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 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 »

MAX Data: Optimising Application Performance with SCM

As the slowest part of the computing architecture, persistent storage is in a constant battle to improve performance.  That goal has moved from being focused on throughput a few decades ago to one of reducing latency as low as possible.  To that end, NVM Express and NVMe over Fabrics have become an area of focus… Read more »

Latest
  • More Thoughts on Storage Performance – Measuring with Load DynamiX

    In a previous post, I wrote about how improvements in storage performance have been achieved through changes to software.  Vendors like DataCore and Nutanix have implemented significant improvements that are in some cases quite remarkable.  As the storage market diverges into dozen’s of vendor platforms, how can end users validate the claims vendors are making?  Verifying vendor… Read more »

  • Fixing Storage Performance with Software

    This week I’ve had two interesting briefings that talked about significant storage performance improvements which have been achieved through storage updates.  The first was from DataCore, a long time storage virtualisation company that has been in the industry for 20 years.  The second was from Nutanix, which released a series of updates as part of AOS 4.6… Read more »

  • VSAN 6.2 – Is it RAID or Erasure Coding?

    Update: The day after this post was released, VMware issued a clarification post on the Virtual Blocks website.  The post pretty much summarises what is written here, with a little more detail, although it doesn’t look like erasure coding in VSAN will be extended past the 3+1 and  4+2 schemes.  You can find the post… Read more »

  • Bi-Modal IT – A Double-Edged Sword?

    Today’s business world necessitates that IT organisations deliver to an agenda of agility and flexibility.  The business demands that the IT function adopts and embraces new technologies, with a speed that makes the process challenging for all but the most effective CIOs.  One approach to meeting these demanding business requirements is that of Bimodal IT…. Read more »

  • Hyper-convergence and Private Cloud

    Hyper-convergence has been one of the biggest IT trends of the last 24 months, with start-ups and existing technology vendors offering a suite of hardware and software solutions.  Many have conflated hyper-convergence and private cloud to mean one way of deploying and managing IT infrastructure and applications.  Although there are many similarities between the two… Read more »

  • Home Lab: Building VM Images

    I’ve been doing some recent work on building virtual machine images to a position where I can pretty much automate the whole process from end-to-end.  My favourite route is to use PXE booting and I’ve had builds of all the current Linux builds in place for some years.  This also includes automated builds of ESXi… Read more »

  • Is it time for VMware to Open Source The ESX Hypervisor?

    VMware’s business may well be at an interesting inflection point.  On the latest earnings call, the company indicated that earnings from core products like vSphere was down, while increased business was coming from VSAN, NSX and apparently vCloud Air.  2016 will apparently be a year of transition as the company moves back to growth in… Read more »

  • Working With Containers #1: Getting Started with Docker

    It’s been some 18 months since I looked at Docker and put out a preliminary post on getting started with the container platform.  Since then, Docker has moved on leaps and bounds to become an entire ecosystem.  In this series of posts I’m going to go back to basics and look at the steps needed… Read more »

  • Tech Field Day 10 Preview: Platform 9

    This is one of a series of brief 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… Read more »