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 »

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 »

Latest
  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • 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 »

  • XtremIO: What You Need to Know (Updated)

    With much anticipation, EMC has finally gone GA on their all-flash array, XtremIO, based on the former company of the same name they acquired in May 2012.  The eighteen months that have elapsed since then has seen the rise of an number of competitors and a lot of rumour, discussion and teaser presentations from EMC… Read more »

  • NetApp: The Inflexibility of Flexvols

    I’ve just been reading up on Data ONTAP 8.0 as part of some ongoing work I’m doing.  You may be aware that version 8.0 of the filer operating system brings two major features; 64-bit support and the (sort of) integration of the Spinnaker code to create the multi-node version of ONTAP (called cluster mode). The… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: Why Thin Provisioning Is Not The Holy Grail for Utilisation

    Thin Provisioning (Dynamic Provisioning, Virtual Provisioning, or whatever you prefer to call it) is being heavily touted as a method of reducing storage costs.  Whilst at the outset it seems to provide some significant storage savings, it isn’t the answer for all our storage ills. What is it?   Thin Provisioning (TP) is a way of… Read more »