Advice to Vendors: Know Your Identity

Technology is easy, identity is hard. That’s what I got after reading this piece by Matt Crape, and I completely agree. Most companies are iterating in their respective markets. There’s nothing wrong with that, as refinement is essential to business consistency. But when a market gets crowded, it’s important for a company to know what they specifically want to do, and how their identity can lead to differentiation. This is especially important when presenting to people that know the industry and technology well, such as our Tech Field Day delegates!

Turbonomic 5.9 – Now with more Cloud

Turbonomic’s Tech Field Day presentation certainly left an impression on the delegates, including Matt Crape. Previously, he hadn’t seen what made the company’s application assurance platform stand out. Now, he sees it as a valuable operations tool to not only monitor, but actively manage application performance, with a tightly focused set of tools. The recent additions that support hybrid cloud, including the costs of migrating workloads, only make it more valuable.

ClearSky Data & Cloudy Storage

At Tech Field Day this month, Matt Crape saw a presentation from ClearSky Data. They propose to bridge the usual compromise of cloud storage, giving you the same easy expandability without the performance penalty. They utilize a on-site flash cache to talk to metro-based Points of Presence to achieve this. Matt reviews ClearSky Data’s solutions for backup and disaster recovery as well.

NetApp is Taking Point with Trident

At Tech Field Day this month, NetApp talked about their initiatives in open source and DevOps. Matt Crape was impressed with what he heard. Their Trident project gives developers resources to provision storage without having to go through a storage administrator. What makes this practical from an operations side is that the admins can preset quotas and storage limits to make sure their developers aren’t going overboard. Matt thinks its impressive the way NetApp is adapting their company to take advantage of a new IT landscape.

Turbonomic: Not a Flash in the Pan

Matt Crape has been aware of Turbonomic for some time, but until they presented at Tech Field Day, had some concerns. One was a dated Flash-based interface. The other was how to prove its monetary value. With an updated, clean HTML5 interface, the first concern is assuaged. Turbonomics Application Assurance platform also supports a “Pending Actions” portion of the dashboard. This allows you to assign costs to each component of your infrastructure, and see how changes will impact that, including cloud migration. For Matt, it’s a really compelling combination.

Tech Field Day 14 Primer: NetApp

Matt Crape finishes off his preview posts for Tech Field Day this week with NetApp. He’s been impressed how the company has adapted, both with their successful integration of Solidfire, as well as their embrace of DevOps culture. The latter is especially important, as it’s enabled the companies offerings to be automated in code, gather than manually managed via a clunky GUI. Matt can’t wait to see what the company is working on next.

Tech Field Day 14 Primer: Datrium

Matt Crape is heading to Boston for Tech Field Day 14 and is doing his homework on Datrium beforehand. He’s interested to learn more about their DVX storage solution. This effectively allows for disaggregation of storage from compute in a VM environment. Reads are done on fast local cache on the server, and writes are put back onto the DVX appliance. This allows for performance to increase at scale, and allows for high availability. Make sure to catch them on our live stream during the vent to learn more!

Tech Field Day 14 Primer: Turbonomic

Matt Crape will see Turbonomic presented at Tech Field Day next week. The company has grown 954% in the last three years, and Matt thinks the company’s solutions are worthy of the rapid growth. They center their monitoring tools around the idea of desired state, keeping machines well balanced between performance and efficiency. After monitoring a VM deployment for a little while, their solution is soon able to give recommendations, or even full intermediation. This allows for more reliable application performance, and better quality assurance for an organization. Can’t wait to see what they’ll present about at Tech Field Day!

Tech Field Day 14 Primer: ClearSky Data

Matt Crape is headed for Tech Field Day next week, and he’s writing up previews of the presenting companies. In this post, he looks at ClearSky Data. They offer a tiered storage solution. This leverages an edge appliance on-site with up to 24TB of flash storage, which tiers and caches hot data. This then falls back to the ClearSky Data network of PoPs, which serve to cache “warm” data, with cold data handed off to S3. Matt hopes to learn more about their recently announced data protection solution at their presentation. Make sure to tune in live to watch along with Matt during the event.

Wicked Cool! Tech Field Day 14, Here I Come

We’re heading to Boston for Tech Field Day, coming up in May! Matt Crape will be there for his second event, having joined us for a Tech Field Day last year in November. It was an experience to remember, and we hope this event will prove to be just as memorable!

2016 – How did I do?

It’s one thing to make New Year’s Resolutions, it’s another thing to follow up on them the next year. Matt Crape looks back at 2016 to see how he did with his resolutions from last year. Overall, he accomplished one of the three goals he set out for himself. But for that goal of better community involvement, Matt really knocked it out of the park! He earned a VMCE certification, presented at a vBrownBag Tech Talk, hosted a Veeam user group, and attended Tech Field Day in November! For 2017, Matt wants to stay involved with the vCommunity. If that’s his only resolution for the New Year, it looks like Matt has a good chance of going one for one in 2017.

First Look at Cohesity Cloud Edition

Matt Crape follows up on his Cohesity primer now that he attended Tech Field Day. The big thing that he saw at their presentation was their introduction of the Cohesity Cloud Edition, which effectively lets you take their secondary storage solution and spin up an appliance in the cloud. Matt’s only compliant: Cohesity’s solution is so robust and feature complete, it seems like it would be a good way to handle primary storage!

On-prem Cloud Storage with Igneous Systems

On-prem cloud storage? Sounds like a contradiction in terms. But much like jumbo shrimp, Igneous Systems makes it work. They presented at this months Tech Field Day, and Matt Crape was intrigued by what he saw. Igneous is offering an end-to-end solution with their storage array. Matt liked how Igneous rethought their solution from ground zero. Effectively, previous storage arrays are dependent on a few SAS cards, which provides a big bottleneck if and when those cards go down. Igneous calls their architecture RatioPerfect, they effectively put an ARM interposer on each drive, taking the fault domain from a slew of drives to just one. Matt still has some questions about practical implementations of their solution, but on an architectural level, it’s clear Igneous did their homework.

SPEP03 – TFD12 | Open TechCast

At Tech Field Day earlier this month, a number of our delegates and staff got to sit in on the Open TechCast. Give it a listen to hear Alex Galbraith get the latest takes from Stephen Foskett, Matt Crape, and Mike Preston!

The struggles of travelling

In this piece, Matt Crape reflects thoughtfully on what it means to travel for events, how it impacts family and work-life balance. How do you measure the value of traveling to the event, and what you lose by being away from home and family? Matt does a really good job of keeping this all in perspective, laying out both the pitfalls and the benefits. We’re very grateful for his time, and thrilled that Tech Field Day was a worthwhile event!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: Dell EMC

Matt Crape gives a preview of what he expected from Dell EMC for their Tech Field Day presentation last week. With such a big portfolio, it was hard to determine what exactly he expected to see. Read his post, then check out all the videos from Dell EMC’s Isilon presentation right here!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: StorageOS

If you’re all about containers, you should check out Matt Crape’s preview of StorageOS, presenting at Tech Field Day later today. StorageOS tackles the problem of persistent storage in containers. Their solution uses their own container to deliver block storage capabilities, essentially combining disparate storage, and presenting it to a container via their software abstraction layer. Matt delves into some of the benefits of this solution, so be sure to click through for the piece. Be sure to check back here after StorageOS presents for video and additional coverage!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: DriveScale

Fresh out of stealth mode in May, DriveScale will be presenting for the first time at Tech Field Day tomorrow. Matt Crape wrote up a great piece to get you up to speed with where the company is at prior to their presentation. The company’s solutions puts an abstraction layer over existing compute and storage systems to allow administrators to reallocate resources, either via a GUI interface, or via RESTful API calls. It seems like an interesting solution Big Data needs, especially since it runs on commodity hardware. Tune into their Tech Field Day presentation on Wednesday for all the juicy details!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: Docker

If you’ve heard about Docker but want to know more, Matt has a post to get you up to speed. He runs down all the latest announcements from DockerCon 2016, and get you ready for the company’s presentation at Tech Field Day next week. Lucky for you!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: Igneous Systems

Matt Crape is a first-time Tech Field Day delegate but he’s jumping in with a series of blog posts about the presenters. Here’s his take on Igneous Systems, which seems to be getting a lot of delegate interest! Matt details their dataBox storage device, which can leverage local storage for cloud-native apps to provide improved speeds for users, as well as mitigating privacy and security concerns.