In previous posts, I’ve discussed how scale-out storage needs to live up to its promise to scale out, in performance as well as capacity. Along with storage capacity and performance, enterprise-grade scale-out storage distinguishes itself with functionality. It’s a significant capital and resource investment, and the payback should be solving your storage problems, currently and as your needs grow.Dell EMC Isilon is currently in the eighth generation of its OneFS software on its sixth-generation hardware platform. Since just 2014, customers have deployed over 100,000 Isilon nodes with more than 10 Exabytes of capacity. Over Isilon’s product lifetime, we have engineered a vast list of features that our customers depend on. By comparison, Pure FlashBlade provides little more than basic file services. Let’s take a look at some key differences.Isilon was designed from the ground up to protect your data. This functionality includes snapshots, which allow quick access to read-only copies of older, changed file and directory versions. We’re proud of the power and flexibility of our snapshot implementation, but for network attached storage (NAS), snapshots have become table stakes, required for a “real” product. Pure FlashBlade is shipping without snapshot capabilities, leaving customers dependent on a promise that it will be available at the end of 2017.Moving onto Disaster Recovery / High Availability (DR/HA) capabilities, Isilon-integrated SyncIQ goes beyond simple replication. File systems, directories and individual files can each be replicated at your desired intervals based on their business criticality. Inactive data can be automatically remote archived to reclaim valuable capacity in your production system.By comparison, Pure FlashBlade has no integrated replication at all, leaving it as the customer’s responsibility to handle externally. A separate, attached server, requiring extra support, runs file synchronization software like “rsync,” knowing nothing about file usage or ensuring that files aren’t changing in the midst of replication. Integrated replication, like SyncIQ, uses its privileged system knowledge to assure your data and replicas remain consistent.Customers are enthusiastic about Isilon seamless tiered storage. This enables their data to be automatically and transparently migrated between high performance, economical archive and public or private cloud. This functionality allows Isilon clusters to be built from a mix of nodes of differing performance characteristics – speed and size – providing both high performance and cost-effective overall TCO. Pure FlashBlade offers no tiering at all, as their blades differ only in capacity. That works if your workload requires a separated flash silo, but most are more efficiently conducted as part of the enterprise.The “N” in NAS stands for network, and a mix of standard network protocols are used by clients to talk to that storage. Given the varied nature of NAS workloads, supporting multiple data access protocols on the same storage platform is critical for enterprise customers.Isilon supports Network File System (NFS) v3 and v4, along with Server Message Block (SMB). SMB is a very complex protocol to implement, with many versions and lots of special cases. Thanks to our own highly functional SMB protocol stack, Isilon supports SMBv2 and the newer, more performant and available, SMBv3. Isilon rich support for SMB also includes SmartConnect, providing automatic load balancing and failover of client connections across Isilon nodes.Pure FlashBlade was introduced only supporting NFSv3, but lacking the ability to properly support NFS file locking, a notable deficiency for many workflows. Recently Pure is attempting to remediate these deficiencies by adding NFS Network Lock Manager support and basic support for legacy SMBv2.Given the immensely long and deep list of Isilon features, especially security and compliance – so critically important these days – this posting could go on and on. If you listen to Pure Storage, this isn’t a features race. And we at Dell EMC strongly agree – when looking at highly functional scale-out storage, there’s only one choice: Isilon.
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DES MOINES — Almost 400,000 Iowans have asked for an absentee ballot for the June 2nd Primary and early voting is likely to set an all-time record for a primary.“People have listened and they heard. They got the message: let’s vote safe, let’s vote from home right now,” says Secretary of State Paul Pate, the state’s commissioner of elections.His office mailed absentee ballot request forms to every registered Iowa voter, encouraging Iowans to ask their county auditor for the vote-by-mail option rather than in-person voting on Primary Day.“I think the pandemic has put a much stronger emphasis on voting,” Pate says. “People are at home. They’re paying attention to what the government’s doing.”The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Friday at 5 p.m. and officials suggest any request sent through the U.S. Postal Service be mailed today to ensure it gets to the county auditor on time. Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says in Iowa’s largest county, an average of about 9000 people typically ask for an absentee ballot for a Primary. His office has already processed 10,000 “and we still have 54,000 requests,” Fitzgerald says.While there will be in-person voting available on Primary day, election officials like Fitzgerald are encouraging Iowans to use this vote-at-home option.“We are in the pandemic,” Fitzgerald says. “You have people now that are voting safely, making sure they don’t spread the virus.”Pate says Iowa National Guard soldiers distributed personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to county auditors last week that will be used by poll workers at precinct voting sites on June 2nd. Each voting booth will be cleaned between uses. Some counties plan to offer voters gloves. In Polk County, each Primary Day voter will be given their own pen to use and take with them after they cast their ballot.“We want Iowans to be able to vote,” Pate says. “We want them to be able to vote safely and we want our poll workers to be safe.”Fitzgerald says in Polk County — and most others — the number of precincts have been reduced, to ensure there’s enough space inside for social distancing and to make sure there are enough poll workers.“I don’t want to wake up like they did in Wisconsin and find out that 400 people have quit, so we’re constantly training,” Fitzgerald says. “We’re constantly talking to our poll workers.”Pate predicts as many as 70 percent of ballots cast in the June Primary, however, will be absentee ballots. He says Iowans can track their absentee ballots on www.voterready.iowa.gov.“When the auditor’s office receives your request i’ll show that. It’ll show when the auditor sends (the absentee ballot) out. It’ll show when it got back to the auditor’s office, Pate says, “so you know it got there.”The two election officials made their comments this weekend on the “Iowa Press” program on Iowa PBS. They both are urging Iowans voting by mail to avoid a common mistake — and remember to sign and date the ballot.