Datera: Elastic Data Fabric
Jul20

Datera: Elastic Data Fabric

During Storage Field Day 10 we had a very interesting presentation by Datera on their Elastic Data Fabric. They say its the first storage solution for enterprises as well as service provider clouds that is designed with DevOps style operations in mind. The Elastic Data Fabric provides scale-out storage software capable of turning standard commodity hardware into a RESTful API-driven, policy-based storage fabric, for the enterprise environments.
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The Datera EBF solution gives your environment the flexibility of hyperscale environments through a clever and innovate software solution. In a fast changing application landscape being fast, flexible, agile and software defined is key. Cloud native is the new kid on the block and more and enterprises are adapting to these kinds application development.

Datera seems to be able to provide enterprises as well as cloud providers the storage that is needed to build these applications. The way this is accomplished by Datera is be defined in four main solutions:

Intent defined

What is Intent defined? I had a bit of a struggle on that question myself, so just lets stick to the explanation Datera provides:
Intent defined is a ochestrated play between storage and application. An application developer will know what he would like from storage, and can define these to the storage application programming interface. This is DevOps at its best. When storage is able to be scriptable from a developer perspective and manageable from a storage adminstrator perspective you know you hit the jackpot.

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API first approach

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Already mention the API a couple of times, but this is one of the key features of the Datera EBF, and therefor very important. Datera aims to set a new standard with the elegance and simplicity of their API. They intend to make the API as easy usable as possible to make sure it used and not forsaken because it so hard to understand.
The API is a well though and extremely hard peace to do right creating something as difficult as a storage platform for the customers Datera is aiming for. The API first approach and the approach Datera took developing the API seems to be a real seldom seen piece of art in this space.

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Hyper-composable

Things always need to come together creating something like a storage platform. One of these things is that the companies buying your solution want the opportunity to mix and match. They want to buy what they need now and if they need more (capacity or performance or both) they want to add just as easy. At Datera the you can mix and match different kind of nodes without impacting the overall performance of the solution, making it one of these rare solutions that is truely hyper-composable.

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Multi-Tenant

This is where a lot of software solutions say they are, but…. When you start using their products you find out the hard way that the definition of Multi-tenant is used in many ways, and true multi-tenancy is hard to get.
Is this different with Datera? They say it is, but to be honest I’m nit really sure of it. I’ll try to figure this out and reach out to the Datera people. And although they do not have a lot of official customers, a couple of them are well known for their multi-tenant environment, so my best guess is that the multi-tenancy part is OK with Datera, if not I’ll let you know.

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Conclusion

I was very impressed with the information provided by Datera during Storage Field Day 10. Due to a ton of work coming back after SFD10 and TFD11 I didn’t really have time to do a deep dive into the technology, but that is where my fellow SFD10 delegates are a big value to the community, so here are their blogposts:

The Cool Thing About Datera Is Intent by Dan Frith
Defining Software-defined Storage definition. Definitely. – Juku.it by Enrico Signoretti
Torus – Because We Need Another Distributed Storage Software Solution by Chris Evans
Storage Field Day 10 Preview: Datera by Chris Evans
Storage Field Day 10 Next Week by Rick Schlander

And as always the Tech Field Day team provides us with an awesome site full of the information on Datera here

And just to make sure you have a direct option to watch the videos of the SFD10 presentations, here they are:

1. Datera Introduction with Marc Fleischmann

2. Datera Docker and Swarm Demo with Bill Borsari

3. Datera Architecture Deep Dive

4. Datera OpenStack Demo with Bill Borsari

And make sure to visit the Datera website as well:

http://datera.io/

If you are interested in these kinds of topics, please join us for the TECHunplugged conference in Amsterdam on 6/10/16 and in Chicago on 27/10/16. This is a one day event focused on cloud computing and IT infrastructure with an innovative formula, it combines a group of independent, insightful and well-recognized bloggers with disruptive technology vendors and end users who manage rich technology environments. Join us!

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Who is Netwrix?

During Tech Field Day 11 we had presentations from a lot of awesome companies. Some of them I knew, but others were new to me, and that while some of these already exist for multiple years. The first of these “older”companies was Netwrix.

When writing a couple of VMware designs in which compliancy was a big deal, I learned that a good auditing tool is a must have as the auditors will not approve anything if they you didn’t provide them with the right answers and tooling needed to be compliant. A tool like Netwrix can help a lot with this.

Netwrix History

So during Tech Field Day 11 I was pleased to see Netwrix do a great job at explaining where they came from and what they do. A couple of points that were told in this first presentation:

• The company is founded in 2006 (that’s right the company celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year)
• The founders Michael Fimin and Alex Vovk, who both worked at Quest software before starting Netwrix.
• The company has no venture funding.
• The company has over 200 employees across the globe, and;
• They have over 7000 customers worldwide

But it might be better if you just watch part 1 of the presentation first:

Who is Netwrix? from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Netwrix Auditor Platform capabilities

The Netwrix auditor platform can help you audit and monitor multiple systems and application, the following are usable by default:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Microsoft SQL server
  • VMware vSphere
  • Windows File Server
  • EMC
  • NetApp
  • Windows Server

Some of these are on-premises only, but a couple of them are also hybrid cloud capable, meaning you can audit your applications both on- and off-premises. Through the use of RESTful API’s both in and out bound you can leverage even more, but that is for a later blogpost :D.

Other TFD11 delegates on Netwrix

As always a couple of my TFD11 delegates also wrote some articles on Netwrix. Here are the articles already in the open (I’ll try to keep it updated, but I can’t promise anything :D):

Julian Wood (@julian_wood) wrote a great preview, the Tech Field Day 11 Preview: Netwrix

As well as Alaister Cook (@DemitasseNZ) did an introduction: TFD11 introduction: Netwrix

A small section on Netwrix can be found in the write-up by Tech Field Day Goes To 11

And last but not least, Mark May (@cincystorage) wrote a piece right after the presentation (showoff ;-P) called: Breaking down silos between security and operations

And as always, all Netwrix information and videos are available at the Tech Field Day site: Tech Field Day Netwrix

As already mentioned I’ll try to keep this post updated if people will write more on Netwrix, and I will also try to do a part two and three on Netwrix, but first I want to write a couple of post on other companies presenting at TFD11.

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We’re almost live…

In half an hour we’ll go live with Storage Field Day 10. I do encourage you to watch live at the Tech Field Day site, but for those that really want to follow the livestream on vdicloud.nl, here you go:


 

The agenda will be as follows:

Wednesday, May 25 9:30 – 11:30 Kaminario Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Wednesday, May 25 12:30 – 14:30 Primary Data Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Wednesday, May 25 15:00 – 17:00 Cloudian Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Thursday, May 26 9:30 – 11:30 Pure Storage Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Thursday, May 26 13:00 – 15:00 Datera Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Thursday, May 26 16:00 – 18:00 Tintri Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Friday, May 27 8:00 – 10:00 Nimble Storage Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Friday, May 27 10:30 – 12:30 Hedvig Presents at Storage Field Day 10
Friday, May 27 13:30 – 15:30 Exablox Presents at Storage Field Day 10

If you have a question you would like to be asked during the presentation, please do so (use twitter and use the hashtag #SFD10)

See you online!

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VMware VSAN 6.2, what’s new?
Feb25

VMware VSAN 6.2, what’s new?

This is a cross post from my Metis IT blogpost, which you can find here.

VMware VSAN 6.2

On February 10 VMware announced Virtual SAN version 6.2. A lot of Metis IT customers are asking about the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) and how products like VSAN fit into this new paradigm. Let’s investigate what VMware VSAN is, and what the value would be to use it, as well as what the new features are in version 6.2

VSAN and Software Defined Storage

In the data storage world, we all know that the growth of data is explosive (to say the least). In the last decade the biggest challenge for most companies was that people just kept making copies of their data and the data of their co-workers. Today we not only have this problem, but storage also has to provide the performance needed for data-analytics and more.

First the key components of Software Defined Storage:

  • Abstraction: Abstracting the hardware from the software provides greater flexibility and scalability
  • Aggregation: In the end it shouldn’t matter what storage solution you use, but it should be managed through only one interface
  • Provisioning: the possibility to provision storage in the most effective and efficient way
  • Orchestration: Make use of all of the storage platforms in your environment by orchestration (vVOLS, VSAN)

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VSAN and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

So what about Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)? Hyper-Converged systems allow the integrated resources (Compute, Network and Storage) to be managed as one entity through a common interface. With Hyper-converged systems the infrastructure can be expanded by adding nodes.

VSAN is Hyper-converged in a pure form. You don’t have to buy a complete stack, and you’re not bound to certain hardware configurations from certain vendors. Of course, there is the need for a VSAN HCL to make sure you reach the full potential of VSAN.

VMware VSAN 6.2. new features

With the 6.2 version of VSAN, VMware introduced a couple of really nice and awesome features, some of which are only available on the All-Flash VSAN clusters:

  • Data Efficiency (Deduplication and Compression / All-Flash only)
  • RAID-5/RAID-6 – Erasure Coding (All-Flash only)
  • Quality of Service (QoS Hybrid and All-Flash)
  • Software Checksum (Hybrid and All-Flash)
  • IPV6 (Hybrid and All-Flash)
  • Performance Monitoring Service (Hybrid and All-Flash)

Data Efficiency

Dedupe and compression happens during de-staging from the caching tier to the capacity tier. You enable “space efficiency” on a cluster level and deduplication happens on a per disk group basis. Larger disk groups will result in a higher deduplication ratio. After the blocks are deduplicated, they are compressed. A significant saving already, but combined with deduplication, the results achieved can be up to 7x space reduction, off course fully dependent on the workload and type of VMs.

Erasure Coding

New is RAID 5 and RAID 6 support over the network, also known as erasure coding. In this case, RAID-5 requires 4 hosts at a minimum as it uses a 3+1 logic. With 4 hosts, 1 can fail without data loss. This results in a significant reduction of required disk capacity compared to RAID 1. Normally a 20GB disk would require 40GB of disk capacity with FTT=1, but in the case of RAID-5 over the network, the requirement is only ~27GB. RAID 6 is an option if FTT=2 is desired.

Quality of Service

This enables per VMDK IOPS Limits. They can be deployed by Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM), tying them to existing policy frameworks. Service providers can use this to create differentiated service offerings using the same cluster/pool of storage. Customers wanting to mix diverse workloads will be interested in being able to keep workloads from impacting each other.

Software Checksum

Software Checksum will enable customers to detect corruptions that could be caused by faulty hardware/software components, including memory, drives, etc. during the read or write operations. In the case of drives, there are two basic kinds of corruption. The first is “latent sector errors”, which are typically the result of a physical disk drive malfunction. The other type is silent corruption, which can happen without warning (These are typically called silent data corruption). Undetected or completely silent errors could lead to lost or inaccurate data and significant downtime. There is no effective means of detection these errors without end-to-end integrity checking.

IPV6

Virtual SAN can now support IPv4-only, IPv6-only, and also IPv4/IPv6-both enabled. This addresses requirements for customers moving to IPv6 and, additionally, supports mixed mode for migrations.

Performance Monitoring Service

Performance Monitoring Service allows customers to be able to monitor existing workloads from vCenter. Customers needing access to tactical performance information will not need to go to vRO. Performance monitor includes macro level views (Cluster latency, throughput, IOPS) as well as granular views (per disk, cache hit ratios, per disk group stats) without needing to leave vCenter. The performance monitor allows aggregation of states across the cluster into a “quick view” to see what load and latency look like as well as share that information externally to 3rd party monitoring solutions by API. The Performance monitoring service runs on a distributed database that is stored directly on Virtual SAN.

Conclusion

VMware is making clear that the old way to do storage is obsolete. A company needs the agility, efficiency and scalability that is provided by the best of all worlds. VSAN is one of these, and although it has a short history, it has grown up pretty fast. For more information make sure to read the following blogs, and if you’re looking for a SDDC/SDS/HCI consultant to help you in solving your challenges, make sure to look for Metis IT.

Blogs on VMware VSAN:
http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san/
http://www.yellow-bricks.com/virtual-san/
http://www.punchingclouds.com/
http://cormachogan.com/vsan/

VMware to present on VSAN at Storage Field Day 9

I’m really exited to see the VMware VSAN team during Storage Field Day 9, where they will probably dive deep into the new features of VSAN 6.2. It will be an open discussion, where a I’m certain that the delegates will have some awesome questions. Also I would advise you to watch our earlier visit to the VMware VSAN team in Palo Alto about a year ago, at Storage Field Day 7 (Link)

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Kaminario 7 months after Storage Field Day 7
Sep09

Kaminario 7 months after Storage Field Day 7

All Flash Arrays (AFA) are hot for a couple of years now, and for a good reason! During Storage Field Day 1 we had 3 AFA vendors presenting with Kaminario, NimbusData and PureStorage. Although they have a different go-to-market strategies, as well as a different technology strategies, all three are still standing (allthough 1 of them seems to be struggling…)
At Storage Field Day 7 we had the privilege to get another Kaminario presentation and in this post I would like to take some time to see what Kaminario offers, and what new features they presented the last couple of months.

The K2 All-Flash Array

To give my readers who don’t know anything about who Kaminario is, and what Kaminario does, here is the first part of their presentation during SFD7 (done by their CEO Dani Golan):

There are couple of features provided by Kaminario that I find interesting (based on what was included 6 months ago):

– Choice of FC or ISCSI
– VMware integration (VAAI, vvols (not yet))
– Non-disruptive upgrades
– Great GUI
– Inline deduplication and compression
– Scale Up and Out
– K-Raid protection
– Industry standard SSD warranty (7 years now)

But there are/were still a couple of things missing, but it might be even better and go back a couple of years and see what the Kaminario solution looked like back then. A great post to look at the Kaminario solution back 2012 is the one of Hans De Leenheer:

Kaminario – a Solid State startup worth following

As you can see, there is so much innovation done by Kaminario, and in the last 6 months a lot more has been done.

What’s new in Kaminario K2 v5.5?

In the last couple of weeks Kaminario released the 5.5 version of their K2 product. In this release a couple of new (awesome) features were introduced that we’ll investigate a little deeper:

  • Use of 3D TLC NAND
  • Replication (asynchronous)
  • Perpetual Array (Mix and match SSD/Controller)

Let’s start with the use of 3D TLC NAND. In earlier versions of their products Kaminario always used MLC NAND and a customer could choose between 400 and 800 GB MLC SSD’s. Knowing Kaminario can scale up and out that would mean that it could hold around 154 TB of Flash (with dedupe and compression this would go up to around 720+ TB according to kaminario documents). With the new 3D flash technology the size of the drives changed to 480, 960 GB MLC and a 1,92 TB TLC SSD which doubles the capacity:

The next new feature is Replication, although the documentation found on the Kaminario site on replication goes back to 2014, but it still mentioned in the what’s new in v5.5 documents. Something that is new with replication is the fact that Kaminario now integrates with VMware SRM to meet customer needs. This is great news for customers already using SRM or thinking about using. The way Kaminario does replication is based on their snapshot (application consistent).

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Last but not least is Perpetual Array, which gives a customer the possibilty to mix and match SSD’s as well as Controller’s. This feature gives the customer the freedom to start building their storage system and continue growing even if Kaminario will change controller hardware or SSD technology.

Final thoughts

Looking at what changed at Kaminario the last couple of months (and the last couple of years, for that matter) I’m certain we’ll see a lot of great innovation from Kaminario in their upcoming releases. 3D NAND will get Kaminario to much bigger scale (ever heard of Samsung showing a 16 TB 3D TLC SSD), and with their Scale Up and Scale out technology Kaminario has the right solution for each and every business. What I think would be a great idea for Kaminario is more visibilty outside the US, when my customers start talking about AFA I notice they almost never talk about Kaminario, mainly because they jut don’t know about them, and there are no local sales team to tell them about the Kaminario offering. That’s just to bad, as I still think Kaminario is a very cool AFA vendor. It was also great to see them as a sponsor at TechUnplugged Amsterdam, which is a start :D.

Disclaimer: I was invited to this meeting by TechFieldDay to attend SFD7 and they paid for travel and accommodation, I have not been compensated for my time and am not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or edited by any other person than the me.

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Techunplugged is coming soon
Apr16

Techunplugged is coming soon

techunplugged-logo

Next week I’ll fly to London to attent the Techunplugged event created by Enrico Signoretti. I do admire what Enrico is achieving and it is awesome to so see all the effort he’s putting into these events to serve the community. I would highly recommend you to join us next week in London if you’re in the neighbourhood or have the opportunity to join.

Looking at the agenda it is going to be a very enjoyable and leaningfull day in which you’ll be able to ask your questions, listen to the experts and talk with them face to face.

With a great line-up of sponsors who’ll tell their story. With companies like PernixData, Zerto, Cloudian, Load DynamiX and Zadara Storage you’ll know you’ll join the beer party J with a head full of knowledge. But wait hearing from these companies alone would be awesome, but there is much more.

Enrico made sure to invite a couple of great guys (Gurus) from the industry to do a couple of great presentations and roundtables. People like Enrico Signoretti, Chris M Evans, Stephen Foskett, Hans DeLeenheer, Nigel Poulton and Martin Glassborow should ring a bell if you work in the industry, and they will all have a great story to tell…

So if you haven’t already, make sure to join us next week in London and make sure to reserve your FREE seat!

More information and registration at techunplugged.io

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