Stories by Logan Harbaugh

How we tested data deduplication

A Windows 2008R2 server was attached to a Compellent Storage Center S30 SAN with two volumes, both created from snapshots of a production server volume several months apart. Netbackup 7.0 was installed on the server. 

The skinny on solid state drives

Solid state drives are appearing in all types of gear these days. We tested seven SSD-based products – three PCIe boards, two SAN systems, a server blade system and a standalone SSD.

Sun storage system delivers high performance

Sun's latest addition to its high-end enterprise storage repertoire - the iSCSI-based Sun Storage 7410 Unified Storage System - is certainly a high-performance offering, but we found some usability and some integration issues.

HADR offerings bring resiliency to virtualization

Virtualization is becoming increasingly important in the datacenter as a way to respond quickly to the varying server demands. Depending on time of day and day of the week, as well as events in progress and many other factors, loads on any given machine may vary by factors of 100 or 1,000 or more. Giving a server more or less computing power, running multiple instances of the same server for load balancing purposes, or allowing failover from one virtual instance to another are increasingly important capabilities.

Barracuda Load Balancer leads with value

Known for anti-spam appliances and firewalls, Barracuda Networks is relatively new to the load-balancing game. The company's series of load balancers span the range from a basic 10-server model that starts at US$1,995 to an enterprise model with an entry price of US$8,999 and that supports an unlimited number of servers and virtual clusters. As the models increase in size and cost, they also add some nice features. These include active/passive high availability that is extremely easy to set up, the ability to route traffic based on the type of service (layer 7 load balancing), cookie persistence for e-commerce (and other applications that need to identify users from one session to the next), and hardware-based SSL acceleration.

Kemp Load Master goes beyond the basics

Kemp Technologies' Load Master 1500 appliance sports three 10/100 ports and a basic set of load-balancing features, so it competes with the likes of the Barracuda 240 at the lower end of the market. Like the Barracuda line, the Kemp family includes other models with additional features such as SSL acceleration, higher capacity, active/passive high availability, and up to eight gigabit ports. The Kemp systems are also very affordable, and go further beyond the basics than the Barracuda systems.

Load balancers and application accelerators

Whether you call them application delivery controllers, application accelerators, application traffic managers, or just load balancers, the solutions for scaling out Web sites and improving the performance of Web applications have come a long way from their humble beginnings. The result is a great deal of choice in the marketplace, from bare-bones appliances with basic functionality to high-capacity switch-based systems that handle Web traffic in wildly sophisticated ways.