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HubStor takes on Veeam, goes virtual with backup service

HubStor is taking its backup-as-a-service platform into the virtual world.

The cloud data management provider launched its BaaS offering for VMware vSphere virtual machines, featuring backup, replication, recovery and archiving.

HubStor also plans to provide support for other virtual infrastructures, including Microsoft Hyper-V and Nutanix.

Customers seek VMware backup

The HubStor backup and archive platform already supported SaaS apps such as Microsoft 365 and Box, as well as PaaS offerings, including S3 and Azure Blob Storage.

“HubStor is one unified SaaS platform,” CEO Geoff Bourgeois said.

Bourgeois said he thought VM backup was a saturated market, but customers at trade shows kept asking if the vendor backed up VMware. He found that many customers were following the 3-2-1 rule of backup, but they were making it more complicated than necessary, such as using tape.

“We can simplify the whole 3-2-1,” Bourgeois said of the cloud platform.

The HubStor support for vSphere includes backup policy administration and monitoring, immutability, encryption and cloud storage. HubStor recovers the VMs to any vSphere instance, Bourgeois said.

Screenshot of HubStor's VM backup
HubStor added backup for VMware vSphere VMs to its platform.

The HubStor VM backup is available in dedicated and shared models with pricing mainly based on cloud storage consumption.

The dedicated BaaS instance is geared toward enterprises. It provides more enhanced features, including advanced security, data sovereignty controls and expansion into other HubStor offerings such as file system tiering and journaling. Pricing starts at $335 per month, with monthly storage costs typically ranging from .3 cents to 3 cents per gigabyte.

The shared BaaS instance is aimed at smaller businesses that only want VM backup. Pricing starts at $50 per month, with backup storage costs ranging from .3 cents to 3 cents per gigabyte.

HubStor’s vSphere backup became generally available in May. The vendor is targeting late July for its Hyper-V backup. Bourgeois said he’s hoping to add support for Nutanix, Azure VMs, Windows Server and SQL Server by the end of the year. Within that group of infrastructures, customers requested VMware support the most by far, he said.

Bourgeois listed Veeam as HubStor’s top competition. He acknowledged that while HubStor might not be as feature-rich, some Veeam customers have said they’re paying for a lot of features they don’t use, and they’re looking for a backup product that’s cheaper and simpler. Veeam started out as a pioneer in virtual backup and has since expanded to include physical and cloud protection.

HubStor has recently been converting a couple of Veeam customers over to its product. Veritas is another competitor, Bourgeois said.

HubStor, based in Ottawa, claims more than 200 customers, who are backing up a range from gigabytes to multiple petabytes.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, customers have told HubStor that they want to use more cloud. Users are looking for simplification, Bourgeois said.

HubStor customer appreciates range of functions

Virgin Hyperloop has been using HubStor for about two years. The product protects more than 100 TB for the transportation company, which is based in Los Angeles.

Cory Coles, senior systems administrator at Virgin Hyperloop, said he was initially impressed with HubStor’s e-discovery, Microsoft 365 backup, and Windows file server stubbing and cloud tiering.

I needed to check a bunch of boxes and HubStor was able to do a lot with one stroke.
Cory ColesSenior systems administrator, Virgin Hyperloop

“From the first time I heard about it, I found HubStor to be a collection of incredibly valuable solutions I had never seen combined into one platform before,” Coles wrote in an email. “As a startup company still adding a lot of core IT functions to our infrastructure, I needed to check a bunch of boxes and HubStor was able to do a lot with one stroke.”

Coles said it was simple to add the vSphere backup to his HubStor platform and it took about 30 minutes.

“It’s honestly probably easier than using the native Azure Backup product,” he wrote. “I can easily tier older backups to cool and archive storage, [which is] key for saving money and not upsetting my boss with an accidentally large bill.”

Coles said he would like to see application backup supported with the VM backup, “so I can back up and restore to SQL Server and Active Directory natively and on a per-object level.”

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Pure Storage FlashArray gets file support, meatier DR

Pure Storage built file storage natively into its block storage platform, and bolstered disaster recovery with continuous snapshots and replication across distances.

The vendor launched the upgrades at its Pure Accelerate virtual conference this week. It integrated file system protocols in version 6 of the Purity FA operating system for FlashArray with technology acquired from Compuverde in 2019.

The DR features include ActiveDR geosynchronous replication between FlashArray nodes and the public cloud.

File and block share pooled flash

Pure Storage FlashArray and the vendor’s FlashBlade NAS platform run separate versions of Purity OS. Pure released Purity 3 for FlashBlade in May.

File storage relies on a file system to organize data in a hierarchical structure, including POSIX and other legacy file systems. Block arrays that need to access file data usually require a workaround such as a NAS gateway or running a file system in the system kernel.

Early models of FlashArray SAN systems supported Fibre Channel and iSCSI block storage. Pure added NVMe support in 2017 with the launch of its RoCE-enabled DirectFlash memory modules. The Compuverde file system makes up the new Pure FlashArray File Services, which require no gateway.

Compuverde gave Pure a file system and the ability to build NFS and SMB protocols directly into FlashArray architecture. The feature allows block and file workloads to run on shared flash with global data reduction.

“We added file protocols, but not as another layer you have to manage. This is not a file system sitting on top of a volume,” said Prakash Darji, the vice president and general manager of Pure Storage FlashArray.

The ability to serve block and file from the same all-flash devices opens the door to serving workloads that would have been impossible before now, said Steve McDowell, a senior analyst of storage and data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy.

“I think we all expected Pure to take that acquisition and head straight into the cloud with it, much as NetApp has done with its cloud-based file services. Instead, Pure surprised us by putting those capabilities into FlashArray,” McDowell said.

File protocols give Pure a pathway to adjacent markets, McDowell said, particularly applications for high-end file service such as home directories and virtual desktop infrastructure. It also aids storage consolidation by serving unified storage from a single device.

“The caveat, of course, is that this is Pure’s first release and they’re still getting comfortable with the technology. The real payoff will be down the road as Pure fleshes out the offering with enterprise capabilities,” McDowell said.

While FlashArray and FlashBlade both support file storage now, Pure positions them for different use cases. FlashArray is recommended for databases over NFS or SMB file protocols and other enterprise file-sharing use cases. FlashBlade, which also supports object storage, is designed for artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, high-performance computing and backup.

Snapshot options on Pure Storage FlashArray

ActiveDR uses passive-active continuous replication between FlashArray pods. The vendor claims its single-command failover and intelligent failback support fast recovery time. The new data protection augments ActiveCluster active-active synchronous replication for real-time array failover of Pure Storage FlashArray.

Pure said ActiveDR allows space-efficient snapshot to extend across geographic distances to deliver near-zero data recovery.

“It allows businesses to do nondisruptive DR testing to better mitigate the risks” of losing data, said Shawn Rosemarin, Pure’s vice president of worldwide systems engineering.

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Zerto unveils Kubernetes support at ZertoCon 2020

Zerto is diving into containers protection with the official reveal of its Zerto for Kubernetes product.

Unveiled during the virtual ZertoCon 2020 keynote, Zerto for Kubernetes is in tech preview, with a full launch planned for 2021. It will bring Zerto’s IT Resilience Platform capabilities, which include continuous data protection (CDP) and point-in-time restores, to containers for the first time. Upon launch, Zerto will natively support Kubernetes, along with Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), VMware Tanzu, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and Red Hat OpenShift.

Zerto for Kubernetes will deploy at the cluster level, with every node on the cluster getting the Zerto daemon code. This allows Zerto to capture the state of the cluster using the same replication engine as it does for VMware. Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, director of technical marketing at Zerto, said this amounts to about a 3% to 4% resource overhead, which he said usually isn’t enough to impact performance.

Other data protection vendors have already addressed container backup. Veritas released Docker container backup for its NetBackup software in January 2019, and IBM Spectrum Protect added container support in October 2019. Trilio’s TrilioVault for Kubernetes provides container backup without installing agents in containers and entered beta last month. Backup vendors Asigra and Storware also provide agentless container backup.

Zerto for Kubernetes is still in early stage of development. According to van Doorn, Zerto still hasn’t determined how the product will be licensed and sold, but there are plans to integrate it into the Zerto IT Resilience Platform and include capabilities such as analytics, automated workflows during failovers and nondisruptive disaster recovery (DR) testing.

International Financial Data Services (IFDS), a Canadian company that provides outsourcing of technology for financial institutions in Canada, Europe and Asia, is an early adopter of Zerto for Kubernetes. The company has a large containerized environment for QA testing and a small footprint of containers in production. Kent Pollard, senior infrastructure architect at IFDS, has been testing Zerto for Kubernetes and providing feedback. “From the limited testing I’ve been able to do, it’s been very exciting. It has a lot of potential,” said Pollard, who said he’ll be more confident in putting critical data and applications in containers when the full release becomes available.

Zerto will also roll out CDP for operational backup and long-term retention in 2021. Van Doorn said Zerto is building out workflows to use Zerto’s CDP capabilities for data protection use cases outside of DR and failover, which has been Zerto’s primary focus. He said Zerto plans to add the ability to restore directly to production environments, native cloud repositories in AWS and Azure, plus automatic data protection and data reduction.

Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said the container backup market is heating up. Container adoption has grown among enterprises because their application development tends to be more mature, and this has fed a demand for container backup. Container backup also can’t be achieved through traditional snapshotting or other previous backup methods, so it provides room for vendors to enter the market.

“Right now, it’s still early stages, but I expect more intensity around this topic in the next few months,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand said backup vendors are keenly aware of how Veeam’s focus around VMware when virtualization was still relatively new led to its explosive growth and market presence. Veeam launched in 2006 and was acquired by private equity firm Insight Partners with a $5 billion valuation in January 2020. Similar success could be found by supporting Kubernetes as container adoption continues to grow.

Van Doorn said he has observed a rise of container adoption in enterprises, and it makes sense to build out Zerto to support wherever the customers are.

“It’s the next logical step,” Van Doorn said of container support.

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For Sale – £275, Bargain Gaming Rig for Sale (Would also serve as a good HTPC) £275, Logitech G613 gaming Keyboard

For anyone that wants to get into PC gaming for a bargain basement price, I’m selling my one of my gaming rigs:

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––​

Gaming Rig/HTPC: £275
Intel Core i5 4670K, S 1150, Haswell
Corsair Vengance 8GB DDR3 RAM
Fractal R4 case Titanium case
600W Corsair Builder Series CX CP-9
Asus Z87-K, Intel Z87, S 1150, DDR3
2GB Asus GTX 670 DirectCU II OC
No hard drive,

All it basically needs is a HDD. The GTX 670 has plenty of life in it IMO for most 1080p games. It makes sense IMO to pay the least possible you can at the moment if you’re trying to get into PC gaming, concentrate on peripherals and wait for the new Nvidia card series to come out.

This also made an excellent Home Theatre PC when I used it as its all a very quiet build.

Even if you’re just using this for parts (The PSU+Case), its probably a win.

Logitech G613 gaming keyboard £75
Mechanical, wireless, proper satisfying switches, great battery life.

Wireless Bluetooth headphones £10

Also have for a sale:
Wii U + Gamepad £100
Various Wii U games £10 a piece
Nintendo 3DS XL On old firmware £100 (these normally go for a lot more on ebay)
HW40ES Sony Projector (250 hours lamp life on the bulb + 2x 3D glasses + Projector Mount) + Synced Harmony Remote + Frozen Blu-Ray: 665

Cash on collection please, Birmingham. Ideally want to sell ASAP because I’m having a clear out. Can do a deal if you want both or want to mix and match.

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Wanted – 2 Desktop PC’s required – All In one

I have a Sony all in one at my studio we don’t use anymore. I’ve got to pop into The studio later. Can boot it up and see specs etc if your Interested. What’s your budget?

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Dremio accelerates cloud data lake queries for AWS

Dremio Tuesday released into general availability its cloud data lake engine offerings with a new purpose-built AWS edition that provides enhanced data query capabilities.

The Dremio AWS Edition expands on the Santa Clara, Calif., data lake vendor’s Data Lake Engine technology base with a specially optimized system for AWS users.

Among the new features in the AWS edition is an elastic engines capability that can help to accelerate cloud data lake queries, and a new parallel project feature that helps organizations with scalability to better enable automation across multiple Dremio instances. Dremio had previously made its data lake engine available on AWS but had not developed a version that was optimized for Amazon’s cloud.

The parallel project and elastic engines capabilities in Dremio’s AWS Edition can help data consumers manage their time and infrastructure more efficiently, said Kevin Petrie, vice president of research at Eckerson Group.

The Dremio platform provides simple access for a wide range of analysis and fast results for reporting, which is becoming increasingly important to enterprises with the sudden onset of a new business era triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Petrie said.

“COVID-19 accelerates the cloud modernization trend and therefore the adoption of cloud-native object stores for data lakes,” Petrie said. “Dremio’s AWS marketplace offering provides enterprises the opportunity to modernize their data lakes on AWS infrastructure.”

Data lake vendor's AWS Edition data lake dashboard
AWS Edition dashboard provides visibility into data lake storage and data sets.

Big money for Dremio’s cloud data lake efforts

The AWS Edition release is the first major launch for Dremio since it made public a $70 million Series C funding round on March 26, bringing total funding to $212 million.

Tomer Shiran, co-founder and chief product officer at Dremio, said the funding was a “great vote of confidence” for his firm, especially given the current global pandemic. Analytics and business intelligence are two key categories that many large organizations that Dremio targets will continue to spend on, even during the COVID-19 crisis, he said.

“Part of the reason for the large investment even during an economic crisis, and obviously a health crisis, is the fact that we’re playing in such a hot space,” Shiran said.

How Dremio’s elastic engines improve cloud data lake queries

Most of Dremio’s customers use the vendor’s data lake engine in the cloud already either on AWS, or on Microsoft Azure but the new edition advances Dremio’s AWS offering specifically, Shiran noted.

COVID-19 accelerates the cloud modernization trend and therefore the adoption of cloud-native object stores for data lakes. Dremio’s AWS marketplace offering provides enterprises the opportunity to modernize their data lakes on AWS infrastructure.
Kevin PetrieVice president of research, Eckerson Group

“The idea is to drastically reduce the complexity and make it much easier for companies to get started with Dremio on AWS, and to take advantage of all the unique capabilities that Amazon brings as a platform,” Shiran said.

He added that typically with query engines there is a single execution cluster, even if multiple sets of workloads and different users are on the same system. The approach requires organizations to size their query engine deployment for peak workload.

With the new AWS Edition, the elastic engines feature is debuting, providing a separate query engine for each workload. With elastic engines, the query engine elastically scales up or down based on demand, rather than needing to run one large cluster that has been sized for peak utilization.

“This is really taking advantage of the fact that, in the cloud Amazon is willing to rent you servers by the second,” Shiran said.

How elastic engines work

Dremio is managing the AWS EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances on the user’s behalf, handling the configuration and optimization for autoscaling the required resources for running the data lake query engine.

“So, what you do with this AWS Edition of Dremio is you spin up literally one instance of Dremio from the Amazon Marketplace and that’s all you’re interacting with ever is that one instance,” Shiran said. “Automatically, behind the scenes it is using Amazon APIs to provision and deprovision resources.”

The elastic engines feature is first available in the AWS Edition of Dremio, but the vendor plans to expand the capability with future support for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, as well as on-premises Kubernetes environments.

Parallel projects enables multi-tenancy

Another new feature in the Dremio AWS Edition is a feature the company has dubbed parallel projects. Shiran said parallel projects is an effort to make it easier to achieve multi-tenancy for Dremio deployments.

“So, now we have a notion of a project, where all the state of your Dremio environment is saved and you can shut it down entirely and then bring it back up later,” he said.

With parallel projects, an organization can choose to have different environments for development and production. Each of the environments is also automatically backed up and gets automated patching for upgrades as well.

Dremio will continue to focus on the cloud and ease of use for customers, Shiran said.

“We are investing in making Dremio easier for people who want to run in the cloud and you’re seeing the first step of that with the AWS Edition, but we’re going to extend that to other clouds as well,” he said.

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Free Educational Content in Minecraft Marketplace!

Venture into digital worlds instead of the real one!

The world is upside down right now. We’re learning lots of new phrases like social distancing, contact tracing, and stop snacking just because you’re bored. Everyone around the world is coming together to do their part, whether that’s working on finding a vaccine, delivering food and supplies, or staying indoors. Whatever the case, all of our daily routines have been thrown completely out of whack. It’s easy to get scared at a time like this, which is why focusing on something can help you stay calm. 

Educators around the world are doing everything they can to provide digital lessons for the half a billion students who are out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not an easy task and we want to do our part to help keep young minds sharp and stimulated. 

If you head over to the Minecraft Marketplace, you will find some of our favorite lessons from Minecraft: Education Edition in a brand new Education category. These educational worlds can be played on your own, with your kids, parents or friends. From the comfort of your home, you can tour the International Space Station or even explore the inside of a human eye. We’ve also included ten worlds from our Marketplace creator community! Thanks to creators Everbloom, Jigarbov, Lifeboat, Razzleberries, The World Foundry, Blockworks, and Imagiverse you can explore renewable energy, marine biology, Greek history, and more! The worlds include lesson plans like creative writing activities, build challenges, and tricky puzzles. 

All of these worlds are launching today and are free to download through June 30, 2020.

Anyone with Minecraft for Bedrock platforms can find these worlds by launching Minecraft and visiting the in-game store. Minecraft is available on Android & iOS, Kindle Fire, Windows 10 PC, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Fire TV, Xbox One, Windows MR, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4. 

You can find the complete content list here: https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/marketplace/education

To learn more about distance learning with Minecraft: Education Edition, visit: https://aka.ms/remote-learning-blog

Stay safe, wherever you are. We’ll get through this.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

New homepage, features, and more! – From the Myxer

We’re barely into 2020, and yet so much has happened in such a short time. We know many of you, like the Mixer team here in Redmond, are practicing “social distancing,” learning how to “flatten the curve,” and otherwise taking precautions amid the outbreak of COVID-19. We’re proud and heartened by the stories you’ve shared and the ways we’ve seen Mixer streamers and their communities using Mixer to stay in touch digitally and support each other during this challenging time. Thank you for continuing to make the Mixer community shine as a positive and welcoming place for new and existing members alike.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes on a set of new features and capabilities based on feedback we’ve heard from you. These are focused on improving discoverability, empowering communities of all sizes and making it easier to find your new favorite Mixer creators. We’re rolling them out starting today.

  • New Mixer homepage – We’ve refreshed the Mixer homepage across all platforms to give more focus to featured content as well as provide smart, AI-powered recommendations. The most immediate change you’ll notice on your homepage is that we’re introducing a new layout that displays all featured creators at the same time.

    Below the “Featured,” “Top Category,” and “Partner Spotlight” sections, you’ll also find brand new content rows. These rows will highlight and recommend streams from community events, cultural moments, and more tailored content as time goes on. The rows will be a mix of AI-powered personalized recommendations and editorially programmed content, ensuring you can discover and join even more communities across Mixer.

  • Auto-Hosting for everyone – We’ve spent the last month testing Auto-Hosting with Mixer Partners and now we’re excited to share it with every streamer. With this feature, you’ll be able to create a list of specific streamers that you want to automatically host when you’re offline. We’ve added a host of customization options as well.

    You’ll be able to set your Auto-Host list to host in a priority order or to pick at random. With showcase, you’ll be able to set custom Auto-Host time durations. This means Auto-Host could switch to a new streamer from your list every hour (you determine the time) instead of when that hosted streamer goes offline.

    You can access your Auto-Hosting setting in the Broadcast dashboard.

  • Higher-Quality Emotes – This top community ask is no longer “Soon™”, it’s finally here! Starting today, we’re enhancing all emotes to 28 pixels across all platforms, introducing new prefixing requirements and completely refreshing our global emotes. New global emotes will be visible today and all partner emotes will be updated over the next few weeks.
  • Ad Break (Beta) – Our Mixer Partners have been testing advertising pre-roll for the last few months and now we’re expanding our advertising testing with an Ad-Break beta. With this, Partners can choose when they want to run ads during their stream. This was a request from the Mixer Partner community, and we’re excited to be testing it as part of the full package of monetization opportunities on Mixer.
  • Xbox Viewing Improvements – We’re continuing to add more features to the new Mixer viewing experience on Xbox. This new experience is built from the ground up to get you to your favorite streamers as fast as possible. With the April Xbox One system update that’s in some Insider rings now, you’ll see the additions of emotes and subscriber badging in chat.

    Ember messages will also get the flair they deserve to help them stand out. We’ve also made it easier to access stream settings for selecting chat layout or video quality. Outside of this latest Xbox One system update, we also expect to have Gift Subs available in the new experience in the coming weeks.

  • Partner Badging on Homepage – To make it easier to find Mixer Partner channels, we’re adding the new badging to the homepage as well.

  • Notifications UX Improvements – We’ve added a new notification bell to the pages of channels you follow, so you have better control over which channels will trigger “go live” notifications.

  • Clips Creation Improvements – Clip creation is now available for more viewers of Mixer Partners and Verified channels in the Mixer app on iOS and Android. Clip creation on mobile respects the Rank, Subscriber, and Moderator permissions that the channel owner has set.

There’s much more coming, and we’re excited to share details soon. Going forward, we will be posting more frequent community updates on this blog. They’ll cover everything from events, to community news and features! Stay tuned for more updates and please keep sharing your feedback on Twitter with us at @WatchMixer.

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Author: Microsoft News Center