The Shifting Storage Investment Paradigm

The standard evolution for startup vendors in the storage market has been to create a product, build a customer base and wait to be acquired or float the company in an IPO.  Some companies have been more successful than others.  XtremIO for example was acquired very early – great for the VCs that put up… Read more »

Is AWS Moving to Private Cloud with Snowball Edge and EC2?

At a recent AWS Summit in New York, Amazon Web Services announced the availability of EC2 on Snowball Edge devices.  Does this move represent a challenge for private cloud and could it be the start of a hybrid strategy for the company? Snowball Edge In case you’ve not seen it before, the Snowball is a… Read more »

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 »

Latest
  • 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 »

  • PernixData FVP – Feature or Platform?

    A couple of weeks ago I was briefed on the latest technology to come out of PernixData; a software suite known as Architect, which provides insight into the I/O workload of virtual machines in a VMware vSphere environment.  The company’s previous (and still current) product is FVP, a caching software layer for the hypervisor that… Read more »

  • Standard SSDs or Custom NAND Modules?

    At VMworld last week I took part in a Tech Field Day presentation from Violin Memory, one of the earliest all-flash array start-ups.  Violin are “relaunching” the company, following on from many senior management changes and a lot of work to make their products more relevant.  One point of discussion (specifically from me) was whether… Read more »

  • Kaminario Releases K2 v5.5 With $1/GB Price Point

    Last week Kaminario Inc, a start-up vendor of all-flash storage solutions released an upgrade to their K2 platform.  The release, introduces three main new features: 3D TLC NAND, achieving a $1/GB price point (usable). Native data asynchronous replication, based on snapshots. A feature called “Perpetual Array” to take some of the operational and financial cost… Read more »

  • Flash Economics: Choosing The Right SSD

    This post first appeared on the Kaminario Blog – http://kaminario.com/blog/flash-economics-choosing-right-ssd/ At a superficial level, it’s easy to assume that all solid-state disks (SSDs) are the same. In reality, that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. SSDs continue to evolve and are dividing into a broad product category, in much the same way that hard disk… Read more »