On October 23, 2013, Neuralytix participated at the OpenStorage Summit (part of the OpenServer Summit) in Santa Clara, CA.

Disclosure: Neuralytix’s participation was initiated at the invitation and request of Nexanta, a major sponsor of the OpenStorage Summit. 

What was clear from the conference is that there is more confusion than confidence in software defined storage (SDS). The attendees were certainly sold on the concept of SDS, however or whatever that meant to them. Nexanta, as a major sponsor, presented numerous successful deployments of its NexentaStor solution.

Neuralytix presented on the topic of the need for object storage, particularly in a cloud world; and sat on a panel later in the day on the topic of software defined storage.

Conference attendees were extraordinarily passionate about their storage revolution. Attendees and presenters believe that open source software and SDS, including offerings from Nexanta’s, OpenStack, SWIFT, Ceph and others were the keys to reaching storage nirvana. The enthusiasm extruded by attendees can only be compared to 18th century French Revolutionaries seeking to dethrone Louis XVI (embodied by EMC) and strip the nobles (all other storage companies) of their power.

Neuralytix observed something that was particularly unique at the conference. At least in the storage sessions, the presenters, and the attendees were not the “typical” storage professionals. In fact, Neuralytix argues that with the exception of Nexenta, the presenters more resembled typical “software” companies rather than storage. This is a very good thing. As the popularity of SDS increases, there is an increasing realization that the storage (or at least the storage system) will influence storage decisions less and less.

One thing that seemed to have some agreement among presenters and panelists is that SDS is about the control plane, and not about the data plane. Panelists disagreed amongst themselves with respect to what was included in the “control plane”. But agreement was reached in that it should at least include provisioning, orchestration, monitoring and management functions.

What OpenStorage Summit clearly demonstrates is that there is deep interest and deep passion towards owning and by extension controlling more of the storage infrastructure than ever before.

Neuralytix looks to participate in the 2014 conference where we also expect to see some form of resolution to nomenclature, but no less passion towards the SDS topic itself.