This is the second of two posts previewing the presenters at Storage Field Day 11, due to take place in San Jose 5-7 October 2016.

In my previous post I discussed how the three companies in question (Avere, Primary Data and Scality) were focused on software-based data management.  In this post I cover the two vendors with a hardware focus.


Intel needs no introduction; it is one of the behemoth’s of the IT industry, with a base of products that have set the terms of the modern IT industry.  The x86 processor and associated architectures are widely adopted and used in servers and storage, virtualisation, chipsets, bus (e.g. I/O) architectures and more.  From a storage perspective, Intel has SSD technology, is involved in 3D Xpoint (under the brand Optane) and is used in almost every storage platform and hyper-converged system on the market today.

This is a pretty amazing achievement.  Look back 20 years and storage systems were all proprietary.  SSDs didn’t exist.  The market was massively fragmented.  One huge benefit of standardising on Intel is the ability to move so much more processing into software.  With a single chipset architecture to focus on (and of course the rise of Linux as a de facto standard O/S for storage), Intel could claim to have kick started software defined storage (SDS).

Last time Intel presented at SFD, we heard about cosmic rays and their impact on SSDs.  So, who knows what the presentation will be this time around.  There are plenty of areas to cover, so I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.


HGST was Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital Inc, one of the three remaining major hard drive manufacturers.  HGST manufactures and sells HDDs, SSDs, complete JBOD enclosures and has an active archive system based on the 2015 acquisition of Amplidata.  I’m curious to see what HGST will present, as I’ve not seen the Active Archive product before and I’m not really aware of what the company strategy is.  There have been many software acquisitions other than Amplidata (such as Virident), so how do these components all fit in?  Again, this should be another interesting presentation.

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Disclaimer:  I was personally invited to attend Storage Field Day 11, with the event teams covering some of my travel and accommodation costs.  However I was not compensated for my time.  I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or the respective companies prior to publication.  

Copyright (c) 2009-2016 – Chris M Evans, first published on, do not reproduce without permission.

Written by Chris Evans

With 30+ years in IT, Chris has worked on everything from mainframe to open platforms, Windows and more. During that time, he has focused on storage, developed software and even co-founded a music company in the late 1990s. These days it's all about analysis, advice and consultancy.