Syndicated Seattle Tech Field Day July 2010 — Presentations Overview Part 1 of 2

The Seattle Tech Field Day was actually 2 days.   Across those 2 days, the TFD delegates watched 5 presentations from 5 different vendors, plus had a mixer-style dinner with all the vendors.   Most of these presentations were storage and virtualization related.   Only one vendor, F5 Networks, would be considered to be a networking company, and even their presentation showed some of their fancy new integration with VMware.

Even though the presentations I saw targeted the storage and virtualization guys more than the networking guy (uh, me), all of the products had serious implications for the network.   Storage is presented to hosts via iSCSI, CIFS, and NFS.   NAS heads with multiple switch ports uplink to the network via MPIO, LACP, and in other ways.   Storage arrays could replicate their data across the LAN or across a WAN of various bandwidths and latencies.   Some replication schemes WAN optimize themselves, but can still be helped by external WAN accelerators.   VMware virtual machines can be moved from one ESX cluster to another using VMotion, which naturally traverses the network, possibly even a WAN link.

What follows is a brief overview of the presentations.   Since I’m not yet in deep with storage and virtualization technologies like I am with networking, what I am opting to do is briefly outline each company, and what they presented on.   From there, you can click the links to dig in if you want more information.

  1. Veeam‘s focus is on virtualization environment management, backup, and disaster recovery.   Veeam presented on their virtual machine backup and restoration features.   I knew nothing about Veeam’s product set before their presentation, and from folks I know who’ve known Veeam for a while, they’ve come a long way in a hurry, making a feature-rich product of great use to VMware shops.   The feature that stood out to me the most during the presentation was the ability to instantly bring back up a failed virtual host by starting up the backed up image of the dead production host.   While it’s a little like running on “the donut” after experiencing a flat tire in your care, it helps minimize the outage time, while you work on bringing the full virtual host back into production.Read more about Veeam’s backup product set via the following links:
  2. Nimble Storage was, for me personally, the most interesting presentation.   Nimble launched at Tech Field Day, bringing their converged storage, backup, and disaster recovery solution to market.   Nimble is targeting the medium business market with 12TB or 24TB raw capacity arrays that include all features with no additional licensing.   Nimble has created the CASL (Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout) architecture, which describes how they gain very high IOPS using inline compression and a large adaptive flash cache while writing to high capacity SATA disks (saving overall cost).   Nimble is working with resellers starting at the west coast of North America, and moving east.   The EMEA market is on their radar for 2011.

Stay tuned for part 2…

About the author

Ethan Banks

Ethan Banks, CCIE #20655, has been managing networks for higher ed, government, financials and high tech since 1995. Ethan co-hosts the Packet Pushers Podcast, which has seen over 1M downloads and reaches over 10K listeners. With whatever time is left, Ethan writes for fun & profit, studies for certifications, and enjoys science fiction.

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