Brief but necessary intro: Tech Field Day recently held a two-day special event focused on Dell Technologies storage and compute/HCI solutions, specifically PowerStore, PowerMax and VxRail (with bonus content on APEX and CloudIQ). Most of the topics were relevant to VMware admins and architects as the interoperability of Dell’s solutions with the vSphere (and above) stack was a common theme that accompanied the audience for the whole duration of the event.

If you want to watch the many presentations and the very cool demos, all the videos are available as usual on the event page for your async consumption. In this post (or perhaps series?) I’d like to gather a few ideas and impressions I collected as a delegate. This by no means will be an extensive and detailed analysis as I will stick to what impressed me, bookmarking concepts for my own reference. If you want to dig deeper or check other specific topics I am not touching here, go ahead and check the online videos, the nice people at Tech Field Day will appreciate it!

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OpenIO is a very young company with a history already behind it: although on the market only since 2015, the company’s founders started developing the core technology back in 2006, as part of a project for a major Telco. The code was open-sourced in 2012, then forked and finally productized and presented to customers in its current form. OpenIO is based in Lille, France, with offices in San Francisco and Tokyo and plans for expansion in the next coming months.

OpenIO’s proposition could be quickly and very unfairly labeled as YAOSS – Yet Another Object Storage Solution, while in reality it is way more than just that. To better understand why, let’s start from a very high level description of the current state of the storage market, the typical use cases for object storage systems and how they are quickly evolving.

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NetApp opened Tech Field Day 14 with a presentation by Andrew Sullivan and Kapil Arora, entirely focused on the company’s efforts in the Open Source field. One might imagine that a company like NetApp – or any other big IT vendor – would consider Open Source as a menace to their business or, in the best possible scenario, just as a fad worth to exploit until the advent of the next hype. Well, this could have made some sense until just a few years ago but today we live in the GitHub age and it is evident that no company can afford not to share some of their own open code with the public.

NetApp is no different from any other company and they are probably doing this for many reasons similar to those of their competitors – what it is worth investigating here is where their motivation comes from and what is driving their efforts.

NetApp’s involvement with Open Source begins in 2011 with their support to OpenStack and their contribution to the Cinder and Manila projects; the team has evolved – mostly in the past 18 months – into something bigger called the “Open Ecosystem”, also friendly referred to as “The Pub”. The focus has expanded well beyond OpenStack and now covers Containers, Automation and Orchestration, Configuration Management, CI/CD and Agile Development tools.

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