April 28, 2015

Computer History

Considering the history of computing, from the enterprise to the home.

Musing: Could We Replace Ethernet With PCIe?

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Greg “EtherealMind” Ferro recently “mused” that it might be a good idea to replace PCI Express (PCIe) inside servers or rack-scale infrastructure with Ethernet. But this seems to be the exact opposite of the direction the industry is headed. Rather than replacing PCIe with Ethernet, companies like Intel seem set on replacing short-range Ethernet (in rack-scale systems) with PCIe!

vSphere 6: NFS 4.1 Finally Has a Use?

VMware has adopted NFS 4.1

Way back in the 1990’s, UNIX admins delighted in upgrading from NFSv2 to NFSv3. Then NFSv4 came around and … crickets. Now VMware has become the first major/useful/mainstream application for NFSv4.1, so the floodgates are open! But are they?

New England Takes On Seattle To Determine Who’s Number 2 … In Tech!

SVCIP R&D Map

Although New England ought to win that big football game, they’re losing when it comes to innovation and technology. Seattle and Austin are gaining rapidly, and Massachusetts has itself to blame thanks to oppressive non-compete clauses and the threat of litigation. As for Tech Field Day, look for us to return to Silicon Valley for seven of our nine full events in 2015. At least now you know why!

NexGen Storage is Back!

NexGen Storage announced their acquisition by Fusion-io at Storage Field Day 3 on April 24, 2013

The re-birth of NexGen Storage is surprising to be sure, but it’s a positive move for the industry. Competition is good, especially when it comes from folks who know how to “do” storage. And the world of midrange storage just got a strong new competitor!

A Fairy Tale of Two Storage Protocols

This is a tale of two great kingdoms in Seattle...

It’s clear how this fairy tale ends. So many companies are using “S3 plus” as their standard interface, and even inside their solutions, that it’s safe to say it’s won the cloud storage API battle. But S3 isn’t a finalized spec – the industry will extend and improve it over the coming years. Soon we’ll have a cloud storage standard based on S3, just like we have a LAN file services standard based on CIFS.

Cloud Without Virtualization

Gigaom Structure 2014

Lots of folks conflate cloud computing and virtualization, but these are not necessarily intrinsically related. Although most cloud servers today use a hypervisor like KVM or Xen to share compute hardware, there’s no reason it has to be this way. My takeaway from Gigaom Structure this week is that an alternative paradigm is emerging: Cloud without […]

Why OpenStack Doesn’t Need Fibre Channel Support

Hey! It's J and I drawing unicorns!

Last week, J Metz penned an article entitled “Thoughts on #OpenStack and Software-Defined Storage” in which he argues (rightly) that OpenStack Cinder should take storage networks into account and also (wrongly) that it should also encompass existing protocols such as “the 11 Billion ports of Fibre Channel that currently exist as part of a holistic […]

Is Storage the Killer App for Software-Defined Networking?

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) has always looked a bit like a solution in search of a problem, at least in the enterprise data center. But there are lots of potential applications that need a dynamic and scalable network. In my mind, storage is chief among these, since scalability and flexibility has always been extremely difficult to achieve.

Infographic: Datacenter History In Lego

Infographic: Datacenter History in Lego

You might remember my October post, Datacenter History: Through the Ages in Lego. Now it’s available as a handy infographic, thanks to my friend Aditya Vempaty of Coho Data. It’s pretty cool how this turned out – I think he’s got a real talent for this kind of thing!

Datacenter History: Through the Ages in Lego

A modern datacenter, complete with an EMC VMAX, Juniper router, and rackmount servers

Readers of my blog know that I love computer history. Therefore, I decided to focus my entry in Juniper Networks’ “Build the Best (Lego) Data Center” contest on the history of computing. Specifically, I would re-create key historic machines to contrast them with a modern view.