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Big Data, OpenStack and object storage: Size matters, people

COMMENT I’m talking about Big Data, OpenStack and object storage. In the last two days I’ve come across a couple of articles (here and here), which discuss the adoption of these technologies. Both articles start from surveys that talk about scarce adoption in the enterprise space for these technologies. When talking about them, two …

Cisco tipped to buy 'dominant' STORAGE BADBOY Nutanix

+Comment Jared Rinderer, a senior research analyst at Equity Capital Research Group, has claimed Cisco is about to buy converged infrastructure enfant terrible Nutanix. Rinderer reckons Nutanix is the dominant player in the industry, so is therefore the most likely acquisition for Cisco as it looks to make sure the EMC Federation doesn't …
Simon Sharwood, 18 May 2015

Can Barracuda become the big fish in a small cloud?

Interview It was a rare surprise when Bill (BJ) Jenkins left his position as boss of EMC's Backup Recovery Systems division to become CEO of Barracuda. Barracuda? That was in late 2012 and since then Barracuda has grown, with annual revenues from full-year 2012 to 2015 increasing steadily: $161m, $199m, $234m and $277m in successive years …
Chris Mellor, 18 May 2015

Reader suggestion: Using HDFS as generic iSCSI storage

Comment El Reg reader Greg Koss reckons the Hadoop filesystem can be used to build an iSCSI SAN. Er, say what? Here's his thinking: we could use Hadoop to provide generic storage to commodity systems for general purpose computing. Why would this be a good idea? Greg notes these points: Commodity storage pricing is roughly $60/TB in …
Chris Mellor, 14 May 2015
Hot air baloon, image: Shutterstock

IBM trades cold comfort for hot air in Microsoft-AWS slugfest

IBM is at it again. Earlier this year IBM claimed to be the world’s largest cloud provider, trumpeting a $7bn cloud run rate. By conflating a variety of definitions of “cloud” (including, ironically, hardware), IBM hoped to earn itself a place on the cloud computing podium. It didn’t work. And so, despite Amazon and Microsoft …
Matt Asay, 14 May 2015
XMen 2

SFX studio uses Avere turbocharger to accelerate Isilon rocket

Comment Who would think a rocket needs a turbocharger? Yet data access from Isilon filers is being accelerated by front-end Avere FXT devices in a movie special effects rendering environment. Avere has previous in the SFX industry, having been used to render effects for the film Gravity, accelerating hardware-accelerated BlueArc …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2015

Try-before-you-buy software. Back in vogue for the storage giants?

Comment Nexenta, Nutanix and Unitrends are all giving away software. Why? And EMC has just open-sourced its ViPR controller, while Coraid’s AoE technology is also being made open source. Free storage software seems to be in the air. Nexenta Nexenta’s NexentaStor 5 Community Preview will be introduced at the Citrix Synergy conference …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2015

The BIG stretch: Software and flexing your firm's size

A mathematician (a Fields Medal winner, so a real one) once asked an economist whether there was anything in economics that was non-obvious and non-trivial. Well, the answer that came back was: "It's all obvious or trivial except Ricardo on comparative advantage." So, once explained, this analogy is both obvious and trivial, …
Tim Worstall, 11 May 2015
By Henrik Ishihara licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Pinning a value on big tech's top names. Not as easy as it looks

Does the efficient markets hypothesis (EMH among friends) have any value when looking at tech companies in the enterprise and data centre world? EMH does not mean markets are the efficient way of doing things. There is no implication at all that healthcare, scientific research or the military should be delivered by market …
Tim Worstall, 11 May 2015
Phoenix

Druva Phoenix is heading ROBO-wards via the public cloud

Comment It's not the end after all. End-point backup 'n' sharing biz Druva believes it can extend its end-point expertise to remote offices. Its business is end-point backup and file-sharing, protecting data on business users' laptops, tablets, desktops and smart-phones with the InSync software product designed to minimise resource use …
Chris Mellor, 11 May 2015
Keck Telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, observing the galactic centre

Dell: Good servers and PCs, but for storage ... oh dear

Comment Dell is a great IT company, but it is clear that they have to revise their storage strategy if they want to maintain some relevance in the IT infrastructure space. (and I’m talking about storage because I primarily cover this market … I’m sure that it wouldn’t be difficult to find similar weaknesses in fields like networking. …
See_saw

Who's the fat kid on the storage see-saw? We think it's All-Flash

Analysis We're in a kind of phoney war right now as all-flash arrays, hybrid arrays and hyper-conveged arrays fight for mind-and wallet-share. The storage world is in stasis whilst customers work out what to do with the onslaught of SAN/filer alternatives coming their way. What are the suppliers doing to cover the various ways customers …
Chris Mellor, 8 May 2015
Buffalo_bills_Riders

How NVMe tamed the cowboy world of the flash card

It all started with flash devices upsetting the cosy disk world. Flash was faster than disk at responding to IO requests, if not at streaming data, and the easiest way to put flash drives, solid state drives, into servers and storage arrays was to use disk drive bays and interfaces such as SAS and SATA. This was practical but …
Chris Mellor, 8 May 2015
Ziggurat

MAID to order: Inside Facebook's cold-storage data ziggurats

Analysis Facebook is storing old photos in special cold storage halls, Zucky ziggurats housing racks filled with MAID (massive arrays of idle drives) using erasure coding and anti-bitrot scanning to increase storage density and lower power costs while providing faster-than-tape access. Some two billion photos are shared every day on …
Chris Mellor, 7 May 2015
Barracuda

Barracuda: It's like the IKEA of backup and security

Comment Barracuda, the backup, file copy and security supplier, has a laser-like focus on the mid-market and aims to offer Walmart pricing with Nordstrom quality and features (that's IKEA pricing with Heal's quality for UK readers). It's not a bleeding edge company, aiming instead to move into a market when best-of-breed products have …
Chris Mellor, 7 May 2015
Skull image

Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

It's the kind of vulnerability that's tailor-made for infosec publicity: a brand of infusion pumps used to deliver drugs to patients in hospital has an open, unauthenticated Telnet port that allows an attacker access to the dosage database. Yes, it's a serious vulnerability that presumably applies as much to the pump's WiFi port …
Photo of HP Enterprise office

Merging HP and EMC – hold on, wait, hear us out. The cap is still on the bottle of crazy pills

Comment Does an EMC-HP merger make more sense now than last year when the two titans' inability to agree on a price put a stop to the idea? HP could join the EMC Federation as a servers-and-networking business, and stand alongside EMC II (EMC Information Infrastructure, aka storage), VMware (virtual server software), and Pivotal (big- …
Chris Mellor, 5 May 2015
happy_woman_at_desk

Speaking in Tech: Comcast bails from TWC merger – a nation cheers

Podcast speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise It's another episode of El Reg's best and only tech podcast, hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Greg has escaped to another tech conference, so Sarah and Ed are left to themselves to talk about AWS and Microsoft earnings, Comcast dumping the …
Team Register, 29 Apr 2015
NCI_Report

NetApp’s Raijin deal was driven by simple value for money

Comment NetApp is supplying Data ONTAP storage for use on an Aussie supercomputer (Raijin), which already uses DDN storage, and we wondered about the whys and wherefores of adding three new hardware platforms and two new operating systems. ”The DDN storage in Raijin is used for fast scratch space, and our global data file system (gdata …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
Aster_fraud_Detection_Sphere

Teradata's Aster shows how the flowers of fraud bloom

Comment Teradata’s Aster Data software is a lens through which data scientists can create visualisations of Big Data. Sounds dull, right? Not when you see the beautiful flowery images it creates. The images are simply astounding and you can drill down through them, clicking on points and paths, to get at the underlying raw data. Here’s …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015
Dragon

Beowulf Gods — rip into cloud's coding entrails

Distributed computing is no longer something that only occurs in universities or the basements of the really frightening nerds with Beowulf clusters made of yesteryear's recycled horrors. Distributed computing is sneaking back into our data centres on a number of fronts and it looks like it's probably here to stay. The thing is …
Trevor Pott, 23 Apr 2015
Hungry goat licks lips. Pic: David Goehring

What is the REAL value of your precious, precious data?

Data Pair – Part 2 Multitudes are getting very excited about what all of this data flowing around the system is worth. If we can know lots and lots about lots and lots of things then obviously that's really valuable, yes? And to some extent this is even true. We're not just in a bubble here – the more we can do with data these days, the more that …
Tim Worstall, 22 Apr 2015
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