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Fresh flashery from the NANDsters

The Flash Memory Summit has seen a fresh crop of SSDs and PCIe flash cards appear from NAND fans BiTMICRO, Seagate and Toshiba as they try to wow delegates and get sales momentum started. Seagate Nytro flash cards Seagate, flush and fresh with its strategic alliance with Micron over flash, has announced three new Nytro ( …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2015

Samsung barks out the orders, reveals its 3D flash lead

The top dog in the flash industry has just barked out loud and strong; emphasising its 3D flash process lead, Samsung is mass-producing 48-layer, 256Gbit 3D NAND chips, essentially tech SanDisk/Toshiba is hopeful of shipping next year. Sammy is currently shipping 32-layer 3D V-NAND chips which Dell is using in its Storage …
Chris Mellor, 11 Aug 2015

Symantec palms Veritas off on private equity group in $8bn mega-sale

As suspected, Symantec has offloaded its Veritas storage business to the Carlyle Group for $8bn - way off the $13.5bn paid for the company in 2004. The Carlyle Group has contributions towards the purchase from GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and other expected co-investors. Symantec expects to receive approximately $6. …
Chris Mellor, 11 Aug 2015

HGST sets hearts aflutter with second sexy PCM demo

HGST is being a sexy beast and strutting its Phase Change Memory stuff once again, at the Flash Memory Summit. Sex sells in the flash biz and HGST thinks it has a hot little number – again – with its Phase Change Memory technology. A year on from its 3 million IOPS/1.5 microsecs latency demo of a PCIe-connected PCM SSD, it is …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2015

Hyper-scaling multi-structured data? Let's count the ways

Comment Hyperscaling storage for unstructured data, file and object silos is conceptually straightforward. You buy yourself commodity hardware and get parallel filesystem software or object software. Hyperscale block storage generally means buying a monster SAN. But what happens if you need to have hyperscale storage across block, file …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2015

Boffins beat Amazon Web Services at its own storage game

Boffins from Bell Labs and Stony Brook University have put together a cloud storage system they hope can serve as a reference design for future cloud implementations. Called SEARS – Space Efficient And Reliable Storage – the research has been published at Arxiv here, and appears to rival Amazon's S3 cloud storage. The …

A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

DEF CON 23 Four years ago at DEF CON a popular presentation examined how best to destroy hard drives in a data centre within 60 seconds of a three-letter agency knocking at the door. Now, that research has been updated with new techniques. Security researcher Zoz looked at three core methods for destroying platter and SSD drives – …
Iain Thomson, 9 Aug 2015
Red Dwarf

Smaller EMC VNXe unit revealed, then hidden again

EMC has made a smaller VNXe array, the 1600, which slots in below the VNXe3200 and gives it a lower-priced VNXe offering. The news broke on Roy Mikes' blog on August 6 – although for some reason it is no longer there. Oops. Still, if you look in the Google cache version of his blog, there it is. And, to add to the fun …
Chris Mellor, 7 Aug 2015

Stuffing the wafers: SanDisk presses on with 48-layer 3D NAND chip

32 layers is so yesterday, man. SanDisk has a 48-layer 3D NAND chip in pilot production. Yeah, you heard me, the big four-eight. This can be seen as catch-up work as Samsung is now shipping its second generation 3D V-NAND chip, with 3-bits/cell and Dell using these 128Gbit dies in the SC-Series of storage arrays to offer …
Chris Mellor, 7 Aug 2015
Star Trek Into Darkness

EMC II, VMware and the future: Unpicking the house that Joe built

Comment Look guys, the options are pretty limited. If VMware can't leave the EMC Federation and the Federation somehow has to upvalue itself for investors and find shares priced high enough to pay off Elliott Management, then one bit of the Federation has to buy the rest or the Federation has to be acquired/merge with a white knight. …
Chris Mellor, 6 Aug 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

HP hikes up specs on hyperconverged offering

Days after running its EVO: Rail product off its rails, HP has landed a new hyperconverged system, updating the CS-240 product to the CS-250 by doubling RAM and using Intel Haswell CPUs to add performance punch. It's also adding software disaster recovery, a three-node configuration, and down-pricing against Nutanix. The …
Chris Mellor, 6 Aug 2015

Toshiba invites Seagate to the gun show after raising its SSD game

Toshiba's latest gen 3 enterprise SSDs show an uncanny resemblance to Seagate's 1200.2 products in model type, capacity range and endurance terms, with both suppliers topping out at 3.84TB. Odd that. The race is on for SSD suppliers to replace fast hard disk drives in the data centre, with Seagate, Micron and Toshiba all …
Chris Mellor, 5 Aug 2015
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

Sales veep, staff log-off from cluster-cache upstart PernixData

PernixData has lost Ted Stinson, its veep of worldwide sales, and laid off up to 16 people in its North American channel and inside sales operations. The high-flying upstart touts clustered caching technology at the VMware hypervisor level, which speeds up virtual machine execution. PernixData was founded in 2012 by CEO Poojan …
Chris Mellor, 4 Aug 2015

Seagate flaunts 4TB-ish enterprise SAS flash that can shift 1.8GB/s

Seagate has announced a not-quite 4TB, dual-port SAS SSD technology, built in an alliance with Micron: the drive giant is touting four 1200.2 products defined by their endurance. Micron is using the same tech in its S600DC SSD products. The 1200.2 is the first SSD, Seagate says, to optimize dual-port SAS capability, resulting …
Chris Mellor, 4 Aug 2015

Radian ready to replace the flash translation layer

Stealthy startup Radian Memory System's Symphonic software replaces an SSD's Flash Translation Layer software to accelerate performance up to 80 per cent and extend endurance. It's selling its own RMS-250 SSDs with this software for data centre use Flash Translation Layer (FTL) software enables a block-based SSD to be …
Chris Mellor, 4 Aug 2015
Atmospheric snap of vultures silhouetted against a sunset on a wooden structure on the shore of a lake. (C) Jerry Rogers

Diving for pearls of data just got easier, thanks to EMC/Hadoop deal

Customers can now buy Cloudera Hadoop from EMC to run on their Isilon arrays, diving into data lakes for those pearls of insight; essentially running on Isilon's scale-out NAS boxes (with their native HDFS support), rather than building a separate Hadoop storage silo using cheapo DIY nodes. Hadoop-distributing Cloudera is the …
Chris Mellor, 4 Aug 2015
Tilted nanomagnets image from UC Berkeley

Boffins turned off by silicon switch to TILTING MAGNETS

Solid state memory is already a viable technology at a decent scale, but it's hard to make it small enough to replace hard drives. However, researchers at the University of California Berkeley are taking a different angle: they would like to shrink high density storage to a size that puts it onto ICs. Their aim is twofold: to …

'We fell short' says QLogic CEO in August's understatement-of-the-month contender

As expected from its earlier warning shot, QLogic's first quarter fiscal 2016 results were pretty bad. Revenues of $113.4 million were 5 per cent lower than a year ago, with net income of $2.6 million being 57 per cent down on last year's Q1. Within the revenue number, Advanced Connectivity Platforms (Fibre Channel and …
Chris Mellor, 3 Aug 2015
London buses, photo: Transport for London

VMAX flashes its virtues for all to see

You wait for a bus forever, then two come along at once. So it is with EMC and SPC benchmarks, and all of a sudden we have both SPC-1 VNX8000 and SPC-2 VMAX 400K. The Storage Performance Council lists industry-standard random block IO performance (SPC-1) and streaming storage performance benchmark results (SPC-2). Each one …
Chris Mellor, 3 Aug 2015
Rolling shelves at the National Archive

You must remember: An archive isn't a thing, it's a strategy

The biggest asset your organisation has is its data. And since IT is a world of compromises and paradoxes, the thing you have to work hardest to manage is...your organisation's data. The task of data management is a big one. First you have to purchase or rent somewhere to put it – buy storage or run up a cloud repository. Then …

It's Friday! Had a good week? It was probably better than Seagate's

In keeping with its warning, Seagate confirmed a revenue and profits decline as its mainstay desktop and notebook drive shipments tumbled for the third straight quarter. Enterprise drive shipments also declined in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, as did branded (consumer drives), although consumer electronics shipments rose …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2015

NetApp sees IBM/Cisco VersaStack as 'huge' threat to FlexPod

NetApp has inadvertently leaked competitive intelligence documents to a community newsfeed, and the contents reveal it worries that IBM and Cisco's VersaStack will threaten its FlexPod business and that SolidFire has emerged as a threat. Several documents penned by the “NetApp Competitive Advantage Team” have reached a public …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2015

Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

Next year, the world will start using products with an amazing new type of memory in them - or so say Intel and Micron, allied to produce the 3D XPoint chippery. This is, we're told, a radical resistive-RAM technology that is bit-addressable, non-volatile, and forms a new memory tier between DRAM and NAND. That means software …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2015

All change at NetApp: One veep joins as another goes fishing

Five sales people have left NetApp simultaneously, including VP Americas channels sales Regina Kunkle. What gives? The background is one of exec changes. Bill Lipsin became NetApp's VP for worldwide channels in May this year, coming to NetApp from Brocade where he was VP for global channels and system integrators from August …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2015
Marconi-Stille steel tape recorder

So what exactly sits behind Google’s Nearline storage service?

Comment How is Google’s retrieval service for non-essential data, Nearline, with its three-second retrieval latency, viable at the same cost as Amazon’s Glacier, when it uses tape with a 3-5 hour retrieval latency? Tape is cheap – but slow – and Google can't be using the stuff for Nearline. We think Nearline uses either Blu-ray …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jul 2015
Tommy Lee Jones delivers implied facepalm. From No Country for Old Men  Copyright Miramax Pictures. 2007.

Oracle storage analytics break Oracle storage appliances

An Oracle employee has warned that the analytics features of its ZFS storage appliances can result in “unresponsive” systems. The post linked to above opens with Oracle staffer Matt Barnson stating “I've received a number of questions about analytics and the problems they cause for the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.” There's …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jul 2015
The Hindenburg disaster

How to waste two years and lose $415m: Cisco's now-dead Whiptail deal

Exclusive + analysis Cisco has confirmed that the Invicta all-flash array line is no more, telling The Register: "As part of product lifecycle management, we withdraw technology from the marketplace when necessary to focus our efforts on what is critical for the future of our customers' business as well as our own." The networking goliath added: …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jul 2015
Broken CD with wrench

Google gives away 100 PETABYTES of storage to irritate AWS

Google has flicked the switch to take its “Nearline” archival cloud storage service live, and tossed in an offer of 100 petabytes of free storage to set the snowball rolling. Nearline is Google's competitor for Amazon Web Service's Glacier. Unlike Glacier, which is thought to rely on Blu-Ray, Nearline uses disk and flash*. …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jul 2015

Plummeting SanDisk snaps awake, pulls hard on the control stick

After a terrible first quarter of the year, SanDisk revenues continued to fall in its second quarter, which has just ended. However, profits went up sharply, giving hope that a turnaround at the wannabe enterprise flash storage supplier is under way. SanDisk_Q2_2015 SanDisk financials ... Click image to increase its size …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2015

Object storage adoption: Why, when, where… and, importantly, but

Comment In one of my recent posts, I wrote about private object storage not being for everyone, especially if you don’t have the size to make it viable. On the other hand, we are all piling up boatloads of data and users need to access it from many different locations, applications and devices at anytime. Object storage …

Storage unicorns and their hyped-up horns

Comment A venture-capitalist-tracking website has revealed a list of unicorns, which are startups valued at a billion dollars or more. Eight storage companies are in the list; does this mean a glorious outcome for them? The CB Insights’ list contained these familiar names: Dropbox at $10bn (£6.4bn), and hence a “decacorn” Cloudera …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2015

ATTOboy, says Nexenta as it lets you HA-ve a FibreBridge or two

NexentaStor MetroHA provides high-availability at city-wide distances for NexentaStor shared storage arrays, making it viable for high-availability needs. NexentaStor's open source storage software involves controllers (heads) linking to the storage enclosures by ATTO FibreBridge 6500 rackmount controllers by 8Gbit/s Fibre …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2015

Storage slump? Dunno what you're talking about, beams EMC

EMC basically saw off most signs of a storage slump with a two per cent revenue rise in its second quarter 2015, although with revenue being reduced after paying $75m in a VMware pricing settlement with the US government. Revenues of $5.98bn generated profits of $487m, 17 per cent down on profits a year ago, but still well …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jul 2015
Job cuts jpeg

Staff at stumbling server storage supplier QLogic brace for big layoffs

QLogic, swaying in the doorway with a tatty photocopy of its lousy prelim results in hand, has warned staff they will be axed to cut costs. A couple of weeks ago, the server-storage connectivity card vendor signaled poor first fiscal 2016 quarter results were coming: sales will be up to $19m lower than the most optimistic …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015
Layout of IBM's four superconducting quantum bit device. Using a square lattice, IBM is able to detect both types of quantum errors for the first time. This is the best configuration to add more qubits to scale to larger systems. (Credit: IBM Research)

Big Blue bafflement: Anyone in IBM Storage know which way is up?

Comment IBM's storage hardware revenues continued their long-term dive, judging by the corp's latest financial results. It's getting hard to know what to say about this. IBM is supposed to be one of the best-managed corporations in the world and yet, for twenty quarters in a row, its quarterly storage revenues have declined on the …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015
Swarm of Auklets

Caringo insists its software is more than a Swarm in a tea cup

Object storage startup Caringo has upgraded its Swarm software to handle partial disk failures gracefully and play nice with large object deletions, node retirement, and upgrade. Swarm is Caringo's re-branded and developed CAStor object storage software and came out as Swarm v7 in May last year. Caringo said it was going to …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015

Flash in the pan? Dell 3D TLC AFAs are cheaper than spinning rust

Dell is hitting a $1.66/GB all-flash array street price point using 3D TLC flash drives from Samsung, the first enterprise array supplier to go 3D and TLC. TLC (triple-level cell) NAND has 3 bits per cell and its production cost is roughly two thirds of 2-bits/cell MLC flash, the bulk of storage array flash shipped today. It’s …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2015

Seagate pumps up EVault capabilities to enterprise level

Seagate has improved the punch and capacity of its EVault hybrid backup products, with 4X speed boost and 5X capacity enlargement. EVault hybrid backup uses on-premises appliances storing some data locally and sending the rest to a public cloud service; Seagate’s own or Azure in the USA with national service providers in EMEA …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jul 2015
Shaun of the Dead

SourceForge staggers to feet after lengthy STORAGE FAIL outage

Popular open source code-hosting repository SoureForge has been battling a significant outage for days and is slugglishly recovering from a lengthy Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) drama. On Thursday, the site slipped into "disaster recovery mode" and since then it has been a torrid time for sysadmins …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Jul 2015

Server storage slips on robes, grabs scythe, stalks legacy SANs

Analysis In ten years, legacy enterprise storage-area networks (SANs), network-attached storage (NAS), and direct-attached storage (DAS) revenues will have lost 88 per cent of their present value, according to Wikibon research. Nearly 90 per cent of today's storage revenues will then be split between enterprise server SANs and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2015

Quantum blames wobbly storage world for its own wobbly financials

They say that when the tide goes out you can see who's been swimming naked. It's going out for Barracuda, QLogic, and Seagate, and Quantum makes four as it bares lousy preliminary Q1 numbers. Instead of the hoped-for $125 million to $135 million revenues in its first fiscal 2016 quarter, it's looking at just $111 million. This …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2015

Helpful Nimble enhances NUKE THE LOT option on array control panel

Hybrid array supplier Nimble Storage has added evolutionary tweaks to its array software to enable more precise control of performance, better data security, and a programmatic interface for building your own workflows and reports. Its product is NAF, the Nimble Adaptive Flash Platform, which is branding for its CS-Series …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jul 2015