What’s a Multi-cloud Really?  Some Insider Notes from VMworld 2017

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

As comfortable 65-70 degree weather blankets New England here as we near end of summer, flying into Las Vegas for VMworld at 110 degrees seemed like dropping into hell. Last time I was in that kind of heat I was stepping off a C-130 into the Desert Shield/Desert Storm theater of operations. At least here, as everyone still able to breathe immediately says -“at least it’s a dry heat.”

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Open Wide and Say Ahh!

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

I’ve been immersed in “Open” for the last two weeks here in Boston, attending both Red Hat Summit 2017 and then OpenStack Summit. There are quite a few things worth paying attention to, especially if you are an enterprise IT shop still wondering how your inevitable cloud (and services) transformation is really going to play out, including accelerating application migration to containers and the rise of platform Management as a Service.

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Actual Hybrid of Enterprise Storage and Public Cloud? Oracle creates a Cloud Converged System

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

What’s a Cloud Converged system? It is really what us naive people thought hybrid storage was all about all along.  Yet until now no high performance enterprise class storage ever actually delivered it.  But now, Oracle’s latest ZFS Storage Appliance, the ZS5, comes natively integrated with Oracle Cloud storage. What does that mean? On-premise ZS5 Storage Object pools now extend organically into Oracle Cloud storage (which is also made up of ZS storage) – no gateway or third party software required.
 
Oracle has essentially brought enterprise hybrid cloud storage to market, no integration required. I’m not really surprised that Oracle has been able to roll this out, but I am a little surprised that they are leading the market in this area.
 
Why hasn’t Dell EMC come up with a straightforward hybrid cloud leveraging their enterprise storage and cloud solutions? Despite having all the parts, they failed to actually produce the long desired converged solution – maybe due to internal competition between infrastructure and cloud divisions? Well, guess what. Customers want to buy hybrid storage, not bundles or bunches of parts and disparate services that could be integrated (not to mention wondering who supports the resulting stack of stuff).
 
Some companies so married to their legacy solutions that they, like NetApp for example, don’t even offer their own cloud services – maybe they were hoping this cloud thing would just blow over? Maybe all those public cloud providers would stick with web 2.0 apps and wouldn’t compete for enterprise GB dollars?
 
(Microsoft does have StorSimple which may have pioneered on-prem storage integrated with cloud tiering (to Azure). However, StorSimple is not a high performance, enterprise class solution (capable of handling PBs+ with massive memory accelerated performance). And it appears that Microsoft is no longer driving direct sales of StorSimple, apparently positioning it now only as one of many on-ramps to herd SME’s fully into Azure.)
 
We’ve reported on the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance itself before. It has been highly augmented over the years. The Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance is a great filer on its own, competing favorably on price and performance with all the major NAS vendors. And it provides extra value with all the Oracle Database co-engineering poured into it.  And now that it’s inherently cloud enabled, we think for some folks it’s likely the last storage NAS they will ever need to invest in (if you’ll want more performance, you will likely move to in-memory solutions, and if you want more capacity – well that’s what the cloud is for!).
 
Oracle’s Public Cloud is made up of – actually built out of – Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances. That means the same storage is running on the customer’s premise as in the public cloud they are connected with. Not only does this eliminate a whole raft of potential issues, but solving any problems that might arise is going to be much simpler – (and less likely to happen given the scale of Oracle’s own deployment of their own hardware first).
 
Compare this to NetApp’s offering to run a virtual image of NetApp storage in a public cloud that only layers up complexity and potential failure points. We don’t see many taking the risk of running or migrating production data into that kind of storage. Their NPS co-located private cloud storage is perhaps a better offering, but the customer still owns and operates all the storage – there is really no public cloud storage benefit like elasticity or utility pricing.
 
Other public clouds and on-prem storage can certainly be linked with products like Attunity CloudBeam, or additional cloud gateways or replication solutions.  But these complications are exactly what Oracle’s new offering does away with.
 
There is certainly a core vendor alignment of on-premises Oracle storage with an Oracle Cloud subscription, and no room for cross-cloud brokering at this point. But a ZFS Storage Appliance presents no more technical lock-in than any other NAS (other than the claim that they are more performant at less cost, especially for key workloads that run Oracle Database.), nor does Oracle Cloud restrict the client to just Oracle on-premise storage.
 
And if you are buying into the Oracle ZFS family, you will probably find that the co-engineering benefits with Oracle Database (and Oracle Cloud) makes the set of them all that much more attractive (technically and financially). I haven’t done recent pricing in this area, but I think we’d find that while there may be cheaper cloud storage prices per vanilla GB out there, looking at the full TCO for an enterprise GB, hybrid features and agility could bring Oracle Cloud Converged Storage to the top of the list.

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The New Big Thing in Big Data: Results From Our Apache Spark Survey

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

In the last few months I’ve been really bullish on Apache Spark as an big enabler of wider big data solution adoption. Recently we got the great opportunity to conduct some deep Spark market research (with Cloudera’s sponsorship) and were able to survey nearly seven thousand (6900+) highly qualified technical and managerial people working with big data from around the world.
   
Some highlights — First, across the broad range of industries, company sizes, and big data maturities, over one-half (54%) of respondents are already actively using Spark to solve a primary organizational use case. That’s an incredible adoption rate, and no doubt due to the many ways Spark makes big data analysis accessible to a much wider audience – not just Phd’s but anyone with a modicum of SQL and scripting skills.
   
When it comes to use cases, in addition to the expected Data Processing/Engineering/ETL use case (55%), we found high rates of forward-looking and analytically sophisticated use cases like Real-time Stream Processing (44%), Exploratory Data Science (33%) and Machine Learning (33%). And support for the more traditional customer intelligence (31%) and BI/DW (29%) use cases weren’t far behind. By adding those numbers up you can see that many organizations indicated that Spark was already being applied to more than one important type of use case at the same time – a good sign that Spark supports nuanced applications and offers some great efficiencies (sharing big data, converging analytical approaches).
 
Is Spark going to replace Hadoop and the Hadoop ecosystem of projects?  A lot of folks run Spark on its own cluster, but we assess mostly only for performance and availability isolation. And that is likely just a matter of platform maturity – its likely future schedulers (and/or something like Pepperdata) will solve the multi-tenancy QoS issues with running Spark alongside and converged with any and all other kinds of data processing solutions (e.g. NoSQL, Flink, search…).
 
In practice already, converged analytics are the big trend with near half of current users (48%) said they used Spark with HBase and 41% again also with Kafka. Production big data solutions are actually pipelines of activities that span from data acquisition and ingest through full data processing and disposition. We believe that as Spark grows its organizational footprint out from initial data processing and ad-hoc data science into advanced operational (i.e. data center) production applications, that it truly blossoms when fully enabled by supporting other big data ecosystem technologies.

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Virtual Instruments Finally Gets NAS-ty

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

When Virtual Instruments merged in/acquired Load Dynamix recently, we thought good things were going to happen.  VI could now offer its users a full performance management “loop” of monitoring and testing in a common suite. Apparently VI’s clientele agreed because they’ve just finished out a stellar first half of year financially. Now, to sweeten the offer even more, VI is broadening its traditionally Fibre Channel/block focused monitoring (historically rooted in their original FC SAN probes) to fully encompass NAS monitoring too.

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Oracle ZS5 Throws Down a Cloud Ready Gauntlet

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Is anyone in storage really paying close enough attention to Oracle? I think too many mistakenly dismiss Oracle’s infrastructure solutions as expensive, custom and proprietarily Oracle database-only hardware. But, surprise, Oracle has been successfully evolving the well respected ZFS as a solid cloud-scale filer, today releasing the fifth version of the ZFS storage array – the Oracle ZS5. And perhaps most surprising, the ZS series powers Oracle’s own fast growing cloud storage services (at huge scale – over 600PBs and growing).

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