Software Defining Your Storage

There is a lot of talk in the technology industry of “software defining”, the idea that elements of our technology stack, traditionally based on a hardware appliance can be abstracted from it and made available as a software-only appliance that can be installed on any hardware.  But why? Wouldn’t you rather your key assets were… Read more »

The Renaissance of Data ONTAP

The genesis of NetApp, initially known as Network Appliance is ONTAP or Data ONTAP.  NetApp developed the ONTAP “storage operating system” to run on their original filer platforms.  It’s amazing to think the underlying technology from 1992 still drives the majority of their storage platforms today.  How has ONTAP managed to survive so long and… Read more »

The need for self-describing secondary data

As primary data becomes ever more portable, we need to ensure that our backups have the same levels of flexibility to be moved, stored and used wherever we need them.  Why is this important, and what features should we look out for? Data Protection in a Multi-Cloud World The Need for APIs in Storage and… Read more »

Can the WekaIO Matrix file system be faster than DAS?

There’s a standard adage in the storage industry.  If you want lower latency and better performance, then move storage closer to the processor.  Typically, this means implementing DAS – Direct Attached Storage – and eliminating a shared network.  So how can WekaIO Matrix, a distributed scale-out file system claim to be better than DAS yet… Read more »

Pure Storage ObjectEngine for Flash-based Backup

Back in August 2018, Pure Storage announced the acquisition of StorReduce, a start-up company with a nifty data de-duplication engine.  That technology has been put to good use and now appears in ObjectEngine, a backup-to-flash data protection solution. StorReduce As previously highlighted, I looked at StorReduce in 2015 and was quite positive about the technology. … Read more »

VAST Data launches with new scale-out storage platform

“Build it and they will come” they say, or at least, something similar.  So, Vast Data has built a new scale-out storage platform and hopes that customers will flock to adopt it.  It’s 2019 – do we need another scale-out storage architecture? Amelioration I’m sure when we reflect on products that have gone before, we… Read more »

Pure Storage announces NVMe-oF support for FlashArray

Pure Storage recently announced support for NVMe over Fabrics on FlashArray.  The technology is implemented by an upgrade to Purity (the platform O/S) and installation of RDMA-capable Ethernet NICs.  Pure has chosen to go with Ethernet as the first NVMe fabric offering, while other vendors have chosen the Fibre Channel route.  How has this choice… Read more »

Exploiting secondary data with NDAS from NetApp

Occasionally a technology leaps out at you, not for the current capabilities, but for potential future value.  That’s a feeling I had when I heard about NDAS or NetApp Data Availability Services.  At first glance, NDAS looks like nothing more than a simple backup-to-cloud tool, but dig into how the data is managed and you… Read more »

Podcast #3 – Chris & Matt review the SFD18 presenters

Here’s a little extra podcast Matt Leib and I recorded this afternoon in preparation for Storage Field Day 18.  You can tell this wasn’t recorded in a studio, but actually Matt’s hotel room!  Matt preps coffee in his mini-Nespresso device while we discuss each of the presenting vendors. The discussion is ad-hoc, off the cuff… Read more »

The Need for APIs in Storage and Data Protection

The idea of programmatically managing infrastructure provides capabilities to scale, manage and control technology much more effectively than can be achieved through manual methods.  But the use of APIs means so much more than simply providing an interface that can be automated.  APIs introduce greater efficiency and accountability into storage platforms.  We look at how… Read more »

Latest
  • A New Paradigm for Computing

    The Christmas 2015 edition of Magpi magazine created a world’s first – an entire computer given away on the front of a magazine.  A free Raspberry Pi Zero is certainly a step up from a disk of software, or even the annoying AOL CDs that we know from years gone by.  This is an entire functional… Read more »

  • Do we need Storage QoS?

    I recently had a discussion with a vendor (who shall remain nameless) as to whether we really needed Quality of Service in shared storage arrays.  His thinking went as follows; if we have a storage array and network with sufficient bandwidth/IOPS, then why bother implementing QoS?  At first this seems like a reasonable assumption; if… Read more »

  • All Storage is Commodity

    Yesterday as part of the first A3 Tech Live event, I sat through a presentation from Memblaze, a vendor of NVMe and PCIe flash storage products.  Although the conversation was good natured and “robust”, I couldn’t help feeling that the company (like so many others in this market) have little to differentiate their products, other… Read more »

  • The Move to 3D-NAND for All-Flash Storage Vendors

    This week has seen two announcements from flash array vendors that are moving to support 3D-NAND technology in their products. On Tuesday Pure Storage announced that 3D TLC NAND would be supported in their FlashArray//m platform from 1Q2016. The new drives will increase capacity from around 30-40TB to 60TB per rack unit (depending on the… Read more »

  • Conflating Reliability and Endurance in SSDs

    Last week I sat through a presentation by Samsung on the evolution of their DRAM and flash business. One question raised by a journalist in the room related to the reliability of flash drives. The presenter proceeded to talk about the industry and how endurance means flash has a finite lifetime, one which now varies… Read more »

  • Dell Acquiring EMC – The Federation

    This is the second of a series of posts on the pending acquisition of EMC by Dell. One of the biggest features of the modern EMC has been the idea of a federation of independent businesses, established when EMC acquired VMware in 2004 (although public shares weren’t released to the market until 2007). EMC (more… Read more »

  • Dell Acquiring EMC – The Facts

    As I’m not a journalist, I don’t have a need to leap in and make commentary when big announcements/acquisitions are made. Instead I’ve taken the time to look at all of the comments already out there and formulate a more considered opinion. I doubt the acquisition of Dell by EMC has escaped most people’s attention… Read more »

  • PernixData FVP – Feature or Platform?

    A couple of weeks ago I was briefed on the latest technology to come out of PernixData; a software suite known as Architect, which provides insight into the I/O workload of virtual machines in a VMware vSphere environment.  The company’s previous (and still current) product is FVP, a caching software layer for the hypervisor that… Read more »

  • Standard SSDs or Custom NAND Modules?

    At VMworld last week I took part in a Tech Field Day presentation from Violin Memory, one of the earliest all-flash array start-ups.  Violin are “relaunching” the company, following on from many senior management changes and a lot of work to make their products more relevant.  One point of discussion (specifically from me) was whether… Read more »