Pure Storage AIRI – CI for AI

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) are two of the biggest buzzwords in the tech industry at the moment.  The technologies have wide application, much greater than the often-repeated stories about self-driving cars.  ML/AI solutions can be used in healthcare to improve diagnostics.  It has applications across the financial world, allowing companies to be more… Read more »

Is Your Flash Storage Riding the DRAM Curve?

The rate of growth in flash media is truly incredible.  In ten years, we’ve gone from highly expensive SLC devices to a range of NAND flash media for all requirements.  Flash manufacturers continue to push the boundaries, with 30TB and 100TB drives already on the market.  With no end to this growth in sight, how… Read more »

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 »

Samsung Introduces 8TB NF1 NVMe SSDs

Samsung has recently announced an 8TB NF1 format NVMe SSD.  NF1 was originally called NGSFF (Next Generation Small Form Factor) and is intended as a replacement for the existing M.2 format drives.  With 15K and 10K drives disappearing from the market, is it time to accept we should move on from legacy HDD drive sizes?… Read more »

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 »

The Britpop Battle of Rubrik and Cohesity

Were you a Blur or Oasis fan?  Perhaps you were on the side of Jarvis Cocker and preferred Pulp.  Whatever your choice, the Britpop wars of the 1990s were memorable for building hype around the UK music industry and the idea of Cool Britannia. In lots of ways, the evolution of the data protection industry… Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Latest
  • 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 officially 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… 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »