GreyBeards talk Nexgen Storage with John Spiers, CEO and Kelly Long, CTO Nexgen Storage

In this podcast we discuss Nexgen’s hybrid storage with John Spiers, Founder & CEO and Kelly Long, Founder & CTO of Nexgen Storage. Both John and Kelly have had a long and interesting career across multiple companies ranging from startups to major industry organizations, so they bring a unique perspective to what’s happening in the storage industry today.

Nexgen Storage has an unusual history itself, having been acquired by FusionIO, then SanDisk acquired FusionIO and then SanDisk spun out Nexgen Storage as an independent company again. There were good reasons for each of these changes and John goes into some detail in the podcast on these transitions.

Some of Nexgen Storage’s competitive advantages are from a few decisions, made early on in the development of the product. Specically, the use of PCIe Flash storage as a separate storage tier and their vision of the need for highly granular Quality of Service (QoS) functionality.

It turns out that Nexgen Storage was an early adopter of FusionIO’s PCIe flash cards and continues to use SanDisk solutions in their hybrid storage today. John and Kelly discuss some of  their considerations behind using PCIe Flash vs. SSDs in the podcast.

John and Kelly also talk about why QoS is so important to today’s storage systems and and how Nexgen’s QoS differs from the rest of the competition. Some of the data Nexgen gathers about IO and other system activity is pretty impressive and as it turns out, is absolutely essential to providing the level QoS that Nexgen supplies.

Another item discussed on the podcast is Nexgen’s data reduction capabilities which they refer to as “simple dedupe”. It’s not quite dedupe, but it does have some interesting characteristics we haven’t seen in other storage systems.

Finally, at the end of the podcast, there’s some discussion on the hardware innovation coming out around the PCIe bus and what this might mean to future storage systems.

This months editionruns just under 44 minutes and doesn’t get as technical as some of our previous sessions. We even discuss goto market strategies at prior companies and channel changes that transpired during the FusionIO and SanDisk acquisitions.  We hope you enjoy the podcast.

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John Spiers, Founder & CEO, and Kelly Long, Founder & CTO, Nexgen StorageJohn Spiers

John is a serial entrepreneur based in Boulder, CO. John has been pioneering breakthrough data storage innovations for over 30 Years. He co-founded venture-backed LeftHand Newtorks, a market leader in virtualized, scale-out data storage, and served as LeftHand’s Chief Technology Officer. In 2010 John co-founded NexGen Storage. John supports local entrepreneurs, serving on the boards of local technology startups and as an advisor for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. John is a graduate from Colorado State University with a degree in Engineering.

Kelly Long

 

Kelly has been innovating in the storage industry for over 20 years. An expert in architecting and developing storage software, Kelly has contributed to the advancement of a wide range of technologies such as hard drives, high currency multi-thread/multi-processor/multi-computer computing and clustered storage systems. He holds multiple patents, and has worked at leading companies, including Maxtor, StorageTek, LeftHand Networks, Copan, Dot Hill, Crosswalk, MySQL and Sun. He was a co-founder and chief software architect at LeftHand Networks. Kelly has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

GreyBeards talk EMCWorld2015 news with Chad Sakac, Pres. EMC System Eng.

In this podcast we discuss some of the more interesting storage announcements to come out of EMCWorld2015 last week with Chad Sakac, (@sakacc on twitter and VirtualGeek blogger) President, EMC Global Systems Engineering. Chad’s was up on the “big stage” at EMCWorld helping to introduce much of the news we found thought provoking.

Chad said he was growing out his greybeard for the podcast, but we had to shut off the video to record the talk. But from the picture below, there’s no doubt he has a beard growing.

EMCWorld2015 in Las Vegas had over 14,000 participants and is EMC’s premier customer event. As such, there are always a lot of interesting news revealed at the show. This years event was no exception. I listed about a dozen topics to discuss with Chad but had to cut it down to just four major areas to fit into a reasonable time.

Chad at his VirtualGeek blog discussed many of these topics at length, across multiple posts and Ray reviewed some EMCWorld2015 news over two posts on his RayOnStorage blog as well.

In the podcast, Howard,  Ray and Chad discuss EMC’s new rack-scale flash storage, the DSSD, their new VxRack hyper converged system, the new XtremIO 4.0  and their new free & frictionless delivery model for Emerging Technology Devision software defined solutions.

I would have to say the DSSD drew the most interest from the analyst community but the new VxRack and the Emerging Technology Division’s move to open sourcing ViPR Controller caught many of us by surprise.

Just about at the end of the call Ray’s Internet service dropped out so Howard and Chad were kind enough to end the session by themselves. Thanks to my co-host for picking up the ball, after I fell off and my apologies for going missing at the end.

This months episode runs long, just under an hour and that’s after we cut about 5 minutes of discussion on the problems in open sourcing proprietary products. Chad can talk for hours on this stuff and pretty much at any level of technical detail we could possibly want. Probably need to invite him back someday to discuss more.

Sorry this podcast is so late but we had to wait for EMCWorld2015 to be over. Hopefully, next month we will be back on schedule.

We hope you enjoy the podcast.

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ChadSakac_Cropped-resizedChad Sakac, President Global EMC Systems Engineering

Chad Sakac leads EMC’s technology, architecture and strategy team across the world. He is a global thought leader and evangelist, with a background and skill set in IT strategy, innovation, disruption and organizational change.  He is intimately involved in driving EMC’s technology roadmap, acquisition strategy and R&D direction.

As a leading mind in IT, Chad is the author of one of the top 20 virtualization blogs “VirtualGeek”.  He holds Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degrees from the University Of Western Ontario, Canada.

GreyBeards talk data-aware storage with Paula Long & Dave Siles, CEO&CTO DataGravity

In this podcast we discuss data-aware storage with Paula Long, CEO/Co-Founder and Dave Siles, CTO of DataGravity. Paula comes from EqualLogic and Dave from Veeam so they both have a lot of history in and around the storage industry, almost qualifying them as grey hairs :/

Data-aware storage is a new paradigm in storage that combines primary (block and file) storage, file and data analytics and text indexing. Just to top it off, they also add data protection to a separate storage partition. Their system is VM aware and is able to crack open VMDKs to find out what’s inside. With all their file and data analytics, DataGravity is  able to supply data leakage detection and a much better understanding of what data is actually being stored on the system.

Paula believes, in 5 years or so, this new approach to storage will become common. Their system also supports targeted data deduplication and compression as well as provide self-service restore and a “google-like” rich search experience to their data aware storage.

DataGravity was designed for mid-market but are being pulled up market by workgroups as department level storage for F500 companies. They find that once installed,  they usually uncover some exposure and then other departments take notice. Also they’re discovering an awful lot of dormant data and moving this off of primary storage can save quite a lot.

DataGravity has a 2U controller with a 24-disk drive shelf but have SSDs inside the controllers. They use spinning disks for a majority of the data storage.

DataGravity has an interesting twist on the active-passive, standard dual conttroller/HA approach to storage, which you will have to listen to the podcast to truly understand.

This months episode runs a bit over 44 minutes and wanders over a lot of high ground but dips into technical waters occasionally.

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Paula Long, CEO & Co-founder, DataGravity

PaulaLong-G Paula brings over 30 years of experience to DataGravity in delivering meaningful and game changing high-tech innovation. Prior to DataGravity, Paula served as vice president of product development at Heartland Robotics. In 2001 Paula co-founded storage provider EqualLogic, resetting the bar on how customers managed and purchased data storage. EqualLogic was acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008 and Paula remained at Dell as vice president of storage until 2010. Previous to EqualLogic, she served in several engineering management positions at Allaire Corporation and oversaw all aspects of the ClusterCATS product line while at Bright Tiger Technologies.

Her executive and technical leadership has been extensively recognized, including the New Hampshire High Tech Council Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Ernst & Young 2008 Northeast Regional “Entrepreneur of the Year” and a national finalist for the same award. Her technical awards span systems designs and enterprise software including the EqualLogic and ClusterCATS product lines. She is a graduate of Westfield State College

Paula is also active in the startup community. Outside of high tech, she works with charities creating equality for professional women and girls, as well as with organizations enabling literacy for all children, regardless of economic status.

Dave Siles, CTO DataGravity

DaveSiles-colorWith more than 20 years in operations and leadership roles with growth companies, David serves as chief technology officer of DataGravity, responsible for leading the technical strategic vision for the company while guiding our product management teams and research and development efforts to better serve the needs of organizations looking for more from their data storage.

Prior to becoming CTO, David served as vice president of worldwide field operations at DataGravity. Previously, David was a member of the senior leadership team at Veeam Software, a leading data protection software provider for virtualized and cloud environments.

David also served as CTO and VP of professional services for systems integrator Hipskind TSG. He also served as CTO for Kane County, Ill., and has held technology leadership roles with various organizations. A graduate of DeVry University, he is a frequent speaker at top tier technology shows and is a recognized expert in virtualization.