The Practicality of In-Situ Processing

On last week’s Storage Unpacked podcast, we talked to Chris Mellor about IoT.  He raised the subject of “in-situ processing” or basically taking compute to storage.  On the face of it, this seems like a good idea.  In fact, last year I talked to Enrico Signoretti, Head of Product Strategy at OpenIO about the company’s… Read more »

What is The Container Storage Interface (CSI)?

Despite the initial assumptions that containers wouldn’t need persistent storage, common sense and consensus is moving towards the need to have some sort of continuity with containerised applications.  The reasons are pretty clear.  If a container hosting part of an application dies, it is easier to re-instantiate that container by using any existing data, rather… Read more »

Object Storage Essential Capabilities #4 – Performance

This is the fourth in a series of posts covering object storage requirements.  Other posts in this series can be found at Object Storage Capabilities Series. Object stores are seen as the repository for large volumes of data, much of which can be inactive.  As a result, performance is probably not top of the list of… Read more »

Backblaze HDD Statistics for 2017

For the last four years, Backblaze has been producing statistics from their pool of hard drives.  The company provides cloud storage that started with backup and now covers S3-like capabilities.  The figures for 2017 were recently released and make interesting reading. SMART Backblaze now has a set of data spanning just over 93,000 live drives. … Read more »

Rubrik Acquires Datos IO – Backup Wars Looming?

Congratulations to the team at Datos IO for their acquisition by Rubrik.  It’s hard enough getting funded in the first place, but surely a joy to become part of a bigger entity that justifies the original vision.  Is this purchase a one-off for the industry or perhaps part of a larger backup consolidation? Old and… Read more »

What are Storage Class Memory and Persistent Memory?

Moore’s Law continues to drive innovation in the speed of computing.  In particular, processors and memory continue to push the boundaries of latency and performance.  Persistent storage is always playing catchup in a game where a single I/O to disk is aeons of time compared to a load/store from DRAM.  Flash storage improved latency and… Read more »

In Storage, Software is the New Hardware

This week Kaminario announced a software-defined storage offering called Cloud Fabric, which packages the company’s storage software for cloud service providers.  E8 Storage announced a software-only version of the company’s flagship product that can run on pre-qualified hardware platforms.  Has the golden age of Software Defined Storage finally arrived? Software First In some respects, the… Read more »

What is the Technology Behind Samsung Z-NAND?

This week Samsung announced a new solid-state drive based on what the company is calling Z-NAND.  The SZ985 Z-SSD (again a new acronym) offers high performance and low latency, compared to a traditional SSD product.  So what is Z-NAND and is it really any different to traditional NAND in use today? Z-NAND First of all,… Read more »

Whatever Happened to VVOLs?

Virtual Volumes, or VVOLs is a technology first introduced by VMware in 2012 to enable the VM-level application of policies to storage.  In the 5+ years since the technology was announced, have VVOLs lived up to initial billing? Background The need for Virtual Volumes was apparent fairly early on in the server virtualisation journey.  Presenting… Read more »

Storage Performance Benchmarks in Light of Spectre/Meltdown

This week E8 Storage announced that the company had successfully beaten the SPEC SFS 2014 benchmark, with a test based on an E8 appliance and IBM Spectrum Scale (GPFS).  The test chosen was software build, which generates lots of I/O activity across many files.  As the press release from E8 says, this workload emulates the… Read more »

Latest
  • The Ideal of Composable Infrastructure

    With the release of Synergy (see my recent post), HPE is moving towards a future that sees IT resources aggregated into applications deployed on-demand and in a totally automated fashion. In reality though, has HPE reached that stage with Synergy and can we put a definition on what Composable IT really means? If we look… Read more »

  • Composable IT – HPEs Next Big Thing

    At HPE Discover earlier this month HPE (or Hewlett Packard Enterprise as we now have to call them) announced their next evolution in managed infrastructure for which the company has coined the term Composable Infrastructure. The idea is to break down technology into its constituent parts and build or “compose” the pieces that allow for… Read more »

  • 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 »