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WTF is WRF and Clover? Cluster kids use HPC grunt to solve the mystery

HPC blog One of the most interesting parts of the ISC Student Cluster competitions is their inclusion of “mystery” applications and tasks. These are something that the students can’t prepare for. They can only rely on their training and wits to bring them through. For the 2016 ISC competition, Pak Lui, the Cluster Master in Chief (CMC …
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Never-never chip tech Memristor shuffles closer to death row

Comment Martin Fink’s HPE Labs has been dangling the Memristor in front of us for years. With Fink retiring and HPE Labs losing its independence, becoming part of Antonio Neri’s Enterprise Group, inventing far out blue sky stuff will likely shift to devising technologies that can be realistically productised. The Memristor cannot. The …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016

Another container-sized nugget: Scality S3 server joins nice and small party

Scality has announced a new S3 server, so small that it can run in a container. By doing so, it has joined a few others, like Minio and OpenIO, in providing a new tool for developers as well as opening new, interesting and unconventional applications for object storage deployments. This is an open source project which is also …
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All right, pet? Getting owlish about Hedvig

Comment Trying to position Hedvig's software-defined storage in a market function way is next to impossible as the software is so flexible. And that could be a brilliant position for Hedvig to be in. The startup's distributed storage platform can provide storage for traditional workloads, new-style containerised workloads, hyper- …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jun 2016

Powerful ARMs, heaving racks ... yes, of course it's this year's student cluster-building contest

HPC Blog It's time for our traditional video look at each of the teams in the ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) 2016 Student Cluster Competition. Let's take it alphabetically this time... Team Boston Green: They're one of two teams utilizing ARM processors to fuel their cluster. A lot of ARM processors, about 800 cores …

Undergrads build 12.6-TFLOPS cluster out of four nodes, 112 cores

HPC Blog The ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) Student Cluster Competition once again cements its reputation as the place where LINPACK records go to fall. Last week we saw not one, but two teams top the current 12.03 TFLOPS record that was established at the ASC'16 spring competition. Team HUST, from the Huazhong …
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Hyperconverger Springpath pivots to OEM channel. Yes, we said pivots. What of it?

Hyperconverged software startup Springpath is on a Cisco express hurtling to assault the market and bring UCS server-based HyperFlex systems to prominence. Springpath CEO Terry Cunningham joined in May 2015, coming from running EVault, the cloud backup service unit of Seagate, which Seagate folded back into its own …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016
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Three men and a container engine: Let's commoditise this baby

Backgrounder Portworx Enterprise hits general availability in July to provide containerised storage for containers. The software runs on commodity servers, captures and aggregates their storage into a virtual SAN providing scale-out block storage, then provides storage for containers, at container granularity, and with a global namespace. …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jun 2016
 CRAY-1 on display in the hallways of the EPFL in Lausanne.

Cray explores options for supercomputing-as-a-service

Cray is exploring options to offer supercomputing "as a service", but don’t expect AWS to be offering the venerable vendor’s number-crunching monsters online anytime soon. Rather, the company is looking at ways it can offer its technology as a service, which if nothing else potentially relieves customers of at least some of …
Joe Fay, 27 Jun 2016

Quick note: Brexit consequences for IT

Blog Well, I'm not an economist and even less interested in politics - but UK exiting the EU is huge. I have several friends and acquaintances who have migrated to the UK in the last few years because there are more job opportunities, meritocracy and higher wages. This could all change very soon. But this is one aspect. The other one …
Micron 9100 NVMe HHHL SSD

NVMe SSDs tormented for months in some kind of sick review game

Review NVM Express (NVMe) is the next generation specification for accessing non-volatile memory such as flash. Traditional technologies such as SAS and SATA are just too slow. In order to demonstrate how much of a difference NVMe makes, Micron has provided 12 9100 NVMe flash drives, 800GB each in the HHHL (standard PCIe card) format …
Trevor Pott, 27 Jun 2016
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NVMe fabric array flasher gets top Tosh flash

Toshiba has quietly made 1.6TB and 3.2TB dual-port ZD6000 NVMe SSDs available to OEMs, and we know this because Apeiron says it has certified them. Apeiron is a startup building an all-flash array linking to hosts across NVMe-over-fabric links. The idea is to use NVMe end-to-end with RDMA over Ethernet used to move data faster …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2016
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Thinking of using multiple clouds? Don't do it, stick with us says AWS CEO

Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy spoke against the idea of using multiple cloud providers at its Public Sector Summit earlier this week – well he would, wouldn't he. A lot of organizations "start off thinking about how to split it up across multiple clouds," said Jassy. "When they get deeper into the investigation, the …
Tim Anderson, 24 Jun 2016
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SPC says up yours to DataCore

The 1,510,090.52 IOPS DataCore Parallel Server single node result in March this year was the fourth highest SPC-1 reading, and has now been withdrawn. After someone, possibly a competitor, went over the results with a microscope they noticed there was no UPS. While its presence or absence wouldn't affect the IOPS result, it …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2016
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'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

Brexit Woke up with a nagging feeling you may have done something last night you shouldn’t? You aren’t alone, it seems. Following reports of Brexiters regretting their vote to take the UK out of the European Union, Google has revealed a hunt for online answers about the EU and what it meant exactly to leave assaulted its search …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jun 2016
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Brit startup adds intelligent search to Amazon storage

A UK cloud storage provider can backup documents, audio and video files to give you real-time access to your files using content-based search as well as video and image streaming. Zoolz is the company and Zoolz Intelligent is its developing cloud product. This will be provided alongside the existing Zoolz Home and Zoolz …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jun 2016
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Oracle: Cloud-first for 12.2 update – on-prem world will have to wait

Oracle is cranking up the pressure on customers to consume its wares as-a-service by initially distributing the updated 12.2 database on a cloud-only basis. Talk of the shift - that will prevent the company’s existing installed base of on-premise punters from accessing new multi tenancy functions - was first spotted across the …
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Juniper preps global policy manager for OpenContrail

Juniper Networks seems to have big plans for its OpenContrail SDN controller: it would like to see it act as a kind of “meta-controller” for multiple cloud and data centre controllers. It's quietly pushed up the first code of what is, for now, dubbed “project Ukai” at Github. The alpha-level code has two top-line aims: to run …
E8-array

No software changes needed to use E8's screaming fast arrays

Backgrounder If hero numbers are what you want then E8 Storage's 2U box filled with 24 NVMe SSDS can provide them; 10 million 4KB IOPS using RDMA over an Ethernet fabric connecting up to 100 servers. The company provided more information about the product to an IT Press Tour in Silicon Valley, with CEO and cofounder Zivan Ori and product …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2016
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Are DataCore's SPC benchmarks unfair?

Storage Architect DataCore has been active over recent months with benchmarks based on their new SANsymphony Parallel Server offering. The most recent of these claims 5.1 million SPC-1 IOPS at $0.08/SPC-1 IOPS and 0.32 millisecond response time. Other vendors are crying foul on these results, claiming they don't represent a true test because …
Chris Evans, 23 Jun 2016
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Pull on your branded rival T-shirt, it's time to party with Nutanix

Here I am sitting at a bar at 4:50am (jet lag is my friend) after the Nutanix's annual event, .NEXT. I’m attending the event with a backpack I received at PureAccelerate (rival Pure Storage's event). I’m not carrying it with me because I want to publicize Pure, I actually love it because it is a sturdy bag and solves my day-to …

Ho hum, yet another storage startup. But, but, we're objectively different, yell newbies

Comment Lately I've been worried about the lack of differentiation in the storage startup ecosystem, but two newbies have made me think again. If you look at the container ecosystem, storage startups are popping up like mushrooms but most of them look very much alike. Yet, on the contrary, NooBaa and Iguaz.io have the most interesting …

Grappling with the future? Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think

PROMO The future is complicated, with a myriad of platforms and solutions promising to help you deal with disruption in any industry you choose to name. Faced with that degree of complexity sometimes the best response is the simplest – sit still, listen, then think before acting. That’s why, to mark the launch of its Hyper Converged …
David Gordon, 23 Jun 2016
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Considerate CTERA comes running to tell us of a Nasuni outage

A CTERA spokesperson kindly got in touch to tell us cloud storage gateway Nasuni's customers had an outage last week. Nasuni says you have to be a real service provider to have an outage. CTERA's spokesperson said: "Last week, enterprise storage company Nasuni, suffered a multi-day outage. This resulted in customers with no …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2016
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Put storage inside the individual hosts of a virtual cluster? You're CRAZY... Like a fox

Sysadmin blog Hyperconvergence, putting storage inside the individual hosts of a virtual cluster, was supposed to save us from the cost and expense of centralized storage. Thus far, mainstream providers of hyperconvergence have largely failed to deliver on this promise. 2016 looks set to be the year this finally changes. Nutanix has been …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2016
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HDS goes hyper with its latest pile of converged IT Lego blocks

Aiming to stem the Nutanix snd SimpliVity hyper-converged tide, HDS announced the UCP HC V240, its first hyper-converged UCP product, along with the entry-level converged UCP 2000, for its mid-market and enterprise customers. Think of UCP (Unified Compute Platform) systems as being like EMC Vblocks (H-blocks?) and UCP HC boxen …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jun 2016
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Secure Islands digested, Redmond pushes out DLP tool

The offering is based on Redmond's October 2015 acquisition of Israeli firm Secure Islands, whose technology is being integrated into Azure Rights Management (RMS). The aim, quoth Microsoftie Dan Plastina, is to use employee identity as the basis for protecting corporate information. The product, Azure Information Protection, …

Datrium adds insane mode to boost speed

Datrium, the startup disaggregating a SAN by having host-based controller SW and flash caches, has added an Insane Mode to turbo-charge performance. The DVX system strips out virtually everything from an external array, leaving a single box with NVRAM and disk capacity (12 x 4TB 7.2K drives and 48TB raw/29TB usable capacity), …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016
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Google enlists Microsoft VoIP partner to unseat Office 365+Skype

Google's going after Office 365 and Skype users in a cloud telephony partnership with Microsoft VoIP ally RingCentral. The search giant and RingCentral on Wednesday announced RingCentral Office Google Edition, a package letting you make online calls from within Google's Apps. Apps are integrated using WebRTC, the real-time …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jun 2016
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One place to inhale all cloud: Apache Libcloud 1.0 now available

The Apache Software Foundation has announced that Libcloud 1.0, the cloud service interoperability Python library, is now generally available. Notably, version 1.0 introduces two new driver types, container-as-a-service and backup-as-a-service, with a full changelog available here – though the degree to which it will ease the …
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It's all fun and games until someone loses a rack*

HPC Blog This year’s ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition boasts the most diverse set of hardware in the near 10-year history of student cluster competitions. Student teams are running three different system architectures (x86, ARM, and Power) in both traditional and hybrid (hardware accelerated) forms. The configurations of these …
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Kaminario 'shelves' future. Between you and NVMe, it could get flashy

Analysis All-flash array vendor Kaminario has been in business a year longer than Pure Storage but is some way behind in sales, size and funding. However, it has begun expressing a technology vision that could accelerate its growth dramatically. We don’t know what Kaminario’s revenues from its K2 scale-up and scale-out arrays built …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2016

Police ICT Company head: Eat your cloud, cops, it's good for you

A national strategy on using public cloud services is needed so British police forces can cope with the increasing weight of unstructured data storage, the head of the Police ICT Company has said. Martin Wyke, head of the body, outlined storage as a key challenge for police because of the explosion of unstructured data, through …
Kat Hall, 22 Jun 2016
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Last year Nutanix revealed a hypervisor, this year...

Hyperconverged enfant terrible Nutanix's first siren song to tech buyers offered the impressive proposition of on-premises hardware that converged compute and storage while improving the experience of running vSphere. Next, at the company's first user conference in June 2015, came the ballsy move of releasing its own …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jun 2016
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Nice cluster, kid. But can these supercomputing students actually predict the weather?

HPC blog Your correspondent wrote this blog during the action at the ISC’16 Student Cluster Competition arena, located on the trade show floor of the ISC’16 conference. So far, everything is going well for the teams – everyone has their hardware and finished their basic set-up over the weekend. Yesterday was when the rubber met the …
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Plump Dell lays its table for the upcoming HPC Stampede

Michael Dell is getting out the good china as his firm prepares to dine on a slice of the world's supercomputer market. Dell’s PC and server shop has rolled out a series of High Performance Computer Systems targeting applications in life sciences, manufacturing and research. They are: the HPC System for Life Sciences, …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2016
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Supercomputers in 2030: Lots of exaflops and LOTS of DRAM

Supercomputers will overcome the predicted crumbling of Moore’s Law over the next few years to show massive leaps in performance between now and 2030 – but will still look pretty familiar to today’s compute power junkies. In a series of sessions at ISC this morning covering exascale architectures, speakers predicted a rapid …
Joe Fay, 21 Jun 2016
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OpenIO pulls up ARM controller SOCs: Kinetic's Marvellous... can anybody do it?

Comment OpenIO, the French object-storage startup, is progressing its work with Kinetic drives. The idea is that object storage stores data on server nodes, and those nodes could be individual Kinetic disk drives. Such drives have a micro-server, so to speak, running on them, providing direct Ethernet access and an object-style Get: …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016

Intel's Knights Landing: Fresh x86 Xeon Phi lineup for HPC and AI

The long wait for volume shipments of Intel’s “Knights Landing” parallel x86 processors is over. At the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, the company is unveiling the official lineup of its Xeon Phi chips, which are aimed at high performance computing and machine learning workloads alike. The …
Archive

New storage upstart Versity offers S3 object storage interface

Versity is an archiving software startup using multi-threaded SAM-QFS. It was founded in March 2011 by CEO Bruce Gilpin, with a VC background, and CTO Harriet Coverston. She is the tech brains of the outfit and worked at LSC (Large Storage Configurations) from 1986, which developed QFS (Quick File System). QFS grouped disk …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016

The SPC-1 benchmark is cobblers, thunders Oracle veep

Comment The DataCore SPC-1-topping benchmark has attracted attention, with some saying that it is artificial (read cache-centric) and unrealistic as the benchmark is not applicable to today's workloads. Oracle SVP Chuck Hollis told The Register: "The way [DataCore] can get such amazing IOPS on a SPC-1 is that they're using an enormous …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016
Data centre

What's DriveScale up to? Mix-'n'-match server and disk storage, for starters

Backgrounder DriveScale is a startup that emerged from a three-year stealth effort earlier this year with hardware and software to dynamically present externally connected JBODS to servers as if they were local. The idea is to provide composable server-storage combos for changing Hadoop-type distributed workloads. It is meant to share the …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jun 2016