Of travels, requests and smackdowns


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I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the last couple of months, both business and pleasure. Large amounts of this, especially the business travel has been in the car where I’ve been enjoying the use of the USB port in the glove box to upload mp3 files to the inbuilt flash drive in the car. Yes even cars are coming with consumer NAND flash in them now.

Chris Mellor picked up on a great looking device in the works using PCM (Phase Change Memory) which to me looks like a much better bet when it comes to enterprise class solid state. I really do hope NAND is a ‘flash in the pan’ if you excuse the awful pun.

One of the recent events I traveled to was the great SNIA Datacenter Academy event in London – which was well attended and what was great to see was the fact the main floor emptied whenever the breakout sessions were on. I’ve also been to see several large UK SVC customers, some of whom are also now using V7000. Then I’m off to South Africa later this month for more of the same.

Throughout all of this… one common question has come up almost every time… you’ve been quiet recently? What’s happened to your blogging? So here I am.

I also got a lot of tweeks about Infosmack 101… and no, its not a crash course – although you might learn something. I hadn’t listened to the Infosmack’s for a while and took the opportunity to download a few onto my USB stick to listen to in the car on a recent trip up to our IBM Manchester Labs.

In episode 101, Nigel Poulton guest hosts a storage quiz, and I guess if we are being pedantic Chris Evans was right with 5MB for the RAMAC 350. It stored a whopping 5 million alphanumeric characters, in todays terms for a 8b ascii character, that would be 5MB in marketing terms, even in developer true binary terms it would be 4.76MB…

Anyway, I was somewhat amused to be included in a section at the end of ‘influential in the enterprise arena’ and the clue that got ChrisE to work it out was “posts on his blog as often as Scotland beats England at virtually any sporting event…” A double smack-down given that I come from Scotland…

So again, thanks for the prod Nigel, and here I am. If you haven’t listened to the Infosmack before I urge you to go check out a few, there are bound to be some that hit an area of interest, and lets just say, it’s a channel for Marc Farley to release his ‘SWCOA’ sense of humour.

One of the others I downloaded and listened to was #92 This had me thumping the steering wheel and shouting at the stereo as I drove up the M6.

I’ve met Hu, and hes a nice guy. I have a few close colleagues that worked with him many moons ago when he was in IBM. But trying to make out that SVC isn’t virtualizing storage, and VSP does… come on. His arguments were something about being able to split off meta-data from data, and that SVC only does lookups and cant provide the function of a controller… has he not heard of the Storwize V7000? Seriously though, I need to have another listen and write down my questions and comments, and I’ll post them here.

Maybe there’s scope for an Infosmack to debate them in person with Hu?

So I’ll end for now with a couple of questions, if anyone is still listening! Whats your favourite Infosmack? Which ones should I download next?

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