Storage Visions 2014 - Randy Martineau provided us with insight into Oracles latest archival programs, and also does a bit of explaining the state of tape in the datacenter. Tape has been used since the early days of computing, and is alive and kicking over a half century later.
Unbeknownst to many, tape density is actually progressing faster than today's cutting edge hard disk drives. Randy really does a great job of giving a fascinating and thorough explanation of the technology in layman's terms.
Storage Visions 2014 - Everspin continues their lead in the ST-MRAM market with a total of 32million total units already successfully deployed.
Phillip LoPresti, the President and CEO of Everspin, stopped by the booth to give us an update on their progress, and also speaks about the future of the MRAM market.
Storage Visions 2014 - Tasia Smith explains the benefits of the Axel media management software.
Axel software allows for media management from a centralized server, and is OS agnostic for remote clients.
Storage Visions 2014 - Jeffrey Stansfield stopped by the booth at Storage Visions 2014 and brought along the first publicly showcased Mac Pro that wasn't locked behind a glass case.
Advantage Video Systems is a member of Apples Consultant Network and helps their clients develop efficient workflows.
Storage Visions 2014 - Ben Masek from Sony Media Cloud Services discusses their product, which is a media platform that allows users to manage their content in a cloud-based management portal.
Sony Media Cloud Services provides numerous advantages for content creators by managing and simplifying their workload.
Storage Visions 2014 - Huawei's Mohammed Moshref discusses the Tecal ES3000 PCIe SSD and the flexible architecture that allows for easy customization.
Huawei's IC knowledge comes from years in the networking market, and they have expanded to providing flash-based products with tremendous density points up to 2.4TB in a FHHL form factor. The experience shines through in the impressive specifications and great latency of their Tecal ES3000.
Storage Visions 2014 - Samsung's Ryan Smith, the manager of SSD manufacturing, stopped by the booth to speak about their latest SSD and NAND developments.
Ryan's projections of 2TB SSDs used in the datacenter falls in track with recent SSD releases and roadmaps we have observed from the major SSD manufacturers. Ryan also speaks about Samsung's deployment of 3D V-NAND into the datacenter, and their current use of TLC products as well.
Storage Visions 2014 - Radoslav Danilak stopped by the booth to discuss their SkyEagle products.
With 16 x 16Gb/s fibre channel ports the SkyEagle can deliver up to 5 million IOPS in a very slim form factor.
Storage Visions 2014 - John Scaramuzzo stopped by the booth to discuss the increasing proliferation of flash in the datacenter. Continuing innovation from SanDisk is paving the way towards an all-flash datacenter architecture.
We also touch on a few other topics, including the possibility of TLC NAND in the datacenter. We have posted a recent product evaluation of SanDisk's latest datacenter-class SSD, the Optimus Eco, so feel free to hit the link and take a look at the latest SAS SSD on the market.
Storage Visions 2014 - Vaughn Stewart stopped by our booth to discuss the Pure Storage line of all-flash arrays. The key benefits of their core data reduction technologies, paired with thin provisioning and an easy-to-manage interface, allow Pure Storage to maximize data density with an easy to deploy solution.
The benefits of flash also provide radical acceleration to existing infrastructure. Pure Storage utilizes Samsung MLC SSDs in their products, so we couldn't help but to slip in a question about a possible transition to Samsung 3D V-NAND.
DataON Storage, the leading provider of OS-agnostic Storage enclosures, has announced that their cluster-in-a-box and JBOD enclosures have received certification for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Storage Spaces. The enhanced functionality of Storage Spaces, in concert with the correct hardware, provides auto-tiering and hybrid cloud support.
One of the major attractions of Storage Spaces is the easy-to-use failover capabilities. Providing a high level of redundancy and failover support for entire storage systems was an incredibly taxing and complex endeavor from an IT perspective even a few short years ago. This adds to the TCO of the solution due to prohibitive expenditures for initial setup and long-term management.
The emergence of Cluster-in-a-Box(CiB)solutions has brought this type of functionality withing striking distance of smaller organizations, and also delivers a lower TCO for larger organizations. While the long-term penetration of the Storage Spaces platform into the datacenter market will spawn a whole ecosystem of products, for now there is only one certified CiB solution available for Widows Server 2012 R2.
Avago, a leading designer and developer of compound semiconductors, has announced their intention to purchase the smaller LSI for $6.6 Billion. Avago, with its market cap of $11.3 Billion, is much larger than LSI, with a cap of $4.32 Billion.
Stocks of both companies are skyrocketing in early trading, with LSI up 38% in the first 6 minutes of trading, and Avago is up 11.7% and climbing.
Avago turned to Silver Lake for partial funding for the venture. Silver Lake, a technology investor, is a common player in the storage space. Silver Lake actually owned, and sold, Avago last year. The Avago deal was the largest payoff for Silver Lake, they received a 5X return on their investment, and have a seat on Avago's board.
Times are busy for Silver Lake, they also owned SMART Storage Systems and recently sold them to SanDisk.
Avago will pay $11.15 per share, which was 41% above LSI's closing stock price on Friday. That is sure to change with the stocks of both companies skyrocketing in early trading. LSI is up 38% in the first 6 minutes of trading, and Avago is up 11.7% and climbing.
The acquisition of LSI, with 32 years in the semiconductor business, will significantly expand Avagos portfolio. LSI makes an attractive target, with $2.5 Billion in revenue and $196.2 million in profit last year. The terms of the deal are still subject to approval from regulators and LSI shareholders. There isn't much doubt that the acquisition, six months in the making, will be approved. Stay tuned to TweakTown as we will cover any news as it develops.
The future of memory storage took a big step recently with the announcement from Everspin Technologies and Buffalo Memory that an ST-MRAM cache layer has been incorporated into Buffalo's SS6 industrial SSD. This is the first commercially available SSD to utilize persistent MRAM as a cache layer.
MRAM (magenetoresistive random access memory) is a disruptive technology that looks to change the landscape of memory technology, with many predicting that MRAM will supplant other forms of memory in the near future. In fact, over 20 companies are currently working to develop MRAM products, and mass production from these companies is slated for the 2018 timeframe.
While the industry 'heavies' are 4 years from production, a frontrunner has emerged in Everspin Technologies. They actually have working MRAM in production already, products in the field, and a whopping 600 active patents in their portfolio.
The LSI Nytro display case at AIS continues to hold unannounced treasure for those with a quick eye. In previous years, other 'secret' products have appeared in the case, so we made sure to head directly to the Nytro display case before the doors were open to the public.
We had prior briefings on the Nytro 6000 Series, so we knew to expect working Nytro 6000 Series silicon, but the unannounced 7000 Series also just happened to be on display. Through some investigative journalism, and common sense, we were able to find some details on the 7000 Series. A word of caution, however, there are no official LSI specifications or information on these products. Time for some wild conjecture!
This card features an original take on heat sink design unlike any we have observed on a PCIe flash accelerator. The row of capacitors at the top of the PCB provide power fail protection, and the long heat sink to the bottom right likely hods the ROC that ties the four banks of NAND, hiding under the large black heat sinks, into one large volume. We can also likely expect the use of the same ROC's utilized in the new 12Gb/s MegaRAID products.
Serial Cables is an LSI Channel Alliance Partner and SandForce Trusted Partner that specializes in cabling products for storage applications. The transition from 6Gb/s to 12Gb/s SAS has necessitated the use of higher quality cabling to deliver the full capabilities of the 12Gb/s specification.
Serial Cables is known for their high-quality products and service before and after the sale. Serial Cables is currently expanding into the validation market and also offering storage enclosures.
Look to our page for an upcoming evaluation of Serial Cables' new 12Gb/s SAS JBOD with 8 of the fastest HGST 12Gb/s SSDs.
Quanta delivers High Availability Cluster-in-a-Box solutions with LSI's Syncro products.
LSI worked closely with Microsoft during the development of the platform, enabling customers like Quanta to offer easy-to-use solutions that provide enterprise-class high availability features at a lower price point.
Toshiba's Don Jeannette took us on a quick walk-through of the storage offerings from Toshiba at LSI's Accelerating Innovation Summit (AIS) 2013. Toshiba also had an SSD on display with the new SF3700 LSI SandForce controller.
Toshiba also offers HDD's in both SAS and SATA flavors with 10,000 and 15,000 RPM's.
Here we can see a pairing of Toshiba's A19nm 64Gd MLC die with the latest LSI SandForce controller.
At LSI's Accelerating Innovation Summit (AIS) Scott Ciccone, with Cisco' products and marketing division, was demonstrating their UCS Common Platform Architecture. The UCS platform enables the management of of all compute nodes via the network, and scales Hadoop up to 160 servers.
Cisco uses Nytro MegaRAID controllers to accelerate the underlying HDD arrays with 200GB of flash per card.
Cisco was also displaying the Nexus 7700 Series switches which feature LSI ASIC's.
It isn't often that we travel to trades shows and find unannounced products hiding in plain sight. At AIS, however, this has become a trend with the Nytro products. Our own Chris Ramseyer spotted the original Nytro MegaRAID, and with no publicly available name he affectionately dubbed it the "WarpCache".
Fast forward a few years and the Nytro case still holds a few surprises. Instead of creating a name for the new drives, we will hand it off to Tony Afshary, the Director of Marketing at LSI.
While Tony doesn't provide us with performance specifications, he does reveal that these new Nytro products implement a DRAM caching layer into the solution. This satisfies the need for ultra-low latency performance in bleeding edge applications. Adding another layer of caching to the mix provides enhanced performance, but also introduces numerous challenges we will cover in another article when we go in-depth with each of the three new Nytro 7000 Series products.
LSI's Nytro data acceleration products have many uses. Nytro technology is utilized in direct attached storage products as well as servers using iSCSI or FCoE. Today at AIS, Rob Callaghan talks about using Nytro products to extract value from Big Data.
Big Data may sound like a broad term, but that's because it is. Big data consists of massive amounts of unstructured content that can be valuable when coupled with the power of analytics. The use of flash-based components helps to boost performance and speed the process, but addressing these challenges in a cost-effective manner is paramount. LSI aims to deliver an ecosystem of products to solve the Big Data puzzle at a palatable price point.
Alan Johnson, LSI's Customer Manager, outlines a demonstration that pits 6Gb/s SAS drives head-to-head with 12Gb/s drives. One of the greatest benefits of the jump to 12Gb/s SAS is the enhanced throughput enabled by the protocol. However, a doubling of throughput doesn't always equate to a doubling in performance. In this test, the performance enhancement adds up to a whopping 5x improvement.
Testing with a MySQL database and the TPC-H benchmark yields a 15 user workload, but the use of 12Gb/s HST SSD800MM (Product evaluation here)creates a large jump up to 80 users. This increase also comes along with a noticeable decrease in latency, while also preserving data protection within a RAID 5 configuration.