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Fresh and fast little flashers from NetApp

NetApp has launched two new all-flash FAS arrays, won a top 3 SPC-1 storage benchmark result, and announced a new flash capacity guarantee programme. The all-flash FAS (AFF) A200 and A700s join the existing A300 and A700, which came into view in September. Place the A200 under the A300 on your mental NetApp AFF positioning map …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2017
Openio_CEO_Laurent_Denel

OpenIO hires strategy head, aims disruptor beams at storage industry

OpenIO, an object storage startup, has recruited Enrico Signoretti as its head of product strategy. He has commented on storage matters for The Register – see here and here for example – runs the Juku consultancy and co-organises the Tech Unplugged conferences from his Rimini, Italy, base. OpenIO's technology uses a grid of …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2017

A flash of brilliance or just a flash in the pan?

Study All-Flash Arrays were one of the hottest themes on the pages of The Reg during 2016, so we want to dig deep into your knowledge and experience with these systems to get the details. Are AFAs fit for prime time in your organisation? Just as importantly, what do you think about the vendors and channel partners selling such …
Dale Vile, 1 Feb 2017
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Revealed: Soros Group behind mystery unit that gobbled Violin Memory

A Soros hedge fund vehicle made the winning bid at Violin Memory's January 23 auction. The winner, as we reported on Monday, was VM Bidco. Today, we can say that this organization was set up by the Soros Group, part of Soros Fund Management, and it fought off VMA LLC, ESW Capital and others. It won the three-day-long auction …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2017
Man relaxes, stretches out, outs his feet up on a cloud.... Fun but hammy stock pic. Photo by Shutterstock

We're building a wall and the over-30TB market is going to pay for it

Interview After our relatively crude attempt to segment the backup market, ExaGrid CEO Bill Andrews got in touch wanting to talk about their way of divvying up the market. What he described seemed a neat enough way of doing it, and far better than our three-group attempt. Bill is a say-it-as-he-sees-it guy who deals with …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jan 2017
Tesla_Roadster

Between you and NVMe: NetApp dishes on drives and fabric access

Interview El Reg has asked a large number of storage array vendors about their views of NVMe solid state drives and NVMe over Fabrics access to such drives. The combination promises to effectively kill array network access latency issues and make array access equivalent to reading and writing data from a locally attached flash drive. So …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jan 2017

'Alexa, manage my enterprise storage'

When we rather fancifully wrote a column about storage system management by chatbot, and added the idea of an Alexa-type, speech-recognizing front end, we thought we’d left the back of our envelope far, far behind. Turns out we hadn’t. Tintri has been working to develop a chatbot for storage admin staff. The chatbot project …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jan 2017
Gavel

So the co. that won the bid for VM is called (drumroll): VM Bidco...

One "VM Bidco" has been revealed as the successful bidder for Violin Memory at its auction. Violin's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings have now revealed two failed attempts, spaced a year apart, to sell the firm. US federal court filings for the bankruptcy proceedings list document 172 which states: The highest and best value for …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2017
L200_Slim

Memory loss: Toshiba puts chip biz up for sale

Toshiba says it will sell off its memory semiconductor business as it looks to recuperate from the write-off of losses to its nuclear power business. The Japanese electronics giant said on Friday that it wants to flog its flash chips and SSD divisions of its storage and electronic devices solutions company by March 31 of this …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jan 2017
Titanic, image via shutterstock

Time to face the music, Violin Memory: Upstart's asset auction is over

Violin Memory's assets were scheduled to be put up for auction on Monday in New York. So far, no successful bids have been announced, although a buyer could be revealed by the end of the month. Violin filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December after failing to find a new owner to take it under its wing. Since October 2015, …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017
recruitment_hired

NetApp rehires former exec Thurlow to run UK biz

Industry grey beard Nick Thurlow has returned to NetApp to run the UK business half a decade after he quit. Thurlow told us he started the role on Monday following six months of freedom after leaving his post at NetApp distributor Arrow ECS. “I’m running the UK. I was there for 12 year previously, NetApp has some good plans …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2017

WD Corp picks teeth after SanDisk dinner, seems pleased with fuller figure

+Comment Western Digital Corp, still digesting SanDisk, is selling more disk drives than arch-rival Seagate and appears to be doing a booming flash business as well, for now. Second quarter revenues totalled $4.9bn, 48 per cent up on a year ago - but then WDC did buy SanDisk and its flash business in between, and 4 per cent up …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017
Champagne_bottles

Too early for champers? Quantum faces its first sales rise in a decade

Get the champagne ready; Quantum might be facing its first annual revenue increase in 10 years – if the next quarter goes to plan. Quantum did as its preliminary 3Q17 statement said it would and showed third-quarter results significantly ahead from a year ago. Revenues of $133.5m were up 8 per cent on the $128m a year ago and …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017
Ralph Wiggum as Hamlet, ready to stab

En garde! Touché! Sorry for the cliché! Pure Storage flashes its blade

Can Pure Storage keep up its booming growth as FlashBlade, its Big Data flash box, becomes generally availabile? FlashBlade is its second solid-state storage product line following the primary data-storing FlashArray. It's aimed at fast access to unstructured data for analytics and so forth, with Pure mentioning data-intensive …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017
Guy in shirt and tie visits the beach. wearing "beach business-casual". Photo by Shutterstock

Toss your day job. Start a backup company. Sorted

Analysis A conversation with Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins revealed a company whose customers are heading steadily towards the cloud – where the full stack approaches of Dell, HPE and others can’t hold sway – and where Barracuda, natch, thinks it can grow and grow. As a reminder, the company reported revenues of around $90m in its latest …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017
whitehall road in London. <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-637816p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Albert Pego</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

Infinidat slims down in UK: Storage upstart has just handful of Brit staff

Infinidat has slimmed its UK office from 17 heads to just four since January 2016, and has not won a new customer in that time, we're told. The company, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, is Moshe Yanai's creation that eschews an all-flash design. It sells monolithic storage arrays in competition with EMC VMAX kit, …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2017

HPE buying SimpliVity is like a 'unicorn barbecue' – HCI boss man

Interview El Reg talked with Scale Computing co-founder and CEO Jeff Ready and asked him about the HPE SimpliVity acquisition and what it means for HPE, for the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) market, and for Scale. See if you agree with his thinking that Scale is better positioned than HPE in the HCI market. El Reg: How did the …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2017

Spun-out Nexsan now prowling the market for growth and acquisitions

Nexsan's sale to private equity has gone through and the company is now looking to drive organic and inorganic growth. Spear Point Capital affiliate NXSN Acquisition Corp bought Nexsan from Imation. CEO Bob Fernander and CTO Geoff Barrall will continue to run Nexsan, which is being given up to $10 million in fresh private …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jan 2017
Bring out yer dead!

IBM: We're not putting XIV on the cart

IBM’s XIV storage array has three more product releases coming, and is not going away, although it is not having a fourth generation version developed, the firm has claimed. Eric Herzog, CMO and VP of marketing and management for IBM storage and software-defined infrastructure, contacted us about our XIV-going-away story and …
Chris Mellor, 24 Jan 2017
HP CTO Martin Fink

Former HPE CTO Fink retires retirement, returns to tech

Well, well, whaddya know? Meg Whitman announces Martin Fink’s retirement as CTO and HPE Labs top dog, where he evangelised the Machine and memristors, but the fabled techie was clearly not ready to swan off into a post-work life of shed-building and ocean cruises just yet. He's back in the industry and mad for it. Fink has …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017
Burned chips. pic by shutterstock

We burned chips in 2016... but then semiconductor sales got healthy again. Whew

Global semiconductor revenue is set to rise 7.2 per cent over 2016 because of ramping demand for DRAM and app-specific standard products for the IoT and allied markets, according to Gartner's digital witch-doctors. ASSPs (app-specific standard products) are like ASICs but for general customers, not individual ones. "After a …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017

One sales guy in, one sales guy out, Primary Data shakes it all about

In comes Robert Wilson and out goes Kaycee Lai at Primary Data. Kaycee Lai was SVP for products and global sales at Primary Data. He's joined Waterline Data, a data catalogue startup, as president and COO. Lai joined Primary Data following his role as sales head at Virsto in September 2013. He's also spent time at Delphix and …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017

Trumping free trade: Say 'King of Bankruptcy' Ross does end up in charge of US commerce

Storage Blockhead Say hello to Wilbur Ross, "King of Bankruptcy" and the likely next US Secretary of State for Commerce – the man charged with implementing President Trump's promise to bring home the jobs stolen by cheap labour countries using free trade policies. Suppose he has his minions look over the storage industry, what will they see? …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jan 2017
graveyard_648

IBM is letting storage hardware revenues slip gently off into the night

Analysis IBM's fourth quarter and full year 2016 results showed the now traditional storage hardware revenue decline, while all-flash array and software-defined storage revenues grew double digits. IBM's results announcement material said that storage HW revenues were down 10 per cent on the year. Our calculation is that they are thus …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017
Zhenyuanlong suni fossil

XIV goes way of the dinosaurs as IBM nixes fourth-gen storage array

IBM is not going to develop a fourth-generation XIV storage array because an upcoming FlashSystem A9000R using 3D flash can be sold for the same cost as disk. XIV is the highly reliable, Moshe Yanai-designed array, which IBM bought in 2008 for a rumoured $300m. Unusually, the technology used clustered nodes, each using cheap …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017
Cohesity C2000

Ain't no party like an 80-plus-customer Cohesity party

Analysis Secondary storage silo converging startup Cohesity has added entry-level hardware as it reaches 80+ customers and 100+ US resellers. The existing scale-out C2300 and C2500 systems have 12-48TB and 24-96TB of disk capacity and 800GB-3.2TB and 1.6TB-6.4TB of PCIe flash, respectively. The C2100 slots in underneath these systems …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017
Terminator

What's SimpliVity CEO Doron Kempel and Arnie got in common? They'll both be back

Profile SimpliVity CEO and cofounder Doron Kempel is a two-time storage startup winner. With HPE buying his firm for $650m, what will he do next? Before becoming involved as a storage business executive, he had what seems like a classic Israeli tech entrepreneur’s experience in the Israeli Defence Forces, only more so – much more so, …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017

Can all-flash arrays, spinning disks and hybrid really live together?

Conventional wisdom says that for performance-sensitive applications, you want all-flash arrays (AFAs), while for less-critical applications and bulk storage, disk is better. How can you use them in conjunction with each other? What would a joint AFA/hybrid/disk environment look like? Broadly speaking, there are two types of …
Danny Bradbury, 19 Jan 2017
Space_Shuttle_launch

Hyperconvergered-ception: HPE swallows SimpliVity

Analysis SimpliVity, the second-placed hyperconverged infrastructure appliance startup, has been bought by HPE for $650m, setting the stage for mainstream vendor dominance of the hyperconverged market. HPE now has its own proprietary software stack plus a 3PAR-style hardware-accelerated product line that will fit nicely above its …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017
Are you being served?

Irish flash extender startup goes 3D

Flash drive life extender NVMdurance has enlarged its market by developing techniques for extending the life of 3D flash drives. Its current Pathfinder product is a suite of machine learning algorithms that can be applied to planar (2D) MLC (2bits/cell) and TLC (3bits/cell) flash to find the best way register values for NAND …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017

Did somebody say object storage? 9 ways to tell if there's a point

Comment Object storage is a relatively new market segment that has continued to grow steadily and is starting to find more reasons for adoption. For the uninitiated, object stores are used to hold large volumes of unstructured data, where each "object" is essentially a file with no specific format (also called a binary file). Object …
Chris Evans, 18 Jan 2017
People party in a nightclub. Photo by Shutterstock

WANdisco stuffs IBM-boosted deal cash wads into its flared trouser pockets

WANdisco's OEM selling deal with IBM has brought home the Big Blue bacon with total bookings up 72 per cent year-on-year to $15.5m. The UK provider of Fusion replication software says it has enjoyed a business and revenue boost since IBM's sales force started selling its product to help enterprise customers send transactional …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
handshake_648

Multi-silo data-sucker Alluxio inks deal with Dell EMC

Alluxio, the multi-silo Big Data access accelerating startup which did a deal with Huawei last year, has signed a similar one with Dell EMC for its ECS product. The problem Alluxio fixes is that many separate storage schemes exist for large-scale unstructured data that needs to be accessed by many analytics-style apps. Each …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
Still from Back to the Future II. Pic: Universal

Seagate hauls out fat form factor throwback hard drive

It's back to the future for the latest Seagate large form factor disk with a low capacity. The company has introduced a 3.5-inch 1TB and 2TB disk drive spinning at 7,200rpm with a slow 6Gbps SATA interface, and called it an Enterprise Capacity drive. Remarkably, other 3.5-inch Enterprise Capacity drives of Seagate's go up to …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
A man holding a cup of coffee

OpenIO, blind nano-nodes and coffee cup detection

Interview In a story about ARM-powered, Ethernet-addressed, object storing disk drives, I said such drives couldn’t carry out image searches at a drive-level because they would be operating "blindfolded". OpenIO says “rubbish” to that in a blog it wrote (I exaggerate.) So I spoke to OpenIO’s co-founder and COO Marie Ponseel, suggesting …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017
AI

Sysadmin chatbots: We have the technology

Storage Blockhead Chatbots are flashing up in our future view as something that could improve an admin's lot. Instead of using a GUI with nested and drill-down screen forms to do their job, they'll have a new form of Command Line Interface, only this will be a Chat Line Interface to a chatbot. Array vendor Tintri is showing how this could be …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017

Prepare for ReRAM speed! Crossbar samples SMIC chips

ReRAM startup Crossbar has sample embedded ReRAM chips from SMIC that are currently undergoing evaluation. SMIC is using a 40nm process and there are plans for a 28nm process in development but Crossbar envisages scaling at least to 16nm and 10nm but then lower. The chip design uses non-conductive amorphous silicon (a-SI) …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Nantero NRAM chip

Market researchers big up NRAM

A market-research report suggests carbon nanotube storage developer Nantero could be on the verge of a breakout after years of disappointment and struggle. A tipping point could be its licensing deal with Fujitsu, which the BCC Research report, "Is NRAM Creating Market Volatility?" mentions. Nantero did not sponsor the BCC …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
Container-ship

Do containers stack up as data storage building blocks?

Storage Architect There’s an almost religious divide between those who see containers as entirely stateless objects and others taking a more pragmatic approach that says state and containers is an inevitable thing. In the stateless model, data is assumed to be replicated and protected by many container instances, so the loss of any individual …
Chris Evans, 13 Jan 2017
Gacek_and_Cohen

Quantum: Well, would you look at that. We've made some money!

Quantum has surprised itself with preliminary quarterly revenue numbers well ahead of plan. Back in October, its second fiscal 2017 quarter saw an uptick in both revenues and profits after a whole slew of quarters showing downturns and even losses, as declining tape revenues obliterated gains from multi-tiered, single …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2017
The Japanese pulsar-snooping balloon

A deduping backup target startup going public – who'd a thought it?

Exagrid, whch produces deduping disk backup target arrays, announced record revenue for the fourth 2016 quarter; its 12th,consecutive cash-positive quarter. It grew double digits over the previous quarter and same quarter of the prior year as well as for the full year of 2016 over 2015. The company wants to increase the …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2017

IBM: Cognitive computing needs flash arrays, mark our words

IBM has announced all-flash versions of three DS8880 monolithic arrays revealed last year, with increased flash capacities and a coat of cognitive marketing paint. The previous systems were the DS8884, DS8886 and DS8888. Now we have all-flash variants, denoted by an "F" suffix. These arrays are tailored to provide storage for …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jan 2017