Account of the NetApp Insight 2016 Conference

The 2016 Edition of NetApp Insight took place in Las Vegas from September 26 to 29.
Again this year, NetApp presented its ‘Data Fabric’ vision unveiled two years ago. According to NetApp, the growth in capacity, velocity and variety of data can no longer be handled by the usual tools. As stated by NetApp’s CEO George Kurian, “data is the currency of the digital economy” and NetApp wants to be compared to a bank helping organizations manage, move and globally grow their data. The current challenge of the digital economy is thus data management and NetApp clearly intends to be a leader in this field. This vision is realized more clearly every year accross products and platforms added to the portfolio.

New hardware platforms

NetApp took advantage of the conference to officially introduce its new hardware platforms that integrate 32Gb FC SAN ports, 40GbE network ports, NVMe SSD embedded read cache and SAS-3 12Gb ports for back-end storage. Additionally, FAS9000 and AFF A700 are using a new fully modular chassis (including the controller module) to facilitate future hardware upgrades.

Note that SolidFire platforms have been the subject of attention from NetApp and the public: the first to explain their position in the portfolio, the second to find out more on this extremely agile and innovative technology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiL30L5h2ik

New software solutions

  • SnapMirror for AltaVault, available soon through the SnapCenter platform (replacing SnapDrive/SnapManager): this solution allows backup of NetApp volume data (including application databases) directly in the cloud (AWS, Azure & StorageGrid) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga8cxErnjhs
  • SnapMirror for SolidFire is currently under development. No further details were provided.

The features presented reinforce the objective of offering a unified data management layer through the NetApp portfolio.

The last two solutions are more surprising since they do not require any NetApp equipment to be used. These are available on the AWS application store (SaaS).

In conclusion, we feel that NetApp is taking steps to be a major player in the “software defined” field, while upgrading its hardware platforms to get ready to meet the current challenges of the storage industry.

Olivier Navatte, Senior Consultant – Storage Architecture

Review of Télécom 2016

This was the 13th edition of this annual event organized by Comtois-Carignan. ESI Technologies participated in the Industry Day on Tuesday April 26 during which 34 presentations on topics related to telecom, IT and contact centres were offered.

For a third consecutive year, we presented a conference this time on threat evolution and data protection. Installing security devices such as firewalls or first-generation IPS was before common and sufficient to protect organizations against threats that might affect the operations of a company’s activities. Today, the rapid evolution of malicious activity requires installing new solutions to better protect our assets. Our presentation provided an excellent overview of these solutions: next generation firewalls and IPS, protection systems against advanced threats, security for web browsing, email security and unified authentication services.

Participants were able to ask questions about these pioneering technologies, protection solutions that provide control and visibility to better react to a threat detected in the environment.

During the industry cocktail, 42 partner booths were available for participants to discuss technologies and service offerings. This cocktail formula is highly appreciated by participants, giving them the opportunity to discuss and share views on presentations of the day.

If you missed the ESI presentation, please contact us so we can share its content with you.

Roger Courchesne – Networking and Security Practice Manager

Review of NetApp Insight 2015

Logo NetApp Insight 2015

The 2015 Edition of NetApp Insight was held in Las Vegas from October 12 to 15. The event is comprised of general sessions, more than 400 breakout sessions, the Insight Central zone with partner booths, hands-on labs, a “meet the engineer” section and offers the possibility to complete certification exams onsite.
The general sessions were presented by different NetApp personalities, CEO, CIO, technical directors, engineers, the NetApp cofounder Dave Hitz, as well as partners and guests (including Cisco, Fujitsu, VMware, 3D Robotics).
Last year, the “Data Fabric” term was unveiled to identify NetApp’s vision of cloud computing. This year, most of the presentations were intended to make that vision more concrete, through examples, demonstrations and placed in context.
For NetApp, Data Fabric is synonymous with data mobility, wherever it resides, whether in traditional datacentres or in the cloud. The key to this mobility lies in SnapMirror, which should soon be supported by various NetApp platforms, FAS, Cloud ONTAP, NetApp Private Storage (PS), AltaVault, etc. and orchestrated by global tools such as OnCommand Cloud Manager and the adaptation of existing tools.
Still on the topic of cloud, a Cisco speaker presented the current issues and future trends: with the exponential use of devices (tablets, smartphones and connected devices) and the increasingly frequent move of data (and even of the compute) to the edge, accessibility, availability, security and data mobility therefore becomes an increasingly important issue. In short, the cloud trend belongs to the past, we now must talk about edge!
NetApp has also put forward its All-Flash FAS type entreprise solutions which, thanks to new  optimizations can now seriously compete in high performance and very low latency environments.
The number of breakout sessions was impressive and in four days, one can only expect to attend about 20 of the 400 sessions available.
Insight is open to clients since last year, but some sessions remain reserved for NetApp partners and employees. Some information are confidential, but without giving details and non-exhaustively, we can mention that a new generation of controllers and tablets are to be expected soon, that SnapCenter will eventually replace SnapManager (in cDOT only) and that new much more direct transition options from 7-Mode to cDOT will be made available.
Other sessions also helped to deepen knowledge or to discover some very interesting tools and features.
In conclusion, NetApp Insight is a must, to soak up in the NetApp line of solutions as much as to find out what NetApp’s vision and future direction will be.

Olivier Navatte, ESI Storage Specialist

A new day is dawning for the Montreal Children’s Hospital

MCH logoI am a strong supporter of children’s health. I believe we have a duty to protect our children because they are the foundation of the future of our society. This is why I have been an active member of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation Board for the last 8 years, and the Board’s Chair for the last 4 years. One of our biggest achievements is without a doubt, to have contributed to the fundraising efforts to build a new world class hospital bringing closer together care, research and teaching. This dream has finally become a reality on May 24th, 2015 when the staff, professionals and patients of the Montreal Children’s Hospital moved to their new address on the Glen site of the McGill University Health Centre.
Among the benefits of the new hospital we find:

  • World-class pediatric care installations
  • 154 individual rooms to prevent the spread of infections and provide care at the patient’s bedside
  • The latest equipment and technologies to diagnose quickly and treat less invasively
  • Holistic approach focused on healing and playing to ensure children’s development and reduce the stress of the hospital stay
  • Intensive care tailored for the specific needs of young patients

I believe that supporting philanthropic initiatives anchors a company and its employees in their community, which is why, as a long-time member of the Children’s Foundation, I am particularly proud of ESI’s contribution and our truly positive impact in our community. As an entrepreneur, I believe that creating a culture of giving is about making a positive impact through our actions, and the new Montreal Children’s Hospital is just a perfect example of this.

Greg Rokos, President of ESI
Chairman of the Board, Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation

VMware VForum: beyond the virtual

It took an event sponsored by the leaders and forerunners of virtualization to get the chance to have a human, warm and real contact. It is with a renewed pleasure that I participated in the VForum Event in Montreal on May 20, mingling with the crowd at our ESI Technologies booth to finally meet in person and not through text messages, tweets, blog posts or emails, peers of the industry, colleagues, manufacturers and clients.

VForum - ESI presentationAs we all know, clients are extremely sollicited in this everchanging IT context with the advent of cloud computing made possible by virtualization. So I got the privilege of shaking hands with many of you, to talk, listen, understand and establish a real contact instead of a virtual one! We hope to have the pleasure to guide, help and advise you in this IT fast pace era where you are being courted from all sides to adopt the newest and latest technologies. For over 20 years, ESI is and remains a trusted partner to help you align technological choices with your real business needs and leverage them for your benefit! A team of people that put their efforts in the success of the most important people to them: you, our clients! Thank you for stopping by in such high number to meet with ESI’s team.

Charles Tremblay, ESI Account Manager