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
  • Pure Storage Raises a Further $225m for a $3B Valuation

    Pure Storage announced today that they have raised a further $255 million in a round F investment.  This puts the total raised by the company so far to $470 million for a valuation of $3 billion.  So far the funds raised have been: Series A – $5m, October 2009 Series B – $20m, August 2010… Read more »

  • Has NetApp Reached a Strategic Inflection Point?

    Chris Mellor recently covered IDC’s quarterly disk shipment report, which measures the market leaders in enterprise storage.  As Chris points out, NetApp continues to decline, with reduced revenue over the last three quarters.  I’ve talked for some time about NetApp reaching an inflection point with Data ONTAP, their storage array operating system.  Has the legacy of… Read more »

  • VMware’s Virtual and Physical SAN Misdirection

    I almost fell off my chair laughing as I read this post by Chuck Hollis that talks about using vSphere VSAN (Virtual SAN) with external storage arrays.  Is it the rantings of someone clinging onto the vestiges of a former life, or perhaps it’s a veiled way for VMware to start unravelling their failed VVOL… Read more »

  • Changing Consumption Models in Enterprise Storage

    Anyone who is involved in purchasing enterprise or midrange storage will recognise the story being painted in a recent blog post on the Pure Storage website.  The post introduces the concept of “Forever Flash” by first discussing the way in which storage is typically purchased. It’s true that vendors have manipulated the storage refresh cycle… Read more »

  • Goodbye Virsto

    With effect from 1st January 2014, VMware have announced that their Virsto acquisition is end of life and no longer available for purchase.  The brief statement released by the company indicates that support will continue until September 2015. I first looked at Virsto in 2011 with a brief review in a post that compared the… Read more »

  • The Maturing of Flash Storage

    It’s interesting reading the comments that we’re added to my post of last week, discussing the summary of all flash arrays, initially started by Vaughn Stewart and continued by HP storage guy Calvin Zito. Unsurprisingly, most of the negativity came from EMC and their resellers, who are defending a late entrance into the market.  They… Read more »

  • XtremIO: What You Need to Know (Updated)

    With much anticipation, EMC has finally gone GA on their all-flash array, XtremIO, based on the former company of the same name they acquired in May 2012.  The eighteen months that have elapsed since then has seen the rise of an number of competitors and a lot of rumour, discussion and teaser presentations from EMC… Read more »

  • Avere Systems Embraces Cloud with Cloud NAS

    Cloud storage is a popular subject these days, with some good and some bad examples out there.  The appeal is obvious – data needs to be retained somewhere, whether it is of the primary, backup or archive flavour.  Being able to do that at low cost (especially when a large percentage of that data is… Read more »

  • What EMC Should Have Done With VNX

    My last post discussed the issues with EMC’s strategy around the marketing of their new VNX platform.  Some people will think picking holes in a vendor’s strategy is easy writing, so for those of that persuasion, I’ve taken the time to look at EMC’s portfolio and express an opinion on where EMC should go next…. Read more »