The Shifting Storage Investment Paradigm

The standard evolution for startup vendors in the storage market has been to create a product, build a customer base and wait to be acquired or float the company in an IPO.  Some companies have been more successful than others.  XtremIO for example was acquired very early – great for the VCs that put up… Read more »

Is AWS Moving to Private Cloud with Snowball Edge and EC2?

At a recent AWS Summit in New York, Amazon Web Services announced the availability of EC2 on Snowball Edge devices.  Does this move represent a challenge for private cloud and could it be the start of a hybrid strategy for the company? Snowball Edge In case you’ve not seen it before, the Snowball is a… Read more »

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 »

Latest
  • Defining Software Defined Storage

    The term Software Defined Storage has generally accepted within IT as a process for delivering storage without the lock-in of hardware from the vendor.  How has our understanding of the term evolved over recent years? It’s easy to use the examples of server virtualisation and networking as reasons why thinking of storage virtualisation for SDS… Read more »

  • Review: AWS Storage Gateway

    Cloud Storage Gateways provide the ability to write data directly into a cloud service/storage provider, either via a physical or virtual onsite appliance.  There are many vendors in the marketplace today and some are making serious money, (as reported by Chris Mellor today in The Register).  Amazon Web Services, seen as a leader in Infrastructure… Read more »

  • Violin Memory acquires Gridiron Systems

    Yesterday, Violin announced that they have acquired Gridiron Systems, a vendor of cache acceleration hardware and software.  At the outset it may seem odd that an all-flash vendor would want to acquire a company offering acceleration for traditional arrays, however this could be a very smart deal indeed in a number of ways. Software is… Read more »

  • Storage QoS – How Hard Can It Be?

    Following up from yesterday’s post and the comments received, I thought it was worth considering how hard it would actually be to implement quality of service within a storage array. Almost all storage arrays available today (whether physical or virtual) work on the assumption that I/O should be delivered as fast as possible.  This is… Read more »

  • Storage QoS In The Cloud

    Last year I did some research and wrote up a couple of posts on Cloud Compute performance.  One feature that seems to get left out somewhat is storage I/O performance; the cloud offerings talk about capacity, but rarely reference performance. Recently, I reviewed the options available from the major providers and found two new storage performance offerings…. Read more »

  • Vendor Lock-in with Cloud Storage – Good or Bad?

    There have been two interesting and contrasting announcements covering cloud storage in the last couple of weeks.  The first was NetApp, who have announced “NetApp Private Storage for AWS”.  which seems to a proprietary way of replicating data into the AWS cloud.  The second comes from Nirvanix and Violin Memory; Violin have deployed their all-SSD… Read more »

  • The Evolution of Solid State Arrays

    In the first wave of solid-state storage arrays, we saw commodity style SSDs (solid state drives) being added to traditional storage appliances.  This solution provided an incremental benefit in performance over spinning hard drives, however the back-end technology in these arrays was developed up to 20 years ago and was purely focused around driving performance… Read more »

  • VMware vVOLS – More Than Just Individual LUNs?

    During the VMware keynote session today there was a minor discussion on the upcoming concept of VMware vVOLS.  Today, a virtual machine sits on a VMFS created on a storage LUN or on an NFS share.  An individual virtual machine consists of many files and in the case of VMFS-based VMs, is sitting on a… Read more »

  • Optimising Storage Architectures for SSD

    Last week I attended Hitachi’s 2012 Blogger Day.  Aside from catching up with some old friends, we were presented with some NDA stuff which will see the light of day soon.  In the meantime, I want to talk about a press release Hitachi made while I was still on holiday (and clearly missed as I… Read more »