Tag Archives: SSD

PB are the new TB, GreyBeards talk with Brian Carmody, CTO Inifinidat

In our 26th episode we talk with Brian Carmody (@initzero), CTO of Infinidat.  Howard and I also talked with Inifinidat at Storage Field Day 8 (SFD8), a couple of weeks ago which recorded their session(s). For more information about Infinidat, we would highly suggest you watch the videos available here .

As they say, Brian is wise beyond his (35) years and was highly conversant about the history of storage,  IT in general and current industry trends –  must have had good mentor(s). He made mention that many of today’s Billion dollar IT businesses were first dreamt up at EMC but failed to make a significant impact there.

The podcast starts out talking about the changes impacting the storage industry today and the rise of the startups, all due to the great enabler – flash. Infinidat has a hybrid storage solution that uses controller based SSDs as a read cache for data that resides on 7200 RPM disks and uses sophisticated DRAM caching for read and write back cache.

Infinidat has targeted the enterprise market with a high touch model. The historic problem with this model is its high cost. To counter this trend, Infinidat has focused on reducing support costs by having 100PB or more of Infinidat storage in their labs either burning in for future customer shipments or being used in test, validation and customer performance modeling. The significant burn-in shrinks early life hardware failures (at customer data centers) and as a result, reduces field support activity.  Also having all that equipment sitting in their labs makes testing, validation and performance modeling much quicker and theoretically more comprehensive – much cheaper and easier to find & fix bugs in the lab than in the field.

Brian discussed how Infinidat started. He said Moshe gave them $80M and told them assume you have all the money you need, hire the best people you can, start with a clean slate storage design and take as much time as you need.

The result is the Infinidat Infinibox storage system, a 7-9’s available, triply redundant storage system that supports unified SAN-NAS storage. Moreover, their development team seems to have 3 generations of engineers with battle hardened engineers from the original development of EMC Symmetrix to developers straight out of Google today.

A couple of times Brian came out of left field with ideas that blew Howard and I away. As we were talking Brian mentioned that “PB are the new TB” in the enterprise today.  And later in the session he said something to the effect that todays plethora of mobile devices act as a caching layer for data in the cloud. Brian’s pretty impressive and should go far in this industry.

This months edition runs just over 42 minutes and didn’t expend as much time on technical details as about industry trends and what Inifinidat was doing to differentiate themselves from the pack. Howard and I came away impressed both with the information presented at SFD8 as well as the conversation we had with Brian. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Infinidat - Brian CarmodyRZBrian Carmody, CTO Infinidat

Brian Carmody is Chief Technology Officer at INFINIDAT, responsible for corporate technology strategy and new technology incubation.

Carmody is a 15-year technology veteran and serial entrepreneur, starting with medical diagnostics company, Jurupari Systems, which he co-founded in 1999. He was an early employee of storage consultancy NovusCG, starting as a hardware engineer and ultimately building and leading their storage management technology practice.

In 2007, Brian joined media company, MTV Networks Viacom, where he managed worldwide storage engineering and led development of Viacom’s digital media storage system.  In 2008, Carmody joined IBM, where he led corporate solution engineering for the XIV Storage and PureFlex brands, then returned to an engineering role in Israel where he led the XIV Hyper-Scale cloud storage project. Carmody joined Infinidat as CTO in 2013.

GreyBeards talk global storage with Ellen Rubin CEO & Laz Vekiarides CTO, ClearSky Data

In this edition we discuss ClearSky Data’s global storage service with Ellen Rubin (@ellen_rubin), CEO & Co-Founder and Laz Vekiarides (@lazvek), CTO & Co-founder of ClearSky Data.  Both Ellen and Laz have been around the IT industry for decades and Laz in particular was deeply involved in the development of EqualLogic storage systems both at Dell and at EqualLogic, prior to the acquisition.

ClearSky Data provides a global, primary storage service that connects edge device(s) in the data center that supply a read/write cache for iSCSI block storage to a point-of-presence (PoP) appliance in the metro area which uses cloud storage as its backend storage repository . We get into the technology later but essentially a customer pays a $/GB/month fee and all the edge, point-of-presence hardware and cloud storage repository is bundled into that monthly price.

The service is implemented as a two level caching service: level one at the edge is a cluster of 2U appliances with compute, DRAM and up to 24 SSDs and a dedicated metro-ethernet networking link to the PoP; level two at the PoP includes a dual HA server configuration with a JBOD with even more SSDs that has a direct link to Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (AWS S3).

Data is compressed, (inline or post-process) deduped and encrypted at the edge. Encryption keys are kept by the customer. Data written to the edge is synch-mirrored to the PoP and when the PoP fills up or the customer’s time interval has elapsed, their data is destaged to Amazon S3 which can then be replicated to other regions, where needed.

As part of their service, ClearSky Data also offers disaster recovery. As all customer data resides in S3, it can easily be supplied to another edge appliance (with the proper keys) at any other metro area location connected to one of their PoP’s.

ClearSky Data handles eventual consistency (not all copies of the data residing in  cloud storage may be the same) by versioning the cloud data objects and providing point-in-time consistency.

At the edge, the service can be deployed as a cluster of appliances that work together to support the IO workload and the PoP is configured to handle whatever IO workload is required in the metro area. Activity at the edge is heavy compute (compression, dedupe and encrypting all the data that comes in) and workload at the PoP is more IO bandwidth/networking based.

ClearSky Data currently has PoP’s in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Boston with more on the way in the US. Today, ClearSky Data offer’s iSCSI interface protocols but have plans to provide FC, NFS and SMB support as well.  As we recorded the podcast, ClearSky Data’s  service was not quite GA yet, but were close.

Full Disclosure: Howard has worked for ClearSky in the past.

This months edition runs just under 41 minutes and gets into the business side and technical side of their service. Ellen provided the business view and Laz handled all the technical questions Howard and I threw at him. We hope you enjoy the podcast.

Ellen and Laz-orig copyEllen Rubin, CEO & Co-Founder ClearSky Data

Ellen Rubin is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market for fast-growing companies. Most recently she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company that was successfully acquired by Verizon in 2011. At Verizon, Ellen ran the cloud products group and was responsible for the strategy and roadmap for all cloud offerings.

Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was Vice President of Marketing at Netezza (NYSE: NZ), the pioneer and global leader in data warehouse appliances that power business intelligence and analytics at over 200 enterprises worldwide. As a member of the early management team at Netezza, Ellen helped grow the company to $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen defined and created broad market acceptance of a new category, “data warehouse appliances,” and led market strategy, product marketing, complementary technology relationships and marketing communications.

Prior to Netezza, Ellen founded Manna, an Israeli and Boston-based developer of real-time personalization software. Ellen played a key role in raising over $18 million in venture financing from leading US and Israeli venture capital firms, recruiting the US-based management team and defining product and market strategy. Ellen began her career as a marketing strategy consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College. She speaks regularly at industry events and has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Women in the Cloud by CloudNOW, as a Woman to Watch by Mass High Tech and Rising Star Entrepreneur by the New England Venture Capital Association.

Laz Vekiarides, CTO  & Co-Founder ClearSky Data

For over 20 years Laz Vekiarides has served in key technical and leadership roles delivering breakthrough technologies to market. Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Software Engineering for Dell’s EqualLogic Storage Engineering group, where he led the development of numerous storage innovations and established the EqualLogic product line as a leader in host OS and hypervisor integration.

Laz joined Dell from EqualLogic, which was acquired in early 2008, where he was a member of the core leadership team – playing a key role in the company’s early success as a Senior Engineering Manager and Architect for the PS Series SAN arrays and host tools. Prior to EqualLogic, Laz held senior engineering and management positions at several companies including 3COM and Banyan Systems.

An occasional blogger, Laz frequently speaks at industry conferences, particularly in the areas of virtualization and data storage. He holds several storage technology patents, as well as a BSEE from Northeastern University, and an MSCS from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

GreyBeards talk Nexgen Storage with John Spiers, CEO and Kelly Long, CTO Nexgen Storage

In this podcast we discuss Nexgen’s hybrid storage with John Spiers, Founder & CEO and Kelly Long, Founder & CTO of Nexgen Storage. Both John and Kelly have had a long and interesting career across multiple companies ranging from startups to major industry organizations, so they bring a unique perspective to what’s happening in the storage industry today.

Nexgen Storage has an unusual history itself, having been acquired by FusionIO, then SanDisk acquired FusionIO and then SanDisk spun out Nexgen Storage as an independent company again. There were good reasons for each of these changes and John goes into some detail in the podcast on these transitions.

Some of Nexgen Storage’s competitive advantages are from a few decisions, made early on in the development of the product. Specically, the use of PCIe Flash storage as a separate storage tier and their vision of the need for highly granular Quality of Service (QoS) functionality.

It turns out that Nexgen Storage was an early adopter of FusionIO’s PCIe flash cards and continues to use SanDisk solutions in their hybrid storage today. John and Kelly discuss some of  their considerations behind using PCIe Flash vs. SSDs in the podcast.

John and Kelly also talk about why QoS is so important to today’s storage systems and and how Nexgen’s QoS differs from the rest of the competition. Some of the data Nexgen gathers about IO and other system activity is pretty impressive and as it turns out, is absolutely essential to providing the level QoS that Nexgen supplies.

Another item discussed on the podcast is Nexgen’s data reduction capabilities which they refer to as “simple dedupe”. It’s not quite dedupe, but it does have some interesting characteristics we haven’t seen in other storage systems.

Finally, at the end of the podcast, there’s some discussion on the hardware innovation coming out around the PCIe bus and what this might mean to future storage systems.

This months editionruns just under 44 minutes and doesn’t get as technical as some of our previous sessions. We even discuss goto market strategies at prior companies and channel changes that transpired during the FusionIO and SanDisk acquisitions.  We hope you enjoy the podcast.

John Spiers, Founder & CEO, and Kelly Long, Founder & CTO, Nexgen StorageJohn Spiers

John is a serial entrepreneur based in Boulder, CO. John has been pioneering breakthrough data storage innovations for over 30 Years. He co-founded venture-backed LeftHand Newtorks, a market leader in virtualized, scale-out data storage, and served as LeftHand’s Chief Technology Officer. In 2010 John co-founded NexGen Storage. John supports local entrepreneurs, serving on the boards of local technology startups and as an advisor for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. John is a graduate from Colorado State University with a degree in Engineering.

Kelly Long

 

Kelly has been innovating in the storage industry for over 20 years. An expert in architecting and developing storage software, Kelly has contributed to the advancement of a wide range of technologies such as hard drives, high currency multi-thread/multi-processor/multi-computer computing and clustered storage systems. He holds multiple patents, and has worked at leading companies, including Maxtor, StorageTek, LeftHand Networks, Copan, Dot Hill, Crosswalk, MySQL and Sun. He was a co-founder and chief software architect at LeftHand Networks. Kelly has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

GreyBeards talk data-aware storage with Paula Long & Dave Siles, CEO&CTO DataGravity

In this podcast we discuss data-aware storage with Paula Long, CEO/Co-Founder and Dave Siles, CTO of DataGravity. Paula comes from EqualLogic and Dave from Veeam so they both have a lot of history in and around the storage industry, almost qualifying them as grey hairs :/

Data-aware storage is a new paradigm in storage that combines primary (block and file) storage, file and data analytics and text indexing. Just to top it off, they also add data protection to a separate storage partition. Their system is VM aware and is able to crack open VMDKs to find out what’s inside. With all their file and data analytics, DataGravity is  able to supply data leakage detection and a much better understanding of what data is actually being stored on the system.

Paula believes, in 5 years or so, this new approach to storage will become common. Their system also supports targeted data deduplication and compression as well as provide self-service restore and a “google-like” rich search experience to their data aware storage.

DataGravity was designed for mid-market but are being pulled up market by workgroups as department level storage for F500 companies. They find that once installed,  they usually uncover some exposure and then other departments take notice. Also they’re discovering an awful lot of dormant data and moving this off of primary storage can save quite a lot.

DataGravity has a 2U controller with a 24-disk drive shelf but have SSDs inside the controllers. They use spinning disks for a majority of the data storage.

DataGravity has an interesting twist on the active-passive, standard dual conttroller/HA approach to storage, which you will have to listen to the podcast to truly understand.

This months episode runs a bit over 44 minutes and wanders over a lot of high ground but dips into technical waters occasionally.

Paula Long, CEO & Co-founder, DataGravity

PaulaLong-G Paula brings over 30 years of experience to DataGravity in delivering meaningful and game changing high-tech innovation. Prior to DataGravity, Paula served as vice president of product development at Heartland Robotics. In 2001 Paula co-founded storage provider EqualLogic, resetting the bar on how customers managed and purchased data storage. EqualLogic was acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008 and Paula remained at Dell as vice president of storage until 2010. Previous to EqualLogic, she served in several engineering management positions at Allaire Corporation and oversaw all aspects of the ClusterCATS product line while at Bright Tiger Technologies.

Her executive and technical leadership has been extensively recognized, including the New Hampshire High Tech Council Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Ernst & Young 2008 Northeast Regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” and a national finalist for the same award. Her technical awards span systems designs and enterprise software including the EqualLogic and ClusterCATS product lines. She is a graduate of Westfield State College

Paula is also active in the startup community. Outside of high tech, she works with charities creating equality for professional women and girls, as well as with organizations enabling literacy for all children, regardless of economic status.

Dave Siles, CTO DataGravity

DaveSiles-colorWith more than 20 years in operations and leadership roles with growth companies, David serves as chief technology officer of DataGravity, responsible for leading the technical strategic vision for the company while guiding our product management teams and research and development efforts to better serve the needs of organizations looking for more from their data storage.

Prior to becoming CTO, David served as vice president of worldwide field operations at DataGravity. Previously, David was a member of the senior leadership team at Veeam Software, a leading data protection software provider for virtualized and cloud environments.

David also served as CTO and VP of professional services for systems integrator Hipskind TSG. He also served as CTO for Kane County, Ill., and has held technology leadership roles with various organizations. A graduate of DeVry University, he is a frequent speaker at top tier technology shows and is a recognized expert in virtualization.

 

Greybeards talk about Storage Trends in our 2014 Yearend Podcast-part 3

In this our end of year video podcast Howard and I discuss some of the trends impacting the storage industry today.  Which include Cloud, SSD/Flash, software defined storage and converged server-storage systems and object storage.

The video comes in at a little more than 43 minutes and is available to be streamed, from Vimeo

or as a downloadable podcast in as a 3 videos.

Part 3 (~8 minutes) discusses the state of object storage and some of the trends impacting it’s adoption.