The Ripple Effect

8 Reasons Software-Defined Servers are Great for DevOps

software-defined server, devops

New demands on DevOps environments—from soaring data volumes to increasingly unpredictable workloads—have IT managers searching for new ways to extract more utility and cost efficiency from their data centers and clouds.

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TidalScale's Year in the News

TidalScale, software-defined server, server, in-memory performance, infrastructure, composable infrastructure

May (the month, not the guitarist from Queen) has always been synonymous with endings and beginnings. May marks the end of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and the practical start of summer up north. It’s a big month for graduations (another ending), and just as big for weddings. You get the idea.

So with schools about to let out for summer, I thought we should look at our own report card.

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How Creating Visual Effects is Like DevOps (and Where Software-Defined Servers Can Help)

in-memory, software-defined server, devops, VFX, render farm

Before TidalScale, I spent years working with animation software to create visual effects for major motion pictures. As part of that process, I learned something that DevOps and IT administrators have since realized: delivering on difficult schedules often means making maximum and efficient use of hardware resources, and servers in particular.

But DevOps? Read on to see what I mean.

Animation and visual effects (VFX) are enormously resource- and time-intensive. It takes a long time to render, or create, the various elements that come together in an animation or VFX. Rendering projects grind away on render farm servers over hours, so animators use render farm scheduling software to keep the farm running at maximum use if there is enough job pressure to fill the farm. Given enough job pressure (jobs in the backlog to run), anything below 85% would be considered wasteful of compute resources, and above 93% would be good enough. 

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The Software-Defined Future, Brought to You by TidalScale

software-defined server, infrastructure, in-memory computing, software-defined data center, TidalScale WaveRunner

Last week at Silicon Valley’s storied Computer History Museum, some 200 people came together to see what’s next.

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The Software-Defined Future is Here

TidalScale, software-defined server, software-defined data center, composable infrastructure, right-sizing, Memory, Gordon Bell, IEEE Computer

In January, I argued that 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the Software-Defined Server. I pointed to a number of reasons why:

  • Data is growing rapidly, putting pressure on IT infrastructures that simply aren’t built to keep up.
  • To act on all that data quickly, businesses need to analyze it entirely in memory, which is 1,000 times faster than flash storage.
  • Today’s on-premise and cloud data centers typically aren’t equipped with servers that can provide a single instance of memory large enough to accommodate many data sets.
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The Death of Moore’s Law.  The Birth of Software-Defined Servers.

in-memory, software-defined server, in-memory performance, infrastructure, data center, in-memory computing, software-defined data center, composable infrastructure

It has been over 50 years since Gordon Moore saw that transistor density doubles every two years.  Over the decades, the interpretation of “Moore’s Law” has evolved to represent that the performance of microprocessors, and computers in general, is doubling every 18 months. 

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Containers and Software-Defined Servers: A Win-Win

TidalScale, linux containers, in-memory, software-defined server, composable infrastructure, devops

Background

TidalScale has introduced a new concept in the computing fabric: Software-Defined Servers, which allow users to aggregate off -the-shelf commodity servers together in such a way that they form a virtual machine that spans the hardware servers but looks like a single large server to an operating system.  This large virtual server can run a single guest operating system like Linux and can then run application programs on that system.  

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Why Two Tech Legends Changed Their Minds About The Future of Computers

Large memory, in-memory, software-defined server, in-memory performance, in-memory computing, HANA, Gordon Bell, IEEE Computer

In 1984, Ike Nassi, now an accomplished technologist and entrepreneur, was vice president of research at Encore Computer.  He and his colleagues, along with Encore co-founder Gordon Bell, the legendary engineering vice president at Digital Equipment Corp. and originator of Bell’s Law of computer classes, submitted a proposal to DARPA. They hoped the defense-focused research agency would fund the development of a distributed approach to strongly coherent shared memory.  The work was founded on the notion that applications are more easily written, and deliver results sooner, when the data is entirely resident in memory.

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Why 2018 is the Year of the Software-Defined Server

software-defined server, OrionVM, IDC, Gartner, software-defined data center, TidalScale WaveRunner, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, software-defined storage

With data volumes growing at a whopping 62 percent CAGR, it’s easy to see why some organizations are worried about keeping up. They’re trying to process and analyze bigger and more complicated problems, which increasingly stresses their computing resources.  Eventually, you hit the limits of what your systems can handle.

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In Korea, a Real Hunger for Right-Sizing Servers

software-defined server, hpc, TidalScale Korea, Korea, Memory, DRAM, inverse hypervisor

TidalScale Korea officially launched last week in Seoul. It was a milestone event in a country where enterprises, governments and institutions are seeking cost-effective ways to deal with increasingly cumbersome Big Data problems and unpredictable workloads.

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Deploy a "Supercomputer" in Minutes, Pay by the Hour

TidalScale, software-defined server, software-defined data center, TidalScale WaveRunner, composable infrastructure, SC17, hpc, supercomputing

As the high-performance computing (HPC) community prepares to descend on Denver for SC17 next week, its members will arrive in the Mile-High City with more baggage than the usual rolling carry-on. They’ll also be packing some long-held expectations. One of these is that it’s more or less impossible to create a real HPC system—a massive single system image—in the cloud.  I fully anticipate they will leave Denver with the opposite expectation.

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The Magic of Hardware that Isn't

virtualization, software-defined server, software-defined data center, prickett morgan

“We didn’t believe it either. But the TidalScale team is not fooling around here.”

These are two of my favorite sentences in Timothy Prickett Morgan’s excellent recent piece for TheNextPlatform in which he details the longtime quest to achieve “a big ole flat memory space that is as easy to program as a PC but brings to bear all that compute, memory and I/O of a cluster as a single system image.”

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4 Compelling DevOps Advantages of Software-Defined Servers

kubernetes, containers, docker, software-defined server, software-defined data center, CloudExpo, devops

Forrester recently called cloud computing "the most exciting and disruptive force in the tech market in the last decade." We would agree.

That's why we're exhibiting and presenting at CloudExpo, which runs through Nov. 2 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. 

Visit us in Booth #309

Come see us in Booth #309 (just behind the huge IBM booth in the entry of the exhibit area) to see how you can right-size your cloud server resources to fit any data set or workload. 

Software-Defined Servers are growing popular with large manufacturers, financial services firms and other innovators because of four key benefits to DevOps:

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Why Software-Defined Servers & Storage are a Match Made in Data Center Heaven

software-defined server, software-defined data center, storage visions, software-defined storage

I made a presentation at the recent Storage Visions conference which gave me an opportunity to think about how rapidly Software-Defined Servers are evolving and how perfectly they fit with software defined storage architectures.

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4 Ways to Right-Size a Server Right Now

software-defined server, OrionVM, Cloud Computing, TidalScale WaveRunner, right-sizing, Oracle Bare Metal Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, High Performance Computing, IBM BlueMix

Four Options for Harnessing the Flexibility & Power of Software-Defined Servers

You may have caught our big news at Oracle OpenWorld 2017 – that TidalScale has teamed up with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to enable the world’s largest servers. It’s a big deal for us, but an even bigger deal for users of Oracle Cloud who have found they need more compute, memory, storage or I/O than any single bare metal server in the Oracle Cloud can provide.

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TidalScale Open APIs Improve Data Center Utilization by Orders of Magnitude

TidalScale, software-defined server, infrastructure, software-defined data center, TidalScale WaveRunner, RESTful, API

How the WaveRunner API Enables Tomorrow’s SDDC Innovation, Today

Guest blog post by Chris Busse, CTO at APIvista

In my consulting work, I encourage enterprises of many sizes to use standardized APIs across their business areas. This means I’m often called upon to explain what an application programming interface is to non-technical stakeholders. 

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How to Harness the Disruptive Benefits of Containers

containers, software-defined server, Cloud Computing, software-defined data center, Amazon EC2, AWS

Some developments challenge our accepted notions of what things are and how they’re created.  Uber and Airbnb, for instance, caused us to rethink what transportation and lodging mean in the new sharing economy.  Then there’s Amazon, one of the granddaddies of disruptors.

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How WaveRunner Puts You in Control of a Better SDDC

Large memory, virtualization, in-memory computing, software-defined data center, Amazon EC2, Mellanox, Cumulus, Ubiquity, AWS, Juniper

TidalScale’s WaveRunner – the point-and-click control panel that makes creating a right-sized Software-Defined Server fast, flexible and easy – isn’t just about creating one or more virtual servers from multiple commodity systems. It also puts you in control of all the software-defined pieces in the data center. So in addition to cores and memory, WaveRunner allows you to monitor and manage storage and networks. You simply pick the software-defined resources you need and plug them together.

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Learn About Right-Sizing in 5 Easy Steps

software-defined server, software-defined data center, composable infrastructure, right-sizing

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there’s a lot to the TidalScale story. Our Software-Defined Servers enable organizations to right-size servers on the fly to fit any data set. The process of creating one is fast, flexible and easy. With TidalScale, you can:

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5 Ways Data Centers are Grossly Inefficient

IDC, data center, software-defined data center, composable infrastructure

Earlier this year, IDC surveyed 301 IT users from medium-sized and large enterprises, asking them questions that allowed the research firm to determine the relative efficiency of those data centers. (For reference, the average data center contained 386 blades and servers, while the largest third of those surveyed averaged 711 blades and servers.)

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TidalScale featured in e-week!
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Gary Smeardon in the Cube Interview