EMC Announces New Mid-Range Unified Storage Platform – Unity

Today, at EMC World, EMC announced their new mid-range unified storage platform, called Unity.

Some time last summer, I remember thinking that it was weird that we hadn’t seen a “Mega-Launch” event announcement from EMC. VNX2 seemed due for a refresh, but nothing happened. Now I know why — the EMC team was working on Unity instead.

I’ll be clear up-front: Unity is NOT “VNX3”. This is a completely-new architecture, and one that finally actually delivers on the “Unified” promise that VNX never quite achieved. Continue reading

Cohesity Announces Cloud Integration for Their Storage Platform

[DISCLOSURE: Cohesity was one of the sponsors of the Storage Field Day 9 event (SFD9) that I was a delegate for. As such, they helped to pay for my travel, accommodations, and meals for that event. There was no requirement or even expectation that I write anything about them. No one from Cohesity (or anywhere else for that matter) has reviewed the content of this post.]

Cohesity logoToday, Cohesity announced the addition of Cloud integration with their storage platform.

Cohesity is a storage startup that, quite frankly, I hadn’t even heard of before receiving the invitation to Storage Field Day. In what may turn out to be a very clever strategy, Cohesity has made the conscious decision to let the existing players fight over the hotly-contested primary storage space. Instead, Cohesity is concentrating on capturing the less “sexy” — but just as important — secondary storage space.

In discussing this, Cohesity makes a “storage iceberg” analogy, wherein primary storage is only the part of the iceberg that’s visible above the surface, while secondary storage is everything below the surface: Tier 2/3 applications, copies of data, backups, archives, etc. Continue reading

Qumulo Adds Erasure Coding, Predictive Analytics, and Three New Hardware Models

Qumulo logoToday, Qumulo, a scale-out NAS vendor, announced a major new version of their operating environment, Qumulo Core 2.0, and three new hardware models.

Qumulo is hybrid storage, meaning each node has both Flash and spinning disks. The Flash layer (in this case SSDs) is used for performance and the HDD layer for capacity. Data is moved between these two tiers automatically without end-user action or even awareness.

I’ve written about Qumulo before: I was there at their launch party when they emerged from stealth, and, more recently, I wrote about their new high-density node. I was also directly involved in my company’s first sale of a Qumulo cluster — while the company was still in stealth mode.

I mention this partly to get the “yes, I’m a fan” out of the way early, and partly to give some weight to this statement: this is (in my debatably humble opinion) their best announcement to date. Continue reading

SimpliVity Announces OmniStack 3.5 and OmniView

SimpliVityToday, SimpliVity announced version 3.5 of their OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform and a new predictive analytics offering called OmniView.

Introduction to SimpliVity

Founded in 2009 with a mission to simplify IT infrastructure, SimpliVity is one of the “Names” in the hyperconverged infrastructure space. Their OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform can be purchased in one of two ways:

  • Pre-installed on a hardware appliance called an OmniCube
  • As software to run on approved supported server hardware like Cisco UCS and Lenovo

The key to the OmniStack Data Virtualization Platform (DVP) is the inline, global data deduplication. As Simplivity is fond of saying, the least expensive write is one you don’t need to write. Continue reading

Pure Storage Announces New Solutions and New Architecture

Pure Storage logoToday, Pure Storage made several announcements: new product, new bundled solutions, and a brand-new scale-out architecture. These announcements were timed to coincide with Day One of their first-ever conference event, Pure//Accelerate, which I am attending.

[DISCLAIMER: In the interest of full disclosure, Pure Storage provided me with a complimentary pass to their conference and also covered my plane fare and hotel costs to attend. That said, there was no requirement that I post anything, nor has Pure reviewed anything I’ve written in this post. The only input they’ve had on this content is being very available to answer any questions I’ve asked.]

The announcements that interested me the most are:

  • A new addition to the FlashArray//m Series line of products
  • New bundled FlashStack solutions
  • A from-the-ground-up new scalable storage architecture

I’ll walk through these in order below. Continue reading

Cisco Enters Hyperconverged Market with HyperFlex

HyperFlex HX240cToday Cisco announced their entry in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure marketplace, a solution called HyperFlex.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) can be thought of as “Virutalization in a Box”. An HCI solution is one that offers everything needed for server virtualization: compute, memory, network, storage, hypervisor, and management/orchestration for all of these.

Cisco’s HyperFlex solution uses:

  • Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to provide the compute, memory, and storage hardware
  • Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects to provide the network hardware
  • Cisco UCS Manager for compute, memory, and network management
  • VMware ESXi for the hypervisor
  • SpringPath software, re-branded as the Cisco HX Data Platform, to provide the data services, and storage optimization and orchestration

The HyperFlex solution will initially be offered in three different ways: small footprint, capacity-heavy, and compute-heavy.

I’ll walk through the various components and the complete solution below. Continue reading

VMware Announces vExperts for 2016

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-kToday, VMware announced the list of vExpert recipients for 2016.

The VMware vExpert program recognizes those who have gone above and beyond their normal job description in sharing the messaging, knowledge, and “how to” of virtualization in general and VMware in particular.

The vExpert program is open to VMware employees, partner, customers, and others.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really excited to have been named a VMware vExpert for my fifth year in a row. I’m also honored and thankful, but, yeah, excited too.

You can see the full list of 2016 VMware vExperts here.

Cisco Announces Champions for 2016

ciscochampion2016On Friday last week, Cisco started sending out email welcoming those people who have been selected to receive the Cisco Champion designation for 2016.

For those of you not familiar with it, Cisco Champion is Cisco’s community recognition program. Its main goal is to encourage and recognize knowledge-sharing efforts. To quote from the welcome email:

Cisco Champions are a group of highly-influential IT technical experts who enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco. The Cisco Champion program encompasses a diverse set of areas such as Data Center, Internet of Things, Enterprise Networks, Collaboration, and Security.

I am simultaneously pleased, honored, and humbled to have been named a Cisco Champion for Data Center for the third year in a row. I look forward to meeting and working with the other Cisco Champions, which, this year includes three of my co-workers at Accunet Solutions.

Confirmed for Storage Day 9 (#SFD9)

Storage Field DayYou may remember that I made my Tech Field Day debut last year at Storage Field Day 7. If you followed any of the video stream during, or any of the recordings afterwards, you’ll have some sense of how much fun it was and just how much information we received over the course of the event.

What you may not know is that I was invited to return as a delegate for Storage Field Day 8, but, due to scheduling conflicts, was unable to attend.

What you most likely didn’t know (before you read the title of this post) was that I’ll be returning as a delegate for Storage Field Day 9. The event will be in Silicon Valley 16-18 March.

So far, the publicly-announced vendors who’ll be presenting include:

  • Cloudian
  • Exablox
  • Intel
  • Primary Data

I’ll post more about this event when it gets closer and more of the presenters are public. For now, I’ll just say that I’m honored and excited to have been invited back.

Nutanix Files Intent to IPO

NutanixYesterday, Nutanix announced that it had filed Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Form S-1 is what companies use to proposed creating an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of publicly-traded shares of stock.

Nutanix intends to list its Class A Common Stock under the ticker symbol “NTNX”. The number of shares to be offered or their initial price point hasn’t been determined yet, but Nutanix says that they aim to sell a maximum of $200 Million in shares of stock. The deal is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse.

Nutanix makes a hyperconverged infrastructure appliance. They have OEM partnership deals with both Dell and Lenovo.

Nutanix is most often seen as a competitor to SimpliVity, but they try to paint themselves in a different light. In the filing, Nutanix positions itself as competing with traditional storage vendors and specifically lists EMC, NetApp, and Hitachi Data Systems. Nutanix also calls out VMware as a competitor. You can read the full text of the SEC filing here.

During their most recent fiscal year, Nutanix registered $241 Million in revenue with a net $126 Million loss.

It will be interesting to see if the market is ready to get behind hyperconvergence.