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 »

Avoiding All-Flash Missing IOPS

We are living in a golden age of storage media, where new products come to market offering ever greater performance with lower latency than previous generations.  Today the hard drive and even early flash drives look positively archaic compared to modern NVMe drives built from 3D-XPoint, capable of delivering hundreds of thousands of IOPS and… Read more »

The Race towards End-to-End NVMe in the Data Centre

The next greatest thing in storage hardware is the move to NVMe.  This is occurring in two ways – conversion of internal designs within shared storage platforms to use NVMe at the “back-end”, and front-end (or host connectivity) using NVMe over Fabrics in some form.  Vendors are starting to use the term “end-to-end” NVMe as… Read more »

Micron ushers in the era of QLC SSDs

To date we’ve only seen QLC NAND storage in the consumer SD card format, however, that’s set to change as Micron announces the first QLC SATA SSD for the data centre.  The Micron 5210 ION SSD will deliver up to 7.68TB of capacity in a standard 2.5″, 7mm form factor.  But there’s a catch –… Read more »

Conflating Data Protection and Data Mobility

Sitting on the sidelines, I’ve been watching some of the traffic and communications coming from VeeamON this week.  Chris Mellor just posted a quick article summing up the ambitions of Veeam as a company.  It struck me that we continue to conflate the idea of data protection and data mobility.  To me, these are two… Read more »

NetApp Extends Cloud Volumes to GCP

Following their introduction on Microsoft Azure last year, native NetApp Cloud Volumes are to be made available through Google Cloud Platform.  NetApp now offers Cloud Volumes in some form on the three major (Western) cloud providers, AWS, Azure and GCP.  How should we view this, especially in respect of how cloud services are evolving? Maturity… Read more »

PowerMax, VMAX, XtremIO – the Agony of Choice

Last week Dell EMC announced the next generation of the long-running Symmetrix platform with the release of PowerMax.  This all-NVMe array apparently isn’t a replacement for VMAX (or XtremIO).  However it is yet another decision point in customer choice for all-flash from Dell EMC.  Does the company need another all-flash array or is this just… Read more »

Latest
  • VSAN, VSA or Dedicated Array?

    I don’t normally write blog posts that follow up on other people’s discussions however having seen some of the tweets relating to Nigel’s blog post on VSA versus VSAN, I realised my comments on the subject would stretch to an entire post of their own.  So here it is. The discussion (although I haven’t listened… Read more »

  • SolidFire Raise a Further $82m and Releases 3rd Gen Hardware

    Last week, SolidFire Inc, a startup in the “all-flash array” sector of the storage market announced a further $82 million in funding for the company, bringing their total investment to date to $150 million.  The new funds will be used for further expansion of the company’s business.  As well as raising money, two new hardware… Read more »

  • Hewlett Packard Splits In Two

    Overnight news officially broke that Hewlett Packard Inc is to divide its business into two, focusing on PCs and printing through HP Inc and enterprise services and hardware through a company to be called Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.  Meg Whitman will run one (Hewlett-Packard Enterprise) and chair the other (HP Inc). The idea of spinning off parts… Read more »

  • EMC XtremIO Destructive Upgrade Demonstrates Architecture Matters

    News has emerged about a potential upgrade issue with the latest version of O/S code for the EMC XtremIO all-flash platform.  As discussed in this blog post, the upgrade to XIOS 3.0 is not simply disruptive but is destructive.  According to Chris Mellor’s post, the reason for the destructive nature of the upgrade is to… Read more »

  • VMworld 2014: VAIO – vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering

    One of the more interesting announcements at VMworld 2014 this year was a technology called VAIO or vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering.  This new feature was detailed in session TEX1492 (although I didn’t see it) and will allow 3rd party vendors to insert code in the form of a filter driver and deployed as a… Read more »

  • Why Have VVOLs Taken So Long to Deliver?

    Another VMworld has come and gone and still we haven’t seen the production deployment of VVOLs.  Just to recap, VVOLs are the evolution of the packaging of virtual machines that currently reside in data stores.  The main benefit is to be able to apply storage performance and availability policies to a VM object rather than… Read more »

  • Gartner Reveals Increasingly Irrelevant All Flash Array MQ

    Chris Mellor has posted a new ‘Register article that covers the inaugural Gartner Magic Quadrant for Solid State (or all-flash) Arrays.  It’s an interesting read, with EMC and Pure Storage topping the polls and IBM not far behind.  However as the use of flash within the enterprise has increased, the idea of a magic quadrant… Read more »

  • Another $140m for Nutanix as the Spectre of EVO Rises

    Today Nutanix Inc announced another (series E) round of funding from undisclosed investors to bring the total investment in the company to $312m (see Codex entry for Nutanix for details). There’s no doubting the timing of this announcement is no accident, coming in the same week that VMware announced it’s entry into the hyper-converged market with… Read more »

  • VMware Announces EVO – Hyper-Converged Reference Architectures

    The big announcement so far at VMworld 2014 is the final emergence a new reference architecture called EVO and what was covertly known as Project Mystic or Marvin.  EVO is VMware’s hyper-converged offering to take on the likes of Nutanix, Simplivity and Scale Computing. It’s obvious that VMware sees the idea of hyper-converged solutions as… Read more »