Tag Archives: TFD12

StorageOS to take the stage at Tech Field Day 12

storage-os-logo-100x21As with previous Field Day events I’ve participated in I always like to do a little research on the companies presenting so I don’t simply go in blind not knowing what they do.  First up for this year is  StorageOS – a company I’ve not heard of up until this very minute of writing!  Now in terms of IT time StorageOS has been been around only for a brief second, so my ignorance is maybe a little justified – It was just in 2013 that four men (Chris Brandon, Alex Chircop, Simon Croome, and Frank Black), all from the financial services industry united their frustrations with the way the ‘all to legacy’ storage industry was intermingling with the ‘all the rage’ container industry and with that, StorageOS was born.

Disclaimer: As a Tech Field Day 12 delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for. However I did not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the presenting companies. All that said, this is done at my own discretion.

So what’s the big deal?

Containers Containers Containers – that’s the big deal!  We know that containers is a big buzz word in the industry right now – we see it all over the place.  As soon as the Docker project first hit the scene, interest began to spark up everywhere – and just recently we’ve seen the godfathers come into the space – with Microsoft partnering up with Docker to introduce supports for Windows 2016 container support and VMware doing much the same with their latest announcements around vSphere Integrated Containers.  With all of this happening I’m sure we are about to see a rise in the number of containers being deployed – but with this will come new challenges, challenges which are indeed already present today…

When we think about a container we think of it as being stateless, or ethereal in nature – meaning if one instance goes down we can simply spin another one up.  If we need to scale, we simply spin another one up.  If we need to move a container from one spot to another we simply destroy one and create another.  No dependencies, no worries about conflicting packages, just pure developer zen.  This flexibility is a big part of the benefits of containers.  But, taking this attitude and applying it enterprise applications, or pretty much most any application creates some problems.  I think we all agree that most application require some sort of persistence – some sort of data that needs to be stored somewhere, be it a database or persistent storage – with containers being destroyed and instantiated all the time where does this persistent storage reside?

Where does this persistent storage reside?  This is the question that StorageOS has the answer for!  StorageOS in its basics aims to bring an enterprise-class persistent storage platform to our existing containers, but deliver it in a agile, automated container-like way!  In fact, StorageOS runs itself as a container within a Linux based system and locates any storage available to it at the time, whether that be direct attached, network attached, or cloud attached.  All of this storage gets added to a pool – obviously, support for scale up is there by simply adding more local/network storage to a node – or scale-out is fully supported by instantiating new StorageOS nodes.  This storage is then made available to our container engines, be them Docker, VMware, AWS, Google Cloud, etc via plugins.  From there, we simply specify our StorageOS Volume Driver flag during container run commands and we have ourselves some persistent data storage shared out to our containers.


As we can see above StorageOS provides us with a number of features that we would expect to see in a storage array as well – think of things such as High Availability, Failover, Encryption, Caching, and Deduplication – but due to its design it also brings to the table a number of things that other storage arrays simply don’t have!   First up, let’s think about where it runs – if our containers are running within our four walls of our datacenter then hey, instantiate StorageOS storage in the same spot!  Instantiating container instances in the cloud – well, why not instantiate your storage right next it as well.  It’s data locality like this that provides the low-latency, high performing storage that we all need!  It’s traditional persistent storage but with the flexibility and efficiency of containers!

I find what StorageOS is doing very interesting and can see a lot of other “use-cases” that can pop up due to their architectural design.  Certainly migration of data to the cloud is one of them.  This will be StorageOS’ first Tech Field Day presentation and I’m happy I’ll be a part of it and excited to learn more about their technology.   They are up at 2PM on Tuesday, November 15 – so keep tabs on the official event page as well as my Field Day page here where I hope to have the live-stream up and running for folks!

Tech Field Day 12 – Goin’ back to Cali!

kangolYes Mr Cool J you heard that right – Although you don’t ‘think’ you are heading back, this guy is indeed ‘Goin back to Cali!’  While Mr Cool J would rather stay in New York I’m heading to Silicon Valley to partake in Tech Field Day 12 with a slew of great delegates and sponsors alike!  This will be my first time in the Valley – so I’m pretty pumped to say the least!  I’m excited to finally be in the heart of all of the companies and technologies that I’ve been using my whole life, and writing about here for the past 5 years or so!

TFD what?

So if you haven’t heard of Tech Field Day then you have most certainly been missing out!  TFD is the brainchild of Stephen Foskett and his company Gestalt IT and is essentially a learning resource for the community.  Now I know, I know, there is already many many resources out there for us to find out about certain technologies or companies – we have white papers, books, blogs, videos, training, etc – but the problem is most of this stuff usually stems from strong marketing roots, and at times, can be a bit overwhelming trying to weed out the message from the technology!  TFD solves this by deep diving into the technology, and by placing a dozen or so tech minded folks in a room with a vendor it helps to keep the presentations and messages on point – it’s about the technology, not the marketing!  You know when you are sitting through a webinar or a presentation and someone poses a question – and said question is responded to with a “I’ll connect you with an SE or with someone afterwards to talk” – this kind of stuff doesn’t really happen at TFD – most the time, vendors and companies presenting have the knowledge and the resources in the room to leave no question unanswered – that’s what I like to think TFD is!

logo-cohesity-dark-100x12 dellemc_logo_prm_blue_gry_rgb-100x18 docker-logo-300-71x60 drivescale_logo-100x27
igneousiologo-100x34 1000px-intel-logo-svg_-91x60 logo-large-gray storage-os-logo-100x21

Anyways, so yeah, the Valley – so excited for this!!  Tech Field Day 12 has a number of great sponsors and vendors lined up to present at the event (you can see them above).  Some of these companies are giants (Dell EMC, Intel), some fairly new to the market (Rubrik, Cohesity), some are all the rage right now (Docker), and honestly some I’ve never dealt with or even really heard of (StorageOS, DriveScale, Igneous).  It’s normally the latter that really impress me at these events!  So heads up, the time is near – TFD12 airs November 15th and 16th with two jam packed days!  To learn more about the event, certainly check out the official landing page!

As I have with the other TFD events I’ve participated in I’ll try to consolidate all of my content surrounding the event on a single page, which you can find here!  A huge thanks to Gestalt IT for having me back!  I can’t wait!  Oh, and sorry for the 90’s hip hop references – it was as witty as I could get at the moment 🙂  Either way, I can almost hear those scratching records and that crazy jazz music which kicked of the song right now 🙂