What am I hearing and seeing while out and about

October 23, 2011 – 7:02 pm

It has been a busy fall 2011 which started out with VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas just before the labor day weekend.

At the CXI party in Vegas during VMworld standing with the NEXUS vMonstoerLas Vegas Strip from CXI party during VMworld with Karen of Arcola
Scenes from the CXI party (@cxi) at VMworld 2011

Besides activity in support of the launch of my new book Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), I have been busy with various client research, consulting and advisory projects. In addition to Las Vegas for VMworld, out and about travel activities for attending conferences and presenting seminars have included visits in Minneapolis (local), Nijkerk Holland and Denver (in the same week) and Orlando (SNW). Upcoming out and about events are scheduled for Los Angles, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle and a couple of trips to San Jose area before the brief thanksgiving holiday break.

My Sunday virtual office in Nijkerk before a busy weekMy Sunday virtual office in Nijkerk before a busy week
Beer and Bitter ballens on the left, coffee machine in Nijkerk on the right

Brouwer Strorage Consulantcy Seminar
Day one of two day seminar in Nijkerk

Instead of automobiles lined up a trainstation, its bicycles in NijkerkWaiting in Nijkerk for 6:30AM train to Schiphol and on to Denver
Bicycles lined up at the Nijkerk train station, waiting for the 6:30 train to Schiphol

Changing trains in Amsfort on way to SchipholBoarding Delta A333 AMS to MSP then on to DEN
Changing trains on way to Schiphol to board flight to MSP and then to DEN

Climbing out of Denver on way back to MSP, it was a long yet fun weekEvening clouds enroute from DEN to MSP
After Denver back to MSP for a few days before SNW in Orlando

While being out and about I have had the chance to meet and visit with many different people. Here are some questions and comments that I have heard while out and about:

  • What comes after cloud?
  • Are there standards for clouds and virtualization?
  • Should cost savings be the justification for going to cloud, virtual or dynamic environments?
  • How is big data different than traditional stream and flat file analytics and processing using tools such as SAS (Statistical Analysis Software)?
  • Is big data only about map reduce and hadoop?
  • Are clouds any less secure or safe for storage and applications?
  • Do clouds and virtualization removing complexity and simplify infrastructures?
  • Are cloud storage services cheaper than buying and managing your own?
  • Is object based storage a requirement for public or private cloud?
  • Do solution bundles such as EMC vBlock and NetApp FlexPods reduce complexity?
  • Why is FCoE taking so long to be adopted and is it dead?
  • Should cost savings be the basis for deciding to do a VDI or virtualization project?
  • What is the best benchmark or comparison for making storage decisions?

In addition, there continues to be plenty of cloud confusion, FUD and hype around public, private, hybrid along with AaaS, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS among other XaaS. The myth that virtualization of servers, storage and workstations is only for consolidation continues. However there are more people beginning to see the next wave of life beyond consolidation where the focus expands to flexibility, agility and speed of deployment for non aggregated workloads and applications. Another popular myth that is changing is that data footprint reduction (DFR) is only about dedupe and backup. What is changing is an awareness that DFR spans all types of storage and data from primary to secondary leveraging different techniques including archive, backup modernization, compression, consolidation, data management and dedupe along with thin provisioning among other techniques.

Archiving for email, database and file systems needs to be rescued from being perceived as only for compliance purposes. If you want or need to reduce your data footprint impact (DFR), optimize your storage for performance or capacity, enable backup, BC and DR to be performed faster, achieve Green IT and efficiency objectives, expand your awareness around archiving. While discussing archiving, focus is often on the target or data storage medium such as disk, tape, optical or cloud along with DFR techniques such as compression and dedupe or functionally including ediscovery and WORM. The other aspects of archive that need to be looked at include policies, retention, application and software plugins for Exchange, SQL, Sharepoint, Sybase, Oracle, SAP, VMware and others.

Boot storms continue to be a common theme for apply solid state devices (SSD) in support of virtual desktop inititiaves (VDI). There is however a growing awareness and discussions around shutdown storms, day to day maintenance including virus scans in addition to applications that increase the number of writes. Consequently the discussions around VDI are expanding to include both reads and writes as well as reduced latency for storage and networks.

Some other general observations, thoughts and comments:

  • Getting into Holland as a visitor is easier than returning to the U.S. as a citizen
  • Airport security screening is more thorough and professional in Europe than in the U.S.
  • Hops add latency to beer (when you drink it) and to networks (time delay)
  • Fast tape drives need disk storage to enable streaming for reads and writes
  • SSD is keeping HDDs alive, HDDs are keeping tape alive and all there roles are evolving while the technologies continue to evolve.
  • Hybrid Hard Disk Drives (HHDDs) are gaining in awareness and deployments in workstations as well as laptops.
  • Confusion exists around what are flat layer 2 networks for LANs and Sans
  • Click here to view additional comments and perspectives

Ok, nuff said for now

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

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