OpenDedup Virtual Appliance (based on SDFS)

OpenDedup just released a greatly enhanced Virtual Appliance based on SDFS. The OpenDedup Virtual NAS Appliance is designed for simple setup and management SDFS volumes for virtual environments. The Appliance includes capabilities to create, mount,delete, and export SDFS volumes via NFS from a Web Based interface. It also includes VMWare storage api integration that allow the quick Data Store creation and cloning of Virtual machines located on SDFS Volumes.

Interesting. Video.

All Things Virtual

I’ve been working as a Technical Support Engineer for VMware since July 2009 and my work life is virtualization, storage and solving stuff everyday. I felt the need to document information and new things that I’m learning, so instead of using a notepad, why not put it on a blog? Let’s get virtual with All Things Virtual. Cheers.

Online backups and broadband upload limits

I have a MacBook laptop that I want to backup. What should I do? Normally, I will buy a decent disk (500G or 1T SATA are very affordable these days) and I will normally use something like TimeMachine. Happy, joy. Now, I want more. What if I don’t want to spend more money with a second drive, deal with RAID and choose a storage service “in the cloud” for backing up the backup? What if want to access some files from everywhere? There is Amazon S3 (cheap, copy&forget). There is a lot of services and there is Mozy ($4.95 for unlimited storage). Hmm, I have unmetered ADSL @ home. So I’ve signed up and there we go, started the backup. Of course, my ADSL has 512K of upstream limit. Slow has hell. But I only want 12G “in the cloud”. I’ve waited and it took me more than 1 week to upload all the stuff to Mozy (mostly at night). That’s a pain in the ass. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess that what is pulling down the real adoption of online backup services (or storage) for SME’s and home users is the ridiculous upload speeds of most of the broadband pipes over there (I’m not talking about South Korea, Japan or some lucky FTTH beta-testers). But I have an idea. What about Mozy sending me a disk so I can do an initial backup just before sending it back to them? That could speed up things. I could even burn a DVD and send to them (for some initial digital media, for example). Mozy has an option for restoring files. They burn a DVD and send it to you with the files as long as you pay the Fedex bill. What about sending the user a big disk for the initial backup. For a 500G drive sent in the mail, 3 or 4 days for arriving at the datacenter is way faster than an 512k upload. Netflix + backups, anyone?

Busy S3

Wow, this numbers about S3 usage are pretty impressive. Take a look:

Amazon S3 usage has grown very nicely in the last quarter and now stands at 29 billion objects, up from 22 billion just a quarter ago. As one of the S3 engineers told me last week, that’s over 4 objects for every person now on Earth!

Our customers are keeping S3 pretty busy too. To give you an example of what this means in practice, the peak S3 usage for October 1st was over 70,000 storage, retrieval, and deletion requests per second.

And there are also new prices on S3 based on a tiered model (decreasing on the amount of storage).

The network is the computer (this time it’s the future, really)

Meet CherryPal:

The CherryPal™ C100 desktop is about the size of a paperback book, but has the performance you would expect from a full-size desktop computer. Freescale’s fast triple-core mobileGT processor delivers exceptional multimedia performance and feature-rich user interfaces, while only consuming as much power as a clock radio. CherryPal uses 80 percent fewer components than a traditional PC, and because it has no moving parts, it operates without making a sound and will last 10 years or more.

You pay $249 for a small black box with external VGA, 2 USB ports, 256M ram, 4G NAND, 400 Mhz processor and internal wifi card. This thing will consume about 2 watts of energy (they say). This acts as a thin client, as you run all of your application on your virtual desktop, in the cloud. And you get 50 Gb of free storage. Hope it’s not 100% based on S3 :-). And they let you run Opensource applications like OpenOffice, IM, mail, etc. But they say they have iTunes also.