Feeds

Watch out EMC and vendor pals, Cisco's set to flog you with Whiptail

Just a UCS booster? Pull the other one, says Reg storage man

Application security programs and practises

Blocks and Files El Reg's storage desk is hearing Cisco people saying their partnerships with storage vendors are stronger than ever, following the Whiptail acquisition. They say EMC and other storage array suppliers understand that Whiptail is a UCS-booster, not an array.

Well, excuse me, but what? The idea of Whiptail as a Unified Computing System (UCS) booster is a bit... well, odd. The Whiptail array is a networked storage array with Whiptail's software controlling/managing the flash and presenting it as a block storage resource to multiple server/app combos across the network.

So ... take a UCS and give it a slug of Whiptail flash. We then have a server with a directly connected flash-based SAN storage array. Why do we need all the Whiptail software? Surely caching software would do? Or software that turned the Whiptail flash into an adjunct of main memory (aka storage memory) – but Whiptail's software doesn't do this, as far as I know.

Okay, take several UCS servers and have the Whiptail array connected to them - in which case it's still a network-connected SAN.

Let's look a bit more closely at this.

When it purchased Whiptail, Cisco said: "Whiptail will strengthen Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) strategy and enhance application performance by integrating scalable solid state memory into the UCS's fabric computing architecture."

So the Whiptail array will be connected by a fabric (Ethernet I guess) to UCS servers. It's still a networked flash SAN array, just closer to the servers. Why would the UCS customers then buy a networked flash SAN (with longer latency) from anyone else - like EMC (XTremIO), NetApp (FlashRay) or Pure Storage or whoever?

Why would the customers buy go-faster PCIe flash cards for those servers either - from EMC or anyone else?

Let's look at this a bit more closely.

Here's a Cisco blog talking about the Whiptail acquisition:

Cisco is announcing its intent to acquire WHIPTAIL. Based in Whippany, New Jersey, WHIPTAIL builds the highest performing and most scalable solid-state memory systems available today. Scalable from one node to up to 30 nodes, WHIPTAIL systems can deliver over four million IOPS and 360 Terabytes of raw capacity – a truly staggering amount of solid-state performance capable of providing the workload optimization required in the App Economy.

By making this acquisition, Cisco is enhancing the Unified Computing System (UCS) by bringing solid-state memory acceleration into the compute tier as a managed subsystem. WHIPTAIL is a perfect architectural fit for UCS because together the two combine a clustered architecture with fabric-based acceleration – all of which is automatable via the UCS Manager and UCS Director.

If this doesn't compete with EMC's ideas about using flash to accelerate "emerging and business critical applications, such as virtualized, Big Data, database, High Performance Computing and transcoding workloads" I'm a big red honking toad.

It's hard to believe that Cisco UCS/Whiptail does not compete with EMC. If EMC can't see that then, well, golly gee, sell your shares. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.