Software Defining Your Storage

There is a lot of talk in the technology industry of “software defining”, the idea that elements of our technology stack, traditionally based on a hardware appliance can be abstracted from it and made available as a software-only appliance that can be installed on any hardware.  But why? Wouldn’t you rather your key assets were… Read more »

The Renaissance of Data ONTAP

The genesis of NetApp, initially known as Network Appliance is ONTAP or Data ONTAP.  NetApp developed the ONTAP “storage operating system” to run on their original filer platforms.  It’s amazing to think the underlying technology from 1992 still drives the majority of their storage platforms today.  How has ONTAP managed to survive so long and… Read more »

The need for self-describing secondary data

As primary data becomes ever more portable, we need to ensure that our backups have the same levels of flexibility to be moved, stored and used wherever we need them.  Why is this important, and what features should we look out for? Data Protection in a Multi-Cloud World The Need for APIs in Storage and… Read more »

Can the WekaIO Matrix file system be faster than DAS?

There’s a standard adage in the storage industry.  If you want lower latency and better performance, then move storage closer to the processor.  Typically, this means implementing DAS – Direct Attached Storage – and eliminating a shared network.  So how can WekaIO Matrix, a distributed scale-out file system claim to be better than DAS yet… Read more »

Pure Storage ObjectEngine for Flash-based Backup

Back in August 2018, Pure Storage announced the acquisition of StorReduce, a start-up company with a nifty data de-duplication engine.  That technology has been put to good use and now appears in ObjectEngine, a backup-to-flash data protection solution. StorReduce As previously highlighted, I looked at StorReduce in 2015 and was quite positive about the technology. … Read more »

VAST Data launches with new scale-out storage platform

“Build it and they will come” they say, or at least, something similar.  So, Vast Data has built a new scale-out storage platform and hopes that customers will flock to adopt it.  It’s 2019 – do we need another scale-out storage architecture? Amelioration I’m sure when we reflect on products that have gone before, we… Read more »

Pure Storage announces NVMe-oF support for FlashArray

Pure Storage recently announced support for NVMe over Fabrics on FlashArray.  The technology is implemented by an upgrade to Purity (the platform O/S) and installation of RDMA-capable Ethernet NICs.  Pure has chosen to go with Ethernet as the first NVMe fabric offering, while other vendors have chosen the Fibre Channel route.  How has this choice… Read more »

Exploiting secondary data with NDAS from NetApp

Occasionally a technology leaps out at you, not for the current capabilities, but for potential future value.  That’s a feeling I had when I heard about NDAS or NetApp Data Availability Services.  At first glance, NDAS looks like nothing more than a simple backup-to-cloud tool, but dig into how the data is managed and you… Read more »

Podcast #3 – Chris & Matt review the SFD18 presenters

Here’s a little extra podcast Matt Leib and I recorded this afternoon in preparation for Storage Field Day 18.  You can tell this wasn’t recorded in a studio, but actually Matt’s hotel room!  Matt preps coffee in his mini-Nespresso device while we discuss each of the presenting vendors. The discussion is ad-hoc, off the cuff… Read more »

The Need for APIs in Storage and Data Protection

The idea of programmatically managing infrastructure provides capabilities to scale, manage and control technology much more effectively than can be achieved through manual methods.  But the use of APIs means so much more than simply providing an interface that can be automated.  APIs introduce greater efficiency and accountability into storage platforms.  We look at how… Read more »

  • Storage Field Day 10 Preview: Cloudian

    This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Storage Field Day 10, occurring 25th-27th May 2016 in Silicon Valley, 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 Storage Field Day 10 page… Read more »

  • One (Storage) Protocol to Rule Them All?

    One of the questions posed to the “ask me anything” storage panel at this week’s TECHunplugged event was whether we will ever see a single storage protocol develop.  This is an interesting idea and with the move to object storage, seems to have some merit.  However as always with technology, the answer “it depends” seems… Read more »

  • Reminder: TECHunplugged London Returns

    Just a quick post to remind any readers that TECHunplugged returns to London this Thursday, 12th May.  It’s not too late to register; attendance is free for end users, with a small charge for vendors.  Details below: Overview and Eventbrite tickets registration: Link Agenda: Link As usual I will be talking about storage but focusing… Read more »

  • Long Term Evaluation: Scale Computing HC3

    For about the last 6 months I’ve been working on a long term evaluation of Scale Computing’s HC3 platform.  I was fortunate to be given a cluster of three nodes to use as I choose and today this system forms the main part of my lab environment.  For those not familiar, HC3 is a scale-out… Read more »

  • EMC Unity or VNX3? What’s in a Name?

    The big announcement at EMC World this week has been VNX3 or EMC Unity as we now have to call it.  The EMC Marketing Reality Distortion Field is in full effect, with EMC at pains to claim that Unity is a brand new product “designed from the ground up”, yet appears to be significantly based on… Read more »

  • IBM Reuses Existing Tech in Latest FlashSystem Release

    This week IBM announced three new flash products, two of which are based on existing technology.  Mainframe/Power customers got the all-flash DS8888, with the A9000 and A9000R models covering the rest of the market.  What’s interesting about these latter two products is that they are based on Spectrum Accelerate, otherwise known as the software behind… Read more »

  • The Four Stages of All-Flash Storage

    This week has seen yet more stories and announcements on all-flash storage.  IBM released new FlashSystem products based on XIV and an all-flash version of their mainframe/enterprise platform, the DS8888.  I had another briefing from Violin (although that didn’t reveal anything new) and rumours started to swirl that X-IO Technologies might be stepping away from the AFA business…. Read more »

  • When Did Hard Drives Get Workload Rate Limits?

    A recent article on The Register reminded me that we’ve started to see hard drive vendors introducing warranty limits on their hard drives for the amount of data that can be written to them in any one year.  Solid state drives have always had this restriction, because we know that flash is damaged by being… Read more »

  • A Quick Comment on IBM FlashSystem

    It’s been pointed out to me from time to time that I don’t give IBM a fair mention when talking about all-flash systems.  According to Gartner, IBM are in the top right quadrant of the AFA MQ and therefore classed as leaders and visionaries.  So, let’s spend a few moments to discuss their strategy and products. TMS IBM… Read more »