Storage Field Day 18

I’m happy to say I’ll be at Storage Field Day 18 from February 27th – March 1st 2019 in San Jose. Stay tuned for live streaming of the event via the website. I’ll also be in the Bay Area for the week if people would like to catch up.

Storage Field Day – I’ll Be At Storage Field Day 18

Here’s some good news for you. I’ll be heading to the US in late February for another Storage Field Day event. If you haven’t heard of the very excellent Tech Field Day events, you should check them out. I’m looking forward to time travel and spending time with some really smart people for a few days. It’s also worth checking back on the Storage Field Day 18 website during the event (February 27 – March 1) as there’ll be video streaming and updated links to additional content. You can also see the list of delegates and event-related articles that have been published.

I think it’s a great line-up of both delegates and presenting companies (including a “secret company”) this time around. I know them all pretty well, but there may also still be a few companies added to the line-up. I’ll update this if and when they’re announced.

I’d like to publicly thank in advance the nice folks from Tech Field Day who’ve seen fit to have me back, as well as my employer for letting me take time off to attend these events. Also big thanks to the companies presenting. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Seriously. If you’re in the Bay Area and want to catch up prior to the event, please get in touch. I’ll have some free time, so perhaps we could check out a Warriors game on the 23rd and discuss the state of the industry? ;)

Storage Field Day 17

I’m happy to say I’ll be at Storage Field Day 17 from September 19th – 21st 2018. Stay tuned for live streaming of the event via the website. I’ll be in the Bay Area for the week if people would like to catch up.

Storage Field Day – I’ll Be At Storage Field Day 17

Here’s some good news for you. I’ll be heading to the US in little less than a week for another Storage Field Day event. If you haven’t heard of the very excellent Tech Field Day events, you should check them out. I’m looking forward to time travel and spending time with some really smart people for a few days. It’s also worth checking back on the Storage Field Day 17 website during the event (September 20 – 21) as there’ll be video streaming and updated links to additional content. You can also see the list of delegates and event-related articles that have been published.

I think it’s a great line-up of both delegates and presenting companies this time around. There are a few I know well and some I’ve not met before. There may also still be a few companies added to the line-up. I’ll update this if and when they’re announced.

I’d like to publicly thank in advance the nice folks from Tech Field Day who’ve seen fit to have me back, as well as my employer for letting me take time off to attend these events. Also big thanks to the companies presenting. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Seriously.

Storage Field Day 15

 

I’ll be attending Storage Field Day 15 in San Jose from Wednesday 7th March 2018 to Friday 9th March. You can find out more about Storage Field Day here.

Tech Field Day – I’ll Be At TFD Extra at VMworld US 2017

The name says it all. I mentioned recently that I’ll be heading to the US in less than a week for VMworld. This is a quick post to say that I’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the Tech Field Day Extra event while at VMworld.  If you haven’t heard of the very excellent Tech Field Day events, I recommend you check them out. You can also check back on the TFDx website during the event as there’ll likely be video streaming along with updated links to additional content. You can also see the list of delegates and event-related articles that they’ve published.

I think it’s a great line-up of companies this time around, with some I’m familiar with and some not so much. I’m attending three or four of the sessions and recommend you tune in if you can to hear from Druva, Kingston, Pluribus Networks and NetApp.

Here’s the calendar of events as it stands (note that this might change).

August 29, 2017 11:00-12:00 Kingston Presents at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017
Delegate Panel: Dan Frith, Mike Preston, TBD
August 29, 2017 13:00-14:00 Druva Presents at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017
Delegate Panel: Dan Frith, Mike Preston, Sean Thulin, TBD
August 29, 2017 14:30-15:30 Pluribus Networks Presents at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017
Delegate Panel: Carl Fugate, Eyvonne Sharp, Mike Preston, Rob Coote, Sean Thulin, TBD
August 29, 2017 16:00-17:00 NetApp Presents at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017
Delegate Panel: Carl Fugate, Dan Frith, Eyvonne Sharp, Mike Preston, Rick Schlander, Rob Coote, Sean Thulin, TBD

 

Storage Field Day – I’ll Be At Storage Field Day 13 and Pure Accelerate

Storage Field Day 13

In what can only be considered excellent news, I’ll be heading to the US in early June for another Storage Field Day event. If you haven’t heard of the very excellent Tech Field Day events, you should check them out. I’m looking forward to time travel and spending time with some really smart people for a few days. It’s also worth checking back on the Storage Field Day 13 website during the event (June 14 – 16) as there’ll be video streaming and updated links to additional content. You can also see the list of delegates and event-related articles that have been published.

I think it’s a great line-up of presenting companies this time around. There are a few I’m very familiar with and some I’ve not seen in action before.

*Update – NetApp have now taken the place of Seagate. I’ll update the schedule when I know more.

 

I won’t do the delegate rundown, but having met a number of these people I can assure the videos will be worth watching.

Here’s the rough schedule (all times are ‘Merican Pacific and may change).

Wednesday, Jun 14 09:30-10:30 StorageCraft Presents at Storage Field Day 13
Wednesday, Jun 14 16:00-17:30 NetApp Presents at Storage Field Day 13
Thursday, Jun 15 08:00-12:00 Dell EMC Presents at Storage Field Day 13
Thursday, Jun 15 13:00-14:00 SNIA Presents at Storage Field Day 13
Thursday, Jun 15 15:00-17:00 Primary Data Presents at Storage Field Day 13
Friday, Jun 16 10:30-12:30 X-IO Technologies Presents at Storage Field Day 13

 

Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure Accelerate 2017

You may have also noticed that I’ll be participating in the Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure Accelerate 2017. This will be running from June 12 – 14 in San Francisco and promises to be a whole lot of fun. Check the landing page here for more details of the event and delegates in attendance.

I’d like to publicly thank in advance the nice folks from Tech Field Day who’ve seen fit to have me back, as well as Pure Storage for having me along to their event as well. Also big thanks to the companies presenting. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Seriously.

Storage Field Day 12 – Wrap-up and Link-o-rama

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 12.  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.

This is a quick post to say thanks once again to Stephen, Richard and Kat and the presenters at Storage Field Day 12. I had a super fun and educational time. For easy reference, here’s a list of the posts I did covering the event (they may not match the order of the presentations).

Storage Field Day – I’ll Be At Storage Field Day 12

Storage Field Day 12 – Day 0

Storage Field Day 12 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Excelero are doing what? For how much?

Ryussi – Or Why Another SMB Stack Is Handy

Nimble Storage Gets Cloudy

NetApp Aren’t Just a Pretty FAS

Intel Are Putting Technology To Good Use

There’s A Whole Lot More To StarWind Than Free Stuff

Elastifile Are Doing It For All The Right Reasons

Datera – Hybrid Is The New Black

SNIA Know What Time It Is

 

Also, here’s a number of links to posts by my fellow delegates (in no particular order). They’re all very smart people, and you should check out their stuff, particularly if you haven’t before. I’ll attempt to keep this updated as more posts are published. But if it gets stale, the Storage Field Day 12 landing page has updated links.

 

Ray Lucchesi (@RayLucchesi)

4.5M IO/sec@227µsec 4KB Read on 100GBE with 24 NVMe cards #SFD12

There’s a new cluster filesystem on the block, Elastifile

 

Jon Klaus (@JonKlaus)

Storage Field Day 12: storage drop bears reunited!

Intel SPDK and NVMe-oF will accelerate NVMe adoption rates

SNIA: Avoiding tail latency by failing IO operations on purpose

Moving to and between clouds made simple with Elastifile Cloud File System

Excelero NVMesh: lightning fast software-defined storage using commodity servers & NVMe drives

 

Arjan Timmerman (@ArjanTim)

The Datera Company overview

 

Adam Bergh (@AJBergh)

Storage Field Day 12!

Storage Field Day 12 Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Preview

Storage Field Day 12  Day 2 Recap

Storage Field Day 12  Day 3 Recap

 

Chan Ekanayake (@S_Chan_Ek)

Storage Field Day (#SFD12) – A quick intro!

Storage Field Day 12 (#SFD12) – Vendor line up

Excelero – The Latest Software Defined Storage Startup

Intel Storage Futures From #SFD12

Impact from Public Cloud on the storage industry – An insight from SNIA at #SFD12

 

Chin-Fah Heoh (@StorageGaga)

Ryussi MoSMB – High performance SMB

The engineering of Elastifile

Can NetApp do a bit better?

 

Dave Henry (@DaveMHenry)

Confirmed: I’ll be a Delegate at Storage Field Day 12

 

Glenn Dekhayser (@GDekhayser)

Intel Storage – Storage Field Day 12

 

Howard Marks (@DeepStorageNet)

Visiting Intel with SFD 12

 

Matthew Leib (@MBLeib)

Open19 Brings a new build paradigm to HyperScale Buildouts

Excelero achieves amazing stats at #SFD12

Netapp – an #SFD12 Update

Nimble’s InfoSight – An #SFD12 Follow-up

 

Finally, thanks again to Stephen and the team at Gestalt IT. It was an educational and enjoyable few days and I really valued the opportunity I was given to attend.

[image courtesy of Tech Field Day]

SNIA Know What Time It Is

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 12.  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.

 

Here are some notes from SNIA‘s presentation at Storage Field Day 12. You can view the video here and download my rough notes here.

 

SNIA Know What Time It Is

SNIA gave a fantastic presentation towards the end of Storage Field Day 12. It covered the world of Hyperscalers primarily. Storage and Hyperscalers is pretty wild stuff. The hyper bit of Hyperscalers means that they’re doing things that your traditional enterprise probably doesn’t, and coming across problems that you or I may not. I won’t go into what was covered in the presentation here though. Instead I urge you to check the video and my notes for more on that.

I’ve thought a lot over the last few weeks about what I saw and heard during SNIA’s presentation, and about what I knew about them from previous interactions at the odd industry event in Australia. And while I’d love to talk about Hyperscalers in this article, I think it’s more important to use this as an opportunity to fly the flag for SNIA, so to speak. What I really want to draw your attention to, my three weary but loyal readers, is the importance of an association like SNIA to the storage industry. It might be self-evident to some of us in the industry, but for your average storage punter SNIA may seem like a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t have to be that way though. There’s a tonne of extremely useful information available on the SNIA website, from the Dictionary, to tutorials, to information on storage industry standards. That’s right, whilst it may appear at times that the storage industry is the high tech wild west, there are a lot of people from a range of vendors and independents working together to ensure standards are coherent, documented and available to review. They also present at various events (not just the storage ones) and have published a whole heap of extremely interesting white papers that I recommend you check out.

Industry associations sometimes get a bad rap, because some people find themselves in charge of them and start using them for personal gain (I’m not referring to SNIA in this instance), or because members sign up to them and don’t see immediate benefits or increased sales. But not all associations have to be a fiasco. I believe SNIA have proven their value to the industry, and I think we should all be making more of an effort to promote what they’re doing and what they’re trying to achieve. And if, for whatever reason, you’re not happy about something that’s happening or something they’re doing, get in touch with them. The only way the industry can get better is to, well, be better. And SNIA seem to be doing their bit. Or at least they’re trying to.

Datera – Hybrid Is The New Black

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 12.  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.

 

Here are some notes from Datera‘s presentation at Storage Field Day 12. You can view the video here and download my rough notes here.

 

Hybrid is the New Black

Datera’s Mark Fleischmann spent some time talking to us about the direction Datera think the industry is heading. They’re seeing the adoption of public cloud operations and architecture as the “new IT blueprint”. Ultimately, a move to a “Unified Hybrid Cloud” seems to be the desired end-state for most enterprises, where we’re able to leverage a bunch of different solutions depending on requirements, etc. In my mind it’s not that dissimilar to the focus on “best of breed” that was popular when I first got into the technology industry. It’s a concept that looks great on a slide, but it’s a lot harder to effect than people realise.

According to Datera, the goal is to deliver self-tuning invisible data infrastructure. This provides:

  • Policy-based automation;
  • High performance;
  • Low latency;
  • Simple management;
  • Scalability; and
  • Agility.

For Datera, the key attribute is the policy based one. I wrote a little about the focus on intent after I saw them at Storage Field Day 10. I still think this is a key part of Datera’s value proposition, but they’ve branched out a bit more and are now also focused particularly on high performance and low latency. Datera are indeed keen to “give people better than public cloud”, and are working on hybrid cloud data management to provide a fabric across public and private clouds.

 

What do we have now?

So where are we at right now in the enterprise? According to Datera, we have:

  • Expensive silos – composed of legacy IT and open source building blocks – neither of which were designed to operate as-a-Service (aaS); and
  • Data gravity – where data is restricted in purpose-built silos with the focus on captive data services.

 

What do we want?

That doesn’t sound optimal. Datera suggest that we’d prefer:

  • Automation – with cloud-like data simplicity, scalability and agility, application-defined smart automation, “self-driving” infrastructure; and
  • Choice – hybrid data choices of services across clouds, flexibility and options.

Which sounds like something I would prefer. Of course, Datera point out that “[d]ata is the foundation (and the hard part)”. What we really need is for a level of simplicity that can be applied to our infrastructure in much the same way as our applications are easy to use (except Word, that’s not easy to use).

 

What’s a Hybrid?

So what does this hybrid approach really look like? For Datera, there are a few different pieces to the puzzle.

Multi-cloud Data Fabric

Datera want you to be able to leverage on-premises clouds, but with “better than AWS” data services:

  • True scale out with mixed media
  • Multiple tiers of service
  • 100% operations offload

You’re probably also interested in enterprise performance and capabilities, such as:

  • 10x performance, 1/10 latency
  • Data sovereignty, security and SLOs
  • Data services platform and ecosystem

 

Cloud Operations

You’ll want all of this wrapped up in cloud operations too, including cloud simplicity and agility:

  • Architected to operate as a service;
  • Self-tuning, wide price/performance band; and
  • Role-based multi-tenancy.

Multi-cloud Optionality

  • Multi-customer IaaS operations portal; and
  • Predictive data analysis and insights.

 

So Can Datera Hybrid?

They reckon they can, and I tend to agree. They offer a bunch of features that feel like all kinds of hybrid.

Symmetric Scale-out

  • Heterogeneous node configurations in single cluster (AFN + HFA);
  • Deployed on industry standard x86 servers;
  • Grow-as-you-grow (node add, replacement, decommission, reconfiguration);
  • Single-click cluster-wide upgrade; and
  • Online volume expansion, replica reconfiguration.

 

Policy-based Data Placement

  • Multiple service levels – IOPS, latency, bandwidth, IO durability;
  • Policy-based data and target port placement;
  • All-flash, primary flash replica, or hybrid volumes;
  • Application provisioning decoupled from infrastructure management;
  • Template-based application deployment; and
  • Automated to scale.

 

Infrastructure Awareness

Native Layer-3 Support

  • DC as the failure domain (target port (IP) can move anywhere);
  • Scale beyond Layer-2 boundaries; and
  • Scale racks without overlay networking.

Fault Domains

  • Automate around network/power failure domains or programmable availability zones (data/replica distribution, rack awareness); and
  • Data services with compute affinity.

Self-adaptive System

  • Real-time load target port and storage rebalancing;
  • Transparent IP address failover;
  • Transparent node failure handling, network link handling; and
  • Dynamic run-time load balancing based on workload / system / infrastructure changes.

Multi-Tenancy

  • Multi-tenancy for storage resources;
  • Micro-segmentation for users/tenants/applications;
  • Noisy neighbour isolation through QoS;
  • IOPS and bandwidth controls (total, read, write); and
  • IP pools, VLAN tagging for network isolation.

API-driven Programmable

  • API-first DevOps provisioning approach;
  • RESTful API with self-describing schema;
  • Interactive API browser; and
  • Integration with wide eco-system.

 

What Do I Do With This Information?

Cloud Operations & Analytics

Datera also get that you need good information to make good decisions around infrastructure, applications and data. To this end, they offer some quite useful features in terms of analytics and monitoring.

From a system telemetry perspective, you get continuous system monitoring and a multi-cluster view. You also get insights into network performance and system / application performance. Coupled with capacity planning and trending information and system inventory information there’s a bunch of useful data available. The basic monitoring in terms of failure handling and alerting is also covered.

 

Conclusion and Further Reading

It’s not just Datera that are talking about hybrid solutions. A bunch of companies across a range of technologies are talking about it. Not because it’s necessarily the best approach to infrastructure, but rather because it takes a bunch of the nice things we like about (modern) cloud operations and manages to apply them to the legacy enterprise infrastructure stack that a lot of us struggle with on a daily basis.

People like cloud because it’s arguably a better way of working in a lot of cases. People are getting into the idea of renting service versus buying products outright. I don’t understand why this has developed this way in recent times, although I do understand there can be very good fiscal reasons for doing so. [I do remember being at an event last year where rent versus buy was discussed in broad terms. I will look into that further].

Datera understand this too, and they also understand that “legacy” infrastructure management can be a real pain for enterprises, and that the best answer, as it stands, is some kind of hybrid approach. Datera’s logo isn’t the only thing that’s changed in recent times, and they’ve come an awful long way since I first heard from them at Storage Field Day 10. I’m keen to see how their hybrid approach to infrastructure, data and applications develops in the next 6 – 12 months. At this stage, it seems they have a solid plan and are executing it. Arjan felt the same way, and you can read his article here.