Why is 12Gb SAS and 16Gb FC Storage Important for your System?

Why is 12Gb SAS and 16Gb FC Storage Important for your SystemWhen you think about your computer system, the chances are good that you aren’t thinking in terms of storage technologies like 12Gb/s SAS or 16Gb/s Fiber Channel (FC). You’re probably thinking about your operating system, or your software solution.  It has become a trend to rely on cloud-based data solutions, which leads to a lack of attention given to the system’s hardware.  Nonetheless, understanding your storage solutions is vital if you want to keep your hardware and software running at its peak potential.  Both of these new storage protocols will allow much better match to solid state drives and together can bring amazing performance for IO intensive solutions such as Big Data, data analysis, and high transactional solutions.

SAS storage is nothing new, and a SAS hard drive has long been understood as a reliable, efficient option.  What’s changed is the bandwidth:  12 GB/s SAS drives can improve performance and create new performance capabilities for your solution.  12Gb/s SAS is the third generation of the SAS protocol doubling its speed from the previous generation’s 6GB/s and carries over the ability to support SATA drives as well.

For many years, fiber channel (FC) has been the go-to interconnect technology, because it has excellent speed, performance, and extensive expandability and connectivity using Fiber Channel switches.  With a 12 GB/s SAS, you get performance somewhere between 8GB/sFC and 16GB/s FC, but for a far less prohibitive cost than 16GB/s FC. In other words, 12GB/s SAS doesn’t knock 16GB/s FC out of the running, but it does provide companies with a cost-effective alternative  especially for  direct attached soltuions.  Based on your solution’s needs, 16GB/s FC storage may be the best solution to maximize productivity, but 12GB/S SAS could be a viable alternative where a little less performance for a significant cost reduction could make  it easier to implement.  A common trend in storage environments is using tiered storage using SSD for high performance and  SAS drives for mid-tier performance, and finally large capacity  SATA  drives for bulk storage.   Both 16GB/s FC and 12GB/s SAS will allow seamless integration  of SSD solid state storage, rotational SAS drives, as well as SATA drives together to create an efficient, tiered storage environment.

It’s easy to get bogged down in technical details, like whether it’s better to have 12GB/s SAS or stick with Fiber Channel and go with 16GB/s FC. Rather than just trying to muddle through, it’s smart to join forces with a partner that can help you find the best hardware for your solution and integrate directly into your system. If you are looking for a partner to keep your business ahead of the crowd, no matter what your hardware requirements may be, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com. To learn more, visit UNICOM Engineering.

The History and the Future of Ethernet Speeds (40GE and beyond)

The History and the Future of Ethernet Speeds 40GE and beyondWhen Ethernet was invented by Bob Metcalfe and his colleagues at the Xerox Research Center in Palo Alto in the mid-1970s, 40GE Ethernet probably seemed like the stuff of science fiction. At the time, 3Mbps was considered a “convenient data transfer rate,” but soon, Xerox joined forces with Digital and Intel to develop a multi-vendor 10Mbps, and by 1995, 100Mbps Ethernet was released. Today, that seems archaic and certainly insufficient for all we need to do. What should your business expect from an Ethernet speed today?

Since the 10 Gig Ethernet (10gb Ethernet, or 10GE) was defined in 2002, it has slowly become the standard. Part of the slow roll out was due to technical issues, because the cost of a 10GE infrastructure was prohibitive, particularly for small businesses. Then, too, the speed was considered by some to be unnecessary. In fact, an article published on arstechnica.com in 2011 refers to 10gb Ethernet as “ludicrous speed”. Still, as technology pushes further, what seemed ambitious in the past merely becomes adequate, and costs adjust too: it’s now possible to find a 10gb Ethernet switch that’s affordable for even a small business. With the growing technology, however, there’s a push to still higher speeds.

Today, the most efficient solution for most businesses is 40GE. While 100GE has been the goal for many tech companies, 40GE is a more practical solution, having both design flexibility and a lower cost than 100GE. For example, 40GE requires 12 fibers, as compared to the 24 needed for 100GE. Yet, 40GE allows companies to maintain the competitive edge with the ability to increase bandwidth to keep up with a higher demand.

What’s next? 400GE Ethernet? 1000GE? Neither is particularly far-fetched, with 400GE poised to hit the market in 2016. Whatever your business requires, whether it’s 40GE or 4000GE, you can be confident UNICOM Engineering will lead the way. To keep your company ahead of the crowd, across the globe, contact UNICOM Engineering at 800-977-1010 or sales@unicomengineering.com. To learn more, visit UNICOM Engineering.

Tech Score | The Future of ATCA

UNICOM EngineeringThe Future of ATCA

The Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA®) specifications, denoted PICMG 3.X, is a series of specifications originally developed to set requirements for the next generation of carrier grade communications equipment. These specifications, which were developed over a decade ago, incorporate the latest trends in high speed interconnect technologies, next generation processors and improved reliability, manageability and serviceability. More than 100 companies participate in the AdvancedTCA effort bringing with them a wide range of industry knowledge covering everything from telecommunications equipment to power supplies. But after huge projections of adoption and more than a decade later, where does ATCA stand as a viable technology for the future?

UNICOM Engineering recently conducted a survey of more than 50 technology companies currently shipping their solutions on ATCA designs to answer this question first hand. What we found is that roughly one-third of those surveyed said they are unsure or do not plan to use ATCA in the next 5 years. Conversely, two-thirds of those surveyed plan to continue with the standard for future products. Those who are “opting out”  are either moving to standard off the shelf rack mount servers or may still leverage some portions of the standard to create a market focused vertical solution.  The top reasons that companies plan to stay with ATCA are reliability, payload options, and upgrade serviceability. The full redundancy and centralized management features of ATCA along with low mean-time-to-failure continue to make it a solid choice for mission critical applications. Companies using ATCA have also been able to leverage DSP, SBC, and Packet Processing blades that are not viable in other form factors. And after ten plus years of deployment, many of these companies have been able to upgrade end customers into higher performing platforms using new hardware blades and software without requiring a forklift upgrade of the rack or chassis.

So what’s the final score?   

Certainly ATCA has not lived up to the huge projections from it’s early years, but the companies that are leveraging the standard have reaped a competitive advantage. They have seen higher throughput (up to 100GE egress), lower cost upgrades, and improved field up-time performance. It’s clear why these companies plan to stay with ATCA for the foreseeable future.

Intel’s Investment in Cloudera

Intel's Investment in ClouderaIntel recently bought a several hundred million dollar stake in Cloudera, a player in big data. The investment reportedly makes Intel the biggest single investor and guarantees them a seat on the board once Cloudera goes public, a move that is expected soon.

The young company based in Silicon Valley produces a version a Hadoop, an open source program developed to process big data. Cloudera has been involved with the development of Hadoop for some time, and is reportedly committed to keeping it open source. Intel is said to have abandoned plans to develop its own distribution of Hadoop, and will instead promote the already existing version of its new investment with Intel servers.

The change seems aimed at making Intel a key player in the Internet of Things (IoT). With more and more devices providing huge amounts of data through the IoT, the ability to use analytics to extract useful information from massive data has become necessary for many enterprises to stay competitive.

For instance, in the automotive industry, current models can report on driver usage and maintenance. This is accomplished in real time through a wireless Internet connection. Manufacturers can use the information to identify potential design flaws or to improve designs of future models to better meet the needs and driving habits of customers.

Hadoop is big data software that utilizes a group of servers to more rapidly and efficiently mine for useful information. The software manages the data by spreading it among the servers, then using the processing power of each server to work on a subset of the data before combining results.

Originally developed by Yahoo!, Hadoop had been widely used by Internet giants such as Google and Facebook before Cloudera developed an enterprise version. This solution has already proved useful in the banking, hospital and manufacturing industries. Intel appears prepared to bundle Cloudera software with its servers to provide a value-added solution to data centers.

Understanding IoT: The Internet of Things Explained

Understanding IoT The Internet of Things ExplainedThe Internet of Things (IoT) is not some future concept, nor is it just around the corner; it has been here for some time, and it’s growing. Fueled by the expansion of wireless and cloud computing technology, more things are now connected to the internet than people. That’s all people, not just people on the internet.

What are these “things” which make up the Internet of Things? The IoT is not limited to smartphones and tablets, laptops and desktops. Every year, more and more devices are released capable of internet access, exponentially expanding the universe of internet of things devices.

Heart monitors and insulin pumps generate real-time data available to healthcare professionals caring for patients. Cattle ranchers can monitor cows in the field, not only pinpointing their location, but also identifying those who are pregnant. Power stations, remote pumps feeding oil and gas lines, and even entire assembly lines can now be accessed, monitored and controlled as part of the Internet of Things.

Your car texts you when it needs an oil change or when the tire pressure is getting low. Traffic lights send real-time data on traffic flow, allowing controllers to make adjustments to relieve congestion and helping drivers change their routes. Gas pumps provide price data to consumers, alert distributors about usage and contribute to meta data sales measurements, all information available via the Internet.

The possibilities of the IoT are limited only by the imagination.

With information about the status of everything potentially available to everyone, anywhere, at anytime, security and privacy become serious concerns. A real threat exists, requiring constant vigilance to deal with those concerns.

If you think the IoT hasn’t entered your life yet, look around you. You might be surprised to discover how many devices — from cash registers to parking meters, gas pumps to washing machines — can access and transmit data over the Internet. The question to ask is not when it will effect you; it effects you now. The question is; how will you handle the increased data flow?

Interop | UNICOM Engineering

Interop UNICOM EngineeringInterop UNICOM Engineering

Las Vegas Interop® Conference is designed to showcase the powerful and innovative solutions that are enabling and pushing the IT world forward.  The Las Vegas show is the flagship for the Interop series of events that includes New York, London, Mumbai,  and Tokyo and features 300+ exhibitors, including established players that form the backbone of IT organizations to new innovative startups with fresh ideas and products.

Trends:

Cloud Services has become an established option for IT Services, but there are still vibrant discussions about when and how to use the cloud for the best benefit.  Confidence in cloud applications and services is at an all-time high, but so is awareness of the limitations.

Security is probably the hottest IT need and concern. IT organizations still struggle with how to manage their ever more complex environment with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend making securing and managing connected devices a huge headache – and a larger opportunity.

Managing the ever-expanding storage needs is also a hot button as IT organizations figure out their short term needs of expanding storage as needed, but also looking at longer term solutions such as de-duplication and use of cloud services to archive older, less-used data. A new trend is the use of analytics to mine your data for valuable business intelligence as well as locate data risk and manage it appropriately.

Another big topic is visualization and managing the IT environment. If you haven’t already noticed the trend, IT enterprises are struggling to cope with managing the complexity of the rapid and organic growth of the IT environment with several products and breakouts exploring the challenges and solutions.

Naturally, UNICOM Engineering can assist for solutions in all of these areas.  We can help build a point of presence for a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution where the appliance serves local caching and management and sends pertinent data to the Cloud.  We can also help deploy appliances right-sized and tuned for complex implementations speeding up deployment, easing support pains down the road.

Visit us at http://unicomengineering.com/  or contact us at (800) 977-1010 to learn more how UNICOM Engineering can help  you achieve success in this dynamic and growing market!

ISC West | UNICOM Engineering

ISC West UNICOM Engineering

ISC West, the world’s largest security industry gathering, kicked off on April 1 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas and set record attendance with 23,000 attendees and over 1000 exhibitors.  This is a fantastic show for security industry experts and security consumers to discuss cutting edge trends, solutions, and industry forces shaping this ever changing and dynamic industry.  Security affects all of us as individuals, business people, and consumers every day.

The show featured a wide range of products from door locks, surveillance cameras, IT security solutions, security management solutions, and consultants ready to help you put together all the pieces.

The ISC West is sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA), a nonprofit international trade association that represents more than 350 electronic physical security product manufacturers, specifiers, integrators and service providers.

Industry Trends

The trend of connecting devices continues to accelerate with products such as IP based door locks, guard gates, and surveillance, allowing remote of multi-point security management from a single location.   This opens up many fascinating opportunities for companies on how to manage their security, but also opens up the risks (and new opportunities to manage it) on how to manage and secure all these new connected devices.  Many vendors are scaling up their offerings as solutions for very large companies, but also at the same time scaling down for the consumer market.   It’s a great time to be in the industry!

With the increased connectivity and demand for not just collecting data, but analysis to leverage it, the lines between security, network, storage, and big data continue to bur and are becoming ever more complex.  Because of  these forces,  there are more ways Unicom  Engineering can help build right-sized appliances that embody the unique challenges in this industry to simplify deployment, support, and ensure scalability  to  grow  with your customer’s needs.

Visit us at http://unicomengineering.com/  or contact us at (800) 977-1010 to learn more how Unicom  Engineering can help you achieve success in this dynamic and growing market!

The Latest Security Features Available for Server Based Security Appliances

Austin Hipes, UNICOM Engineering’s Chief Architect and VP of Engineering, presented some of the latest security updates for server based security appliances from the Briefing Center at RSA 2014. In this video session, Hipes will discuss some of the new features available in standard Intel architecture server platforms that enable security OEMs to deliver faster, more cost effective solutions. Included will be technologies that aid in secure data retention, key generation and encryption acceleration.

To learn more about how UNICOM Engineering can assist your business, please visit http://www.UnicomEngineering.com or call our team at (877) 638-3262.

RSA 2014 CONFERNCE WRAP-UP

RSA 2014 Conference Wrap UpIf you missed RSA 2014 this past February at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, you missed over 280 track sessions and more than 350 exhibitors, but most importantly you missed the latest updates on IT threats in an ever changing environment. But don’t fret, UNICOM Engineering was there and will bring you up to speed.

News of NSA spying and credit card breaches at major retailers provided the catalyst to make RSA 2014 the largest and most informative RSA Conference yet. Several keynote speakers noted a general apathy about the loss of information, perhaps brought on by a sense of inevitability. With more and more “things” connected to the network expanding the number of possible entry points to the network, the job of security becomes increasingly challenging. Real outrage will erupt when attacks impact family or personal finances. But at that point will it be too late?

Today, smart devices contribute to an internet of things (IoT), recording and sharing personal information and providing entry points for attacks on a network. Cars track driving habits and can be accessed remotely to diagnose trouble. Pacemakers and insulin pumps send medical data over a network as well as provide life-saving services. Then there is the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) revolution which is altering the way business is done. RSA 2014 examined ways of securing all these endpoints as critical to securing the network and securing personal information.

Attackers are seemingly innovating faster than the IT security industry, however, a new security model is evolving. Security professionals at RSA 2014 explained why they no longer focus on trying to plug every vector of attack. Instead, the focus has shifted to identifying and isolating any breach quickly to mitigate damage. Just like the police department doesn’t expect to prevent every crime, but seeks to respond quickly when a crime occurs.

UNICOM Engineering was proud to be part of the show, and appreciate everyone able to attend and all those who came by the booth. As a leader providing network hardware and solutions, UNICOM Engineering is glad to help keep you updated on industry trends presented at RSA 2014, and hopes to see you at RSA 2015.

Deploying a security appliance? Contact UNICOM Engineering at (877) 792-9099 or visit us at http://unicomengineering.com/platforms/hardware-appliance/ to learn more about delivering software as an appliance and a broad range of services that ease deployment challenges and get your solutions to market better, faster and more cost effectively.

UNICOM Engineering and the Intel-Embedded Community

Intel Embedded Systems CommunityNearly everything has a computer in it these days, making the Intel-embedded community a focus of technological innovation. Cars, refrigerators, and even bank cards may have a processor to communicate with the Internet, which makes them—and many other products—a part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

To handle the growing traffic UNICOM Engineering has long been an associate member of the Intel System Alliance, a group that works closely with Intel to optimize product development in sync with Intel releases. In other words, UNICOM Engineering has an inside track to make sure their products use the latest Intel releases to the fullest extent possible.

The Intel-embedded community reads like an all-star roster of the most prominent names in the industry: Microsoft Corporation, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, just to name a few. No wonder UNICOM Engineering is among this elite group.

The knowledge and experience these Intel-embedded community members share with each other and their customers provides a real advantage to any organization seeking first-rate solutions involving embedded applications. The data center hardware UNICOM Engineering delivers worldwide is an excellent example.

The E-2900 and E-1800 communications appliances are featured solutions on the Intel-embedded community website. These rack-mountable devices encourage embedded software design customization and can serve as energy-efficient, general-purpose data center building blocks. They also provide customers with flexibility in developing solutions for enterprise communications, call centers, video centers, and storage.

In addition to products, UNICOM Engineering experts also author white papers and articles on embedded design and applications to the Intel-embedded community.

To learn more about Intel’s Intelligent System Alliance, and to see UNICOM Engineering’s featured products, articles and white papers, visit the alliance website. To learn more about UNICOM Engineering’s solutions that utilize Intel-embedded products, visit the UNICOM Engineering website.