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.


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.


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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.