Next time you walk into your local Mega Lo Mart take a look around and try to think about the sheer volume of data potentially created. Shoppers have rewards cards, items have barcodes, cash registers keep track of money, and countless other things that could be recorded. In thousands of stores like this companies place small data centers to manage and analyze all that data, but for the average enterprise remote offices as much smaller.   These enterprise IT remote offices typically have a very specific need: file shares. File shares don’t have the scale that warrants spending much money building a cluster or a small virtualization farms, but they are critical to the remote users. They depend on them as part of their daily work lives, so building a remote office solution can be more complicated than plugging in Windows server. The solution needs to think about disaster recovery, traveling employees, network bandwidth, data protection, dataRead More →

In this episode of the CTO Advisor Podcast, Keith and I sit down with James Myer of Intel to talk about how Intel is looking to change the computing landscape with their next-generation storage class memory, Optane. Intel is hoping that with the soon to be released Optane Memory Module,  that we’ll have a second tier of memory that performs similar to DRAM but with NAND like capacity. Keith and I review some business cases with James and talk about the challenges Intel is facing by building a new market. This was a great conversation around next generation storage and its convergence with memory. Show Notes:  Wikibon research on Intel Optane (Disclaimer: Keith has appeared as a paid co-host on Wikibon’s theCube) The Evaluator Groups research on vSphere Intel August 7th Optane Webcast Keith’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe Subscribe iTunesRead More →

We think of the cloud as this vast pool of unlimited storage, usually at not super fast speeds, and accessed via the internet. Great use case if your compute is in the cloud, or you’re not concerned about the latency. If you want low latency access to the data, you’re probably going to at least look at a storage array. We think of storage arrays as having a finite bucket of capacity, the polar opposite of cloud storage. The closest thing a storage array has to unlimited capacity, snapshots, are usually tied to some strict limits. Your storage array needs more capacity. Public cloud providers have extra capacity. It sounds like the beginnings of a match made in heaven. At Storage Field Day 13 Dell EMC talked about their Unity storage array and its integration with their own Cloud Tier Appliance. The Cloud Tiering Appliance is an external device that allows data to move from the storageRead More →

Sometimes when you’re roasting a Thanksgiving turkey in the oven, you notice what appears to be uneven cooking on the bird. Uneven cooking can create a problem for the cook because you risk drying out one part or under cooking another. The last thing you want to do is serve undercooked and dangerous food. The second to last thing you want to do is serve dry turkey to your grandma. Uneven cooking is the bain of cooks everywhere, so they take great care to avoid and mitigate the problem. No, you haven’t stumbled onto a random food post, I just wanted to point out that consistency and predictability matters in the kitchen. Just like it matters in the kitchen, it matters in nearly every aspect of technology. We want web pages to load quickly, search results to return instantly, and our turkeys to cook evenly. We want gravy without lumps and wifi without bumps. Nowhere is consistentlyRead More →

In Enterprise IT we’re all used to life cycle managed of equipment.  For a long time, one of the most painful areas for this was the storage array. Every few years it became time to rip out the old gear and bring in the new.  That process has gotten much better, but one thing still bothers me. What happens to the software that I paid for when I bought that storage array? The idea isn’t limited to storage arrays either.  Enterprise IT shops buy software to do something,  then their needs change, and they replace that software. As long as they got the business value from the software, no one cares that they essentially throw the bits away.  When dealing with big vendors, like VMware or HPE, this is where the Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) comes into play.  It’s an agreement between a vendor and a customer saying that vendor agrees to provide and support software inRead More →

Wikibon’s Stu Miniman makes a return appearance to discuss AWS Re:invent. Initially, I made some bold claims about what I believe Snowball Edge means to hyperconverged. Stu sets me straight. We then go over some interesting industry wide topics including the following.  Container Management  Cloud lock-in  Hybrid infrastructure  VMware Cloud on AWS Read More →

A few years ago I was at a conference when I ran into some community bloggers. They were all huddled around a whiteboard working on a storage area networking design. As they all discussed the solution, it was clear everyone was simultaneously giving information and learning. Right then and there I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever it was they were doing. I wanted to share myself and my knowledge with the community. I didn’t know how to start, but I threw my hat into the ring and started this blog. I started by sharing scripts and tricks I had developed to make my day to day life as a storage administrator easier. Starting this blog and engaging the community on social media has changed my life. Part of that growth has given me opportunities to engage with the community and many events. I’ve spoken on storage, backup, virtualization, and plenty of other topics.Read More →

A few weeks back my wife and I went to spend the weekend in Louisville, Kentucky for no particular reason. When I first mentioned the idea of this road trip she immediate got excited about one of her favorite places to eat in the area. She talks about some particular dish with such passion that I couldn’t help but get excited to try it. Fast forward for lunch that weekend, and boy was I disappointed.  Sure the food was good, but that’s it.  I doubt anything could have lived up to the hype and met my expectations. This constantly happens with IT sales teams, usually with the best of intentions. It all starts with an announcement of a technology or product concept being announces long before it exists. Fantastic claims are made about the performance, ease of use, or some other awesome feature. Once the product is nearing general availability, the sales hounds are released to attackRead More →

Julian Wood of WoodITWork joins me in a conversation discussing what Dell Technologies needs to do to support the enterprise. Is VMware’s Cross-Cloud offering coupled with Cloud Foundation enough to carry Dell to a point that Pivotal Labs picks up the slack? Read More →

I started my career in the information technology industry when I was young, so young that I was still in high school.  I wasn’t working at Burger King or the mall like most of my friends, instead I was putting my passion for technology to work bringing the people of the Cincinnati area dial-up internet access. A few friends and I had connected with a local businessman and, somehow, the idea to start a new company was formed.  In the beginning, it was a handful of us, with me and my friend Todd doing all the server and development work. We spent countless hours of the mid-90s building servers, creating web pages, and working hard in out tiny server room. It felt like the pinnacle of technology to me. The whole world was at our fingertips just waiting for us the capture it. Roles shifting and Todd moved on to bigger and better-paying things.  Soon after heRead More →