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
  • 2014 – The Year of Storage Virtualisation

    Earlier this week I was reading an article in the UK’s Computing magazine, which listed research on key priorities for businesses over the next three years.  The top three items for research were listed as Storage Virtualisation, Desktop Virtualisation and solid state drives (SSDs).  I was interested that 56% of respondents said they were looking… Read more »

  • A Ten Year Flash Array? No Thanks!

    George Crump makes some interesting comments in his recent article on whether today’s breed of all-flash storage arrays could survive for 10 years in the data centre.  Whilst the logic of his comments make sense, I think there’s little desire to be using today’s all flash devices in 10 years’ time. There’s no reason to… Read more »

  • Nimble Storage Reaches Successful IPO – What Next?

    Disclaimer – this post does not constitute financial advice in any way and all information provided is purely for illustrative purposes. Last Friday, which was the 13th and clearly not unlucky for some, Nimble Storage Inc floated on the New York Stock Exchange at an opening price of $21.  The shares did well, closing at… Read more »

  • The Maturing of Flash Storage

    It’s interesting reading the comments that we’re added to my post of last week, discussing the summary of all flash arrays, initially started by Vaughn Stewart and continued by HP storage guy Calvin Zito. Unsurprisingly, most of the negativity came from EMC and their resellers, who are defending a late entrance into the market.  They… Read more »

  • XtremIO: What You Need to Know (Updated)

    With much anticipation, EMC has finally gone GA on their all-flash array, XtremIO, based on the former company of the same name they acquired in May 2012.  The eighteen months that have elapsed since then has seen the rise of an number of competitors and a lot of rumour, discussion and teaser presentations from EMC… Read more »

  • Avere Systems Embraces Cloud with Cloud NAS

    Cloud storage is a popular subject these days, with some good and some bad examples out there.  The appeal is obvious – data needs to be retained somewhere, whether it is of the primary, backup or archive flavour.  Being able to do that at low cost (especially when a large percentage of that data is… Read more »

  • 6TB HGST Helium Drive Continues Move to Two-Tier Storage

    Over the years, hard disk drives have steadily increased their speeds, peaking at 15,000 RPM, with only a fleeting attempt by Western Digital to push the boundaries up to 20K.  As we know, at that point solid-state drives became more viable than faster HDDs and manufacturers have reined back their aspirations.  Recently we’ve seen more… Read more »

  • NFS Vendor Benchmarks – Caveat Emptor

    This week we’ve seen an update on NFS benchmarks with Hitachi announcing their latest results (via Hu’s blog) using HUS File and FMDs (Flash Module Drives).  Of course Hitachi wouldn’t be announcing if they hadn’t beaten EMC with the figures; no-one releases data that makes them look worse, after all.  But what are the data… Read more »

  • The Psychology of Pricing

    It’s been another interesting week in IT.  Following on from recent rumours, Nirvanix have finally publicly announced they are closing down, replacing their website with a single holding page directing customers to IBM.  Yesterday, Violin Memory released their shares to the public and floated on the New York Stock Exchange.  Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot… Read more »