Change is in the Air

As the old saying goes, nothing stays the same. As for me, another page will soon be turning in my professional career. I’ve decided to move on from my current role to pursue another opportunity that has come my way.

The IT landscape is changing fast and new skill sets are being formed rapidly. I’ve always told myself that you need to constantly be raising the bar on your technical knowledge to stay ahead of curve and deliver solid solutions for your organization. With this new role I will have the ability to do this and develop in several new areas.

Staying on the customer side allows me to continue my VMUG leadership in Minneapolis and Rochester Minnesota. I really enjoy running these two user groups since I am very passionate about VMware technology and firmly believe that they are moving the software defined datacenter in the right direction.

I’ve been doing virtualization work now for about 10 years and the innovation that VMware is doing is just remarkable. Just when you think that they are going to rest on their laurels, they start breaking down the walls again to move companies forward in new and exciting directions.

I am really looking forward to working at the new location and will be announcing it late next week….


Virtualization Field Day 3 Fast Approaching

Coming up on March 5th through the 7th is the infamous Tech Field Day event – Virtualization Field Day 3!

This event will be held in San Jose, California and will feature a number of great presenters in the virtualization space (as well as storage) which is fast becoming an integral part of the ecosystem (along side of the SDN component).

Atlantis Computing will be there. Their product lines revolve around the VDI space and have solutions for VMware, Citrix and a very unique product known as the ILIO Center that can fully automate deployments. I will be very interested to hear more and hopefully see this product in action during the presentation.

Cloud Physics is scheduled to be there as well to talk about their analytics for datacenter operations. Being a technologist that loves the SaaS/PaaS world as much as the virtualization space, I am looking forward to hearing more about this offering and getting a look at how they analyze the infrastructure. Especially from a vCloud Hybrid Service perspective.

Coho Data, who I just saw at the last Storage Field Day will also be presenting. Their scaling model is fundamentally different from anything else out in the storage market today. The use of software network scaling to meet storage demand is a very unique. More on this as it pertains to virtualization after we meet with them.

Spirent will be presenting as well and I am very interested to hear more about their solutions in the virtualization space. As a result of some quick research, they have a number of solutions that revolve around performance testing with something they call PASS – Performance, Availability, Security & Scale. Look for a write-up about this company shortly after the event!

VMTurbo will most likely show their Hybrid Cloud Control Module that has connectors to AWS & Azure. I will be especially interested in the automation solutions that this product delivers when it comes to private clouds. I also saw that their products are UCS ready which is something I will be sure to have them elaborate on.

The website for this event and live video stream is here and the hashtag on Twitter will be #VFD3 – Add your twitter column now!


Storage Field Day 4 – Overland Storage Preview

I was doing some preliminary research on this company that we will see this week during Storage Field Day 4 and have a few items to cover prior. They have a scale out strategy with their SnapScale NAS solution that has its own operating system called “RAINcloud OS”. The interesting thing about this product is that they put all storage under one namespace and prevents your storage from becoming silo’d allowing for simplified management.

According the the data sheet, the minimum configuration is a 3 node (2u) setup with at least 12 SAS drives per unit for the X4 model (scaling out to 36 total) and 4 drives in the 2X model (scaling out to 12).

Whats interesting about this scaling method is the “limitless” scaling model that they’ve implemented in the array. The documentation show that there is no scaling limitation even though their specifications show a 74 to 512PB limit (probably depending on the model type), but this is something that I am planning to clarify in the presentation and if those are just tested limits or if they will support deployments beyond these figures.

Another area of interest is the way they connect clients to it. Looking through the technical documentation, it looks like each node accepts client communication through that common namespace that distributes the I/O throughout. This makes me wonder that if an entry point were to completely fail, that clients communication would need to be re-established on another node. I am curious to find out the potential impact of that client/server connection and how Overland Storage handles that situation and also how this will affect the 99.999% uptime or if it is seamless. The protocols that they support indicate that routed iSCSI and NFS are a necessity to allow for this type of redundancy, but I will get clarification. Again, these are my assumptions and this is a preliminary post about this product/company.

Of course, my main line of questioning will revolve around the connectivity options to virtualized environments (especially VMware). I see that each chassis has the ability to connect 4x 10GbE and have some questions about the switch configuration, particularly around the aggregation. As always, you can bet that I will bring up cloud based deployments and how they will handle linked-cones.

I am also curious to find out about this SnapEDR technology that they use for replication and what is required for such an implementation.

Also, per the data sheet: I see that they allow for a CLI connection for management! Two thumbs up here.

Of course, I will be the one asking “When will we see CIFS 3.0 and NFS v4 support” if it isn’t addressed in the presentation.

Look for a follow up post on Overland Storage shortly after the presentation at Storage Field Day 4!