Coho Data – It’s numerology, but not as we know it

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 8.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

For each of the presentations I attended at SFD8, there are a few things I want to include in the post. Firstly, you can see video footage of the Coho Data presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the Coho Data website that covers some of what they presented.

 

coho_logo_final_orangeanddarkgrey-wpcf_100x36

Coho Data wants to be “a data-centric bridge for evolving enterprise infrastructure”, by delivering “storage transformation without disruption for the modern enterprise”.

Andy Warfield (@AndyWarfield) is a really smart dude. And he does a really great presentation. I encourage you to check out the videos from SFD8, because I can’t really do justice to a lot of the content he presented this time around. Indeed, I had the same problem last time I encountered Andy.

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It’s numerology, but not as we know it

Andy spent some time talking about the concept of “workload numerology”. No, not that kind of numerology. This is more about the ability to understand workloads hosted on your storage platform – “it’s not just a matter of speeds and feeds”.

Coho Data are right into the concept of being able to manage the placement of both data and network traffic based on detailed workload analysis. They do this in a few different ways, and I recommend you read their architecture white paper for more information.

Andy pointed out that with traditional storage, you were worried about durability, and getting high performance off crappy hardware. However “modern storage design is about solving a connectivity and locality problem, rather than a durability problem”. As such, we need to be taking a new approach to the design and operation of these platforms.

Andy also noted that performance based placement decisions benefit from workload characterisations, but characterising things like working sets are expensive in time and space. You can, however, use counter stacks to efficiently encode the cardinality of uniqueness over time. You can read more about Hyper Log Logs “HLLs” here.

In short, understand the working set characteristics and you’ll get a lot more value from your platform.

 

Closing Thoughts and Further Reading

Ray Lucchesi (@RayLucchesi) did a much better job of covering Andy’s presentation than I ever would, and I strongly encourage you to go read it. If you watch the Coho presentation from SFD6 and compare it to the one by Andy at SFD8, you’ll see that, not only has Andy gotten really good at keeping the discussion on track, but also Coho has made some really good progress with the DataStream platform in general. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months brings for Coho.

Storage Field Day 6 – Wrap-up and Link-o-rama

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 6.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day and their sponsors. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

This is a quick post to say thanks once again to the organisers and sponsors of Storage Field Day 6. I had a great time, learnt a lot, and didn’t get much sleep. For easy reference, here’s a list of the posts I did covering the event (not necessarily in chronological order).

Storage Field Day 6 – Day 0
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 1 – Avere
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 1 – StorMagic
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 1 – Tegile
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 2 – Coho Data
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 2 – Nexenta
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 2 – Pure Storage
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 3 – Nimble Storage
Storage Field Day 6 – Day 3 – NEC
Storage Field Day 6 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Also, here’s a number of links to posts by my fellow delegates. They’re all really smart folks, and you’d do well to check out what they’re writing about. I’ll update this list as more posts are published.

 

Eric Shanks
Storage Field Day 6
Local Premises Storage for EC2 Provided by Avere Systems
Nimble Storage Data Analytics – InfoSight

Will All New Storage Arrays be Hybrid?

 

John Obeto
Today at Storage Field Day 6

Day 2 at Storage Field Day 6: Coho Data

Day 2 at Storage Field Day 6: Nexenta Systems

 

Arjan Timmerman
Storage Field Day Starts Today :D

 

Nigel Poulton

Nexenta – Back in da house…

 

Enrico Signoretti
Avere Systems, great technology but…

 

Chin-Fah Heoh

MASSive, Impressive, Agile, TEGILE

 

Jon Klaus
Storage Field Day 6 Day 0 – Sightseeing and Yankee swap
SFD6 Day 1 – Avere, StorMagic, Tegile

 

Finally, thanks again to Stephen, Claire and Tom, it was a great few days and I really valued the opportunity I was given to attend.

Storage Field Day 6 – Day 2 – Coho Data

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 6.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day and their sponsors. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

For each of the presentations I attended at SFD6, there are a few things I want to include in the post. Firstly, you can see video footage of the Coho Data presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the Coho Data website as well as their blog that covers some of what they presented.

Firstly, while there were no “winners” at SFD6, I’d like to give Coho Data a special shout-out for thinking of giving the delegates customised LEGO minifigs. Here’s a picture of mine. If you’ve ever met me in real life you’ll know that that’s pretty much what I look like, except I don’t cruise around holding a fish.

SFD6_CohoData_Minfig

Secondly, the Coho Data session, delivered by Coho Data’s CTO Andrew Warfield, was an exceptionally technical deep dive and is probably best summarised thusly: go and watch the video again. And probably again after that. In the meantime, here’s a few of my notes on what they do.

Coho Data offers a software stack that qualifies and ships on commodity hardware. It is ostensibly a NFS V3 server for VMware. If you look at the architecture diagram below, the bottom half effectively virtualises flash.

SFD6_CohoData_Architecture

Coho Data is about to ship v2.0, which adds remote asynchronous site to site replication (read about that here) and some API additions. Andrew also covered off some analytics and looked at Coho Data’s implementation thereof. You can check out a video that covers roughly the same topic here.

Andrew is a super-smart dude and I simply cannot do justice to his presentation by blabbering on here. Go check out the videos, they’re well worth it.