Hey You Get Outta that Cloud- or at least ask some questions before you get hung up there

For those of you that went to the cloud, or are thinking of moving to the cloud, can you answer with certainty who owns your data? This isn’t a new question or new controversy, as big data gets bigger, as more data is stored in the cloud, as  more devices hit the market and as more hackers are getting into our banks and government servers  do you own your data and if not who does and where is it?

Over the past few years there has been controversy over the “Cloud” and who owns what data where.   For those willing to play “who’s data is it anyway”, the legal issues aren’t getting any clearer.

As a consumer user of the cloud -posting my so important pictures of my yellow lab Riley on Facebook

rileyhead Riley, the best dog ever!

or using my Gmail account or the obsessive habit of using my Amazon prime account so I can feel like a kid at Christmas every day seeing a box on my doorstep, I fail to realize the pain of this issue: probably because it’s so convenient. I then suggested the cloud as a solution for one of my customers.  That’s when it hit me.

As someone working in technology (ok I’m a sales geek) I need to really think about how real and complicated this issue is to better serve my customers by educating them in the pros and cons of using the cloud

For those thinking of going to the cloud, it seems like such and easy thing. So you call Mr. Cloud company and say “Mr. Cloud company, I want to put my data way up in the cloud so no one can get it.” Mr. Cloud says ok “we’ll store your data and all will be safe in the world forever and ever amen.” You sign the contract there, you’re in the cloud. You’re happy your data is safe, no one will ever get your data, you will have access to it at all times and you don’t have to hire and pay someone to support it.

What you don’t ask Mr.  Cloud company is “what is the trail of your cloud”? Why would you ask that? What is the “trail of the cloud” Clouds don’t trail! Have you ever looked up and seen those long skinny clouds? Yeah, they trail.

trailing-cloud

In some cloud companies you give your data to a cloud provider who then outsources its work to another storage or process provider, who’s responsible if your information is lost or damaged? What if that outsourcing happens in another country? So if data is created in one country, but then stored in another the legal rules that apply become blurred. YIKES!!

Now you worry about your data. You call an attorney. What area of law is this? Cloud law isn’t a thing……yet. There are 3 main areas of law (and maybe more) that cover this: Copyright, Confidentiality and Contract. So do you need 3 attorneys? Also if your data is stored or outsourced in another country do their rules apply?

lawpic

 

In speaking with a customer of mine from a University, he mentioned real concern about security in regard to the cloud. He mentioned his concern regarding student personal information as well as student loan information. Once student loan information is breached now we have a tax payer issue, and as he put it, “now we have a federal issue”.

There are guidelines from PTAC – the US Department of Education’s Privacy technical assistance center. But it gets a little “cloudy” regarding the cloud.

What it boils down to is Data Mining or Big Data.  In the education world to use as an example; this is a huge no no as it violates the “no commercial use of student data” policy.  According to Education Weekly when the litigation started in 2014, consent was not given to scan or index emails under the Google for education platform.

This issue isn’t any clearer in 2016 as UC Berkeley has this lawsuit pending for the same thing, called. “UC Berkeley students sue Google Alleging their emails were illegally scanned”.

I have only discussed a bit of the issue, but how about your industry? How about your data? Think about what you personally put out there? Your buying habits, your search habits. What about when you are in crisis? Is that something we want out in the “cloud”?

Should you decide to go to the cloud, read your contracts, ask some questions. Make sure the provider can specify who will be responsible for the data should it be lost or stolen. There should also be a provision in that contract as to who is responsible if the cloud company goes bankrupt, or is purchased by another cloud company.

If you need some help to get started in this process, help is here just give us a call.

www.velocitytechsolutions.com

 

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.

Hyper Converged Storage

Velocity Tech Solutions is pleased to have a partnership with Datacore. Datacore is the leader in Software Defined Storage (SDS) and optimizes existing investments and storage infrastructure in environments with diverse hardware.

What sets Datacore apart from other Virtual San Solutions:

  • Simplified management and uniformity to your storage infrastructure
  • Reduced Op Ex and Cap Ex
  • Increased Asset Utilization
  • Increased performance and flexibility
  • Greater freedom of choice.

I’d like to share this informative Webinar on Hyper Converged Storage:

http://datacore.com/resources/webcasts.aspx?commid=149559

Contact me for a free test of Datacore VSan Symphony software.  Whether you have one location or have storage in several locations, the ability to manage all of your storage in one seemless place will make life easier.

We have HP Elitebooks, and they’re very cool!

Product Specifications and Review for: HP Elitebook 8530w Mobile Workstation

Author: Dan Atchley, Velocity Tech Solutions – Technician

Specifications:

There are variations on how these can come configured, but the devices we tested and reviewed were configured as follows.

Basics:            15.4”(16:10)WUXGA+ Anti-Glare Screen, 4 USB, HDMI, eSATA, RJ-45+ RJ-11, VGA, 1394, RICOH Smart Card Reader, Bio-metric Fingerprint Reader, Keyboard Light, TouchStyk, Webcam, 1.1″ x 14.0″ x 10.4″ form-factor.
Processor:      Intel Core 2 Extreme Q9300 @4×2.53GHz/2x6M(2×12-Way(24))/1066FSB
Memory:        4GB DDR2, 2x 2GB PC2-6400(400MHz, 666-18 Timing)
Graphics:       NVIDIA Quadro FX770M – PCI-Express x16, GDDR3 512MB Memory, 128 Bit. 500MHz Core Clock, 800MHz Memory Clock, 1250MHz Shader Clock, w/ OpenCL and CUDA Support Drives:            2.5” Seagate Momentus –  120GB, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache, SATA II (3-GBPS), DVD/CD-RW w/ LightScribe

Initial Thoughts:

This HP Elitebook is just that, elite.  Debuting in 2008 and running a TDP of <130W, delivering a big punch (without punching your bank account), making it one of the best laptops on the market.  Originally sold anywhere between $1400-$2800 based on configuration, it featured a range of Intel Core2 Processors and a dedicated Mobile GPU, putting it ahead of its time and ready to meet the demands of the new decade.

Today, it still stands as a solid piece of modern computing. With minor optimization it can hold even with Dell Latitudes running i5’s, and surpassing others.  Keeping the 8530W ahead of the curve is mostly due to its dedicated Quadro GPU, giving you prioritized 3D computing power that many APU’s promise but don’t deliver. The sophisticated GPU allows this laptop, which is designed as a mobile workstation, to run many current high demand applications such as Netflix, YouTube, and even aspects of the gaming world.  Although it may struggle with fresh releases such as Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Shadow of Mordor, for the common user or casual gamer it will run everything from Skype and Netflix to the surge of MOBA games, all with a crystal clear image at great frame rates.

 Testing and Benchmarks:

When we received our first one, I cracked the lid and was delighted to see a C2Extreme Label and a NVidia Quadro with CUDA Support.  A clean layout, easy access to RAM DIMMs, HP’s DriveGuard Caddy for our HDD, touch interface for quick-launch buttons, volume control and WIFI on/off are all things to be excited about.  Removal of the keyboard panel yielded even more; dedicated heatsinks for both CPU and GPU, the GPU’s heatsink was bigger than the CPU’s!

We started with a base optimization of these by pulling the heatsink and fan apparatus and giving it a good solid dusting, general cleaning, and removal and reapplication of thermal paste.  Surprise of the day: the Intel Core2Extreme Q9300 is actually two DI smashed together into one standard form-factor and socket for a laptop, giving you a true quad-core, and 24-way (YES, 24!) 2x6MB L2 Cache.  The CPU and GPU shared a common rail made of solid copper, with dedicated aluminum base heatsinks for each, and a third heat sink for our bridge functionality to keep everything nice and crispy as we push this laptop to it’s namesake, extremes.

OS Installation was a breeze, moving relatively fast for a 7200RPM HDD, taking about 15-20 min to do a fresh optical disc install of Windows 7 Pro x64.  The WIFI and LAN port keep up with modern data rates, patching 500MB+ of Windows Updates within 15-20 min, and the installation of said updates in less than 10. Complete with restarts and human interaction, total time for installation and deployment took under an hour.

Initial running yielded standard laptop temps, between 40C-50C for both CPU and GPU.  Running Prime95 for our CPU stress-test took the CPU’s Cores to a max of 80-85CC, with temps cooling and stabilizing quickly upon test completion to a quiet 45C-50C.  All of us here at VTS were happy to see such amazing performance by not one, but realistically two proc’s working in conjunction in such a small space.

Running Furmark for our GPU stress-test, at 1280×720, full screen, with 4x anti-aliasing yielded great results as well, giving us a max FPS of between 5-7 and great thermals, hovering stable at just about 80C sharp, and cooling to under 60C within minutes.  You’d be hard pressed to pull any new laptop from the shelf and get the same performance.

 Final Word:

Looking for a used laptop that gives modern day performance without costing an arm and a leg (and your savings)? Then look no further. Comparable modern laptops with true quad cores (not hyperthreaded i5’s) and dedicated GPU’s can cost $1500+, and they may not even hit the same baselines that this finely aged beauty can reach.  More modernization can be obtained by replacing the HDD with a SSD, giving you lightning fast boot times with the L2 Cache and quick FSB, real time functionality from within the OS, and great multitasking due to allocation of resources with 4 true cores and a beastly GPU.  Other upgrades can be done by increasing the total memory to 8GB with 4GB DIMM’s, and for the advanced user, bringing the memory clocks up through some overclocking, and a clean and optimized OS installation and maintenance.

Even in its current configuration, the 8530 Elitebook delivers a great every-day use experience and is up to almost any task you could send its way. HP sets the standard for long-term market share with clean design and smart engineering with this laptop; And the one thing I am NOT surprised about is that these laptops are still in circulation today.

For Velocity Tech Solutions,
Dan Atchley

Technician and Gaming Enthusiast

 

Dell Poweredge Server Lineage

 

With the 10th Generation of the Dell Poweredge Servers out, the topic has come up about the Dell Poweredge Server family tree. There is really limited information even from Dell on the history of the Powerdge Server. I was hoping there would be a handy dandy document of evolution of servers complete with model number, years in production and all specs. Sadly, nothing comes that easy! I was able to find a list of model numbers from some helpful gentleman on Wikipedia so that was a start. Here is a list (not perfect but close) of all the Dell Powerdge Servers and the year of production.

As the years progressed, so did form factors. Towers are what started it all. Typically those older servers came in the 7U form factor and weighed about as much as a new Hummer.

Around the late 90s as more models came out they were all towers, but smaller sized towers. For example the Dell Poweredge 1300 would be say a mini tower by today’s standards and the Dell Poweredge 6350 would be a beastly 7U tower or the Hummer!

Right around the year 2001, servers became  lighter in weight and the Dell Poweredge 1550 was welcomed with open arms to all techs that were suffering from sore backs.

In 2009, Dell exploded with many models of towers and rack mount servers along with a series of servers that featured the AMD Operton processors.

The “C Series” of Dell Poweredge Servers are starting to come out as of 2010.

If anyone has any other information, feel free to add or comment with correct information. I hope this is helpful to those that need it or to those that are just curious.

           
Dell Poweredge  Model Number         Year Produced (Approx)
           
Poweredge SP5100       1994
Poweredge SP5133       1995
Poweredge SP5133-2     1995
Poweredge 2100       1996
Poweredge 4100                                   1996
Poweredge 4200       1997
Poweredge 2200       1997
Poweredge 6100       1997
Poweredge 4300        1998
Poweredge 4350       1998
Poweredge 2300       1998
Poweredge 1300       1998
Poweredge 6300       1998
Poweredge 6350       1999
Poweredge 8450       1999
Poweredge 2400       1999
Poweredge 2450        2000
Poweredge 4400       2000
Poweredge 7150       2001
Poweredge 1550        2001
Poweredge 2550       2001
Poweredge 2450        2001
Poweredge 6400       2001
Poweredge 6450       2001
Poweredge 2500       2001
Poweredge 2550       2001
Poweredge 2500SC       2001
Poweredge 350       2001
Poweredge 500SC       2001
Poweredge 4600       2002
Poweredge 2650       2002
Poweredge 2600       2002
Poweredge 1400SC       2002
Poweredge 6650       2002
Poweredge 6600       2002
Poweredge 6650       2002
Poweredge 1750       2003
Poweredge 1655MC       2003
Poweredge 1650       2003
Poweredge 1600SC       2003
Poweredge 750       2004
Poweredge 700       2004
Poweredge 800       2005
Poweredge 2850       2005
Poweredge 830       2005
Poweredge 1800       2005
Poweredge 1850       2005
Poweredge 1855       2005
Poweredge 2800       2005
Poweredge 6800       2005
Poweredge 6850       2005
Poweredge 850       2005
Poewredge SC430       2005
Poweredge SC1420       2005
Poweredge SC1425       2005
Poweredge 860       2006
Poweredge SC440       2006
Poweredge SC1430        2006
Poweredge SC1435       2006
Poweredge 840       2007
Poweredge 1900       2007
Poweredge 1950       2007
Poweredge 2900       2007
Poweredge 1955        2007
Poweredge 2970       2007
Poweredge 6950       2007
Poweredge 2950 III       2008
Poweredge 1950 III       2008
Poweredge 2900III        2008
Poweredge T100       2009
Poweredge T105       2009
Poweredge T110       2009
Poweredge T300       2009
Poweredge T310       2009
Poweredge T410       2009
Poweredge T605       2009
Poweredge T610       2009
Poweredge T710       2009
Poweredge R200       2009
Poweredge R210       2009
Poweredge R300       2009
Poweredge R310       2009
Poweredge R410       2009
Poweredge R510       2009
Poweredge R610       2009
Poweredge R710       2009
Poweredge R805       2009
Poweredge R900       2009
Poweredge R905       2009
Poweredge R910       2009

 

Anne Tarantino (VelocityAnne)

Velocity Tech Solutions

www.velocitytechsolutions.com

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