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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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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Peak VMware

Updated: AWS is pushing on with getting workload into the cloud directly too – see the new AWS Server Migration Service (link) Last week, VMware announced a new service called VMware Cloud on AWS (abbreviated  by some people to VMC).  I’ve been taking a little time to digest the news and views of others before… Read more »

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SNIA has high hopes for Swordfish

Probably the most annoying and frustrating part of being a storage manager in the 1990s was the lack of decent management and automation tools.  Each storage vendor had some good and some bad software for managing their arrays.  EMC’s Symmetrix/DMX/VMAX range, for example, had a great and well thought out CLI management tool; Solutions Enabler…. Read more »

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Cloud Will Not Consume IT – Apparently

Public cloud will not consume all of IT, at least that’s what Michael Dell is claiming.  In his opinion, cloud will become just another form of computing and a choice will be made by users to do cloud on-premises or rent from a cloud provider.  Bearing in mind Dell is in the hardware business, we… Read more »

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Cache or Tier – Does it Matter?

Who would have thought such an innocent comment would have created a stream of conversation?  Well, that’s what happened after I called out the Avere folks on the use of the term “tiered file system” during their presentation at Storage Field Day 11.  We even followed the discussion with a podcast, in an attempt to flesh… Read more »

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    Gartner Reveals Increasingly Irrelevant All Flash Array MQ

    Chris Mellor has posted a new ‘Register article that covers the inaugural Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid State (or all-flash) Arrays.  It’s an interesting read, with EMC and Pure Storage topping the polls and IBM not far behind.  However as the use of flash within the enterprise has increased, the idea of a magic quadrant… Read more »

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    EMC Focuses on Services with VMAX3

    Last week EMC announced an upgrade to their flagship Symmetrix high-end enterprise storage platform and the release of VMAX3.  With a maximum capacity of 384 cores and 5760 drives, the new platform scales to capacities never before seen in a single storage array.  What’s possibly more interesting though, is EMC’s intentions with what’s being called… Read more »

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    EMC Announces XtremIO 3.0

    This week EMC held a launch event in London branded “Redefine Possible” covering announcements on VMAX, Islion, XtremIO and some of the software platforms.  This post covers a discussion of the changes to XtremIO. Background XtremIO was a startup company acquired by EMC in 2012, with the first products reaching general availability on 14 November… Read more »

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    Getting Started With Docker

    In my previous post, I talked about how Docker fits in with workload virtualisation.  In this post, I’ll look at getting started with Docker itself. Installation In this post I’ll look at the basics of installing Docker and creating a container.  I’ll reference the CentOS distribution initially, with more added as I validate and test… Read more »

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    Using SSD for Write-Intensive Workloads

    Yesterday I appeared as a guest speaker on a BrightTalk Webinar covering storage for Big Data.  One subject raised was the suitability of flash (SSD) over hard drives for write-intensive workloads.  The comments from another speaker implied that SSDs aren’t good with write intensive workloads as this wears the devices out too quickly.  Hard drives… Read more »

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    EMC Acquires DSSD – But for What?

    One of the interesting announcements from the recent EMC World event in Las Vegas was the news that EMC are acquiring stealth startup DSSD.  Not a great deal is yet known about this company, as they are not currently shipping any product (and presumably don’t have any existing customers).  However we do have a few… Read more »

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    EMC takes on Google and Amazon with Elastic Cloud Storage

    One of the more interesting announcements from EMC World 2014 last week was a new platform from EMC called Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS).  ECS is the “productisation” of the previously announced Project Nile, which I discussed last year.  At the time, the indications were that Nile was some kind of packaged VNX solution sold in… Read more »

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    Has NetApp Reached a Strategic Inflection Point?

    Chris Mellor recently covered IDC’s quarterly disk shipment report, which measures the market leaders in enterprise storage.  As Chris points out, NetApp continues to decline, with reduced revenue over the last three quarters.  I’ve talked for some time about NetApp reaching an inflection point with Data ONTAP, their storage array operating system.  Has the legacy of… Read more »

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    VMware’s Virtual and Physical SAN Misdirection

    I almost fell off my chair laughing as I read this post by Chuck Hollis that talks about using vSphere VSAN (Virtual SAN) with external storage arrays.  Is it the rantings of someone clinging onto the vestiges of a former life, or perhaps it’s a veiled way for VMware to start unravelling their failed VVOL… Read more »