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.


Can Infrascale Compete in the Enterprise Backup Market?

Chris Evans is no stranger to the storage industry, so it’s always exciting to talk to a new company. At Storage Field Day, he got to hear from Infrascale, a company that has over two decades of experience in endpoint and enterprise data protection, but one that Chris hadn’t spoken to before. They offer solutions for cloud backup, SaaS protection, and disaster recovery, the last of which was demoed at the event. Chris was impressed that without a lot of flashing funding rounds, Infrascale offers a remarkable mature feature set. But with the shift in data protection models from applications to data, companies like Infrascale need to keep evolving to stay relevant with the times.


The Wisdom of the (Storage) Crowd

In this post, Chris Evans considers the how storage providers will continue to use storage telemetry in the future. As Chris points out, lots of storage companies have been innovating in this space. Still the scale of it can be staggering, with Pure Storage saying at a 2015 Storage Field Day event that they collect over 1 trillion data points per day. Chris would like to see the industry standardize on a way to deliver consistent anonymized data to a central location, and points to the Open Source storage community to drive this initiative.


Scale Computing on the Edge With HE150

Chris Evans has been following Scale Computing since they presented at Storage Field Day all the way back in 2014. At their recent Tech Field Day presentation, they went into detail about their HE150 edge solution, which packs all the power of an HCI node into a single Intel NUC. While diminutive in size, Chris found them to offer an incredibly compelling value package. These are low cost, low power, low footprint solutions that are perfect for a number of edge deployments. But just as key is the software and networking to keep everything running smoothly, something that Scale’s HC3 software makes easy through their GUI or APIs. At $5,000 for a 3-node solution, Chris sees this as a perfect option to meet any any non-data center requirement.


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.


Storage Management and DevOps

At a recent Storage Field Day event, Chris Evans got to hear from Audrius Stripeikis of Dell EMC discussing findings from their latest research on storage management automation. Their findings saw that organizations with ten or more platforms depended upon automation for service delivery. This meant dealing with three challenges, consistency, scale, and automating self-service. Dell EMC showed how their API framework is designed to meet those challenges , giving developers access to APIs to directly provision resources. Resources aren’t infinite, so Dell EMC built in additional systems to keep things manageable, but this approach simplified a lot of traditional bottlenecks in the pipeline.


NetApp NKS and Hybrid Cloud

If you’ve been following IT at all in the past few years, you’ll have seen Kubernetes gaining popularity as a standard for running containerized applications across multiple platforms either in public or private cloud. But Kubernetes is not the easiest solution to deploy and maintain, hence the emergence of different service offerings around it. In this post, Chris Evans digs into NetApp Kubernetes Service, which the company went into detail about at Cloud Field Day last year. This offering came out of NetApp’s acquisition of StackPointCloud in 2018. For Chris, the question of “why NetApp” for a Kubernetes service is answered by the company’s embrace of the public cloud in their strategy, with NKS an enabler of their overall Data Fabric concept.


Storage Field Day 19 – Vendor Previews

Chris Evans is no stranger to storage. His voice and experience is always welcome around the delegate table, and in this post, he brings both in previewing the presenting companies. He’s looking forward to the second day and hearing about Dell EMC doing deep dives into Isilon, DevOps and PowerOne. There are also a number of new presenters that Chris doesn’t have much background with. These include the DRaaS company Infrascale, the open-source enterprise-class object storage platform from MinIO, and Tiger Technologies. Tiger is competing in the crowded software-defined storage market, so Chris is interested to see how they will differentiate themselves. Western Digital will also be an interesting presentation, as the company has shifted it’s enterprise storage vision. Overall, it sounds like there’s not much Chris isn’t looking forward to at the event.


Are ARM Processors Ready for Data Centre Primetime?

ARM processors have been around for over three decades, in the last decade seeing massive popularity thanks to the ubiquity of modern smartphones. From their resource efficient roots, the processor designs have grown increasingly capable of a wide range of use cases. In this piece, Chris Evans looks at some of the companies trying to bring ARM into the datacenter. He saw Liqid demo their composable infrastructure tech at Tech Field Day Extra at Dell Technologies World, and thinks that kind of deployment could make ARM in the enterprise an intriguing proposition.


Liqid’s PCIe Fabric Is the Key to Composable Infrastructure

Liqid showed off their novel approach to Composable Infrastructure at Tech Field Day Extra at Dell Technologies World 2019. In this post, Chris Evans looks at how they use a PCIe Fabric to enable their disaggregated approach to pooling resources across a variety of servers.


BONUS: The Origins of Tech Field Day – the On-Premise IT Roundtable

In this bonus episode of the On-Premise IT Roundtable, we’re joining Stephen Foskett as he talks with some of the original delegates and inspirations for the Tech Field Day event series. They discuss the event that gave Stephen the initial idea, a fortuitous plane ride, how the first Tech Field Day event went, where the idea for the live stream started and more.


Pure Storage Cloud Block Store Goes GA

Pure Storage’s cloud-native solution for implementing independent block storage in the public cloud, Cloud Block Store, just became generally available. In this post, Chris Evans digs into the specifics of its features, how it compares in the market, and what makes it stand out. He got a deep dive session on the new solution during Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure Accelerate 2019.


Commvault Announces Metallic SaaS Data Protection

Chris Evans attended Tech Field Day Exclusive at Commvault GO 2019, where he got to go beyond the announcements from the event and get technical deep dive sessions. In this post, he breaks down what he saw from Commvault Metallic, their new SaaS-based solution for data protection.


Unpicking the Commvault Acquisition of Hedvig

Commvault and Hedvig were both familiar companies to the Tech Field Day community. So when the former bought the latter, we knew there would be some interesting insights from our delegates. In this post, Chris Evans breaks down how he sees Commvault integrating and augmenting much of what Hedvig offered.


FlashArray//X Gets Optane Acceleration With DirectMemory

Inte’s Optane storage class memory has had a lot of implications across IT. In this post, Chris Evans looks at its use in FlashArray//X, using their just announced DirectMemory cache acceleration solution. While Chris had some concerns about durability with this approach, what he saw at Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure Accelerate showed that Pure has the pieces in place to deliver an SCM-based array.


Pure Storage FlashArray//C – First Impressions

Chris Evans shared his thoughts on Pure Storage’s new FlashArray//C in this post. He got a deep dive on the new storage solution while attending Storage Field Day Exclusive at Pure Accelerate. This went beyond the speed and feed of the announcement, giving the technical deep dive needed to really help Chris put the product into context and speak to its potential use cases.


VMware Project Pacific – First Impressions

VMware announced their plan to integrate container management into vSphere with Project Pacific at VMworld US 2019. Chris Evans got to hear more details about the thought behind the project during VMware’s Tech Field Day Extra presentations at the event. Be sure to check out his blog post with more thoughts on this ambitious effort.


Cohesity Looks to Exploit Secondary Data Value With MarketPlace

Since emerging as a secondary storage startup, Cohesity has continued to innovate in how to deliver the full value of data to their customers. In this post, Chris Evans looks at the latest implementation of that approach with Cohesity MarketPlace. This firmly moves the company into the data management sphere, with the ability to run AI/ML, analytics or other data-intensive applications on content stored in the Cohesity DataPlatform.


The HCI Definition Obsession

In this post, Chris Evans considers the latest ability of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes services to run on-premises with NetApp HCI. This struck him as storage coming full circle, with a cloud-native approach to storage coming back within the data center. For Chris, this sparked the thought that maybe people have misunderstood NetApp’s HCI strategy from the start. Instead of strictly adhering to a traditional definition of HCI, NetApp built a hybrid cloud solution that provides a consistent experience for customers. In the end, Chris thinks that’s more valuable.


Cloud-Native Data Protection

In this post, Chris Evans looks at cloud-native data protection. He breaks down why it makes sense for an organization, what some of the potential challenges are, and takes time to define what a cloud native solution should actually look like. He also looks the companies offering solutions in the space, including what Druva showed at Cloud Field Day last year, and solutions presented at Storage Field Day by NetApp.