of storage investments and enabling users to skip expensive refresh cycles (no more software throw-away)

No More Storage Vendor Lock-in

“Before, when we heard customers say things like ‘our maintenance support is running out on our storage platform,’ we did not have an answer to that,” stated Anne Tarantino, vice president of sales at Velocity Tech Solutions. “By not having a storage ‘answer’ – we could not do the whole project for our customers. Now, because DataCore gives users true empowerment, customers do not need to ‘rip-and-replace’ perfectly good equipment.”

Velocity Tech Solutions can now sell customers an entirely virtualized solution, whereas before their expertise stopped at server virtualization.

Added Tarantino, “It is great to be able to tell our customers that with DataCore they can scale to add-on whatever storage is needed. The added beauty of the DataCore solution is that once customers buy it, they own the solution.”

About Velocity Tech Solutions

Velocity Tech Solutions is a leader in delivering high quality, off-lease servers and solutions, customized to meet each business objective. VTS specializes in solutions that empower the customer to make decisions based on need and choices that fit the project’s budget. The company’s core values are: Excellence, Integrity, and Professionalism. We are customer-focused and our culture is second-to-none. VTS has the passion to build a total IT Solution and to help remove the pain associated with any IT project. The team lives by the mantra, “We Listen, We Support, and We Deliver!” For more, go to:

http://www.velocitytechsolutions.com/.

About DataCore

DataCore is the leading provider of Software-Defined Storage and Adaptive Parallel I/O Software – harnessing today’s powerful and cost-efficient server platforms to solve the IT industry’s biggest storage problem, the I/O bottleneck. The company’s comprehensive and flexible storage virtualization and hyper-converged virtual SAN solutions free users from the pain of labor-intensive storage management and provide customers true independence from storage solution vendors that cannot offer a hardware agnostic architecture. DataCore’s Software-Defined Storage platforms revolutionize storage infrastructure and serve as the cornerstone of the next-generation, software-defined data center – delivering greater value, performance, availability, and simplicity. Visit http://www.datacore.com or call (877) 780-5111 for more information.

Differences between Dell 11th Generation Servers

Differences between Dell 11th Generation Servers By Jane Shallow- Velocity Tech Solutions

So, you want to purchase a Dell server and suddenly you are confronted with a bewildering variety of Dell Server models. What processors do the various servers run, how many dimm slots does each have, how many drive bays? Never fear, here is a handy chart of the 11th generation servers that explains the differences, so you can choose exactly what you need.

First, some terminology. An R in front of a Dell server model means it is rack mounted. A T in front of the model means it is a tower. So, an R710 is a rack mounted 710 model and a T710 is a tower 710 model. Towers are almost always more expensive than racks in the same model, so if you can get away with running a rack mounted server, even if you don’t have a rack, you will generally save money. Some of our customers just put a rack mount server on a small table instead of buying a tower and then pocket the savings.

Dell rack mounted servers have a height determination standard call a U. So a model R610 is a 1U server, which means it is approximately 1.5” high. A 2U server is about 3 inches high. A standard rack is often 42U and network engineers use the U height determination to figure out how many servers they can place in a rack. In general, (there are always exceptions to everything), there are 1U, 2U and 4U Dell servers. 1U and 2U are very common and numerous, and 4U are less so because they often take 4 processors and are for very large applications.

The typical differences between servers, other than the ones discussed above, are: how many processors, speed of processor, how many hard drives, how many dimm slots, and redundant or non-redundant power supply capability. To confuse things further, a number of the server models were manufactured with both redundant and non-redundant power supplies, especially the R310s and R410s.

The two models mentioned above were manufactured as well with hot swap hard drive capability and cabled hard drive capability. So it is possible to purchase an R410 in one of 4 ways: Hot Swap/Redundant, Non-Hot Swap/Redundant and Hot Swap/Non-Redundant and Non-hot Swap/Non-Redundant. Too, some were manufactured in both 2.5” and 3.5” hard drive bays, which again multiplies the configurations possible with the same model of server. All this information is not meant to confuse you, rather, take it as cautionary advice to always compare configurations that are exactly the same when price shopping.

A couple of tips: Redundant power supplies are always preferable to non-redundant. That way, if one of the power supplies fails, the server can get along on the one remaining power supply until you can replace the one that failed. Imagine your downtime if you have a server with a non-redundant power supply that fails. In the best case scenario, you have a spare power supply on the shelf and the server is only down for the period of time it takes to change the power supply and reboot the server. In the worst case scenario, your server is down for more than one whole day while the replacement power supply is purchased and shipped overnight to you.

When you are reviewing server specifications for possible purchase, often the server will be advertised as redundant power supply. This does not mean you are being offered two power supplies. The server is capable of running on one redundant power supply and more than one vendor will offer only one redundant power supply in the configuration and then lower the price a bit to try to attract your attention.

Too, hot swap drive capability is infinitely preferable to cabled hard drives. With hot-swap drives you can pull a failing drive on-the-fly and put in a replacement without dropping your server. Look at our website, http://www.velocitytechsolutions.com; there is very good information to assist you with your Dell server.  Continue reading

Product Overview Dell PowerEdge R910

By Brett Middleton – Velocity Tech Solutions

In the following post we are going to take a closer look at the Dell R910 using an approach that Joe Friday would have liked had he changed fields, “Just the specs, mam“. For those of you who like to hear a more editorialized summary you can skip to the bottom, but follow along section by section for a complete view.

Memory

This is a strong point of the server, using memory risers to allow for far more memory than a standard server layout like the R710. With 64 DIMM slots when fully loaded and support for filling it up with 32GB Quad rank DIMMs for a total of 2TB of ram it brings memory quantity to a whole other level when compared to the rest of the 11th generation of servers.

Raid? Get the cache.

The R910 can come equipped with two different types of raid controllers, the h200 and the h700. The lower end h200 comes without cache and only supports raid levels 0, 1 and 10 and would only be recommended if onboard storage needs are not high and you’re using SAN’s and NAS’s for the majority of data usage. The h700 is the higher end controller and offers support for raid 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 along with coming with battery backed cache in either 512MB or 1GB options. For hard drives you have a number of selections as far as how many you can put within the server, it comes standard with a 4x 2.5” backplane which can be expanded to a 16x 2.5” backplane.

What about Networking?

For network ports you have an extremely large selection as the networking ports are not built into the board itself, it instead uses a riser which can be swapped out to utilize different networking mediums. On top of that the pci slot layout leaves lots of room for expansion.

The standard configuration is seven PCIe gen2 slots with a layout of two x4 slots, four x8 slots and one x16 slot with slot5 on the board being a 4x PCIe gen 1 slot. The nonstandard layout is 10 PCIe gen2 slots with six x4 slots and four x8 slots.

The R910 comes standard with an idrac6 express and can be expanded to an idrac enterprise which makes things like remote viewing and usage possible through the idrac hardware.

Hot Swap

It comes with support for up to four hot swappable 750W or 1100W power supplies.

Conclusion

The PowerEdge R910 is the highest level server in the dell 11th generation of servers. It features support for up to four, six or eight core processors with hyper threading providing support for up to 64 threads giving amazing performance for heavily threaded applications. The mainboard utilizes the intel 7500 chipset. The R910 gives you a large variety of customization and upgrade options and should offer long-term relevancy.

When to Replace Your Dell PowerEdge Raid Controller Battery

By Dylan Kerling – Velocity Tech Solutions

When dealing with any Dell server, there is generally going to be a raid controller; and depending on the model, you may have a PERC card or a SAS card.

The main differences are the cache and ability to use all raid levels on the PERC card. Whereas the SAS card can only run raid 0 and 1, along with not having any on board cache. Due the cache on the PERC cards, it also needs a battery to keep the cached data from being lost, in the case of power loss. Like all batteries, they only last so long before they’re worthless.

To see the status of the battery, the simplest way is through Dell Open Manage System Administrator (or OMSA for short.)

It can be downloaded from Dell’s website here: http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/systems-management/w/wiki/1760.openmanage-server-administrator-omsa.aspx

The battery’s status can be checked under the storage sub-section, under the section labeled battery. It will let you know if it’s failed, charged or charging. When a battery has completely failed, typically the server will alert you with an amber light and error message on the front LCD. Replacing the battery immediately when the server alerts you is very important as a power loss occurring without a battery can lead to some issues and may not be able to write the cached data to the drives.

That wraps up this tech article. If you have any questions on this or any of our topics covered in previous posts, please feel free to contact us.

Don’t forget to check out the video to this article on replacing the Perc 5i 6i battery as well as our other video tutorials at our YouTube channel: velocity783.

Have a How-To request? Request your own and we will get right to work on it for you!

Replacing an iDRAC Express in a Dell PowerEdge R710

By Dylan Kerling – Velocity Tech Solutions

This tech article covers the process of replacing an iDRAC Express in a Dell PowerEdge R710 system board.

Start by unplugging all power from the server. Once the server is fully powered down, open the top of the chassis and look near the rear right of the machine. You should notice your raid controller which will have two cables plugging into it. Underneath that, you will notice a small, black, rectangular piece of plastic that is held down by a metal clip. Unplug the cables from the raid controller and push out both of the pieces of plastic that are holding it in place so that you can pull the raid controller out of its slot.

Once you have your raid controller fully removed, the next step is to remove the iDRAC express itself. You will first remove the metal clip that is holding it in place by unlatching each side from the metal hoops they are connected to. Once unlatched, you are able to pull the iDRAC up and off the board. Now that your old iDRAC is detached, take your new iDRAC and lower it back onto the slot that the old one was plugged into, reattaching the metal clip latching it into place. After that, reattach your raid controller and the cables and secure the top of the server. Plug everything back in and you should be all done.

Please note that sometimes the new iDRAC doesn’t always want to take right away and you may get iDRAC communication errors. I find if this happens after the replacement, several power cycles or draining all energy from the machine by unplugging the machine and holding down the power button for 15-20 seconds and reapplying power can help as well.

Once the iDRAC is communicating properly with the server, the replacement is complete!

Don’t forget to check out the video to this article and our other video tutorials at our
YouTube channel: velocity783.

Have a How-To request? Request your own and we will get right to work on it for you!

Installing a Dell PowerEdge 1950 System Board

By Dylan Kerling – Velocity Tech Solutions

This tech article covers the process of installing a Dell PowerEdge 1950 system board.

Fig.1 - Remove the fan assemblies.

Fig.1Line up the metal post on the side plane.

With your server case empty from having removed your original PowerEdge 1950 mainboard, take the new replacement board and orient it so that it is lined up the way the original has been removed. Place it down, towards the front of the case. Once it is lowered in, push it towards the back until you hear it click. If should no longer move from its position at this point.

Now that you have the new system board installed, return all of the risers, memory (RAM), processors and expansion cards to their original locations. After you have re-attached the majority of the parts, and re-installed the side plane, you should notice a metal post on the board, next to the port, that the side plane plugs into. Line that up with the guide on the side plane (Fig. 1) and push it in until it is secure. After that, re-attach the raid controller to the side plane.

Lastly, re-install all of the fans, push back in the power supplies and re-install the black shroud cover the processors and memory. Replace the cover to your server’s case and you are all set.

This completes the installation of the system board in the Dell PowerEdge 1950 server.

Don’t forget to check out the video to this article and our other video tutorials at our
YouTube channel: velocity783.

PLUS: Great news! We also have a related article & video on removing the PowerEdge 1950 system board.

Have a How-To request? Request your own and we will get right to work on it for you!