Went to both Large Scale Production Engineering (LPSE) http://www.meetup.com/SF-Bay-Area-Large-Scale-Production-Engineering/eve... and Bay Area Large installation System Administrators (BayLisa) http://www.baylisa.org/ on Thursday. Two great system admin events back to back.
LSPE talked about private clouds. Saw the presentation on Juju and Nimbula product. I could only stay for the first half, because I had to go to BayLisa. Juju is a software configuration management software, which while interesting has other well established rivals, ie CFengine, Puppet and Chef. JuJu is significant because it is promoted by Ubuntu as their service orchestration tool of choice, which means Google uses it. The JuJu URL on Ubuntu, http://www.ubuntu.com/cloud/orchestration was interesting because it uses a Hadoop cluster as the example.
Nimbula is a cloud provisioning and management product. I say product because it is both hardware and software. You drop a rack into your datacenter, it provisions your VM servers, provisions VM instances and creates a name space to access and manage the large number of servers and instances. Everything you need to install a private cloud. It is a virtualization of the VM infrastructure to allow companies to install and manage VMs and instances quickly. The pricing is based on the number of cores, which I assume is a large number, if you are going to drop in a rack, or two. They seem to imply the IBM and Oracle pricing model, They'll give you a fully loaded system, and charge you for what you use, or turn on. Good if your company has self control.
Baylisa's meeting was on Storage Virtualization and the Evolution of Storage Networking. Combridge computers is a systems integrator which puts in storage virtualization for companies. Storage virtualization is the virtualization of SAN/NAS systems, from different manufacturers, so they look and act as one. There are storage virtualization products that sit between your SAN/NAS storage, and make them play together, with all the advanced features such as RAID levels, snapshots, protocols etc..... as one. A interesting fact about storage was, while storage has made many advancements, disk IO has only increased 20% in the last decade. With the advances in SSD, the speed of access has increased with the use of Tiered storage, with mixes of SSD, SCSI and SATA disks, or hybrids. The talk was powerpoint presentation, and not a live demo. I have to wonder how well advance features work between manufacturers. In the past, I have seen network gear, implementing "standard" routing protocols, that just do not work together with other brands. Each manufacturer tries to keep you locked in to their gear. There was a storage product demo afterwards, but couldn't stay for it.
The two talks were very much in line with the cloud computing and virtualization theme. There are system admin tools to manage large numbers of instances, virtual system admins. There is virtualization of infrastructure virtualization. There is virtualization of storage infrastructure. SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, next they will be virtualizing users, UaaS. With virtual money, who needs physical anymore.