VMware – VMworld 2016 – STO7903 – An Industry Roadmap: From storage to data management

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2016 – US.  My flights were paid for by myself, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. 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 my very rough notes on “STO7903 – An Industry Roadmap: From storage to data management” presented by Christos Karamanolis. Note that this is a high-level, future looking presentation, so the standard disclaimer (none of this may come to pass, etc) applies.


Data: tremendous business value potential. Information growth (from now until 2020, the size of the digital universe will about double every 2 yrs). Driverless cars produce approximately 4TB of data per day – Where does all the data go?


The decline of the disk array


“Enterprise storage market sees continued decline … total capacity shipments down 4% year over year” – IDC June 2016


The rise of SDS

The world of IT is changing rapidly:

  • infrastructure sprawl
  • hybrid clouds
  • rapid app evolution
  • regulatory “spaghetti”

Traditional IT is still obsessed with infrastructure

Enter the software-defined data centre. HCI overcomes legacy limitations with a seamlessly integrated architecture:

  • Hyperconverged software
  • compute, storage and networking
  • tightly integrated software stack
  • Industry-standard hardware
  • convergence of physical storage on x86 hardware
  • building block approach


It’s a brave new IT world. With SDDC, HCI and VSAN, help customers approximate the operational efficiencies of mega clouds

1. infrastructure management

2. application lifecycle management

Now, we are extending these two dimensions to a hybrid IT world


Open challenge: Data Lifecycle Management

Data is in chains – storage products comes with data services: tightly coupled with physical infrastructure

  • snapshots / clones
  • replication
  • deduplication
  • checksums
  • encryption

It doesn’t have to be this way!


Decouple data services from

  • physical infrastructure boundaries
  • storage (persistence) layer

VMware is already offering data protection products that are decoupled from storage. Current focus: disaster recovery


vSphere Replication

  • per-VM, host-based replication
  • network-efficient by replicating only changed data
  • included with vSphere Essentials Plus and higher editions


VMware Site Recovery Manager

  • recovery plans for 1000s of VMs
  • Non-disruptive recovery testing
  • automated DR workflows
  • integrated with the VMware stack
  • eliminates complexity and risk
  • fast and highly predictable RTOs
  • policy-driven DR control


Data storage disruptors

  • Public clouds: compelling storage options
    • cost-effective archival storage
    • range of availability options
    • not meeting all requirements for Enterprise primary storage
  • New compute consumption models
    • pay as you go infrastructure
    • software as a service

Data is escaping the boundaries of IT organisations.


VMware vCloud Availability: DR to the cloud


“Today’s storage products do not meet the requirements of the evolving IT industry”


Long-term example: the “portable snapshot”

Imagine snapshots:

  • decoupled from storage
  • mobile across physical locations
  • archived anywhere
  • recovered anywhere

Portable snapshot use case: data protection



With this technology, your workloads become a heck of a lot more portable.



Scalable data lifecycle management

Multiple Use cases

  • Near line protection
  • offline protection
  • disaster recovery
  • global catalog

With this, you can have:

  • data protection by policy
  • across locations, storage
  • global catalog of data
  • diverse recovery workflows – locations, storage
  • granular recovery options
    • files and folder
    • VM and / or VMDK
    • application


Portable snapshot use case: Application Mobility

Instantaneous app provisioning

  • examples – test and dev in cloud, production on premises, application recovery natively on public cloud, elastic expansion of application components
  • cloud orchestration tools – discovery, monitoring, reporting


  • image management, conversion
  • archival -> primary, instantly!


Applicability to new generation applications?

  • application awareness is critical
    • group crash consistency
    • semantic consistency (application quiescing)

But what about distributed applications using micro-services?

  • requirements: elasticity, mobility, fast deployment


A distributed File System for Cloud-native Apps

  • Hyperconverged distributed FS
  • Relies on block storage (VSAN)
  • Scalable data volume sharing
  • Efficient image management
  • Group-Consistent snapshots / clones for stageful distributed applications




How do you track and control all that data?

Data governance

  • define policies and standards for data handling
  • quantify cost vs risk
  • demonstrate legal compliance
  • protect confidentiality, integrity, availability of information assets


Other “decoupled” data services

  • end-to-end data integrity: checksums
  • space efficiency: dedupe / compression
  • multi-tenancy: access control, isolation
  • security: encryption, attribution


Focus on data management, not infrastructure

  • data repair and recovery
  • test and development
  • file or DB recovery
  • data archival
  • data analytics


I love that we’re moving away from infrastructure to an application focus – this is a good sign fro the industry. I look forward to seeing what develops over the next few years. Duncan did a much better write-up on this session than me – you can read it here. Great session. 4 stars.