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Docker and storage – solving the problem of data persistence

In June I was in in Seattle, the home of Starbucks, Boeing and Microsoft, for DockerCon 2016. Compared to the normal events I attend, this one promises to be a more “casual” affair, so I sported polo shirts and vendor hoodies as my standard attire. One of the more interesting problems yet to be fully solved with container …
Chris Evans, 18 Jul 2016
Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

VMware's past holds the key to the future of Microsoft's Azure Stack

By most accounts VMware's first stab at hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL software-defined Nutanix clone, was a decent set of software. But it failed, quickly, and has been quietly removed from the frontline. The reason why is simple: in its first incarnation VMware insisted that EVO:RAIL buyers acquire new vSphere licences. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2016
Man looking up spiral staircase inside deltalis mountain data centre

Your next storage will be invisible (for a while)

In the last two or three years I've talked a lot about "Flash & Trash." A two-tier storage strategy to best cope with the increasing demand of high IOPS and low latency from primary applications on the one hand, and high capacity, associated with throughput at times, on the other. This kind of need depends on the type of …

Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Comment ISPs should be banned from “speeding up” internet packets, says a former senior member of Obama’s White House crack tech team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Self-facilitating policy wonk Brian Forde (for it is he) earned derision on Twitter after he urged ISPs not to send packets any faster than they already …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
FlashBlades_950

FlashBlade is closer than you think

Analysis In Alexandre Dumas' novel The Three Musketeers, a Gascon outsider, D'Artagnan, and three musketeers – Aramis, Athos and Porthos – take on De Richelieu, the French Cardinal, along with his allies and troops. In our flash systems world there is a parallel: swashbuckling Pure Storage, led by Scott Dietzen, with three product …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jul 2016

Google on piracy: We really, really care

Comment Google has returned some punches in the PR war over YouTube, claiming it has handed over $3bn in royalties from artists using its Content ID system, or $1bn since 2014. But Content ID is actually one of musicians’ biggest beefs. Google’s implementation of Content ID, which "identifies user-uploaded [YouTube] videos to help …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jul 2016

Keep up the pressure on the telcos, Canada

Sysadmin Blog Bell Canada has lost their second appeal of the July 2015 decision by the CRTC requiring the opening of fibre networks by Canada's major telcos for wholesale consumption by third party ISPs. The result solidifies Canada's presence amongst the nations embracing Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and heralds a round of massive changes in …
Trevor Pott, 12 Jul 2016
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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Comment Rolls-Royce and the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) believe the future of cargo transportation is autonomous – and they have published an 88 page white paper (PDF) to prove it. The company outlined its vision of remote controlled cargo ships at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium in Amsterdam …

When is a refurbished server not refurbished? Ask this Dell reseller

Sysadmin blog What's the difference between a refurbished server and a new one? The term refurbished has a negative connotation, conjuring images of open box returns and non-existent warranties, but in at least one case – Dell's ecosystem – that narrative doesn't quite fit. xByte Technologies is a company of about 50 people based out of …
Trevor Pott, 8 Jul 2016

The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Special Report If the fMRI brain-scanning fad is well and truly over, then many fashionable intellectual ideas look like collateral damage, too. What might generously be called the “British intelligentsia” – our chattering classes – fell particularly hard for the promise that “new discoveries in brain science” had revealed a new …
Dell Poweredge R730 motherboard

Our man pops the hood on Intel's v4 engine: Broadwell Xeons

Sysadmin Blog Recently, I reviewed Supermicro's Microblade system. One of the goals of this review was to compare the new Intel v4 (Broadwell) Xeons to their predecessor v3 (Haswell) Xeons. This was not as easy as it should have been. My front line tool for benchmarking CPUs is Prime 95. Supermicro provided me with 2x Intel Xeon E5 2695 v4 …
Trevor Pott, 7 Jul 2016

DevOps: The spotty faced yoof waiting to blossom

DevOps is a concept that we've all started coming across more and more in the last few months. Critically it's taken a bit of a leap just lately because people have started to: (a) define it formally and (b) actually agree to a decent extent on what the definition is. So, for what its worth, Wikipedia talks of DevOps as: “A …
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Speaking in Tech: As long as you don't blow your fingers off, you're all good

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week Sarah Vela and Eddie pound the pod' to discuss Pernix Data, Google bets and open source communities. Our special guest this week is Jonas Rosland, Developer Advocate and Community Manager at EMC. (1:00) Speaking in Duets (3:24) Double dipping (4:30) Rumour: …
Team Register, 6 Jul 2016
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Nutanix gobbling Pernix – why not?

Comment Rumour has it Nutanix is talking to Pernix Data about a possible acquisition. It could be a good thing for Nutanix and, of course, its customers. All DCs are brown fields If Nutanix's masterplan is to become the management platform for any data centre, it has to expand its product line. It is already at it, as I wrote a few …

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

Comment Classic and enterprise HPC storage supplier DDN Storage has opened up a Research and Development centre in Paris to help grow its European business. Its experience exposes the strengths and weaknesses of the European IT skills and startup scene, it says. The centre has 25 staff and should double that by the end if 2017. DDN …
Chris Mellor, 4 Jul 2016

Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

Comment Some people think the main issue in the UK’s decision to leave the European Union was sovereignty and self-determination. Others think it was migration. Others think it was class. But you’re all wrong. The main issue in Brexit is Martha Lane Fox – and we have her word for it. Into this Broken Brexited Britain strides the niece …

Larry Ellison, Oracle and litigation: A business that's not a business

Analysis Oracle's chalked up yet another stunning courtroom loss. In May, the database giant failed in its bid to have Google stump up $9bn on Android and stake a sweeping claim over APIs and how they're broadly used. And now, this week, Oracle was ordered to pay Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) $3bn for reneging on a commitment to …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Jul 2016
StoreServ_20000_rack_detail

StoreServ's ASIC architect must have one heckuva crystal ball

StoreServ arrays use special hardware, an ASIC, to accelerate storage array operations, and this is redesigned for each major generation of the arrays. The current design is generation 5. Siamak Nazari is an HPE fellow and StoreServ architect, and is heavily involved in the design of the forthcoming gen 6 ASIC. An ASIC design …
Chris Mellor, 1 Jul 2016
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Speaking in Tech: Techcast on Brexit 'You can't argue with people'

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week on our tech chatfest, Sarah Vela, Ed Saipetch and Amy Lewis dish on Brexit, Obama and Theranos. Our special guest this week is Mark Thiele from Apcera. The details... (1:00) Eddie Spinach returns and Amy bounces back from Dockercon (4:42) Brexit bananas (9:33 …
Team Register, 29 Jun 2016
FlashBlade_950

Pure Storage’s FlashBlade is great on paper. But it's still only on paper

I'm not very fond of proprietary hardware. But, as I wrote in March when I saw it for the first time, Pure Storage's FlashBlade seems to demonstrate that Pure has all the attributes to become a primary storage vendor and compete on equal terms against the usual suspects. No longer a startup Pure Storage is demonstrating to …
Memristor_wafer

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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My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

¡Bong! [The following memo was found in a pilates studio in Shoreditch earlier this month, and forwarded to us anonymously. It is sourced to "BV Strategic Relations”, a highly secretive firm apparently registered in Panama, which describes itself as a "bespoke crisis management consultancy to governments”. The authenticity of the memo …
Steve Bong, 28 Jun 2016
Harry Potter

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
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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
POrtworx_banner

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

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 …
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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
network_rail_hst_test_train_cropped

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 …
Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock

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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Speaking in Tech: We don't need Jack – sound off on Apple rumours

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise This week Sarah Vela and Ben Kepes carry our weekly tech world roundup podcast, where they discuss Dockercon, AWS, Musk and Apple headphones. Their special guest this week is Andrew Hillier, CTO and co-founder of Cirba. Here are the subjects – helpfully indexed for your …
Team Register, 22 Jun 2016
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Comment I like this tweet: History of Europe: War War War War War War War Arguments about bananas. To be honest, I'll probably go with banana arguments. #remain — Pavilion Opinions (@pavilionopinion) 29 April 2016 Never mind any arguments about the UK being sucked into a superstate and whether that's a good thing or the …
Seagate_8TB_HDD_trio

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

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

YouTube sharecroppers start world’s most useless trade union

YouTube stars have started a labour guild to represent low paid video producers for sites like YouTube. But it promises to be really, really polite and it won’t be asking Google for more money. Hank Green is a YouTube video producer, who describes himself as a “Internetainerpreneur” (which is all you need to know, really, but …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Jun 2016

Vanishing EMC golden handcuffs could cause brain drain

Stock option-incentivised EMC staff could brain drain out of the company as the Dell acquisition will cash-out their stock options, de-incentivising them. We're told by an EMC insider that: "All EMC golden handcuffs disappear at the Dell acquisition. That is, immediately prior to the acquisition, all EMC restricted stock units …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2016

Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Britain outclasses anywhere in the EU for attracting inward investment, partly because it is in the EU, and Brexit will leave some of those tens of billions looking for a new target. Since Ireland already does well in this, Brexit could turn out rather well for the emerald isle. On the surface, a UK exit from the EU could mean …
Dominic Connor, 16 Jun 2016
Logs and an axe

Hackathons aren't just for hipsters

Glancing up from our smartphones, we catch sight of a world that has suddenly become almost entirely different. Surface appearances haven’t changed very much - buildings and cars and all that infrastructure - but behind the scenes nearly everything has been transformed. Everything … except for business practices. Those haven’t …
Mark Pesce, 16 Jun 2016
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Happy mode, sad mode, DevOps mode: Stop worrying and go bimodal

There’s a debate going on right now about the best way to run IT: specifically, all those custom applications and services inside organizations. Do we try new, agile approaches, or stick to the old, methodical processes? Gartner did much to start this discussion with their bi-modal concept: Bimodal IT is the practice of …
Michael Coté, 15 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016