Last year I published a list of storage vendors and partners that I was planning to check out at VMworld 2013. This year is no different, with a number of new arrivals on the storage scene, as well as some super new cool products from many of VMware’s partners. Whilst this is no means a definitive list of what’s on show, these are the ones that I am particularly interested in checking out this year.
Atlantis Computing are no strangers to VMworld, having won “Best of” in previous years. Their ILIO product provides acceleration and data services to optimize your storage. In the past I’ve written about the diskless VDI services and persistent desktops in memory. At VMworld 2014, I’m hoping to learn more about their Atlantis ILIO integration with VSAN and what that entails. However the figures they produced for ILIO+View+VSAN do look very good.
Coho Data is a new storage company which came out of stealth last October, and this will be their first VMworld. Coho Data want to deliver a storage service to you, not just a storage box. I know they have a number of announcements lined up and I’m hoping to catch up with Christopher Wells to learn more about these enhancements. Last time I spoke with Coho Data, they were doing scale-out VDI testing, as well as investigating some Storage QoS and DR techniques, so it will definitely be good to see where they have got on all of those.
Data Gravity are still pretty much in stealth mode, and are only sharing their product details with a selected few (lucky) individuals right now. Their mission: to turn data into information. I’m really looking forward to catching up with my ex-VMware colleagues Andy Banta and Michael White to learn more. They are at booth #1647 and you can follow them on Twitter via @DataGravityInc.
Kaminario are a company I’ve been meaning to meet for some time. They promise true scale-out and scale-up architecture which is also cost-effective. I definitely want to meet with these guys, and figure out what the vSphere integration points are, e.g. VAAI, SRM, management interface, and dare I say it, VVols. I’m hoping to publish an article on my findings post VMworld.
Maxta are a relatively new player as well, although they did have a presence at VMworld 2013. The Maxta team claims that their product is a VM-centric storage solution, and provides enterprise-class data services and fully integrates with virtualization at all levels, from UI to data management. This sounds like a very interesting storage product, and I’m definitely interested in learning more about their data services and vSphere integration. Again, I’ll hopefully follow-up with a blog post as I’ve not published anything on Maxta previously.
PernixData are now appearing at their second VMworld, having more or less launched at VMworld 2013. I already caught up with their principal evangelist and very good friend, Frank Denneman, and learnt about their new features such as NFS support, Distributed Fault Tolerant Memory (DFTM) and Adaptive Network Compression. Some of this stuff is simply unique in our industry, and if you get a chance, drop by their booth and speak to Frank or Satyam and see the sort of I/O acceleration their product offers. I’m pretty sure you will be impressed.
Skyera are an exhibitor this year, and as far as I know, this is the first time they are making an appearance at VMworld. They have a number of different all flash array (AFA) models but the interesting part here is the price point – I’ve heard anecdotally that they are a relatively inexpensive solution compared to others on the market. I guess this is one of the main questions that I will have for these guys, as well as the usual data service and vSphere integration questions.
SolidFire are another all flash array (AFA) vendor and I am a big fan of theirs. I wrote an overview of SolidFire here, but the reason I like them so much is for their Storage Quality of Service (QoS) feature which I feel is a really big differentiator for these guys. I wrote an article on how this QoS feature could work hand-in-hand with VMware’s Storage I/O Control feature, but where this becomes really cool is when it is considered in the context of VVols – Storage QoS on your VMDK – how cool is that? So I’ll be catching up with Aaron Delp, Adam Carter (and a bunch of other guys from the virtualization community who have recently joined the company) to see what else they’ve been doing since we last spoke. They also have their own site highlighting SolidFire activities at VMworld so be sure to check it out.
Tegile are a storage company that I see coming up more and more in conversations. Last year was my first introduction to the company, and I had a really great conversation with Tegile’s Rob Commins which I posted here. Their hybrid model array had a really good set of features, and as I said in my post, it pretty much checks all the boxes for integration features and data services. This year, Tegile have announced an all flash array (AFA) which on first glance, seems to have all the features of the hybrid model. I’m hoping to find time to meet with Rob and get the low-down on their new AFA. I’m also seeing Tegile getting more and more involved in the community, which is great to see.
X-IO are the final vendor on my list. I actually learnt about these guys at the famous Storage Field Day webinars run by Steve Foskett. These guys make no bones about it – they refer to themselves hardware defined storage. One of the interesting things I picked up from these guys is how they handle disk failures. They state that typical failures are not whole drive failures, just individual platters. Their technology allows them to fail a single surface and not whole drives, if that is the root cause. I found this a very interesting approach, and certainly want to learn more about them.
So that’s it – my plan for VMworld 2014 is to try to meet with as many of these companies as possible. Again, there are simply way too many storage companies to mention (hardly anyone made it onto both the 2013 and 2014 lists), but these are the ones which tickled my fancy so to speak, and seem to be doing some of the most interesting things this year.
Whoever you plan to meet, be sure to enjoy the show. It’s already shaping up to be one of the best VMworlds yet. If you can’t make it, I’ll try to share what I learn through a series of posts after event.