Your next storage tier? Your volatile memory

In a previous post, I talked about the evolution of the Flash memory market, and how some software solutions are starting to change the way we consume storage. Whenever a new hardware technology comes into market, the previous ones becomes of general use (think SSDs), but the software has always the advantage to leverage any improvement in the underlying hardware, and often re-invent itself. Lately, the common idea in at least two solutions I’ve seen, is the new storage tier they are offering use to use: your servers’ memory.

Has Flash PCIe market reached the peak?

Whenever there is a new idea, a new movement, a new music style, any new thing in any aspect of life, we can observe more or less the same timelines during its lifecylce. These days, I’m starting to see the same traits in the Flash PCIe market.
At the beginning there is the explosion of a new market. Someone launches a new technology (or it can be a new music genre, this example works in different areas), and suddenly a completely new market has born. They had an idea, they identified a new need from customers, or the same need that could have been solved in a different and better way. In this case, the bottleneck created by old bus connectors like SATA and SAS were preventing the complete use of insanely fast Flash memories. By connecting the same memories directly into the PCIe bus, that bottleneck was removed and customer could experience better performances.

An introduction to Microsoft Scale Out File Server

Last week I attended the E2EVC Conference in Brussels. It’s an independent conference about virtualization, filled with technical sessions about many different technologies and platforms: there were some VMware sessions, but the majority of them were about Citrix and Microsoft. It was a great opportunity for me as a “VMware guy” to learn about “the other sides” of the virtualization world. Among the available sessions, Microsoft Scale Out File Server (SOFS) seemed from the beginning an interesting topic; I went to listen to two sessions and I was finally able to get a better knowledge of SOFS.

Me too!

Whenever a new technology is launched, there is (almost everytime) a clear inventor of it, the one who first had the idea in his/her mind and was able to make it something real. As soon as others discover and study this technology, they take the original idea and use it for their own purposes, with or without improving it. Sometimes those second comers add the same feature into their own feature list, in a way that can be called “me too”. Is there any value in a “me too” situation?

QoS: the next “Big Thing” in storage?

In the last months I talked with or looked at several storage vendors, and I saw a new topic becoming more and more important: QoS (Quality of Service). The list of vendors offering this feature (with differences in their own technologies) is becoming quite large: CloudByte, GridStore, Coho Data, SolidFire, HP 3Par, NetApp. And for sure I’m forgetting someone else.
As you can see in my short list, there are both startups that have this feature from their first release, and also big names who added QoS to their existing products. There is a new trend coming, and QoS is for sure becoming a “hot” topic in storage.

I service providers NON sono grandi aziende

Sento spesso parlare di nuove soluzioni di virtualizzazione, siano essere relative a software di orchestrazione, piuttosto che prodotti storage, networking, servers o altro, da parte dei vari produttori che le realizzano, e una delle frasi che sento solitamente è “questo prodotto è pensato per le grandi aziende E i service providers”. L’idea di fondo, nelle intenzioni di chi ipotizza questi due casi d’uso per i propri prodotti, è che una grande azienda è del tutto paragonabile a un service provider. A un primo approccio, il ragionamento è corretto, ma vi è una sostanziale differenza che in ultima analisi rende questo ragionamento una forzatura.

Service providers ARE NOT large companies

I heard lately many presentations about virtualization solutions, being them orchestration solutions, or storage, networking or soemthing else, and the vendors selling them have a usual phrase “this product is designed for large companies AND service providers”. The underlying idea, coming from vendors thinking at both use cases for their products, is that a large companies is completely comparable to a service provider. At first, the thought is correct, but there is a significant difference that ultimately makes this thinking wrong.