Bad sectors – Storage news from Dell, Zerowait and Waikato District Health Board

Dell plans to bring its vStart pre-packaged infrastructure stacks to Australia later this year, while ZeroWait has scored an Australian customer for its SimplStor product.

Dell plans to bring its vStart pre-packaged infrastructure stacks to Australia later this year.

vStart systems are sold as an integrated collection of Dell hardware, comprising servers, EqualLogic storage and Dell networking kit. The company offers V50, V100 and V200 models, each named for the number of virtual machines it can support.

The product was launched in North America early this year, but at a press briefing in Sydney today the company’s VP of Strategy and Solutions Praveen Asthana said the products will reach our shores later this year. Local Dell staff confirmed his statement.

Asthana said the idea behind vStart is to enable IT generalists to stand up substantial virtualised infrastructure “with the push of one button” and added that Dell’s enterprise products are now designed with solo IT people or small teams who need enterprise-grade kit but don’t have enterprise-scale budgets or skills. Simplicity, he said, informs the company’s design ethic. “Customers tell us they don’t want to be confronted by the cockpit of a 747,” he said, adding that “it is possible to open the panel and use many levers and switches.”

The local launch of vStart will heat up a market that already has NetApp’s FlexPods and the VCE Alliance’s V-Blocks duking it out, along with HP’s Converged Infrastructure.

Zerowait wins at Fuel VFX

Third party NetApp support specialist Zerowait has had a local win, with special effects company Fuel VFX acquiring one of its SimplStor products.

Fuel has worked on films including Captain America: The First Avenger, Iron Man 2 and Thor and, according to the Zerowait blog, uses “…proprietary tiering software developed in house by Fuel VFX, volumes on the 4U, 68TB unit provide nearline access for scripts and a library of film assets. In addition, the SimplStor is used to provide nearstore volumes, reducing the time of the backup window for Flame suites (now disk to disk), with the tape library now attached to the SimplStor.”

The blog quotes Dylan Penhale, Fuel’s Chief Technical Officer, as saying : “We knew SimplStor offered excellent value and density, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised by its performance. Transfers have been faster than we expected, offering better performance for our users and helping to further shrink our backup windows.”

Waikato Health seeks tape storage, destruction

Waikato District Health Board has issued a tender for secure storage, retrieval and destruction of printed material and data tapes.

The tender says the Board maintains around 740 backup tapes and wants them to be retrievable from a secure, climate-controlled storage facility 24 hours a day. The Board also insists that:

  • Pick up of tapes to be at 15:00
  • Tapes are to be held in non-temperature controlled van for periods not exceeding 2 hrs
  • Tapes must be in secure bags for delivery/collection
  • Point-to-point back-up media delivery/collection
  • Normal delivery of tapes next half day
  • Email notification of tape movements

Remote access to a database listing all tapes is also required, as is barcoding in line with the Board’s current standards.

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