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
  • Avoiding The Forklift Upgrade – Kaminario Guest Post

    I’ve recently started working with Kaminario, an all-flash array startup vendor and will be publishing a series of posts and papers on the Kaminario site.  I’ll also be linking them here for convenience.  The first post covers scale-out architectures as a way to avoid the continual replacement of technology – the so called forklift upgrade…. Read more »

  • Nutanix Goes After Private Cloud with XCP

    This week Nutanix held their .NEXT conference in sunny Miami, around plenty of anticipation for what was to be announced.  In the hyper-converged market-place there’s not a lot of love lost between the incumbents like VMware and the upstarts like Nutanix, as can be seen from recent blog posts that play on the polarisation of… Read more »

  • HP Expands 3PAR Range with New 20800 Arrays

      In what has become somewhat of a tradition at HP Discover, the HP 3PAR StoreServ platforms were extended this week with the announcements of new products and features, including the massively scalable 20800 series.  HP released two new models: 20800 “Converged Flash” – a hybrid system, scaling up to eight nodes, 33.8TB of cache,… Read more »

  • Pure Storage Announces New Hardware Platform – FlashArray//m

      This week has been an interesting one in the world of all-flash storage.  Both Pure Storage and HP have announcements; this post covers Pure and their new “FlashArray//m”. The new FlashArray//m platform is touted as a “modular upgradeable architecture” and claims to deliver 50% increase in performance, 2.6-fold increase in storage density and a… Read more »

  • SFD7: Exablox – Scale-Out Object Storage for NAS

    Exablox is one of those companies I’ve followed for some time and it was great to see them presenting at Storage Field Day 7 earlier this year.  The company sells a scale-out NAS platform, supporting the CIFS, SMB and NFS protocols, making it a perfect file server environment for small and medium enterprises. Technology View… Read more »

  • Rumours of Cisco Acquiring Nutanix – Hyper-Converged Consolidation?

    According to Jared Rinderer, via an article that appears in Storage Newsletter, Cisco is on the verge of making a bid to acquire Nutanix, a vendor of hyper-converged systems.  The rumour has been quashed by none other than Nutanix CEO Deeraj Pandey, via an article on The Var Guy website.  In fact, Pandey intimated that… Read more »

  • Why VSAN and VVOLs are Not Software Defined

    Every so often another attempt is made by the vendor community to put a definition to what we call “software defined storage” or SDS.  The current discussion is on VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) and VVOLs, software features focused on storage within the vSphere hypervisor ecosystem. This seems like a good opportunity for me to review what… Read more »

  • SFD7 – Primary Data and Data Virtualisation

    Storage virtualisation is a technology that is well established in our industry.  In the current “x86” era, I’ve been using and talking about it for over 10 years, using it to reduce costs, extend the life of older assets and in data migration. All of the original storage virtualisation solutions (with the exception of Invista) sat… Read more »

  • vSphere vDS SPAN port with Wireshark in 2 minutes

    I often find myself searching for facts to dispel “hearsay” and guesswork in troubleshooting discussions between the Network and Windows VM teams.  This article is intended to show just how straightforward it is to use the VMware distributed switch SPAN port capability, to put a virtual sniffer on a virtual port on a virtual distributed… Read more »