Friday Jun 06, 2008

Versatility

In lacrosse, it’s important to be versatile.   For attack, it’s important to be able to move both ways, left or right, using either hand to pass and catch.  It’s normal to favor one hand or direction over another, but the good players can use both.  

For me, I was a right-handed player with little offense on my left hand.  This limited my ability to score or pass when split-second plays developed and the ball was in my off hand.  My son and I practice this a great deal in the backyard, making sure he can shoot and pass with either hand – it shows, he averages a couple of goals and assists a game.

Storage Software is no different - it’s rare when the tools come together to allow ease of development and configuration for multiple products.  A recent addition (Build 90) to allows multiple products, protocols and device types to be supported by any Solaris Server with a common framework - COMSTAR.

COMSTAR is software that allows any Solaris-based server to become a block-based storage device.  The Acronym stands for COmmon Multiprotocol SCSI TARget.  The project is the world’s first open source enterprise-class target framework.  The framework allows all SCSI device types (tape, disk, SES, etc.) connected to any transport (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, iSER, SAS, FCoE, etc.) with concurrent access to all LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers) and a single point of management.

The COMSTAR project concepts in of itself are not revolutionary, block-based storage is prevalent on the market today, what is revolutionary is that the software allows Solaris to be used as microcode using ZFS as the backing store file-system, using common off the shelf components to build a storage array.  A key objective of COMSTAR is to provide a simple framework for users to add transport protocols and device types to build new block storage devices.  This allows the user to quickly start adding new features to differentiate these new storage devices without spending time on the fundamental building blocks.

This allows any block storage device to be built from one common framework.  No other commercially available operating system allows this type of flexibility or coordination.  There are in fact block-based targets in other OS’s, but each are built independently which doesn’t allow for

•    Ease of maintenance – Fixing common bugs or adding RFE’s in one place
•    Concurrent access – Using different transports (FC, iSCSI, iSER, etc.) accessing a common LUN

Additionally, COMSTAR allows for different device types to be defined and provided by the plug-in architecture surrounding logical units or LU Providers.  This allows quick block-based support for Disk, Tape – any SCSI device type.  In this release, direct access support is included, but feel free to invent and contribute your own!

Versatility - that’s what it’s all about.  Reducing cost of ownership, increasing time to market and creating multiple products.   COMSTAR is ready to support your block-based needs.  Power your next storage products with COMSTAR.



Shoot, score, hat-trick!!

Monday Jun 02, 2008

Goals

All parents are biased. You can’t help yourself. A couple of recent events really highlight this for me. My son scored a hat-trick the last game of the season, his first. My daughter was valedictorian of her high-school class, her first. My son is also smart and my daughter also athletic, but what amazes me is the drive each has had this year in achieving their goals. I had little to do with this besides poking fun at them, making them feed the animals, wake-up in the morning, etc. The normal Dad stuff.

My wife on the other hand makes sure that the kids do what they say they are going to do. She measures them, encourages the right behavior and makes sure they are always on an even playing field. When things don’t go well, she gets help in a hurry and doesn’t delay. The kids owe a great deal of their success to her.

So, in my proud moment, I realize I’m thankful for the entire entourage, each playing a part in the success of each other. Hats off to you guys.



Oh, but we can’t end without a LAX shot. Here’s one of my son:

Score!

Tuesday Jul 10, 2007

Penalty - Pushing

OK. Flags all over the field. My son participates in Web 2.0? Without telling his dad? Does he know what I do? What company I work for?

Apparently not. And he (and his cousin) posted this a month ago. Jeesh.

Intense Whiffle Ball

But that's the way of Web 2.0, we don't know we're participating, but the world around us is changing and to keep up you have to. And guess what, it's not a requirement that you tell your dad (er coach) when you do it.

Just don't do anything stupid....

My son? 2 minutes in the box. Man down!

Wednesday May 16, 2007

Biking

Half-time.

Biking has become a big part of my life. I started in 1999 riding with my 1982 Raleigh $150 garage-sale bike and I was hooked. I’ve trained more and more over the years, bought better bikes and gadgets but the reality is that it keeps my weight and general health in check and it’s a great socialization function – a great deal of my friends and family bike. I call my health club membership. One thing I have found interesting is the human reaction to forcing functions – meaning when there is an event to participate in, whether it be a non-profit fund-raiser or a real pro bike race, all people tend to train for the event. Of course when there is not an event, little training occurs. I’ve been in both predicaments.

To avoid this, I sign up for at least 2 races every year: The Triple Bypass and the Bob Cook Memorial Classic. Both are difficult rides, so you really have no choice but to get ready for them. Typically, I start training in January with indoor trainer rides and then by February start getting outdoors – weather permitting. This year was especially tough since we had sooo much snow (picture of our chicken coop and barn):

But now May has hit, I’m averaging around 150 miles per week and life is good.

I’ve learned a great deal over the years. Mostly that I’m not that fast, but I love the longer, harder rides. There is a feeling of accomplishment when you are done (or maybe the endorphins are just kicking in). The longer, the more elevation, the better and still better yet - If you do it with a buddy, it's the greatest. I can't for the life of me figure out why so much pain and suffering is so much fun.

I’ve also learned that I am a gadget freak. My polar 720i watch keeps track of my heartrate, speed, distance, elevation and even transmits this data to the computer. Both my bikes have wireless sensors mounted on them to track my every move. Here’s last years start on the triple bypass over the 1st pass - squaw:

Pretty cool, huh. I mull over this data all the time.

Point of this blog – I love biking, it’s healthy and I’m adding more data to the pile that we currently can’t keep track of – it’s good to be close to storage and great to be working for sun.

2nd half face-off – Solaris as the Storage platform. That should be some real action, get ready...

Saturday Jan 27, 2007

Sushi

My favorite food. Very addictive and at certain times, cravings just take over and you gotta do what you gotta do. My fav here in Denver (yes, that's where I live) is Sushi Zanmai. I do make my own and it is amazingly simple to do, given the right fish (My brother-in-law and I go get this in Denver from a place guaranteed for 24 hours or less old fish, we buy in bulk and freeze). The rice is also key, but this is art, not science - presentation emerges as the third key element and I don't always do well with that. At least it tastes good.

Shoot, score, hat trick.

S\^3

SAN: Manage Global team at Sun doing SAN protocol stacks and interfaces for File and Archiving products.

SUSHI: Love it, favorite food, especially in CA, started in '99 (with my favorite cynic - Julian Taylor, now ex-Sun) and now it's a once-a-week affair.

SPORTS: Skiing, Roadbiking any outdoor sport. I especially like ultra endurance activities. More on that in another blog.

Quickstick? You guys figure it out. Nuff Said. Score!

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