Tag Archives: storage


Come full circle with NexGen Storage


NexGen is storage that’s not just intended for virtualization, they support Citrix, VMware and Hyper-V,  but general use storage as well.  The founders of Lefthand, John Spiers and Kelly Long came up with NexGen.  Eventually acquired by Fusion I/O and onto SanDisk, as of January 2015, they are now their own entity once more. (insert clapping!)

The main difference between NexGen and other storage vendors with acceleration is that the appliance uses PCIe Flash. Using the memory bus brings in lower latency and higher bandwidth than SSDs.  You can scale out simple by adding PCIe flash devices and interconnects are SAS/SATA between trays.  Flash is only for write cache and RAM is used for read cache.


There are five QoS policies for performance with 3 categories:  mission critical, business critical and non-critical.  Below shows the prioritized active cache for each setting:




 You can map these policies directly to VMware’s storage policies per VVOL which brings simplicity with management.  In the demo, NexGen shows how you can create containers, map them to a policy and deploy VMs to the selected VVOL/policy.

 VVOL Demo

 As far as vSphere, the NexGen appliance is designed to converge infrastructure management to capitalize on the newer vSphere 6 capabilities. They are a VASA 2.0 provider, allow QoS on the I/O type now with NexGen ioControl 3.5.  That means they are the first and only NVMe ready with VM-level QoS.  These enhancements do depend on VVOLS but with it you can change the data-path rather than a SvMotion.

NexGen does provide a vCenter plugin and a web-based interface.
Along with that there is a REST API you can call with PowerCLI or JSON .
With vCenter integration, you can get information like per VMDK storage metrics, IOPS, queue depth, through-put and block-size. SAN metrics are saved for a year on each VM and you can correlate the entire data path for performance statistics gathering.


 At Virtualization Field Day 5,they showed how you can change policies on the fly and it will immediately impact the VM. Bringing up the point that you don’t have to do a storage vMotion to faster storage but just change the policy on the VVOL, seems pretty slick.

NexGen Storage QoS Manager for VMware from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.


Disclosure: I learned about NexGen Storage at Virtualization Field Day 5. All travel and incidental expenses for attending Virtualization Field Day 5 were paid for by Gestalt IT. This was the only compensation provided and it did not influence the content of this post.


Clouds, storage and lobster – Virtualization Field Day 5

I’m very excited to be selected for this event. With VFD4 under my belt, I think I am better prepared for the whirlwind of tech and people. It was a shell shocking type experience that you fully absorb after the fact. Foskett and crew run a tight ship and the vendors are providing as much of a deep dive as possible in 2 hours. If you would like to participate you can watch the stream here and tweet your questions with hashtag VFD5. Looks like it’s a lot about storage and cloudy stuffs. Below are the vendors:


DataGravity, twitter handle @DataGravityInc, is data aware storage. I remember stopping by their booth at a VMUG . The story is intriguing especially in the day and age of HIPPA/PCI compliance. Yes, you know where you are compliant but maybe there is sensitive data, in a different location, unbeknownst to IT.

Infinio, twitter handle @InfinioSystems, offers a software based storage acceleration solution that is non-disruptive. Taking RAM from each host to create deduplicated cache!? No special hardware or flash needed? Sounds pretty neat.

NexGen Storage, twitter handle @NexGenStorage, creates performance service levels for specific data, not after the fact but NOW. Let’s see how they perform the analytics for that

OneCloud, twitter handle @OneCloudSW, offers automated Cloud recovery for DR with customizable levels of protection. They are a headline grabber right now with their offering and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

PernixData, twitter handle @PernixData, with rock-stars Frank Denneman and Satyam Vaghani spreading the good word. Their product, FVP, is deployed within the kernel and accelerates reads/writes using SSD or RAM. It adds life to your slow and lethargic storage array that you just don’t want to invest more $$ in. I had the pleasure of having Satyam(creator of VMFS!) out to discuss this product with my employer at the time. Great stuff and excited to see more.

Ravello, twitter handle @RavelloSystems, is described on their website as a cloud based infrastructure that runs complex VMware/KVM applications with any networking topology on AWS or Google Cloud without migration. DevOps anyone? Interesting and intriguing with some enigma mixed in.

Rubrik, twitter handle @RubrikInc, is definitely a hot topic already with the 41 milliocharliegeen in funding just announced. It will be nice to see what this upcomer is doing that is turning heads. Don’t mess with their security guy either



ScaleComputing, twitter handle @ScaleComputing, is an all in one package. I’ve had the opportunity to see this rodeo already and you can read more here.

Last but not least, VMTurbo, twitter handle @VMTurbo, not only did I see them at VFD4, but I’ve been a customer as well. I wonder if they have something new in the works.

Action packed technology with a side of lobster please.lobster

#VFD4 – Women of Tech Field Day

Such is the life of being in infrastructure, being one of a few or no women. This was really obvious to me at VMWorld 2013 where for once the women’s bathroom had no line and the men’s was a mile long. mens-room-line-wdcc

There’s a whole page written up on this at The Atlantic and credit to where the above picture is from.

There are women in tech but I still consider them the unicorns of IT. There is even a twitter account devoted to promotion of women in IT @WomenInLine. I love the handle.

It is still a man’s world, albeit most are accepting, but we do face different challenges at times.

For this reason, I’d like to highlight the amazing women I’ve had the honor of succeeding in the Tech Field Day realm.

Amy Arnold@amyengineer. Her site is http://amyengineer.com/
She attended Network Field Day 8, Tech Field Day 8 and other Cisco centric events. She is already well known in the community and I love what she contributes. Her list of certifications probably make her email signature a paragraph with having CCNP/DP, CCNP- voice, CCNA wireless, CCNA – voice, CCNA, LPIC- 1, MCSE, and PMP. I agree she is crazy for getting into the voice side of networking (QoS, sensitive gatways, fun!) I shall dub thee the ginger networking unicorn.

Carole Warner Reece@cwreece. Her posts can be seen at http://www.netcraftsmen.com/team/carole-warner-reece/.
She attended Networking Field Day 6. With a CCIE, she’s another networking unicorn that should be followed!

Jennifer Huber@JenniferLucille. She can be found blogging at http://jenniferhuber.blogspot.com/. I have been told she is the Queen of Tech Field Day and I can see why. It would take another page to list all of the events she has attended, you can see it here. She is a wireless ninja with over 10 years experience under her belt. I’m excited to start following her on twitter.

Lauren Malhoit@malhoit. Her amazing site is adaptingit.com with podcasts showing off the skills of women in the field.
She attended Storage Field Day3-5, Tech Field Day VMworld 2013 (wish I had known this!) and Tech Field Day Interop 2013. I first met her at the Chicago VMUG and had the honor of being a part of the podcasts. She put me at east and it helped prep me for co-presenting on automation with vCenter Orchestrator with Nick Colyer(@vNick) that day. She is a vExpert, EMC Elect, Cisco Champion and a PernixPro. I’m not sure what she doesn’t know about storage or who she doesn’t know in the community. Very well known in the community, she brings a great viewpoint on all things Cisco now a days in her new role.

Mrs Y@mrsyiswhy. She attended Networking Field Day 3 and TFD at Interop Las Vegas 2013-2014.
I won’t give away her name here. But on her site she is described as a recovering Unix engineer working in network security. Also the host of Healthy Paranoia and official nerd hunter. She likes long walks in hubsites, traveling to security conferences and spending time in the Bat Cave. Sincerely believes that every problem can be solved with a “for” loop. When not blogging or podcasting, can be found using up her 15 minutes in the Twittersphere or Google+ as @MrsYisWhy. Information with humor is something you can’t go wrong with to your followers.

Natalie Timms@Angel_Face444. Her blog is http://www.natalietimms.com.
She attended Tech Field Day Interop at NY 2014 and Tech Field Day Live at Infosec World 2014. Another CCIE and a Cisco Press Author, she brings over 15 years of Cisco networking experience. Dubbed the Networking Princess, she now does security design and consulting. Check her out

Phoummala Scmit@PhoummalaSchmit aka exchangegoddess. She can be found blogging at http://exchangegoddess.com/.
She attended Storage Field Day 5 and is a Systems Engineer covering a range of technologies such a virtualization, storage and the exciting world of smartphones. She is a part of The Current Status @CurrentStatus4u along with Theresa Miller – @24x7itconnect and Melissa Palmer @vmiss33.


I’m excited to be part of this unicorn club of Tech Field Day. I look forward to seeing more women delegates soon.

Visit Tech Field Day’s website and watch some great sessions