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Why Deterministic Storage Performance is Important

In the days of spinning media, I/O performance was anything but consistent.  When mechanical head movement is involved, response time can vary enormously.  Actually, the variation of I/O isn’t just to do with mechanics as we will discuss in a moment.  However, inconsistent I/O response time is a problem for applications and as tolerances reduce,… Read more »

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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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INFINIDAT InfiniSync – Infinite Sync Replication

Data replication is a core enterprise feature for implementing data protection.  Synchronous replication provides the ability to maintain an identical copy of data at another location.  While not a panacea for every problem, sync replication simplifies the protection process for servers and applications that are contained on one or more LUNs/volumes. INFINIDAT recently announced InfiniSync,… Read more »

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Storage Performance Benchmarks in Light of Spectre/Meltdown

This week E8 Storage announced that the company had successfully beaten the SPEC SFS 2014 benchmark, with a test based on an E8 appliance and IBM Spectrum Scale (GPFS).  The test chosen was software build, which generates lots of I/O activity across many files.  As the press release from E8 says, this workload emulates the… Read more »

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Accelerating Workloads with NetApp Plexistor

I hadn’t realised that NetApp acquired Plexistor earlier this year.  Depending on which site you look at, the acquisition was a pretty cheap $20m or $32m, based on an A-round investment of around $4.5m in September 2014.  NetApp demonstrated application acceleration using the Plexistor technology at Insight in Berlin last week (see the day 2… Read more »

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It’s Time for Hard Drives to Join Tape In The Archive Tier

This week we’ve seen the announcement of 14TB 3.5” hard drives from one vendor and 12TB from another. It’s hard to imagine the concept of 14TB in a single hard drive when ten years ago we were looking at only 1TB devices. However, these devices have a problem. The throughput and latency has remained relatively… Read more »

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Focus on High Performance NAS

Block-based storage (and particularly that based on Fibre Channel) has always been the favoured child when it comes to vendors talking about their products and solutions.  All of the high-end performing devices tend (but not exclusively) to be block-based.  However we’re seeing an increased focus on high performance NAS platforms, especially those with scale-out capabilities…. Read more »

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Are DataCore’s SPC Benchmarks Unfair?

DataCore has been active over recent months with benchmarks based on their new SANsymphony Parallel Server offering.  The most recent of these claims 5.1 million SPC-1 IOPS at $0.08/SPC-1 IOPS and 0.32 millisecond response time.  Other vendors are crying foul on these results, claiming they don’t represent a true test because all of the data… Read more »