SFD18-Western Digital

All the videos are here. This was an interesting Storage Field Day presentation for me as instead of a company that implements storage systems using the various components out there in the market, Western Digital actually makes the devices that feed all of these different solutions. This presentation was specific to the datacenter market (follow @WesternDigiDC), but don’t forget that for Western Digital the datacenter is not limited to the enterprise space, but also includes the hyper-scale datacenter, so some of the technologies like Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) are going to take a while before we see them in enterprise ready-solutions. [Read More]

Revisiting Thin Provisioning

This post is coming from having to explain the different levels of thin provisioning to a client who was dealing with this for the first time. It’s sometimes hard to remember that not everyone has gone through the same learning cycle and not been exposed to the history you have. This post is also aimed at the UI designers for storage products. The basics : At each level where you assign storage to something, thin provisioning will allow you to propose a logical object of that storage type that basically lies to the system consuming it so that you don’t need to physically allocate the total size immediately, but instead will consume it as writes go to the object. [Read More]

iPad Pro fills in when I’m low on battery

So an interesting question about the current polemicising about whether the iPad Pro is “real” computer or not and I’m going to add a little current story to the mix about how an iPad Pro can be a really useful tool. So today I was spending some time in a server room at a small company and we were upgrading the storage system and I was dealing with the fact that the previous sysadmin adhered to the (incomprehensible) policy of leaving extra space between the servers in the rack. [Read More]

2018 iPad Pro 12.9

So I broke down and upgraded my first generation 12.9 iPad to the latest version this week. Here are some quick observations from the last few days. History I have both the 10.5 and the 12.9 but as a matter of practicality, the 12.9 has been pretty much fixed to the desk (using the very practical IOMount system) to serve as an outboard extra screen in the office for keeping an eye on Twitter, or following documentation while using the main computer and so on. [Read More]

Hammerspace at Tech Field Day 17

Hammerspace gave the opening session at Tech Field Day 17 and it was packed with interesting stuff. One of the things that interests me almost as much as the technical deep dives on how things work are some of the introductory bits where the presenters try to put their product in context as it gives some very useful insight into the product designer. One of the first things that jumped out at me was the way that David Flynn expressed the evolution of storage by defining the locality of the filesystem. [Read More]

Oracle Cloud

From my perspective this one was possibly the most interesting of the Tech Field Day 17 presentations. Oracle’s cloud service has had a bit of a cloud (see what I did there?) hanging over it for some time with some of the issues regarding the sales approach and some of the creative billing and sales accounting plus the perception that it is not much more than a managed service offering around Oracle hardware and software stacks. [Read More]

Nasuni - scaling unstructured data

Storage Field Day 16 included a presentation by Nasuni that was very interesting, showing how the product had matured and how it can solve real world issues. An interesting product that sits in an odd space that is closer to SaaS but includes hardware edge servers with an option to have them be deployed in virtual machines. The problem they solve is the issue of coping with unstructured data at scale, including the ability to cope with widely distributed offices. [Read More]

The World Speaks Many Languages

One thing that has been put front and centre with the release of the new Apple HomePod: Siri’s limitations. The common complaint from the predominantly North American and British tech reporting is that it is not easily extensible in the same way that something like the Alexa is. On the Alexa you can add skills and link these to hard coded phrases for interpretation relatively easily. What everybody seems to have missed with Apple’s approach to SiriKit and the idea of Intents is that they are doing all of the hard work of abstracting away the source language to something that a developer can actually use without any knowledge of the language being used. [Read More]

The conundrum of tracking political advertising on modern ad platforms

This problem has been bouncing around in the back of my head for a while now and I needed to get some of this out. One of the current issues that people are currently trying to wrap their heads around is the fact that modern ad platforms like Facebook and Google are targeting ads to extremely well defined subsets of the population so that much of this ad content flies under the radar since it isn’t exposed everywhere. [Read More]

vMax to the Max

I was honoured to participate in Storage Field Day 14 as a delegate and the first presentation up was from the Dell EMC High End storage team covering the state of the vMax, specifically looking at the All-Flash versions. One of the first things that struck me in the lobby of the Dell EMC’s (very nice) new briefing center where they have a vMax 250F and an XtremIO cluster is just how small “big-iron” has become. [Read More]