Tech Field Day Post 2: NEC HydraStor

NEC HydraStor is the coolest product you’ve never heard of. My interest in this product was renewed last week as I watched a dozen hard-core techies salivate when they heard it described, and almost swoon when they saw it demonstrated.

As I said in a previous blog, I spent two and a half days last week with a bunch of miscreants collected from around the globe (USA, Scotland, Australia, Nigeria, Holland, and — of all places — Ohio). We called it Seattle Tech Field Day, and it was organized by none other than my friend Stephen Foskett (and, of course, his right-hand, Claire Chaplais). For two exhausting days we experienced death-by-Powerpoint and listened to several vendor pitches, and we grilled said vendors about the strengths and weaknesses of their various approaches.

I was not paid to attend this event, but it did not cost me to attend it. I had more than one free meal and drink on these guys, and I got a few chotzkies, but I am under no obligation to blog about what I saw. So please consider the blogs I do write about this event to be products I found genuinely interesting. I want to reiterate that NEC is not paying me to write this blog, nor are they paying me for anything. (That last part was just for you Greg K.) 😉 I wanted to reiterate this, but goes I’m about to go all fan-boy on them. It’s not a perfect product, but it is one that is truly different and exciting.

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Tech Field Day Post 1: Compellent and Nimble Storage

I spent two and a half days last week with a bunch of miscreants collected from around the globe (USA, Scotland, Australia, Nigeria, Holland, and — of all places — Ohio). We called it Seattle Tech Field Day, and it was organized by none other than my friend Stephen Foskett (and, of course, his right-hand, Claire Chaplais). For two exhausting days we experienced death-by-Powerpoint and listened to several vendor pitches, and we grilled said vendors about the strengths and weaknesses of their various approaches.

I was not paid to attend this event, but it did not cost me to attend it. I had free meals and drinks on these guys, and I got a few chotzkies, but I am under no obligation to blog about what I saw. So please consider the blogs I do write about this event to be products I found genuinely interesting.

This is the first of a few Tech Field Day blog posts that I will write, and it will cover Compellent and Nimble Storage. Both companies offer block-based arrays, which means they are SAN offerings, not NAS offerings. (Compellent does offer two NAS options by using a Windows Storage Server & CIFS or Nexenta and ZFS, but in the end that’s just a NAS head in front of a SAN array.) Both systems support thin provisioning, redirect-on-write snapshots (more on that later), and replication. Nimble is an iSCSI only array, and Compellent offers both iSCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces. Both companies believe that they are offering less expensive ways to store your data while increasing performance.

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