The next big thing for me – Dub Storage at Tegile

dog high fiveMy long run of good luck just seems to keep on going.

Case in point: on June 5th I was laid off from Quaddra and within two weeks I had signed on the dotted line as an Evangelist at Tegile. Woot!  I always liked their fundamentals and I am now looking forward to engaging the Tegile and storage communities as a Tegilean,  calling out Tegile’s numerous competitive wins against our (ahem) worthy competitors.

NBA: Golden State Warriors-Championship Celebration

While I was a free man, unencumered by work, I enthusiatically watched the Golden State Warriors win their first NBA title in 40 years. The Dubs are a supremely talented team that is fun to watch – and the way they did it became the model for the sort of company I was looking to join.

The Dubs won this year because they could put the right combination of players on the floor to give them matchup advantages. steph curry crossover on chris paulWhen they needed points they could put the best shooters on the floor; when they needed defensive stops they had tough, quick players who could steal the ball, force bad shots and Draymond-Green-block-300x272get rebounds.
When they needed size they had the big men and others who could play “large ball”; when they needed speed they could outrun-and-gun any other team.  They had players that played multiple positions well. The Dubs won it all because they had all the pieces and could use them interchangeably and intelligently. That’s Dub basketball – efficient, smart and ready to step up to any challenge.

Of course, the storage industry is not the NBA and storage arrays are Dub Storage Logo not super-humans. Nonetheless, like the Dubs, Tegile’s products are incredibly versatile and have a superior combination of features – which is why I think of them as Dub Storage.

Customers use Tegile all-flash arrays (AFAs) to pump out IOs for low-latency apps and Tegile hybrid arrays for mixing high-performing flash with capacity-oriented disk. As their requirements evolve, their Tegile AFAs can be upgraded for more speed or more size by adding either all-flash or hybrid shelves. This architectural flexibility also applies to data protection with the ability to mix and match high-performance AFAs with low-cost hybrid arrays for super-efficient data replication.

Tegile’s versatility also covers all the major storage methods (aka protocols) and virtual systems. Customers that need a mix of block, 3in1file and VM-aware storage can use Tegile arrays for all three.  Like all NBA stars, Tegile arrays have special skills – inline dedupe and compression –  that gives our arrays the ability to “play large” and increase their effective capacity to many times the amount of raw capacity.

FWIW, social media played a big role in my coming to Tegile when my 3PAR crony Rob Commins caught a tweet I posted late on a Friday afternoon. There is something to be said for making some of your own luck, but when it happens in a teamwork context it takes a whole new level. It feels very good indeed to be back in the array business working with old friends from former stops.marc-farley-rob-commins-stephen-curry


EMC and Cisco swap DNA and divorce amicably


Now that EMC is acquiring VCE it’s clear that this was yet another Cisco-style spin-out/spin-in the same as MDS, UCS and Insieme. EMC got to partner with Cisco for compute and networking expertise, which gave credibility to its private cloud story and Cisco got to sell a lot more UCS systems to pay for continued R&D (as well as surfing on EMC’s private cloud hype). VCE was invented to light the fuse on a technology integration effort that neither Cisco or EMC could do on fighting-coupletheir own. Now that it’s complete and the CI (converged infrastructure) industry is in full swing, its time for these partners to divorce and come out kicking. VMware’s aquisition of Nicira was far too unfair of a menage a trois for Cisco to rationalize. This morning’s announcement is just the finalization of the paperwork. The two companies have been figuring out new sugar daddy angles for future CI arrangements and while they don’t want to sell the home they built together, EMC gets custody of the kids and Cisco has some visitation rights.

Its been a good run for both. Private cloud is not complete hype any more. The vision of private cloud may be totally confusing and inconsistent across vendors but that hasn’t stopped industries from forming before. EMC’s megaphone has driven a lot of attention to private cloud this-and-that over the last 5 years and everybody selling private cloud anything owes something to EMC for the awareness creation it’s done.

kitchengadgetSo we have two emerging industries that were jump-started by VCE – private cloud and CI.  Both are huge opportunities and the industry has EMC and Cisco to thank for it. If you work in technology, you should remember them both at Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Now for the fun part, here’s how I see the winners and losers lines forming.

The biggest winner: Joe Tucci and EMC

They saw what Cisco was doing there, got them to go halvsies on one and then broke up amicably. This might have been EMC at it’s very best because it was not mostly luck, like the VMware acquisition was. VCE was excellent planning.  The downside for them is that they have this big business with a lot of costs and overlap.

The biggest losers:  VCE employees

Unfortunately for the employees of VCE who left EMC and Cisco to go with the VCE joint venture, they are going to EMC, which just announced an earnings miss and is under big pressure from Activist investor Paul Singer (of Elliot Management) to do something about it.  As they say, there will be blood.

 The next biggest winner: Cisco

Cisco got UCS footprints in a lot of places where it never could have without EMC’s help. Lets face it, they were in a lot of trouble finding markets that were big enough to expand into. They trashed the Flip camera (I’ll always hate them for that) because it was too small a business that wasn’t going to expand enough.  Now they are front and center with CI and private cloud with UCS.  If there was a sugar baby in this deal, it was Cisco and they definitely got what they were looking for – new status in new places. The downside for them is that they actually have to do something on their own in the CI space, which probably means an acquisition. I’d place a small bet on Simplivity just because they have a deal with Cisco already.

The next biggest loser:  HP

The company that coined the term “converged infrastructure” and tried to create the market for it, is now just an afterthought in the CI space.  They had this in their sights and let it slip away.

Biggest winner #3: Paul Singer

The activist investor who has been pressuring EMC to unload VMware is going to have a field day with this. EMC is going to have to consolidate its workforce and he will argue more forcefully than ever that they also need to capitalize on the value of VMware by spinning it off.  His arguments will make more sense than they ever have before.

Biggest loser #3:  Shared between Dell and Microsoft

This week Microsoft announced its CI private cloud in a box, the Cloud Platform System (CPS). The thing that matters most is how few people cared about it. There was no buzz and the industry is not eagerly awaiting what will happen there, like they are with both EMC and Cisco.  Microsoft badly needs to be a private cloud player because its their main advantage against public cloud giants Amazon and Google. Microsoft seems to underestimate what it will take to compete for CI/private cloud business and that their homegrown technologies in CPS such as System Center and Storage Spaces are more like science projects than solutions. Dell was supposedly a partner in this announcement, but came across more as an afterthought of Microsoft’s. In fact, the EMC/Cisco divorce appears more friendly than the Microsoft partnership. With friends like these…….


Why we reject IT-recommended file sync and sharing tools

water blastingI saw an article in  Information Management Online about research done by London-based Ovum  titled: Widespread Dissatisfaction with File Sync, Sharing Tools

The results of Ovum’s research, conducted with over 5000 corporate employees, indicates that only 9% of them using commercial file sharing technology that is authorized by their IT departments, like it.

This would be pretty damning, if true – but I have no reason to believe otherwise. The article claims over 19 vendors were named in the survey including Box, Citrix, Dropbox, Egnyte, EMC, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and WatchDox.  Part of the problem, of course, is that file sync technologies are integrated with corporate workflows and there are probably lots of reasons why people dislike those. When the goal of a technology is some form of bureaucratic processing, there just isn’t going to be a big fan base.

When there is discord, there are bad experiences, such as frustration underlying it. One thing I’d hope to find out from this research is what angers everybody so much about these technologies. I suspect a lot of it has to do with the amount of time it takes to find shared files. As the file store gets bigger and more fragmented, the different ways people name and categorize things becomes an obstacle and group cognition slows to a crawl.

While it tends to be most dreadful in large organizations, small ones are not immune. I have experienced the same frustration looking for a file in Google Docs working with a team of 5 as I have using SharePoint at Microsoft with many thousands of people. In other words, I don’t think the tool is the problem. It’s us. We need to find better ways to collaborate at work.

Changing this situation requires overcoming human fallibilities. If we aren’t good at finding files, then our crutch could be better search tools. That’s what the whole business of enterprise search is all about. It’s also what file analytics is about, although the dynamics are different.  Both allow co-workers to find each other’s files, but in the case of file analytics, the search tool is geared to managing files that are identified by the search process.

So even though file sync and share mostly suck, we are stuck using them.  Remedies for that may come from much better searching tools . That or we could just blob out into information entropy.

The Bobbleheads vote for VMworld!

Voting for Vmworld 2012 sessions has been going on for a week and so in a last minute rush to get the vote out for sessions I want to see – or be seen in – some of my desk figurines teamed up to make a video. Cameo celeb appearances are made by Batgirl and Wonder Woman for their ultimate nerd appeal.

Voting ends this Friday June 8th, so just do it already! If you have already voted, you can go in again and add these sessions too – it’s never too late.  If you haven’t voted, you will need to sign up for a  VMworld account to access the site .  BTW, you all have desk statues, don’t you?

The sessions mentioned in this video are:
1200 iSCSI Misconceptions, Configurations and Best Practices
1202 Cloud Infrastructure Architecture and Operations Q&A
1215 BYOD: Focus on the data, not the device
1217 Big Data on Cloud: Why and How
1302 Building Open Adapters for vCenter Operations
1347 vCenter Orchestrator for the Everyday Administrator
1726 From Zero to Social in Six Weeks
1913 Pardon The Interrupt: VMworld Expert Panel Session on Everything
1996 Managing Your Day-to-Day Administrative Tasks with vCenter Orchestrator
2471 vNUMA Performance Deep Dive and Case Study
2478 VROOM! Videos Live – VMware Performance Team Panel
2545 [StorSimple Session] Protecting VM Data at the Perimeter with ROBO-resident Cloud-integrated Storage
2637 [StorSimple Session] Limiting the Waste of VM Sprawl with Cloud-integrated Storage: Combining Cloud Storage, Data Deduplication and aAtomated sSorage Tiering to Manage VM
2641 [StorSimple Session] A Customer’s Journey: Shrinking an SMB VM Datacenter with Cloud-integrated Enterprise Storage
2906 Simulating Storage IO Workloads Within Virtual Environments

Google+ Hangout #fail, but I got the peach!

Made a trip to Google HQ today in Mountain View, CA. A quest of sorts – trying to see if we could do a Google+ hangout on-air from the WiFi network on Google’s campus. It sort of worked. The video describes what happened.

If you want to see the video that was created from the hangout, it’s below. Even though it didn’t work today trying to do something goofy from Goole’s campus, I am extremely stoked by Google+ hangouts on air. I only wish they had a shorter name.

Introducing Run! A podcast about high tech, what we do with it and what it does to us

I started a new podcast, called “Run!” with my friends Matt Brender from Boston and Roger Strukhoff from Sterling Illinois. We represent different geographies and generations and we should always be able to find good things to disagree on.  A few things we DO agree on are that technology is fascinating even though it doesn’t always make things better and that the changes it makes on us are indelible.  That’s what we’ll be exploring on Run!;  technology, how to use it effectively and what to watch out for.

Guests will be an important part of Run!  and we look forward to finding out what works for them and what bothers them.