73: GreyBeards talk HCI with Gabriel Chapman, Sr. Mgr. Cloud Infrastructure NetApp

Sponsored by: NetApp

In this episode we talk HCI  with Gabriel Chapman (@Bacon_Is_King), Senior Manager, Cloud Infrastructure, NetApp. Gabriel presented at the NetApp Insight 2018 TechFieldDay Extra (TFDx) event (video available here). Gabriel also presented last year at the VMworld 2017 TFDx event (video available here). If you get a chance we encourage you to watch the videos as Gabriel, did a great job providing some design intent and descriptions of NetApp HCI capabilities. Our podcast was recorded after the TFDx event.

NetApp HCI consists of NetApp Solidfire storage re-configured, as a small enterprise class AFA storage node occupying one blade of a four blade system, where the other three blades are dedicated compute servers. NetApp HCI runs VMware vSphere but uses enterprise class iSCSI storage supplied by the NetApp SolidFire AFA.

On our podcast, we talked a bit about SolidFire storage. It’s not well known but the 1st few releases of SolidFire (before NetApp acquisition) didn’t have a GUI and was entirely dependent on its API/CLI for operations. That heritage continues today as NetApp HCI management console is basically a front end GUI for NetApp HCI API calls.

Another advantage of SolidFire storage was it’s extensive QoS support which included state of the art service credits as well as service limits.  All that QoS sophistication is also available in NetApp HCI, so that customers can more effectively limit noisy neighbor interference on HCI storage.

Although NetApp HCI runs VMware vSphere as its preferred hypervisor, it’s also possible to run other hypervisors in bare metal clusters with NetApp HCI storage and compute servers. In contrast to other HCI solutions, with NetApp HCI, customers can run different hypervisors, all at the same time, sharing access to NetApp HCI storage.

On our podcast and the Insight TFDx talk, Gabriel mentioned some future deliveries and roadmap items such as:

  • Extending NetApp HCI hardware with a new low-end, 2U configuration designed specifically for RoBo and SMB customers;.
  • Adding NetApp Cloud Volume support so that customers can extend their data fabric out to NetApp HCI; and
  • Adding (NFS) file services support so that customers using NFS data stores /VVols could take advantage of NetApp HCI storage.

Another thing we discussed was the new development HCI cadence. In the past they typically delivered new functionality about 1/year. But with the new development cycle,  they’re able to deliver functionality much faster but have settled onto a 2 releases/year cycle, which seems about as quickly as their customer base can adopt new functionality.

The podcast runs ~22 minutes. We apologize for any quality issues with the audio. It was recorded at the show and we were novices with the onsite recording technology. We promise to do better in the future. Gabriel has almost become a TFDx regular these days and provides a lot of insight on both NetApp HCI and SolidFire storage.  Listen to our podcast to learn more.

Gabriel Chapman, Senior Manager, Cloud Infrastructure, NetApp

Gabriel is the Senior Manager for NetApp HCI Go to Market. Today he is mainly engaged with NetApp’s top tier customers and partners with a primary focus on Hyper Converged Infrastructure for the Next Generation Data Center.

As a 7 time vExpert that transitioned into the vendor side after spending 15 years working in the end user Information Technology arena, Gabriel specializes in storage and virtualization technologies. Today his primary area of expertise revolves around storage, data center virtualization, hyper-converged infrastructure, rack scale/hyper scale computing, cloud, DevOps, and enterprise infrastructure design.

Gabriel is a Prime Mover, Technologist, Unapologetic Randian, Social Media Junky, Writer, Bacon Lover, and Deep Thinker, whose goal is to speak truth on technology and make complex ideas sound simple. In his free time, Gabriel is the host of the In Tech We Trust podcast and enjoys blogging as well as public speaking.

Prior to joining SolidFire, Gabriel was a storage technologies specialist covering the United States with Cisco, focused on the Global Service Provider customer base. Before Cisco, he was part of the go-to-market team at SimpliVity, where he concentrated on crafting the customer facing messaging, pre-sales engagement, and evangelism efforts for the early adopters of Hyper Converged Infrastructure.

GreyBeards year end storage trends wrap-up

Welcome to our fourth episode. In this year end wrap-up Howard and Ray talk about the three trends that have emerged over the last year or so which are impacting the storage industry in a big way and will continue to affect the industry in the the years to come.

First up is scale-out storage. Howard and Ray were part of Storage Field Day 4 (SFD4) where we met with at least 5 different vendors of scale out storage. All the blogger participants were starting to call this the “Scale-Out” field day. It turns out that the compute requirements for storage are starting to increase, for many reasons not the least of which is the performance of SSDs. This rising compute requirement generates a need for scale-out storage.

Second is software defined storage. Howard took a stab at defining it and in our view software defined storage is delivered as a software only solution that provides storage and compute services together in one server environment. With a 2U server, one can have a couple of SSDs and a gaggle of HDDs and still only use 4 of the 24 cores to supply storage services, leaving the other 20 for compute. What with VMware’s VSAN and the other software defined storage players, this is becoming another hot trend this year.

Finally, whither the disk drive? Drive capacity continues to grow with no end in sight, with helium, HAMR, and shingled magnetic recording. SSD is not killing them off as quickly as we thought, even though SSD costs on $/GB basis keep coming down. The net effect of this is that both of us believe disks are going to be around for the near term (5 yrs or so) but we differed on the long term prospects of disk.

Listen to the podcast to learn more….

GreyBeards talk enterprise Hadoop with Jack Norris, CMO MapR Technologies

Welcome to our third episode. In this podcast we take a step up from the technical depths to talk with Jack Norris, Chief Marketing Officer of MapR Technologies about their enterprise class Hadoop distribution that customers far and wide are finding a viable solution to today’s Hadoop problems.

This months podcast runs a little over 37 minutes (still trying to get this down – but obviously not succeeding). It seems just when I think we’re close to the end, Howard or I jump in with yet another question that takes us down a different tack.

Back to the episode, the advantages of big data are obvious to many. Hadoop and its ecosystem allow IT to tackle jobs previously impossible to perform, clustering together 1000s of servers, and co-locating compute with data. All this provides an immense platform to perform data analytics on a scale never before possible.

Nonetheless, Hadoop has some weaknesses based on its heritage which make it less than it could be and that’s where MapR Technologies steps in. MapR has taken the Hadoop distribution and yanked out HDSF, replacing it with a completely re-architected/reimplemented enterprise class, fault tolerant storage service. But MapR is more than just better and faster storage, so listen to our talk with Jack to find out more about it. I am really having trouble getting my head around snapshotting a PB of Hadoop data at a whack …

 


Jack Norris, CMO, MapR

Jack leads worldwide marketing efforts for MapR. Jack has over 20 years of enterprise software marketing and product management experience in defining and delivering analytics, storage, and information delivery products. Jack has also held senior executive roles with EMC, Rainfinity, Brio Technology, SQRIBE, and Bain and Company.

GreyBeards discuss server side flash with Satyam Vaghani, Co-Founder & CTO PernixData

Episode 2: Server Side Flash Software

Welcome to our second GreyBeards on Storage (GBoS) podcast. The podcast was recorded on October 29, 2013, when Howard and Ray talked with Satyam Vaghani, Co-Founder & CTO PernixData, a scale-out, server side flash caching solution provider

Well this month’s podcast runs about 40 minutes. Howard and I had an interesting and humorous discussion with Satyam Vaghani, who was a leading architect of VMware’s storage and file system stack and now is currently Co-Founder/CTO of PernixData, which offers a server side caching solution. Unlike other solutions in this space, Pernixdata offers advanced write-back caching and scale-out clustering solution for server side flash for data used by VMs running under vSphere. We discuss how they provide these features and why in our second podcast episode. Although why people are running analytics in a VM using server side flash is still a mystery …

 

Satyam Vaghani Bio’s

Satyam Vaghani, Co-founder and CTO Pernixdata
Satyam Vaghani is Co-Founder and CTO at PernixData, a company that leverages server flash to enable scale-out storage performance that is independent of capacity. Earlier, he was VMware’s Principal Engineer and Storage CTO where he spent 10 years delivering fundamental storage innovations in vSphere. He is most known for creating the Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) that set a storage standard for server virtualization. He has authored 50+ patents, led industry-wide changes in storage systems and standards via VAAI, and has been a regular speaker at VMworld and other industry and academic forums. Satyam received his Masters in CS from Stanford and Bachelors in CS from BITS Pilani.

GreyBeards talk converged infrastructure with Dheeraj Pandey, CEO Nutanix

Episode 1: Converged Infrastructure

Welcome to our inaugural GreyBeards on Storage (GBoS) podcast. The podcast was recorded on September 27th, 2013, when Howard and Ray talked with Dheeraj Pandey, CEO Nutanix.

Our first podcast ran to ~48 minutes and was a broad, wide-ranging conversation that discussed everything from the specifics of Nutanix solutions to broader industry trends impacting IT today. In between, we talked about vBlock/FlexPod,  the gift of Moore’s law,  VMware’s Software Defined Data Center, VMware’s VSAN, and using Big Data open source to support enterprise class storage services in a clustered hypervisor environment among other things.  This last bit was pretty unexpected, if you ask me.

Next podcast

Next months GBoS podcast  will be on server side flash.  So if you have any questions on this “IO accelerator” please let us know.

Thanks for listening,

Ray & Howard

 

Dheeraj Panday, CEO Nutanix
About Dheeraj Pandey
Dheeraj is a co-founder and CEO of Nutanix. He brings over 13 years of experience working at high growth enterprise software companies. Prior to founding Nutanix, Dheeraj was the VP of Engineering at Aster Data (now Teradata), where he helped build the product and its engineering team [from the] ground up. At Oracle, he managed the storage engine group for Oracle Database/Exadata, and co-authored numerous patents in the area of distributed databases. Dheeraj is a Ph.D. dropout from University of Texas (Austin), where he was a Graduate Fellow of CS. He has a BS in CS from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Kanpur), where he was adjudged the “Best All-Rounder Student Among All Graduating Students in All Disciplines.”