The day after Valentine’s is also known as “Singles Awareness Day” and people flock to the stores for the left over candies now priced down to move. Some people who are looking today will go on a website to find their love ‘match’. But how does that really work in the background?
One website named “Plenty of Fish” is an online dating site that claims they are the largest online dating site, with over 90 million registered users. Every day 55,000 people from every corner of the Earth sign up on their website for help finding that special person.
Here are some staggering facts from their website:
- PlentyOfFish has over 55,000 signups every day
- 80% of usage on PlentyOfFish takes place via a mobile phone
- Over 3.6 million people log on to PlentyOfFish every day
- Every 2 minutes a couple confirms they met on PlentyOfFish
- There are over 10 million conversations every day on PlentyOfFish
- PlentyOfFish creates 1 million relationships every year
Now this is not a promo for the site but the data points are interesting. If you were looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with or just trying to make friends, some of the factors in you paying this site would be the speed and accuracy of their match making algorithm. When I talk to clients about technology and their pain points we talk alot about making the decisions faster with more accurate data. This is very similar to the data points above.
I saw this video on Youtube and thought it was pretty cool.
Quick and simple new way to look at storage. Stop buying flash arrays that offer a bunch of bells and whistles. Two main reasons, 1. It increases your $/TB and 2. It locks you into their platform. Lets dive deeper.
1. If you go out and buy an All Flash Array (AFA) from one of the 50 vendors selling them today you will likely see there is a wide spectrum not just from the media (eMLC, MLC, cMLC) but also in the features and functionality. These vendors are all scrambling to put in as many features as possible in order to reach a broader customer base. That said, you the customer will be looking to see which AFA has this or is missing that and it can become an Excel Pivot Table from hell to manage. The vendor will start raising the price per TB on those solutions because now you can have more features to do things therefore you now have more storage available or data protection is better. But the reality is you are paying the bills for those developers who are coding the new shiny feature in some basement. That added cost is passed down to the customer and does increase your purchase price.
2. The more features you use on a particular AFA, the harder it is to move to another platform if you want a different system. This is what we call ‘stickiness’. Vendors want you to use their features more and more so that when they raise prices or want you to upgrade it is harder for you to look elsewhere. If you have an outage or something happens where your boss comes in and say “I want these <insert vendor name> out of here”, are you going to say well the whole company runs on that and its going to take about 12-18 months to do that?
I bet your thinking well I need those functions because I have to protect my data or i get more storage out of them because I use this function, but what you can do is take those functions away from the media and bring it up into a layer above them in a virtual storage layer. This way you can move dumb storage hardware in and out as needed and more based on price and performance than feature and functionality. By moving the higher functionality into the virtual layer the AFA can be swapped out easily and allow you to always look at the lowest price system based solely on performance.
Now your thinking about the cost of licenses for this function and that feature in the virtualization layer and how that is just moving the numbers around right? wrong! For IBM Spectrum Virtualize you buy a license for so many TBs and that license is perpetual. You can move storage in and out of the virtualization layer and you do not have to increase the amount of licenses. For example. You purchase 100TB of licenses and your virtualize a 75TB Pure system. You boss comes in and says, I need another 15TB for this new project that is coming online next week. You can go out to your vendors and choose a dumb storage AFA array and insert it into the virtual storage layer and you still get all of the features and functions you had before. Then a few years go by and you want to replace the Pure system with a nice IBM flash system. No problem, with ZERO downtime you can insert the Flash 900 under the virtual layer, migrate the data to the new flash and the hosts do not have to be touched.
The cool thing that I see with this kind of virtualization layer is the simplicity of not having to know how to program APIs, or have a bunch of consultants come in for some long drawn out study and then tell you to go to ‘cloud’. In one way this technology is creating a private cloud of storage for your data center. But the point here is by not having to buy licenses for features every time you buy a box allows you to lower that $/TB and it gives you the true freedom to shop the vendors.
The next meeting will be Thursday March 13th at Natty Greene’s Pub (Loft) Greensboro starting at noon until 4 pm. Please come and enjoy the ACC Tournament with us and learn about IBM’s Flash Storage System. See how Flash can accelerate your applications besides your storage array.
Come out and network with your storage peers and lets play stump the engineer!
Topics will include:
Flash Storage Systems
**New 840 Model Announcement **
Decreasing Latency / Backup Windows & Restore times
Greensboro, NC – March 13, 2014
The Loft at Natty Greene’s
345 South Elm Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Start time is 12:00 Noon
As usual, IBM has pushed out a bunch of things all at once. Other than the FlashSystem, the DCS 3700 has the T10 Protection Information (PI), and the DS series got some new disks. For more information on T10 go to one of my favorite blogs “Storage CH Blog”Content of this summary is subject to change after the date of publication
Announcements by Letter Number
By now everyone has seen the great marketing adverts from AT&T where a interviewer is sitting in a classroom asking some younger students basic questions like, “Would like you like more or less? and my favorite “Which is better: fast or slow?”. Of course all of the kids scream FAST! Even to the point where one little girl talks about being slow and then being turned into a werewolf and then crying because all it wants is to be human again… Then the tagline, “It’s not complicated”.
No matter if we are talking about mobile phone, sandwich deliver (Jimmy John’s ROCKS!) or flash based areas, the “how fast can you …” is real. We can time a person delivering food, we can meter the signal on a mobile phone and we can measure the response time of a flash array. But what is more important than being fast? Simplicity.
There are many new start ups entering the flash storage market and some of the larger vendors are snapping up these little guys like little bunny foo foo (Not sure about the bopping part).
What I have seen is most of the solutions sound good on paper and power point but once in the sandbox they are complicated and take weeks of tuning to get the performance as advertised. There seems to be a growing trend in the flash market of “just get it in there” and then deal with tuning later mentality. This is not surprising from where its coming as they typically have more engineers on a customer to make sure their legacy gear behaves properly.
The IBM FlashSystems 710/720 and 810/820 were announced last week with a huge kick off meeting in New York and a huge social media push which I thought was marvelous. There was announcements of IBM setting $1 Billion (Yes, Dr. Evil does now work at Almadean Labs) for research and product enhancement of Flash technology. I think someone actually said something on our tweet chat that day like “Who else in the world could spend as much money on one particular part of hardware but IBM?” and I think the answer is fairly clear, no one.
What will come from this huge R&D investment you may ask? I suspect IBM is looking at how to take the technology and sprinkle it through out the storage portfolio and into server side as well. There are already some vendors who are getting started with adding flash PCIe cards into the hosts but they are typically storage companies trying to talk to server people. Not saying server people are different than storage people, but its a different language at times. Again the question comes up “Who else but IBM can talk servers, switches, storage and software and offer good pricing and support?”; no one.
I suspect the neigh sayers will be ramping up with their FUD about the IBM FlashSystem and how its this and not that, but let me tell you:
- It is fast
- It is easy to manage
- It is efficient
One aspect that I see as HUGE win is having the FlashSystem behind our SAN Volume Controller (SVC) and allowing the Easy Tier program figure out what data needs to be on flash and leave the rest on old rusting spinning drives. This becomes very interesting because now you get better performance out of your storage and increase the usability of the FlashSystem by always keeping the hot data on the fastest device. Per the IBM SSIC the FlashSystems are supported as a device that SVC can virtualize with different OS types.
I believe this is a very interesting time to be in storage as we are seeing the change in storage designs. I hope the new flash systems can be adopted by main stream customers and helps drive the cost down even further so we can start looking at solutions like Flash and Tape only. Needless to say there are a lot of ideas and cool things coming out of IBM Labs and Flash is going to be one of the biggest.