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Businesses need to adapt to a constant technological evolution, with "business consumers" helping drive a shift in the traditional workplace. Emerging digital technologies is disrupting the workplace, as embracing consumer computing for business purposes is becoming increasingly beneficial and can transform the workplace.
IT administrators must deal with 'bring your own device' (BYOD) and 'bring your own application' (BYOA), in addition to mobile app development and trying to keep all of these newer solutions secure.
"Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the 'business consumer' - an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," said Matthew Cain, Gartner research VP. "Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work. Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."
In what may eventually prove to be a very shrewd move, Panzura announced today that it will provide a free virtual appliance version of its cloud gateway. Further, they have partnered with Google so that
customers users of the free gateway also get 2TB of free storage via the Google Cloud Platform for one year.
In reading through the press release and blog post on their website, Panzura is clearly looking to drive home the point that there is a stark difference between simply having cloud storage for one office versus actually setting up cloud storage so that it is both high performant AND collaborative across locations. As they point out, the real value add in the Panzura technology is the file locking capabilities for distributed enterprises that have multiple locations. While the gateway may be free, this file locking feature is not.
On a very busy press day for the company, EMC announced several news items spanning across several product lines. Changes include broadening the configuration options for XtremIO and Isilon, a more open and hybrid approach to deploying VMAX, updates for ViPR, and a new Hadoop big data analytics solution.
XtremIO gets a refresh with both a new entry-level configuration of 5TB, as well as a larger scale-out cluster capable of expanding to six 20TB X-Bricks. More interesting than just the configuration expansion, XtremIO is now adding inline compression to its intelligent data handling feature set. Combined with existing snapshot and deduplication, EMC claims the product now supports petabytes of data.
On the VMAX front, EMC announced VMAX3, an open enterprise platform to bridge standard enterprise storage with cloud storage. As part of this release, EMC also announced the acquisition of TwinStrata, Inc., developer of the CloudArray management software. The new offering is engineered to give storage administrators an easy way to provision storage to either in-house storage arrays or out to public cloud storage, all based on workload requirements.
One of the most important revelations from the Samsung Global SSD Summit 2014 in Seoul was the unveiling of the new 845DC PRO. The 845DC PRO is a V-NAND (3D NAND) SSD that is geared for the SMB and SOHO segment, though we fully expect it to find a home in more intense production environments as well.
The combination of the 6Gb/s SATA 845DC EVO and the 845DC PRO provide a considerable one-two punch for Samsung. These two offerings allow them to address the booming SATA value market with two distinct solutions, much like the M500 and M500DC pairing from Micron. The distinct differentiator is that the two Samsung offerings both offer disruptive new NAND technologies that are not currently offered by other manufacturers.
The 845DC PRO features Samsung's first generation 24-layer V-NAND. V-NAND is 3D NAND that achieves better density, performance, endurance, and power consumption, via vertical stacking of the NAND cells. This runs counter to the established norm of increasing density through NAND shrinks, and with good reason. Shrinks provide more density, but actually reduce endurance.
iXsystems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of FreeBSD and FreeNAS solutions, announced the expansion of its unified storage product portfolio with the addition of three new units today. In addition to the new hardware configurations, the entire line is refreshed with the latest version of firmware, TrueNAS 9.2.
The new appliances start at a maximum capacity of 240TB and scale all the way to 1.15PB. Each unified appliance is capable of supporting CIFS, NFS, AFP, and iSCSI. In addition, they are all also available in high availability configurations with optional redundant storage controllers.
The 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, was somewhat of an SSD nirvana. Samsung touted their industry-first 3D NAND (V-NAND), the first 3bit MLC SSDs for the datacenter (the 845DC EVO), the world's first M.2 SSD for the datacenter, and to top it all off we were finally able to take a peek at Samsung's NVMe offerings.
Samsung has the distinct advantage of being the first to receive NVMe interoperability certification from UNH-IOL, but the OEM market has kept the drive hidden from the retail space.
We start with the SM1715 and its unique heat sink that encompasses the entire side of the drive. The SM1715 utilizes the standardized NVMe protocol. NVMe provides numerous advantages with its simplified driver stack, command set, and enhanced queue/pairing mechanisms. For an in-depth view of NVMe, reference our recently released Defining NVMe article.
The SM1715 delivers up to 750,000 random read IOPS and 180,000 random write IOPS via its PCIe Gen3 x4 connection. The incredibly dense package comes in the standard HHHL form factor with capacities of 1,600 GB and a whopping 3,200 GB. The drive also features enhanced power loss protection in the form of the discrete capacitors that are hiding under the heat sinks.
Samsung is on a roll with V-NAND and 3bit MLC datacenter products making a huge splash at the 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit in Seoul. The SM953, the world's first M.2 SSD designed for the datacenter, was yet another exciting Samsung-exclusive product on display in the product showcase.
The chains of legacy HDD form factors have been binding SSDs into large bulky cases that are not required for today's dense NAND. M.2 provides a new standardized form factor that limits the device to the size of the NAND, controller, PCB, and other components. This will allow for denser deployments and enable even smaller blade and microserver designs. Storage and performance density are paramount in the datacenter and SSDs provide the ultimate in both respects. It is encouraging to see these new designs finally making their way into the datacenter.
Other than the 1,800 MB /s sequential read performance, there is precious little information publicly available at this point. We do know that the SM953 comes in one capacity of 480GB. M.2 also has standardized designs that are longer, which will allow for even more NAND per device. The inclusion of V-NAND, with its enhanced density, will also provide much more capacity in these 'gumstick' devices. There is no mention of the NAND employed on the SM953.
A few interesting details were outlined briefly during the presentation. The first is that the SM953 will deliver incredible power efficiency. Power is always a big concern and can lead to excessive heat generation. Active power is rated for 6W, whereas the competition is rated for 10-25W per device. Compatibility with NVMe v1.1 assures that the SM953 provides the latest in power optimizations from the NVMe spec. NVMe revision 1.1 includes enhanced autonomous sleep state functionality for NVMe devices, which will enable lower idle power draw much like DEVSLP. NVMe provides even more streamlined efficiency by allowing the device to automatically transition into lower sleep states without host initiation.
The 2014 Samsung SSD Global Summit took place last week in Seoul. With tight schedules, long international flights, and a holiday weekend as well, our detailed analysis will begin rolling today. Chris will dive in on coverage on the consumer side, and also post video of the entire Global Summit presentation. I will be weighing in on some of the datacenter storage solutions provided by Samsung.
The majority of the Global Summit presentations focused on the innovative new V-NAND products from Samsung. V-NAND is 3D NAND that achieves better density, performance, endurance, and power consumption, via vertical stacking of the NAND cells. This runs counter to the established norm of increasing density through NAND shrinks, and with good reason. Shrinks provide more density, but actually reduce endurance. V-NAND provides a revolutionary path forward, and Samsung is the first to mass-produce and bring to market 3D NAND-based solutions.
While other major storage vendors have quickly entered the all-flash market via acquisitions, NetApp is finally making its mark with the release of the homegrown, brand new FAS8080EX. NetApp claims this new unified storage array is capable of scaling to 4 million IOPS and is configurable as an all-flash array with a capacity of 4.6PB. Alternatively, configured as a hybrid array, it can scale to over 70PB with more than 600 I/O connections.
In addition to announcing the FAS8080EX, NetApp has also launched a new entry-level system that is also capable of both NAS and SAN, the FAS2500. This new system has expanded flash support that increases performance and capacity by over 40%. There are three flavors of the new 2500 series with a max configuration up to 576TB and support for FC, iSCSI, NFS, SMB and FCoE.
SanDisk is adding one more acquisition to its flash play with the latest announcement to acquire Fusion-io. Over the past two years, SanDisk has been rounding out its flash portfolio by acquiring Pliant Technology, Smart Storage Systems, and Schooner, but this latest acquisition is nearly twice the value of all three of those combined.
While the Fusion-io stock price has been on a steady decline over the past few months, the company still possessed a significant portion of the enterprise flash based PCIe market. SanDisk is looking to capitalize on this strength of Fusion-io in combination with its own capabilities from a component manufacturing standpoint. According to Sanjay Mahrotra, SanDisk president and CEO, "Customers will benefit from the addition of Fusion-io's leading PCIe solutions to SanDisk's vertically integrated business model."