Storage Short Take #21

A slight delay in getting this one out (due to obvious reasons), but there’s quite a bit from AWS, a shocking announcement from Stratoscale, a not-so-shocking “Best of the Year” award, and a lot of SNIA work going on.

Storage Media and Technology

Okay, seriously. What? I’ve long been a fan of Scale Computing, but this is simply amazing. With all this talk about Edge computing, Scale has managed to hit a true sweet spot. ROBO offices hitting a $5k price target for the entire cluster? Daaaaammmmnnn…

What’s the best “Cloud Storage” of 2019? Funny you should ask…

Or, what’s the best SSD of 2019? NewsDio (who?) has an opinion.

“Hey Bob, do we have a good recovery plan? You know, in case of ransomware and that sort of thing.”

“Yeah, Jim. Sure do. Completely confident in it, too. Great new product from NeverPayRansomeWareEverAgain, Ltd.”

“Great! How has the testing gone?”

Testing? Why? If worse comes to worst, we always have our backup data.”

Another article on TLC vs. QLC NAND. Alternatively, there is a podcast by Storage Unpacked on QLC storage as well.

Kioxia’s (ask your doctor!) storage software for NVMe-oF has been added to the official NVMe Integrator’s list. Someone in the PR department got a bit overzealous about the “prestigious” part, I guess, but marketing’s gotta market.

There is a resurgence, of sorts, by the HDD manufacturers to extend the lifespan of the technology – and rightfully so, as it’s a well-understood solution that has a very definite place in infrastructure deployments. Part of that technology is multi- or dual-actuator HDDs, which allow for increased access times to spinning disk. Now, the technology isn’t quite ready for primetime, but companies like Seagate are working closely with proof-of-concept customers (like Microsoft) to illustrate the performance gains. The question remains, however: is it too little, too late, for a HDD performance play?

If you’ve heard about the entry-level Western Digital Blue NVMe device, Billy Tallis has a great summary and breakdown of their newest version.

Will Persistent Memory (PM, also known as Storage Class Memory) replace DRAM or NAND? WD doesn’t think so. I completely agree, FWIW.

The 2020 Storage Predictions have already started:

  • ObjectMatrix: Invisible Storage
  • ValueWalk: Computational Storage, CDN, 5G
  • IDC: Various (They’re cheating; they’re pushing out their predictions as late as 2024)
  • DCL: Serverless (yes, really)
  • NetScout: Edge computing with a cloud focus

If you are curious about the standardization of Key-Value being done at SNIA and NVM Express, take a look at the following video for a technical bath:

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Storage Companies in the News

Lightbits Labs has been awarded the Storage Company of the Year and Storage Hardware Innovation of the Year for the SDC (Storage, Digitisation and Cloud) IT Awards. Their NVMe/TCP solution is really gaining traction.

On the other end of the continuum, though, Stratoscale appears to have folded up shop (Hebrew). News appears to be scarce, but this actually made me say “Oh, wow!” out loud when I read the news. Stratoscale was a startup that developed AWS-like services for on-site deployments, and unfortunately it appears that they weren’t able to sustain the grown necessary for survivability. This is a case where the technology was extremely impressive, but we don’t always live or die by simply having. a better mousetrap. Here is the news in English, though the details are even more sparse.

Samsung is investing $8B (with a “B”) in China to help boost production of NAND memory. Things just get curiouser and curiouser.

NetApp now has four block storage solutions. Chris Evans has some pretty interesting ideas as to the value of this.

This is not exactly shocking. The only disappointing thing is that Frank Palumbo announced he was leaving Cisco the day before I did, stealing my thunder. 😛

StorageNewsletter has a good description of Lightbits Labs’ LightOS NVMe/TCP Clustered Storage Solution. I’d check out that link first, but if you can’t access it (because they put the article behind the paywall, or remove the link), you can access the more dry press release from HPCWire instead.

Amazon AWS News

CRN has summarized “10 New Ways to Connect Storage to AWS” in a slideshow.

More info on AWS’ Outpost from re:Invent. There really isn’t much new here, but I’ve seen this press release in a number of places so I’m including it for the sake of completeness.

This, on the other hand, is much bigger news: Amazon has partnered with VMware to initiate a beta program of VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts. Given that AWS isn’t intending on playing nicely with other Cloud providers, could VMware be the lingua-franca of direct access into Hybrid Multi-Cloud environments? They certainly think they should be.

AWS has inked a deal with FOX corporation to provide 8k media delivery to edge and mobile devices. This is actually more important than it may seem, at first. From a content-delivery perspective, streamlining the pipeline from content creation to end-customer in non-trivial. With this arrangement, AWS is making good on its promise to facilitate on-site compute and storage processing that seamlessly moves beyond the Data Center walls under a single umbrella., For complex and involved workflows, this is actually a big deal.

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Industry Associations and Standards

SNIA’s Swordfish v1.1.0 is now an official technical position,

SNIA Emerald is now an official ISO standard. This is an industry-standard way to measure power efficiency of data center equipment.

As we’ve seen earlier in this Short Take, privacy and security is a big deal, and the Bad Guys are working overtime to ruin your day. SNIA has been working on helping combat this with the Data Protection & Privacy Committee. In the coming months, you will see a bit more from this particular committee as privacy and security is becoming even more of an issue (if that is even possible).

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Webinars and Conferences

Registration for the 2020 Persistent Memory Summit (Free) is now open. Historically this event has been highly valuable to those looking to find out what’s new and bleeding edge about PM.

One of the most requested topics that people have when it comes to new technology, is what the Hyperscalers do. Well, we managed to get Microsoft and Facebook to help answer that question with a webinar specifically dedicated to the uses for NVMe at the Hyperscaler level. Be sure to check out the voluminous Q&A blog as well.

Referring back to the SNIA group on Data Protection and Privacy, if you’re still not sure about it, you can check out the webinar on Data Privacy and Why It Matters.

If you’ve been learning about SPDK and want to know about how it fits in with NVMe-oF, then this is the webinar for you.

If you are in EMEA, I highly recommend you take a look at SNIA’s SDC EMEA conference, being held February 4-5, 2020.

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Synology Security News

No new security updates from Synology lately. Please see earlier Storage Short Takes for additional Synology advisories. Some of those vulnerabilities are still active.

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Bonus Round

Come on, Elizabeth Holmes. I know you’re a brain-dead Steve Jobs acolyte and zealot, but fess up. Spending $80,000 on a signed floppy disk was you, wasn’t it.

Also, if you haven’t done so, I do recommend signing up to Chris Evans’ ArchtectingIT newsletter. There’s a lot of good stuff in there.

Finally, if you haven’t seen it already but got the news in the previous Storage Short take, here is my promised update on why I left Cisco and where I am now.

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