The enterprise data storage landscape is shifting rapidly, thanks to flash storage, virtualization, and the growth of cloud computing. One of the best ways to keep up with the key trends is to follow the leading independent bloggers and writers who combine deep technical expertise with extensive product knowledge.

Super-connector Stephen Foskett knows this community well, and has built a business around curating a series of “field days”, in which a dozen or so of these experts come to Silicon Valley for a three-day blitz of technically intense vendor presentations. The most recent Storage Field Day was held last week, and at Nimble Storage the focus was on the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform, InfoSight (a deep-data analytics capability), and on cloud integration models.

Storage Field Day at Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage welcomes Storage Field Day participants and staff last Friday November 7 in San Jose, California.

After an overview of Nimble’s core architecture, the session started with a demo of recent enhancements to InfoSight, plus an under-the-hood look at a new storage sizing tool from one of the company’s data scientists.

The bloggers were clearly impressed. As Enrico Signoretti tweeted, “Looks like @NimbleStorage is building a very compelling long term strategy around InfoSight”. And Jon Klaus added, “Software running on the @NimbleStorage array can query your vCenter environment to show consolidated stats – NEAT!” After the session, Scott Lowe wrote a blog post titled “Crowd-sourced Metrics and Automated Support Should Be Key Features In Your Next Storage Array”, and Eric Shanks wrote about “Nimble Storage Data Analytics – InfoSight”.

The second half of the session featured cloud integration models and how they factored into the feature set for Nimble’s recently launched Storage on Demand product. Blogger Nigel Poulton clearly made the connection when he tweeted, “Aha! @NimbleStorage looking to leverage their top-notch-looking InfoSight system to enable pay-as-use private cloud.”

Next up was a demo of Nimble’s support for the Cinder driver for OpenStack, which is becoming increasingly popular as a component in hybrid public-private clouds. As Nigel Poulton tweeted, “The guys at @NimbleStorage are rockin it with #OpenStack < started an OpenStack user group in the South Bay area.” And Jarett Kulm added, “OpenStack snapshots are pushed (offloaded) to the @NimbleStorage to do a normal redirect on write snapshot. Cloning is offloaded too.”

All in all, a great session with plenty of useful technical content. Video of the sessions can be found here:

To help you track these useful sources of information and opinion, here’s a list of this year’s Storage Field Day delegates along with their Twitter handles:

Stephen Foskett        @SFoskett

Arjan Timmerman    @ArjanTim

Chin-Fah Heoh          @StorageGaga

Dan Frith                    @PenguinPunk

Dennis Martin            @Demartek

Enrico Signoretti       @ESignoretti

Eric Shanks                @Eric_Shanks

Jarett Kulm                 @JK47TheWeapon

John Obeto                 @JohnObeto

Jon Klaus                    @JonKlaus

Nigel Poulton             @NigelPoulton

Ray Lucchesi              @RayLucchesi

Scott D. Lowe             @OtherScottLowe