LISA18: Advanced Concepts in Data Storage

Sponsored by Cambridge Computer

Join us on October 29, 2018, at the Omni Hotel Nashville, for LISA Advanced Concepts in Data Storage Day. This one-day event focuses on current trends in the storage industry. Registration is a free add-on to either LISA18 conference admission or LISA18 Expo-only admission in order to introduce newcomers to the LISA conference. The goal of LISA Data Storage Day is to explain the trends and developments in the storage industry in the language spoken by hands-on IT professionals. Other events tend to glaze over how and why specific products or technologies work, focusing instead on the business value. However, at LISA Data Storage Day, we'll provide a peek under the proverbial hood—making it easier to match technology to business value—creating a unique event that's well worth a day out of the office!


LISA Data Storage Day


Monday, October 29, 9:00 am–5:30 pm


Registration for LISA Data Storage Day is FREE with paid admission to LISA18 or the LISA18 Expo, and includes the Expo Happy Hour, luncheon, coffee breaks, and Wednesday Birds-of-a-Feather sessions (BoFs).

  • If you are attending LISA, please select the LISA18 Data Storage Day optional add-on item from within the main LISA18 registration.
  • If you are not attending LISA, and you wish to register for Data Storage Day, please register to attend the Expo only, and then select "Data Storage Day" as an optional add-on. Please note there is a $50 charge to register for the Expo unless you have a discount code.

Data Storage Day Agenda

Morning Session

The Evolution of Storage Networking: Blending Object Storage with the Conventional Storage Stack

Monday, 9:00 am10:30 am

Jacob Farmer, CTO, Cambridge Computer

Object storage is the latest and greatest trend in storage networking. . . or is it?  The reality is that object stores have been around forever, but people are talking about objects as if they were something new, largely because Amazon commercialized an object-based storage service (S3) and lots of other companies are now marketing products based on a similar paradigm. Object stores are, in fact, ubiquitous. They are quietly embedded in the inner working of EVERY system that stores data.

So really, this lecture is not so much about object storage as it is about the ever-evolving storage "stack" that originated decades ago with lowly hard drives and simple file systems, then morphed into modern SAN and NAS solutions, and that will continue to evolve as long there are new challenges to overcome.  We begin with a simple definition of object and object store, outline key concepts, and then illustrate different ways to leverage object storage models to achieve new levels of performance, scale, consistency, and resiliency. The concepts are illustrated with real-world examples from commercial and community products.

Lecture Outline

  • The evolution of the traditional storage stack - block/SAN and POSIX/NAS
  • Storage virtualization
    • Object storage concepts
    • Object storage for resiliency and scale
    • Object storage for performance and scale
    • Object storage for locality, consistency, and coherency
    • Content addressing and deduplication
    • Recipe-based storage
  • Big Metadata
  • Fine Grained v. Coarse Grained Objects
  • Integrating object stores into the traditional storage stack
    • Object-based file systems
    • File system gateways
  • Nesting of object stores
    • Jelly beans and Jars
    • Nested containers
    • Protocol shims
  • Federated storage and global namespaces
    • Making files behave like objects
    • Making objects behave like files

Rolling Your Own Storage: Software Defined Storage and Commodity Hardware for Cloud and Large Scale Workloads

Monday, 11:00 am12:30 pm

Peter Galvin, Chief Technologist, Infrastructure, Cambridge Computer

The monolithic enterprise storage appliance has been falling out of vogue lately. Storage architects are increasingly looking for "software defined" storage solutions that run on top of commodity hardware as well as "hyper-converged" systems that combine storage and compute resources in the same platform. As an IT architect or buyer, it is is very empowering to buy storage software decoupled from hardware, but. . . . uh. . . someone still has to engineer the hardware!

Yes, you can turn pretty much any computer into a storage device, but there are huge advantages to doing it right. This lecture reveals the major issues to consider when selecting hardware for software defined storage systems. We look at I/O subsystems, backplanes, and the nuances of solid state storage devices. Using CEPH as a case study, we describe various ways to get the most performance and reliability out of your storage hardware.

Lecture Outline

  • Defining "Software Defined" Storage
    • What does it mean? What should it mean?
  • Deconstructing Hyper-convergence
    • Storage and compute on the same server, yes or no?
    • Pros and cons of scale-out storage architectures
    • Virtualizing the storage controller
    • Local affinity v. low Latency and parallelism
    • NVMe over Fabric
  • SSDs - Getting Your Money's Worth
    • Leveraging lower cost SSDs
    • Eliminating hidden bottlenecks in the storage I/O path
    • Averting write-amplification
  • Commodity Hardware Concepts
    • COTS
    • Backplanes and PCIe lanes
    • Power, cooling, and vibration
    • Controlling the supply chain
  • CEPH Case Study -- Maximizing CEPH Performance

LISA Data Storage Day Sponsors and Exhibitors

Cambridge Computer

Cambridge Computer

Cambridge Computer specializes in storage networking, data protection, and digital archiving technologies. For nearly twenty-seven years, we have helped our clients identify their needs, devise long-term storage management strategies, and compare technologies from different hardware and software manufacturers. Recommending customized solutions often comes at no cost to our customer. Our professional services include consulting, integration, project management, and knowledge transfer. Our technical expertise is known throughout the storage industry. Our clients include leading corporations, major financial institutions, top universities, the most vital of government facilities, as well as small to medium size businesses. Allow us to apply our creativity to design a solution that meets your budget and exceeds your expectations.



Device42—Towards a Unified View of IT Infrastructure. Automatically maintain an up-to-date inventory of your physical, virtual, and cloud servers and containers, network components, software/services/applications, and their inter-relationships and inter-dependencies.



Maintain business continuity and prevent downtime, Eaton offers a comprehensive portfolio of backup power and distribution equipment, protecting you from a host of threats, including power outages, surges and lightning strikes. Eaton also provides a suite of power management products to enable you to monitor and control your power infrastructure.

Formulus Black

Formulus Black

Formulus Black is a leader in In-Memory Compute Infrastructure, delivering system software that combines commodity hardware with patented data encoding to increase performance while simultaneously reducing system TCO. ForsaOS allows workloads to cost-effectively remain in memory, without specialized rewrites of code, allowing ANY application to benefit from in-memory performance acceleration.

RackTop Systems

RackTop Systems is a leading provider of high-performance Software-Defined Storage embedded with advanced security, encryption and compliance that empowers both government and commercial organizations. RackTop was founded in 2010 by veterans of the U.S. intelligence community who have been solving the most complex data and security problems. Visit

Starfish Storage

Starfish is a metadata and rules management framework for large-scale file systems. It supports billions of file and petabytes of capacity. Starfish provides vital insights into your file systems while automating the life cycle of research data from creation through archiving and re-use.


StorONE’s United Enterprise Storage software offers the lowest CAPEX and OPEX in the marketplace. S1 delivers immediate ROI with ALL storage protocols (FC/iSCSI/NFS/SMB/S3), drives (SSD/HDD/NVME), and workloads in the same system, full data retention and data protection with 5X greater density, performance and capacity for less than $0.01 a GB.

Western Digital

Western Digital creates environments for data to thrive. Everywhere data lives, we’re there to drive the innovation necessary for results today and the future you’ll create tomorrow. New devices, new systems, new solutions, all optimized and tuned to create the right conditions for your data to realize its full potential.