GreyBeards talk scale-out storage with Coho Data CTO/Co-founder, Andy Warfield

Welcome to our fifth episode. We return now to an in-depth technical discussion of leading edge storage systems, this time with Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-founder of Coho Data. Coho Data supplies VMware scale-out storage solutions with PCIe SSDs and disk storage using the NFS protocol. Howard and I talked with Andy and Coho Data at Storage Field Day 4 last November but we thought he was so interesting, he deserved a second conversation.

This months podcast comes in at a little over 40 minutes. I apologize for the occasional poor sound quality. I used WiFi while recording the call while recuperating from foot surgery. Hopefully, next month I will be back to my normal office and using LAN.

Andy comes at storage from a stint at XenSource and Citrix Systems and sees many parallels between server virtualization and storage. In the case of servers, CPUs had become so powerful that in order to take advantage of all that speed you needed to run multiple independent workloads using a non-intrusive hypervisor to coordinate it all. In storage, the case can be made that PCIe SSDs can now supply more IOPS and throughput than most single application can possibly use and the way to take effective advantage of that performance is to support multiple IO workloads using a non-intrusive storage hyper/supervisor to coordinate it all. For Coho Data, all IO lands on PCIe SSD first and then is only migrated to Disk if it’s cold enough not to warrant flash residency.

The other interesting thing about Coho Data was their inclusion of an OpenFlow SDN switch in their scale-out storage system. They use SDN switching to help implement the NFS presentation layer,  balance IO workload across different nodes and direct IO to an appropriate node.

Although, I may have made mention of using 8″ floppies to gather data from storage systems in the old days, contrary to popular myth I never played frisbee with them.

Listen to the podcast to learn more…

Andrew Warfield, CTO/Co-founder Coho Data


Andy is an established researcher in computer systems, specializing in storage, virtualization, and security. At Coho Data, Andy leads the technology vision and directs the engineering team in building elegant and functional systems that enable customers to focus on the data and applications instead of the underlying infrastructure that drives them. As a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, he was one of the original authors of the Xen hypervisor, and has since done award-winning research in virtualization and high availability. At XenSource and Citrix Systems, he was the Technical Director for Storage & Emerging Technologies.

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.”