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Boring Christmas

HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

HP has reportedly flicked the switch on its main sites and required employees to take holiday leave between Christmas and New Year, in a move to cut labour and running costs, a source tells us. An operator on HP's switchboard confirmed to El Reg that the company's main sites will be closed until 5 January. The insider told us …
Kat Hall, 29 Dec 2014
StoreServ_7450

Bringing AFA SAN orphans in house

All-flash arrays are SAN orphans, typically operating outside the existing SAN infrastructure and having a hard time of it from the data services angle as a result. Wouldn’t it be much better if they lived inside the existing SAN house rather than being out in the cold, so to speak? Existing enterprise SAN arrays are robust, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Dec 2014
Stained glass angels

BOFH: A miracle on PFY Street

Episode 17 Christmas! Who doesn't love Christmas?? Most of the company as it happens! It's true, many of the staff here have an element of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to Christmas - and not just because of the PFY and myself. The last day is always one full of trepidation, alcohol and a little sprinkle of emotional …
Simon Travaglia, 26 Dec 2014

Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

The Irish government today supported Microsoft in its ongoing fight against US prosecutors – who appear to want access to server hard drives anywhere in the world. Microsoft has garnered serious backing from the technology industry in its case against American investigators. The Feds believe they have the right to access emails …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2014
Core memory

We can change a bit from 0 to 1 WITHOUT CURRENT, say boffins

There could be some iron in the non-volatile soul. A team of Cornell university boffins using bismuth ferrite have discovered a way to store bits on magnets without needing electric current-based switching. Their room-temperature magnetoelectric memory device has 2-step magnetic switchability "with nothing but an electric field …
Chris Mellor, 24 Dec 2014
Rear_view_mirror

2014 AD: A year in storage. STILL not enough nails for the disk coffin lid

Beard Stroke Spending some of the festive season in San Francisco has given me a chance to look back at the wonderful world of storage and to ponder which may have been the biggest overall storage stories over the past twelve months or so. Here's what I think are the strongest contenders: Splintering of SAN/NAS Cloud storage in public and …
Chris Mellor, 24 Dec 2014

Rackspace restored after DDOS takes out DNS

Rackspace says it has recovered from a nasty distributed denial of service attack that it says may have seen “a portion of legitimate traffic to our DNS infrastructure … inadvertently blocked.” The trouble started just before lunchtime on Monday, US central time, and persisted until 11 hours later. Over on the company's Google …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Dec 2014
Brueghel_Leapfrog

CLOUD-to-CLOUD backup: A chasm-Spanning leap

Comment Cloud storage company Spanning's story is simple enough; you back up your apps and on-premises data, don't you? (everyone say "yes"...) You should back up your public cloud apps and their in-cloud data, shouldn't you? (let me hear you say "yeah!") Your existing backup software won't work there, will it? (everyone look down and …
Chris Mellor, 23 Dec 2014
Shot of a lady with a "Nice Rack" t-shirt

Revealed: This year's STUDENT RACK WARS winner

HPC blog While I had posted detailed results of the ISC’14 Summer Cluster Slam (here and here), I just realized that I had neglected to put out the final standings and analysis. This makes me an idiot. (Well, not only this, there are a lot of other things that contribute to that assessment as well.) First the big surprise: Team South …
IBM's Hursley partner centre: A shop window for datacentres

Outsourcer Capita snaps up Solid State Solutions for undisclosed wonga

Outsourcing giant Capita has gobbled up Basingstoke storage company Solid State Solutions (S3) for an undisclosed sum. The £22m turnover business will sit within Capita's IT Enterprise Services tech biz. The company has 30 staff with more than 300 private and public sector clients. The move is likely to bolster Capita's …
Kat Hall, 23 Dec 2014

Oracle snaps up Facebook data slurper Datalogix

Oracle has snapped up data slurping company Datalogix - an oufit best known for collecting info from retailers and sharing it with the likes of Facebook. Datalogix measures the offline purchasing data of more than $2tn (£1.3tn) in consumer spending against social media ad browsing. The company has 650 customers, including 82 of …
Kat Hall, 23 Dec 2014
Pro Laser III speed gun

Nimble lives up to name after eating flashy DIMM brekkie

Analysis FlashDIMMs can turn Nimble Storage arrays into supercharged systems, shortening IO latencies and speeding overall IO. These commodity-based systems use flash as an extension of memory with lower-than-PCIe-flash card latencies, due to them having DIMM-level access to the CPU-memory bus inside their server/controllers. It …
Chris Mellor, 23 Dec 2014
The Oatmeal Grizzly Burn

HOLD IT! Last minute gifts for one's nerd minions

Sysadmin blog It's that time of year again. You have to go forth and buy things for your gaggle of nerdly minions, but you've no idea what they want. In the rare instances they emerge from their caves they mostly spend the time alternating between heartfelt invocations about "the burning painball in the sky" and a lack of caffeine. Social …
Trevor Pott, 23 Dec 2014

Elasticsearch tells us all about its weighty Big Data tool

Blink and you'll miss it. Big Data analytics is a huge focus of startup activity with young and new companies getting a green light from blue-chip customers and VCs almost all the time. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but take your eye off the ball in this area and the landscape can change in fairly short order. Elasticsearch, …
Chris Mellor, 23 Dec 2014
Toshiba p-BiCS technology

Flash breaks free from the storage flat earth society

NAND used to be the sole prerogative of a two-dimensional flat earth society obsessed with shrinkage, but that approach is running into a technological dead end. To get more capacity the only feasible escape is upwards, using the third dimension and stacking layers of 2D flash to build multi-layered chips. The dead end is …
Chris Mellor, 22 Dec 2014
Dragster

Big Blue stuffs data into backup at GIGABYTES/sec

IBM's TSM backup product goes super-fast when backing up to the Elastic Storage parallel file system, according to company trials. TSM stands for Tivoli Storage Manager, with Elastic Storage being the re-branded GPFS. Servers running TSM were linked to an Elastic Storage array in a proof-of-concept test by IBM engineers in …
Chris Mellor, 22 Dec 2014

Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

The government’s tech procurement arm is asking suppliers to burn candles brightly over the festive season by filling in a 700-question Network Services tender after redrafting it. An OJEU contract notice for the framework, worth between £100m to £2bn over four years, was rewritten because suppliers claimed it was convoluted. As …
Paul Kunert, 22 Dec 2014
Cher pointing, Cher point, Sharepoint

Microsoft shutters Office 365's free web site service

Microsoft is terminating its SharePoint Online Public Website service, effective January 2015. SharePoint Online Public Website lets Office 365 users create a website and customise it with in-browser tools. In an advisory posted on Friday, Microsoft explains that “As part of the evolution of the Office 365 service, we …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

One third of servers, storage and switches are sold to clouds

Analyst firm IDC reckons that cloud operations – private and public - now account for “almost a third” of the world's spending on servers, storage and ethernet switches. The overall cloud market, the firm says, is about US$6.5bn a quarter, with public clouds accounting for about half of that. IDC's definition for public clouds …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2014
VMware VSAN

VMware says anyone - not just EMC - can play with its best bits

Ever since VMware launched the virtual storage appliance back in 2011, observers have wondered if the company’s storage efforts hurt its parent EMC’s business. Such pondering became more intense when VMware launched VSAN earlier this year, as the software-defined storage product is a direct competitor for some EMC arrays, in …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2014
Fraud image

Windows Server 2003 custom support could cost MILLIONS

Business leaders who dismissed calls from the IT department to migrate off Windows Server 2003 as nothing more than a maintenance exercise could be left rueing a potentially costly seven-figure financial howler. Extended support for the OS expires on 14 July, meaning no more security patches or updates from Microsoft after that …
Paul Kunert, 19 Dec 2014

Love the cloud? Be a ‘Cloud Hero’ with Microsoft

Promo Microsoft UK are offering you the chance to bank some ‘Cloud Hero’ kudos along with a raft of prizes in exchange for completing some tasks in Azure. This ‘Cloud Hero Challenge’ requires you to complete ONE of the following: Set up a virtual machine in less than 10 min How to create an online SQL database in less than 10 min …
David Gordon, 19 Dec 2014
SAmba

Fujitsu’s customers come big data samba dancing

Fujitsu is helping its customers get up (and down again) on the big data dance floor and do the analytics samba with an integrated bundle of HW and SW and services called PRIMEFLEX for Hadoop (PfH - our initials) to save customers from any DIY aggro. Fujitsu's PRIMEFLEX - the company loves all-caps product names - is an …
Chris Mellor, 19 Dec 2014

Rivals feel power of EMC's storage software bite

IDC's latest storage software (SW) tracker numbers show top dog EMC is continuing to rule the kennels, with a chunkier market share than both its nearest rivals combined. The Worldwide Storage Software View says total sector revenues bounced 6.1 per cent on the same period last year to nearly $3.8bn. EMC had 27.2 per cent of …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014
Lufthansa plane

Europe rubber-stamps IBM Lufthansa outsourcing gig

The European Commission has given IBM the green light to splash $1.25bn on Lufthansa's tech infrastructure wing. As part of the deal, which includes an outsourcing agreement, the airline will split its subsidiary, Lufthansa Systems, into three companies, offloading the infrastructure division to Big Blue. "The Commission …
Kat Hall, 18 Dec 2014
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Blu-ray disc

Toshiba joins the exclusive, three-member 6TB disk drive club

Toshiba has joined Seagate and WD/HGST in the 6TB disk drive club, still so exclusive that it only has three members. The MG04, with capacities of 2, 4, 5 and 6TB, spins at 7200rpm, making it a nearline drive. Toshiba claims it is good for 24/7 usage. It has 12Gbit/s SAS or 6GBit/s SATA interfaces and a secure instant erase …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014
Spooky angel doll

Crossbar says it's 'one step' from delivering miracle RRAM

Crossbar has jumped a hurdle limiting the readability if its resistive RAM non-volatile memory tech and says commercialisation is getting closer. Crossbar's resistive RAM (RRAM) tech is a 3D semi-conductor structure promising higher densities and faster access than NAND; closer to the fabled uniform memory that's as fast as DRAM …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014
Hadoop_elephant

Teradata gobbles up data squasher RainStor

Teradata has bought RainStor, the deduping database supplier and Hadoop convert. RainStor specializes in archiving and two years ago put its analytics engine and enterprise database on Hadoop, the Google-inspired big-data cruncher. Financial terms of the deal for the privately held RainStor were not revealed. Teradata called …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Dec 2014
Old_disk_tech_with_head_crash

Disk areal density: Not a constant, consistent platter

Comment A disk's areal density varies according to where you look on a platter. This writer had thought it was constant cross a platter but, wouldn't you know it, it's not. The data recording technology can provide a uniformly dense layer of potential bits across a disk platter's surface but differing track lengths and radii, and head: …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014
ULLtraDIMMs

Tegile to shove flash into DIMMs, it would seem

Tegile's marketing veep figures that "PCIe flash and NVDIMMs will make their way into shared storage devices, further driving latencies down." Cue Tegile supporting flash DIMMs in 2015, then. NVDIMMs (or flash DIMMs) are DIMM memory sockets filled with NAND dies so that the flash is a read extension of the memory's address space …
Chris Mellor, 18 Dec 2014

TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Microsoft has published a full, frank, and ugly account of just what went wrong when Azure Storage entered Total Inability To Support Usual Performance – TITSUP - mode in November. The nub of the problem was that Azure's update procedures and code had “... a gap in the deployment tooling that relied on human decisions and …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2014

Oracle, the King of Cloud? Maybe in Ellison's world

Analysis Oracle's executive team spent most of its second-quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday talking about its cloud business – which made sense, since that was the only part of the business that showed significant growth. As in last quarter's call, the trio of Safra Catz, Larry Ellison, and Mark Hurd chirped away about the …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014

Softlayer hops into Equinix's Cloud Exchange

IBM's cloudy concern SoftLayer has decided it'll be better off if it joins Equinix's Cloud Exchange. Cloud Exchange is a service that provides nicely groomed links between users of cloud computing providers and their chosen clouds. The service is valuable because as organisations put more important workloads and data into public …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2014
Mark Hurd and Safra Catz

Hurd'n'Catz leading Oracle to the cloud, but core biz still lags

Oracle beat analysts' estimates for once for the second quarter of its fiscal 2015, with an earnings report that otherwise showed only modest results. The database giant's total revenues of $9.6bn for the three months that ended on November 30 were better than expected, but still only amounted to 3.5 per cent year-on-year growth …
Neil McAllister, 18 Dec 2014
Honshu Tsunami Wave Propagation

Keep an eye on those Object Storage critters, y'hear?

Storagebod So as another year draws to a close, it appears that everything in the storage industry is still pretty much as it was. There have been no really seismic shifts in the industry, yet. Perhaps next year? The flashy start-ups still continue to make plenty of noise and fizz about their products and growth. Lots of promises about …
StorageBod, 17 Dec 2014

HOW MUCH did WD pay for Skyera? Join the dots, work it out

Comment We at El Reg suggested yesterday, Monday, that WD paid up to $400m for the all-flash array upstart, but WD has since mailed us to say that's wrong. Jim Pascoe, WD's corporate marketing director, told us: "You estimated that Skyera had secured $90m-$100m of funding following on from seed finance. In fact, the total amount Skyera …
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2014

Pacnet becomes 'potential' prey for Australia's Telstra

Australia's dominant telecommunications company, Telstra, has told the nation's stock exchange “that it is in discussions with the owners of Pacnet around a potential transaction to acquire the company.” The announcement of the exploration is so brief it reads a lot like it's a tick-the-boxes reveal under the continuous …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2014
IBM Power S842L server

IBM and Red Hat power up for virtualisation on Power systems

Red Hat has announced that its Enterprise Virtualization product now works on IBM's Power systems. The move's not a colossal surprise: last week Red Hat revealed a beta of Red Hat Linux 7.1 and it included a version running on IBM's recently-revealed POWER8 platform. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Power is a KVM-derived …
Darren Pauli, 17 Dec 2014
Tesla Model S family e-car

Telstra scores deal to drive data to Teslas

Australian buyers of the Tesla model S will become customers of the nation's dominant telco, Telstra, after the two companies announced a deal. The Tesla S famously includes a 17-inch touch screen into which all sorts of data pours to power services like mapping and real-time traffic updates. Telstra's mobile networks will be …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2014
cloud

Back dat app up: Microsoft opens Azure Backup to Windows PCs

Microsoft's Azure Backup cloud service could start getting a lot more traffic soon, with the introduction of backup services for Windows client operating systems. Azure Backup was released to general availability in 2013 as a backup and restore service for machines running Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Sever 2012, and Windows …
Neil McAllister, 17 Dec 2014
Snap, snap, snap ...

Google Cloud gets 'snappy' with Ubuntu Core support

Canonical's "snappy" new formulation of Ubuntu has gained the support of another major public cloud vendor, with Google making the lightweight Linux available for customers of its Compute Engine IaaS offering. Announced earlier this month, Ubuntu Core is a stripped-down version of the OS designed specifically for large-scale …
Neil McAllister, 16 Dec 2014
Hadoop_elephant

IS there anything sexier than hyper-converged systems?

Comment Everyone likes hyper-converged systems. They are cool, dense, fast, energy-saving, agile, scalable, manageable, easy-to-use, and whatever else you want. But you know what? They have their limits too. They are good for average workloads, a large range of workloads indeed, but not for those workloads that need huge amounts of a …