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 3 – NEC

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 NEC presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the NEC website that covers some of what they presented.

Firstly, I’d like to say up front that the NEC session was a little bizarre, in that the two lines of products presented, the M-Series block storage and the HYDRAstor deduplication solution, seemed years apart in terms of capability and general, erm, currency when compared to other vendor offerings. All I’ll say about the M-Series is that it seems like a solid product, but felt a lot like someone had taken a CLARiiON and added a SAS backend to it. (As an aside, a few people argued that that’s what EMC did with the first VNX a few years ago too). That would not be doing it real justice though, so I’ll stick with covering the HYDRAstor here.

Here are some of the highlights from that part of the session. The HYDRAstor is based on a scalable grid storage architecture using a community of smart nodes. These nodes are:

  • Industry standard x86 servers
  • Multiple types allowed (cross generation clusters)
  • Heterogeneous and open software

The system:

  • Is fully distributed
  • Is self-aware
  • Provides data management services
  • Virtualises hardware
  • And provides the capability to perform on-line upgrades / expansions with multi-generation nodes

There is no virtual edition, as NEC wants to control the performance of the whole thing.

The hands-free management also delivers:

  • Simple, fast deployment
  • Self-discovering capacity
  • Self-tuning and resource management
  • Self-healing
  • Web-browser GUI

I’ll say now that the GUI was a massive improvement over the M-Series Windows 2000-themed thing. It wasn’t amazing, but it was light-years ahead of where the M-Series is. NEC say that the system can scale to 165 nodes. Right now the biggest system in the US is 50 nodes.

In summary, I wasn’t a huge fan of what I saw from the M-Series, although I think it could be a solid workhorse in the data centre. I did, however, like the look of the HYDRAstor offering and would recommend you give it a look if you’re in the market for that kind of thing.

Storage Field Day 6 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

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.

My full disclosure post will be nowhere near as epic as Justin’s, although he is my role model for this type of thing. Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a delegate at Storage Field Day 6. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week.

Tuesday

My wife paid for parking at BNE airport when she dropped me off. I also bought McDonalds for lunch at SYD, paid for by myself (in more ways than one). A period of time passed and I consumed plane “food”. This was included in the price of the ticket. Alcoholic beverages were not, but I stuck with water. Bless you United for keeping the economy class sober on long-haul flights.

On Tuesday night we had the Delegate dinner at Genji Steak House – a Teppanyaki restaurant in San Jose. I had the gyoza, followed by chicken and prawns with water. This was paid for by Tech Field Day. I also received 2 Manchester (City and United) beanies and 3 large blocks of Cadbury chocolate as part of the gift swap. Tom also gave me a care pack of various American snacks, including some Starbucks Iced Coffee and Nutella. I gave most of it to an American friend prior to my departure. I also had 2 Dos Equis beers in the hotel bar with everyone. This was also paid for by Tech Field Day.

Wednesday

At Avere‘s presentation on Wednesday morning I was given an Avere t-shirt. We had lunch at Bhava Communications in Emeryville (the location of the first two presentations). I had some sandwiches, a cookie, and a can of coke. At StorMagic‘s presentation I was given a 4GB USB stick with StorMagic info on it, as well as a personalised, leather-bound notebook. At Tegile‘s presentation I received a 2200ma portable USB charger thing. I also had a bottle of water.

On Wednesday night we had a delegate dinner (paid for by Tech Field Day) at an “Asian fusion” restaurant called Mosaic. I had the Triple Crown (Calamari, scallops, tiger prawns, asparagus, ginger, white wine garlic sauce). We then went to “Tech Field Day at the Movies” with delegates and friends at the Camera 12 Downtown. We watched Twelve Monkeys. I had a bottle of water from the concession stand. Tech Field Day covered entry for delegates and friends.

Thursday

Thursday morning we had breakfast at Coho Data. I had a sausage and egg roll, some greek yoghurt and an orange juice. I also received a personalised LEGO minifig, a LEGO Creator kit (31018), a foam fish hat (!) and a Coho Data sticker. At Nexenta‘s session I received a Nexenta notepad, orange Converse sneakers with Nexenta embroidered on them and a Nexenta-branded orange squishy ball. Lunch was pizza and some cheesy bread and boneless chicken and a bottle of water. At the Pure Storage session I received a Pure Storage-branded pilsener glass and a 8GB USB stick in a nice little wooden box.

For dinner on Thursday we had canapés and drinks at Cucina Venti  Italian restaurant. This was paid for by Tech Field Day, as was my entry to the Computer History Museum that night (a personal highlight).

Friday

Breakfast was had at Nimble Storage‘s office. I had bacon, eggs and juice. I also received a Nimble-branded jacket and a Raspberry Pi kit. At NEC, I received a set of NEC-branded Headphones. We had lunch at NEC’s office which consisted of Thai food.

I then made my own way to SFO with a friend.

Conclusion

I’d like to extend my thanks to the Storage Field Day organisers and the sponsors of the event. I had a great time. Since I can’t think of a good way to wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a photo.

SFD6_Swag