Some Storage Expo notes
3PAR, Acopia, Brocade, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Quantum and DPS
First impressions included a marked absence of tape compared to just two years ago - remember Exabyte and VXA, and Breece Hill? Then of course there is that green thing that everyone is already tired of. It has gone from bright spot on the horizon to boring topic in a matter of months. Do I want to read another green survey suggesting that some small niche of the world's looming environmental calamity would be mitigated by buying the sponsoring vendor's product.? Why of course I do. Let's have another survey.
In alphabetic order here are some highlights for me of the show
The big man, David Scott, the CEO, said that 3PAR was in its quiet period but he could talk about trends. He thought that tier two storage needed 'hardening'. Interesting as 3PAR doesn't produce tier two storage; it's a tier one (utility) storage provider with performance for transaction-type processing as a primary driver of its technology.
He also thought that storage access control security was not standardised. Each vendor had its own access controls which meant that multi-vendor shops had to understand different was of controlling access, and had to work this into any existing Active Directory (AD) and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) scheme. More on this here.
David Scott also said that disaster recovery (DR) using a WAN was hindered because you typically lost the last one or two transactions when a primary site crashed. Synchronous protocols don't suffer this loss but they don't handle distance - thousands of kilometres - well because of latency issues. Async protocols do handle the distance but expose you to the risk of losing transactions immediately preceding a primary site outage.
Scott says that sorting this out is not a network plumbing responsibility. That's interesting because he is hinting that 3PAR has a solution on this problem in mind. Perhaps he is thinking of some flash memory storage being added to a 3PAR InServe array into which transactions are continually journalled, or perhaps there is a flash store and, if a power outage occurs then a battery or capacitor is used to write the in-mmory transaction data to the flash and thus preserve it?
Scott also said that 3PAR hadn't joined The Green Grid because to do so might put 3PAR at risk. He's hinting that The Green Grid folks could, if 3PAR IP was identified and chosen as necessary for greener data centres, make it publicly available. Instead 3PAR has joined the SNIA green initiative and, through it, has a watching brief type connection to The Green Grid.
The new F5 business unit's presence at Storage Expo is discussed here.