I was invited to participate as a delegate for Cloud Field Day 13 from Feb. 16 – 18, 2022 in San Jose, CA. CFD13 was a hybrid event, but I was able to attend in person for the first time in well over two years. It sure did feel great to finally be in the company of other delegates, presenters and staff again. I hope that this sentiment sticks and that events will lean heavily towards in person, but also allow for the flexibility of remote options should the situation require it. The new normal seems to be that there is no new normal and that we must adapt to a world that is constantly in flux. This also rings true for Enterprise IT as cloud continues to tighten its grasp on the industry.
NetApp kicked things off at CFD13 on the heels of winning the AWS ISV Design Partner of the year at re:Invent 2021 and the acquisition of CloudCheckr. Nick Howell (aka @datacenterdude) presented much of the NetApp Cloud landscape to us, from the humble start in 2013 all the way up to the large number of services available today.
We got insight into what NetApp is looking to do as a leader in Hybrid Cloud infrastructure, as well as a quick peek at some of the newer services such as Astra and Spot. There was a lot of talk about cohesiveness of the vision, and it seems like Cloud Manager is the platform that is geared to help bring that together. Cloud Manager brings unified data management across clouds, and while we got a little peek under the covers at CFD13 it would have been nice for a deeper dive here. Seeing the multi-cloud capabilities along with current and future integrations with all of the services listed above would have gone a long way towards that full cloud platform vision.
There was also some discussion about perception, which I feel like is something that is affecting just about every vendor out there today. Fair or not, the NetApp name is probably synonymous with traditional storage infrastructure for many customers. When it comes to public cloud, there are so many vendors out there, and infrastructure teams are not necessarily the ones making decisions as to which tools will be used. Current NetApp customers are probably very aware of what NetApp can offer them as they move to cloud, but how does NetApp get their foot in the door with the cloud native folks that have never purchased storage hardware? Many of the building blocks are definitely there and it will be interesting to see how the NetApp vision can transform their perception moving forward.
CFD13 gave us a peek at a new service from Pure Storage called Pure Fusion. Pure Storage is no stranger to Cloud Field Day, as they have a presented much of their cloud portfolio at past events. Pure’s integration with Portworx has further enhanced their cloud native capabilities within the overall platform.
The introduction of Pure Fusion at CFD13 showed an interesting separation of duties between consumers and providers. This makes sense in that the overall cloud storage platform isn’t a one size fits all product. There are people who are all about the “nerd knobs” and there are people who just need their thing to be able to store data somewhere. Pure Fusion looks to make that easier in both cases by providing the specific interactions required depending on your role.
Pure Fusion isn’t a cloud infrastructure service, rather it more of an overlay for provisioning and consumption of the underlying Pure Storage platform capabilities. It isn’t something public cloud users will just go and consume from a marketplace, but it is an orchestration enhancement for organizations that have already bought into the Pure Storage multi-cloud platform.
Kasten by Veeam
When “cloud native” is mentioned today, Kubernetes is typically at the forefront of the conversation. Kasten by Veeam is one of the mainstream vendors that is focused on data protection for Kubernetes. While they may be known for providing an “easy button” to protect Kubernetes applications with Kasten K10, CFD13 brought some new enhancements for this product.
The overall focus was around Kasten’s mission to tackle Day 2 data management when it comes to applications running in Kubernetes. This message can get lost in the fray, especially when so many IT practitioners are still getting up to speed on Kubernetes and modern applications. We spend so much time learning how to properly architect the thing, that it can be easy to overlook how to properly manage the thing once up and running.
Kasten demoed the simplicity of deploying their K10 multi-cluster dashboard to show how you can bring portability and data management to a multi-cloud Kubernetes environment. While this may not be the future of cloud architecture for all organizations, there certainly are many that are doing things this way today. Kasten K10 can bring a simple, yet effective way to make this architecture more accessible.
We also got some insight into how K10 was built from the ground up with cloud native and DevOps in mind. With so much of everything “as code” today, it is refreshing to see K10 from a simple GUI perspective. When it comes to data management, an easy way to prove governance/compliance from a simple dashboard goes a very long way. Some of the demos around key management and observability strayed a bit from this mindset, with a lot of manual coding and add-ons to the K10 interface that seemed to push against what makes K10 appealing in the first place. It will be interesting to see if Kasten can integrate these aspects into the platform and make them as simple as the data management aspect.
Kasten by Veeam: Kasten Multi-Cluster Overview
Disclaimer: I was invited by Gestalt IT to participate as a delegate for this Tech Field Day presentation. I was not obligated by anyone to post about any of the presentations that occurred during Tech Field Day. Any blog posts, tweets or other content related to my time at Tech Field Day are my own views for the sole purpose of creating content for virtualbonzo.com.