One of my favorite books of all time is Paul Bertolli’s “Cooking by hand”. Paul, former Executive chef at Oliveto in Oakland, CA and Chez Panisse prior to that, wrote what I consider the best technical cookbook out there.
The thing that sets Cooking by Hand apart from all the other cooking books on my shelf (and there are a fair number of them) is the importance laid on the picking the right ingredients and the science that brings those ingredients together. You are taught to make your own pasta and sausage ab initio — from first principles. As you learn the art of making these fundamental things, the highest quality pasta, sausage, cheeses and other ingredients, you also learn to be creative and imaginative in your recipes… Bertolli wants you to learn to combine the science and technology of cooking with the art.
I believe that this same care and passion has a strong place in enterprise IT, and that it is particularly necessary in architecting storage solutions. Today’s storage market is awash with offerings, new and old, in both software and physical appliance form factors, all of which seem to have little differentiation from each other. The old, established systems are based on software that has been around for 30 years in many cases, designed entirely around the idea of cabinets full of spinning disks. Meanwhile, many of the newer systems have been slapped together using off-the-shelf file systems that are burdened with similar assumptions.
In storage today, there doesn’t seem to be a proper appreciation for the fact that the ingredients have fundamentally changed. These new ingredients, things like PCIe Flash, programmable networks, and the increasing density of datacenter environments, are so different than anything we’ve seen before that they demand entirely new recipes for storage — not just the peppering of the same old thing with a few SSDs. When my co-founder (and a pretty darn good cook), Andy Warfield and his team started working with PCIe flash, they made a surprising realization about performance: these new flash memories are incredibly demanding. Andy likes to say that PCIe flash is problematically fast, he observes that in order to take maximum advantage of flash as a storage device you have to be creative with the rest of the ingredients, especially the cpu and the network. Taking something so problematically fast and packaging it up into a traditional array form factor made no sense, because piling up a mountain of flash behind a small amount of CPU and connectivity, as has always been the approach with disks, is a failure to recognize it’s capabilities as a storage medium.
The Coho Data team has re-architected enterprise storage ab initio. Andy and the team have built a system that respects these new ingredients. It is based entirely on commodity components, because we know that the commodity hardware available to enterprise environments has, and continues to change and evolve at an astounding pace. Our team has written a software stack that unifies these commodity parts. It is optimized for PCIe flash and leverages software-defined networking in a unique and differentiated manner. The result, I am proud to announce, is the Coho DataStream 1000, a scale-out storage system that you can evolve over time, and one that beats every competitive solution out there on a price-performance basis. If Paul did storage, I like to think that this is the sort of thing that he might have come up with.
It also makes perfect sense that Frank Artale, the person who introduced me to Paul Bertolli’s book, should join Coho’s Board of Directors. There are few in the IT world who understand the challenges and opportunities facing enterprise systems as well as Frank. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him for fifteen years now and can confidently say Frank knows and cares passionately about building things properly. From scratch.
Go to the original article here.
Tier 3 forms foundation of CenturyLink Cloud, new Seattle-based Cloud Development Center
MONROE, La., and BELLEVUE, Wash. – CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced the acquisition of Tier 3, an innovative provider of public cloud services based in the Seattle area. Tier 3’s cloud platform is immediately available as “CenturyLink Cloud.” In addition, Tier 3’s products, roadmap and vision are now the foundation of CenturyLink’s cloud strategy and anchor the new Seattle-based CenturyLink Cloud Development Center.
“Our mission is to provide world-class managed services to global businesses on virtual, dedicated and colocation infrastructures. Tier 3’s innovative automation and self-service platform are game-changing for our global enterprise clients,” said Jeff Von Deylen, president of CenturyLink’s Savvis organization. “From greenfield development to mission-critical apps, businesses have a trusted technology partner to seize new market opportunities. This acquisition underscores our continued commitment to delivering the most complete portfolio of cloud services.”
Jared Wray, the founder and chief technology officer for Tier 3, will now serve as chief technology officer for the CenturyLink Cloud organization and lead the CenturyLink Cloud Development Center. Leveraging the philosophy and processes at the heart of Tier 3’s cloud innovation – including embracing agile DevOps and open-source development – the Cloud Development Center will bring together cloud development expertise and unite CenturyLink cloud technical resources to develop innovative services.
“We founded Tier 3 in 2006 with a vision for cloud services that make life easier for enterprise developers and IT alike. We now have an amazing home at CenturyLink to carry this vision forward,” Jared Wray said. “Our platform roadmap will combine with CenturyLink’s global network and data center footprint and managed services team to help change the face of enterprise computing.”
The new CenturyLink Cloud – based on Tier 3’s public, multi-tenant cloud – targets complex enterprise workloads and is user-friendly for businesses of all sizes. With the product’s self-service interface, administrators can quickly create and manage highly available public cloud environments. A web services API and Cloud Foundry-based Platform-as-a-Service provide a comprehensive cloud application toolkit for enterprise developers. Recent analyst reports have recognized Tier 3’s depth of capabilities and performance.
This acquisition builds on CenturyLink’s earlier AppFog acquisition and existing cloud solutions that are complemented by CenturyLink’s colocation, managed services and network offerings. The CenturyLink Cloud is available today in nine data centers around the world.
CenturyLink acquired Tier 3 for an undisclosed price.
For more information, visit www.centurylinkcloud.com.
CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink® Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations.
For more information, visit www.savvis.com or www.centurylink.com.
Go to press release here.
Ignition Partners and Andreessen Horowitz back Coho Data’s ramp one month after company launch
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (November 5, 2013) – Coho Data, the first provider of software-defined networking integrated storage appliances for high performance at cloud-scale, today announced it has closed a $25 million Series B funding. The round was led by new investor, Ignition Partners, and included existing investor, Andreessen Horowitz. The funds will accelerate Coho Data’s R&D and go-to-market efforts as the company prepares for general availability of Coho DataStream later this year.
Coho Data emerged from stealth just last month to unveil the industry’s first usage of software-defined networking in a hybrid flash appliance with the Coho DataStream 1000, designed to deliver 18x the performance of traditional storage and 2x the price/performance of all-flash array. The company offers all of this at public cloud pricing so businesses of all sizes can benefit from flash for less than they spend on traditional disk arrays today.
“Flash technology has been limited to point use cases to date, but with Coho Data’s approach to using commodity hardware for cloud economics and its innovative use of software-defined networking integration for reliable scale, we believe flash’s full potential for mainstream datacenter usage is finally being unlocked,” said Frank Artale, Managing Director from Ignition Partners and latest addition to Coho Data’s Board of Directors. “Having known this experienced and innovative leadership team for many years, I’m thrilled to be joining the board and excited to support Coho Data’s growth.”
“Storage is the final battleground in the datacenter, with expensive, outdated monolithic storage vendors fending off the advances of dozens of storage startups. Nearly all of these new product offerings are simply packaging flash technology into similar architectures with limited scalability and narrow applicability,” explained Ramana Jonnala, CEO and Co-Founder of Coho Data. “The Coho Data team believes that building a fundamentally different cloud-inspired software stack based on our experience developing the Xen hypervisor for Amazon is what will change storage in private clouds. With our unique use of software-defined networking to eliminate bottlenecks that flash creates in traditional arrays, flash will finally be able to be used in an efficient way to add value for any application at any scale.”
“It’s amazing to see what Coho Data has accomplished in the year since we funded their Series A,” reflected Peter Levine, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “The team has rebuilt the entire storage array to support the most demanding hyper-scale environments with new software and integrated networking to offer the fastest, most scalable storage system in the market. Coho Data is poised to create significant disruption in ways predecessors have not been able to, and we’re honored to be with the company every step of the way.
About Coho Data
Coho Data is delivering storage for the cloud generation. Led by a team of XenSource/Citrix virtualization and storage industry veterans, Coho Data is enabling businesses of all sizes to build their own high performance Amazon-style storage for their data. Inspired by the highly scalable, commodity-hardware based approaches of public clouds, the company is developing the first flash-tuned scale-out storage architecture designed for the private cloud that delivers unparalleled performance at public cloud capacity pricing.
Founded in 2011 and funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Coho Data has offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit Coho Data and follow us on Twitter at @cohodata.
Coho Data and Coho DataStream are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Coho Data in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Go to press release here.