Notes from #NTAPInsight 2014

Green Ball

After a partial week at NetApp 2014 Insight US, here are my thoughts:
(full disclosure:  I was a presenter of one session at the conference)
  1. Keynote thought
  2. OnTap 8.3 announcement
  3. Hybrid Cloud
    1. Data is state-ful, unlike (cloud) computing
  4. Data locality
  5. Different UNIX variants – Different Cloud
  6. Laundry services similar to cloud computing (Jay Kidd / NA CTO)
Tom Mendoza (NetApp Vice Chairman) was fantastic in his keynote.  He focused on culture and wanting to build a culture of trust & candor.  CIOs understand every company is going to have issues, the question will be does the CIO of the customer trust the vendor to be there when there is a problem.
Lots of talk about OnTap 8.3 – though the fact that it is RC1 and not GA is disappointing.   Didn’t hear anyone reference that the 8.3 is a Release Candidate.  8.3 provides full feature parity with 7-mode.  There was little discussion about 7-mode, except for how to move off 7-mode (7-mode transition tool).  7-mode transition still appears to be a large effort.  For, 7MTT, the key term is “tool”.
The key focus in the keynotes was “Hybrid Cloud”.  One of the key takeaways is the need for data locality.  The data is ‘state-ful’ as opposed to cloud computing which is ‘stateless’ — in the sense that the resource need can be metered, but data is not.  So, when moving from on-prem to cloud, data would have to be replicated completely between 2.   Or more so, if you are working between clouds, or maybe between clouds in different countries, the full data set has to be replicated.  The concern is that government entities (Snowden effect) will require data to be housed in respective countries.  This now becomes the digital equivalent of import/export laws and regulations.
With the notion of different clouds, it reminds me of all the different UNIX variants.  We had Solaris boxes and we had HP-UX boxes and we had DEC boxes and we struggled moving data between.  Some were big endian, some little endian.  So, binaries were incompatible.
Finally and irreverently during Jay Kidd’s (NetApp CTO) presentation, my mind wandered when thinking about cloud computing analogies.  Never noticed before how metered cloud computing is so much like washing machines at the laundry mat – pay per use.

 

Jim – 10/30/14 @itbycrayon View Jim Surlow's profile on LinkedIn (I don’t accept general LinkedIn invites – but if you say you read my blog, it will change my mind)

Advertisements

Notes from #EMCWorld 2014

Green Ball

After days at EMC World, here’s what sticks out in my mind:
  1. 3rd Platform Paradigm
  2. ViPR (& VMAXce)
  3. Electricity model
  4. Just like school
  5. The Venetian
  6. VMware
  7. Backups
  8. Other folks

Side note:  There was talk of SAP HANA, Hadoop, & Pivotal.  The place that I typically play in is Storage and not that space, so I’m going to ignore their emphasis there.

  1. 3rd Platform — This is at least the 2nd year that EMCWorld has had mention of this and I really like the tie into the concepts from the Innovator’s Dilemna i.e. that there are technology waves and that mobile users and devices are the 3rd wave of consumers, following the 2nd wave, PC users, and 1st wave mainframes.  Emphasis on this, in my opinion is a strength.

  2. ViPR (&VMAXce) — Lots of talk about ViPR 2.0 their abstraction layer & coding into storage.  One of my unknowns was how does EMC ViPR compare with VMware Orchestrator.  Turns out, ViPR needs to talk northbound into the VMware layer or OpenStack Layer while VMware Orchestrator would need to talk southbound to ViPR or directly to arrays.  Last year, there were lots of mentions of VMAXce, this year I didn’t hear anything.  So, VMAXce makes it easier to provision on predetermined tiers and such (Cloud provisioning portal, etc).  If EMC struggled getting that right, how will smaller firms deal with their own coding to do ViPR?

  3. Electricity model for storage models (Utility model) — Dovetailing to the above, one presenter made analogies to the Electricity model.  Right now, it is a utility 110/220V.  Whereas before AC was standard, companies needed their own electricity generation (Singer sewing machines as an example).  So, if the future is to scale, we need less complexity and thus, fewer options.  This ties back to ViPR and also ties into performance based criteria to storage, not just capacity.  Redundancy & Data Protection would be considered as givens.  But, as we can see from #2, it doesn’t appear as simple as it sounds.

  4. Just like school — Spoke to one new attendee to EMCworld and he compared it to school — racing between classes, information overload.  I think one can add parties at night, concert midweek, sleep or bail on the last day of the week (attendance at breakfast this AM was lower and projected to be so).

  5. Las Vegas Venetian / Sand Convention Center — Every year, I’m blown away with the logistics of feeding 15,000 people for breakfast and lunch.  Herd everyone in for breakfast, clean up, truck the stuff out, truck the lunch stuff in, prep the buffet tables, replace table cloths and herd the lunch crowd in.  Very impressive.  (I said in #4 that breakfast this AM, following last night’s concert, was projected to be less — they cut the dining area in half it appeared).

  6. VMware — I always find it interesting that at EMCworld, EMC touts VMware as an integral part of their company (I think they own 80%).  When you talk to VMware staff, they sound independent — as they wish to be storage agnostic.  However, it seems that the cultural differences between the two and other barriers are coming down a bit more.  Seems that VMware is really more a part of EMC than they used to be.

  7. Backups — During one of the backup presentations, there was a nice slide on the data protection spectrum.  Continuous Availability (immediate w/ VPlex), Replication (seconds, w/RPAs), Snapshots (minutes, w/array based), Backups (hours w/Avamar or Networker), Archive (days w/Atmos).  Seeing with those point solutions added clarity.

  8. Other folks in town — While EMCWorld was at the Venetian, I saw that NetApp was at the Aria & I heard that Symantec was at Caesar’s Palace.  I guess the week in Vegas was a temporary tech conference.

Jim – 05/08/14 @itbycrayon View Jim Surlow's profile on LinkedIn 
(I don’t accept general LinkedIn invites – but if you say you read my blog, it will change my mind)