March 21, 2014

Software-Defined Data Center Symposium, April 22 in Santa Clara, CA

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I’ve written and spoken quite a bit on the “software-defined” future, what it means and how it will come about. Although it seems like a marketing buzzword to some, I feel it is a fairly accurate description of the future of the enterprise and service provider data center. That’s why I’m working to organize the next Software-Defined Data Center Symposium, and am happy to announce that it will be held in Santa Clara, CA on April 22, 2014.

Could The Age of IT Automation Finally Be Here?

Automatic by Dr John2005

The only way to build a datacenter with flexibility and scale is automation. And this is as true for networks and servers as it is for storage. IT architects increasingly design integrated and automated systems, not static interconnects. They must learn scripting and look for solutions that are responsive to changing demand. And they have to start getting excited about companies playing in this space.

Top VMware Blogs 2014: How I Voted

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Once again, it’s time for vSphere-Land.com’s “Top vBlog” voting. And once again Feedbin and Twitter are full of hundreds of bloggers lamely begging for me to vote for them. And once again, I didn’t base my votes on their begs or my own hunches. Follow along as I explain how I actually voted and why I think you should use the same mechanism. And no, I’m not going to say who I voted for!

Making a Case For (and Against) Software-Defined Storage

Storage is turning up everywhere these days!

Everyone is talking about “software-defined” everything lately, so it was only a matter of time before industry buzz turned to software-defined storage. VMware and EMC really stoked the flames with a constant barrage of marketing directed in this direction. But how exactly do you software-define storage? And what does this mean?

Scaling Storage At The Client

Wouldn't it be great if storage protocols allowed for scalability?

Scaling storage is a serious challenge for the industry, but there is a great deal of thought, effort, and creativity going into it right now. Companies like Gridstore, Oxygen Cloud, and Cleversafe have come up with effective client-side solutions to enable scale-out storage to sing. If you’ve got an appropriate application, client, or gateway, scale-out is a real possibility!

Scaling Storage In Conventional Arrays

Clustering sounds great, but it's awfully taxing to keep all the nodes consistent!

It is amazing that something as simple-sounding as making an array get bigger can be so complex, yet scaling storage is notoriously difficult. Our storage protocols just weren’t designed with scaling in mind, and they lack the flexibility needed to dynamically address multiple nodes. So my hat is off to these companies and others who have come up with clever ways to maintain compatibility while scaling out beyond the bounds of a single storage array.

Scale-Out Storage Field Day?

It's really difficult to scale storage!

Having wrapped up Storage Field Day 4 this week, it seems that the theme was scaling storage. Delegates learned about scale-out storage from CloudByte, Coho Data, Nimble Storage, Overland Storage, Avere Systems, Gridstore, Oxygen Cloud, and Cleversafe.

Storage Field Day 4: Live This Week!

Chris Wahl asks a question

It’s time once again for Storage Field Day! As most of my blog readers are aware, I run the Tech Field Day event series, bringing together experts in various IT fields with key companies for a few days of deep technical discussion. This week it’s our fourth event focused on enterprise storage, and it’s going to be big!

Miami and Tampa: Wrapping Up The Truth About Virtualization Seminar Series

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There are nine cities down and two more to go for my 2014 Truth in IT seminar series, “The Truth About Virtualization.” As I wrap things up in Miami and Tampa, I’ll be looking forward to my 2014 schedule, which takes me to fifteen cities and sees a shift back to storage.

VMware-Integrated Caching? Not So Fast!

It's easy to stick an SSD or PCIe card in a VMware server, but much harder to make it work!

Integrating solid state storage as a VMware cache isn’t a trivial task. In fact, it’s become the core challenge for some of the best minds in storage, and few real answers have yet emerged. This will be a primary area of focus for me and others who watch and comment on virtualization and enterprise storage!