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Storage Short Take #1

In the spirit of my friend Scott Lowe‘s great Short Take series, I’m going to try to see if I can get some consistency in providing some updates to Data Center Storage news that comes across my desk, hopefully in a bi-weekly basis. No payment considerations were provided for any items.

Media News

SK-Hynix has announced a 96-layer 4D NAND Flash device. The company claims that it’s smaller and more performant than similar items on the market.

Seagate and IBM are turning to Blockchain technology to fight against counterfeit hard drives on the black market. One of the important things to note is that this represents an interesting trend in high-tech: individual components inside of a device do not necessarily automatically trust each other by default.

Storage Networking

The Fibre Channel Industry Association  (FCIA) has announced its new pricing scheme for becoming a member of the organization, modestly raising prices for the first time in something like 15 years. (Disclosure: I am on the Board of Directors for FCIA and am currently serving as the Secretary).

SNIA has created a Technical Working Group focused on Computational Storage. “The industry is seeing an increase in customer requirements to move compute closer to traditional storage devices and systems. In response, a growing number of data-driven applications have demonstrated that adding computation to the normal storage features of devices and systems can realize a significant performance and infrastructure scaling advantage.”

Speaking of SNIA, the new Board of Directors has been announced. (Disclosure: Yours truly was re-elected on behalf of Cisco Systems, Inc.)

Protocols

NVMe/TCP is now finished and is being integrated into the next version of NVMe-oF 1.1. Expect a more thorough announcement from NVM Express, Inc. in the upcoming months.

Storage Companies in the News

Violin Memory, which most people have thought died in a bankruptcy fire, apparently is still alive and has completed acquisition of X-IO Storage. They intend to rename it Axellio.

Apple, who used to make decent hardware, continues its streak of questionable product manufacturing as some SSDs in their MacBook Pro models are prone to failure.

Dropbox has increased revenue, but also increased losses, as they release their 3Q18 results.

Acronis, an up-and-coming backup company that seems to have very loyal fanbase, has received a patent for blockchain-oriented verification of object-oriented storage. This is so logical and sane than it’s going to be a patent worth defending, I think.

I’ve long been a fan of Excelero, who does a pretty cool NVMe-based SDS solution. They’ve added Fibre Channel and (pre-standard) TCP NVMe-oF solutions to their NVMesh 2 product.

NVMe-oF startup Kazan Networks is making headway with their “Fuji” ASIC, ramping up into full production. I’ve been watching Kazan for a while, and their “bridge technology” is one of the more promising options for providing NVMe over Fabrics transport (RoCEv2, iWARP, and eventually TCP) connectivity to NVMe drives. Looks like they hit 2.8M IOPS.

If you are using Synology Surveillance Station, you will want to upgrade immediately to 8.2.2-5766 or above. A critical security issue has been found that allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code.

Storage Education

Neil Anderson of Flackbox has put together a stellar list of storage simulators. This is definitely one to bookmark.

Storage Research

Researchers have managed to crack encryption on Samsung and Crucial SSDs.

Fun Stuff

A little love for the storage admins out there: A Few Good Storage Administrators.

Here’s the link to the next Storage Short Take (#2).

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