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
  • EMC Focuses on Services with VMAX3

    Last week EMC announced an upgrade to their flagship Symmetrix high-end enterprise storage platform and the release of VMAX3.  With a maximum capacity of 384 cores and 5760 drives, the new platform scales to capacities never before seen in a single storage array.  What’s possibly more interesting though, is EMC’s intentions with what’s being called… Read more »

  • EMC Announces XtremIO 3.0

    This week EMC held a launch event in London branded “Redefine Possible” covering announcements on VMAX, Islion, XtremIO and some of the software platforms.  This post covers a discussion of the changes to XtremIO. Background XtremIO was a startup company acquired by EMC in 2012, with the first products reaching general availability on 14 November… Read more »

  • Two “New” Hardware Products from Violin Memory

    The ups and downs of Violin Memory’s business has been well documented over the last few months.  With a new CEO and management team in place, the company is coming to market with new products, which they hope will revive their fortunes. Windows Flash Array First for discussion is the Windows Flash Array (WFA).  This… Read more »

  • Getting Started With Docker

    In my previous post, I talked about how Docker fits in with workload virtualisation.  In this post, I’ll look at getting started with Docker itself. Installation In this post I’ll look at the basics of installing Docker and creating a container.  I’ll reference the CentOS distribution initially, with more added as I validate and test… Read more »

  • Cloud as a Tier of Storage

    In my last post I talked about storage tiering and how it has evolved with the advent of new technology and of course the arrival of flash storage to mainstream deployments.  One of the comments on that post indicated that I’d excluded Cloud as a tier of storage.  Now, there are two ways to look… Read more »

  • Understanding Tiered Storage

    This week I noticed a conversation taking place on Twitter discussing the subject of tiered storage.  The understanding of why tiered storage developed and why it is used today seems to be somewhat misunderstood, so perhaps it’s time for an update on this technology. Background Given infinite resources and infinite budget, all data would be… Read more »

  • Using SSD for Write-Intensive Workloads

    Yesterday I appeared as a guest speaker on a BrightTalk Webinar covering storage for Big Data.  One subject raised was the suitability of flash (SSD) over hard drives for write-intensive workloads.  The comments from another speaker implied that SSDs aren’t good with write intensive workloads as this wears the devices out too quickly.  Hard drives… Read more »

  • SanDisk Acquires Fusion-io

    It has been widely reported and confirmed through a press release, that Fusion-io is to be acquired by SanDisk at a value of around $11.25 per share in cash with the deal expected to close this year.  Assuming everything goes through, this closes a chapter on a flash storage company who’s IPO has failed to… Read more »

  • Flash News: Tegile, Nimble, Fusion-io and 3PAR

    Another week goes by and more news on flash storage arrives in my inbox.  This week we’re talking about Tegile Systems Inc, Nimble Storage Inc, Fusion-io and HP’s 3PAR line of arrays. Tegile Launch Intelliflash If you’re not doing things intelligently with flash, you’re not doing it right, as we will see from these announcements…. Read more »