More Ways to Get To VMworld US 2014! Thanks Coho Data!

We are lucky to be among a community of great vendors and IT pros who who want to help to grow our knowledge and extend every opportunity to bring people to the best conferences in doing so.

In case you were in the hunt for a VMworld US 2014 pass for August 24-28 in San Francisco, our friends at Coho Data have stepped up to extend a chance for someone to win that pass!

They wanted to make sure you get a chance to attend the show and are giving away a FULL conference pass to one lucky grand prize winner as well as some other fun prizes.

Registering here at the Coho Data site will give you a chance to win:

  • One full-conference pass to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco*
  • “Don’t FSCK with the Fish” T-Shirt (I have one, and it’s all kinds of awesome!)
  • Coho Data Chrome Industries Backpack (also, very awesome!)

*NOTE: The prize includes the conference pass only. The winner will be responsible for their own hotel, airfare, and other expenses. Pass is valued at $1,995 USD.

Coho Data are one of the great sponsoring vendors for VMworld this year and will be at booth 835, so make sure you drop by and tell them that DiscoPosse sent you over because you will be keen to hear about the Coho Data story.

Please share as you wish because the more we can extend these opportunities to our community members who may not have had an opportunity, the better we will all be.

Thanks again to Coho Data for sharing this and I hope to see the winner in San Francisco in August!

Tech Field Day VFD3 – Coho Data – Coho-ly Moly this is a cool product!

Firstly, we have to start by congratulating Coho Data on the production launch which was announced today which is very exciting for the team.

If you didn’t already know Coho Data, they came from their beginnings as with a specific goal of shifting the way that storage is built and managed. They are proud to say that they are a software company that deploys on top of a storage platform. This is where the good stuff happens.

I like my storage like I like my weather – Predictable

One of the strengths of the Coho Data DataStream product is that they scale a predictable, linear rate when adding storage hardware into their deployment. As you add more disk units to the controller, it grows exactly as you are told so that your 180K IOPS with your first unit are simply multiplied as you grow your storage pool at 180K per unit.

Image courtesy of Coho Data:

Image courtesy of Coho Data:

There are a significant amount of measurements happening inside a storage system, as well as with how it is accessed. The discussion we had in our session talked about the realistic gains we can make in physical components (10GbE connectivity, PCI-e SSD cards, Xeon processors), which can be undone by performance challenges at the hypervisor and application layers above it. There is good, old-fashioned physics that we can’t dispute, but the real issue happens with software challenges in utilizing that hardware.

SDN and SDS – That’s a lot of SDx

There is some not-so-secret sauce behind this which is in the software layers that are creating the efficiency and predictable IOPS delivery with reliability of the underlying data.

We throw around the term software-defined a lot, but that really is what is the heart of what Coho Data has put together. The controller software is handling the distribution of data, read/write caching on flash, and the protection of data for overall integrity.

Add onto that the SDN (Software Defined Networking) components with the built in Arista switch running OpenFlow. I’m a big fan of Arista and of OpenFlow with what they are doing in their products so this was particularly cool to see the marriage of an interesting storage platform with a forward-thinking networking environment.

Image courtesy of ThinkAhead:

Image courtesy of ThinkAhead:

There is a 4x10GbE uplink which is very hardware-based of course, so there is no doubt that the access to the storage is not constrained by bandwidth nor latency. I would actually encourage that you head over to the Ahead blog where Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) introduced Coho Data which they have been testing in its beta:

Where is the right place to cache?

This is the ultimate question facing us as architects of a data center environment. There are numerous places in the data stream to put flash resources to accelerate the data movement, with advantages and penalties at every point depending on a number of factors.

For the storage-specific focus of what Coho Data is doing, the flash layer is designed to handle the bulk of the data storage to provide the most accelerated delivery of hot data to the hypervisor. There is also the ability to do write acknowledgements in the flash layer which makes some folks cringe, but there is obviously a near-immediate write that follows to the persistent storage layer to ensure data consistency.

Host based caching is really slick for a number of reasons, however depending on your host environment topology (number of nodes, distribution of workload), there are some situations where the benefits of host-side caching isn’t necessarily the ideal choice. I agree that I would prefer to have my storage environment handle the entire lifecycle of the data below the hypervisor and leverage the flash and high-speed bus to the persistent tiers. It gets even nicer when the SDN layer provides access to it 🙂

Want to learn more?

Head on over to Coho Data ( for more information, and you can download the DataStream Whitepaper  here:


Make sure to follow Coho Data on Twitter (@CohoData) and tell them that DiscoPosse sent you 🙂

DISCLOSURE: Travel and expenses for Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 were provided by the Tech Field Day organization. No compensation was received for attending the event. All content provided in my posts is of my own opinion based on independent research and information gathered during the sessions.

What to expect during Virtualization Field Day 3

It’s a countdown of just over a week until the Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 event that I will be attending as a delegate. Following in the footsteps of some powerful minds in virtualization and technology, I will be doing my best to bring all of my readers a first person view of the event and I hope to make this a fun and informative event for all involved.

Hosting Vendors of VFD3

This event has a strong field of presenting vendors as you can see from the even t page:


The schedule of the presentations will be updated shortly before the event so that you can see the calendar of sessions and you can even add it to your own calendar so you know exactly who is on during each session for extra convenience.

These session are extremely great because of the technical depth they can reach to. Each presenting vendor will be diving into their product with our delegates giving them a good mental workout with some deep questions to fully explore the products and how they fit against others in the industry, and how they can be great for any particular organization.

Delegates of VFD3

There is a great group of delegates attending this event, so I would encourage you to take a look at them from the list below, and if you don’t already follow them on Twitter, now is a great time to do so!

The Tech Field Day profile pages will provide Twitter and Blog links for the delegates so you can see all of the great stuff coming out of the event as it unfolds.

Making Tech Field Day fully interactive

One of the fantastic features of Tech Field Day events is that they are live streamed from the site ( so not only can you follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #VFD3, but you can see the live activity while it is happening!

In fact, you can post questions yourself along the way also by Tweeting me ( and I will present your questions to the vendors right from the delegate table.

Let’s treat this as our collective session and share in the opportunity together! Looking forward to the event and I encourage your questions as we go 🙂

Live Tweeting and Summary Blogs

With all the information coming from the presentations, I will be live Tweeting during the presentations and I hope to have a summary blog for the event days as we go. Given the intensity of the event and the volume of information, I will be playing it by ear as to when I post the summary. Rest assured that the info will be captured through the event day and as you will see from the times we are Tweeting, there is little rest time, but that is what makes the event so powerful and effective.

It’s going to feel a little like this:


As the videos are posted I will be sure to include embedded links for them so you may find that the blog posts are rather organic and adaptive during the event week.

Thanks go as always to Stephen Foskett and Tom Hollingsworth for their extensive effort to prepare the event and it is going to be a great time for all of us!