In Memoriam

February 27th, 2019
 
Jon William Toigo, of Dunedin, Florida, passed away at home from natural causes at age 59 on February 12, 2019. He was born in Springfield, IL. on November 2, 1959.
 
Jon held Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from The Catholic University of America and a Professor Honorario in Computer Technology from Universidad Abierta Interamericana.
 
Jon was Founder and chairman of Toigo Partners International, and the Data Management Institute. An outspoken technology consumer advocate and vendor watchdog, Jon was the author of eleven books, including The Holy Grail of Data Storage Management, and the classic Disaster Recovery Planning series, as well as a widely read blog, DrunkenData.com, and more than 3000 articles for business technology media. He was incredibly dedicated, passionate and honest.
 
Jon was a big-hearted and generous man who gladly shared his hard-won fortunes with his family, friends, and even strangers in need. He extended his table and never heightened his fence, and would always want to help someone out of a jam in any way he could.
 
Jon had a dark and wicked sense of humor, a real lust for life, and a deep and abiding appreciation of good food from all over the world. Jon traveled to six continents and collected t-shirts and refrigerator magnets from almost every country he visited. An avid gardener, Jon loved to grow tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and many different kinds of hot peppers. He was also a huge movie fan, especially of the science fiction and horror genres, and a music lover who enjoyed playing his bass, various guitars, and mandolin.
 
Jon was the father of six children; Alexandra and Maximilian from his first marriage, and Mercedes, Vincent (a.k.a. “Guy”), Carrie Loretta and Isabella from his last marriage. And he was also a second father to every child whoever visited his home.
 
Jon is also survived by his wife of more than 23 years, Margaret, his mother, Esther, his brothers, Mark and Dante, and his sisters; Michelle Siegrist, Denice Riley, Cindy Brittin, Marguerite “Peggy” Toigo, Martine “Tina” Ward, Bess “Missy” Garret, and Jennifer Rourk, as well as many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Bill, sister Leslie Craven, and brother Billy.
 
“Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” — Captain Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Behind the Scenes: The StorONE Webcast

September 13th, 2018

Last month, I had the pleasure of doing a webcast with Gal Naor, CEO of StorONE, a truly disruptive software-defined storage play.  The webinar was well received and can be viewed online on the StorONE site or at the webinar replay site established by 1105 Media and Virtualization & Cloud Review.

If you know anything about these webinars, they usually consist of a modestly animated slide deck, augmented by telephonic audio, pushed out across the World Wide Web via a presentation service.  The result is saved to a video file for replay at a later date.

Since Gal was coming to town for the interview posted previously here on DrunkenData.com, we decided to keep the mikes on and to record the two of us as we recorded the webinar.  The audio from my microphones was considerably more intelligible than the telephonic audio on the webinar recording, and we were able to break up the monotony of the slideware by cutting in outshots of the two of us as we actually performed our webinar roles.  The results were a bit reminiscent of a Howard Stern television broadcast, but without the language. It does seek to illuminate the important question, What Happened to the Software-Defined Storage Revolution?  

For your entertainment and information, here is the video edit with behind the scenes content and local audio track:

 

 
Thank you to Gal Naor for letting us play a small role in his company’s product launch. StorONE is truly remarkable and quite different from the myriad products in the market today describing themselves as software-defined storage or hyper-converged infrastructure.

BTW, if you want to download a copy of the presentation, you can do that at the 1105 Media/V&CR site.

Storage Pyramid Found In Ancient Mummy’s Tomb: Dates Well Before Google (BG)

September 12th, 2018

Storage technology may not be the hot topic in the industry today, but we need to be careful that we do not lose time-honored skills and knowledge.  Yes, it may seem like the old storage pyramid,  popularized by smart guy Fred Moore of Horison Information Strategies, is rather antiquated today.  Vendors evangelize all silicon infrastructure, flat storage, and hyper-convergence and often diss tape, optical, and even hard disk in the process.  And, I actually encounter novice IT folk today who have never touched a tape or an optical disc.  Ever.

Yet, analysts tell us that there is a huge data tsunami coming, one that threatens to overwhelm the entire capacity of disk and flash manufactured annually within the next two years.  Coping with this will require an all of the above strategy when it comes to storage media, and that will require knowledge and skills in data migration, storage tiering, removable media  management, etc.

That’s why we have decided  to move forward with a Storage Foundations Training and Certification Workshop with partner 1105 Media this October.  This six hour online workshop will feature training from the Data Management Institute followed by sponsor presentations from storage industry thought leaders.  


 

The goal is to keep storage knowledge and skills alive at a time when most students of IT are being focused on clouds and software-defined everything, and not on the hardware infrastructure that make everything work.

At the conclusion of the event, attendees can download a Certified Data Storage Professional certificate, suitable for framing.

The current schedule for the event is October 5.  More details will be coming.  Watch this space.

And, by the way, as with all Data Management Institute certification training, there is no charge to attend and become certified!

Zoginstor At His Finest

September 12th, 2018

Okay.  I admit it.  I am a fanboy of one Eric Herzog, IBM Vice President of Storage and Chief Marketing Office.  Known on Twitter as  Zoginstor, Eric has been schooling me on storage since I wrote my first book on the subject back in the 1990s.

My last interview with Eric was at Think 2018,  where he gave me one of his energetic updates on the storage industry and IBM innovation.  I have seen him popping up in posts on social media from all over the world, so I know he is evangelizing and opining about the latest developments, but here  is one of his unplugged performances.  Hope to sync up again at Think 2019, Eric.

 

 

Thanks for the insights, Eric.

Storage Technology Meets the Big Screen

September 12th, 2018

With the upcoming Tape Power Summit in Chicago, where I will premiere a humorous movie trailer we are creating for an imaginary film franchise called the Data Defenders, I have film and media on the brain right now.   At IBM Think 2018 a couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to interview a very smart fellow, Robert Murphy of Pixit Media, who sought to set me straight on the role of flash storage in film production.

Here is the interview as a standalone clip.  Thanks in advance for Mr. Murphy for sharing his story.

 

 
Thanks, again, to Robert Murphy, Pixit Media and to IBM for allowing me to chat on camera with their business partners and customers.

Stand By for the Data Defenders

September 12th, 2018

I have been invited to speak next week in Chicago at Fujifilm’s Tape Power Summit.  I am looking forward to reconnecting with my many friends there, especially since my eighth consecutive year of attending the event (last year) was interrupted by Hurricane Irma.  This year, the hurricanes are tracking north of me and appear to be focused on the East Coast (thoughts and prayers for those in harm’s way from Hurricane Florence), so I am heading to Chicago to talk tape.

I always try to mix a bit of fun into my presentations.  So, this year, I will be talking up the Data Defenders — a team of superheroes based on storage media types.  I figure that if Marvel Studios and DC Studios can pull down a combined $22 Billion to date from comic book franchises, someone should be able to profit from a superhero franchise based on powers we really need…like cost-efficient, performant, capacious data storage.

Of course, the real heroes are guys like the storage tech developers at Fujifilm, IBM, and elsewhere.  I am looking forward to continuing my discussion with Ed  Childers, savant of tape storage for IBM, that I started at the Think 2018 conference a couple of months ago.  He is preventing at the Chicago event too.

 


 Always a pleasure to learn from Ed.  One of the real Data Defenders. Here is a mock-up of the imaginary ones…

 


 

Storage is Like Toilet Paper: The Insight that Earned a Promotion

September 12th, 2018

Of all the IBM execs I have had the pleasure to interview, one who stands out is Calline Sanchez.  My last in person chat with her was in March at IBM Think 2018.  The interview, which may have been published on an IBM blog site around that time, included a quip by Sanchez:  “Storage is like toilet paper…”

Truer words were never spoken.  And that quote, with or without her interview clip, made the rounds on Twitter moments after she said it.

IBM must have been listening, because shortly after the interview, Ms. Sanchez was promoted at IBM to Vice President, IBM WW LBS.  We wish her every success, but we also didn’t want her commentary on IBM storage to go unheard.  So, here is the video clip.

 

 

Thanks again, Calline.  I hope to see you again at Think 2019.  And you were right about the toilet paper analogy.

8 Questions About Object Storage: Exclusive Interview with Cloudian’s Jon Toor

September 12th, 2018

A couple of months back, I travelled to the Left Coast to meet up with a couple of trendsetting vendors and to speak at a confab set up by ASCDI.  At the latter, I had occasion to meet up with Jon Toor, who is the CMO for Cloudian.  I knew Jon in several previous lives and it was fun to catch up.  On a lark, I stood him up in front of my camera in the corner of the ASCDI venue and shot a quick interview. 

He hates how he looks in the video (don’t know why, but I have the same sentiment everytime someone shoots video of me) but he shared his thoughts about the state of storage and the contribution that Cloudian was seeking to make in a series of clips that I share with you now.

Thanks, Jon.  I think everyone is more interested in what you have to say than how well your hair was combed or shirt was ironed…  Just saying.  Here are Eight Questions About Object Storage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the interview, Jon.

 No need to be camera shy, you look like Bill Gates’ younger and less evil brother.

Talking Software-Defined Storage with IBM’s Alex Chan

September 12th, 2018

Last time I was at IBM Think, in other words, at the first Think show in Las Vegas last March, I shot a bunch of video interviews.  The “right of first use” went to IBM who traded my work for a free pass to the show and the able assistance of an IBM operative to round up interviewees.  The event was outstanding and so were the interviews.  After editing, I waited for word that IBM had published the clips so I could republish them here.  The word didn’t reach me for some reason and I eventually moved on to other work, but as I am developing a Storage Foundations Workshop currently for October, I wanted to go back to these clips to find additional content points.

The past few posts have featured thought leaders in storage today, including Gal Naor at StorONE and Clod Barrera, Andy Walls, and Jeff Barber of IBM.  As I review the balance of the interviews shot at Think 2018, I realized again that there is a lot of useful content in these clips and so I am republishing them on this blog.

This time around, I wanted to share an interview I had with Alex Chan.  He is an IBMer with one of those exasperatingly-long-and-somewhat-confusing handles that IBM seems to like a lot.  He is a Director and Offering Manager at Big Blue covering File, Object and Deepflash.  In person, he  is all of those things, plus the guy responsible for managing software-defined storage offerings from the company.  He is an insightful guy and we had a very illuminating chat.  Here it is:

 

Thank you to Alex for sharing his insights with me and with the readers of this blog.  Hope to see him again at Think 2019 in February.

IBM Think 2018 Thought Leader Recap Continues: IBM VP for High End Storage Jeff Barber

September 11th, 2018

Jeff Barber is a good guy.  He mixes his engineering pedigree with the no holds barred fun of being an executive at IBM, Vice President of High End Storage.  I met him for the second time (if memory serves) at Think 2018 and he agreed to be interviewed provided that I was in the interview too.

I quickly realized that he is a personable guy who feels more comfortable in a conversation than in a formal interview, so I broke my personal rule against being in the shot and we got a great interview.  Again, these were released  to IBM for first  use on their blog sites, but  I never saw  them published.  So, I have taken the liberty to publish them here.

Jeff has great insights about storage and about IBM’s take on the latest trends.   If you want a view from the trenches, Jeff is the guy to  see.  This was a high point of my work at IBM Think 2018 and I hope we will get the nod to return in February for the Think 2019 show.

 

 Thanks to IBM and to Jeff Barber for granting me this interview.