Editor's Note: Ryan Troy (above) is speaking at IT Martini 22: Infrastructure We Trust, taking place on June 21st, 2012 at The Freedom Center in Cincinnati. 

Ryan Troy: Cooking Up Zettabytes
By Terreece Clarke, June 14th, 2012

The mouth watering topic of information infrastructure and its evolution has Ryan Troy, independent consultant and author of VMware Cookbook: A Real-World Guide to Effective VMware Use, very excited.

"In the next two years the storage industry is going to sell more storage than in the last 20 years," he said. "We're looking at 42 zettabytes [42 billion terabytes] across the industry. This will drive organizations to start looking at moving their workforces for a VDI infrastructure.”

How to manage and deploy VDI technologies is the core of Troy's message in his presentation at IT Martini 22: Infrastructure We Trust on June 21st in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"For those who understand data storage and virtualization today my goal is they will walk away with a different view on how they are handling their data and client infrastructures," he said. "For example, storage vendors have the same hardware for the most part, but the software and design makes them unique. By taking at look at different methods available today we can design our VDI environments to scale by using dedupe and compression technologies, hence reducing data storage and providing an easier mechanism for handling VDI deployments and their workloads."

Consumer Devices Driving Change

Troy said VDI growth will start to explode and more end user clients within these organizations start to utilize their tablets forcing companies to adopt a VDI infrastructure for their workforce.

"One of things I see companies do wrong is they are not thinking about their long-term needs versus their current projects," he said. "They've made short term decisions either based on cost or a technology that caught their eye and then realize a few year later the technology doesn't scale."

He cited a shift in large organizations and schools which are moving towards VDI because it simplifies large amounts of management of the clients.

"We're looking at a three year fresh to five year refresh cycle and now businesses take care to look at scale for the long term, he said."

Top Three VDI Tips

Troy had a few tips for organizations who find themselves looking for new storage and VDI solutions:

1. Let potential storage and virtualization vendors know the amount of growth they expect and ask them to provide a road map for one to two years on how their product will scale in the longterm.

2. Some of the same advice applies to data vendors. In addition to interviewing them, leaders to look at the interface and understand whether it's framed - which will be ribbed out and replaced after so many years or frameless which is more fluid data storage with the ability to scale out as needs increase and change. In addition, the virtualization vendors will need to continue to optimize their software stack to work with these vendors on integration to scale their desktop solutions.

3. Get training. Demos, training, etc., before the technology is deployed is vitally important. "The last thing you want to do is to have someone have technology and not understand how to use it and be disappointed," Troy said.

Flash as the New Cache

Troy has worked in storage and virtualizations for 15 years and he has seen many vendors establish storage architecture as more fluid allowing for easier data management and integration.

He said there are some really cool technologies in the industry that keeps him excited about the industry's direction.

"FusionIO has Flash based cards for the server and it allows for super fast access," he said. "It handles workloads without having to aquire large amounts of new storage."

In addition, Troy identified a few other market leaders that doing things well and 'differently' from each other invluding NetApp and Nimble.

Data storage is tying in with virtualization like Microsoft, VMWare and enabling customers integration with both storage and software to create a robust environment.

Getting the ITch

"I can still remember the first time I touched a computer," he said. "My parents brought it in and set it up in our basement and no one knew what to do with it. I spent seven or eight hours the first day just playing with it."

His passion has extended to the two books he's co-authored: VMWare books: VMware Cookbook: A Real-World Guide to Effective VMware Use, and the second version of the book due in June 2012. Both are like a cookbook for the real world application of VMware ESXi with step-by-step solutions to both basic and complex problems.

"I got into writing books in 2008, I was heavily involved in Ubuntu Linux and started their forums at ubuntuforums.org - which is one of the largest Linux forum on the internet today," he said. "Through that venture I met Matthew Helmke who had experience writing and we formed a relationship that lead us to complete three books together over the past 4 years. The experience has been very rewarding, the biggest takeaway for me throughout this process is holding myself accountable for the deadlines that I set. I learned to be more realistic."