Flash Forward: Helping customers achieve great things with flash technology

By Gavin Tweedie, Director of EMEA Operations

If you’ve been following #WhereInTheWorldIsVI, then you know that our summer is off to a busy start. Following EMC World in May, we attended HPE Discover early in June, and announced that Virtual Instruments has expanded our global alliances program and joined the HPE Complete Partner Program.


Looking forward at Flash Forward


This past week, our U.K. team was a part of Flash Forward, the first storage-specific event held in the U.K. in several years. Flash Forward brings together analysts, IT consultants, vendors and most importantly, IT teams that deploy and manage storage. Since Load DynamiX allows you to look into the future and learn how your workloads will be performing in six to 12 months, this event was an exciting opportunity to share our time-traveling exploits.


No time for teatime – time to test your workloads


Flash Forward was an opportunity for vendors to discuss the future of flash and SSD technologies, and their effects on IT infrastructures. Our team raised awareness about the importance of workload analysis to help storage teams deliver the highest service levels back to their users. Using our product demos, we created awareness about the need to compare flash systems by testing real workloads under a variety of conditions to determine where performance levels start to deteriorate.


You wouldn’t buy a car without testing it first, would you? The same theory should apply to test-driving your workloads. From all the tests we have run with our customers, two things are evident: flash storage is best suited to some workloads over others, and the smallest of changes to an application or infrastructure can have a huge impact on performance.


Introducing a product worthy of the crown jewels


At Flash Forward, our team’s presentations and discussions focused on our Load DynamiX Enterprise product. Load DynamiX Enterprise lets IT professionals use analytics to see exactly how their storage is performing today, and at what point in the future performance will start to drop off. More importantly, we identify how to optimize storage arrays accordingly to avoid these performance issues. We had a chance to show conference attendees how we are helping customers make informed technology purchase decisions based on real-world workload analysis and testing.


Connecting with the royalty of the storage world


For Virtual Instruments, conferences are all about connecting with industry influencers and meeting potential new partners and customers. At Flash Forward, we met with several of our Global Alliance Partners, in addition to IT buyers, managers, channel members and DevOps professionals in the storage business.


Aside from catching up with individual influencers, we were also able to participate in a panel session with vendors including NetApp, IBM, Infinidat and Violin Memory, and offer some insights into flash technology. The conversation focused on the fact that while flash undoubtedly makes a positive impact in the IT enterprise, performance issues will remain, unless there’s some form of meaningful real-time monitoring capability in place. As always, it was a pleasure to be able to share our experiences and offer advice on how to battle these challenges as flash continues to gain traction among IT organizations.


The result: an event fit for a king


This was our first year attending Flash Forward, but we will be back next year. Through product demos and one-on-one conversations, we spread awareness in the U.K. market about the need to analyze production storage workloads, as doing so offers visibility into storage infrastructure. Make sure to follow the hashtag #WhereInTheWorldIsVI to see where we are headed next.


Didn’t get a chance to see us at Flash Forward? Drop us a line.