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GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009: Post 10 (Day 2)

November 18th, 2009 2 comments

4 hours of sleep and back on the road this morning.

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There were several companies lined up to present today. Starting with Ocarina Networks, then Nirvanix, then Truth in IT, then Data Robotics and Bhava Communications. Today’s day was planned to be one of those action packed days, just like yesterday.

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Today morning started early for all of us. Again on the road, but just across the street from where we were staying in San Jose, the 2 min walk to Ocarina Networks. Had an early breakfast sponsored by Ocarina Networks. They also gave us an Ocarina (egg-shaped terra cotta wind instrument with a mouthpiece and finger holes) to take home.
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So with today’s presentations, we really did not know what to expect. Though I had a feeling Ocarina Networks will do something very unique after meeting with their CEO (Murli) last night at the GestaltIT Party.
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Ed Entering Ocarina Networks

Ed Entering Ocarina Networks

Ocarina Networks

Ocarina Networks

Devang making Faces

Devang making Faces, Nigel Poulton

Ocarina Networks
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George Carter comes in first and gives a product overview of what Ocarina is, how it works, where it resides, the architecture, the compression, the dedup and various other aspects of the entire solution. During his presentation he mentions how there are several Academia Scientist that work at Ocarina on several Compression algorithms for standard files like JPEG, TXT, PDF, ZIP’s, etc, etc. He also shows how the technology takes the data, uncompresses or unzips it, compresses it again, calculates checksum and then upon validation of the checksum, discards the original file to write with the newly compressed file.
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Then we went through an Ocarina product hands-on lab exercise to configure dedup, compression, etc in the Ocarina Resource Manager. I so much wish, they had given us a VM with the Ocarina Resource Manager and Report Manager to play around for my test labs in the basement. I much think, I need to do a deep dive blog post on this technology, stay tuned for it over the next couple of weeks.
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Ocarina also had an open challenge to bring in about 2GB’s of data on USB sticks that they will try to compress and give out prices to people that has the most compression and the least compression. John Obeto won the price for the most compression achieved on the data he brought in, while Greg Ferro won the price for 0 compression, since the files he brought on the USB stick were mzip files from back 30 years, probably not used in the industry any more.
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Nirvanix
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Then Peter and AJ from Nirvanix took the stage to talk about how Nirvanix technology works and how it can help Enterprise customers with its Public Cloud Infrastructure, some existing customer stories and how customers have leveraged this growing Cloud Infrastructure company to provide some very unique solutions.
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Ocarina Networks Continued
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Gou Rao (CTO) from Ocarina Networks takes the stage next. Wow, this guy is so young, but he knows so much. He went through the entire Dedup (how it works), Compression (how is works), Ocarina Networks (how it uses Dedup, Compression, Algorithms around these technologies). This session was one of the best techno-geek talk I have ever heard. Gou had answers for everything, though with the deep dive, he did lose some audience, but it was a great session from my perspective, because I was learning something new and I love to talk and hear about technology.
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Again with him, same story, he was just so much passionate about what we was talking, he won the crowd with his smartness. The combination of passion and presentation skills, make up an ultimate recipe for a presentation success.
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During the break, had about 30 mins of talk time with Murli (CEO, Ocarina Networks) and Gou (CTO, Ocarina Networks) about how this technology integrates within storage arrays and how customer leverage it today. Sorry to make this statement, I now truly believe that Ocarina technology could so rapidly be integrated into a storage array, making them potentially a take over target, but may be the investors are already expecting it.
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Truth in IT
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Oh…the lunch was great, vegetarian Falafel sponsored by Truth in IT (A W.Curtis Preston Company). Curtis presented during lunch on how Truth in IT is a new concept for the IT industry and how customers can benefit from it. To check out the Truth in IT concept, please visit here.
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If you email Curtis and become a member of Truth in IT, you will get one year subscription for half the membership cost. Email curtis at blogfriends@truthinit.com.
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Data Robotics
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Then the journey started in the bus to go to Data Robotics, the DROBO guys. If you haven’t seen the DROBO yet, here is the picture.
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Drobo

Drobo

Greg Knieriemen

Greg Knieriemen

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After initial introductions and some food, we settled in the conference rooms at Data Robotics. Some known faces from last nights GestaltIT party were there. The CEO of Data Robotics Geoff Barrall (Also founder of BlueArc), started with the presentation on the features of DROBO and DROBOPRO. For a CEO, I bet he knows exactly what the product offers, not only from a marketing perspective, but also from a technology standpoint, the invention from Drobo is the technology called BeyondRAID. After a few powerpoint slides, Geoff started white boarding the entire BeyondRAID technology. At this point the camera’s were not allowed, but it was great to see how a CEO even understands the nuts and bots of a technology.
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At the GestaltIT party, I had some time to spend with Michael Moran and Jim Sherhart from Data Robotics and I specifically mentioned how much we love the white board sessions and understanding on how the technology works. I think they were not planning for a white board session with their presentation since their understanding is, the white board sessions on the DROBO technology becomes a bit confusing for people in terms of how it all operates under the hood. If my short chat with Data Robotics made them change and come up with a white board session, I am glad. I know everyone in the audience loved it.
The white board session was amazing, Goeff’s presentation lasted for about 60 mins and then Jim Sherhart and Michael Moran took the stage to talk a bit about futures and some more under the hood technology.
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If I had to pick the top 3 most impressive presentations at GestaltIT TechfieldDay 2009, this would be one of those. Very impressive, very impressive when a CEO does it who has a complete product vision.
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Then started the quiz, where for 30 mins they showed us the hands-on demo of the product including some configurations on the DROBO, etc, etc. In team A we had Chris Evans, Simon Seagrave, Rodney Haywood and myself. Went through answering all the questions on the product quiz and got each one of those correct.
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W.Curtis Preston, Stephen Foskett, Robin Harris, Drobo Engineer

W.Curtis Preston, Stephen Foskett, Robin Harris, Drobo Engineer

Finally the results were declared and Team A had won the quiz. So we all take home a DROBO. Looking forward to receiving it in the mail shortly.
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As we were leaving, we received some very personalized T-Shirts from Bhava Communications with individual Twitter and Blog Addresses imprinted on the T-Shirts.
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At around 4 PM we started to head back to the hotel. Dropped a few folks at the hotel. The next destination was FRY’s – the geek heaven in San Jose. We all were happy to arrive at FRY’s.
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Had about 60 mins to shop, I decided to go in there, but had made up my mind that I will not be bringing anything other than myself out of the store, as I just didn’t have any space in my bag to bring stuff home.
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Oh….people bought all sorts of things……..Mac’s, ix4’s, drives, etc, etc. You can imagine what happens when 15 storage bloggers walk into a store….and then walk out of there.
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Finally arrived back at the hotel, and jumped to do a Podcast on StorageMonkeys as a Wrap up for GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009.
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Had a great dinner with the rest of the group in San Jose. People were starting to head back home and say goodbye at around 8 PM. For many of us, we were not leaving until Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.
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Headed back to the bar for more discussions around what we heard and saw today, but before I could finish my first drink…the sleep factor kicked in.
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Will finish my blog post the next morning…..and then will be heading to SFO for a fun day.
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GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009: Post 9 (Day 1 Continued)

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Here is a group picture of the GestaltIT Techfielday 2009 Attendees

Tech Field Day attendees included 15 bloggers from across the spectrum of independent IT commentary.

Left to Right: Greg Knieriemen, John Obeto, Carlo Costanzo, Rod Haywood, Rick Vanover, Stephen Foskett, Nigel Poulton, Bas Raayman, Ed Saipetch, Simon Seagrave, Chris Evans, Devang Panchigar, Greg Ferro, John Hickson, Robin Harris, Rich Brambley

GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009: Post 8 (Day 1)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

Today marks the first day of the two day GestaltIT Techfieldday 2009. As described on previous blog posts, this is a very unique event and will be an industry trendsetter. A very nice blog post by John Troyer from Vmware describing GestaltIT #Techfieldday and the wave it is creating in the industry, here

We had an action filled day today, 18 hours of non-stop techno-geek talk so far.

Vmware

The day started early morning today at 7 AM, we all left to go to Vmware first, where Xsigo Systems and MDS Micro were presenting. Expectations with both these presentations were very high, and they absolutely managed to deliver on it.

Met up with John Troyer first at Vmware headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The bus took us from the hotel to Vmware and will be the means of transportation throughout the event. After a great breakfast this morning, they gave us a tour of the Vmworld DataCenter – Lab (hundreds of VM’s running within a single cabinet with Clariion, Xsigo, MDS running as a Converged Infrastructure).

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Then we went for a walk around the Vmware campus to another building where the event was being hosted. Walking there, we ended up taking some funny pictures…

Simon Seagrave

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Greg Knieriemen

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Then Stephen Foskett took the stage to present us on the concept of GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009. He then passed on the mic to John Toor from Xsigo Systems who explained us the agenda for the rest of the morning.

MDS Micro

MDS Micro took the stage and went through the entire set of technical marketing presentation on the MDS Micro set of products and how the blocks compete in a converged infrastructure. Quite a compelling story from MDS.

Then Vmware took the stage next, the group called GETO (Global Engineering Technical Operations). These are the guys that worked on designing the Datacenter at Vmworld 2009. On a dinner table in Florida, they created the concept of the next datacenter at Vmworld 2009. Amazing 45 min technology talk.

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Xsigo

Then Xsigo took the stage. Wow…..what a presentation, Cam Ford from Xsigo was on the stage, this guy has a passion and believed in what he was presenting. I was really really impressed.

At times its just not only walking up to the stage and presenting on a technology, believing in something and presenting the technology is completely different. That is exactly what we saw with this presentation. Tons of questions were asked and Cam Ford was able to answer each one of them……..Loved the techno talk. I am now believing that Xsigo will in a short duration be a take over target. They have a great technology in their hands.

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3Par

Had lunch at Vmware and then we all headed to 3Par. Now after the Xsigo presentation, we were expecting a lot from 3Par.

Craig Nunes, Marc Farley and John D’Avolio were at the 3Par lobby to receive us as we reached to their headquarters.

We were looking for the famous Pooja Desai – the “Check it out Girl” from the StorageRap Videos and the joke @edsai made on the Infosmack – Storage Monkeys – Vmware Wrap up Podcast.

3Par brought in Siamak Nazari on the stage to talk about various 3Par technologies.

This guy was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing I would like to emphasize again, please make sure all the presenters for the GestaltIT #techfieldday are technology experts. We need to talk to “the best of the breed”, I have typically seen based on all the presentations at GestaltIT Techfieldday and HPTechday so far that the engineering / technical marketing folks have been very well received amongst the audience. There are aways people in the group ready to chew the presenter if they are not aware of the technology they are presenting on.

Siamak Nazari started the presentation and within a few mins, had questions from the audience, but he started going into details, white boarding, diagrams, explaining chunklets, buses, clusters, software, architecture and he won everyone in the room. This presentation was scheduled for about 45 mins, but by the time the presentation was done, we were well over 90 mins.

Its hard to write about the technology in one blog post and will not be fair to 3Par and its technology. So what i will do is provide you all with a detailed architectural overview of the 3Par technology over next couple of weeks, showing a video of the presentation and the architecture around the 3Par clusters.

Siamak Nazari wanted to go into a lot of details, but i believe since this was a non NDA session, the folks in the room had to stop him going into architecture and futures.

Then Craig Nunes along with Marc Farley presented on the 3Par Thin Technology and Zero Page reclaimation. I truly believe they have a great team of people there that are driving the product.

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We then went to the 3Par Test and Development labs. This lab has to at least be warehousing about 200 to 300 3Par systems. At times it is great breathing the data center air…..

Symantec

Then Symantec took the stage with its Storage Foundations suite. Some nice technical chat around filesystems, how Symantec integrates with 3Par for Zero page reclaimation, how customers can drive the storage they already have in data centers with the use of Storage Foundations suite. There were quite a few questions asked and contradictions made in this presentation, where the GestaltIT Bloggers didn’t understand the complete strategy of Symantec in relation to Storage Foundations product. Though from my perspective I felt it was a complete solution but not a lot of market applicability.

GestaltIT Party

We then left there to head to the Computer history Museum in San Jose for the GestaltIT Party. What a crowd of people there. This event was sponsored by TechValidate (Brad O’Neil’s new venture). Tons of people from various Tech PR companies, HP, Nirvanix, 3Par, Vmware, Data Robotics, Ocarina Networks, Bhava Communications, MDS Micro and many more were present.

Met up with Murli, CEO from Ocarina Networks, he is just a magnificent personality. Very humble and approachable. Met up with Brad O’Neil and many others from the Storage industry.

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Then was the video presentation by Sunshine Mugrabi and Marc Farley as a tribute to Stephen Foskett. This is a great video.

The Bar

We then headed back to the hotel…..the night was just beginning. At the bar, people were just dissecting everything that they had heard today and putting it into perspective.

Around 2 AM in the morning the night finally finishes (at least for me) and looking forward for a new day tomorrow, more TECHNO-GEEK talk to continue…..

My eyes are barely staying up now, All I can say is Goodnight!!!!!!!


GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009: Post 7 (Day 0)

November 16th, 2009 No comments

GestaltIT TechFieldday 2009 starts on Thursday 12th of Nov, 2009, so today has been one of those travel days for everyone coming out to this event.

As for all the people attending, there are a total of 15 Bloggers coming from all parts of the world for this event.

4 Bloggers from the UK,
1 Blogger from Germany,
1 Blogger from Australia,
1 Blogger from Canada,
8 Bloggers from the US.

As for the expertise these bloggers bring on the table

7 Bloggers focus on Virtualization,
2 Bloggers focus on Cloud Technologies,
1 Blogger focuses on Networking,
5 Bloggers focus on Storage.

Though these days its very hard to define or differentiate between a lot of overlapping technologies between Storage, Virtualization, Cloud and Networking, there are many on the list that work with multiple venues of the above technologies.

So for me, the day started mid morning to drive out to EWR airport. Though I thought I left home early, it was barely 35 mins before the departure time that I made it to the airport, and it turned out I was the last one to board the flight to SFO.

Landed in SFO mid afternoon and took a ride along with the Brits (Simon Seagrave, Chris Evans, Nigel Poulton) to the hotel.

Though we were the early ones to arrive, the schedule is so that everyone (All 15 of us) make it to SFO by the end of day today, so we start early morning tomorrow with the sessions, etc.

Claire Chaplais is the event organizer for the GestaltIT Techfielday 2009 and has done an amazing work to co-ordinate all the aspects of the events in terms of booking buses, flight reservations, time co-ordinations on arrivals, limo service, the scheduling, dinner arrangements, GestaltIT party and the rest of the events that are scheduled for the next 2 days. With all the work she put into this, it will surely be one of those flawless and amazing events.

As time passed by, more bloggers started arriving in San Jose where we will be staying for the next 3 days. As part of the check-in at the hotel, we were all handed an agenda and the schedule for the next 2 days and “MAN it’s HECTIC”.

Started meeting up with the folks at the bar, lots of techno geek talk expected over the next two days.

Dinner officially kicked off at around 7 PM, with more folks still arriving. GestaltIT organized the Haiku Door Prize Exchange, We were all given different Haiku’s to solve and that decided what gifts were were taking home. There were things like the iPOD nano, Kodak Camera, Flip Camera, Access Point, Noise Cancellation headsets, etc, etc given out tonight. The idea is every person walks away with a door prize.

You can imagine what happens when you throw 15 bloggers with storage, virtualization, hardware, software, cloud, networking experience into a room and have them talk. The table cloths and napkins turn into white boards with people either taking pictures or recording these techno-geek talks. Just amazing to see how everyone here so motivated and driven in the relevant fields they all work in. But there was one common theme, everyone has very high expectations with this event, though everyone feels proud that they have been invited to an event like this happening for the first time.

People tonight talked about Storage, Virtualization, Cache, FCoE, FC, Brocade, Emulex, 3Par, EMC, HP, NetApp, FAS arrays, HP-EVA’s, Lefthand, vBlocks, Symmetrix, Acadia, Vmware, SpringSource, Cisco, UCS, future of storage/virtualization, consolidation, power, work experiences, etc, etc…. “MAN it was AMAZING”.

So its now time to hit the bed, early morning (7:00 AM start to go to Vmware tomorrow). The day will be very busy with visits to Vmware first and then 3Par. Looking forward to seeing some known faces in the industry tomorrow.

Here is a list of all the bloggers attending. There were a lot of pictures taken today, videos, some stories will be floating on various blog sites over the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates on GestaltIT TechFieldDay 2009 on this blog along with various other blogs.

GestaltIT Mega Blog

Name: Rich Brambley

Blog: VM /ETC

Name: Carlo Costanzo

Blog: VMware Info

Name: Chris Evans

Blog: The Storage Architect

Name: Greg Ferro

Blog: EtherealMind

Name: Robin Harris

Blog: StorageMojo

Name: Rod Haywood

Blog: Musings of Rodos

Name: John Hickson

Blog: Studio Sysadmins

Name: Greg Knieriemen

Blog: Storage Monkeys

Name: John Obeto

Blog: Absolutely Windows

Name: Devang Panchigar

Blog: StorageNerve

Name: Nigel Poulton

Blog: Ruptured Monkey

Name: Bas Raayman

Blog: Renegade’s Technical Diatribe

Name: Ed Saipetch

Blog: Breathing Data

Name: Simon Seagrave

Blog: TechHead

Name: Rick Vanover

Blog: Virtualization Review

To my understanding all these bloggers are industry independent bloggers and do not work for any storage / virtualization manufacturers. Though some people might be affiliated as partners, integrators, consultants, etc.

More techno-geek talk expected on this blog with tags GestaltIT Techfielday over the next couple of weeks, Stay tuned for all those updates. Please follow the GestaltIT Badge on the Right to go all the relevant blog posts about this event.

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