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The Virtual Evolution

My first job was in an IBM mainframe shop. At the time we had an IBM system 370 running MVS. That was the state-of-the-art of computing with memory addressing 16MB (that is 224 – a 24 bit address)! Not only that, we had 3380 disks with a massive 5GB. My programming “mother tongues” were Assembler 370 and PL/I (bi-lingual – that’s me).

At some point IBM let us have the MVS/XA (extended architecture), which allowed a full 2GB addressing – (231 – 31 bit addressing). That changed my life. Happy 80s…

Then came along another gem from IBM (I mean that) – the IBM PC. My bible was “The Peter Norton Programmers Guide to the IBM PC”. I still have it at home. I went to work as a “C” programmer in DOS. 640KB RAM. Huge PC disk of 10MB. Later on 100MB. But then again, with programs fitting 640KB, you don’t need much disk space. A few years later Microsoft came out with Windows 3.11 that could work with a full 1MB and more. That changed my life a second time. Happy 90s…

So you can understand I really appreciate these leaps. From KBs and MBs of RAM to GBs from MBs and GBs of disk-space to TBs.

At CTERA we just evolved. From a 16TB volume to 64TB in our appliances. This is the 21st century. We use XFS for that. This serves our customers that want more storage on the edge, more files and more flexibility, with a small and affordable footprint. They can start with our ROBO C200 (up to 4TB), or go for the larger C400 (up to 16TB) and even C800 (up to 32 TB).

Combined with our sync-gateway technology, customers enjoy the best of both worlds – the nearby, on-prem, but still large (and now larger) gateway with their most common data, which is seamlessly and automatically synced to the Cloud for remote access, or mobile access, or even DR situations. Your data really follows you. That’s creepy.

But we do not stop here…

The other day my 20-year-old daughter finally got me to buy her a new Laptop. <1.5 Kilos, Windows 10,  8GB, i7, touch screen, 256 GB SSD. Compare that to what I had as a kid. So the younger 15 year old, seeing her sister’s achievement, put some more pressure complaining about her 1 year “old” phone. “It’s slow, it’s jammed, I can’t use it.” Yeah, right. It has a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 processor 4 cores.. > I was getting excited over the Intel 80186 in my PC and my first Nokia 2120.
So we got the 6 model (not the “Fruit”. The other one.).

24 hour delivery. Holding those sleek shinny devices really makes you feel good. The weight on you hand, the silver color, the screen glass and all those buttons on the side. So I went to the office (someone has to pay for those).

Popped my head into David-IT’s room and asked him on what ESXI I should deploy my two virtual gateways (EV16 model – up to 16TB of disk space, 8GB of RAM) that I needed for the customer demo of two hours later. He grunted something, which I understood as “do what you want” and 10 minutes later I had my virtuals up and running.

You must agree that this combination is a killer:

  • Snap of your fingers deployment (not 24 hours)
  • Reduced TCO (didn’t cost me a dime)
  • Preserved investment (I used the old ESXi)
  • Scale up flexibility (and scale back down when you don’t need it)
  • And in combination of the “more TBs” , a tailored solution to your gateway needs

The demo was impressive. They wanted edge gateways with enough TBs, with sync to the cloud and mobile access, but they had their own existing ESXIs. A winner. The only thing I could not do is take the customer’s hand and let him feel the virtual gateway.

So what do you prefer? The physical touch or the virtual might?

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