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TwinStrata wrestles Nasuni in the cloud-gateway Jell-O pool

Cloud storage gateway start-up TwinStrata is back with an updated version of its CloudArray product - 4.0. And while it claims the new kit is the first cloud-integrated storage product to natively support both network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area network (SAN) protocols, we think Nasuni might beg to differ... …
Chris Mellor, 06 Nov 2012

EMC embraces benchmarks

EMC has started getting enthusiastic about benchmarks, the latest being SPECsfs2008-nfs v3. It submitted a Celerra VG8 Gateway system - that's a NAS head sitting atop either Symmetrix VMAX or CLARiiON Fibre Channel storage. This VG8 is a bit of a monster with up to eight data movers, called X-Blades, which contain 6-core Xeon …
Chris Mellor, 31 Aug 2010

EMC chugs down flash freshman XtremIO for $430m

Israeli business newspaper Globes is reporting EMC has bought Israeli-headquarted NAND array startup XtremIO for $430m, giving EMC boss Joe Tucci a nice flashy toy to brandish at EMC World in Las Vegas later this month. That's a heck of a payout for investors who have put just $25m into the startup which has not yet shipped a …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2012
CacheIQ's Rapid Cache

NetApp bags CacheIQ for secret cash sum

After last quarter's disappointing fall in revenues and profits, NetApp's latest quarterly results showed annual revenue growth and a profits recovery. Separately, the perked-up NetApp has just bought CacheIQ, a cache-based filer accelerating technology start-up, for a secret sum. The Austin, Texas company had placed a redirect …
Chris Mellor, 15 Nov 2012
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Spinnaker vets strike out on storage adventure

Avere, a 2008 startup founded by Spinnaker vets from NetApp, has developed a system which attempts to combine the performance of solid state drives with the low cost of hard disk drives, in an architecture that dynamically tiers data onto the most appropriate media. That sounds like Compellent, dynamically moving data blocks on …
Chris Mellor, 03 Aug 2009
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Sony Pictures virtualises filers

Sony Pictures Imageworks, the special effects company behind Alice in Wonderland 3D, is virtualising its filers behind Avere appliances. SPI has been in the computer-generated imagery (CGI) field since 1992 and worked on movies such as Die Hard With A Vengeance and Anger Management. It has a digital animation studio in Culver …
Chris Mellor, 02 Mar 2010
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DataCore adds NAS head, high-availability

DataCore has added NAS acceleration and high-availability to its SANsymphony-V product. The basic configuration is two mirrored servers. SANsymphony-V software runs in each server with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and its built-in NAS services, Hyper-V, and Microsoft's Clustered File Share functions, and provides a thinly- …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2011
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Alacritech apprehends an NFS anomaly

Alacritech claims NFS filer I/O is grossly skewed towards reads and suffers from read metadata processing that chokes controller CPUs. It has just launched its ANX 1500 filer accelerating cache product based on its recognition of NFS read metadata filer I/O loads that can overwhelm filer processors and delay file delivery. A …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jan 2011
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Violin Memory gobbles up Gear6

Violin Memory, which makes network-attached flash memory arrays, has bought Gear6, a web and NFS caching technology company. We might see a flash NAS as a result. Gear6 is a four-year-old startup that supplied Memcached software and also NFS caching. The former is an open source, distributed memory caching system that stores …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jun 2010
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Is StorSpeed grinding to a halt?

The future of filer cacher StorSpeed appears unclear after it emerged that key execs had left the firm amidst rumours it failed to actually shift any kit. It launched its SP5000 caching appliance last October. This was juicy hardware with up to six clustered 2U caching nodes featuring FPGA go-faster hardware and solid state …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2010
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DRAM, Flash in same box named after killer mountain

You can now buy a tiered solid state device with both DRAM and flash because Kaminario has added Fusion-io flash to its DRAM-based K2 storage box. Kaminario introduced its K2 solid state storage device using DRAM last year, competing with DRAM RamSans from Texas Memory Systems. A flash option was quietly introduced earlier this …
Chris Mellor, 13 Sep 2011
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BlueArc extending its circle

Having started out at the high-end NAS level with Titan and secured its mid-range offering with Mercury, BlueArc is now set on introducing a low-end product. The company produces FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) hardware-accelerated, network-attached storage (NAS) products with the ability to cluster up to eight Titans …
Chris Mellor, 24 Mar 2010
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BlueArc gets extra greenbacks

BlueArc, the hardware-accelerated NAS array supplier startup, has pocketed another $20m in a seventh funding round, taking total funding to around $225m. The company was started up in 1998 and, 12 years later, still isn't able to stand on its own feet and make profits. Its use of FPGA hardware to accelerate NAS (network-attached …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2010
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Exanet exit-bound despite Dell's efforts

Exanet, a clustered NAS systems vendor, appears to be heading for the off-ramp after a Dell-led rescue deal foundered. The Isreali paper reports that the firm is set to liquidate itself, barring a last minute capital injection. Dr. Giora Yaron told Globes the firm and Dell were unable to agree on the finer points of a rescue …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2009
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Isilon flashes up NAS clusters

Isilon, which makes scale-out NAS clusters up to 10PB in size, is turbo-charging them by adding NAND flash to speed metadata operations. The company's S-Series and X-Series product lines will have STEC flash drives added to hold file metadata, with user data files stored on hard disk drives as before. This will enable Isilon to …
Chris Mellor, 11 Feb 2010

Will the titans of storage decide to flash their bits?

The fundamental decision facing most of the online storage industry is whether to use spinning or flashing bits or both. Flashing bit growth, solid state NAND storage, is booming and set to grow strongly. Why aren't Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital, the spinning disk-supplying tri-opoly, as successful with flash drives as …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jul 2012
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StorSpeed pushes delicious filer flash cacher

Startup Storspeed has launched an application-aware clustered file caching product: the SP5000. The aim is to correct a claimed imbalance between a server's hunger for data and the storage subsystem's inability to deliver it fast enough. Like Avere and Symantec with FileStore, and Dataram for block access, StorSpeed says it …
Chris Mellor, 09 Oct 2009
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Symantec dips toe into hardware water

Symantec is almost in the hardware business; the Huawei-Symantec joint-venture is launching one networking and two storage boxes today. Huawei-Symantec (HS) was set up in 2008 and has established a presence in north America. General manager for their North American operations, Jane Li, said: "We are committed to helping North …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2010
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Data Direct offers native file system

DataDirect, a shipper of very high-speed block-access storage to the high performance computing (HPC) and media worlds, is now offering native file access. The company has seen the way two winds are blowing. The first is that multi-core commodity CPUs are outpacing what it can do with its in-house FPGA hardware. The second wind …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2009
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Flash and the five-minute rule

"Flash is a better disk ... and disk is a better tape." So said distinguished Microsoft engineer Jim Gray in 2006. A few years before then he had formulated his famous five-minute rule of thumb, which said that it is better to cache disk-held data in DRAM if it was going to be re-used in five minutes or less. The idea was that …
Chris Mellor, 19 May 2010
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Where are the next storage startup stars?

Have we witnessed the end of an era? Has the great storage company growth boom ended with a series of big bang acquisitions: 3PAR, Archivas, Compellent, Data Domain, Diligent, EqualLogic, Isilon, LeftHand Networks, Ocarina, Storwize and more? Over the last five years a whole swathe of up-and-coming storage companies has been …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2011
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EMC blows CIFS benchmark away

EMC has blown a CIFS benchmark away with a result 2.7 times better than the previous record, but why is it bothering? The only other suppliers on the list are Apple, Fujitsu and Silicon Graphics. The benchmark is the SPECsfs2008 CIFS file access benchmark. There is a similar benchmark for NFS which is much more popular in terms …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2010
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Storage shop ParaScale shrinks itself

Cloud file storage supplier ParaScale has failed to raise funds in a B-round and is having to cut costs and conserve its dwindling cash. The company has cancelled its external PR contract and an unspecified number of people are to leave the company. This includes Marketing and Business Development VP Jack Norris, who was just …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jun 2010
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Which storage technologies and vendors will fly in 2011?

At this turning point of the year, as Dell wraps up Compellent and InSite One, and Atrato slides under the waves, it's timely to look ahead at the storage world in 2011 and ask que sera? Data growth and storage demand is seemingly unstoppable, and new storage tech has advanced quite a bit in 2010. Things are looking good for the …
Chris Mellor, 24 Dec 2010
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Intel and Micron get flash process lead

Intel and Micron have jumped to a 25nm NAND flash process, shrinking cell size and raising wafer yields. They'll use their lead to raise profit margins instead of lowering prices. The two companies manufacture flash chips through a joint-venture, Intel Micron Flash Technologies, 49 per cent owned by Intel and 51 per cent by …
Chris Mellor, 01 Feb 2010