Cloud Field Day 14 - Event Details and Summary
The 14th Cloud Field Day event put on by Gestalt IT was held last month in San Jose, California. 7 companies presented, with a lot of emphasis on multi-cloud.
Read on to learn a little more about the event.
Cloud Field Day
Gestalt IT's Security Field Day 7 event was held from June 22nd-24th, 2022, in San Jose, California. Gestalt IT is a content creation company focused on what's new in the information technology industry. A Field Day event is an opportunity for technology vendors and independent tech experts and influencers (who Gestalt calls "delegates") to get together and discuss products and strategies that align with the specific Field Day focus. To that end, there are many types of Tech Field Day events that Gestalt hosts, with disciplinary focuses from Networking to Storage to Mobility to Security, and of course, Cloud computing.
The Field Day events don't operate in your typical trade show atmosphere. There are only 12 delegates in the audience (a mix of in-person and virtual attendees) who are sitting approximately 15 feet from the stage. This means that presenters cannot be in output-only mode like they have to be at the massive shows like re:Invent or VMware Explore. The smaller setting allows for a lot more back and forth, as well as technical tangents and deep dives as delegates work to discover the 'how' as well as the 'what' from each presenter. (There is even a whiteboard in the room in case of emergencies.)
More details, including recordings of the sessions, are available at techfieldday.com/event/cfd14/ as well as through searching the event's twitter hashtag, #CFD14.
Themes of the Week
After reviewing all of my notes on the presentations, I was able to identify a couple of big themes of the week. The themes all kind of build on each other, and if you are of the multi-cloud mindset, they also build on a lot of trends that have been gaining steam over the past few years.
- The first one is the inevitability of multi-cloud. (As a matter of fact, we recorded an On-Premise IT podcast on exactly this topic at the event.)
- Second theme- the multi-cloud is going to have to be centrally monitored and managed. It makes little sense to have 12 dashboards for 12 tools- things are going to get missed.
- Final theme- tools and strategies around the multi-cloud are going to have to be cloud agnostic. This includes things like the aforementioned deployment and monitoring tools, but also things like global file systems and data indexing. Make it about the workload, rather than the cloud platform itself.
Next up: a quick rundown of the presos. Notice how often those three themes appear.
(Please note that my summary here does them no justice; I am trying to be brief. Definitely check out their recorded presentations for the full discussion of all of this, including the questions from delegates.)
Companies like Zerto were there and talking about their well-familiar and rock-solid back up tools. But they came to talk about those tools from the perspective of recovering wherever you would like- meaning, from on-prem to the cloud, from one cloud to another, etc. They talked about new stuff like Kubernetes back ups (which is a controversial topic in and of itself), but another big thing was their dashboarding tools and keeping track of backups all in one centralized location.
NetApp was there as well and talked about using their monitoring for the multi-cloud. They also added some security functionality and features such as a Ransomware Protection dashboard, and on the ops side, the ability to use their platform to run your workload in any location. NetApp has a long standing partnership with VMware, and as of the time of this writing, they remain the only provider that can be used in the public cloud for external supplemental datastores in VMware Cloud.
From an overall deploy-upgrade-manage perspective, Morpheus Data had a very compelling unified orchestration tool. Their solution is not SaaS (for now at least), which was interesting. It is designed to be open and flexible, so basically whatever infrastructure you wanted to manage, be it public, private, backup, network, etc., Morpheus has probably got a plugin to help you manage it. Full visibility across on-prem and cloud(s) also gives Morpheus the datasets to do full organization cost estimates- something that is quite a bear to do by hand.
Weka and LightBits came at the Global File System question from two slightly different angles, but the concept was still the same: Generalize a highly-performant filesystem utilizing software, so if you want (or need) to migrate or share workloads amongst on-prem or any number of clouds.. you can. No need to play games with one app instance using Azure blobs and another using EBS. (They both have tremendous performance over native storage that not every customer is going to need. But if you need it- you're not getting it in many other ways.)
In the networking space, Alkira has the technology to plumb together any combination of on-prem, and cloud(s) that you need connected. This is accomplished over their own backbone networks, and can be as simple as a GUI-based point and click. Leaps and bounds faster (and more manageable) than doing it natively.
And then finally, Komprise is a data management tool that you can also use across your entire environment. It's very flexible and can do simple indexing of file descriptors (leaving the file contents alone), or you can custom write scripts to interrogate the data itself. The end goal here is to understand what data you have lying around, make sure it's properly protected, and if you are in the middle of a migration to the cloud(s), only migrate the data that you actually need. Again, the key to the tool is the overarching nature of it. You tag the data internal to the tool, then you use the tool to follow- or move- that data around from on-prem to cloud, to cloud, to cloud.
This has been just a brief rundown of what was an informative event. I think that the general theme is correct- Multi-cloud is inevitable, in one way or another, for nearly every company. The presenters at CFD14 covered a wide range of use cases (and case studies- definitely watch the presentations!) that were variations on this theme.