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Storage Field Day 3 - Day 1

Written by Roy Mikes on Wednesday, 24 April 2013. Posted in General

Day 1

Storage Field Day is a go. I give you a small overview of vendors passing by the first day. First presenter is Exablox. According Exablox is the company reimaging storage. Exablox solves businesses’ runaway storage costs and information management nightmares by providing a scale-out cloud-based management solution that is both affordable and easy to use.

OneBlox is a reimagined scale-out storage solution combines hardware architecture and integrated enterprise software, including continuous data protection, inline deduplication and disaster recovery. Exablox’s clean sheet approach combines the CIFS/SMB accessible OneBlox appliance with OneSystem Looks like they understood the principles of a RAIN configuration as well which prevent data lost when 2 nodes fail. They support a combination of SAS, SATA and FLASH tiered disks with a 32 TB (8 disks rated at 4 TB each) per appliance node. Makes you wonder how rebuild time performance when you loose disks and what the impact is on the box performance in relation to the filesystems. These are always interesting questions since more an more technique is build in the Storage system require more CPU power. On the other hand they let you choose your own disk if you prefer. That's quite unique.

Further more there are great benefits & features:

  • Scale-out Architecture
  • Cloud-based management
  • Dynamic growth
  • Zero configuration
  • Inherent protection

Nice demo, great presentation of this startup company. Not afraid to say that improvements are still needed, new features are coming. We will see how far they go with their solutions.

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Second up, Cleversafe about their solution. With the unprecedented growth in new content, use cases have emerged that enable you to store and distribute limitless content. Shutterfly for example is a fotosharing service with over 20 billion images uploaded. They reach the 70 Petabyte scale, which is serious data. Traditionally doesn't fit anymore. According Cleversafe RAID is not ideal for storing large amount of digital data. 

How? Cleversafe's Dispersed Storage technology provides tunable reliability. Their approach uses Reed Solomon coding - erasure codes, a type of forward error correction to transform a set of k symbols into a set of n symbols to create redundancy before splitting and storing the symbols in a number of different storage nodes in such a way that only a subset of n symbols are needed to recover the original data.

When you go BIG, in the end someone will popup the question how to manage and monitor this all. Cleversafe showed us a demo of their management tool dsNet Manager which certainty is Enterprise ready. Even showed us 15 9's of availability. Which by the way is equivalent to 31.5ns per 10 years: ow.ly/ko10Q that equals 100%, no downtime and that sounds ridiculous :-).

Finaly Cleversafe showed dsNet Share. The dsNet Share application lets you view, upload, share, and collaborate on documents in your cloud storage account like Dropbox. The beauty of it besides using this public like dropbox is the option to use it as private Enterprise sharing solution. So, dsNet Share helps organizations deploy their own private file sync-and-share service, with secure and convenient access via mobile and desktop clients. So you are completely in control of your data. Again very impressed!

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Up Next Marvell DragonFly founded in 1995 talking about the anatomy of a DragonFly with their flagship the Marvell NVDRIVE, NVCACHE an NVRAM-powered PCIe SSD accelerator. Marvell is pointing out how evil meta data is. Metadata hold all the information about data itself. So when you lost you meta data you loose in fact your data as well. In the demo they provided some insane performance numbers as well. The only thing what keeps me busy is that I always see the same physical PCIe cards wondering how they will fit in a Blade architecture. As answered they don't. So we seen some big IOPS numbers. Great product. 

Cisco is closing the first Storage Field day with Raising the Bar for Storage Networks talking about Cisco MDS for Unified Data Centers. The MDS architecture has been designed to meet principles like High Data Transfer Capability, Predictable Performance, High Availability and Data Protection. They announced Cisco's MDS 9710 is available for shipping today supporting 3 times more performance then any other director. 1.5 Tbps!  

Cisco is also showing the new MDS9250i multi service Switch. One single platform for storage services supporting High-Bandwidth FCIP. Cisco mentioned they investing heavily in Fibre Channel including FCoE. Going further through the technical details and Single Point of management, Cisco surprised us showing serieus iron they took with them.

With Cisco closing the first SFD3 it was an interesting day. A busy day with a very tight schedule to squeeze all presenters and activities in this day. A lot of information past by combined with a jet lag it was definitely an interesting day. Absolutely not complaining I am looking back to a great day with great presenters and interactive sessions. Cleversafe supprised me today as Exablox. You can see Cleversafe is in the market for a while in contrast to Exablox. Exablox has gone to great lengths presenting and have a potential product. Bring your own drives is a nice approach. Still wonder! OneBlox can be installed and available to users in less than five minutes with almost no configuration. With its real-time replication, information stored in a OneBlox ring is fully protected. By avoiding legacy RAID technologies, OneBlox is able to transparently replicate and redistribute the data across multiple drives and nodes to protect against two drive or node failures. Additionally, with its advanced architecture, information is always protected across failure domains: drives, nodes, and an entire ring, even over wide-area distances. Anyway, my compliment to all presenters present today. 

Introducing the Next-Generation Cisco MDS Switch

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About the Author

Roy Mikes

Roy Mikes

Roy Mikes has developed a deep knowledge of virtualization, storage and Cloud in a broad perspective over the past 15 years, but also streamlines his focus on VMware and EMC Technology. Because of that knowledge and focus, Roy works as a Cloud and Storage Technologist Specialist, Data Center Architect Specialist and VMware Certified Professional.

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