Deduplication just went ballistic with Aggregate Inline Deduplication

September 27, 2017

So with the release of ONTAP 9.2 came a long desired feature of being to deduplicate data at the aggregate level and not just volume level.

So why is this so key, well lets look at the historical view of how dedupe worked and its pitfalls. As a feature dedupe has always been a great feature but its biggest downfall was that if I sent an attachment to many colleagues there is a strong possibility that they will all want to save it for future use or reference. Now if your lucky they may all save the same file into the same volume in which case you win as dedupe will effectively reduce all instances to just one. Unfortunately we know that with IT we are never that lucky and as a result I may have some instances in a volume but more instances in other volumes in which case on a per volume basis I get the benefit but I still loose out. With ONTAP 9.2 this has been addressed so that you can now dedupe at the aggregate level, so you may have multiple copies of the file located in many volumes, if those volumes are located in the same aggregate then aggregate dedupe can take all instances and reduce them to a single instance. Now you really do win with Dedupe. From a simplified technical concept….If you’re not familiar with deduplication, it’s a feature that allows data blocks that are identical to rely on pointers to a single block instead of having multiple copies of the same blocks.

This is all currently done inline (as data is ingested) only, and currently  on All Flash FAS systems by default. The space savings really show with workloads such as ESXi datastores, where you may be applying OS patches across multiple VMs in multiple datastores hosted in multiple FlexVol volumes but all within an aggregate. Aggregate inline deduplication brings an average additional ~1.32:1 ratio of space savings for VMware workloads. Who doesn’t want to save some space?

Should you require any information on training from Fast Lane, please contact us on:NetApp

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Cyber Security

May 25, 2017

Cyber Security, is the protection of computer systems; from theft or damage to their hardware, software or information, from annonymous attackers. The UK suffers with many cyber attacks every year, having eight in ten of the biggest companies in the UK attacked, costing the economy billions of pounds. One of the biggest problems  of cyber-security is the quick and constant evolving nature of security risks.

The approach has been to focus most resources on the most important system components and protect against the biggest known threats, which meant leaving some less important system components undefended and some less dangerous risks un-protected. Such an approach is insufficient in the current environment.

All companies can face two types of cyber attack:

They will either be deliberately attacked because they have a high profile and appear to have valuable data that is visible, or they will be attacked because an automated scan detects the existence of exploitable information. Nearly every Internet-facing company will have exploitable information unless it has tested and secured.

There are 3 main types of Cyber risks that companies are vunerable to:

Cyber crime – this is conducted by individual people or in groups, they primarily focus on money, data and causing disruption within a company.

Cyber war – where a nation state conducting sabotage and espionage against another nation in order to cause disruption or to extract data

Cyber terror – an organisation, working independently of a nation state, conducting terrorist activities through the medium of cyberspace.

Computer security is neccessary in almost any industry which uses computers. At the moment, most electronic devices such as computers, laptops and phones come with built in firewall security software, but despite this, computers are not 100% secure and may not be able to protect our data.

How do attackers operate?

Cyber criminals operate remotely, using numerous types of attack that are also known as ‘malware’. These include:

Worms – these expose weaknesses in operating systems to damage networks and allow full control of the infected security, is one of the biggest topics within information technology, which is why many organizations have been created to meet the demand for it.

Spyware/adware – this takes contro of your device and collect personal information without you knowing

Trojans – these create an escape on your device by which information can be stolen and damage can be caused to your device

Fast Lane offer a variety of Cyber security training, both in-classroom and e-learning programmes, ranging from beginner to expert classes.




For more information surrounding all training offers from various venders, please follow this url: http://www.flane.co.uk/security

Should you require any information on training from Fast Lane, please contact us on:

Phone: 0845 470 1000

Fax: 0845 470 1001



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Advance your skills with Azure training and certification

May 19, 2017

Whether you’re an individual collecting Digital Badges or a partner working towards Microsoft partner requirements, Fast Lane are here to help address the nationwide skills shortage on Azure.

It is a recently publicised fact that the number 1 cloud challenge for organisations is NOT security, but the lack of resource and expertise. With technology transforming just about every industry today, it’s not hard to see how lighting up these new technologies and capabilities is presenting challenges for both individuals and businesses to acquire the required skills which have evolved in the Cloud era.

In light of this, Microsoft have committed to train up 500,000 people in the UK to be cloud technology experts, and have launched their Azure Skills Initiative to help achieve this goal.

As part of the incentive, free online Azure training has been made available to help professionals develop core Azure skills with deep technical content, which is accessible anytime and anywhere via the Open edX platform, to jump start students onto their chosen Azure learning path and help individuals, partners, and customers realize their full potential.

In addition to the free online learning, Microsoft are also offering a promotion for students working towards Azure certification entitling candidates to purchase selected Azure exam vouchers, along with a free practice test and exam retake (if required), at heavily discounted rates. This is allowing individuals to reinvent themselves and prove to the world they’re ready to take on new roles that didn’t exist as recently as 5 years ago.

Recognising this huge investment from Microsoft, and as a Silver Learning Partner in the UK, Fast Lane share the responsibility to address this skills shortage and have stepped up to the challenge by creating our own Azure Expert Program, which builds upon the Microsoft Azure Skills Initiative and is ideal for individuals who are just starting their Microsoft Azure certification journey, working towards the industry recognised MCSA and MCSE certifications.

Through a combination of online learning and instructor led workshops, Fast Lane will help individuals acquire professional recognition for their expertise covering the full breadth of architecting, developing, and administering Azure solutions. The flexible package including all materials, practice tests and exam vouchers offers great value for money, representing a saving of over £1,000 against the individual components.

Students will gain in-depth and practical Azure knowledge, such as learning how to transform applications to the cloud and make them highly accessible, scalable and efficient, along with a detailed understanding of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Learners will gain the skills to transfer part or a complete infrastructure with Azure to the cloud, whilst providing users with a high-performance environment, even at peak times.

The Azure Expert program also offers flexibility, with the option to adapt the package to suit individual learning styles, instructor led classroom or virtual training workshops could be replaced with Microsoft MOC On Demand training, allowing students the option to start immediately and learn at their own pace and 24/7 with 90 days access per title to a blend of high-quality video, reading, live hands-on labs and knowledge checks.

In addition, individuals with existing Cloud skills are also catered for. Recognising that customers may be dealing with multiple Cloud scenarios, Fast Lane are pleased to offer the Microsoft Azure for AWS Experts (40390) course, which is perfect for professionals to cross train, having been developed to relate IaaS technologies used in Amazon Web Services (AWS) to those used in Microsoft Azure. This is also available as a MOC On Demand self-paced e-learning offering, or by attending a 3 day instructor led course, delivered either in a physical classroom environment or live online.

So while we all acknowledge that huge skills gaps exist for both individuals and businesses to acquire the required skills that have evolved in the Cloud era … what are you going to do about it?

Please contact Fast Lane today, we will be pleased to advise and discuss with you the various options available to help provide the knowledge to fill in the gaps!

Phone: 0845 470 1000
Fax: 0845 470 1001



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Microsoft Azure – a cloud computing service

Microsoft Azure is a new cloud computing service for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a network of Microsoft data centers.

Microsoft Azure offers a range of services including:


Storage Services provides access for storing and accessing data on the cloud. Table service lets programmes store organized text in collections. Blob service allows programmes to store text and data as blobs that can be accessed by a URL; pathQueue service lets programmes communicate by message using queues.

Data management

Azure Search provides text search and structured filters using REST or SDK APIs.StorSimple manages storage tasks between on-premises devices and cloud storage.SQL Database, formerly known as SQL Azure Database, works to create, scale and extend applications into the cloud using Microsoft SQL Server technology. It also integrates with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center and Hadoop.

Image result for microsoft azure


Azure Automation, provides a way for users to control the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks that are commonly performed in a cloud and enterprise environment. This saves time and increases the reliability of regular tasks and even schedules them to be automatically performed at regular times. You can use processes using runbooks or automate configuration management using Desired State Configuration


Event Hubs, which provide event and telemetry ingress to the cloud at massive scale, with low latency and high reliability. Queues, which allow one way communication.  An application would send the message to the service queue, and a receiver would read from the queue. Topics, which provide one-way communication using a subscriber pattern. Relays, which provide multiple direction communication. Unlike queues and topics, a relay doesn’t store in-flight messages in its own memory. Instead, it just passes them on to the destination

For more information visit our Azure Skills initiative page here -application.

Fast Lane have a number of training offerings and packages to help support developers and IT professionals on their journey to the cloud! We have FREE on-line Azure training to help develop core skills at your own pace, anytime, anywhere.


We also have a number of Microsoft On Demand Azure courses starting at £449 :

Fast Lane is also offering FREE exam vouchers with the above courses. Then we also have our Azure Expert Program designed for prospective cloud experts, that concludes with the globally recognized MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure certification within just a few weeks. When you become a certified Microsoft Azure Solutions Specialist, you will gain professional recognition for your expertise covering the full breadth of architecting, developing, and administering Azure solutions. The Azure Expert Package includes

  • 5 Microsoft e-learning titles
  • 3 Azure hands-on workshops
  • 3 original DMOC course kits
  • 3 x practice tests
  • 3 exam vouchers

Price: £4495 – A saving over over £1000!

For more information follow this url – http://www.flane.co.uk/microsoft_azure_expert

Should you require any information on training from Fast Lane, please contact us on :

Phone: 0845 470 1000
Fax: 0845 470 1001



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