A Software-Defined Life (SDL)

by Administrator on April 4, 2014

Jon woke up this morning, groaning from a software-defined hangover (SDH), and slipped his feet into his software-defined slippers while pulling on his software-defined robe.  5:45AM.  Later than normal, he thought.  Poor Orchestration of his virtual resources pooled for ease of deployment.  Must talk to his virtual IT department using his software-defined network when the world wakes up.

Jon moves into the kitchen and consults his software-defined pantry (SDP) to see what’s available to make for breakfast for his software-defined kids (SDK).  His head is pounding.  Time for some software-defined coffee (SDC) and some software-defined toast (SDT) while prepping the agile batter for some software-defined waffles (SDW).

The kids are not happy to be awakened.  They are grumpy bed heads, but he has software-defined love (SDL) for them anyway.  Especially the two software-defined autistics (SDA) — the son who loves the Lego Movie this week (why not, a software-defined feature film (SDFF) if ever there was one) and the daughter who jumps from bed immediately to her computer to listen to software-defined music played over anime videos on YouTube (more software-defined entertainment (SDE) fare).  The two normies are cool, but they just aren’t hip to the emerging software-defined universe that will shortly become reality for us all.

The day begins.  Another adventure in software-defined paradise (SDP).


While We’re At It

by Administrator on April 3, 2014

On April 8, IBM will be livestreaming its Mainframe 50th Anniversary event that you don’t want to miss.  The mainframe hit corporate world in 1964 and changed everything.  I met my first one in 1980-ish and fell in love.  Frankly, all of the cloud stuff and the virtualization woo that I read and see today strike me as feeble efforts to build capabilities that the mainframe can already deliver.

In any case, I am marking my calendar for April 8.  Maybe I can see a bit of the show before I jet off to London.  Details are here.




Sometimes I wish that the current generation of IT newbs had the opportunities I had to learn computing first from the perspective of the mainframe.  I find that it provides a lot of context for most of the “cutting edge” technology discussions going on today.  x86 virtualization is delivering yesterday’s multitenancy tomorrow (we already worked the bugs out of virtual machines about 30 years ago).  As for clouds, we can securely allocate and deallocate resources to virtualized workloads today…with a mainframe.  And we can deliver those SLAs that the cloudies can only promise sometime in the future.

I should also give a shout out to my friends at CA Technologies, whose latest addition to their mainframe dashboard, CA Chorus, is a network and storage management role that I hope to see extended to distributed computing environments in the future.

Anyway, the mainframe is 50.  Salutations.  And here is an 50th birthday t-shirt that I would give you if mainframes wore t-shirts.



Happy Birthday, Big Iron!


Don’t look for me at my office the week of May 19th.  I will be at IBM Edge 2014, happening at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  Here is where you register.  They even have a great downloadable PDF providing you with the factoids you need to convince your boss to let you go.  Kudos to whoever came up with that idea!

Since I am the boss, I don’t have to convince myself.  Besides, I have a lot of work to do there.

Edge 2014 Venetian

I am delivering five sessions at Technical Edge (the agenda has just been posted) and I am truly honored to have had my proposal accepted.

I will be doing a three part series on Data Protection, updating my sessions from last year.  I will also be doing a talk of Tape’s Renaissance (coincidentally, also the topic of the first issue of IT-SENSE.org, which dropped today).  And I will do that cut-down session based on my London presentation covering Continuity Requirements for Software-Defined Data Centers.

I am also participating in the Social Media Lounge and live tweeting some sessions during the show.  Looking forward to working with my old pals again, including Terry Smith, Alex Hollingworth, and the ever lovely Mary Hall.  The tweet-ups at the show are wickedly funny and I encourage everyone to attend.

My other reason for prioritizing this event, besides the fact that it is Big Blue talking, is that I have some burning questions for the business management and technical folks at the show.  Here are some things I want to explore, hopefully on camera with some qualified spokespersons…

  • First, where are we with the Linear Tape File System?  How is adoption going?  What vertical markets seem to be taking up the technology?  When will the high capacity BaFe Type II tape media demonstrated three years ago (remember that LTO cartridge with 35TB of native uncompressed capacity) show up as an IBM tape cartridge and drive offering?  Are we talking TS1150?  Oracle told me they have no information on this and would be surprised if an announcement were to be made at Edge.  But a little birdie in the tape community tells me to stand by for the BIG DEAL announcement around tape…
  • Secondly, I want to get a handle of what IBM is doing exactly with this whole Sotware-Defined thing.  Last I heard, they were contemplating a sell-off of that business line.  Is that going to happen?  What replaces the airy vision of SDDC.  Could it be actual infrastructure management I wonder?
  • Thirdly, storage sales are off everywhere.  Nobody seems to be growing infrastructure to meet the 300-650% year over year capacity demand spike that IDC and Gartner were crowing about last year.  What’s up with that?
  • Also on the subject of storage, last year IBM’s head honcho for storage made every jaw in the room drop when he said that Flash products were the new focus of IBM Storage, implying that disk and tape were on their way out.  Since that time, there have been no shortage of announcements by Blue regarding improvements in compression technology, storage virtualization technology, etc.  What is the storage plan?
  • I also want to learn more about what is going on in mainframes right now.  I hear that, once again in contrast to industry analyst woo, that mainframe-related revenues are off the hook this year and that there is no way that Blue will divest themselves of mainframe hardware the way they did with server stuff a few months ago.  I want to know more.  I love MFs as readers of this blog know and I have a couple of clients nagging me to provide a comprehensive spreadsheet contrasting MF storage offerings from the four or five vendors who offer them.
  • And, of course, I look forward to chatting with Jeff Jonas about the work he has been doing on Big Data analytics, and with Tony Pearson, to whom a owe a beer, about any darn thing he wants to discuss.

Anyway, I am heading to Vegas with my expectations high.  I have been to every Edge event since they were initiated and I have never been disappointed by the quality of the show, the content of the presentations, the knowledge of the participants, or the style of the entertainment.  This year, Sheryl Crow is one of the featured acts.



One last thing:  I am told there is a discount going on until April 20.  So act fast and register today.  If you come out to the Social Media Lounge, we can chat it up.

Early bird IBM EDGE 2014 graphic


London Calling! DR/BC for SDDC

by Administrator on April 3, 2014

Next week, I will be traveling to London on behalf of TechTarget to deliver a day long presentation entitled  Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery in an Era of the Software-Defined Data Center.  This is one of four session I am doing with TechTarget this year (excluding any custom work) as the company experiments with different kinds of offerings going forward.  I am sorry not to be hobknobbing around the USA this year, but I will be doing this session in London and one in the Fall in Paris.  I will also be presenting at Storage Decisions, which this year will occur only in NYC (no more Chicago or San Francisco).

Here’s a sampling of what I will be addressing in London…



I know, I know.  Software-defined has achieved the status of a religion for some people.  Who am I to make fun?  I will strive to be respectful…




If it is well received, maybe I will do the three decks as a webinar for IT-SENSE.org, or maybe I will do a cutdown version in Las Vegas at IBM EDGE 2014 (more on this in the next post).

If you are a reader of this blog from London, I hope to see you on April 10, next Thursday, for what promises to be an interesting three hours.  Come for the food, stay for the sessions!



Storage Wars VI: Return of the Storage Ecosystem

April 3, 2014

You liked the first episode of our little mash-up of Star Wars, Annoying Orange and Storage Technology — Storage Wars IV: Rise of the Virtual Tape Library…     And you responded quite favorably to our second installment, Storage Wars Episode V: Cloud Storage Strikes Back…       Now, the time has arrived for […]

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We’re Baaaaaack!

April 3, 2014

I know everyone has been missing me, but I was working very hard on a project that is now going live.  IT-SENSE.org is up and ready to go. What is IT-SENSE?  Simple.  It is a new publication from the folks who have been bringing you DrunkenData for all of these years!  It’s a new quarterly […]

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Following Up on Thursday’s Seminar in NYC

December 9, 2013

I give all attendees of my New Rules of Backup and Data Protection seminar a certificate from the Data Management Institute just for showing up.  I tell them that chicks will dig them and guys will want to be them, or vice versa, just for having this cert.  I personally print them on good stock […]

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New York on Thursday, Then…

December 9, 2013

My calendar reminded me today that the final seminar in my series for TechTarget entitled The New Rules of Backup and Data Protection happens this Thursday in New York at the Times Square Westin.  Registration is free here. I go into the session with some mixed emotions.  It is a conclusion in many ways.  Obviously, […]

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Godspeed, Nelson Mandela

December 5, 2013

I know.  This is supposed to be a technology blog.  But, I can’t ignore events outside of that narrow domain altogether. Today, we lost Nelson Mandela.  You can read his obit everywhere, so I won’t repeat it here.  I will say that the wall of my office, which contains pictures of my kids, awards and […]

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Fujifilm Global Executive IT Summit in Review

December 4, 2013

I have been meaning to write a brief blurb about this year’s Fujifilm Global Executive IT Summit, which I had the pleasure of attending in Houston in October.  I thought I would just go to cover the event for the trades, having spoken there for the two years prior. But the Fujifilm folks asked me […]

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