NetApp United 2017 — A Numerical Breakdown

As you likely saw, earlier this week, NetApp announced the official kick-off of their 2017 NetApp United influencer program, welcoming 111 members.

While 111 members gives us a little idea of what the 2017 NetApp United looks like, I thought it was worth taking a closer look.

So, as I’ve done in the past for the EMC Elect program, I’ve taken a look at the information that’s available to see what other insights we could gain into the new program.

In addition to the numbers themselves, I’ve created some graphics to help visualize what the numbers tell us. You’ll find them below. Continue reading

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NetApp Names Members of 2017 NetApp United Program

NetApp has announced the first members of their new community recognition program, called NetApp United. I’m proud to announce that I’m one of those 111 people.

What makes a good candidate for the NetApp United program? According to the application announcement, NetApp was looking for technology enthusiasts who:

  • Have a social media presence
  • Have overall expertise within the technology industry
  • Are a member of the technical community in good standing
  • Are interested in learning more about NetApp products and services

My own NetApp experience dates back to 1993, when I installed several of the first Network Appliance “file toasters” to be purchased in the New England area. Back then the NetApp boxes were often replacing larger and more expensive Auspex NAS devices (although we hadn’t yet started using the term “NAS” at that point). Never heard of Auspex? NetApp is a lot of the reason for that…

More recently, in my last job I got quite familiar with Solidfire‘s scale-out all-Flash arrays. Solidfire joined the NetApp family through acquisition.

I look forward to meeting my fellow NetApp United members and seeing back this program brings in the coming year.

You can see the full list of the 2017 NetApp United members on NetApp’s announcement of the program’s launch.

 

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Pure Storage Announces NVMe DirectFlash and New FlashArray Model

Pure Storage logoToday Pure Storage, known for their All-Flash Storage arrays, announced their next Big ThingTM, DirectFlash, as well as a new FlashArray model. DirectFlash is a combination of NVMe hardware and the software to manage it (more details on that below). The new array model, the FlashArray//X, uses exclusively DirectFlash as the storage medium.

A Brief Flash Primer

“Flash” refers to silicon-based memory chips used for storage. It tends to come in one of two form factors.

The first is Solid State Drives (SSD). These typically have the same dimensions as hard-disk drives (HDD) and connect via either SATA or (more typically) SAS interfaces.

The second is Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe). These use (not surprisingly) non-volatile memory chips to store data. The “Express” in the name indicates that it connects via PCIe which is not only higher bandwidth than SATA or SAS, but is both physically and logically closer to the storage controllers, making NVMe faster and higher bandwidth than SSD. NVMe is often 5X faster than SSD.

I’ll describe the new offerings from Pure below.

Continue reading

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Qumulo Secures Round C Prime Funding – My Conversation with Bill Richter

Qumulo logoToday, Qumulo, vendor of the software-defined scale-out storage platform Qumulo Core, announced the completion a funding round of $30 Million. This C Prime round of funding brings the total amount invested in Qumulo to date to $130 Million.

This new funding round was led by Northern Light Venture Capital and other first-time investors in Qumulo. Previous Qumulo investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), Madrona Venture Group, Top Tier Capital Partners, and Tyche Partners also participated in this round.

This new round of investment in Qumulo follows some recent management changes that include the appointments of

  • Bill Richter (formerly of Isilon) as CEO
  • Jay Wampold as Vice President of Marketing
  • Eric Scollard as Vice President of Worldwide Sales

As long-time readers will know, I’ve been a fan of Qumulo since the beginning. At my previous employer, I was the PreSales Engineer in a deal where we sold a Qumulo cluster even before the company had emerged from stealth mode. At Qumulo’s invitation, I attended the company’s launch party.

So, you can imagine my excitement when Bill Richter and Jay Wampold took some time out of their busy day yesterday to spend some time speaking with me about today’s announcement and anything else I felt like asking them. Continue reading

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An Addendum to My Open Letter

[NOTE: This post might make more sense if you’ve already read my Open Letter to Influence Marketers, but I think it also might work standalone. Your individual mileage may vary.]

After I published my “Open Letter” post on Friday, I had a conversation with Kate Hutchinson, a colleague and friend for whom I have a lot of respect. During that conversation, she very gently reminded me that I dislike it when people complain about something without offering any constructive alternative.

I’ll admit, that once I got the point she was driving at, it stung a little, but that was entirely my fault, not hers. I had done the very thing that I dislike.

I’ll demonstrate with two examples: Continue reading

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An Open Letter to Influence Marketers

[UPDATE: I’ve posted an Addendum to this Open Letter. After you read this, be sure to check that out, too.]

Dear Vendor Marketers,

I love being invited to your technical briefings. I can’t emphasize this enough. They’re awesome. They’re filled with useful and interesting information that I’m more than happy to spend my own personal time writing blog posts about, adding my personal analysis and thoughts. With 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, I think that analysis and those thoughts have some value.

Plus, it means a lot to have you trust me with NDA and/or embargoed information. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough. It makes me feel like you truly consider me a valued partner in your success, and that you respect the value of what I can provide.

However, Continue reading

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Confirmed: I’ll be a Delegate at Storage Field Day 12 (#SFD12)

Storage Field DayA number of things had my status for this event up in the air for a little bit, but I’m very happy to announce that I am now officially confirmed as a Delegate at Storage Field Day 12 next week.

I’m very happy about this. To me the Tech Field Day events have always been in the “It’s an Honor Just to Have Been Invited” category. I’m excited (and curious about) seeing what the event’s sponsors will be presenting.

I’m also excited to see and spend time with the other delegates, many of whom are colleagues and friends, and some I’ll be meeting for the first time.

Presenters

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Look Who’s Coming to Dell EMC World 2017

It’s official. I’ll be attending Dell EMC World 2017. I’ve been invited to attend on a Media/Analyst pass.

Naturally, I’m excited and looking forward to it. This conference seems to be causing a small amount of confusion for folks who’ve attended past events. Folks who came from the EMC side (I include myself in this group) have to keep correcting themselves when they call it “EMC World”, and folks who came from the Dell side have to keep correcting themselves when they call it “Dell world”.

But “Dell EMC World” it is. I’m looking forward to seeing the joint solutions and how the two technology portfolios are coming together.

A Brief Personal History

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How I’m Using a Mind Map to Keep Track of My Job Search

Folks who’ve known me a while will know I’m a big fan of mind maps. A mind map is a diagram that helps to organize information visually. I know a lot of folks like outlines, and I’ll grant that they have their place, but I’ve always found outlines too structured and too limiting.

Outlines force straight-line, linear, hierarchical thinking. That’s exactly what you want for some things. I know a lot of people who think in a straight line most of the time — I’m just not one of them.

My thinking tends to try to go in multiple directions at once, and I like to figure out how things connect together. Sometimes those connections aren’t straight lines and don’t fit into simple hierarchies. This is where mind maps come in handy.

Plus, with a mind map, I feel like I can get an overview of the “big picture” with a single glance.

Several people have seen me using mind maps as a note-taking tool during brainstorming sessions. I wanted to demonstrate their usefulness as a tracking tool, too, so I figured, why not use my job search as an example (since I’m actually using a mind map to track my search).

If you weren’t aware that I’m currently looking for my next job, please take a moment to read about my job search before continuing with this post.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s dive in. Continue reading

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Cisco and Pure Announce FlashStack – a Joint CI Solution

Last week, Cisco and Pure Storage announced FlashStack. FlashStack is a jointly-developed Converged Infrastructure (CI) solution bundle / reference architecture.

The FlashStack solution uses Cisco network and compute hardware, Pure Storage storage hardware, and VMware for the hypervisor and virtualization layer.

FlashStack CI is not a product, per se, but a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) or reference architecture (RA) that both companies will work together to support. This support includes both Pure Storage’s Flash Forward and Evergreen Storage programs. Continue reading

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