This year for my Truth in IT seminars, Iâ€™m shifting away from virtualization to focus on enterprise storage once again. But this wonâ€™t be any ordinary â€œstorage 101â€ seminar. Rather than trying to talk about every element, Iâ€™m focused on whatâ€™s new!
It takes a truly-remarkable leader to be willing to kill his old golden geese to make room for a new one; so far, only Apple and Amazon seem willing to forgo continuity in the name of profitable destruction. But new corporate leadership at Microsoft might un-stick the company and awaken the once-innovative Redmond powerhouse. The retirement of Steve Ballmer is welcome news.
Release after release, Microsoft pushes Windows forward. Yet the operating system is continually undermined by the “value-focused” low-end machines pushed by the majority of OEMs. This race to the bottom has tarnished Windows for a decade and now threatens to derail Windows 8. Microsoft must do something to stop the crap before it’s too late!
Samba is becoming more and more important. Windows servers will increasingly use SMB 3.0 as their networked storage protocol in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3. And EMC’s purchase of Likewise means the rest of the storage industry is looking for an SMB stack. But I’m most interested to see what Active Directory support means for future home and business devices.
The Four Horsemen of storage system performance cannot be denied, but they do offer a clear path forward. Storage systems must improve in many different areas, from spindles and drives to caching and I/O bottlenecks. But above all else, storage systems must become smarter in order to become faster, and this requires greater insight into the true nature of the data stream being stored. All storage performance developments, from the laptop to the enterprise, boiled down to adaptations to the demands of the Four Horsemen.
VMwareâ€™s introduced the â€œvStorage APIs for Array Integrationâ€ (VAAI) in vSphere 4.1, and block-heads like me went nuts. Weâ€™ve been trying to integrate storage and servers for decades, and VMwareâ€™s APIs finally allowed this to work in truly seamless fashion. But the world of VAAI is a thicket of bizarre naming and puzzling functionality. Some VAAI primitives are ignored or even hidden! Letâ€™s take a look at the complete list.
Upgrades are an inevitability in our modern technological world. A new phone comes out every year or two, and the migration process begins. So why don’t devices have a special mode, priming them for upgrade and migration? This really hit home recently, as I upgraded the hard disks in my Drobo, but it applies equally to laptops, phones, and services like e-mail.
If WRITE_SAME can be a semaphore for thin un-provisioning, what about TRIM? It sounds like a perfect fit, and has wider implementation to boot! Let’s take a deeper look.
Prognostication is a perilous business, but pundits are drawn to the topic in the month of December. The fact that most predictions fall on their faces demonstrates the intoxicating mix of hope, dreams, and irrationality that mark both geniuses and fools. I am neither, so I like to make predictions after the fact! But this year I’ve been asked to look to the future, so I’ll stick with the safe road and pick current trends rather than guessing what I hope will come.