April 21 to 23 saw a new milestone for me. I was a new delegate for the 23rd Tech Field Day! It’s an absolute honor and thrill to be part of this amazing event. I’ve been watching from afar for years as some of the best and new tech companies come together to present their business to the world. With my focus centered at how data and infrastructure technologies (don’t) play well together, I bring a different perspective onto datacenter technologies, and it’s a blast interacting with companies to challenge them to see how it can improve the areas of IT that I love to work with.

This event’s lineup of companies was amazing. Riverbed, Vcinity, Micron, Hazelcast, Xilinx, BlueCat, and Pure Storage presented throughout the three-day event. I thoroughly enjoyed all of their presentations, but being in the niche that I’m in, several really stuck out as directly applicable to my line of consulting. If you’re in the SQL Server or data space, check out the following companies, as I feel their offerings can certainly improve your business.

Vcinity is where I’ll start. The need to access data across the world is an increasingly challenging proposition. Accessing the data directly over TCP is a real stretch when the data is traversing large distances. As a result, people have to copy data locally so they can start working on/with the data, and that increases the time before they can get started. Sometimes, the operation is critical, and this lag time creates real challenges for the business. They fixed it! They created a new method for getting the data over the wire for direct access at the speed of the connection with no latency instead of having to move the entire file from point A to B before you can start operating on it.

The examples they gave were fantastic, and included reviewing and editing video data remotely without the need to copy it to the destination site before it was usable. I loved it, and it’s got so many use cases that my head started to spin. My thoughts are that we could use this as a new way to perform database restoration on a remote server without having to copy it to the local server first, greatly decreasing the recovery time of a database at the destination site. The same goes for data imports, remote file retrieval, etc., all that are significant challenges for DBAs all over the world. Why copy the data if you can access it remotely at LAN speeds over the WAN? It’s got tremendous uses not only for data movement, but for compliance concerns like GDPR as well. I’m certainly going to be exploring their offerings soon!

Next up was Hazelcast. You might not have heard of them, but they offer a cloud-based in-memory compute platform that provides extremely fast access for data used in web and cloud-scale apps that is underneath many of the applications you might use today. Other platforms offer data caching and quick access, but the analytics and operations that can be performed on this data in their platform is the real differentiator here. Being able to operate in almost real-time on the ingested data for business decisions or apply logic and be able to respond accordingly is incredible. Check out the TFD videos and check out all of the use cases that their platform offers.

Next was BlueCat. OK, I’ll be the first to admit that the concept of DNS is pretty dull, but is beyond vital for any business-critical application. BlueCat managed to make this discussion exciting and approach the challenges in an extremely well thought-out manner. The clear and concise manner that global DNS challenges were presented made clear to the world just how important of a role that DNS plays, and I’ve personally seen how difficult it is to manage. Their offerings simplify the approach and management to handling large DNS architectures, and does it with ease. I’m thrilled that a group finally decided to make DNS management easier, and am going to be exploring this in my clients’ environments as I move forward.

Finally, Pure Storage presented and discussed the future of the FlashBlade. You might know that I’ve been a huge Pure Storage fan for a decade now, and have actually authored a couple of e-books for them. It’s fascinating to see where the FlashBlade started, and even more intriguing to see where the platform is going. I love these arrays, and am lucky enough to get to work on them to solve major problems at many of my clients. It was also amazing to watch a single presenter carry a tech discussion with the delegates for almost two hours without missing a beat!

Check out the videos on the Tech Field Day 23 YouTube playlist! You are virtually guaranteed to walk away with something quite useful from this stream of information! Thanks to Gestalt IT for making this event happen, and I’m quite looking forward to the next event soon!

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