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♫ Storage falling, all around me... Snowflake, Komprise... Paragon ♬

It's the season – love NAND understanding

Ho ho ho, blockheads. Winterfest is almost upon us, but you know what is more exciting than four weeks of soulless consumerism? That's right, storage! So here's another roundup of the latest industry titbits. We do spoil you so.


It takes a while for AIX and System i to get the newest kit but it has arrived. Big Blue has a new set of SSDs for its POWER8-based AIX/Linux and i servers. They are 2.5inch form-factor SAS drives featuring 3D NAND and available capacities are 387GB, 775GB and 1.55TB. They are rated at 10 drive writes per day for five years.

These new SSDs can be intermixed with existing configs and both 4,224 (4k) and 528 (5xx) byte sector features are offered.

IBM intends to announce a next-generation big data server with the POWER9 processor, and PCIe Gen 4 and CAPI 2.0 data transfer interfaces. A tad overdue, we might think.


File address virtualising and tiering supplier Komprise has become an AWS advanced tier technology partner. Komprise says its file data management technology uses analytics to automate archiving, replication/DR, and transparent access of data across on-premises NAS storage and AWS' cloud tiers; S3, S3 IA, and Glacier.

Users and applications continue to see the data as files on their local NAS storage. And Komprise says it wants even deeper integration with AWS.

Lenovo and Azure Stack

Lenovo says UK channel partner ITPS has deployed the world's first available Azure Stack appliance in its data centre. It's based on a Lenovo ThinkAgile SX server and provides Azure public cloud functionality on-premises.

ITPS purchased one 12-node Azure Stack on Lenovo ThinkAgile SXM6200 servers.


NAKIVO Backup and Replication v7.3 has a new type of backup repository optimised for deduplication appliances, such as NEC Hydrastor, EMC Data Domain, HP StoreOnce, and Quantum DXi. These appliances operate best with sequential large block I/O from backup software. This new type of repository has demonstrated backup speeds 53 times faster than the regular backup repository, running at 3.2GB/sec with an NEC Hydrastore as a target.

NAKIVIO is supplying both kinds of repository. A fully functional free trial of NAKIVO Backup and Replication v7.3 can be downloaded here.


Paragon has released an APFS for Linux driver, which lets applications access Apple File System volumes from Linux. It features:

  • Shell scripts to build, install, and uninstall the driver
  • List and read APFS volumes formatted with macOS
  • Read files up to 100GB in size
  • Read resident and fragmented files, file metadata and access rights

Download the technology preview version of APFS for Linux here.


Snowflake, which provides data warehousing in the public cloud, is previewing its Snowpipe product and supporting AWS Private Link.

Snowpipe is an automated service using Amazon SQS, EC2 and other services that asynchronously listen for new data as it arrives in an S3 bucket, and regularly loads that data into Snowflake. This is different from batch loading of data warehouses and, Snowflake says, gets you fresh data faster, uses pay-per-second compute, and Snowpipe automatically provisions the correct capacity for the data being loaded. Sounds a neat idea.

AWS PrivateLink allows any Snowflake customer to connect to their Snowflake instance without traversing the internet by using an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). This setup can meet outbound data traffic security compliance requirements that some customers are subject to.

Snowpipe is available immediately for public preview on request and will be available in open public preview starting December 8.

A fog bank from Storj and SONM

Storj Labs, a decentralised storage blockchain startup, and SONM, a decentralised compute blockchain startup, say there is a growing demand for decentralised computing and have combined to provide exactly that.

This would cost less to use, they say, than centralised services like Amazon, Azure and Google.

Storj Labs' product uses individual nodes called Farmers to provide a form of object storage. They share their unused hard drive capacity in exchange for compensation. So far there are 50,000 farmers storing more than 12PB of data. Storj resells this capacity to developers and companies needing storage capacity, so creating a small-scale sharing economy.

Uploaded files are split into shards, encrypted and distributed across the network of Farmer nodes, and also replicated so that, if data is lost, files can be rebuilt from half the shards that stored the files. Customers get an encrypted access key and Farmers get paid with Storj tokens which, apparently, can be traded here.

Performance is said to be near Amazon S3 access, but there are plans to boost the to CDN level by the end of 2018.

SONM (Supercomputer Organised by Network Mining) has done a similar thing with decentralized compute in a scheme called fog computing.

Independent computer owners supply a portion of their local compute for SONM to use in a compute network and they get paid via blockchain. SONM's system has an internal peer-to-peer marketplace for the buying and selling of computing power.

The combined offering, a peer-to-peer cloud computing service, has Storj Farmer-held data processed on the SONM compute network. Igor Lebdev, SONM chief technology officer, said: "This integration will allow SONM consumers to mount data volumes and collect data from containers using Storj."

This scheme had better be cheap because overall performance could be quite slow compared to hosting the storage and compute all on-premises or in the public cloud.


Toshiba Memory America is sampling 32, 64, 128 and 256GB UFS (Universal Flash Storage) devices using its 64-layer 3D NAND. They integrate flash memory and a controller in a single, JEDEC-standard 11.5x13mm package. The controller performs error correction, wear levelling, logical-to-physical address translation, and bad-block management.

These UFS thingies are compliant with JEDEC UFS Ver. 2.1, including HS-GEAR3, with its theoretical interface speed of up to 5.8Gbit/s per lane (x2 lanes=11.6Gbit/s). The 64GB product does 900MB/sec sequential read/write work. Tosh tells us it's about 200 per cent and 185 per cent better at random read and write IOPS than its predecessor, the catchily named THGAF4G9N4LBAIR 64GB device.

These tiny drives are intended for use in smartphones, tablets and augmented/virtual reality systems. Sample ships of the 64GB product are starting now with other capacities following behind.


Kaminario has promoted Todd Gresham from VP corporate development to its chief strategy officer. He will drive Kaminario's overall growth strategy, overseeing corporate development, OEM relationships and new business development.

Micron has appointed Derek Dicker to run its Storage Business Unit as a VP and general manager. His CV includes stints in sales, marketing and executive roles at Intel, IDT, PMC-Sierra and Microsemi Corporation.

Anand Jayapalan was Storage BU head, joining Micron in August this year and abruptly leaving in October following alleged involvement in insider trading activities by the SEC. CEO Michael Raam left this startup in November, with co-founder and CTO Liran Zvibel taking over the CEO spot. He said: "This has been in the planning for a while. I moved over from Israel early this year and Michael and I have been working on the transition. Michael has great expertise in fundraising and has been a coach to me in the transition to CEO."


Broadcom is laying off 300 Brocade employees in San Jose, having completed the Brocade acquisition. Tough times for the bought Brocaders.

CTERA Networks' Enterprise File Services Platform is Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 140‐2 (FIPS 140-2) validated. CTERA provides a unified file sharing and data protection platform product.

ObjectiveFS has released v5.3 of the eponymous ObjectiveFS shared filesystem. It has performance improvements for lower latency writes, faster detection of changes from other nodes, support for getting the filesystem passphrase from secret management tools such as Vault, Keywhiz, Confidant or AWS Parameter Store, and easier config of IAM roles. Sign up for a free trial here.

ObjectMatrix has sold a MatrixStore product to MEDIAPRO in Spain. MatrixStore is a a digital content governance and object storage platform. MEDIAPRO will use it to deliver 12 channels and live coverage of La Liga football.

WANdisco has launched its Fusion replication product integration with AWS Snowball. This is storage drive-based bulk data transfer to AWS S3. ®

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