Yesterday in Colorado Springs SNIA held a grand opening for their new Technology Center. They have moved their tech center about a half mile closer to Pikes Peak.
The new center has less data center floor space than the old one but according to Wayne Adams/EMC and Chairman of SNIA Board, this is a better fit for what SNIA is doing today. These days SNIA doesn’t do as many plugfests requiring equipment to all be co-located on the same data center floor. Most of SNIA’s plugfests today are done over the web, remotely, across continent wide distances.
SNIA’s new tech center is being leased from LSI which occupies the other half of the building. If you were familiar with the old tech center it was leased from HP which resided in the other half of the old tech center. This seems to work well for SNIA in the past, providing access to a large number of technical experts which can be called on to help out when needed.
A couple of things I didn’t realize about SNIA:
- They have been in Colorado Springs since 2001
- They have only 14 USA employees but over 4000 volunteers
- They host a world wide IO trace library which member companies contribute and can access
- All the storage equipment in their data center is provided for free by vendor/member companies.
- SNIA certification training is one of the top 10 certifications as judged by an independent agency
Took a tour of their technology display area highlighting SNIA initiatives:
- Green Storage Initiative display had a technician working on getting the power meter working properly. One of only two analyzers I saw in their data centers. The green storage initiative is all about the energy consumption of storage.
- Solid State Storage Initiative display had a presentation on the SSSI activities and white papers which they have produced on this technology.
- XAM initiative section had a couple of people talking about the importance of XAM to compliance activities and storage archives.
- FCIA section had a talk on FC and its impact on storage present and futures.
Other initiatives were on display as well but I spent less time studying them. In the conference room and 2 training rooms, SNIA had presentations on their Certification activity and storage training opportunities. Howie Goldstein (HGAI Associates) was in one of the training rooms talking about education he provides through SNIA.
The new tech center has two computer labs. Lab 1 seemed to have just about every vendors storage hardware. As you can see from the photo, each storage subsystem was dedicated to SNIA initiative activities. Didn’t see a lot of servers using this storage but they were probably located in computer lab 2. In the picture one can see EMC, HDS, APC, and at the end, 3PAR storage. On the other side of the aisle (not shown) was HP, NetApp, PillarData, and more HDS storage (and probably missed one or two more).
Don’t recall the SAN switch hardware but it wouldn’t surprise me to include a representative selection of all the vendors. There was more switch hardware in Lab 2 and there we could make easily make out (McData or now) Brocade switch hardware.
Computer Lab 2 seemed to have most of the server hardware and more storage. But both labs looked pretty clean from my perspective, probably due to all the press and grand opening celebration. It ought to look more lived in/worked in over time. I always like labs to be a bit more chaotic (see my price of quality post for a look at a busy HP EVA lab).
You would think with all SNIAs focus on plugfests there would be a lot more hardware analyzers floating around the two labs. But outside of the power meter in the Green Storage Initiative display the only other analyzer like equipment I saw was a lone workstation behind some of the storage in lab 2. It was way too clean to actually be in use. There ought to be post-it notes all over it, cables hanging all around it, with manuals and other documentation underneath it (but maybe I am a little old school docs should all be online nowadays). Also, I didn’t see one white board in either of the labs, also a clear sign of early life.
We didn’t get to see much of the office space but it looked like plenty of windows and decent sized offices. Not sure how many people would be assigned to each but they have to put the volunteers and employees someplace.
Mystery Storage Contest – 1
And now for a new contest. See if you can determine the storage I am showing in the photo below. Please submit your choice via comment(s) to this post and be sure to supply a valid email address.
Contest participant(s) will all receive a subscription to my (free) monthly Storage Intelligence email newsletter. One winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries and will earn a free coupon code for 30% off any Silverton Consulting Briefings purchased through the web (once I figure out how to do this).
Correct entries must supply a valid email and identify the storage vendor and product model depicted in the picture. Bonus points will be awarded for anyone who can tell the raw capacity of the subsystem in the picture.
SNIA volunteers, SNIA employees, SNIA member company employees and family members of any of these are not allowed to submit answers. The contest will be closed 90 days after this post is published. (And would someone from SNIA Technology Center please call me at 720-221-7270 and provide the identification and raw capacity of the storage subsystem depicted below in Computer Lab 2 on the NorthWest Wall.)
Remember our first Mystery Storage Contest closes in 90 days.
Also if you would like to submit an entry picture for future mystery storage contests please indicate so in your comment and I will be happy to contact you directly.