Alastair Cooke took a break at Networking Field Day to have a chat with Rebecca Fitzhugh. They talk about the role of mentorship in career development within enterprise IT. It’s a brief but thoughtful discussion, make sure to check it out.
At Tech Field Day earlier this month, Alastair Cooke managed to steal a few minutes with Josh De Jong for a quick interview. They talk about how to approach learning throughout the changing technological landscape of IT. This is made more important by the fact that the cost of traditional training is often hard to come by when working for SMBs. It’s a really great conversation and food for thought for any IT professional.
Alastair Cooke looks at what is required to adopt serverless architecture in your data center. While services like AWS Lambda provide this for the public cloud, it isn’t as evident how to do this on-premises. Alastair breaks this down really clearly, essentially for serverless operation, you need to be able to quickly spin up and coordinate containers in response to external triggers. He quickly gives an overview of offerings from IBM and Iron.io that provide Functions as a Service. But Platform9 offers a managed serverless platform on top of an existing managed cloud environment. Their Fission solution (currently in alpha) essentially offers a managed serverless platform on top of the managed Kubernetes platform. This gives you the scale of Platform9 as a cloud provider, but you can have all of your containers on-premises. It’s a really interesting approach to the problem.
After hearing about them for a while, and seeing them present at Tech Field Day earlier this month, Alastair Cooke decided to try out what SolarWinds has to offer. The first challenge was to figure out what from their impressive catalogue to try first. After some research, Alastair decided on their Server and Application Monitor (SAM), which includes the Orion integration framework. After the install and initial setup, SAM was already giving useful notifications about domain controller memory and packet loss. Alastair is looking forward to using SAM with the Virtualization Manager from SolarWinds in his home lab to see how effective the combination can be.
In this piece, Alastair Cooke takes a look at the state of storage as we enter the age of IoT. For Alastair, he thinks projects of central object stores being inundated with tons of IoT data miss the point. Instead he sees compute moving close to the edge to be closer to the source of the data, only sending on composites of the gross data tonnage to the data center. As part of this, he thinks Robin System’s software HCI solution has the right approach. It simplified containerization on whatever servers and storage are available, giving enterprises the flexibility and simplicity to move compute closer to the edge.
Alastair Cooke will be at Tech Field Day next week. In the excitement over which companies will be presenting, Alastair takes some time to also introduce the amazing delegates as well. He runs down each delegate and gives links to some of their excellent work, along with notes of where and when they’ve crossed paths in the past. It’s a great way to get to know some of the faces on the Tech Field Day livestream.
As someone who would have bet good money that Zip disks were going to take over storage in the late 90s, my own ability to predict the future of storage is dubious at best. Alastair Cooke is under no such scrutiny. He reviews what some are seeing as the future of storage: a combination of flash and object cloud storage. He sees two potential solutions for this from ClearSky Data and Avere Systems. ClearSky uses a geographically tiered flash system to quickly represent your data, and Avere uses local flash to focus on file share performance. Alastair might question if flash + cloud will be the correct formulation, but he liked what he saw from Avere and ClearSky.
Alastair Cooke summarizes a recent product briefing he had with SolarWinds. He got a look at the Orion unified management console for their Server and Application Monitoring suite. Alastair liked that items were actionable within Orion, not just a hard to wrangle mass of metrics. He also liked that it allowed for customizable templates for monitoring specific applications. Better yet, these templates can be shared with other SolarWinds community members. It’s exciting to see a company embrace an enthusiastic community like that.
Alastair Cooke joined the Tech Field Day delegate panel at both VMworld US and Europe this year, and he used the Barcelona experience to get PRTG up and running. Good thing he did! PRTG caught a disk capacity issue before he ever noticed it! Uploading 80 videos in 3 days will do that. vBrownBag + Tech Field Day + PRTG = great!