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Avoiding the Storage Performance Bathtub Curve

We’re probably all familiar with the concept of the HDD or SSD reliability bathtub curve (figure 1).  This shows how over the lifetime of a drive, failures typically follow a pattern where failure rate increases over time to a steady state, then increases again as the device wears out.  But have you considered the idea… Read more »

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NVMe over Fabrics – Caveat Emptor?

For the past 20 years, Fibre Channel has been the dominant enterprise data centre storage networking technology.  By this, I mean traditional Fibre Channel, not variants that work over IP or use Converged Ethernet (more on that in a moment).  It’s true that other protocols exist.  Smaller organisations have typically used iSCSI, because of the… Read more »

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IDC 1Q2018 Data Shows a Rebound for Storage Hardware Sales

The latest IDC Storage Tracker numbers are out and in the spirit of recent analysis, I’ve put the numbers into my tracking spreadsheet.  The figures represent data for Q1, which now has 12 years’ worth of coverage.  With around 42% growth in the general storage hardware figures and 20% in external storage sales, the numbers… Read more »

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Avoiding All-Flash Missing IOPS

We are living in a golden age of storage media, where new products come to market offering ever greater performance with lower latency than previous generations.  Today the hard drive and even early flash drives look positively archaic compared to modern NVMe drives built from 3D-XPoint, capable of delivering hundreds of thousands of IOPS and… Read more »

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The Race towards End-to-End NVMe in the Data Centre

The next greatest thing in storage hardware is the move to NVMe.  This is occurring in two ways – conversion of internal designs within shared storage platforms to use NVMe at the “back-end”, and front-end (or host connectivity) using NVMe over Fabrics in some form.  Vendors are starting to use the term “end-to-end” NVMe as… Read more »

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Micron ushers in the era of QLC SSDs

To date we’ve only seen QLC NAND storage in the consumer SD card format, however, that’s set to change as Micron announces the first QLC SATA SSD for the data centre.  The Micron 5210 ION SSD will deliver up to 7.68TB of capacity in a standard 2.5″, 7mm form factor.  But there’s a catch –… Read more »

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NetApp Extends Cloud Volumes to GCP

Following their introduction on Microsoft Azure last year, native NetApp Cloud Volumes are to be made available through Google Cloud Platform.  NetApp now offers Cloud Volumes in some form on the three major (Western) cloud providers, AWS, Azure and GCP.  How should we view this, especially in respect of how cloud services are evolving? Maturity… Read more »

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PowerMax, VMAX, XtremIO – the Agony of Choice

Last week Dell EMC announced the next generation of the long-running Symmetrix platform with the release of PowerMax.  This all-NVMe array apparently isn’t a replacement for VMAX (or XtremIO).  However it is yet another decision point in customer choice for all-flash from Dell EMC.  Does the company need another all-flash array or is this just… Read more »

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Dell EMC to Offer Isilon on Google Cloud Platform

It’s Dell Technologies World this week in Las Vegas and the first announcement of interest is the future offering of the Isilon NAS platform on Google Cloud Platform.  The details of Isilon Cloud on GCP are scant, to say the least.  All I’ve found so far is this community post (link).  With little to go… Read more »