Saturday, August 18, 2012

Grid-based Storage

When I introduced the Storage Evolution, I shared some topics I talk about when meeting with a customer: Virtualization, Deduplication, Grid and Encryption. That list has grown to include Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), Convergence, Business Continuity, Clouds and Big Data. It’s about time I start writing about more of these.

The world of storage is changing – fast. When I started consulting, I used to install clusters and super-computers. My specialty was IBM’s SP super computer (like Deep Blue the one that played the Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov). My wife asked if they wore capes.

The super computer market fell apart over a decade ago to grid-based systems. What used to cost millions of dollars was swept away by inexpensive commodity Intel-based servers, usually running Linux and grid software. The market changed and super computers started to become extinct. What used to be a scale-up model became a modular massively-parallel model which became a highly distributed model. The market changed.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hot Cloud Apps Miss a Valuable Opportunity with the Enterprise

There are a lot of hot startups creating exciting new cloud applications every day. These apps have made our lives easier, some appear necessary. Dropbox lets us seamlessly move data between devices and networks. Yammer lets us collaborate twitter-style within a company. Evernote and OneNote make note taking during meetings revolutionary. Even photos, video and document networks are becoming harder to ignore and block within the enterprise.

While all of these applications have proven their worth, they often violate IT security policies and companies try to police them. Security is a tricky dance, you try and block things that must not be used, especially the harmful, but tighten the screws too much and people will find a way around them. When some of the apps are blocked in a company, workers will break out cellular cards or worse, jump in their car and head to the closest coffee shop.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

EMC World 2012

I had the privilege of attending EMC World last week. While I had a lot of NDA material I can not present, I can say the cool new stuff is on the way soon, or here today: VPLEX, VNX, VMAX and more.

I have a new post ready, but I’m waiting to hear back on where it will land. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few short videos from EMC World that I participated in.

EMC World 2012 – Hot New Tech
EMC World 2012 – Automated Tiering Strategies
EMC World 2012 – Cloud in the Enterprise

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Proof of Concepts and Bakeoffs

If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the gear.™

Storage is the slowest resource in the datacenter. We measure things in milliseconds, while other components are in micro or nanoseconds. We’re increasingly asked to push more and more data through pipes faster and faster. When storage fails: screens go blue, kernels panic, things get ugly. Some call this a resume generating event.

For this reason, storage professionals as a general rule are a conservative bunch. We resist change. We want things to be safe and mature with low risk and no bugs. We avoid the bleeding edge. Some wait months or years after new products are released before they considering deploying them.

This approach doesn’t always serve us well.