Storage Field Day 19–Western Digital

At their recent Storage Field Day presentation, Western Digital led with a startling estimate. They project that by 2023, 103 zetabytes worth of IoT data will be produced. This is to say nothing of the ever increasing video and other data constantly being generated. Much of their presentation was how Western Digital was working to provide ever increasing storage densities across all mediums. It was not lost on Joey D’Antoni during the event that a lot of this work seemed to be driven by demand from hyperscalers, who will increasingly carry the growth of stored data. Developments with multi-actuator drives and zoned storage were shown to be key in how Western Digital will provide for the industries storage needs in the future.


Stellus Is Doing Something With All That Machine Data

It’s always great when events like Storage Field Day can help bring new companies to light and assist with their launch. Stellus Technologies recently came out of stealth at Storage Field Day, and definitely made an impression on our delegates. They built a solution to answer what they saw as the problem of exponential growth of unstructured data, combined with the massively increased size of data sources themselves. Quite simply, file systems developed for the age of spinning disk weren’t meeting current needs. Their Stellus Data Platform was designed to provide native parallelism, scale, and consistency, while letting organizations scale performance and capacity independently. They do this with a Key-Value-over-NVMe Fabrics architecture, that Dan thinks has major implications as organization adopt ever increasing drive capacities. We can’t wait to hear more from this exciting startup!


Answers at Your Fingertips With Forward Networks

After hearing again from Forward Networks at Networking Field Day, Tom Hollingsworth considers the implications of their Network Query Engine in this post. This effectively provides a way to ask the network for the answers by looking into the database of network configuration. This is vitally needed to provide reliability for critical cloud services, rather they relying on the old model of each networking standing as an island of configuration settings just waiting to cause unforeseen interactions. As network’s grow more complex at ever increasing rates, Forward Network approach lets admins find meaningful answers and solve this configuration conundrum.


Stellus Delivers Scale-Out Storage With NVMe & KV Tech

Chris Evans got to hear from Stellus Technologies at Storage Field Day. It’s always great to hear from new and exciting companies at Field Day events, and Stellus was no exception. They showed off their Stellus Data Platform, which offers a scale-out architecture of multiple Data Manager nodes and Key-value Store nodes, connected through a shared network fabric. Chris sees value in their approach as the key-value nodes take care of any specific tasks that need to be performed in managing physical media, meaning that in the future new media can be dropped in without further consideration from IT, as long as Stellus knows how to use it efficiently.


TECHunplugged Videocast – Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer

Arjan Timmerman and Max Mortillaro are covering a lot of the announcements and presentations from Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020 in their video series with TECHunplugged. In this video, they dig into Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer. This is an impressive new addition to the management interface used for HyperFlex and UCS. Both of them thought it was a really interesting announcement. This lets an admin hook almost everything in a data center into Intersight, that can be used for monitoring and capacity tool for the entire environment.


Dell EMC Isilon – Cloudy With a Chance of Scale Out

Dell EMC’s Isilon storage solution has been in the industry for a while, providing capacity and performance scaling to meet the needs of petabyte scale organizations. In this piece, Dan Frith digs into the platforms latest updates, which he heard at Storage Field Day earlier this year. In the post, he looks at how Isilon’s OneFS file system is designed to provide non-disruptive scaling for organizations, and can run either in your data center or directly on a public cloud. The latter is a key new addition for Dan, who sees this having major implications for organizations looking to shift workloads to the cloud, providing features those customers depend on that aren’t available natively on public cloud platforms. Isilon is particularly popular for media and entertainment workloads, which often aren’t optimized for the cloud. This capability opens up whole new possibilities without having to abandon existing workflows and tools.


TechUnplugged VideoCast: CiscoLive Barcelona HyperFlex Application Platform

The TECHunplugged crew was about in Barcelona for Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020 and got to hear about HyperFlex Application Platform. In this video, Arjan Timmerman and Max Mortillaro discuss the evolution of HyperFlex as Cisco’s HCI solution, something Max has been following for a number of years. HXAP is a standalone add-on running on top of HyperFlex which gives the ability to run containers. This complete new cluster builds on top of a Linux KVM environment with a Kubernetes environment. They dig into how this fits into the overall container landscape and the implications for organizations in the video.


Meraki Is Almost an Enterprise Solution

In the past, Tom Hollingsworth has not thought that Meraki was an appropriate wireless solution for the enterprise. But that perception seems to be shifting after hearing an update from them at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020. They showed off how they are now adding in easier scaling with things like integrating rule groups into their firewall platform, something that’s critical for enterprise scale deployments. They are also testing native IPv6 support, which is a key signal to Tom they are serious about the enterprise. It’s a feature SMB’s generally don’t generally care about, but has been supported on Cisco’s IOS for years. Tom has been following the company for years, and thinks this signals they are almost ready to be a true enterprise-class solution.


Cisco Live Europe 2020 – Introduction and Expectations

Arjan Timmerman and Max Mortillaro from the TECHunplugged crew were delegates at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020. They recorded a slate of videos breaking down their favorite announcements and most important parts of the event. They break down Cisco UCS and HyperFlex updates, innovation around Industrial IoT, as well as overall Data Center and Security announcements. Be sure to watch them all, then dive into the full video coverage we have on our YouTube page.


TECHunplugged Videocast – Cisco Threat Response

At Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020, Arjan Timmerman and Max Mortillaro got to hear from the Cisco Threat Response team. They enjoyed seeing Cisco ability to dive into threats to your networking environment as they are being monitored, and how this is integrated into a further online knowledge base to better educate about emerging threats. With security teams traditionally understaffed, Cisco Threat Response is vital to gather together all the threats facing your organization in a manageable interface and provide further context for how this will continue to impact your organization. It’s not a traditional metrics-based dashboard, but an excellent way to get a security overview.


Dell Technologies PowerOne – Dell’s Private Cloud?

In this sponsored episode of the CTO Advisor podcast, host Keith Townsend talks with Dell EMC’s Conor Duffy, David Iovino, and Justin Jones. In the episode, they discuss the company’s PowerOne converged infrastructure, which was announced late last year. The company recently went into detail on this at Storage Field Day. They discuss where CI approaches fit in an IT landscape dominated by cloud and HCI, and Dell lays out how their investments in automation make PowerOne stand out. Keith wasn’t at the event, but got caught up on it with our comprehensive video coverage. After you listen to the episode, be sure to check out the video for yourself.


MinIO – Not Your Father’s Object Storage Platform

Dan Frith definitely was intrigued by what he heard from MinIO at Storage Field Day. They showed off their private cloud focused high performance, software-defined, distributed object storage server infrastructure. They made the distinction the private and public cloud have very different needs, and designed their solution with peta-scale. The solution is entirely written in Go and open-sourced, allowing organizations to avoid having a license key as the ultimate vendor leverage. Storage folks may have a set of expectations when it comes to object storage, but Dan makes the case that this is very different from the typical object storage stack. Dan does have some questions about how they will monetize the approach, but allowing storage admins to dig into the code and selling support subscriptions has worked well for some open source companies.


Gaming Is Driving Storage Innovation at WDC

Western Digital has long been a stalwart in the storage industry, designing storage media and innovating in that space for decades. At Storage Field Day, the provided updates on how a lot of their designs are catering toward hyperscale companies, or how the emergence of 5G will ramp up the need for faster performance with streaming video. But for Ray Lucchesi, what stood out in the session was how gaming was increasingly driving innovation with Western Digital. As a result of high performance needs, both of gamers to play games and for services that host them, WD detailed innovations with their WD Black line, which includes HDD, but is increasingly featuring SSDs. The showed how they are catering these drives to the unique requirements and environment found in gaming PCs.


Rebooting Infrascale

While Infrascale might have been a newer face to some of the Storage Field Day delegates, for Dan Frith, he was familiar with them since 2016 after researching the BC and DR landscape. For Dan, the company represents a welcome option in the DR-as-a-Service market, something he’s found underserved, especially in Asia. The company approached their Storage Field Day presentation as a way to reboot both their offerings and perception within the market. He’s excited to see the company taking this approach and can’t wait to hear more from them in the future as the continue to build off this rebooted image.


Dell EMC PowerOne Is Next-Gen Converged Infrastructure

Enrico Signoretti saw two sessions from Dell EMC at Storage Field Day that really piqued his interest, touching on DevOps and infrastructure automation. Enrico was really surprised by their presentation on PowerOne, a next-generation converged infrastructure. He’s admittedly not a fan on converged infrastructure in general, but in Dell EMC’s PowerOne Controller, Enrico sees something that could be an automation hub for automating all the storage infrastructure, simplifying the configuration management of large scale infrastructures. This kind of potential really stood out during the presentation.


TECHunplugged at Cisco Live Barcelona 2020 – Introduction

In this video Max Mortillaro and Arjan Timmerman talk about Cisco Live in Barcelona 2020. They talk about Tech Field Day Extra, Cisco in general, HyperFlex, UCS and IoT. They discuss why the appreciate the unique access events like Tech Field Day Extra provide. During busy industry shows like Cisco Live, it’s one thing to hear all the announcements live. But Tech Field Day Extra provides access to experts on the announcements, and often hosts sessions going into technical deep dives on the latest technology.


Open Source and Open Standards Open the Future

Chin-Fah Heoh has heard from Western Digital at back to back Storage Field Day events, and appreciates that the company dives right into their informative sessions. During their presentation, they shared a few open source initiatives to address present inefficiencies. This included Zoned Storage to increase the efficiencies of shingled magnetic recording. They also reviewed their involvement with the RISC-V organization, the CHIPS Alliance, and Google OpenTitan project. Chin-Fah really appreciated their commitment to open source, and found it vital for the company to meet the ever increasing scaling needs of data storage.


TECHunplugged Videocast – Cisco UCS Updates at Cisco Live Europe 2020 in Barcelona

Arjan Timmerman and Max Mortillaro of the TECHunplugged crew cover what they saw from Cisco UCS at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe 2020. This x86 server infrastructure has been around for a decade, and at the event, Cisco announced updates to the latest Intel processors, as well as adding in support for the AMD Rome platform, providing up to 64 cores on a processor. This processor competition coming to Cisco UCS can only spell good things for customers down the road. UCS Gen 5 also adds new support for NVMe, adds novel blade designs, and still providing GPU dense options. In the words of Arjan, Cisco is “doing something special with UCS.”


Meet Field Day Delegate – Tony Efantis

Tony Efantis may be a new face to Networking Field Day, but not to networking. As a CCIE and Cisco Champion, we can’t wait to have his expertise around the delegate table. In this interview with Gestalt IT, he shares his origin story with both technology in general and his IT career specifically. Besides his networking background, he gets into his musical and skateboarding past in the piece, and talks about where he sees IT going in the coming years. We’re thrilled to have Tony join the delegate ranks and can’t wait to hear his thoughts on the experience.


Meet Field Day Delegate – Kim Pedersen

Kim Pedersen is joining us for his first full Networking Field Day experience. He previously got a taste of the experience at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live Europe last year, but this time he’ll be hearing from ten different networking companies over the course of three days. We can’t wait to hear what he thinks of drinking from the networking fire hose. If you haven’t check out the event coverage yet, be sure to check out this interview Kim did with Gestalt IT. They dig into how he got involved with tech, where he sees the industry going in the near future, and what are some of his biggest professional challenges.