I’m excited to announce I’ll be attending Storage Field Day 12! During the event we’ll talk storage technology for three days, starting on March 8th. There’s an impressive line-up of companies and delegates gathering in Silicon Valley and of course we’ll live stream the presentations for the folks back home, who can pitch in over Twitter. Did I mention the line-up of companies already? Oh boy!
When the news about the Dell and EMC merger became public last year, I was somewhat skeptical. I’ve had some really sketchy experiences with Dell servers and storage products, so it didn’t feel like a step forward. At the same time there was the organizational and support aspect. Mergers usually result in confusion for both sales processes and us people in the field having to glue all the products together. Not something I was looking forward to.
Lo and behold: I got an invite from the EMC Elect program to attend DellEMCWorld in Austin, Texas! This was my chance to fly over there and experience the merger announcements firsthand, plus ask questions. So I did! And I have to say: I was impressed.
Good news: I will be flying out to Storage Field Day 10 which will take place in Silicon Valley on May the 24th till the 27th. Nine companies will be presenting, of which one company came out of stealth just yesterday! Some of these companies I’ve met at earlier Storage Field Days and I’m looking forward to the progress they’ve made over the last couple of months.
On the 23rd of February, Nimble Storage announced their new Predictive Flash platform as an extension of their current product portfolio. It uses the same trusted software, but leverages the speed of flash and advanced analytics to offer higher performance storage. A customer expects data to be available instantly and without delays. Nimble Storage makes sure this is the case based on a three-pronged approach: high density solid-state storage, cloud based management and big data analytics to proactively solve issues before they cause a problem for the business.
I first met the Nimble Storage team at Storage Field Day 6. Back then they impressed mightily with InfoSight: Nimble’s cloud based management platform for their storage arrays. It offered proactive failure detection by gathering statistics from all Nimble Storage arrays and using that intel to automatically resolve issues before they could become a hassle for the customer. It also allowed the Nimble engineering teams to blacklist upgrade paths, making sure that a known faulty software upgrade did not inadvertedly cause downtime on other storage arrays. Now, a year later, Nimble is celebrating its fifth birthday and I can’t help but notice: it’s come far since the start-up phase.
NexGen has been building hybrid storages for several years: systems with spinning disks for capacity and flash for performance. This is a skill set that will not go away with the onset of all-flash Arrays. There are many types of flash available and each type of non-volatile memory will have advantages and disadvantages in capacity, performance, cost, power draw, etc. Mixing those characteristics properly inside one array allows a vendor to leverage the strengths of each technology. Say Hi to the hybrid all-flash arrays!
Reliability of a system is usually expressed as a percentage of uptime. A system that has an uptime of at least 99,9% should typically not exceed an unplanned downtime of roughly 8 hours and 45 minutes each year. ‘Five nines’ or 99,999% of availability is often used in IT: this equates to roughly 5 minutes of downtime on a yearly basis. For Infinidat this wasn’t good enough, so they built the Infinibox with a reliability of 99,99999%. That’s only 3.2 seconds of downtime per year. Yikes!
I can’t hide the fact I was looking forward to the Qumulo presentation at Storage Field Day 8: I love scale-out NAS systems, with all the advantages they bring in terms of performance, scalability, manageability and upgradeability. I quickly learned that the founders of Qumulo previously worked on Isilon and OneFS. I work with Isilons in the field, so my interest was peaked
Back to Qumulo: they build a data-aware, scale-out, primary storage system. And it’s software defined. Meaning you’ll have full flexibility in the hardware you want to use and how big/fast/expensive you want to make the system. Plus it also gives you real-time insight into the data on the Qumulo system. Interested? Read on!
Back at Storage Field Day 8, Cohesity presented their newly announced solution to optimize secondary storage usage and how to get more bang for your buck on secondary storage. One critical thing to note here is that Cohesity changes the definition of secondary storage! In their view, secondary storage is everything that’s not Tier 1, high performance, mission critical stuff. So yes, that’s backups.. but it’s also test and development, file shares, archives, etc.
No matter the brand, type, size or performance of you storage system, they should all have one thing in common: stability. Pure Storage talked about their systems design at Storage Field Day 8, which centers around “non disruptive everything”. Not only the hardware, but also the software running on top of it. Because in an ideal world, the storage system should only go down 5 years after your installation date when you’re replacing it with a new one. And in Pure’s case this means: never.