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 »

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 »

Latest
  • The Burden of Technical Debt

    As the issues at TSB continue to unfold, I look on at an IT problem that will likely never be fully explained and eventually disappear into the archives as yet another “computer glitch”.  Why does it keep happening, what’s wrong with the industry and how can we do better next time? Experience Who am I… Read more »

  • NetApp embraces cloud for future business growth

    Technology is a fickle business and surviving more than a few short years is hard to achieve.  The industry changes very quickly, as the next greatest thing consigns solutions and products to being legacy, even if they are still running many organisations’ core business.  Storage has evolved to be a major part of any IT… Read more »

  • Why HCI Data Protection is Different

    When so many businesses are totally dependent on their digital information, data protection becomes a key requirement for every IT organisation.  The way in which we implement technology changes almost daily and this affects the choices on how we protect it.  Where 20 years ago the standard model for deployment was based on physical servers,… Read more »

  • Droplet Computing delivers universal app virtualisation

    The IT world is great at delivering technically elegant solutions that intrigue and pique my (and others) interest.  In recent years the entire virtualisation and containers movements have been good examples of this.  Producing something technically interesting doesn’t always lead to a solution that benefits the business.  However, in the case of Droplet Computing, the… Read more »

  • Building a Model of Hybrid Cloud

    For the past few months, I’ve been working with the idea of building a model for the adoption of hybrid cloud.  Some people may say that hybrid is already here, but I think what we see today is a set of tactical implementations.  Instead, we need a bolder vision of what the use of hybrid… Read more »

  • Comtrade Software Becomes HYCU and releases HYCU 3.0

    Data protection has featured heavily on the blog over the past few months.  Solutions are moving on from the traditional self-build of the last 15 years to more targeted software and appliances.  Another company doing something different with data protection is HYCU, formerly Comtrade Software.  The company recently rebranded and released version 3.0 of their… Read more »

  • What is a Forklift Upgrade?

    Technology terms get dropped into conversations in the storage industry, with perhaps little explanation of where they come from. Forklift Upgrade is one example.  What does it mean and what’s the context behind it? Legacy Storage If you look back 10-15 years ago, the process of replacing storage was pretty arduous.  Although Fibre Channel as… Read more »

  • The Three Facets of Backup

    All technology evolves over time and backup is no different.  I started protecting data with tapes – the kind that are stored on reels as shown in this lovely picture I took at the Computer History Museum recently.  While at Cloud Field Day 3 last week we saw three different facets to how backup is… Read more »

  • AWS Introduces Cheaper, Less Reliable S3 Option

    Amazon Web Services recently introduced a new class of S3 Object storage called S3 One-Zone Infrequent Access.  This extends the options for S3 to four levels of availability and associated cost.  What is the point of introducing another option and what could it be used for? S3 Options Until now there were three S3 classes. … Read more »