Broadcom Processors Are Blazingly Fast

Evan Mintzer attended Networking Field Day earlier this year and got to hear from Broadcom. As one of the most prominent merchant silicon companies across the networking stack, it’s not surprising that Evan was interested in what they had to say. Their presentation focused on their network processor silicon, and was complex enough that Evan had to rewatch it to make sure it understood it all. They did a deep dive on their processor architecture, which allows for truly impressive speeds, supporting a switch at up to 25.6Tbps using a Tomahawk4 processor. Be sure to check out the videos to get up to speed on their latest and greatest.


SD-WAN and Technical Debt

At a recent discussion with delegates at Networking Field Day, Tom Hollingsworth wondered why SD-WAN startups have been able to be so aggressive with innovating in the space, while established networking companies have struggled to keep up. This is endemic of the technical debt a lot of larger organizations carry. He considers something like Cisco’s IWAN, in many ways a precursor to modern SD-WAN. This ended up being complicated and hard to deploy because of many of the technology decisions that Cisco made years ago, resulting in both a software and hardware supply chain constraints on IWAN. Compare this to a startup, like the recent Networking Field Day presenter CloudGenix, who could design a solution around a desired functionality, rather than with a set of constraints inherited as technical debt. This SD-WAN example is just one way of looking at the role of technical debt in product development for large organizations.


Cloud Field Day 7 – Who Will Be Presenting?

Alastair Cooke will be joining us virtually for Cloud Field Day later in April. Instead of the jetlag that comes from crossing an ocean to usually be at an event, he’ll instead be up early to join the other delegates for the presentations. Though a virtual event, he’s looking forward to the same in-depth technical presentations, the opportunity to ask direct questions to the presenters, and the great conversations with the other delegates. In this post, he runs down what he’s looking forward to from each of the presenters. This includes a mix of Field Day stalwarts like Aruba, VMware, and Solarwinds, with newer companies to the event series, like Stellus and Pensando. Be sure to mark your calendar to join the live stream to watch the event along with Alastair.


For Big Switch, Cloud Isn’t a Location – It’s a Design Principle

For organizations that have begun to transition to the cloud, it has become apparent how straightforward it is to consume compute and storage services. Things that used to take days to provision are now accomplished in a number of clicks, or are transparently configured with no interaction required from the user at all. The fact that workloads are able to communicate with each other, or can be restricted from communicating, with equal ease is just as welcome. Tom Hollingsworth looks at how Big Switch Networks is enabling this, based on their presentation from Tech Field Day Extra at Dell Technologies World 2019.


Cisco’s Service Provider Powerful Trio

At Tech Field Day Extra a Cisco Live Europe, David Penaloza Seijas got to hear details about Cisco’s plans for custom silicon. This came in the form of a new ASIC, focused on meeting the needs of service providers. For David, this seemed like natural focus for the company. He breaks down how this integrates into the Cisco 8000 series routers, what kind of features customers should expect, and how it fits into Cisco’s broader ambitions for IOS XR. Overall David is bullish on the approach, and suggests it’s never been a better time to learn some Linux!


Hot Take Zerto 8.0 Tech Field Day 21

Keith Townsend recently made a video looking at what Zerto presented at Tech Field Day. In it, he focuses on how Zerto can help solve a common anxiety when testing disaster recovery, contaminating production data with DR and then having to roll back. Their platform introduces a logging feature, which replicates the whole VM state. With the configuration tools built into the feature, it makes it really powerful to keep the application state consistent. This logging feature also allows for the logs to provide extremely granular visibility for data protection. Be sure to check out Keith’s video to get his full hot take, then dive into their presentation video.


The Definition of Secondary Storage Is Evolving – as Is Cohesity

The challenge of data management is nothing new, and the Enterprise Storage market has responded at both ends of the spectrum by providing mature, high performance solutions for primary datasets, and lower-cost archival solutions for less important bulk data. But many businesses are discovering a capability gap when attempting to store secondary data that falls into the “everything else” category. For this reason, Cohesity has begun to leverage its core capabilities to attack new problems as customer requirements, and the definition of secondary storage, continue to evolve. At Storage Field Day, the company showed off DataPlatform, which solves a set of challenges not addressed by high-end primary storage or low-cost archival storage. This provides a unified approach for storage of secondary data across both on-premises and cloud environments.


Voices in Data Storage – Episode 36: A Conversation With Anand Babu Periasamy and Jonathon Symonds on MinIO

On a recent Voices in Data Storage podcast episode, host Enrico Signoretti interviewed the CEO and co-founder of MinIO, AB Periasamy, as well as their CMO Jonathan Symonds. Enrico recently got to hear in-depth on their technology and solutions at Storage Field Day. In the interview they discuss how MinIO’s high-performance, software-defined, distributed object storage server and client fit into the overall storage market, as well as AB Periasamy’s history with open-source software.


Google Cloud VMware Engine – Hot Take

The former CloudSimple team presented at Tech Field Day 21 on the recently rebranded Google Cloud VMware Engine (GVE). What is it? How is it different than VMware Cloud on AWS? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Keith Townsend got to learn all about it during our recent virtual Tech Field Day event. While not going into competitive solutions specifically, they did outline how GVE differentiates in the landscape. This takes the VMware Cloud Foundation based, which allows any cloud provider to take any VMware components to offer a managed VCS service. Google of course offers their considerable scale on top of this. Keith breaks down how this compares to the other major public clouds.


Itential – The Network Glue You Need

How can you ensure your automation project doesn’t fall apart when you need to interface with APIs? Have you considered using the right glue to tie it all together? Tom Hollingsworth looks back at Itential’s presentation from Networking Field Day and how they are the glue you need to make automation happen. The company was founded to manage all the automation issues facing organizations today, by creating a standard interface to deal with the surfeit of API languages out there. Their Itential Automation Platform works with third-parties to build connectors that interface with the applications and devices on your network.


How We Overcame the Challenges and Developed a Fully Distributed Network Operating System

This post from DriveNets’ Amir Krayden builds upon a previous post, where they looked at the challenges of developing their own fully distributed network operating system from scratch. This touches on a lot of what Amir discussed during the company’s recent presentation at Networking Field Day. By building a networking OS that is built for scale, service growth and orchestration, they’re able to base router architecture the the web scale native to the cloud. This piece digs into how the company solved the not inconsiderable challenges they faced.


Dell EMC Isilon Is an Emmy Winner!

It’s not uncommon for presenters at Field Day events to win awards within the industry. We’re proud that our events feature the most influential and innovative companies in IT, so it’s not surprising to see that recognized. But it’s not often that we see one win an Emmy! That’s what Dell EMC’s Isilon did, winning a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award for early development of hierarchical storage management systems. Chin-Fah Heoh has been familiar with Isilon’s OneFS for a long time. He has respect for the platform for offering a real true clustered, scale-out file system that has proved it’s value over its life. He details the history of the platform, and how the company showed at Storage Field Day how they’re supporting running OneFS in the cloud.


Tech Field Day

It’s always great to have an iconic company like VMware present at Tech Field Day. With a diverse array of solutions that have important places throughout the data center, it’s important for the Field Day community to keep up to date on the latest, and communicate directly with their team. At their recent Tech Field Day presentation, VMware did deep dives on VMware Cloud Foundation 4, vRealize Network Insight, Kubernetes integration of VMware NSX, and more. Be sure to check out their full presentation video for all the latest.


vSphere Kubernetes Hot Take

Keith Townsend got to hear from VMware at Tech Field Day, where they packed a lot of information into a four hour session. Part of the presentation that surprised him was the Kubernetes integration into vSphere. This didn’t take the approach that Keith had thought when it was originally announced. Instead it comes as an extension of VMware Cloud Foundation, providing the ability to run a SDDC reference design across any environment. His biggest question with this is using VSAN as the management platform for Kubernetes. It’s an intriguing breakdown of the presentation, and Keith can’t wait to get some more focused deep dive sessions from VMware soon.


Aruba Bridges 5G and Wi-Fi 6 With New Air Pass Feature

Aruba recently announced a new offering called Air Pass, which Drew Conry-Murray looks at in this post. Air Pass bridges 5G cellular networks with in-building WLANs to enable seamless hand-off between 5G and Wi-Fi 6 networks. This effectively allows carriers and enterprises to build seamless handoffs from cellular to WLAN for voice and data on devices. A key technical compontent of this handoff is Passpoint, a Wi-Fi Alliance developed standard to provide automatic authentication between the carrier and WLAN. Be sure to check out Aruba’s presentation from Mobility Field Day last year, where they dug into the specifics of Passpoint and how it operates in their devices and software.


Building a Software Defined Cloud Network With CloudGenix

In this case, Phil Gervasi makes the case that while a lot of SD-WAN conversations still position the solution as an emerging technology, that’s no longer the case. He argues that with clear uses cases having emerged, it is now a maturing technology, and that the differentiator for a lot of providers comes down to cloud connectivity. SD-WAN is less about cost saving and load balancing, and more about connecting to cloud resources and SaaaS apps easier, more secure, and with a better user experience. At Networking Field Day, he heard from CloudGenix, which offers an SD-WAN solution that’s almost completely cloud focused, based on software running on commodity equipment. Rather than an appliance-in-a-box approach, they do this to offer a SD-WAN fabric with hooks into a wide array of cloud-based SaaS and IaaS solutions.


NetApp Fabric Orchestrator and Hybrid Cloud

NetApp discussing its Data Fabric strategy for a few years now. In this post, Chris Evans looks at one of the key components of it, Fabric Orchestrator. He sees it as a natural evolution from their Cloud Orchestrator, and reflects a lot of the IP the company acquired with Greenqloud and StackPointCloud. Fabric Orchestrator introduces workflow to manage how to apply policies to data sets, independent of how they are attached to applications. This allows for data to be tiered to either less expensive on-premises storage or into the cloud. Chris thinks NetApp is developing an approach to data mobility in a way that aligns with their existing market, evolving their products as their business needs change.


StorageGRID Gets Gritty

Object storage has a reputation for being “cheap and deep”, offering scalable, affordable storage without much in the way of performance considerations. At Storage Field Day, Chin-Fah Heoh liked that NetApp challenged that narrative with their StorageGRID Webscale (SGWS) solution. With all-flash solutions available, SGWS is not a new platform, but offers new performance capabilities with a very mature software backend. While Chin-Fah wonder what might have been if NetApp had pivoted the platform to performance a little earlier, he sees the company properly positioning the solution for the general purpose object storage market.


Day Two Cloud 038: Making the Case for Third-Party Cloud Storage

Tech Field Day founder Stephen Foskett was recently a guest on the Day Two Cloud podcast. On the episode, he and Ned Bellavance discuss third-party cloud storage, and how it fits into a market with so many native options readily available. In the episode they discuss common enterprise use cases, and examines key issues including performance, data management, and operations.


Voices in Data Storage – Episode 35: A Conversation With Krishna Subramanian of Komprise

On a recent episode of Voices in Data Storage, Enrico Signoretti spoke with Komprise’s co-founder and COO Krishna Subramanian. Krishna has a extensive history working in IT, from being VP Marketing for Cloud Platforms at Citrix, to leading cloud computing strategy at Sun, and co-founding Kovair. Enrico was recently a delegate at Storage Field Day, where Komprise made a return as a presenter. Be sure to check out their full video to get up to date on their latest solutions.