TFD9 Rapid Wrap-Up

Whew! Tech Field Day 9 is finished, and I’m exhausted.

It’s going to take some time to mentally process everything that we discovered before I’ll be able to really write it up well.

Key Points

The things that most stick out for me at the moment are:

  • Dell – There’s a journey going on with Dell’s backup products, and Dell have done the “buy a bunch of companies/products” part and are now doing the consolidate phase. There is a plan, and things are progressing pretty well, but the messaging hasn’t been finished yet. Expect more detailed messages to come out soon about how Dell will move from the variety of products they have now, to the end-game product suite. Also, the Vertex kit made everyone drool, as did their “datacentre in 6 months”.
  • Infinio – This is a great product, and a great team. They have a market orientation and a really coherent marketing strategy. I will be amazed if they don’t do really, really well. This is one of those products that makes me think “Why doesn’t this already exist?” Well, now it does. I can’t wait to see what price point they pick.
  • Veeam – Veeam have a great product for fully or mostly virtualised environment. They’re deliberately not trying to be all things to all people, and that’s great. The new RESTful API should help us all move towards the automated factory IT shop of the future.
  • Neverfail – A bit of a bumpy beginning, but we got there in the end. There’s a great story here, and Neverfail just need to get their marketing strategy sorted out so they can start telling that story really well. Kudos to them for coming to us so early in the development cycle, because they now know this and can do something about it, well in advance of their product hitting the market. That’s what getting customer feedback is all about. And there were already a couple of “Shut up and take my money” moments from the delegates, so I see a bright future for Neverfail’s new Architect product.
  • Commvault – Oh how I wish some previous engagements of mine had been using Commvault instead of other products that shall remain nameless! This is Enterprise backup and recovery the way it’s supposed to be done. And their strategy of touching the client once, and then using that data for useful things, not just backup and recovery, is tremendously valuable. There’s lots to love here.
  • Nutanix – When we got into the details, the lightbulb went on, and I want to go learn about this gear in more detail. The PAXOS mechanisms look excellent, and their MapReduce methods for handling the management meta-data is very cool. There is some great tech under the hood here for the specific use-case of scale-out farms of VMs. There’s some mix-and-match capabilities with the new platforms they’ve just brought out, so you can use this stuff for a bunch of workloads that SAN-attached gear just doesn’t work well for.
  • SolarWinds – How on Earth had I never heard of them before! I’ve worked mostly in large enterprise companies, so that’s the only reason I can think of. They’re solidly mid-market, and know it. Another very market oriented company, they’ve kept the small company ethos as they’ve grown into a fabulous performing company. The financials looked amazing, and now I know why. I have oodles of good stuff to say about SolarWinds, and hope to do so at greater length really soon.


Big thanks to Stephen for inviting me, and to Tom and Claire for helping to make everything run smoothly and make us all feel loved. The schedule was pretty brutal, but they did their best to make it as painless as possible. It’s a really slick operation now, so I think I’m lucky to have come into the Tech Field Day family relatively late, now that all the bugs have been worked out.

Also big thanks to all the companies who presented. Without you, it would have just been a bunch of nerds sitting around a conference table debating the finer points of Windows vs. Linux for the zillionth time or something equally pointless and boring. I learned a lot, even about companies that I’m pretty familiar with. At times, it was the presenters being interesting that was the main thing keeping me awake.

I hope everyone following along with the streams got something out of it, and that I contributed in some small way to you getting value out of the event.

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