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2017

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

 

Microsoft and Azure September 2017 Software Defined Data infrastructure Updates

 

September was a busy month for data infrastructure topics as well as Microsoft in terms of new and enhanced technologies. Wrapping up September was Microsoft Ignite  where Azure, Azure Stack, Windows, O365, AI, IoT, development tools announcements occurred, along with others from earlier in the month. As part of the September announcements, Microsoft released a new version of Windows server (e.g. 1709) that has a focus for enhanced container support. Note that if you have deployed Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and are looking to upgrade to 1709, do your homework as there are some caveats that will cause you to wait for the next release. Note that there had been new storage related enhancements slated for the September update, however those were announced at Ignite to being pushed to the next semi-annual release. Learn more here and also here.

Azure Files and NFS

Microsoft made several Azure file storage related announcements and public previews during September including Native NFS based file sharing as companion to existing Azure Files, along with public preview of new Azure File Sync Service. Native NFS based file sharing (public preview announced, service is slated to be available in 2018) is a software defined storage deployment of NetApp OnTAP running on top of Azure data infrastructure including virtual machines and leverage Azure underlying storage.

 

Note that the new native NFS is in addition to the earlier native Azure Files accessed via HTTP REST and SMB3 enabling sharing of files inside Azure public cloud, as well as accessible externally from Windows based and Linux platforms including on premises. Learn more about Azure Storage and Azure Files here.

Azure File Sync (AFS)

Azure File Sync AFS

Azure File Sync (AFS) has now entered public preview.  While users of  Windows-based systems have been able to access and share Azure Files in the  past, AFS is something different.  I have used AFS for  some time now during several private preview iterations having seen how it has  evolved, along with how Microsoft listens incorporating feedback into the  solution.

 

Lets take a look at what is AFS, what it does, how it works, where  and when to use it among other considerations. With AFS, different and independent systems  can now synchronize file shares through Azure. Currently in the AFS preview  Windows Server 2012 and 2016 are supported including bare metal, virtual, and  cloud based. For example I have had bare metal, virtual (VMware), cloud (Azure  and AWS) as part of participating in a file sync activities using AFS.

 

Not to be confused with some other storage related AFS  including Andrew File System among others, the new Microsoft Azure File Sync service  enables files to be synchronized across different servers via Azure. This is  different then the previous available Azure File Share service that enables  files stored in Azure cloud storage to be accessed via Windows and Linux  systems within Azure, as well as natively by Windows platforms outside of  Azure. Likewise this is different from the recently announced Microsoft Azure  native NFS file sharing serving service in partnership with NetApp (e.g.  powered by OnTAP cloud).

 

https://robertsmit.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/step-by-step-azure-file-sync-on-premises-file-servers-to-azure-files-storage-sync-service-afs-cloud-msignite/AFS can be used to synchronize across different on premise as well as cloud servers that can also function as cache. What this means is that for Windows work folders served via different on premise servers, those files can be synchronized across Azure to other locations. Besides providing a cache, cloud tiering and enterprise file sync share (EFSS) capabilities, AFS also has robust optimization for data movement to and from the cloud and across sites, along with management tools. Management tools including diagnostics, performance and activity monitoring among others.

Check out the AFS preview including planning for an Azure File Sync (preview) deployment (Docs Microsoft), and for those who have Yammer accounts, here is the AFS preview group link.

Microsoft Azure Blob Events via Microsoft

Azure Blob Storage Tiering and Event Triggers

Two other Azure storage features that are in public preview include blob tiering (for cold archiving) and event triggers for events. As their names imply, blob tiering enables automatic migration from active to cold inactive storage of dormant date. Event triggers are policies rules (code) that get executed when a blob is stored to do various functions or tasks. Here is an overview of blob events and a quick start from Microsoft here.

 

Keep in mind that not all blob and object storage are the same, a good example is Microsoft Azure that has page, block and append blobs. Append blobs are similar to what you might be familiar with other services objects. Here is a Microsoft overview of various Azure blobs including what to use when.

Project Honolulu and Windows Server Enhancements

Microsoft has evolved from command prompt (e.g. early MSDOS) to GUI with Windows to command line extending into PowerShell that left some thinking there is no longer need for GUI. Even though Microsoft has extended its CLI with PowerShell spanning WIndows platforms and Azure, along with adding Linux command shell, there are those who still want or need a GUI. Project Honolulu is the effort to bring GUI based management back to Windows in a simplified way for what had been headless, and desktop less deployments (e.g. Nano, Server Core). Microsoft had Server Management Tools (SMT) accessible via the Azure Portal which has been discontinued.

 

Microsoft Project Honolulu management via Microsoft.com
Project Honolulu Image via Microsoft.com

 

This is where project Honolulu comes into play for managing Windows Server platforms. What this means is that for those who dont want to rely on or have a PowerShell dependency have an alternative option. Learn more about Project Honolulu here and here, including download the public preview here.

Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) Kepler Appliance

Data Infrastructure  provider DataOn has announced a new turnkey Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) powered Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (e.g. productization of project Kepler-47) solution with two node small form factor servers (partner with MSI). How small? Think suitcase or airplane roller board carry on luggage size.

 

What this means is that you can get into the converged, hyper-converged software defined storage game with Windows-based servers supporting Hyper-V virtual machines (Windows and Linux) including hardware for around $10,000 USD (varies by configuration and other options).

Azure and Microsoft Networking News

Speaking of Microsoft Azure public cloud, ever wonder what the network that enables the service looks like and some of the software defined networking (SDN) along with network virtualization function (NFV) objectives are, have a look at this piece from over at Data Center Knowledge.

 

In related Windows, Azure and other focus areas, Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius have completed the installation of a high-capacity subsea cable (network) to cross the atlantic ocean. Whats so interesting from a data infrastructure, cloud or legacy server storage I/O and data center focus perspective? The new network was built by the combined companies vs. in the past by a Telco provider consortium with the subsequent bandwidth sold or leased to others.

 

This new network is also 4,000 miles long including in depths of 11,000 feet, supports with current optics 160 terabits (e.g. 20 TeraBytes) per second capable of supporting 71 million HD videos streamed simultaneous. To put things into perspective, some residential Fiber Optic services can operate best case up to 1 gigabit per second (line speed) and in an asymmetrical fashion (faster download than uploads). Granted there are some 10 Gbit based services out there more common with commercial than residential. Simply put, there is a large amount of bandwidth increased across the atlantic for Microsoft and Facebook to support growing demands.

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

Microsoft announced a new release of Windows Server at Ignite as part of its new semi-annual release cycle. This latest version of Windows server is optimized for containers. In addition to Windows server enhancements, Microsoft continues to extend Azure and related technologies for public, private and hybrid cloud as well as software defined data infrastructures.

 

By the way, if you have not heard, its Blogtober, check out some of the other blogs and posts occurring during October here.

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.
Gs

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

 

Dell EMC VMware September 2017 Software Defined Data Infrastructure Updates

 

vmworld 2017

 

September was a busy month including VMworld  in Las Vegas that featured many Dell EMC VMware (among other)  software defined data infrastructure updates and announcements.

 

A summary of September VMware (and partner) related announcements include:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/vmware-cloud-on-aws-now-available/

VMware on AWS via Amazon.com
VMware and AWS via Amazon Web Services

 

VMware and AWS

Some of you might recall VMware earlier attempt at public cloud with vCloud Air service (see Server StorageIO lab test drive here) which has since been depreciated (e.g. retired). This new approach by VMware leverages the large global presence of AWS enabling customers to set up public or hybrid vSphere, vSAN and NSX based clouds, as well as software defined data centers (SDDC) and software defined data infrastructures (SDDI).

 

VMware Cloud on AWS exists on a dedicated, single-tenant (unlike Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) multi-tenant instances or VMs) that supports from 4 to 16 underlying host per cluster. Unlike EC2 virtual machine instances, VMware Cloud on AWS is delivered on elastic bare-metal (e.g. dedicated private servers aka DPS). Note AWS EC2 is more commonly known, AWS also has other options for server compute including Lambda micro services serverless containers, as well as Lightsail virtual private servers (VPS).

 

Besides servers with storage optimized I/O featuring low latency NVMe accessed SSDs, and applicable underlying server I/O networking, VMware Cloud on AWS leverages the VMware software stack directly on underlying host servers (e.g. there is no virtualization nesting taking place). This means more robust performance should be expected like in your on premise VMware environment. VM workloads can move between your onsite VMware systems and VMware Cloud on AWS using various tools. The VMware Cloud on AWS is delivered and managed by VMware, including pricing. Learn more about VMware Cloud on AWS here, and here (VMware PDF) and here (VMware Hands On Lab aka HOL).

 

Read more about AWS September news and related updates here in this StorageIOblog post.

 

VMware PKS
VMware and Pivotal PKS via VMware.com

Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and Google Kubernetes Partnership

During VMworld VMware, Pivotal and Google announced a partnership for enabling Kubernetes container management called PKS (Pivotal Container Service). Kubernetes is evolving as a popular open source container microservice serverless management orchestration platform that has roots within Google. What this means is that what is good for Google and others for managing containers, is now good for VMware and Pivotal. In related news, VMware has become a platinum sponsor of the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF). If you are not familiar with CNCF, add it to your vocabulary and learn more here at www.cncf.io.

Other VMworld and September VMware related announcements

Hyper converged data infrastructure provider Maxta has announced a VMware vSphere Escape Pod (parachute not included ) to facilitate migration from ESXi based  to Red Hat Linux hypervisor environments. IBM and VMware for cloud partnership, along with Dell EMC, IBM and VMware joint cloud solutions. White listing of VMware vSphere VMs for enhanced security combine with earlier announced capabilities.

 

Note that both VMware with vSphere ESXi and Microsoft with Hyper-V (Windows and Azure based) are supporting various approaches for securing Virtual Machines (VMs) and the hosts they run on. These enhancements are moving beyond simply encrypting the VMDK or VHDX virtual disks the VMs reside in or use, as well as more than password, ssh and other security measures. For example Microsoft is adding support for host guarded fabrics (and machine hosts) as well as shielded VMs. Keep an eye on how both VMware and Microsoft extend the data protection and security capabilities for software defined data infrastructures for their solutions and services.

Dell EMC Announcements

At VMworld in September Dell EMC announcements included:

  • Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) and Hybrid Cloud enhancements
  • Data Protection, Goverence and Management suite updates
  • XtremIO X2 all flash array (AFA) availability optimized for vSphere and VDI

 

HCI and Hybrid Cloud enhancements include VxRail Appliance, VxRack SDDC (vSphere 6.5, vSAN 6.6, NSX 6.3) along with hybrid cloud platforms (Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and Native Hybrid Cloud) along with vSAN Ready Nodes (vSAN 6.6 and encryption) and VMware Ready System. Note that Dell EMC in addition to supporting VMware hybrid clouds also previously announced solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack back in May.

 

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials at VMworld Bookstore

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Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) at VMworld bookstore

 

My new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) made its public debut in the VMware book store where I did a book signing event. You can get your copy of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials which includes Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC) along with hybrid, multi-cloud, serverless, converged and related topics at Amazon among other venues. Learn more here.

 

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

A year ago at VMworld the initial conversations were started around what would become the VMware Cloud on AWS solution. Also a year ago besides VMware Integrated Containers (VIC) and some other pieces, the overall container and in particular related management story was a bit cloudy (pun intended). However, now the fog and cloud seem to be clearing with the PKS solution, along with details of VMware Cloud on AWS. Likewise vSphere, vSAN and NSX along with associated vRealize tools continue to evolve as well as customer deployment growing. All in all, VMware continues to evolve, let's see how things progress now over the year until the next VMworld.

 

By the way, if you have not heard, its Blogtober, check out some of the other blogs and posts occurring during October here.

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.
  Cheers Gs

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

Amazon Web Service AWS September 2017 Software Defined Data Infrasture Updates

 

September was a busy month pertaining to   software defined data infrastructure including cloud and related AWS announcements. One of the announcements included VMware partnering to deliver vSphere, vSAN and NSX data infrastructure components for creating software defined data centers (SDDC) also known as multi cloud, and hybrid cloud leveraging AWS elastic bare metal servers (read more here in a companion post). Unlike traditional partner software defined solutions that relied on AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) instances, VMware is being deployed using private bare metal AWS elastic servers.

 

What this means is that VMware vSphere (e.g. ESXi) hypervisor, vCenter, software defined storage (vSAN), storage defined network (NSX) and associated vRealize tools are deployed on AWS data infrastructure that can be used for deploying hybrid software defined data centers (e.g. connecting to your existing VMware environment). Learn more about VMware on AWS here or click on the following image.

 

VMware on AWS via Amazon.com

Additional AWS Updates

Amazon Web Services (AWS) updates include, coinciding with VMworld, the initial availability of VMware on AWS (using virtual private servers e.g. think along the lines of Lightsail, not EC2 instances) was announced. Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues its expansion into database and table services with Relational Data Services (RDS) including various engines (Amazon Auora,MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL,and SQL Server along with Database Migration Service (DMS). Note that these RDS are in addition to what you can install and run your self on Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) virtual machine instances, Lambda serverless containers, or Lightsail Virtual Private Servers (VPS).

 

AWS has published a guide to database testing on Amazon RDS for Oracle plotting latency and IOPs for OLTP workloads here using SLOB. If you are not familiar with SLOB (Silly Little Oracle Benchmark) here is a podcast with its creator Kevin Closson discussing database performance and related topics. Learn more about SLOB and step by step installation for AWS RDS Oracle here, and for those who are concerned or think that you can not run workloads to evaluate Oracle platforms, have a look at this here.

 

EC2 enhancements include charging by the second (previous by the hour) for some EC2 instances (see details here including what is or is not currently available) which is a growing trend by private cloud vendors aligning with how serverless containers have been billed. New large memory EC2 instances that for example support up to 3,904GB of DDR4 RAM have been added by AWS. Other EC2 enhancements include updated network performance for some instances, OpenCL development environment to leverage AWS F1 FPGA enabled instances, along with new Elastic GPU enabled instances. Other server and network enhancements include Network Load Balancer for Elastic Load Balancer announced, as well as application load balancer now supports load balancing to IP address as targets for AWS and on premises (e.g. hybrid) resources.

 

Other updates and announces include data protection backups to AWS via Commvault and AWS Storage Gateway VTL announced. IBM has announced their Spectrum Scale  (e.g. formerly known as SONAS aka GPFS) Scale Out Storage solution for high performance compute (HPC) quick start on AWS. Additional AWS enhancements include new edge location in Boston and a third Seattle site, while Direct Connect sites have been added in Boston and Houston along with Canberra Australia. View more AWS announcements and enhancements here.

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

AWS continues to grow and expand, both in terms of number of services, also the extensiveness of them. Likewise AWS continues to add more regions and data center availability zones, enhanced connectivity, along with earlier mentioned service features. The partnership with VMware should enable enterprise organizations to move towards hybrid cloud data infrastructures, while giving AWS an additional reach into those data centers. Overall a good set of enhancements by AWS who continues to evolve their cloud and software defined data infrastructure portfolio of solution offerings.

 

By the way, if you have not heard, its Blogtober, check out some of the other blogs and posts occurring during October here.

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.
Gs

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

 

Microsoft has created an Azure and Amazon Web Service (AWS) Service Map  (corresponding services from both providers).
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/cloud-service-map-for-aws-and-azure-available-now/

Azure AWS service map via Microsoft.com
Image via Azure.Microsoft.com

 

Note that this is an evolving work in progress from  Microsoft and use it as a tool to help position the different services from  Azure and AWS.

 

Also note that not all features or services may not be available in different regions, visit Azure and AWS sites to see current availability.

 

As with any comparison they are often dated the day they are  posted hence this is a work in progress. If you are looking for another Microsoft  created why Azure vs. AWS then check out this here. If you  are looking for an AWS vs. Azure, do a simple Google (or Bing) search and watch  all the various items appear, some sponsored, some not so sponsored among  others.

Whats In the Service Map

The following AWS and Azure services are mapped:

  • Marketplace (e.g. where you select service offerings)
  • Compute (Virtual Machines instances, Containers, Virtual Private Servers, Serverless Microservices and Management)
  • Storage (Primary, Secondary, Archive, Premium SSD and HDD, Block, File, Object/Blobs, Tables, Queues,  Import/Export, Bulk transfer, Backup, Data Protection, Disaster Recovery, Gateways)
  • Network & Content Delivery (Virtual networking, virtual private networks and virtual private cloud, domain name services (DNS), content delivery network (CDN), load balancing, direct connect, edge, alerts)
  • Database (Relational, SQL and NoSQL document and key value, caching, database migration)
  • Analytics and Big Data (data warehouse, data lake, data processing, real-time and batch, data orchestration, data platforms, analytics)
  • Intelligence and IoT (IoT hub and gateways, speech recognition, visualization, search, machine learning, AI)
  • Management and Monitoring (management, monitoring, advisor, DevOps)
  • Mobile Services (management, monitoring, administration)
  • Security, Identity and Access (Security, directory services, compliance, authorization, authentication, encryption, firewall
  • Developer Tools (workflow, messaging, email, API management, media trans coding, development tools, testing, DevOps)
  • Enterprise Integration (application integration, content management)

 

Down load a PDF version of the service map from Microsoft  here.

Where To Learn More

 

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

 

What this means

On one hand this can and will likely be used as a comparison however use caution as both Azure and AWS services are rapidly evolving, adding new features, extending others. Likewise the service regions and site of data centers also continue to evolve thus use the above as a general guide or tool to help map what service offerings are similar between AWS and Azure.

 

By the way, if you have not heard, its Blogtober, check out some of the other blogs and posts occurring during October here.

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.
Gs

Server StorageIO Industry Resources and Links

Volume 17, Issue IX (September 2017)

Hello and welcome to the September 2017 issue of the Server StorageIO update newsletter.

With September being generally known as back to school month, the two September event bookends were VMware VMworld and Microsoft Ignite with many other things in between.

 

Needless to say, a lot has happened in and around data infrastructure topic areas since the August newsletter (here if you missed it). Here is a post covering some of the things that I participated with during September including presentations at events in Las Vegas (VMworld), New York City (Wipro SDx Summit), SNIA SDC in Santa Clara, Fujifilm Executive Summitt in Seattle, Minneapolis/St. Paul CMG along with other activities.

 

Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials SDDI SDDC

 

One of the activities I participated in with while at VMworld in Las Vegas was a book signing event at the VMware bookstore of my new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) available at Amazon.com and other global venues.

 

September has been a busy month pertaining data infrastructure including server storage I/O related trends, activities, news, perspectives and related topics, so let's have a look at them.

In This Issue

Enjoy this edition of the Server StorageIO data infrastructure update newsletter.

Cheers GS

Data Infrastructure and IT Industry Activity Trends

Some recent Industry Activities, Trends, News and Announcements include:

The month started out with VMworld in Las Vegas (e.g. one of the event bookends for the month). Rather than a long list of announcements in this newsletter, check out this StorageIOblog post covering VMworld, VMware and Dell EMC and related news. As part of VMworld, VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced news about their partnership. AWS also had several other enhancements and new product announcements during september that can be found in this StorageIOblog post here.

 

AWS, Dell EMC and VMware were not the only ones making news or announcements during September. Startup NVMe based storage startup Apeiron has announced a Splunk appliance to boost log and analytics processing performance. Gigamon has extended its public cloud monitoring, insight awareness and analytics capabilities including support for Microsoft Azure.

For those looking for the latest new emerging data infrastructure vendors to watch, add Vexta to your list of NVMe based storage systems. Vexta talks a lot about NVMe particular for their backend (e.g. where data stored on NVM based devices accessed via NVMe),  access of their storage system is via traditional Fibre Channel (FC) or emerging NVMe over fabric.

 

Long time data infrastructure server and storage vendor HDS (Hitachi Data Systems) is no more (at least in name) having re branded themselves as Vantara focusing on IoT and Cloud analytics besides their traditional data center focus. Vantara combines what was HDS, Hitachi Insight Group and Pentaho into a single unit effectively based in what was HDS as a new, repackaged, refocused business unit.

 

Another longtime data infrastructure solution and service provider IBM announced a new Linux only zSeries (ZED) mainframe solution. Some might think the Mainframe is dead, others that it can only run Linux as a virtual guest in a virtual machine. On the other hand some might recall that there are native Linux implementations on the ZED including Ubuntu among others.

 

Also note that while IBM zOS mainframe operating systems use FICON for storage access, native ZED Linux systems can use open systems based Fibre Channel (FC) e.g. SCSI command set protocols. Is the ZED based Linux for everybody or every environment? Probably not, however for those who have large-scale Linux needs, it might be worth a look to do a total cost of ownership analysis. If nothing else, do your homework, play your cards right and you might have some leverage with the x86 based server crowd when it comes to negotiating leverage.

 

Cloud storage gateway vendor Nasuni has landed another $38 Million USD in funding, hopefully that will enable them to start landing some new and larger customer revenues growing their business. Meanwhile storage startup Qumulo has announced extending their global file fabric name space to include spanning AWS.

 

Attala Systems has announced next generation software defined storage for data infrastructures for Telco environments. Percona has added an experimental release of their MySQL engine enhancing performance for high volume, write intensive workloads along with improved cost effectiveness.
   
Software defined storage vendor Datacore announced enhancements to support fast databases for online transaction processing (OLTP) along with analytics. Meanwhile Linux provider SUSE continues to expand its software defined storage story based around Ceph. Panasas has enhanced its scale out high performance cluster file system global name space for HPC environments with 20 PByte support. Another longtime storage vendor X-IO (formerly known as Xiotech) announced their 4th generation of their Intelligent Storage Element (ISE).

 

September wrapped up with Microsoft Ignite conference along with many updated, enhancements and new features for Azure, Azure Stack, Windows among others. Read more about those and other Microsoft September announcements here in this StorageIOblog post.

Check out other industry news, comments, trends perspectives here.

Server StorageIO Commentary in the news

Recent Server StorageIO industry trends perspectives commentary in the news.

Via CDW: Comments on Is Your Network About To Fail?
Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Data Storage and Big Data Analytics
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on Cloud FOMO (Fear of missing out)
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on Building a Modern Data Strategy
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on the future of Multi-Cloud Computing
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on AI, Machine Learning and Data management
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on Your riskiest data might be in plain sight
    Via InfoGoto: Comments on Data Management Too Much To Handle
  Via InfoGoto: Comments on Google Cloud Platform Gaining Data Storage Momentum
  Via InfoGoto: Comments on Singapore High Rise Data Centers
  Via InfoGoto: Comments on New Tape Storage Capacity
  Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on 8 ways to save on cloud storage
  Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Google Cloud Platform and Storage

View more Server, Storage and I/O trends and perspectives comments here

Server StorageIOblog Posts

Recent and popular Server StorageIOblog posts include:

In Case You Missed It #ICYMI

View other recent as well as past StorageIOblog posts here

Server StorageIO Data Infrastructure Tips and Articles

Recent Server StorageIO industry trends perspectives commentary in the news.

Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Who Will Rule the Storage World?
Via InfoGoto: Comments on Google Cloud Platform Gaining Data Storage Momentum
Via InfoGoto: Comments on Singapore High Rise Data Centers
Via InfoGoto: Comments on New Tape Storage Capacity
Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on 8 ways to save on cloud storage
Via EnterpriseStorageForum: Comments on Google Cloud Platform and Storage

View more Server, Storage and I/O trends and perspectives comments here

Server StorageIO Recommended Reading (Watching and Listening) List

In addition to my own books including Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press 2017), the following are Server StorageIO recommended reading, watching and listening list items. The list includes various IT, Data Infrastructure and related topics.

 

Intel Recommended Reading List (IRRL) for developers is a good resource to check out.

Its October which means that it is also  Blogtober, check out some of the blogs and posts occurring during October here.

 

Preston De Guise aka @backupbear is Author of several books has an interesting new site Foolsrushin.info that looks at topics including Ethics in IT among others. Check out his new book Data Protection: Ensuring Data Availability (CRC Press 2017).

 

Brendan Gregg has a great site for Linux performance related topics here.

 

Greg Knieriemen has a must read weekly blog, post, column collection of whats going on in and around the IT and data infrastructure related industries, Check it out here.

 

Interested in file systems, CIFS, SMB, SAMBA and related topics then check out Chris Hertels book on implementing CIFS here at Amazon.com

 

For those involved with VMware, check out Frank Denneman VMware vSphere 6.5 host resource guide-book here at Amazon.com.

 

I often mention in presentations a must have for anybody involved with software defined anything, or programming for that matter which is the Niklaus Wirth classic Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs that you can get on Amazon.com here.

 

Another great book to have is Seven Databases in Seven Weeks which not only provides an overview of popular NoSQL databases such as Cassandra, Mongo, HBASE among others, lots of good examples and hands on guides. Get your copy here at Amazon.com.

 

Watch for more more items to be added to the book shelf soon.

Events and Activities

Recent and upcoming event activities.

Nov. 2, 2017 - Webinar - Modern Data Protection for Hyper-Convergence
Sep. 21, 2017 - MSP CMG - Minneapolis MN
Sep. 20, 2017 - Webinar - BC, DR and Business Resiliency (BR) tips
Sep. 14, 2017 - Fujifilm IT Executive Summit - Seattle WA
Sep. 12, 2017 - SNIA Software Developers Conference (SDC) - Santa Clara CA
Sep. 7, 2017 - Wipro SDX - Enabling, Planning Your Software Defined Journey
August 28-30, 2017 - VMworld - Las Vegas

See more webinars and activities on the Server StorageIO Events page here.

Useful links and pages:
Microsoft TechNet - Various Microsoft related from Azure to Docker to Windows
storageio.com/links - Various industry links (over 1,000 with more to be added soon)
objectstoragecenter.com - Cloud and object storage topics, tips and news items
OpenStack.org - Various OpenStack related items
storageio.com/downloads - Various presentations and other download material
storageio.com/protect - Various data protection items and topics
thenvmeplace.com - Focus on NVMe trends and technologies
thessdplace.com - NVM and Solid State Disk topics, tips and techniques
storageio.com/converge - Various CI, HCI and related SDS topics
storageio.com/performance - Various server, storage and I/O  benchmark and tools
VMware Technical Network - Various VMware related items

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Cheers
Gs

Hot Popular New Trending Data Infrastructure Vendors To Watch

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

A common question I get asked is who are the hot popular new or trending data infrastructure vendors to watch.

 

Keep in mind that there is a difference between industry adoption and customer deployment, the former being what the industry (e.g.  Vendors, resellers, integrators, investors, consultants, analyst, press, media, analysts, bloggers or other influences) like, want and need to talk about. Then there is customer adoption and deployment which is what is being bought, installed and used.

 

Some Popular Trending Vendors To Watch

The following is far from an exhaustive list however here are some that come to mind that I'm watching.

Apcera – Enterprise class containers and management tools
    AWS – Rolls our new services like a startup with size momentum of a legacy player
    Blue Medora – Data Infrastructure insight, software defined management
    Broadcom – Avago/LSI, legacy Broadcom, Emulex, Brocade acquisition interesting portfolio
    Chelsio – Server, storage and data Infrastructure I/O technologies
    Commvault - Data protection and backup solutions
    Compuverde – Software defined storage
    Data Direct Networks (DDN) – Scale out and high performance storage
    Datadog – Software defined management, data infrastructure insight, analytics, reporting
    Datrium – Converged software defined data infrastructure solutions
    Dell EMC Code –  Rexray container persistent storage management
    Docker – Container and management tools
    E8 Storage – NVMe based storage solutions
    Elastifile – Scale out software defined storage and file system
    Enmotus - MicroTiering that works with Windows, Linux and various cloud platforms
    Everspin - storage class memories and NVDIMM
    Excelero – NVMe based storage
    Hedvig – Scale out software defined storage
    Huawei – While not common in the US, in Europe and elsewhere they are gaining momentum
    Intel – Watch what they do with Optane and storage class memories
    Kubernetes – Container software defined management
    Liqid – Stealth Colorado startup focusing on PCIe fabrics and composable infrastructure
    Maxta – Hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) and software defined data infrastructure vendor
    Mellanox – While not a startup, keep an eye on what they are doing with their adapters
    Micron – Watch what they do with 3D XPoint storage class memory and SSD
    Microsoft – Not a  startup, however keep an eye on Azure, Azure Stack, Window Server with S2D,  ReFS, tiering, CI/HCI as well as Linux services on Windows.
    Minio – Software defined storage solutions
    NetApp – While FAS/Ontap and Solidfire get the headlines, E series generates revenue, keep an eye on StorageGrid and AltaVault
    Neuvector – Container management and security
    Noobaa – Software defined storage and more
  NVIDA – No longer just another graphics process unit based company
    Pivot3 – An original HCI software defined players, granted, some of their competitors might not think so
    Pluribus Networks – Software Defined Networks for Software Defined Data Infrastructures
    Portwork – Container management and persistent storage
    Rozo Systems – Scale out software defined storage and file system
    Rubrik – Data Protection software, reminds me of a startup called Commvault 20 years ago.
    ScaleMP – Composable scale out software defined servers
    Storpool – Scale out software defined storage
    Stratoscale – Software defined data infrastructure and hybrid solutions
    SUSE – Linux distribution looking to expand their offerings, gain more insight
    Tidalscale – Composable software defined data infrastructures
    Turbonomic – Software Defined Management, insight, analytics and automation
    Ubuntu – Known for their Linux distribution, check out their Metal as a Service (MaaS) technology
    Veeam – Data protection and backup solutions
technology
    Virtuozzo – Software defined storage and data infrastructure technologies
    VMware - AWS, vSAN, NSX, Integrated Containers and much more
    WekaIO – Scale out software defined storage and file system

Some Popular Trending Technology Trends

  • ARM, ASIC, FPGA, GPU servers among others
  • Converged Infrastructure (CI), Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), Composable Infrastructure
  • Analytics, reporting, insight, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), automation
  • Software Defined including Cloud, Virtual, Containers, Docker, kubernetes, mesos, serverless, micro services
  • Data protection, backup/restore, archive, security, business resiliency (BR), business continuance (BC), disaster recovery (DR)
  • Non-volatile memory (NMV), NVM Express (NVMe), storage class memories (SCM), persistent memory, nand flash, SSD

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

Data Infrastructures Protect Preserve Secure and Serve Information
  Various IT and Cloud Infrastructure Layers including Data Infrastructures

What This All Means

There are always more hot popular new or trending data infrastructure vendors to watch, which ones are you keeping an eye on?

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.
Gs

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

Getting Caught Up, What Happened In September?

 

Seems like just yesterday it was the end of August with the start of VMworld in Las Vegas, now its the end of September and Microsoft Ignite in Orlando is wrapping up. Microsoft has made several announcements this week at Ignite including Azure cloud related, AI, IoT, Windows platforms, O365 among others. More about Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack, Windows Server, Hyper-V and related data infrastructure topics in future posts.

 

Like many of you, September is a busy time of the year, so here is a recap of some of what I have been doing for the past month (among other things).

 

vmworld 2017

VMworld Las Vegas

 

During VMworld US VMware announced enhanced workspace, security and endpoint solutionsPivotal Container Service (PKS) with Google for Kubernetes serverless container management, DXC partnership for hybrid cloud management, security enablement via its AppDefense solutions, data infrastructure platform enhancements including integrated OpenStack, vRealize management tools, vSAN among others. VMware also made announcements including expanded multi-cloud and hybrid cloud support along with VMware on AWS as well as Dell EMC data protection for VMware and AWS environments.

 

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Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) at VMworld bookstore

 

In other VMworld activity, my new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) made its public debut in the VMware book store where I did a book signing event. You can get your copy of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials which includes Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC) along with hybrid, multi-cloud, serverless, converged and related topics at Amazon among other venues. Learn more here.

 

Software Defined Everything

In early September I was invited to present at the Wipro Software Defined Everything event in New York City. This event follows Wipro invited me to present at in London England this past January at the inaugural SDx Summit event. At the New York City event my presentation was Planning and Enabling Your Journey to SDx which bridged the higher level big picture industry trends to the applied feet on the ground topics. Attendees of the event included customers, prospects, partners, various analyst firms along with Wipro personal.

 

At the Wipro event during a panel discussion a question was asked about definition of software defined. After the usual vendor and industry responses, mine was a simple, put the emphasis on Define as opposed to software, with a focus on what is the resulting outcome. In other words how and what are you defining (e.g. x) which could be storage, server, data center, data infrastructure, network among others to make a particular result, outcome, service or capability. While the emphasis is around defined, that also can mean curate, compose, craft, program or whatever you prefer to create an outcome.

 

Image via snia.org

Role of Storage in a Software Defined Data Infrastructure

 

At the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) Storage  Developers Conference (SDC) in Santa Clara I did a talk about the role of  Storage in Software Defined Data Infrastructures. The theme was that not only  is there a role, storage is fundamental and essential for any software defined  data infrastructure (as well as legacy) from cloud to container, serverless to  virtual servers, converged and hybrid among others. Other themes included the changing role of storage along  with how hardware needs software, software needs hardware, and serverless has  hardware and software somewhere in the stack. Tradecraft along with other related data infrastructure topics were also discussed.

 

Data Infrastructures Protect Preserve Secure and Serve Information
Various IT and Cloud Infrastructure Layers including Data Infrastructures

 

While promoted as an event for  storage developers by storage developers, based on a lot of the content  presented, SNIA could easily increase attendance to a broader audience with  some slight tweaks as well as messaging. If SNIA is looking to focus the event only for vendor  storage developers, surprise surprise, there were developers there, however I  also talked with IT customers who were there among other non developers.  SDC IMHO is not a replacement for SNW, however with some simple  adjustments in messaging from who shouldn't attend to who should or could attend, more  attendees and sponsors might just happen appear.

 

Check out the SNIA SDC presentations here, along with my presentation from the 2017 event here (among others).

 

tape and cloud storage

Tape in a Software Defined and Hybrid Cloud World

 

I was invited by Fujifilm to present at their recent  9th annual executive summit in Seattle. The Fujifilm event was attended by various partners, customers and industry folks covering a diverse set of topics. Focus areas spanned from legacy IT to hyper-scale to public cloud and High-Performance  Compute (HPC) among others. Magnetic Tape (e.g. tape) may be going away from your data center,  however, chances are if you are doing or storing things in the cloud, your data may end up on tape. In other words, not only does tape continue to evolve, its place and how used (as well as accessed) is also changing. Check out the  Fujifilm site here where you can scroll down and check out mine and other  presentations from the event.

 

Focus on Data Protection (and recovery)

 

September also saw  hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes, and acts of natural events, to man-made accidental as well as intentional including software-defined threats such as ransomware, malware, virus, Equifax data information breaches, leaks, loss among other security concerns. A reminder that there are the headline-making news events, as well as those that may be more common yet not widely talked about. What this means is that big or small, full or partial damage, destruction, loss or loss of access, data protection should be proactive to enable recovery instead of an afterthought.

 

Think of data protection as an investment instead of cost overhead, however that also means finding ways to spread costs out while gaining more benefit. Also remember that if something can occur, fail or happen, it probably will. In other words, the question should not be if, rather when, with what impact. This also means evolving from backup/restore, disaster recovery to business resiliency that enables your applications and data to stay available as well as accessible. In other words, how well are you prepared?

Additional data protection related topics and content include:

 

Expanding Your Data Infrastructure Tradecraft

 

At the September Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) Computer  Measurement Group (CMG) event, I gave a presentation discussing industry trends  perspectives, buzzword bingo updates including software defined, NVM (the media) vs. NVMe (the interface) benchmarking, tools, cloud,  serverless and tradecraft. Tradecraft as a refresher are those skills and  fundamental experiences you acquire over time including what tools, techniques  to use for different scenarios.

 

As part of the CMG presentation, the discussion  looked at expanding your data infrastructure tradecraft into adjacent areas around  your current focus. Also discussed were the importance of context as different  words have two or more meanings. For example SAS can mean Scandinavian Air  System, Statistics Analysis Software the original unstructured and big data  tool, as well as for storage Serial Attached SCSI. However there is another  meaning for SAS which spans server, storage, networking, cloud, security and  other focus areas which is Shared Access Signature.

 

Downloads the CMG and other  presentations from the Server StorageIO website here.

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

The above are some of the things I was involved with during September with themes of data infrastructure, data protection, software defined cloud, virtual, serverless containers, servers, storage, I/O networking, SSD including NVMe, performance and capacity planning, metrics that matter, management among other topics. It was great meeting many new people at the various venues this past month, likewise seeing old acquaintances and friends. Also thanks to all who have ordered copies of my new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials along with your comments. Check out the Server StorageIO data infrastructure update newsletter for other related activity, industry trends among other topics. Now lets see how fast October and the rest of 2017 goes.

 

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Gs