Storage Short Take #46

In Storage, Technology by J Michel MetzLeave a Comment

So Much News, So Little Time!

Sometimes the weeks go by uneventfully. Sometimes it's packed with news and updates. It just so happens that this Short Take is more the latter than the former.

As always, links were live at the time of publication.


Storage Media and Technology

Last time I mentioned that the DNA Storage Alliance has joined SNIA as a Technical Affiliate. This week we bring you an academic article on the reliability of DNA storage, and how to manage it. It turns out that not all DNA is created equal, and some molecules appear to be more reliable than others.

Kamal Bakshi of Cisco Systems did a presentation on the "Do's and Don'ts of Deploying NVMe over Fabrics." Cisco Live login required.

NextPlatform is an awesome trade magazine. It's one of the few left that goes super deep on the technology and pulls no punches - without going over the top or losing readability. This time, they talk about the future of HDDs, namely the drive to hit the 30TB benchmark. It's a really good read.

StorageNewsletter has a rundown from the Fujifilm Summit 2022, Obviously, Fujifilm is a big proponent of tape (I am too, for the right use cases). It's a good read to learn what's going on with secondary and tertiary storage.

Taking the other side of the argument, though, comes W. Curtis Preston (Mr. Backup), who has written an article on why data archiving doesn't have to be on tape. Who's right?

Claims of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, says Tape. Native tape capacity shipped 58% more than the previous year. Nearly 17Exabytes.

Speaking of Tape, Blocks & Files has a take on the impact of the medium on "carbon emissions."

Having said that, HDD shipments dropped over 30% YoY to 45M units.

Deep dive geek alert. NVMe-lint is a tool to help analyze the NVMe specification and identify errors in data structures. The goal is to assist specification writers to create more robust technical proposals and revisions.

NetworkWorld has a list of the 8 Enterprise Storage Trends to Watch. Among them are DNA Storage, Data Reduction, Security, and Immutable Storage Backup (to protect against ransomware, for example). All in all, it's a good list.

Phison has a decent blog on the benefits of computational storage without being a sledgehammer-to-the-head advertisement. It's a good plain-English read for those new to the concept.

Storage Companies in the News

StorageNewsletter has a roundup of 19 financial rounds for storage startups as of mid-year 2022. What's interesting to note is that there were 30 at this time last year.

Peer Software is offering access to the Gartner March 2022 Strategic Roadmap for Storage. Obviously, it's Gartner, so YMMV. By the way, I highly recommend using a pseudo-anonymous email for accessing the report.

MemVerge has an interesting writeup in Blocks & Files on how big memory pools can be. The article goes into a little bit of coverage about how this applies to hyperscaler deployments.

So we had some pretty significant and public company bankruptcy announcements recently. Drobo has filed for Chapter 11 in July. The company is blaming supply issues and Covid, but the company has had problems long before Covid starting messing everything around.

Drobo is owned by StorCentric, which has also gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. StorCentric also owns Nexsan, Retrospect, Vexata, and Violin. ArchitectingIT has a (paywall) article on what it means to possible contractions in the storage industry.

StorageNewsletter has a rundown of nine companies interviewed during the 44th IT Press Tour: iXSystems, Lightbits Labs, Liqid, Nasuni, Quantum, Spectra Logic, Veritas, Vast Data, and Weka. It's a good cheat sheet for what each company does, but it'll disappear behind a paywall before too long.

Microsoft has enabled disaggregated memory pooling with CXL for Azure.

Which is better (or worse)? Dropbox or Google Drive? CloudFuze looks to see which is the "best" cloud storage in 2022.

JungleDisk has now rebranded itself as CyberFortress. Talk about changing a concept through branding!

Nvidia has something to say about the effect of tail latency on composable systems. The article is mostly an advertisement, but the underlying issues that are brought up make it worthwhile to include here.

Industry Associations and Standards

SNIA has published its July Media Matters newsletter. In the issue: SNIA members get $100 off the Flash Memory Summit registration fee. There is also a full-day track dedicated to NVM Express.

You can learn more about CXL 2.0 Memory Pooling in a 2021 YouTube video (that I just happened to come across). With 3.0 coming around the corner soon, it's not a bad idea to become more familiar with it. You can also read about it in Chris Mellor's excellent article.

The Ethernet Alliance has elected their 2022 Board of Directors. I'm proud to say I've served on several boards with many of them. Congratulations!

Webinars, Blogs, and Conferences

After a 2 year hiatus, the face-to-face Flash Memory Summit is now less than 1 month away (as I write this). There are expected to be over 100 exhibitors and, from what I've been told, there will be a lot of announcements coming. I can't talk about them, but I can tell you that many of them are very, very cool. They've improved their registration process, so you will likely want to do that sooner rather than later as the discounts for early-bird registration is significant.

This month I was privileged to be able to be invited to the GreyBeards podcast with Ray Luchessi and Jason Collier. It was a lot of fun. Mostly talked about SNIA, it's direction, and the kind of things that we do and some of the directions that we're heading.

Keith Townsend of CTO Advisor recently had a virtual seminar that covered a broad spectrum of topics. While all of the sessions were very good, I particularly enjoyed the panel on Modern Day Primary Data. For the record, I was siding with Andy Banta.

SNIA has done an excellent webinar on the use of accelerators: "Storage Life on the Edge: Accelerated Performance Strategies.". It's a fallow-on to the xPU accelerator webinar, for which the Q&A was also recently published. The third webinar in the series, "xPU Deployment and Solutions Deep Dive," will be held on August 24.

Vincent Fu is back again with a blog co-authored by Ankit Kumar about the xNVMe I/O Engine. It's another geeky deep dive about the technology, which is a "cross-platform abstraction that enables applications to interact with NVMe devices via a wide variety of interfaces."

The Register is holding a webinar on cloud service providers on NVMe/TCP, with Dan Marriott and Sagi Grimberg. This ought to be very substantial, as Sagi is the author of the protocol.

Chin-Fat Heoh is back with a blog on how to combat misinformation - good data preservation strategies.

Employment News

Again, trying this out in case anyone finds it useful. Please note, I have nothing to do with these positions or candidates. This is a PSA only.

Micron is looking for a Director, CXL Product Management. CXL-attached storage and memory devices are inevitable, and sounds like a good position for the rare unicorn of someone who understands CXL and Storage/Memory.

Micron is also looking for a Strategy Director for Technology and Products. If you're interested in looking at the future intersection point of memory and storage technologies, this may be interesting for you.

Samsung is hiring a AI/ML Software Performance Engineer.

Bonus Round

This is the height of hypocrisy. Cisco has announced a "Hybrid Work Study 2022" where they crow about "your employees are ready for hybrid work - are you?" However, Cisco is notorious for penalizing remote workers and deliberately sabotaging promotions for those who don't work in the office. How do you gaslight and virtue signal at the same time? Welcome to Cisco. I love the people that I worked with, and there are some brilliant minds there. But this is a step too far.

Have you backed up your data today? 54% of respondents to Backblaze's 2022 Backup Survey reported data loss. Only 10% back up daily. Good grief. Remember, it's not just about backing up - you also need to test your restore capability as well!

If you're a beginner to DevOps and don't know where to start, there is a good Jenkins cheat-sheet available that might be a useful tool on your educational journey.

It's becoming almost passé to keep saying "Ethan is right," but when you're right, you're right. Imprecision in language drives me nuts, because it usually boils down to this: either you don't know what you're talking about, or you think I don't know what you're talking about. Either way, we shouldn't be talking.

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