Archive for June, 2009

WYSE TCX Flash Redirection

June 26, 2009

When it comes to Thin Client computing there are several questions that typically come up.  The big one is usually “What about video performance?”.   Video performance was typically subpar or “choppy”, how choppy usually depending on what protocol (ICA or RDP) you were using.  WYSE responded with it TCX Multimedia Redirection software which significantly improved video performance by redirecting the processing associated with certain video files to the local client.

Now with the advent of more and more flash content in web pages and web apps, “What about flash video performance?” is becoming a much bigger concern.  Yet again WYSE is answering the call with its new TCX Flash Redirection software (still in BETA).  Whereas TCX Multimedia redirects video files to the local client, TCX Flash redirects flash video.  Now your end users can watch YouTube videos all day at work with minimal irritation and stop calling the help desk to complain.

Speaking of YouTube…..there is a good YouTube video demonstrating the flash video performance both with and without TCX enabled.  You can check it out here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4rPs84-FgY

Here is a little technical documentation about the product as well:

TCX server components required for TCX Flash Redirection Tech Preview

–          Rich sound Server  ver.1.1.7

Supported Thin Clients:

–          V class and R class with XPe (WFR2 SP2 & WES) and

                                i) Rich sound Client ver. 1.1.7  (Only for Xpe Clients)

                                ii) MMR client ver.1.24.0.0  (Only for Xpe Clients)             

–          V class Wyse Thin OS client (6.3.0_25)

Supported 32-bit operating system platforms:

–          XP Pro SP3

–          Vista (all flavors)

–          Windows 2003 Enterprise SP2

–          XenApp 4.5 & 5.0

Supported Protocols:

–          Microsoft RDP

–          Citrix ICA

–          Citrix PortICA

Supported Connection Brokers:

–          VMware View

–          Citrix XenDesktop

Supported Browsers:

–          Internet Explore Version 6

–          Internet Explore Version 7

PowerPath/VE – Improved Multipathing for VMware

June 12, 2009

In the process of working on a somewhat large storage and virtualization project this week we came across some questions about EMC PowerPath for VMware or PowerPath/VE.  I wasn’t really that familiar with the new product which was just released at the end of April so I had to get my learn on!  Here is brief overview of the features and benefits I see as most relevant.

What’s it do?

PowerPath/VE is a multi-pathing software that enables you both typical failover multi-pathing and more importantly now, load balancing multi-pathing.  From an VMware standpoint in the past only failover was really an option.  Now with PowerPath/VE applications in virtual environments can significantly increase their throughput via this I/O load-balancing.  In cases where critical tier 1 apps (Exchange, SQL…) have been virtualized this will mean noticeable performance increases.

Benefits and Features

Aside from the obvious performance improvements of load-balancing there are additional benefits.

–          Simplified, single management of physical and virtual environments

–          More predictable performance

–          Automated failover

–          Auto detect and restore of problem paths

–          Support for clustered environments

With the increased power and processing capacity of new hardware and capacity for higher and higher consolidation ratios from products like VMware vSphere I/O is a critical concern.  Customers are constantly looking to get more performance out of less resources and PowerPath/VE helps to that end.

Pricing

As with every new and cool technology the question comes up, “That’s sound great but what does it cost?”, so not to disappoint here you have it:

These are MSRP prices so see your EMC reseller for more accurate pricing.

Model Description List Price
 
457-100-182 PowerPath/VE, Std. X86 T1 (2–7 CPUs) [for vSphere] $2,100/CPU
457-100-183 PowerPath/VE, Std. X86 T2 (8+ CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,935/CPU
457-100-186 PowerPath/VE, Add-on X86 T1 (2–7 CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,430/CPU
457-100-187 PowerPath/VE, Add-on X86 T2 (8+ CPUs) [for vSphere] $1,315/CPU

EMC DL3D Backup Solution

June 7, 2009

This past week we had the opportunity to present a proposal for an EMC Disk Library solution, the DL3D.  The DL3D is a backup to disk solution that emulates a tape library (VTL or Virtual Tape Library) and provides target based de-duplication during the process.  So why would you want to go this route for your backup solution?  What benefits are there over just keeping your existing tape infrastructure?  After all it’s just backupright? The short answer …… NO.  So let’s look at some of the benefits to the DL3D solution.

Reliability

Depending on what report you read, most tapes have a failure rate of anywhere from 25 to 50%.  Being conservative and assuming the low end number that is still a disturbing amount of tape failures, especially for critical data.  With a VTL like DL3D your are backing up to disk and thereby taking advantage of RAID and significantly reducing the probability of media failure and in the end data loss.

High Speed

With tape based solutions your restore speed is typically slow.  When restoring from disk restores are significantly faster and more reliable.

De-duplication

Now with de-duplication technology built-in the amount of data you actually have to backup is much less.  This is key in reducing the amount of media you need to purchase to support your data backup needs.

Replication and DR

Unlike tape, DL3D infrastructure can be replicated to another DL3D library at a DR site.  This can essentially eliminate the need for tape all together and the expenses associated with media and offsite storage and transportation.  Now granted some companies are restricted by policies that require offsite tape backup and storage.  For these situations there is a tape-out option on the DL3D to enable you to dump your data to tape media if necessary.

Ease of Implementation

DL3D integrates right in to your existing infrastructure as a replacement for your tape based backup solution.  Your existing backup software and policies stay in place.  More than likely you have a significant investment in backup software which can now still be utilized.

Is a VTL solution the end all be all backup solution for all environment?  Definitely not, however for many companies it can be an excellent solution to many of their backup issues.