January 29, 2015

NexGen Storage is Back!

NexGen Storage announced their acquisition by Fusion-io at Storage Field Day 3 on April 24, 2013

The re-birth of NexGen Storage is surprising to be sure, but it’s a positive move for the industry. Competition is good, especially when it comes from folks who know how to “do” storage. And the world of midrange storage just got a strong new competitor!

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!

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.

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.

The Rack Endgame: A New Storage Architecture For the Data Center

Top of rack flash, bottom of rack capacity, and software gluing everything together!

Top-of-rack flash and bottom-of-rack disk makes a ton of sense in a world of virtualized, distributed storage. It fits with enterprise paradigms yet delivers real architectural change that could “move the needle” in a way that no centralized shared storage system ever will. SAN and NAS aren’t going away immediately, but this new storage architecture will be an attractive next-generation direction!

Virtualized and Distributed Storage: This Time For Sure!

The principles of data physics suggest that data should be located closer to compute

We were never able to achieve storage virtualization in mainstream enterprise IT because we lacked the ability to identify and move data non-disruptively. This has been solved by caching and distributed storage solutions, and it’s only a matter of time before the legacy need for centralized storage falls away.