Software Reviews
Enterprise software, largely consisting of backup and recovery applications.
by Juan Mulford

Dell EMC Unisphere Review (Unity XT)

Among the significant challenges faced by storage administrators are the fast-paced evolution of technologies and the operation of the ever-growing storage environments. With these challenges, managing storage systems becomes more complex, and sometimes, even substantial training is required. Administrators are required to make quick provisioning decisions, generate reports, and ensure the health of all systems in the environment. Therefore, they need a simple, intuitive, and customizable cross-platform tool for managing storage environments. To address these concerns, Dell EMC Unisphere provides simplicity, ease of use, and flexibility; all of which are critical requirements for optimal storage management. Unisphere, specially designed for the Dell EMC Unity Family, serves the needs of storage administrators by providing advanced features and optimized performance for enterprise data.

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by Juan Mulford

NetApp ONTAP 9.7 Review

A couple of months ago, NetApp announced an update to its data management software, ONTAP, with version 9.7. ONTAP includes many enhancements, where NetApp put the focus on FabricPool (auto cloud tiering of cold data), new SAN offerings, new scale-out capabilities, data protection, and security. Also, beginning with this new version, ONTAP presents a redesigned ONTAP System Manager, simplifying ONTAP management with an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). ONTAP 9.7 was announced on October 29, and it's been available to download from mid-November of 2019.

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by Juan Mulford

Dell EMC iDRAC 9 and Lifecycle Controller Review

In the past, we had reviewed some of the based management controller (BMC) solutions from major server manufacturers, including HPE iLO 5 and Lenovo XClarity Controller (XCC). These embedded server management technologies allow a system administrator to monitor and manage servers and other network-attached equipment by remote control regardless of whether the machine is powered on or whether an operating system is installed or functional. Each of these solutions has similar functionality to the others, and each has been improved over the years to add new functions and capabilities. In this review, we take a close look at the integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC) with Lifecycle Controller, on the current version 9, which is included in generation 14 of PowerEdge servers.

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by Juan Mulford

Lenovo XClarity Controller (XCC) Review

The Lenovo XClarity Controller (XCC) is part of the System Management tools of Lenovo. The company refers to this family of software tools as “foundation software for data centers who put a premium on it efficiency and precision execution.” These software tools and applications aim to help systems administrators standardize, simplify, and automate foundation infrastructure processes. Among this family of software, the XClarity Controller is a powerful management tool for deploying agile IT methodologies and speed up infrastructure delivery.

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by Juan Mulford

HPE iLO 5 Review

Managing servers in the data center and anywhere in the world can be a complicated mission if you don’t have the proper tools and solutions. Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) is one of the out-of-band (OOB) methods for managing servers and networking equipment. iLO is an embedded technology that ships in HPE ProLiant servers and provides multiple ways to configure, monitor, and update HPE servers from a remote location. 

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by Guest Author

QNAP QTS 4.3.X Review

We have come a long way from the strictly enterprise SAN devices that were firmly targeted to only those with a large budget. We now have dozens of various manufacturers that are offering low cost; high performance hardware at nearly every price point. It's possible to purchase a simple 2 bay NAS that under the hood is running the same OS as the much larger rackmount models – additionally providing many of the same features the more expensive alternative. This OS update function allows for many much older devices to benefit from feature updates, security updates and additional functionality. One of the best in the industry at being able to solve the issues faced in the home, small business or enterprise edge is QNAP with their QTS operating system.

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by Adam Armstrong

JetStream Migrate Review

Migrating VMs can be a huge pain in the neck for companies wanting to move from traditional architectures to the cloud; live migration is even worse. From the service provider perspective, they need a quick and relatively painless way to migrate VMs to both make customers happy, but perhaps more importantly in their view, get to the point of billing. JetStream Migrate is designed exactly for this purpose, helping service providers migrate customer VMs to the cloud completely, reliably, and without appliction service interruption.

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by Tom Fenton

Dell EMC CloudIQ Review

CloudIQ is a free, cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solution that allows customers to monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot Dell EMC’s storage systems (Unity, SC Series, XtremIO, and PowerMax/VMAX) with a HTML5 browser. Since its release in 2016, Dell EMC has steadily been adding improvements and features to CloudIQ to make it an actionable service for their customers.

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by Brian Beeler

Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) Review

NVMe SSDs are taking over the data center, quickly cementing themselves as the go-to technology for mission critical applications. The NVMe interface lets flash run free, getting past legacy bottlenecks of SATA and SAS interfaces. Removing the flash floodgates though introduces new architectural challenges that aren't easily solved with traditional HBA/RAID card server layouts. Intel has addressed this problem with a simplified solution for managing NVMe SSDs in servers. Virtual RAID on CPU, or Intel VROC for short, essentially allows the SSDs to have direct access to the CPUs, removing the need for an HBA entirely. This greatly simplifies both the data path and the components required to get the most out of NVMe SSDs in servers. In addition to enterprise-grade RAID, Intel VROC includes the expected serviceability the enterprise demands including pre-boot RAID management, hot plug support and LED management.

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by Adam Armstrong

Dell EMC OpenManage Mobile Review

Dell EMC knows that the data center needs to be monitored and managed at all times. If a company’s IT resources are always in the office or remote connected through a notebook at home, they are covered. However, many companies have a limited amount of IT resources or they don’t have a computer nearby at all times. Enter Dell EMC’s OpenManage Mobile (OMM) app. The OMM app supports Android and iOS in conjunction with Quick Sync 2 the new 14G PowerEdge servers.

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