More stories

Leatherman

Hyper-convergence: Whither the alternative stack, VM lads?

Comment A few weeks ago I attended Storage Field Day 7 (SFD7). Most of the conversations we had during the event were about hyper-convergence. We had at least three meetings where hyper-convergence was centre-stage: Maxta, Springpath and VMware. The market is very active, to say the least, and still in an effervescently expanding phase …
Virtual machine servers. Pic: Bob Mical

Want to super scale-out? You'll be hungry for flash

Scale-out flash arrays sound excessive but they are really not. After all, we can understand scale-out filers, adding node after node to store rapidly growing file populations. Use cheap and deep disk for the data, with flash stashes used to hold the metadata and locate files fast. When the files are large then sequential access …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2015
Ice cores stored in a snow trough at the Bruce Plateau camp. Credit: Ellen Mosley-Thompson, OSU

The data centre design that lets you cool down – and save electrons

I started my commercial data centre experience in London in the late 1990s. Even back then, most of the service providers were parroting the same mantra: “Your power provision is limited, and we'll charge you through the nose for anything over the basic consumption figure you've signed up to.” The logic most of them gave was the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Apr 2015

Are YOU The One? Become a guru of your chosen sysadmin path

Systems administrators are system administrators, right? Not really. Once upon a time systems admins were jack of all trades and (perhaps) master of them all. Most of the IT-related functions were performed by an administrator and if some new technology came along they adapted and learnt the new package or system. However, as IT …
Stuart Burns, 17 Apr 2015
Bullshit graffiti on side of van in San Francisco

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

Comment Google has been forced to retract a claim that it only delivers 10 per cent of traffic to news sites after one of those cited – The Guardian – said the figure was "nonsense." The 10 per cent figure was supposed to act as a counter-argument to the European Commission's decision to formally accuse Google of illegally abusing its …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Apr 2015
Log jam

Startups face logjam as the trickle towards the exit turns into flood

Comment The mass of storage start-ups is threatening to overwhelm the exit routes into the great, wide post-start-up world, dooming many to lingering deaths or outright failure. Remember Attrato, Copan, Coraid, Exafile, Nirvanix, Parascale, Starboard Storage and TrueSAN? Hopeful storage start-ups that failed to make it from the start-up …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2015
UNIX developers Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie working on a DEC PDP-11 minicomputer

Is hyper-convergence a good thing? Ask a mini computer veteran

Hyper-converged systems integrate compute, storage and networking into a single purchasable entity that is easier to deploy, operate and manage than traditional best-of-breed component systems. They are a step up from converged systems that integrated just storage and compute. That's the simple story – but the definitions are …
Chris Mellor, 14 Apr 2015
VoLTE compatible: LG Revolution

Korean telco LG Uplus launches first ever 4G voice roaming service

Comment More than two decades after the first digital roamed voice calls, 4G has caught up with what GSM was invented for. You can now speak to someone using 4G when you are not in your home country. There are some limitations: you can only make a call if you are a subscriber to LG Uplus – the number-three operator in Korea – and the …
Simon Rockman, 13 Apr 2015

Learn yourself hireable: Top tips for improving your tech appeal

There comes a point in most people’s career when they get a bit bored of the day job and start looking to move. but one factor that can prevent upward mobility is a tired CV. Aside from the obvious updating and checking for grammar and punctuation errors, what else can give that bit of sparkle back to the resumé and get it …
Stuart Burns, 13 Apr 2015

Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Legacy IT is toxic. Virtualisation is the default choice for new data centre deployments, but for existing and legacy workloads, justifying hardware refreshes is often difficult. Shedding light on the often poorly-accounted-for costs hiding in your data centre can provide sufficient rationale to move your infrastructure forward …
John Nicholson, 10 Apr 2015
Terminator display

Self-aware storage? It'll be fine. Really - your arrays aren't the T-1000

Comment In the last few months I have had several interesting briefings with storage vendors. Now, I need to stop and try to connect the dots, and think about what could come next. It’s incredible to see how rapidly the storage landscape is evolving and becoming much smarter than in the past. This will change the way we store, use and …
SAmsung_3D_NAND_process_950

Extensive 3D NAND drives very expensive to make

The flash industry is going to have to dig deep – really, really deep – to fund the fabs needed to build 3D NAND. Stifel MD Aaron Rakers bas been crunching numbers and comparing foundry capital costs for NAND over the next few years with those for disk drive fabs. The forthcoming flash fab costs are driven by the conversion to …
Chris Mellor, 9 Apr 2015

The VMware, Nutanix mud wrestle is hilarious, but which one is crying with fear on the inside?

Sysadmin blog So Nutanix is in yet another spat with VMware. The big ones are getting to be a yearly affair. That's great for them: these little soap operas seem amusing, but underneath it all, there are some very serious issues being hashed out. VMware wants control of our data centers. The whole stack, top to bottom. It wants to be the only …
Trevor Pott, 8 Apr 2015
Invicta appliance

The Perez Peregrination: Invicta and the move to Dell

Comment The background to the peregrination of Paul Perez from Cisco to Dell throws up some interesting points related to the depressing setback of Cisco’s Invicta flash array program. Perez moved from being the VP and general manager of computing systems at Cisco, Mr UCS server in other words, to become the chief technology officer for …
Chris Mellor, 8 Apr 2015
Impalement

Nutanix looking for a way to burst VMware's bubble

Comment Rumours are circulating about a hypervisor built by Nutanix, and Nutanix open-sourcing its software; two intriguing moves. Why would Nutanix make these moves as VMware ratchets up its attack on hyper-converged vendors with EVO:RAIL? Start-up Nutanix is a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) supplier, widely-regarded …
Chris Mellor, 2 Apr 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Pumping billions into data centres won't guarantee you an empire

It's not a surprise for us, in economics, to find that we've got two (or more) different processes going on, each working in opposite directions. The final result will come from the interaction of the two and we're never really sure which is going to win out. Sometimes, in a certain society, one will beat the other, and at some …
Tim Worstall, 1 Apr 2015

The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Breaking Fad Among my collection of radios, I have a couple of DAB sets, a 1940 Pilot Twin Miracle, a 1950s Ferguson that needs a bit of repair, and a rather long-in-the-tooth Marantz tuner as part of the living room hi-fi. It's a while since I powered up the Pilot, but it still more or less worked, which is not bad going for something that …
Roy Lichtenstein Wham! Bang!

Kaminario playing 3D flash chippery doo-dah with its arrays

Interview Twitter can be great. There we were, we storage twits, talking about 3D flash, when Kaminario CTO Shachar Fienblit got in touch to say Kaminario was using 3D flash already. That makes it the first enterprise storage supplier to go 3D NAND, as far as we know, and has an 800GB 3D NAND SSD in its set of flash media. We got in touch …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2015

Think server vulns are the IT department's problem? Think again

Regardless of the type or size of business you're part of, the way we approach security has changed forever. Gone are the days that a business can feel safe with its security design model. Attacks have become more sophisticated. Your organization should no longer be thinking about “if” an attack will happen, but be planning for …
Theresa Miller, 31 Mar 2015

Pure CEO dons cheerleader outfit, harangues world, dog

Comment Pure’s chief evangelist officer executive officer, Scott Dietzen, has blown Pure’s trumpet about its 2014 business. It’s a mighty blast: he has big lungs and he’s cheerleading his now 850-plus staff when he says the all-flash array (AFA) start-up, has: Recruited an additional 500 staff Grown revenue more than 300 per …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2015
Facebook data center - interior, lit up

One day all this could be yours: Be Facebook, without being Facebook

Data centre design is a costly business, costing Apple $1.2bn for a pair of “next-generation” carbon-neutral plants in Ireland and Denmark. Even the smallest average Joe data centre will easily cost north of $1m once the options such as multihomed networks, HVAC systems and other such critical kit is installed with redundancy, …
Stuart Burns, 30 Mar 2015
ice hockey puck

Don't listen to me, I don't know what I'm talking about – a pundit speaks

Storagebod A day rarely goes by without someone declaring one technology or another is dead and rarely a year goes by without someone declaring this to be the year of whatever product they happen to be pimping, or be in favour of. Yet you can often find dead technologies in rude health and rarely does it actually turn out to be the year of …
StorageBod, 30 Mar 2015

Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

Comment Expect more bland Europop and formulaic Hollywood blockbusters in your future if a proposal by European Commissioner Andrus Ansip are implemented, cultural industries in smaller European states say. Groups predict that European culture will look a lot less diverse if the robotic single market Kommissar succeeds in forcing pan- …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Mar 2015
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

What is HPC actually good for? Just you wait and see

High Performance Computing (HPC) is all terribly exciting. We get announcements about this supercluster or that beating the number of teraflops of that other one (or, more likely these days, petaflops). Or maybe it's data throughput or storage size or even transfer rates. And, perhaps the most interesting way of thinking about …
Tim Worstall, 27 Mar 2015

50 BILLION devices: The future that Juniper Networks wants to tap

Juniper Networks wants to produce products capable of transforming networks to capitalise on new growth opportunities brought on by the connected world. That is, essentially, its raison d'être. The firm says that with new devices we get new content and therefore new network traffic flows. This is a logical enough supposition for …
Motorway surveillance control room

Silent server monitoring: A neat little cure that doesn't kill the patient

It’s a typical day in IT. A quirky and poorly developed application meant to be on the testing server sneaks into production. Before anyone realises what's happened (something that can sadly take some organisations months) hundreds of external users are using it. Uh oh. Suddenly, the infrastructure team finds out that this …
John Nicholson, 26 Mar 2015
George_Kurian

NetApp veep: 'We've shifted 750,000 all-flash arrays'. Er, really?

UPDATED Interview There has been a sea change in the FlashRay project, NetApp's ground-up all-flash array product development, with execs leaving and the project being absorbed into the overall ONTAP organisation. So we interviewed George Kurian, NetApp's product operations EVP, to find out about FlashRay's status and positioning, and NetApp's …
Chris Mellor, 26 Mar 2015
HP cloud

So you've been told to build a cloud. No one was fired for buying HP hardware, er, right?

HP loves a big box with a few lights on it and the latest is HP's Cloudline range of servers, launched in March. The products are unsurprisingly (the clue is in the name) said to be particularly well-suited for deployment in cloud-centric data centres. HP Cloudline is actually a family of products, so these machines share …
Don Draper is sad

Tears of a cloud: Don’t be let down by backup and disaster recovery

For many, the advent of cloud storage was a blessing. Cherished pictures and videos, contact lists, documents and more could be automatically put online and saved (theoretically) forever. Enterprises took notice as well and now, cloud backups are fairly standard practice. However, business and individuals have one significant …
Josh Folland, 24 Mar 2015
Inside the CMS experiment

BIG DATA wizards: LEARN from CERN, not the F500

Big data has a problem: it is being abused. One of the biggest misconceptions is that big data is about archiving everything forever, buying the biggest, cheapest storage pool, and building a giant proverbial barn of hay in order to try to find needles. Vendor marketing has abused this. Consider marketing that advises that you …
John Nicholson, 23 Mar 2015
Fluffy grey ragdoll cat relaxes next to laptop.

Distribution of cream among EMC executive fat cats revealed

Fancy finding out how much EMC fat cats earn? Read on. Total compensation – meaning share options, salary and bonuses – for the top execs at EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II) in 2014 looked like this: Joe Tucci (EMC Chairman & CEO) – $11,203,318 David Goulden (EMC II CEO) – $10,531,257 Howard Elias (President & COO …
Chris Mellor, 23 Mar 2015

Docker: Networking's new twist on micro services

We know that data centres operate with a high proportion of abstraction technologies. This should come as no surprise – the cloud services they house are in and of themselves physically “abstracted” (or, perhaps, even “conceptualised”) chunks of computing and storage power. We also know that Docker, as an open-source application …

Qumulo: What the scale-out NAS market has been waiting for

StorageBod One of the things I have been lamenting for some time with many vendors is that there's been a lack of truly credible alternatives to EMC’s Isilon product in the scale-out NAS space. There are some technologies out there that could compete, but they just seem to fall/fail at the last hurdle. There are also technologies packaged …
StorageBod, 20 Mar 2015
Lightning

The storage is alive? Flash lives longer than expected – report

StorageBod The Tech Report has been running an ‘SSD Endurance Experiment’ utilising consumer SSDs to see how long they last and what their "real world" endurance really is. It seem that pretty much all of the drives are very good and last longer than their manufacturers state. It's a fairly unusual state of affairs – something in IT that …
StorageBod, 19 Mar 2015
K2

What else has Kaminario got under its kimono?

Comment Last week I attended Storage Field Day 7. One of the companies I met at the event was Kaminario, producer of an all-flash array (AFA). This start-up has a potentially good product, with its own pros and cons, but the question here is: Is “good” still enough to have a serious chance of success in this market segment? A few words …
True 3D Technology

A day may come when flash memory is USELESS. But today is not that day

The era of flash memory is anticipated to run out of road in the 2020s and newer technologies involving resistance and electron spin are poised to take over, delivering higher capacities, greater speed and DRAM-style addressability. Some people ask if one of these new technologies could actually unify dynamic memory (RAM) and …
Chris Mellor, 18 Mar 2015
sign post pointing to trail in two different directions

MOVE IT! 10 top tips for shifting your data centre

The scenario's a hauntingly familiar one. You're the IT person who's just been told by the boss: “We're moving the kit to <insert name of whatever data centre he's signed up with in a panic>, now get on and do it.” I've done more than my fair share of migrations from on-premise systems to data centres – and more often than not …
Dave Cartwright, 18 Mar 2015
Illustration of an atom

CERN turns to Seagate’s Kinetic system and says ‘it’s storage time’

Comment CERN, with its extremely high-tech, bleeding-edge Big Data wizardry, is waved around like a trophy by IT suppliers these days. Now Seagate has stepped up onto the CERN stage, wanting to get its Kinetic disk drives used to store Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data. Seagate has gone and signed a three-year deal with CERN to scoop …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
Veritas_5330_NetBackup_Appliance

Storage biz gets down with da kidz, announces new update on Reddit

Comment A NetBackup update is coming from Veritas, according to a Reddit forum. Veritas hosted an AMA (ask me anything) discussion on 13 March which has been posted to Reddit. According to the postings, NetBackup 7.7 will feature more capabilities in these following areas: Cloud storage, with Google Cloud Storage Nearline mentioned …
Chris Mellor, 17 Mar 2015
VMAX3

EMC pulls on its DSSD boxing gloves and crooks a finger at Oracle

Comment What we're learning about EMC’s DSSD all-flash array project suggests it’s going to be the weapon of choice for the company in its war against Oracle's Engineered Systems. DSSD could well be the new VMAX – a truly enterprise-class reliable all-flash array, but not one with XtremIO and VMAX-class data services. XtremIO is meant …
Chris Mellor, 16 Mar 2015
Micron 128-gigabit multi-level cell NAND Flash memory device

Let's talk about the (real) price of flash and spinning disks

Comment Lately I have been writing a lot about the role of flash memory and disk drives in the future of storage infrastructure (here and here are a couple of examples). And it's clear flash will be used for primary workloads, and object storage and disks for the rest. The reality is that flash memory is quickly becoming already a no- …
Peekabooty - censorship bears

Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it

Comment The internet is gradually gaining a whole lot of new top-level domain names, from the useful (.app, .dev) to the more whimsical (.ninja, .lol), thanks to ICANN's dot-word gold rush. Most of these dot-words are available to world + dog to register fresh domains, such as theregister.science. However, some owners are keeping their …