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 »

Micron ushers in the era of QLC SSDs

To date we’ve only seen QLC NAND storage in the consumer SD card format, however, that’s set to change as Micron announces the first QLC SATA SSD for the data centre.  The Micron 5210 ION SSD will deliver up to 7.68TB of capacity in a standard 2.5″, 7mm form factor.  But there’s a catch –… Read more »

Conflating Data Protection and Data Mobility

Sitting on the sidelines, I’ve been watching some of the traffic and communications coming from VeeamON this week.  Chris Mellor just posted a quick article summing up the ambitions of Veeam as a company.  It struck me that we continue to conflate the idea of data protection and data mobility.  To me, these are two… Read more »

NetApp Extends Cloud Volumes to GCP

Following their introduction on Microsoft Azure last year, native NetApp Cloud Volumes are to be made available through Google Cloud Platform.  NetApp now offers Cloud Volumes in some form on the three major (Western) cloud providers, AWS, Azure and GCP.  How should we view this, especially in respect of how cloud services are evolving? Maturity… Read more »

PowerMax, VMAX, XtremIO – the Agony of Choice

Last week Dell EMC announced the next generation of the long-running Symmetrix platform with the release of PowerMax.  This all-NVMe array apparently isn’t a replacement for VMAX (or XtremIO).  However it is yet another decision point in customer choice for all-flash from Dell EMC.  Does the company need another all-flash array or is this just… Read more »

Latest
  • PowerMax, VMAX, XtremIO – the Agony of Choice

    Last week Dell EMC announced the next generation of the long-running Symmetrix platform with the release of PowerMax.  This all-NVMe array apparently isn’t a replacement for VMAX (or XtremIO).  However it is yet another decision point in customer choice for all-flash from Dell EMC.  Does the company need another all-flash array or is this just… Read more »

  • Are We Suffering Logo Addiction Syndrome?

    Remember when converged infrastructure came in?  We were told that packaging was the next best thing and doing things in separate towers of skills was bad.  Now it appears we’ve developed Logo Addiction and should be looking to build things from scratch again. The basis of this thesis is a presentation at Interop ITX by… Read more »

  • Validating HYCU Deployment By The Numbers

    Vendors like to claim that their software is “1-click” or installable within 30 seconds.  In general these claims are pretty fatuous unless you’re either frequently deploying or looking to automate.  I’ve been spending a bit of time looking at a range of storage solutions that are fully software-defined and seeing how easy that deployment process… Read more »

  • Dell EMC to Offer Isilon on Google Cloud Platform

    It’s Dell Technologies World this week in Las Vegas and the first announcement of interest is the future offering of the Isilon NAS platform on Google Cloud Platform.  The details of Isilon Cloud on GCP are scant, to say the least.  All I’ve found so far is this community post (link).  With little to go… Read more »

  • What are TBW (Terabytes Written) and DWPD (Device Writes Per Day)?

    TBW is an acronym for  Terabytes Written and DWPD is an acronym for Device Writes Per Day.  Both are measures of the endurance of flash storage. Conflating Reliability and Endurance in SSDs What is the Technology Behind Samsung Z-NAND? Flash storage has a limit on the number of write (or specifically program/erase) cycles that can… Read more »

  • The Burden of Technical Debt

    As the issues at TSB continue to unfold, I look on at an IT problem that will likely never be fully explained and eventually disappear into the archives as yet another “computer glitch”.  Why does it keep happening, what’s wrong with the industry and how can we do better next time? Experience Who am I… Read more »

  • NetApp embraces cloud for future business growth

    Technology is a fickle business and surviving more than a few short years is hard to achieve.  The industry changes very quickly, as the next greatest thing consigns solutions and products to being legacy, even if they are still running many organisations’ core business.  Storage has evolved to be a major part of any IT… Read more »

  • Why HCI Data Protection is Different

    When so many businesses are totally dependent on their digital information, data protection becomes a key requirement for every IT organisation.  The way in which we implement technology changes almost daily and this affects the choices on how we protect it.  Where 20 years ago the standard model for deployment was based on physical servers,… Read more »

  • Droplet Computing delivers universal app virtualisation

    The IT world is great at delivering technically elegant solutions that intrigue and pique my (and others) interest.  In recent years the entire virtualisation and containers movements have been good examples of this.  Producing something technically interesting doesn’t always lead to a solution that benefits the business.  However, in the case of Droplet Computing, the… Read more »