There’s no denying that off-premises cloud services are growing. Just look at the year-to-year growth of big public cloud providers. There’s big potential if you focus on two aspects of cloud. The first is speeding up access to data that is potentially not located in the same city or even geographic area. The second is supporting new protocols and storage methodologies that are suited for cloud native applications. One player in this area of IT is Avere, which aims to connect on-premises storage and compute to their siblings in the cloud.
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.
A long, long time ago when public cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) was still relatively new I was doing some contract work for a big international company. One of the tasks for the department was an IaaS proof of concept: does offloading servers to the public cloud result in cost savings? Long story short: the PoC was halted after several months because the AWS IaaS offering was prohibitively expensive and inflexible. We had enough systems and data to keep a team of qualified engineers busy and to get good purchasing discounts. An additional problem was the very rigid service catalog: there weren’t that many flavors of machines available back then and custom machines were either not possible or even more expensive.
Fast forward to 2016 and I’m looking into public/private/on-premises IaaS again for a different company. Prices have dropped, but there are still some things to keep in mind when considering a move to the public cloud IaaS models.
According to Tintri, the rise of server virtualization broke the traditional storage system. Initially we had relatively simple environments where one server talks to a number of LUNs on a storage system. Sometimes we’d have a small cluster of servers accessing those volumes. Still relatively simple.
Fast forward to now: large clusters of hypervisor hosts are the norm, collectively accessing an even larger number of volumes. Each hypervisor in turn hosts a large number or virtual machines. In case of performance problems, how are you ever going to figure out the root cause and which other systems are affected?
Earlier this year Nimble Storage announced their all-flash array called the Predictive Flash Platform; you can read my thoughts on the launch over here. InfoSight is one of the core components of that announcement, which is why we had the opportunity for a fireside chat with the Nimble Storage data science team. We discussed the workings of InfoSight & VMVision and how this relates to actual benefits for an owner of a Nimble Storage array. This post will also touch on some of the key points discussed during the later Storage Field Day 10.
A couple of weeks ago StorMagic announced their newest SvSAN 6 release. The basics are still the same: SvSAN takes the internal disks from two hypervisor servers (HyperV or VMware) and turns them into highly available shared storage. Yes, that’s a two server minimum, not three; so this should be a little bit cheaper compared to VMware VSAN and the likes. What’s new in version 6 is the addition of an Advanced edition with SSD and memory-based caching and tiering.
Question: What do you get when Pure Storage gets to build a system that can start small, grow big, handle file requests quickly and is simple to manage?
FlashBlade: Pure’s newest addition to its hardware portfolio. The Pure Storage FlashBlade is not just another NAS filer. It’s an all-flash, scale-out storage for file (NFSv3 for now) and object (soon), delivering some pretty good performance as you can see in the sheet above. And the chassis just looks sexy…
If you want to build a private S3 object store, Cloudian HyperStore might be the product for you. Using commodity servers to form a scale-out architecture, you can build your own, fully S3 compliant object storage that’s located in your own datacenter. If you don’t want to supply your own servers, you can opt for the Lenovo Storage DX8200C appliance, powered by Cloudian!
Kaminario presented about there all-flash array back at Storage Field Day 7. Back then, I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed: it felt like just another all-flash array with few differentiating factors. For me, that changed after their presentation at Storage Field Day 10. The two components they’ll be adding are a policy based QoS system and a cloud based monitoring system called Healthshield. Both should help simplify storage management and look beyond merely the storage array itself. But first, a quick recap on Kaminario: who are they and what do they do?
In a couple of hours I’ll be airborne again heading west towards Silicon Valley. This time it’s for Storage Field Day 10 or #SFD10 on the Twitters. It’s the usual recipe: 12 delegates from around the world and 9 companies (start-ups and established companies alike) explaining their vision on the storage market and how their products work. I love these events because in three days time we’ll be bombarded with a whole lot of information on existing and upcoming storage tech. In my mind, there’s no other event with this information density: afterwards it usually takes a couple of days to let it all trickle through. Or as we say in Dutch, “make cheese out of it”… (of course it’s about cheese)