Storage Short Take #64

In Storage, Technology by J Michel MetzLeave a Comment

Would you still love me, when I'm 64...

A bit more robust than the past few ones. Bloggers have been especially active. Conference season is upon us once more. New media technologies are in discussion, and promises, promises, promises!

As always, links were live at time of publication.


Storage Media and Technology

What's the difference between DRAM SSDs and DRAM-less SSDs?

If you haven't noticed already, brace yourself for the onslaught of "AI"-related marketing. In 2010, it was All Things Cloud (the "c-word," as I used to joke in my presentations to people who were as overdosed on the hype as I was). NextPlatform picks up the spear and joins the charge with "Boosting AI Storage with QLC Flash and Deduplication." It's a pay-for-play advertisement for DDN, which I don't normally include in the SSTs, but it's a cautionary tale on how even reputable trade press will not stoop too low for fashionable clicks.

As initially reported a few SSTs ago, SK hynix announced an incredible 238-layer NAND. They've just begun its mass production.

Seagate's CFO (CFO!?) talks about the HAMR HDD technology and how much more capacity you can get from the technology than traditional HDD manufacturing processes. It's worth nothing that HAMR drives haven't quite taken over the world as the hype had predicted, and the more capacity you have then the more data protection investment you need to make (rebuilding large-capacity RAID drives is a time-consuming and risky endeavor).

DRAM costs are low at the moment due to a temporary glut in supply. That won't last.

This is actually a really good article on wear leveling for SSDs. I usually have to go through and fact-check before putting them here, because I don't like putting up information that's blatantly wrong (unless I'm pointing out that it's blatantly wrong, of course). But this one is a good read on the basics.

A co-Director on the Board for SNIA, Dave Landsman, and Karin Strauss wrote an IEEE white paper on The DNA Data Storage model. I think one of the things that I really like about this article is that it slides right in the middle of technical detail and approachability. No, it's not a "101 Basics" paper, but it's not so heavy that someone who is casually interest won't find it useful.

At Pure Accelerate conference, Shawn Rosemarin asserted that "No new hard disk drives will be sold after 2028." At the time, I commented that it sounded an awful lot like yet another "Tape is Dead" proclamation.

Storage Companies in the News

Netlist has successfully sued Samsung for patent infringement for $303M in a jury decision.

Synology has introduced something called a "BeeHive," I have to confess, the description   doesn't sound like anything more than just a sneaker ware USB external drive. I think one of the things that might be cool about it, though, is if it were to be able to be plugged into a DiskStation and automagically update and sync (and dedup) the scheduled backup files there. As it stands right now, though, it doesn't really seem to make a lot of practical sense.

Xbox users finally get some competition on the proprietary external storage devices for their Series X/S game consoles. At roughly the same time, they are also announcing new expansion storage options for the Playstation 5.

Not to be left out of the news cycle, Seagate has also released (I'm not making this up) the Starfield Special Edition Game Drive (up to 5TB) and Game Hub (up to 8TB) for Xbox.

Blocks & Files has a company profile on Phison, "the largest SSD supplier you've never heard of." Well, I've heard of Phison, but this is still a pretty good brief on the company and it's influence.

Synology has reported several security issues (rated Moderate) with DSM and SRM. While the SRM issues are still ongoing, DSM is resolved only if you upgrade 7.2 to 7.2-64561 or above. They will not fix anything lower than 7.2.

Speaking of HAMR (what are the odds?), AnandTech reports that Western Digital thinks they're going to "emerge" in 1.5 years.

I had a Mac Pro from 2008 until 2019. At one point in time it had over 1000 continuous days of uptime (I had to turn it off to move houses). It was the most rock-solid computer I've ever owned. I just wish its legacy for reliability could have been sustained.

Could Glean be the answer we're looking for (pun intended)? "The starting point that triggered the formation of Glean was Jain’s realization at Rubrik that his team members shared a common irritation; finding information about things needed to do their work was difficult." It's a very tough nut to crack.

Industry Associations and Standards

The SNIA DNA Data Storage Alliance has published its latest newsletter.

Webinars, Blogs, and Conferences

What do Steam Locomotives have to do with HDDs and SSDs? Ray Lucchesi has a thorough blog article on technological evolution and the storage impact. It's a dense read, but worth it.

Chin-Fah Heoh has a good article on Understanding Security Practices in File Syncrhonization. If you're a storage professional, you may read through this and think to yourself, "yeah? And?" But that would be very short-sighted. Data leaks are happening at ever-increasingly (read: alarming) rates, which means that many people aren't understanding the basics. So, this is something you should read.

I don't usually like linking to LinkedIn - not because there's anything wrong with the content but because LI has really awkward sharing capabilities. Kamal Bakshi's recent post on NVMe Architecture with Actual Traces is worthy of the exception, though.

Webinar: NVM Express is holding a webinar on the latest Compliance Program that allows developers to test new NVMe features. For those who are concerned with interoperability and feature compliance, this is definitely a must-see.

I've come to learn that whenever Vincent Fu writes a blog, I'd better high-tail it over as soon as I can. As usual, he doesn't disappoint with his recent one on fio test coverage. It's a bit geeky for the average reader, but if you're looking at storage performance testing he is a must-read author.

Thomas Isakovich, CEO of Nimbus Data, has his own thoughts about why HDDs aren't going away like Pure thinks they are. (Yes, it's a Nimbus promotional blog - natch - but many of the points are very valid).

FCIA Plugfest Survey. FCIA plans to host a Plugfest in October 2023 at UNH-IOL. Take this brief survey to share preferred date and topics.

Webinar. Persistent Memory, CXL, and Memory Tiering - Past, Present & Future. Tuesday, June 27, 2023. An expert panel will discuss persistent memory, Compute Express Link™ (CXL™), and memory tiering and how the ecosystem is working together to provide solutions for memory tiering using CXL for customer use cases.

Webinar. Data Fabric: Connecting the Dots between Structured and Unstructured Data. Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Data Fabric is an architecture, set of services and platform that standardizes and integrates data across the enterprise regardless of data location (On-Prem, Cloud, Multi Cloud, Hybrid Cloud), enabling self-service data access to support various applications, analytics, and use cases. The data fabric leaves data where it lives and applies intelligent automation to govern, secure and bring AI to your data.

Webinar. NVMe/TCP: Performance, Deployment and AutomationWednesday, July 19, 2023. Since its ratification in late 2018, NVMe/TCP has gained a lot of attention due to its great performance characteristics and relatively low cost. Since then, the NVMe/TCP protocol has been enhanced to add features such as Discovery Automation, Authentication and Secure Channels that make it more suitable for use in enterprise environments.

Webinar. The Rise of Confidential AIWednesday, July 26, 2023. With cloud data privacy regulations evolving worldwide and accelerated adoption of AI technologies such as ChatGPT, Large Language Models (LLMs) and more, companies must ensure data and AI models are compliant. Confidential AI is a new collaborative platform for data and AI teams to work with sensitive data sets and run AI models in a confidential environment. It includes infrastructure, software, and workflow orchestration to create a secure, on-demand work environment that meets organization’s privacy requirements and complies with regulatory mandates.

The Flash Memory Summit 2023 registration is now open.

2023 DMTF Alliance Partner Technical Symposium (APTS) – Virtual and Hillsboro, OR – July 24-28, 2023.

SNIA Technical Symposium – Virtual and Hillsboro, OR – July 24-28, 2023.

Also, you should sign up for Chris Evans' (ArchitectingIT) newsletter. He's got about 7 or 8 in now, and they've been well worth the inbox space for storage professionals.

Bonus Round

This is rich (translated with Google Translate).


In my attempt to bring back - if only for a moment - long forgotten comics of the golden era. Today I bring you Jack Benny. If you're not familiar with Mr. Benny, the running joke is that he's incredibly stingy, always lies about his age, his questionable violin skills, and his fantastic deadpan reactions. One of his most famous jokes is when he's approached by a robber who says, "Your money or your life!" After Benny refuses to move, the robber challenges, "Well?" Benny replies, "I'm thinking!"

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