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Travelin’ Man

by Administrator on September 21, 2008

Went from San Francisco, to Columbus, to Reno, then home for 8 hours to trade suitcases and catch some sleep, then off to Toronto, then to Boston, then home.  In a few hours, I will trek to Tampa International again heading for Storage Decisions in NYC until Thursday.  I intend to blog each day from the show to catch everyone up on what’s going on in storage.

Interestingly, I had three vendors — storage vendors — say to me last week that interest in storage technology is waaaay down.  The blush is off the rose.  Attendance at storage events is down.  Not mine, of course.  We have been having record crowds at both my DR Seminars and CDW events.  TechTarget’s events also seem to be thriving, by the way…New York is a sell out event!

In Toronto, I had a chance to catch up with Geminaire, Joshua Geist’s implementation of CA XOsoft (with a few interesting extras) on a service model basis.  He is doing great stuff there and his customers sound delighted with their ability to failover Microsoft, Oracle and BlackBerry servers to same or different (including virtualized) platforms.  I have written quite a bit about the solution offered by CA and have done six webcasts on it over at 1105media/Redmond Magazine.  I have also chatted with several users, including organizations impacted by severe weather events in the Gulf Coast, for whom it has been a lifesaver.  Happy to see someone taking the model into the clouds.

We are in the middle of doing some bake-off testing around Virtual Iron, the seldom covered alternative to VMware that offers the same functionality at 1/20th of the price.  We are also testing Hyper-V, which I think has the edge over all comers for its ability to virtualize Microsoft apps with all of their strange resource calls that have the effect of destabilizing other v-stacks and hypervisors.

Additionally, we have recently thrown Newt Data’s Zetera-based 4TB system into our test bed with great results.  They are sending us a Mac driver to test as well — something I don’t think you get from either Bell Micro or Netgear with their Z-SAN enabled wares.  This technology remains the most cost effective I have seen for cobbling storage together with servers or desktops.  I proudly use about 11TBs of it in my home office.

Last but certainly not least, we installed last week Crossroad Systems’ ShareLoader in our racks and we are beating it up at some length before pronouncing what we already suspect:  a solid offering that optimizes backup in a distributed world — without dedupe.  Look at for some interviews we conducted last month with the Crossroads folks.  I seriously like these guys.

There are some really smart things happening in storage now, driven in large part by the need to do more with less.  I am seeing huge uptake in the Xiotech ISE platform and expect this to grow exponentially as web services-based management and integration catches the wind blowing from the firey furnace of cost-containment, compliance, continuity and carbon footprint reduction (C-4).

Meanwhile, our C-4 Summit has been scheduled.  First week of February 2009, right after the Superbowl, which is also happening in Tampa Bay.  The site,, is well into development.  Vendors are signing up for what will be a free show for business and IT decision makers articulating a real strategy and architecture for business-focused IT going forward. 

Moving on.

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