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IBM hastens END OF HUMANITY with teachable AI 'brain'

IBM researchers in Almaden have built a brain-like system capable of recognising hand-written numbers, essentially by using phase-change memory chips instead of flash. Neuromorphic computing is a variant of artificial intelligence research, which has a computer’s memory configured in a rudimentary brain-like way, as quasi- …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2015
G-DRIVE_ev_ATC_Thunderblt

G-Tech goes full lumberjack with drive for hard storage heroes

CES 2015 HGST’s G-Technology external drive biz has gone all rugged and takes on Seagate’s LaCie with a bright blue bumper case for tough-look G-DRIVE. The G-DRIVE ev RaW - get that fancy capitalisation - has a removable bright blue wrap-around case giving this 500GB/1TB external drive, spinning at 7,200rpm, the ability to withstand a 1. …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2015

DRAM-firm-fattened flash bods double last year's profits

Memory/flash chip maker Micron, fattened with Japanese DRAM firm Elpida, has recorded record revenues of $4.57bn. Its first quarter of fiscal 2015 finished with a bang on December 4, 2014, delivering revenues 13 per cent higher than a year ago and eight per cent up on the fourth fiscal 2014 quarter. Profits of a round billion …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2015

Watch out Seagate: Here comes WD with a hybrid flash/disk drive launch

WD is demonstrating a faster-than-Seagate 4TB hybrid flash/disk drive at Storage Visions 2015. It is built with 3.5-inch disk drive, an up to 128GB SSD, and the SATA Express PCIe interface with the flash and disk components presented as a single volume. The demos include commercially available ASRock and Gigabyte motherboards …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2015
Tokyo Skytree world's tallest tower

Micron stacks its 3D NAND high in 2015

Intel recently made a splash about its 3D NAND intentions. Knowing that Intel basically works with Micron on flash through the joint IMFT business, we asked Micron NAND marketing head Kevin Kilbuck about Micron's 3D NAND activities. El Reg: Why is 3D NAND needed? Kevin Kilbuck: Micron has been working on 3D NAND technology for …
Chris Mellor, 6 Jan 2015
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

IDC: Who's HOT and who's NOT (in object storage) in 2014

IDC’s latest object-storage "marketscape" shows 18 active players and significant changes in EMC’s and HDS’ status. The chart, IDC’s sort-of answer to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, positions rivals in a 2-dimensional box, using capabilities and strategies as axes. There are four bands inside the square, one for the "participants", …
Chris Mellor, 6 Jan 2015
LaCie Mirror

Mirror, mirror: Seagate shows off 1TB data shiny at HDD beauty contest

CES 2015 For those of us who like to sport Rolex watches and Montblanc pens Seagate’s LaCie unit has a swanky, sexy new desktop drive - the Mirror portable. Inside is a bog-standard 1TB HDD with a USB 3.0 connection. So what right? Yada yada yada. However, outside is an enclosure encased in Corning Gorilla glass resting on a polished …
Chris Mellor, 5 Jan 2015

VMware: Storage data functions can and WILL migrate to flash media

Comment VMware's CTO has revealed his belief that array and VSAN-level storage data service functions can, and will, move into flash media. He made the point on a recent blog that it is logical for physical block addressing to be dynamic rather than static. A disk drive's firmware maps logical block addresses (LBAs) to physical block …
Chris Mellor, 5 Jan 2015
Seagate_living_logo

Seagate makes CES splash with $99 drive, 'personal' cloud offerings

CES 2015 Seagate's arriving at CES 2015 with all guns blazing, with a new "living" logo and personal cloud, wireless, and anorexic hard drives to store the data of tomorrow. Thin, portable, $99... The first of the new products is a 7mm thick, 500GB portable external drive called the Seagate Seven - as in 7mm. It has a bare drive look …
Chris Mellor, 5 Jan 2015
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Clawfoot_bath

Server SANs: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

Getting rid of SAN complexity and cost is an idea that appeals to many CIOs sick of juggling storage area networking components and array costs. Let app servers virtualise a SAN into existence by pooling their own direct-attached storage and just buy servers with server SAN software, such as StoreVirtual from HP, DataCore's SAN …
Chris Mellor, 16 Dec 2014
Iron Throne

EMC: People are going to be FLASHING their RACKS next year

EMC's chief evangelist Chad Sakac got up at an investor conference and said DSSD systems should arrive in limited availability next year. Startup firm DSSD was developing rack-scale all-flash array technology when EMC bought it in May. We'e thinking an EVO: RACK type converged system is coming. Stifel Nicolaus MD Aaron Rakers …
Chris Mellor, 16 Dec 2014
money notes lifted up

Private equity downs WAN furtler Riverbed in $3.6bn gulp

+Comment WAN optimiser and app speeder Riverbed is being bought by private equity house Thoma Bravo for $3.6bn. Riverbed failed to grow sufficiently and its business foundered somewhat, opening it up to the attentions of activist investor Elliott Management. That's the same investor that is pushing EMC for a VMware sell-off. In October …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2014

Drive-making kingpin WD gobbles Skyera... to give to HGST

Rumour had it last month that WD was going to buy Skyera and rumour was right. WD subsidiary HGST is getting an early Christmas present with WD buying the all-flash array packing density king and assigning it to HGST. Skyera changed its CEO in August, with COO Frankie Roohparvar taking over from flash tech genius and co-founder …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2014
Transporter

Imation rolls out the Barrall

Imation has recruited BlueArc and Drobo founder Dr. Geoff Barrall to its board. Barrall has an impressive storage, having founded BlueArc, a hardware-accelerated filer startup which was bought by HDS. Subsequently he was the founder and CEO of Data Robotics, the startup which produced the Drobo (Data Storage Robot), a CTO and …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2014
Samsung_850_EVO

Samsung brings out new longer-lived 1TB Flash podule for PCs, notebooks

Just in time for Christmas, Samsung has taken its 3D enterprise SSD, added a bit per cell, and come out with a longer-lived 1TB SSD for PCs and notebooks. The triple-level cell (TLC), 3D V-NAND, 850 EVO SSD follows on from the planar (2D) TLC 840 EVO which also topped out at 1TB. This drive used 19nm NAND, whereas the 850 EVO is …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2014

Dedupe, dedupe... dedupe, dedupe, dedupe: Oracle polishes ZFS diamond

Oracle's ZFS is widely lauded as a great file system even though several suppliers that use it for their own products have replaced its deduplication code with their own. One such was GreenBytes, a startup which developed an all-flash array for virtualised servers and focused on VDI. It switched to a software-only model after …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014

Hungry, hungry CPUs: Storage vendors hustle to get flash closer to compute

Multi-socket, multi-core CPUs are demanding entities: they have a gargantuan appetite for data which they suck up through a CPU-memory channel from DRAM, the server's memory. This access happens in nanoseconds, billionths of a second. Getting data from places beyond memory, such as PCIe server flash cards, SSDs directly attached …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014
Pure Storage array

Don't you forget about VCE... Cisco gets cosy with Pure Storage

Comment Not content with partnering with IBM and its storage to sell its UCS servers, Cisco is now doing a Flexpod-style dance with EMC’s arch flash array enemy Pure Storage. These recent shocks to the VCE alliance between EMC and Cisco must surely have contributed to Cisco’s tactical withdrawal and EMC’s taking of VCE in-house. Joe …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014

IDC Storage Tracker in Hitachi Data Systems number-fumble

IDC's latest Storage Tracker used the wrong HDS numbers and mis-represented the company's progress. We at the great El Reg wrote about the third-quarter tracker here and reported that Hitachi external storage revenues fell 9.4 per cent in the quarter, compared with a year ago. However, we now learn from HDS that: In the IDC …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014

Roll up, roll up for Oracle database flash tune-up – Violin

Comment Violin Memory has developed software to tell you how tune Oracle databases to run faster on its arrays, and is making it available through a lead-generation exercise where you (pretty much) qualify yourself. Its Oracle Performance Analysis Service (O-PAS) is free to end-users and resellers and generates reports which identify " …
Chris Mellor, 11 Dec 2014
Flash Gordon

Who won all-flash sales sash, sucked up all the cash? – IDC report

An EMC-distributed excerpt of an IDC all-flash array shipments and revenues report has Hopkinton topping the sales rankings, with NetApp at number four and IBM topping the capacity-shipped chart. The report is a special IDC one, titled Worldwide All-Flash Array and Hybrid Flash Array 2014–2018 Forecast and 1H14 Vendor Shares. …
Chris Mellor, 10 Dec 2014

WD and HGST: We tried to merge our two drive makers, MOFCOM said NO, NO, NO

Analysis Although WD’s acquisition of HGST was approved over two years ago, Chinese regulatory authority MOFCOM is still preventing the full integration of their respective drive-making ops. The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) has always maintained it was not keen to see WD and its HGST subsidiary move …
Chris Mellor, 10 Dec 2014
Woz with Apple II, photo: Gavin Clarke

Will tech titans SWALLOW upstart where Apple guru Steve Wozniak works?

Comment I spent just an hour with data centre virtualisation upstart Primary Data (set up by Fusion-io's founders) during an IT press tour, but I came away both intrigued and puzzled at the same time. While it has the best vision and ideas I’ve seen in years, at the same time the two-year-old firm's vision seems incredibly hard to …
The Black Hole's Maximilliam. Source: Disney

The great Data Gravity black hole: Another 50 million greenbacks sucked in

DataGravity, the upstart data-aware storage platform founded by serial entrepreneur Paula Long, is turning into a dollar bill black hole, sucking in another fifty million in C-round of funding. The company, profiled here, has a hybrid flash/disk array with substantial metadata facilities to provide significantly more knowledge …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014

IBM, NetApp suffer as storage buyers shun mainstream suppliers

The disruptive influence of the largest service providers ignoring mainstream suppliers when buying disk storage has been highlighted for the first time in stats from IDC - big brands should sit up and take note. The IDC tracker* reports on worldwide total disk storage and external storage array sales, and in Q3 included …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014
Lake Tahoe

HPC storage bods at DDN fish for BIG CATCH in the data lake

Interview Suppliers of storage and analytics systems to the so-called "big data" lake market are enduring turbulent technology transitions and fast-changing requirements, as we saw here. Startups with $100m-plus funding are common and one, Cloudera, has surpassed $1bn in funding, as VCs and startup execs scramble to find their way through …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014
Discworld

No NAND's land: Flash will NOT take over the data centre

Comment NAND is not taking over the data centre. Estimates of shipped disk and SSD capacity out to 2018 shows that, while flash will continue to grow faster, disk capacity will still outstrip that of flash by eight to one four years from now. SSD_vs_HDD_ships_To_2018 Total SSD capacity shipped is falling more and more behind disk …
Chris Mellor, 9 Dec 2014
Claw hammer

Seagate: We'll bring down the HAMR in 2017. But will we give you SHINGLES?

Seagate has been talking about coming disk tech and expects to have a HAMR product in 2017. We have better visibility into Seagate’s view of the ending of the current perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) era. The ending is delayed by narrowing the tracks so as to cram more of them on a platter. This is called two-dimensional …
Chris Mellor, 8 Dec 2014