Top 10 storage and virtualisation stories of 2015

Storage and virtualisation are key items on the to-do list for datacentres. That means getting things right when deploying into well-known supplier environments, but also keeping an eye on new trends in the market

Server and desktop virtualisation is a fact of datacentre life now. Most organisations' infrastructures are now nearly or fully virtualised, with few purely physical servers retained. 

And virtualisation has brought many benefits, allowing more efficient use of datacentre resources.

But at the same time virtualisation brings with it challenges and pitfalls. Here Compter Weekly showcases some of the top stories from 2015 with key tips that range from how to avoid uncontrolled proliferation of virtual machines (VMs) to how to configure storage and backup more efficiently for virtualised operations.

If VMware – and to some extent Microsoft, with its Hyper-V – have been the most prominent suppliers of virtualisation environments, 2015 has also seen the rise of rivals and alternatives, from Docker and its containers to the Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor available with its hyper-converged storage. This selection of articles from 2015 looks across the whole virtualisation landscape.

1. Virtualisation and storage: Five Ways to Do it Better

Server and desktop virtualisation bring many savings, but you have to work smart to ensure storage performs efficiently. We survey the top five pitfalls and how to avoid them.

2. All-flash vs hybrid flash for virtual desktop storage

With massive random I/O and a huge bias towards writes, virtual desktop storage – especially for the more feature-rich VDI 2.0 – requires the speed of all-flash and hybrid flash storage.

3. How to combat VM sprawl

The good thing about virtual machines (VMs) is how easy it is to create them. The bad thing is when unmanaged VMs proliferate around your infrastructure. That’s when you’ve got VM sprawl.

4. VVOLs: Top five things you need to know about VMware Virtual Volumes

VMware’s Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) promise a revolution in storage for virtual machines, but what are the key things you need to know for your VVOLs strategy?

5. World War Datacentre: The VMware empire and its key rivals

The VMware empire has fought some vigorous skirmishes in 2015, most notably with hyper-converged storage supplier Nutanix. Also, manoeuvres aimed at open source cloud infrastructure OpenStack have taken place while VMware keeps an eye on the horizon for container technology supplier Docker.

6. Docker storage 101: How storage works in Docker

Docker nails some of the shortcomings of virtualisation, but what about Docker container storage? We look at Docker storage options, including Docker volumes and Docker data containers.

7. VMware vs OpenStack: Focus on storage

VMware vs OpenStack: The opportunities and challenges presented by the two virtualisation environments when it comes to storage, backup and disaster recovery.

8. Nutanix’s Acropolis free hypervisor takes aim at VMware

Hyper-converged server/storage pioneer launches free-of-charge hypervisor in an explicit move to tempt customers from existing VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V deployments

9. Marketing firm shuns NetApp for VMware VSAN and HGST server flash

Herts-based Grass Roots was struggling with capacity and performance on its NetApp SAN so deployed VMware VSAN on servers with HGST PCIe server flash and helium HDDs

10. Veeam won’t get physical (backup)

How virtual server backup specialist Veeam shot to #2 among backup vendors and why it isn't planning to add physical server backup capabilities too soon.

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