Twitter's CTO Adam Messinger is expected to visit Taiwan to discuss with Taiwan based server makers about direct account supplies for data center servers, according to sources. These includes companies such as Quanta Computers, Inventec, Foxconn and few others.
In the past, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have made large orders of servers directly from Taiwan-based ODMs so that they can get the required setup at a reduced cost. It was reported that Quanta did have small volume of server related orders. but the company refused to comment on it.
One of the greatest benefits for Toshiba when they purchased OCZ was their access to PCIe technology. Toshiba has a strong stable of enterprise SSDs, but they did lack the PCIe component. The release of the new OCZ Storage Solutions Z-Drive 4500 is a good example of the benefits of the acquisition in action. The access to Toshiba flash will also allow for more competitive pricing and a solid product supply for OCZ.
The Z-Drive 4500 features 8 SF-2582 processors in conjunction with Toshiba 19nm MLC NAND and the VCA (Virtualized Controller Architecture) technology to deliver impressive specifications. The drive delivers maximum read bandwidth of up to 2,900 MB/s, maximum write bandwidth of up to 2,200 MB/s, random 4K block read throughput of up to 252,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) and random 4K block write throughput of up to 76,000 IOPS.
In a series of news releases this week, IBM is sending a message to the market that it is serious about being a major player in cloud services. Building upon its acquisition of Softlayer last year, IBM announced that it has invested over $1B in bringing a suite of development tools to the cloud to deliver a PaaS (platform as a service). In addition to this investment, they also announced the acquisition of Cloudant, a DBaaS (batabase as a service) provider.
These new services are geared towards application developers and providing them on-demand infrastructure that can be scaled up or down as requirements change. As part of the announcement, they have launched a beta version of their DevOps in the cloud solution codenamed BlueMix. BlueMix includes services to store and manage code, a built-in Web integrated development environment, and Eclipse and Visual Studio integrations to let developers use whichever environment they prefer. The platform enables agile planning, tracking, and collaboration across team members during the development cycle. Plus, there is application deployment automation to streamline delivery. Combined, the PaaS and DBaaS enable application DevOps teams to start projects faster and complete them more efficiently.
The move to 12Gb/s SAS is beginning the datacenter, and as per usual the bleeding-edge devices lead the way. 12Gb/s SAS3 SSDs were first, with three industry heavyweights leading the 12Gb/s charge. We have evaluated the HGST SSD800MM, the Toshiba PX02SMF080, and the Seagate 1200. Surprisingly, a few of these SSDs actually beat compatible RAID adapters and HBA's to market, but we are finally seeing the right pieces of the architecture all fall into place.
Of course the next logical step is to begin applying the benefits of 12Gb/s technology to the platter realm. The fastest HDDs are the first to get the 12Gb/s treatment, and today HGST beat the competition with the announcement of their new C15K600 family.
This 15K RPM HDD also brings a few new features. HGST is utilizing their media caching technology to provide significantly enhanced write performance over solutions with limited NAND or flash-based non-volatile cache (NVC). The result is two times better random write performance than current generation 2.5-inch 15K drives, and two and a half times better performance than 3.5-inch 15K drives.
Nexenta has quietly accumulated a significant customer base of more than 5,000 users and nearly one exabyte of storage installed. Continuing upon that success, Nexenta announced today the upcoming release of NexentaStor 4.0 in Q2 2014 that will bring enhancements to failover time and overall reduced latencies. In addition to improved performance, Nexenta has put forth an effort into improving its out of box experience by simplifying installation and management with wizards and advanced monitoring tools.
While solutions around "software defined" networks, storage, and data centers are relatively nascent, Nexenta is staking its claim early on by partnering with industry leading system integrators. As an existing premier reseller partner for Nexenta, Eva Cherry, CEO and President of Silicon Mechanics says,
"Silicon Mechanics' strong partnership with Nexenta has been instrumental in helping customers realize the benefits of Software Defined Storage with an innovative product that improves performance and reliability...we are excited about how the enhancements in NexentaStor 4.0 will continue to help customers address the challenges inherent in big storage."
San Diego based Astute Networks released an update to their ViSX family of performance storage appliances, the ViSX G4 OS version 5. This latest release is an all solid state flash performance appliance that Astute claims is the industry's lowest cost-per-GB with the highest IOPS per dollar solution in the market. It is available in capacities up to 45.6TB in a 2U platform, with add-on flash modules available in sizes up to 1900GB.
Astute adds to their iSCSI offering the additional support for NFS (v2, v3, and v4). Designed for both virtual and physical infrastructure, ViSX is compatible with 1GbE or 10GbE infrastructure and does not require a forklift install. According to Deni Connor, founder and senior analyst, SSG-NOW. "Astute's Networked Flash appliance removes all storage and network I/O constraints to dramatically accelerate virtual machine and application performance - while co-existing with an organizations existing infrastructure."
The Astute Network appliances aim to speed performance for intense enterprise application workloads. Astute claims 5 to 10 times performance boost for enterprise applications such as VDI, SQL Server, MySQl, Oracle, and Sharepoint. With their latest release of ViSX, they also provide solutions for cloud service providers with support for OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.
Seagate Technology plc announced today the launch of its seventh generation hard drive specifically geared for the surveillance market. The Seagate Surveillance HDD's are optimized to address the specific application characteristics unique to always-on, write intensive surveillance environments. The new 3.5" drives are available in capacities up to 4TB and are capable of supporting 400+ hours of high definition recordings.
New features include the addition of rotational vibration sensors to improve the drives resiliency in multi-drive arrays. They have also added a time-to-read system that allows custom power settings resulting in better integration with motion sensing cameras. By spinning down during times of activity and then quickly spinning up when motion is detected, the drives last longer and save power.
The launch is receiving positive reaction from leaders in the CCTV space including NUUO, QNAP, and March Networks. According to Jeff Range, vice president of global operations at March Networks, "The Surveillance HDD, with its high capacity drive and robust features, will provide our customers with the critical reliability we have come to expect from Seagate as well as the expanded storage and ability to save data for even longer periods."
Dell recently announced availability of the PowerEdge R920 server that utilizes Intel's new XEON processor E7-4800 v2 and it is already making a name for itself. Dell claims it is their highest performing server and that it is built for the most intense enterprise workloads - ERP, large databases, HPC, etc.
Backing those claims up, Dell just released some pretty impressive benchmarks, taking the lead in a few categories seen here.
Sunnyvale, California based Exablox announced that they have reached an installation base that now exceeds 1PB. Touting themselves as "the company reimagining storage", Exablox entered the market mid last year with their OneBlox Appliance. They attribute their quick market adoption partly due to their go to market strategy of allowing customers to choose their own drives, as opposed to having to buy drives from them. In a related press release, they also just announced the capability of supporting the new HGST 6TB drives so their cost per capacity is looking to be even more attractive in 2014.
Allowing customers to choose their own drives is not unique to Exablox, as other storage vendors in the space have been doing this for years. However, most of the vendors allowing this flexibility do not also provide the same level of enterprise features that the OneBlox Appliance is capable of - features like inline deduplication, continuous data protection, and scaling out on-the-fly. This combination of cost savings and enterprise class software features could certainly make them a force to be reckoned with, especially in the small-medium enterprise space.
Furthermore, looking through their datasheet, it appears they have locked on to another major factor for this space- ease of use. With a supposed 3 minute installation and a cloud based management software, it could certainly appeal to IT shops that to have a couple hundred TB's, but don't want to babysit it. Not to mention, it definitely looks sleek.
In a report commissioned by Emulex Corporation, the research team at Forrester recently surveyed 158 IT professionals regarding managing business-critical applications and the infrastructure surrounding them. Of the respondents, nearly 90% are in a management role or above and consider themselves infrastructure professionals.
Of these respondents, 56% said that over 25% of their critical performance issues cannot be solved within 24 hours. Further, that the most difficult problems can take well over a month to fix, with the majority of the time being wasted on just figuring out what is going on.
In the report, Forrester extracts 3 key findings from their research:
- Improving workforce productivity and managing costs are key business objectives.
- Network and security issues are two of the main factors affecting end-user productivity.
- Network visibility is a foundational tool to remediation.
Remember the stereotype that computer geeks tend to be lonely, socially awkward folks that need to get outside more? Well, a recent study shows that 62 percent of tech workers are married, the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) indicates - about the same rate as medicine, education, law and finance industries, which are in the 61-62 percent range as well.
However, trailing only scientists at 32 percent, 27 percent of IT workers haven't been married, which is slightly higher than other professions. Jobs that require less social interaction can make it more difficult to expand their social networks, according to researchers. Also, women tend to avoid the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, so that also makes it more difficult to find like-minded potential dates.
Workers in tech and science positions also have a slightly more difficult time emotionally connecting with others, said Tina Tessina, a successful psychotherapist and author.
The Open Compute Project (OCP) is an initiative started by Facebook to build the most efficient computing infrastructures at the lowest possible cost. OCP focuses on total control of the architecture, from custom-designed server components to software and operating systems. This has led to massive disruption in the enterprise space and the upending of the old model, which relied upon massive systems provided by a group of OEMs that were prohibitively expensive. The Open Compute Project relies heavily upon the open source model of information sharing and has drawn in the other titans of the computing world. Apple, Google, and Microsoft are among the 150 members, along with a bevy of hardware suppliers, that contribute to the OCP and their ideals.
The Open Compute Summit is the yearly meeting of the leaders of the movement, and a great forum to showcase the ideas and resulting hardware driving the movement forward.
This radical new way of thinking has saved tremendous amounts of both energy and money, with Facebook disclosing that they saved 1.2 billion dollars over the last three years, and also saved the equivalent of enough energy to power 40,000 homes and the emissions equivalent of 50,000 cars.
We finally got our first look at what HGST's 6TB, helium filled HDD will cost on the open market. If you want one, a seller on Amazon has nine listed but the price is a bit inflated from a consumer perspective, $798. The He6 model has a handful of unique features. It's filled with helium and has 6TB of capacity. Paul wrote an editorial about the drive and went over all of the details last November.
What's enterprise today will be consumer tomorrow...or maybe a year from now. It's nice to see HGST moving forward with this technology.
Nimbus Data, a leading provider of unified all-flash storage systems for enterprise and cloud infrastructure, has announced record-setting financial results for 2013. Nimbus Data specializes in unified all-flash array technology, and their Sustainable Storage systems have surpassed 500 deployments. Their products bring together low-latency flash, data management and protection, and highly-scalable multiprotocol storage features to create a fault-tolerant solid state solution designed for server and desktop virtualization, databases, HPC, and next generation cloud infrastructure.
Nimbus all-flash arrays are available for a acquisition cost that is comparable to disk-based storage arrays with tremendously lower operating costs and total TCO.
Things are moving along quickly for Nimbus Data, with net income growth 4x that of 2012 and doubled revenue as well. They have also expanded their facilities and staff with a new sales and engineering office in Austin, TX, and headcount growth of 125%. These solid financials and continued controlled growth may foretell a possible IPO in 12-18 months.
Diablo and SanDisk received Storage Visions 2014 Visionary Product Award, in the Enabling Professional Storage Technology category, for the ULLtraDIMM. The ULLtraDIMM adds NAND onto a DIMM-type module, leveraging Diablo IP for translation and SanDisk's Guardian Technology for NAND management.
The Diablo MCS (Memory Channel System) technology creates the pathway that allows NAND to be used as either in-memory compute space or block-level storage. This allows for two different usage models that present unprecedented speed and density from flash storage. We were lucky enough to speak with the CEO and co-founder of Diablo, Riccardo Badalone, at this year's Storage Visions conference.
LSI and Oracle announced today the inclusion of LSI Nytro flash acceleration cards into the next-generation Database Machine, the Oracle Exadata X4. The new DLC feature (Dynamic Logical Capacity) leverages the inherent caching abilities of the underlying LSI SandForce processors utilized on the Nytro PCIe SSDs.
SandForce controllers compress data, and DLC allows the drive to allocate the unused capacity back to the user. This means the drive can essentially store more data than it's physically available capacity.
We were lucky enough to catch Kent Smith of LSI SandForce giving a speech on just how this technology works during the LSI AIS 2013 event. For typical 2.5" SSDs it is referred to as DuraWrite Virtual Capacity, or DVC. We have confirmed with LSI that this is the same technology at use in the Nytro series of application accelerators.
CES 2014 - QNAP had a special treat in its suite this year for CES, a new large, unannounced SMB model. The new QNAP TS-EC2480U-RP is a 4u rackmount solution with a very powerful feature list.
Starting off, this is QNAP's largest NAS to date with twenty-four 3.5" HDD trays. The system is arranged in four rows of six drive bays. The fun doesn't stop there though.
The NAS uses an Intel Xeon E3-1345 v4 processor running at 3.4GHz and 8GB of DDR3 ECC DRAM that's expandable to 32 GB. Four gigabit ports come standard from the factory but dual PCIe slots bring 10GbE into the picture.
We already mentioned the 24 HDD bays but inside, the system has two mSATA slots for mSATA SSD cache. The stated performance is 4000MB/s throughput with over 500K IOPS. The system currently runs QNAP's SMB 4.1 software.
Storage Visions 2014 - Samsung's Michael Abary, the Senior Vice President of IT Product Marketing, stopped by the booth at Storage Visions to discuss the future of SSDs and Samsung's contributions to the market.
Michael gives us a great high-level explanation of the future of NAND and the evolving ecosystem, including Samsung's deployment of TLC and 3D V-NAND.
Storage Visions 2014 - Riccardo Badalone, the CEO and Co-founder of Diablo, explains their Memory Channel Storage product. The Memory Channel Storage architecture, along with the collaboration with SanDisk, is creating one of the most exciting and disruptive storage technologies to come along since SSD's. The breakout SanDisk UltraDIMM will lead the wave of these new devices with NAND placed directly on the memory bus.
This radical departure from the typical memory architecture will enable a whole new breed of datacenter servers, and with widespread industry support can help to maximize performance and density.
Storage Visions 2014 - Paul Evans from the Daystrom Technology Group stopped by the booth to discuss their collaboration with MESS.
Daystrom integrates dynamic storage systems, but also sponsors meet-up groups, such as MESS, to help further the software-defined system ecosystem.
Storage Visions 2014 - Tarun Loomba, the Vice President of Marketing for Client Storage Solutions at SanDisk, stops by the booth to discuss SanDisk's success in the SSD market over the last year.
Tarun also discusses SanDisks future and their path forward. I also have to apologize, in the video I incorrectly recalled that SanDisk's Shanghai facility punches out over 1 million flash products per day. After double checking, it is actually over 2 million devices per day from their Shanghai facilities. Tarun also mentioned the whitepaper which can be found at this link.