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
  • Primary Storage De-duplication: Only for SSD Arrays?

    I recently wrote an article for TechTarget that looked at the implementations of data de-duplication in primary storage arrays.  One of the things that stood out for me was the lack of de-duplication support in traditional (and some might say legacy) storage arrays. The cynical amongst us would say that the big 5 storage vendors… Read more »

  • What to Watch in Storage for 2012

    As I write this post, 2012 is already 6.3% completed.  So, for the remaining 93.7% of the year, what can we expect the storage themes to be?  What will companies be focused on and what can we expect from the vendors? Data Reduction The recent flooding in Thailand has had everyone on high alert about… Read more »

  • Why Does Microsoft Hyper-V Not Support NFS?

    I recently wrote an article covering storage for virtualisation and was surprised to find out that Microsoft does not support the use of NFS shares with Hyper-V.  At first I thought perhaps I was doing something wrong and that my configuration was in error.  But after a lot of lab testing and eventually finding some… Read more »

  • So Your AWS-based Application is Down? Don’t Blame Amazon

    After a busy day in London I returned home to read the news of issues in one of Amazon’s US data centre locations causing problems with EC2 and database (RDS) instances.  It seems the services of many Internet companies were affected including Reddit, Quora, Hootsuite and FourSquare,  Is it fair that Amazon should shoulder the… Read more »

  • NetApp: The Inflexibility of Flexvols

    I’ve just been reading up on Data ONTAP 8.0 as part of some ongoing work I’m doing.  You may be aware that version 8.0 of the filer operating system brings two major features; 64-bit support and the (sort of) integration of the Spinnaker code to create the multi-node version of ONTAP (called cluster mode). The… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: Thin Provisioning and The Cookie Monster!

    The Gestalt IT Field Day was a great success in bringing together a mixture of delegates from varying discplines. Following the presentations from 3Par and Symantec, there was heated debate about the implementation of Thin Provisioning and the ability to reclaim released storage resources. This post covers the basic concepts of Thin Provisioning and more… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: Why Thin Provisioning Is Not The Holy Grail for Utilisation

    Thin Provisioning (Dynamic Provisioning, Virtual Provisioning, or whatever you prefer to call it) is being heavily touted as a method of reducing storage costs.  Whilst at the outset it seems to provide some significant storage savings, it isn’t the answer for all our storage ills. What is it?   Thin Provisioning (TP) is a way of… Read more »

  • Invista

    There’s been a few references to Invista over the last couple of weeks, notably from Barry discussing the “stealth announcement”. I commented on Barry’s blog that I felt Invista had been a failure, due to the number of sales. I’m not quite sure why this is so, as I think that virtualisation in the fabric… Read more »