Storage Short Take #17

In Storage, Technology by J Michel MetzLeave a Comment

Lots of NVMe this time around, and several conferences have made their papers available. As always, links were active at the time of publication.

Storage Media and Technology

Once again, my friend Hubbert Smith is back talking about the History of SLC, MLC, TLC, and QLC NAND Flash. Not everyone will agree with his conclusions, however.

What are the best HDDs for NAS in 2019? TechRadar has some thoughts.

If you’re looking for an overview of NVMe 1.4, here’s a presentation that Nick Adams did at Flash Memory Summit on the Features Overview:


Nick and David Woolf also did a BrightTalk on NVMe 1.4 Features and Compliance. There’s a bit of overlap with the previous one, but a few additional technical details as well.

SNIA has released a podcast on the Real-World Performance Advantages of NVDIMM and NVMe: A Case Study of OpenZFS.

lot of questions have been coming up regarding Computational Storage lately. There are a number of different use cases for Computational Storage, but to be honest it’s still quite nascent in the technology’s life cycle. One use case for it, however, definitely falls into they High Performance Computing (HPC) category. IEEE has a paper on Accelerating HPC Applications Using Computational Storage Devices, for those who are looking for some rather meaty info.

Are HDDs going away? You mean like Tape and Mainframes? Yeah, I’m not holding my breath either. Chris Mellor has a good take on how Hyperscalers will keep HDDs in circulation for quite a while.

Which one is more reliable, SSDs or HDDs? Hubbert Smith says that it’s SSDs, hands-down. I’m not sure I agree 100%, especially as the reliability ratio changes more drastically for SSDs the more full they get (compared to HDDs), but he makes some interesting points.

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Storage Companies in the News

Rubrik and NetApp have entered into a new joint solution together. The idea is to combine Rubrik’s platform with object storage in order to automate the data lifecycle management.

Here’s this episode’s Buzzword Bingo section. Calm your beating hearts over these word salads:

Gartner has released its “highly scientific” Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage. Yay.

DriveScale and Seagate join forces to deliver composable architectures for bare-metal Cloud deployments.

Intel accelerates Data-Centric Technology with Memory and Storage Innovation. Or, in plain English, a new revision of Optane memory.

Why do trade news outlets bother talking about acquisitions that almost, possibly, maybe happened, but definitely did not? Why is this news? This one is about the maybe-possibly-might-have-but-not-sure non-acquisition of Rubrik.

In more positive news, Hammerspace is starting to get some air time for their file-based platform. I was fortunate enough to be given a first-hand introduction to them and find what they’re doing really impressive. To that end, they’ve recently announced some additional features for their Data-as-a-Service offering, including improved support for global undelete, key management system integration, and other multi-Cloud support.

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Industry Associations and Standards

NVMe-oF 1.1 is just about ready to go to the technical vote (and then it goes to the Board for final ratification).

The SNIA Object Drive Technical Working Group (TWG) is now looking for public review of version 1.0k of the Native NVMe-oF Drive Specification. This is the Ethernet-connected NVMe devices that have started to be discussed more commonly in the tech circles.

Are you curious about SNIA’s Emerald Power Efficiency spec? It’s being updated and expanded for use in future revisions, and SNIA has released a technical white paper to discuss the changes.

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Webinars and Conferences˜

One of the things about Fibre Channel is that it’s designed to provide consistent and predictable performance even at large scale. But what does “Scale” actually mean? FCIA is doing a webinar on just that very topic. Registration is now open for Understanding Fibre Channel Scaling to be broadcast on November 6 on BrightTalk.

SNIA is presenting a webinar on how Hyperscalers – namely Microsoft and Facebook – leverage NVMe Cloud Storage. Many people want to know how the hyperscalers use this kind of technology, and here’s where you can get that info direct from the source.

SNIA has also started the much-requested series on Understanding Storage Security and Threats.

There is also a webinar on What Software-Defined Storage Means for Storage Networking.

The call for papers for the January 23, 2020 Persistent Memory Summit is now open.

The SDC 2019 Presentations are now available for download.

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Synology News

If you are using SRM in Synology, do not update to SRM 1.2.3-8017 Update 3. 

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Bonus Round

The Storage Unpacked podcast has released Part II of the NVMe 1.4 Deep Dive, which was not available as of the last Short Take. You can find Part I here.

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