December 22, 2014

Why Big Disk Drives Require Data Integrity Checking

You might think RAID is for data protection, but it does nothing of the sort!

Hard disk drives keep getting bigger, meaning capacity just keeps getting cheaper. But storage capacity is like money: The more you have, the more you use. And this growth in capacity means that data is at risk from a very old nemesis: Unrecoverable Read Errors (URE). Let’s get one thing out of the way from the start: The only […]

The Prime Directive of Storage: Do Not Lose Data

The Prime Directive of storage: Do not return the wrong data!

People call on storage devices and systems to do lots of things, from accelerating I/O to copying and sharing data. But at the heart of it all, storage arrays really have just one job: Do not lose data!

EMC XtremIO Upgrade is Non-Disruptive to Customers

Bloggers are apoplectic about EMC's destructive upgrade process for XtremIO but customers don't seem to care.

EMC’s XtremIO is crapping on the badge; it’s an immature ball of destruction that shows how much architecture matters. Or so my favorite storage bloggers say. But customers and resellers seem to have a different take on the destructive XtremIO 3.0 update: They don’t care. Not at all.

A Fairy Tale of Two Storage Protocols

This is a tale of two great kingdoms in Seattle...

It’s clear how this fairy tale ends. So many companies are using “S3 plus” as their standard interface, and even inside their solutions, that it’s safe to say it’s won the cloud storage API battle. But S3 isn’t a finalized spec – the industry will extend and improve it over the coming years. Soon we’ll have a cloud storage standard based on S3, just like we have a LAN file services standard based on CIFS.

The Rack Endgame: Converged Infrastructure and Disaggregation

Cisco's new UCS M-Series puts two CPU/memory "complexes" on a cartridge, with all I/O disaggregated and supported on the back end over PCIe

As I’ve written about what I’m calling the “Rack Endgame”, the specter of converged infrastructure hasn’t been far from my thoughts. As others have pointed out, disaggregation of servers, networks, and storage doesn’t require a rack-sized stack; it can exist in a rack-mountable chassis and is already on sale!

Selling Fashion: My Thoughts on the Apple Watch, Part 4

Clearly Apple has already learned many lessons from fashion boutiques, and their Stores are legendary in the retail industry

This is the fourth in my series on the Apple Watch. Read the rest: Transformative Success – My Thoughts on the Apple Watch Hodgepodge: My Thoughts on the Apple Watch, Part 2 The Fashion Function: My Thoughts on the Apple Watch, Part 3 The Apple Watch we saw this week is not a transformative product. […]

The Rack Endgame: Open Compute Project

SAfa

On reading my thoughts about the evolution of enterprise storage, many pointed out that this looks an awful lot like the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP). This is entirely intentional. But OCP is simply one expression of this new architecture, and perhaps not the best one for the enterprise.

The Fashion Function: My Thoughts on the Apple Watch, Part 3

The physical design of the Apple Watch is disappointing. It's a bland blob relying on straps for "life".

Apple previewed their 2015 Apple Watch this week, and I’m not entirely convinced that they have a hit on their hands. Rather than a transformative punch, Apple showed an unfocused product that can’t figure out just what it’s supposed to be. The software side can improve dramatically before launch, but what about the physical design?

Cisco’s Trojan Horse

Cisco's UCS C3160 is a "storage server" for the all-Cisco rack

Industry watchers like me have long wondered when Cisco will transform itself into a full-line IT infrastructure vendor. This strategy was tipped in 2009 as Cisco barged into the server market with UCS. But one leg of the stool is still missing: Storage remains the province of Cisco partners like EMC and NetApp.

Hodgepodge: My Thoughts on the Apple Watch, Part 2

Just look at this home screen! What exactly is the Apple Watch designed to do? Everything?!?

The current Apple Watch doesn’t look that great. Apple previewed an unfocused product that needs quite a bit more development to be “insanely great.” Perhaps the software situation will improve by launch time, with Apple figuring out just what this thing is supposed to be and focusing on that. But it’s doubtful that the physical design will be altered much.