rook.io – an attempt at Flocker 2.0

At the end of 2016 ClusterHQ, the developers of Flocker decided to shut down the project with a rather blunt blog post (link).  Rather than take additional funding, CEO Mark Davis (and presumably the board) decided to shut the company down on the assumption that it wasn’t clear where revenue would come from. Based on… Read more »

What Next for the new Tier 0 Storage?

As flash storage moves to mainstream adoption, a new breed of products are set to become the new tier 0 storage.  However with the demise of DSSD, is the market set to falter? Tier 0 has come to represent the fastest of the fast, almost a specialist category of super fast storage.  The tier 0… Read more »

Learning from The Instapaper Outage

Instapaper (the SaaS-based solution for keeping track of bookmarks and interesting websites) suffered a catastrophic outage to their service last month.  I’ve only just got round to reading the port-mortem account of the incident and it doesn’t make pretty reading.  First of all, it’s worth saying that we’ve all been there and experienced that awful… Read more »

Nimble, HPE and 20-Year Old Architectures

This week, HPE offered to acquire Nimble Storage for around $1.09 billion, plus another $200 million in share options.  Nimble sells all-flash and hybrid storage solutions, with a lot of intellectual property focused around storage analytics in the form of their “Infosight” SaaS platform. Commentators are seeing this as a good deal for both Nimble and… Read more »

Should We Worry About The S3 Outage?

Last week, Amazon Web Service’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) suffered what was termed “high error rates” and essentially became unusable for a number of hours to users in the US-East-1 (Virginia) region.  There have been a lot of stories circulating talking about the number of SaaS-based applications that were affected, with people being quick to question the… Read more »

Google Spanner – fixing the problem of distributed SQL databases

I’ve been messing about with databases for a long time.  I say “messing about” because I’ve never been a DBA, but as a systems programmer and storage administrator, I’ve been on the periphery of the application layer and of course I’ve deployed many personal databases.  I was intrigued to read about the new global distributed… Read more »

Nine Critical Features for Object Stores

Object storage is a relatively new market segment that has continued to grow steadily and is starting to find more reasons for adoption.  For the uninitiated, object stores are used to hold large volumes of unstructured data, where each “object” is essentially a file with no specific format (also called a binary file).  Object stores… Read more »

Building Data Storage With Containers

Note: Updated on 18 January 2017 to include OpenEBS. There’s an almost religious divide between those who see containers as entirely stateless objects and others taking a more pragmatic approach that says state and containers is an inevitable thing.  In the stateless model, data is assumed to be replicated and protected by many container instances,… Read more »

HPE Demos 3PAR with Intel Optane (3D-XPoint)

There’s been a lot of coverage and potential hype around the impending release of Intel and Micron’s 3D-XPoint persistent storage technology.  Now it seems we have a good example of how Optane (as Intel are branding it) could be deployed into existing storage platforms.  During HPE Discover London (December 2016), the 3PAR team ran a demo… Read more »

AWS Getting Serious About Enterprise On-Prem with Dockerised Linux AMI

AWS just announced the availability of an on-premises version of their Linux AMI, delivered as a Docker image (link).  This may seem an innocent and rather subdued announcement, but don’t forget that we also recently had the release of the AWS Server Migration Service (link) at the end of October.  AWS and VMware just became… Read more »

Latest
  • A New Paradigm for Computing

    The Christmas 2015 edition of Magpi magazine created a world’s first – an entire computer given away on the front of a magazine.  A free Raspberry Pi Zero is certainly a step up from a disk of software, or even the annoying AOL CDs that we know from years gone by.  This is an entire functional… Read more »

  • Do we need Storage QoS?

    I recently had a discussion with a vendor (who shall remain nameless) as to whether we really needed Quality of Service in shared storage arrays.  His thinking went as follows; if we have a storage array and network with sufficient bandwidth/IOPS, then why bother implementing QoS?  At first this seems like a reasonable assumption; if… Read more »

  • All Storage is Commodity

    Yesterday as part of the first A3 Tech Live event, I sat through a presentation from Memblaze, a vendor of NVMe and PCIe flash storage products.  Although the conversation was good natured and “robust”, I couldn’t help feeling that the company (like so many others in this market) have little to differentiate their products, other… Read more »

  • The Move to 3D-NAND for All-Flash Storage Vendors

    This week has seen two announcements from flash array vendors that are moving to support 3D-NAND technology in their products. On Tuesday Pure Storage announced that 3D TLC NAND would be supported in their FlashArray//m platform from 1Q2016. The new drives will increase capacity from around 30-40TB to 60TB per rack unit (depending on the… Read more »

  • Conflating Reliability and Endurance in SSDs

    Last week I sat through a presentation by Samsung on the evolution of their DRAM and flash business. One question raised by a journalist in the room related to the reliability of flash drives. The presenter proceeded to talk about the industry and how endurance means flash has a finite lifetime, one which now varies… Read more »

  • Dell Acquiring EMC – The Federation

    This is the second of a series of posts on the pending acquisition of EMC by Dell. One of the biggest features of the modern EMC has been the idea of a federation of independent businesses, established when EMC acquired VMware in 2004 (although public shares weren’t released to the market until 2007). EMC (more… Read more »

  • Dell Acquiring EMC – The Facts

    As I’m not a journalist, I don’t have a need to leap in and make commentary when big announcements/acquisitions are made. Instead I’ve taken the time to look at all of the comments already out there and formulate a more considered opinion. I doubt the acquisition of Dell by EMC has escaped most people’s attention… Read more »

  • PernixData FVP – Feature or Platform?

    A couple of weeks ago I was briefed on the latest technology to come out of PernixData; a software suite known as Architect, which provides insight into the I/O workload of virtual machines in a VMware vSphere environment.  The company’s previous (and still current) product is FVP, a caching software layer for the hypervisor that… Read more »

  • Standard SSDs or Custom NAND Modules?

    At VMworld last week I took part in a Tech Field Day presentation from Violin Memory, one of the earliest all-flash array start-ups.  Violin are “relaunching” the company, following on from many senior management changes and a lot of work to make their products more relevant.  One point of discussion (specifically from me) was whether… Read more »