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Storage pizza from The Register's wood-fired oven

Get a piece of our weekend storage pizza

Thick crust, thin crust, who cares, it's storage pizza time, cooked in The Register's own wood-fired oven, with lots of bark and bite.

The first item on the menu is the ...

Acronis cloud supreme

Acronis has announced its Data Cloud, saying it's a unified platform for all current and future cloud-based services that Acronis is bringing to the market for service providers.

It integrates;

  • Acronis Backup Cloud which supports more than 20 data sources, has the capacity to block ransomware with Acronis Active Protection, allows for backup from anywhere and recovery however required and is capable of certifying data with blockchain-based Acronis Notary.
  • Acronis Disaster Recovery Cloud (Partner Preview) — a turnkey, self-service offering, built upon Acronis Backup Cloud, that lets service providers instantly recover their customers’ IT systems, applications, and data.
  • Acronis Files Cloud — enterprise file sync and share which meets business needs and allows service providers to control data storage location.

The Acronis Data Cloud brings shared management and integration into business automation systems such as Odin Automation, Hostbill, ConnectWise Automate, Autotask, and WHMCS (full list here.)

AetherWorks with the works

AetherStore was developed by AetherWorks of New York started life as a shared storage resource based on built using spare disk capacity in a network of peer-to-peer workstations. We might call it fog-based storage in that it is storage based on amalgamating distributed capacity at the network edge.

Now the AetherWorking people have developed ActivAether; a fog computing technology that extends cloud computing to the edge of a network, enabling any computing device to host software services and process data. It uses the spare computing power of the billions of computers worldwide that sit idle throughout the day.

The AetherWorkers say ActiveAether beats cloud storage with lower latency, significantly lower bandwidth consumption, and an open market for computing time on both CPUs and GPUs worldwide. Blockchain is involved as resources on ActiveAether are bought with the crypto-currency.

Head Aertherist Dr. Robert MacInnis, Ph.D., said; "This network stands as an immediate competitor to what we know as the cloud - a collection of data centers owned by current market leaders: Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM. By combining a blockchain-based cryptocurrency with a patented, next-generation software service architecture, ActiveAether is bringing equitable, pervasive, service-oriented computing to the world.

“Blockchain-based distributed ledgers like Ethereum are now proven technology, and they are the enabling force behind the ActiveAether global market.By spreading the power and the responsibility for the world’s computing infrastructure, we are democratizing the most potent channel for good that humankind has ever known, and creating a more resilient, fault-tolerant global Internet.”

Comtrade with cheese

Comtrade has an HYCU product, a purpose-built backup and recovery for Nutanix. HYCU uses Nutanix v3 APIs and all of the backups are incremental. It has a new release, v 1.5.2, supporting the use of Nutanix dense nodes as backup targets, using the Nutanix scale-out storage protocol (ABS).

Nutanix OEMs like Lenovo HX and Dell XC can use this feature.

Comtrade recommends each customer set up a separate Storage Dense cluster or, if they have multiple clusters, they add capacity to existing clusters and do cross-cluster backup. This way, their 3-2-1 backup best practice is maintained.

Other features include;

  • Amazon S3 compatible storage support has been broadened to include both Cloudian and Scality.
  • HCYU supports automated discovery and consistent backup and recovery of Microsoft Active Directory.
  • Wnd-to-end software encryption for NFS, SMB and iSCSI/ABS targets.

The full feature list can be found here [PDF].

Supersized software-defined IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts the worldwide software-defined storage (SDS) market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 per cent over the 2017-2021 forecast period, with revenues of nearly US$16.2 billion in 2021.

Within the SDS market, the expansion of three key sub-segments – file, object, and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) – is being strongly driven forward by next-generation datacenter requirements.

Of these sub-segments, HCI is both the fastest growing with a five-year CAGR of 26.6 per cent and the largest overall with revenues approaching $7.15 billion in 2021. Object-based storage will experience a CAGR of 10.3 per cent over the forecast period while file-based storage and block-based storage will trail with CAGRs of 6.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively.

IDC says the HCI sub-segment is one of the most active merger and acquisition markets as the major enterprise storage systems providers prepare to cap anticipated SAN and NAS revenue losses to HCI as enterprises shift toward SDS offerings.

Nexsan with extra spice

Nexsan has new models in its E-Series P line of dense, high capacity storage systems. The new models now offer customer-configurable 12 host interface ports of 16Gbit/s FC and 10GbitE per system. These enable replication and simultaneous full host data access performance.

The E-Series now support 6 x 12TB drives, for a total capacity of 720TB in a single 4U unit, and up to a total of 2.16PB in a system. Suggested use case areas are media and entertainment, digital video surveillance, and backup.

Nexsan says these products are reliable enough for deployment in ships, transit stations, and remote outposts.

SoftNAS special

SoftNAS is a startup developing NAS services in Azure (shades of NetApp, hey.) You might even call it a software-defined fork lift truck. We'll get to that in a minute.

SoftNAS was co-founded in 2012 by Rick Braddy who is its CEO and CTO. William Hood was the other co-founder and he left his SVP Cloud Markets post in December 2014.

It picked up $l.4m of angel funding in 2014 and another angelic round of $5m in 2015; so total funding of $6.4mn; small potatoes in the storage startup world.

The company has built a Cloud Data Platform product, to help enterprises migrate apps to the cloud, and it comes in three flavours;

  • Cloud Essentials - delivers cloud backup, disaster recovery and cloud archive repositories using patent-pending ObjFast technology accelerates I/O performance up to 400 per cent faster than previous SoftNAS Cloud versions and approaches I/O performance levels of native cloud block storage using lower cost, durable object storage.
  • Cloud Enterprise - (formerly SoftNAS Cloud NAS) protects mission-critical and primary, active/hot data while incorporating enterprise-class NAS features like cross-zone high-availability, Dual Controller High Availability (DCHA), NFS, CIFS/SMB, AFP and iSCSI protocols, deduplication, compression, encryption, Active Directory/LDAP integration, thin-provisioning and scheduled snapshots with rapid rollback.
  • Cloud Platinum - a public beta offering of a NAS virtual storage appliance with built-in design and configure hybrid cloud data management and movement. Patent-pending UltraFast technology increases data transfer speeds up to 20 times faster than standard TCP/IP networks to accelerate data migrations for cloud backups and bulk data.

SoftNAS claims Cloud Platinum’s design and configure wizards enable IT to “Lift and Shift” live data from an on-premises NAS or file server to the desired SoftNAS Cloud destination point, and then migrate the data quickly, whether to AWS, Microsoft Azure or VMware-hosted clouds.

Lift and Shift sounds like a fork lift truck operation.

It enables live data migration, avoiding the need, SoftNAS claims, to freeze production systems for days, weeks or months while data volumes are offline migrated to the cloud.

Big ideas from another small company. If you want to play with the beta and its software-defined fork lift truck then point your browser here.

Synology snacks

Its DSM v6.2.0 software adds;

  • Storage Manager and Storage Pool, dashboard-like overview, and smart data scrubbing to prevent bit rot without sweat.
  • iSCSI Manager for iSCSI service - a new LUN type with refined snapshot technology based on the Btrfs file system so snapshots can be taken in seconds regardless of LUN size.
  • Synology High Availability (SHA) can be set up and run within 10 minutes, and with built-in monitoring tools for the active and passive server.
  • Security Advisor to dissect any abnormal login, analyse the attacker's location, and send notifications. A daily or monthly report on DSM system security scan is available.
  • TLS/SSL Profile Level Chooser lets each network service have its own TLS/SSL connection profile.
  • Chat desktop application on Windows, MacOS and Linux, featuring poll, bots, threaded message, and third-party video conference integration.
  • Calendar allows you to attach files to events to centralise all the relevant information, and comes with week numbering and keyboard shortcuts to view your calendars.

DSM v6.2 beta is available for download here and now.

Pepperoni People

Arcserve has a new CEO, Tom Signorello. Interim CEO Dave Hansen can now relax and revert to his board chairman role. Signorello's CV includes being CEO of OnX Enterprise Solutions, North American SVP and Managing Director at Diebold Inc., and VP of North American Global Managed Services at Unisys.

+RegComment; Considering that Mike Crest only went in September and that said departure was abrupt, this is a remarkably fast appointment. Signorello left OnX, which was acquired by Cincinnati Bell in July, earlier this year; his CEO role no longer being required.

DataBricks has appointed David Wyatt, who built MuleSoft’s EMEA Business over the last four and a half years, as VP and General Manager of Databricks EMEA.

Code42 has hired Rob Juncker as SVP for Product Development. He will focus on leading, mentoring, and growing the software development and delivery teams at Code42, and accelerating product innovations. His CV includes stints at Ivanti and being senior director for R and D at VMware

Junker's prepared quote was amusing; "Minnesota, or the Silicon Tundra as I like to call it, is a shining star for innovation and providing a new approach to the market, and has some of the best engineers in the country."

Anyone experienced with a Minnesota winter will understand what Silicon Tundra means.

Andy Hill has returned to Nexsan as VP of EMEA Sales and will be heading up Nexsan’s EMEA strategy, driving sales, extending partnerships, and accelerating the company’s momentum across EMEA. He previously ran EMEA sales for Nexsan from 2006 through 2013, growing the business to $26M annual sales. Do it again please Andy!

Small bites

Unified Analytics Platform company DataBricks will launch in London, UK, following a $140m investment round earlier this year. It reminds us the company’s cloud-based platform is powered by Spark, the most popular open source technology for Big Data processing and analytic workloads, and an invention of the six co-founders of Databricks.

DataStax, a supplier of data management for cloud applications, unveiled DataStax Enterprise (DSE) handling real-time, geographically distributed operational data management in the Oracle Data Hub-managed service environment at Oracle OpenWorld.

Compared to Apache Cassandra, DataStax says DSM has better performance, robust graph, analytic, and search capabilities; and a consistent security model across all its data services.

Kaminario has appointed ECS Computers Asia as its authorized distributor for Southeast Asia.

Sphere 3D, describing itself as a containerization, virtualization, and data management provider, says business unit HVE has been awarded a contract exceeding $1mn. This is a big deal for perennially loss-making Sphere 3D.


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