Storage Short Take #44

In Storage, Technology by J Michel MetzLeave a Comment

Striving for Independence!

A lengthy one today. I'm trying to find more independent sources of news, rather than just the press releases that many vendors put out. If you happen to know of anyone who is writing good storage material, please feel free to let me know either through the contact form or via twitter.

As always, links were live at time of publication.


Storage Media and Technology

Chris Mellor has an excellent Primer on HPE Cray Frontier's parallel file system storage. You should know, this is highly storage-geeky, so the TL;DR is that it's quite impressive. 700PB of capacity with write speeds of >35TB/sec and peak read speeds of >75 TB/sec.

An hour before Russian forces invaded Ukraine, the Kremlin backed one of the largest cyberattacks against their target. However, it had comparatively little impact because - in part - of really good backups.

One of the cool things about a lot of software-based solutions (containers, e.g.) is that you can have incredible flexibility in both scale and scope. One of the downsides, though, is that you get further and further away from the hardware, which affects both performance and prevents the software from taking advantage of some of the cool hardware features. Some work has started to bridge that software back to the hardware, including xNVMe and developments in the Linux 5.19 kernel with I/O_uring.

If you've been a long(er)-time reader of this blog, you know that I don't like nor trust Cloud Backups. There are many practical and security/privacy reasons for this, and with every data breach of poor customer data I feel like I've been proven right. StorageNewsletter has a vendor pitch from Buffalo NAS about why you'd want to choose NAS over Cloud backup, but I include it because the logic is something I agree with (though I have standardized on Synology).

Fibre Channel is dead? Not according to Cisco. They're cranking out the FC patents left and right (disclosure: Harsha Bharadwaj and I co-authored a patent on FC a few years ago, so I'm aa bit biased about congratulating them).

Vincent Fu has a great blog on how fio measures latency. He's got a great description as well as some of the limitations of the performance tool. If you're doing storage analysis, it's well worth a read.

In the world of memory, one of the hot topics happens to be tiering. Tiering is (at a high level) a way of identifying where to put data based upon your latency requirements. CXL opens up some very interesting possibilities, and Meta (Facebook) has some ideas about how to use CXL for Memory tiering: Transparent Page Placement (TPP)

Ever wonder why some SSDs are faster than others? Sydney Butler has a decent essay on how not all SSDs are created equal, and I was pleased to see him zero in on one of the biggest factor - filling up your SSD with data will slow it down noticeably.

Storage Companies in the News

Blocks and Files has put together a comparison of the four largest storage companies' growth rates. It's quite enlightening.

Western Digital is considering spinning out their SSD and HDD businesses. Here's Blocks & Files' take.

As people know, I've long been a huge fan of Lightbits Labs. They have jaw-droppingly smart people there, and the ideas and technology is awe-inspiring. Because of this, it's good to see the love that they're getting from Intel.

Synology 7.1 is now out and live in the wild. Visually, there's not much difference from 7.0, but there have been some improvements in the individual app capabilities.

I love StorageNewsletter. It's a great aggregation site, and I think that they've got an eclectic take on several storage elements. However, I could not disagree more with their standing and ranking of the Best Analyst Companies for Storage. Among the notable missing firms: StorageIO, ArchitectingIT, GestaltIT, and Crehan Research. Then again, I have major problems with people provide "pay for play" analysis and aren't up front about it, and several of the companies on this list would never have even been discussed had it been up to me.

"The promise of cloud gaming is a promise to democratize gaming." This word-salad brought to you by Meta (née Facebook) "engineering" blog. Grab your hip waders. I only hope they go up to your neck.

Kind of a fun one. StorageNewsletter has put together a timeline of startups that's an interesting quick read, and a lot of, "oh, so that's what happened."

I don't know who Continuity Software is, or what their track record is, but they've put out a white paper report on the security vulnerabilities in enterprise storage. However, as Ivan Pepelnjak says, "beware of vendors bringing white papers."

Industry Associations and Standards

This is a really good update on the SODA Foundation's two new open source projects: Kaju and Como, from StorageNewsletter. (Make sure you get it while it's hot, it disappears behind a paywall shortly). Kahu optimizes data protection for Kubernetes and its application data, while Como is a virtual data lake project to access data in multiple clouds.

The 1.2 version of the NVMe-MI™ specification is out, which is part of the NVMe 2.0 specifications family. Austin Bolen, Distinguished Engineer at Dell, is one of the key contributors of the spec, and has written a blog on what is new and how it can be used.

Webinars, Blogs, and Conferences

SNIA is putting on a webinar on July 19, 2022: "Kubernetes is Everywhere - What About Cloud Native Storage?" SNIA does an excellent job providing technical education content that is vendor-neutral. It's a great way to learn about technology without it being a sales pitch.

Adam Manzaneres has written up a technical blog on VFIO passthrough with QEMU. It's an interesting article for those who are thinking about bringing up a virtual machine to pass through hardware capabilities to the guest.

Is the Data Really Gone? A Primer on the Sanitization of Storage Devices.June 29, 2022. What do you think is a more secure way of securely removing data from a hard drive - putting it through a shredder, or doing an instant secure erase?

xPU Accelerator Offload Functions. June 29, 2022. This second webcast in this xPU webcast series will cover a deeper dive into the accelerator offload functions of the xPU: what problems the xPUs are coming to solve, where in the system they live, and the functions they implement, focusing on network offloads, security, compute and storage.

Storage Life on the Edge: Accelerated Performance Strategies. July 12, 2022. An increasing percentage of data is generated and processed at the edge of the network. With this trend comes the need for faster computing, access to storage, and movement of data at the edge as well as between the edge and the data center.

Kubernetes is Everywhere – What About Cloud Native Storage? July 19, 2022. Storage implications for Kubernetes will discuss how to address storage and persistent data challenges in a Kubernetes environment.

Forbes has an article summarizing the SNIA Persistent Memory and Computational Storage Summit. If you didn't get a chance to attend this free summit, this is a pretty good wrap-up.

Registration for the 2022 OCP Summit (October 18-20) is now open. There's a $500 discount for early bird registration.

Bonus Round

Have you ever heard of QUIC? Well, welcome TCPLS to the table.

I wasn't sure to put this here or in the "Storage Media and Technology" section, but decided to put it here because while it will be very important for storage (especially computational storage), this is still pretty specific. It's an excellent primer on CXL and well worth the read if you are curious, interested, or if your job will depend on it (hint: if you are into memory or storage at all, it will).

My good friend has taken something of a sabbatical (maybe permanent!) from social media, and has a few thoughts to share about his experience.

[Affiliate link] Flackbox is now launching Anki flashcards in the Cisco CCNA Gold Bootcamp course, which is on sale for half-price until this weekend (which, um, probably means that unless you saw this short take the day it came out, you may have missed it. But, it's only $99 as I look at the site anyway, and when I did my CCNA I would have gladly paid $99 for all the help I could get!).

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