I am off to the Silicon Valley again in the first week of March. Storage Field Day 15 happens from March 7-9, 2018 and this will be my 4th time as a delegate. I am happy because there is always something new, something exciting, and on every occasion, serendipity happened for me.
There is plenty on my mind for this trip. There are several exciting technology vendors I am keen to learn from, notably Hedvig and WekaIO. With so much talks about multicloud and cloud lock-ins these days, there are a bunch of questions on my mind, and a few more that I am trying to piece together.
The most nagging question now is how do get consistent, relevant data in light of distributed systems? In this part of the world, in Asia, I have not seen many organizations or IT individuals asking such a question. I blame part of it to the Asian culture of engaging data platforms and technologies – we rarely ask disruptive questions. I find end users and even large corporate here in Malaysia (and perhaps in some South East Asian countries I visit – Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, et. al) almost willingly drink up the all doses of Kool-Aids dished out by the technology vendors.
It was Storage Field Day 12 which gave me a head start on high performance multicloud technology of Elastifile. Not only did I meet Shahar Frank, the founder of Elastifile and also the creator of the XtremIO technology, it was serendipity to discover a consensus algorithm called Bizur, which underpinned the Elastifile technology. I loved it and blogged the engineering prowess of their technology. Months later, I spoke to Bam Gobets of Elastifile on the phone. In our conversation, I found from Bam that Shahar hated the “eventual consistency of data”. Same with me. A serendipity moment again!
In this blog, I am not diluting the importance of the other technology companies which has presented in the past Storage Field Days or the upcoming ones. They are equally important but there will be some which will perform the run-of-the-mill stuff. In each one I have attended so far, there are 1-2 technology companies which have something that stirs the soul. Those are the serendipitous moments I loved.
But there were bland ones too. I even wrote about the lackadaisical performance of NetApp in one of the Storage Field Days back in March last year. Even the presence of Dave Hitz didn’t help with that one. 😉
Still, every Storage Field Day was special for me. The protocols and the formalities of vendor to end-users, vendor to technology writers and bloggers breaks down, and the relationships and the camaraderie of the everyone in the ecosystem set in. Great friendships happened.
SFD delegates get the special run downs and the deep dives of technologies, the back stage passes, the shoulder-rubbing with the big shots and the hot shots. GestaltIT, the curator of Storage Field Days and other Tech Field Days, is the one that made each one of the Field Days special, and I am sure, made it serendipitous to many of the delegates. That is why I love Storage Field Days.
A big THANK YOU to Stephen, Tom, Claire, Rich, Megan, Ben, Nikki, and the rest whom I have not had the honour to meet.