To say that I go to a lot of conferences and trade shows would be an extreme understatement. Although I didn’t make it to every one in my IT events calendar this year, I’ve hit nearly all of them over the years. So when I say that the Storage Developer Conference was singularly valuable and enjoyable, I hope you know that I really mean it.
Held every year by SNIA, the Storage Developer Conference brings together extreme storage geeks to talk protocols, test interoperability in the plugfest, and generally bathe in the world of storage. Although intended for developers, I honestly felt that the content was designed for me!
Although all of the content was relevant and interesting, a few points stick out in my mind.
Ceph, Inktank, and Scale-Out
“Scaling Storage to the Cloud and Beyond with Ceph” by Sage Weil (founder of Inktank and originator of Ceph) was just as fascinating as I thought it would be. Although Sage is not a decades-long storage geek, his discussion was like a breath of fresh air blowing through the storage establishment.
It is clear to me that block protocols like SCSI will be with us for a long time, even as networked storage gains in popularity. But SMB and NFS are not alone in offering higher-level storage interfaces: Object and cloud storage is exploding on the scene. Between CDMI, OpenStack, Gluster, and Ceph, this new world of storage was well represented at SDC.
Ceph is particularly interesting, since it uses distributed objects as a backing store for a conventional file system interface. Although still somewhat immature (“nearly awesome” in the words of Sage), Ceph makes a lot of sense. And Inktank has attracted some great people, offering support and training for users of this “free as in puppy” software.
ReFS and Storage Spaces
“Windows File and Storage Directions” by Surendra Verma (Development Manager, Storage and File Systems, Microsoft) was nicknamed “the ReFS Session” by everyone in attendance. No area of storage is as actively and aggressively developed as Windows file systems and network protocols, and this summed up everything up quite nicely.
I will be following ReFS with great interest, but it’s not here yet. Today we have an enhanced NTFS to work with, complete with deduplication, Storage Spaces, and Chkdsk enhancements. Microsoft has tried twice before to replace NTFS – will ReFS be the one that finally sticks?
Samba 4 and PeerDist
My informal discussions with the Samba team were truly eye-opening. Compatibility with Windows networked storage is essential, and Samba remains just as relevant as it was 10 years ago! The recent acquisition of Likewise by EMC cements the relevance of Samba, and it’s great to see the team working on SMB3, PeerDist/BranchCache, and Active Directory!
I would like to thank SNIA for helping me bring along some friends to join the SDC experience this year. Robin Harris, Robert Novak, Jeff Darcy, and Scott D. Lowe join me for daily roundtable discussions at the conference. Watch the videos below, and see the event through our eyes!
The Tech Field Day delegates discuss SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference on Monday, September 17 2012. Stephen Foskett is joined by Scott D. Lowe, Robert Novak, Robin Harris, and Jeff Darcy, and they discuss storage for server virtualization, Microsoft’s contribution to storage, convergence, and finish with their goals for the rest of the show.
The Tech Field Day delegates discuss SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference on Tuesday, September 18 2012. Stephen Foskett is joined by Scott D. Lowe, Robert Novak, Robin Harris, and Jeff Darcy. The group talk about the day’s presentations, including a standout session by Microsoft on ReFS and HP on storage-class memory.
The Tech Field Day delegates discuss SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference on Wednesday, September 19 2012. Stephen Foskett is joined by Scott D. Lowe, Robert Novak, Robin Harris, and Jeff Darcy. We discuss the day’s presentations, including the morning keynote on shingled disk by Garth Gibson. Other topics include plans by Pure Storage and Nutanix to take over the world, how marketing drives some companies the wrong way, erasure coding and deduplication in Microsoft’s NTFS, BranchCache, and our plans for Fibre Channel over Token Ring.
If I could only attend one conference next year, it would be the Storage Developer Conference. Any storage developer who geeks out about storage as much as me should definitely be there next year. And the rest should watch the web site (and this blog) as the presentations and videos are released! In the mean time, go watch last year’s at the SNIA site!
Disclaimer: SNIA paid for passes and travel to SDC, and paid my company to produce the Tech Field Day Roundtables there. But this blog post was not solicited and is genuinely my own opinion.