Enabling The Green and Virtual Data Center

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Getting Caught Up What Happened To September 2017

Getting Caught Up What Happened To September 2017

server storage I/O data infrastructure trends

Getting Caught Up, What Happened In September?

Seems like just yesterday it was the end of August with the start of VMworld in Las Vegas, now its the end of September and Microsoft Ignite in Orlando is wrapping up. Microsoft has made several announcements this week at Ignite including Azure cloud related, AI, IoT, Windows platforms, O365 among others. More about Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack, Windows Server, Hyper-V and related data infrastructure topics in future posts.

Like many of you, September is a busy time of the year, so here is a recap of some of what I have been doing for the past month (among other things).

vmworld 2017

VMworld Las Vegas

During VMworld US VMware announced enhanced workspace, security and endpoint solutions, Pivotal Container Service (PKS) with Google for Kubernetes serverless container management, DXC partnership for hybrid cloud management, security enablement via its AppDefense solutions, data infrastructure platform enhancements including integrated OpenStack, vRealize management tools, vSAN among others. VMware also made announcements including expanded multi-cloud and hybrid cloud support along with VMware on AWS as well as Dell EMC data protection for VMware and AWS environments.

Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) at VMworld bookstore

In other VMworld activity, my new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press) made its public debut in the VMware book store where I did a book signing event. You can get your copy of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials which includes Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC) along with hybrid, multi-cloud, serverless, converged and related topics at Amazon among other venues. Learn more here.

Software Defined Everything (x)

In early September I was invited to present at the Wipro Software Defined Everything (x) event in New York City. This event follows Wipro invited me to present at in London England this past January at the inaugural SDx Summit event. At the New York City event my presentation was Planning and Enabling Your Journey to SDx which bridged the higher level big picture industry trends to the applied feet on the ground topics. Attendees of the event included customers, prospects, partners, various analyst firms along with Wipro personal.

At the Wipro event during a panel discussion a question was asked about definition of software defined. After the usual vendor and industry responses, mine was a simple, put the emphasis on Define as opposed to software, with a focus on what is the resulting outcome. In other words how and what are you defining (e.g. x) which could be storage, server, data center, data infrastructure, network among others to make a particular result, outcome, service or capability. While the emphasis is around defined, that also can mean curate, compose, craft, program or whatever you prefer to create an outcome.

Image via snia.org

Role of Storage in a Software Defined Data Infrastructure

At the Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) Storage Developers Conference (SDC) in Santa Clara I did a talk about the role of Storage in Software Defined Data Infrastructures. The theme was that not only is there a role, storage is fundamental and essential for any software defined data infrastructure (as well as legacy) from cloud to container, serverless to virtual servers, converged and hybrid among others. Other themes included the changing role of storage along with how hardware needs software, software needs hardware, and serverless has hardware and software somewhere in the stack. Tradecraft along with other related data infrastructure topics were also discussed.

Data Infrastructures Protect Preserve Secure and Serve Information
Various IT and Cloud Infrastructure Layers including Data Infrastructures

While promoted as an event for storage developers by storage developers, based on a lot of the content presented, SNIA could easily increase attendance to a broader audience with some slight tweaks as well as messaging. If SNIA is looking to focus the event only for vendor storage developers, surprise surprise, there were developers there, however I also talked with IT customers who were there among other non developers. SDC IMHO is not a replacement for SNW, however with some simple adjustments in messaging from who shouldn't attend to who should or could attend, more attendees and sponsors might just happen appear.

Check out the SNIA SDC presentations here, along with my presentation from the 2017 event here (among others).

tape and cloud storage

Tape in a Software Defined and Hybrid Cloud World

I was invited by Fujifilm to present at their recent 9th annual executive summit in Seattle. The Fujifilm event was attended by various partners, customers and industry folks covering a diverse set of topics. Focus areas spanned from legacy IT to hyper-scale to public cloud and High-Performance Compute (HPC) among others. Magnetic Tape (e.g. tape) may be going away from your data center, however, chances are if you are doing or storing things in the cloud, your data may end up on tape. In other words, not only does tape continue to evolve, its place and how used (as well as accessed) is also changing. Check out the Fujifilm site here where you can scroll down and check out mine and other presentations from the event.

Focus on Data Protection (and recovery)

September also saw hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes, and acts of natural events, to man-made accidental as well as intentional including software-defined threats such as ransomware, malware, virus, Equifax data information breaches, leaks, loss among other security concerns. A reminder that there are the headline-making news events, as well as those that may be more common yet not widely talked about. What this means is that big or small, full or partial damage, destruction, loss or loss of access, data protection should be proactive to enable recovery instead of an afterthought.

Think of data protection as an investment instead of cost overhead, however that also means finding ways to spread costs out while gaining more benefit. Also remember that if something can occur, fail or happen, it probably will. In other words, the question should not be if, rather when, with what impact. This also means evolving from backup/restore, disaster recovery to business resiliency that enables your applications and data to stay available as well as accessible. In other words, how well are you prepared?

Additional data protection related topics and content include:

Expanding Your Data Infrastructure Tradecraft

At the September Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) Computer Measurement Group (CMG) event, I gave a presentation discussing industry trends perspectives, buzzword bingo updates including software defined, NVM (the media) vs. NVMe (the interface) benchmarking, tools, cloud, serverless and tradecraft. Tradecraft as a refresher are those skills and fundamental experiences you acquire over time including what tools, techniques to use for different scenarios.

As part of the CMG presentation, the discussion looked at expanding your data infrastructure tradecraft into adjacent areas around your current focus. Also discussed were the importance of context as different words have two or more meanings. For example SAS can mean Scandinavian Air System, Statistics Analysis Software the original unstructured and big data tool, as well as for storage Serial Attached SCSI. However there is another meaning for SAS which spans server, storage, networking, cloud, security and other focus areas which is Shared Access Signature.

Downloads the CMG and other presentations from the Server StorageIO website here.

Where To Learn More

Learn more about related technology, trends, tools, techniques, and tips with the following links.

What This All Means

The above are some of the things I was involved with during September with themes of data infrastructure, data protection, software defined cloud, virtual, serverless containers, servers, storage, I/O networking, SSD including NVMe, performance and capacity planning, metrics that matter, management among other topics. It was great meeting many new people at the various venues this past month, likewise seeing old acquaintances and friends. Also thanks to all who have ordered copies of my new book Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials along with your comments. Check out the Server StorageIO data infrastructure update newsletter for other related activity, industry trends among other topics. Now lets see how fast October and the rest of 2017 goes.

Ok, nuff said, for now.

Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert 2010-2017 (vSAN and vCloud). Author of Software Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials (CRC Press), as well as Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio.

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Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.