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
  • Tech Field Day 10 Preview: Diablo Technologies

    This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Tech Field Day 10, occurring 3rd – 5th February 2016 in Austin, Texas, at which I am an attending delegate.  See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors.  Details of the event can be found on the Tech Field… Read more »

  • Hitachi Expands Flash Portfolio With Cheetah

    Just when we thought there were enough all-flash products on the market, Hitachi (or HDS if you prefer) has released a new line of all-flash systems under the brand name “Hitachi Flash Storage” or HFS.  The Cheetah reference in the title is the project name of the product during its development.  Before digging into technical… Read more »

  • Storage and Analytics – Creating Shared Knowledge

    A few years ago I worked with a company called Storage Fusion that provided a SaaS offering for analysing storage systems.  With a few simple scripts it was possible to collect the configuration information on one or more storage arrays and use that data to gain insights into metrics such as utilisation, performance and efficiency.  One benefit of… Read more »

  • Hardware Still Matters – Even With Software Defined Storage

    This week Atlantis Computing, a vendor of hyper-converged and software defined storage solutions, released a new hardware appliance in their “Hyperscale” range, aimed at the ROBO (Remote Office Branch Office) market.  I’ll come back to the details in a moment, however what is interesting in this announcement is that despite appearances to the contrary, hardware still… Read more »

  • Has S3 Become the De-Facto API Standard?

    “The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from” This quote is variously attributed to Grace Hopper and others in the computer industry and in some respects it’s ironic that a statement about multiple standards is attributed to multiple authors!  However, that said, it is true that technology seems… Read more »

  • Software Defined Storage and TECHunplugged Austin

    Vendors love buzzwords and phrases and nothing exemplifies this more than the term Software Defined Storage or SDS.  Look back a few years ago and storage appliances were going to be replaced by commodity hardware driven by software.  Naturally that was the hope of those vendors selling software-only solutions; they needed end users to believe that… Read more »

  • The Rise of Ultra-Fast Storage Appliances

    Updated 16 October 2017 with new companies. The early days of shared storage were focused around fixing some of the problems experienced with having multiple disk drives in every server, namely – availability, resiliency, shared access and efficiency.  Shared storage arrays resolved many of these issues by providing centralised shared, optimised and managed storage resources…. Read more »

  • Nutanix Files For $200 million Initial Public Offering

    As the year closes, news has emerged that Nutanix Inc, a vendor of hyper-converged solutions has finally filed an S-1 with the US SEC for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), presumably to happen in early 2016.  There are rumours that the timing was chosen as “a good time to bury bad news” (a reference to… Read more »

  • ZeroStack – A Better Way to do OpenStack

    My first opportunity to see OpenStack in action was a 2011 event at Vinopolis in London (sadly Vinopolis closes at the end of this year, so that experience won’t be repeated).  Throughout the presentations I was surprised to see a focus on how fast code had been written (statements like, “we did that in 2 days”,… Read more »