Open source is not entirely new to NetApp, they’ve had an OpenStack team in the company since 2011, mainly contributing to the Cinder project. This provided on-demand block storage in OpenStack. In the past 18 months, this has been consciously expanded into an open ecosystem team, organized around thePub.
Tech Field Day Events
Late last year, I wrote an overview about ClearSky Data. The company has a unique product. They offer an alternative to the usual state of cloud storage, with lots of latency and multiple data copies that you’re paying for individually. What continues to strike me about their offering is its completeness. Make no mistake, this is a fully managed storage solution.
The company has recently announced some exciting developments coming down the pipeline.
When a category becomes settled, a bit of tedium begins to set in. Room for innovation rapidly shrinks, and becomes more about efficiency and refinement than redefinition. That’s kind of how I felt the hyperconverged infrastructure market was settling into. There are still marked differences in price, features, and capability between the players. But the literal configuration of hardware seemed to be homogenized.
Datrium is trying to change the expectations of hyperconvergence. Instead, they are billing their concept as Open Convergence. This is their response to the traditional issue with HCI. Their basic format is to separate bulk storage from compute, flash, and networking.
Can a framing metaphor be a product differentiator? In Turbonomic’s case, I think it can. They use a supply and demand model for their application assurance platform. This brings some interesting implications into the overall solution.
You don’t have to follow enterprise IT too closely before you become familiar with the idea of SD-WAN. It’s the chili of enterprise networking. Everyone seems to have their own recipe, but when you look in the pot, they all look similar. Some come canned from a company, making it easy to deploy into a bowl. Others provide a few secret spices to add to what you’re already cooking. And some organizations just roll their own from scratch. There’s great debate whether IWAN is chili, or simply a very complicated stew. In the SD-WAN chili cook-off, TELoIP might not have the biggest booth at the fair, but they’ve got a pretty unique recipe to test your palate.
If file systems are cool, then distributed file systems are Miles Davis. They’re also incredibly hard. A lot of “distributed” file systems only fit the term in the broadest sense. Many rely on a centralized model, which can potentially be fine, but really limits how you can scale. Others offer true distribution but run into performance trouble. Elastifile’s solution is the Elastifile Cloud File System. This isn’t just simple distribution, they are offering a application-level distributed file system, with the goal of offering the flexibility of the public cloud, with all the enterprise data services expected in a hybrid cloud.
StarWind offers what they are calling a hardware-based “cloud gateway”, in partnership with AcloudA. I’m honestly surprised a lot of other storage vendors aren’t trying something similar, but I imagine StarWind has done all the hard work on the backend to make this appear deceivingly simple. The basic hardware is a single board with a SATA/SAS interface. This would be connected to your server or storage appliance just like any other drive.
If you live in the world of containers and Docker, then DockerCon is probably a pretty big deal. It’s being held out in Austin, April 17-20. For those of you who’re not getting their fill of all things Docker during those days, Tech Field Day Extra is planned for the Monday before DockerCon, on April 17. This event is being done in partnership with Docker, and they will be presenting to TFD’s inquisitive panel of delegates along with other companies from their ecosystem. Full video of all presentations will also be available after the event. Tech Field Day was there last year, and they’re excited to return to DockerCon!
After hearing about it for too long, Intel finally released its first product using 3D XPoint memory, the Optane P4800X. For a cool $1,520, you can buy the 375GB PCIe based SSD.
I recently watched a brief talk given by Dave Hitz, a founder and Executive VP at NetApp. His particular portion didn’t get down into the weeds of what NetApp is bringing to the table with their Data Fabric or StorageGRID. There were presentations before he spoke that sated my need for technical details. Instead, Dave focused on giving a broader vision of what NetApp was trying to do. This is always a bit of a risky bet when addressing a more technically minded crowd. It’s easy to sound grandiose with your overall corporate vision, and too often these talks stray into marketing. Fortunately, Dave took the time to make it an engaging discussion.