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
  • NetApp: The Inflexibility of Flexvols

    I’ve just been reading up on Data ONTAP 8.0 as part of some ongoing work I’m doing.  You may be aware that version 8.0 of the filer operating system brings two major features; 64-bit support and the (sort of) integration of the Spinnaker code to create the multi-node version of ONTAP (called cluster mode). The… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: The Slow Demise of The Hard Drive

    Yesterday Nimbus Data Systems announced the release of their S-Class storage array.  What’s different about this storage device is that it uses purely NAND memory rather than traditional spinning disk.  With it’s arrival, we’re seeing another nail in the coffin of the traditional hard drive. OK, so the S-Class isn’t going to replace hard drives… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing – Death of Tiering?

    I’m not the first to post on the subject of Netapp’s President and CEO Tom Georgens commenting during their latest earnings call on the apparent death of tiering as we know it today. In Netapp’s view, there will be no tiering of storage in the future.  Instead we will be using SATA drives for our… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: Thin Provisioning and The Cookie Monster!

    The Gestalt IT Field Day was a great success in bringing together a mixture of delegates from varying discplines. Following the presentations from 3Par and Symantec, there was heated debate about the implementation of Thin Provisioning and the ability to reclaim released storage resources. This post covers the basic concepts of Thin Provisioning and more… Read more »

  • Enterprise Computing: Why Thin Provisioning Is Not The Holy Grail for Utilisation

    Thin Provisioning (Dynamic Provisioning, Virtual Provisioning, or whatever you prefer to call it) is being heavily touted as a method of reducing storage costs.  Whilst at the outset it seems to provide some significant storage savings, it isn’t the answer for all our storage ills. What is it Thin Provisioning (TP) is a way of reducing… Read more »

  • Whatever Happened to Hybrid Drives?

    Over 18 months ago, I discussed in a post (here) the Hybrid Storage Alliance who were looking to increase the performance of hard drives by adding large amounts of flash to each device. But where are they now? A quick check on their website shows precious little information. In fact what’s on offer seems to… Read more »

  • Invista

    There’s been a few references to Invista over the last couple of weeks, notably from Barry discussing the “stealth announcement”. I commented on Barry’s blog that I felt Invista had been a failure, due to the number of sales. I’m not quite sure why this is so, as I think that virtualisation in the fabric… Read more »