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Flash, spinning rust, cloud 'n' tape. Squeeze. Oof. Hyperconverge our storage suitcase, would you?

We node we can stuff just one more SoC in here

Ready to unzip this densely packed storage news suitcase? We've got a bulging information-fest with all that's worth knowing from the past week, ranging from SSDs through disks to public and private clouds.

We'll run thorough it alphabetically and start with big boss storage supplier Dell EMC.

Dell EMC

Dell EMC now has an all flash VxRack Azure Stack (AS) configuration option, which includes 25G ToR (top of rack) switches. It continues to sell hybrid AS stuff.

Automated HCI Patch and Update, which is available in preview, are key features, Dell EMC claimed.

There are two separate processes for Patch and Update on Azure Stack. The first is the Azure Stack software, which is handled via updates on a near monthly cadence from Microsoft via the Azure Stack Administrator Portal.

The hardware components need to follow a similar process as the Azure Stack software to avoid unnecessary disruption to the Azure Stack services.

When done manually this can be time-consuming as each node needs to be brought in and out of maintenance mode individually with multiple steps per-node. The process takes several hours to complete.

Dell EMC said its orchestration tool lets customers update the firmware on their entire VxRack AS scale unit in one step.

SecureVM is now integrated with Azure Stack and available through the Azure Stack Marketplace. You can run your key management in public Azure or Azure Stack, and the VM extensions for Linux and Windows VMs allow customers to enforce policies that dictate the circumstances under which keys are released.

Dell EMC now sells flexible consumption through Cloud Flex as a way to acquire Azure Stack as an operating expense. This Cloud Flex option is called Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack.


FileShadow has a partnership with Wasabi to bring multi-cloud and machine learning to SMBs. It gives users a choice of both file processing and storage options.

The FileShadow tech connects cloud storage accounts – Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, Adobe Creative Cloud and Drobo NAS appliances – into a vault, making their files instantly searchable regardless of source and available for a lifetime.

With the addition of Wasabi, FileShadow customers can choose the file storage services from either Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Storage or IBM Cloud Object Storage.

HPE self-encrypting XP7 flash drives and 100 per cent availability

The XP7 is HPE's high-end array, based on OEM'd Hitachi Vantara VSP technology. HPE has announced encryption with XP7 Self-Encrypting Flash Module Devices (SE FMD) in 7TB and 14TB capacities.

These SE FMDS feature:

  • Cryptographic and compression ASIC on the SE FMD
  • Flexibility to support both encrypted and non-encrypted groups on the same array vs an all-or-nothing limitation
  • Flexibility to mix both SE FMD and controller-based encryption in the same array
  • No need for destructive media retention (DMR)

HPE said it offers a 100 per cent data availability guarantee with new orders.

Imanis Data

Imanis Data, calling itself a machine learning data management company which protects Hadoop and NoSQL data, has announced some customer wins and private equity investment. It said a global retailer bought the product to provide data management for its Azure Data Lake.

The firm also said it downed $13.5m Series B funding in Q1, with investments from Canaan, ONSET Ventures, Intel Capital, and Wipro Ventures, as well as new investor Asset Plus Capital. The added capital is being used to increase go-to-market resource and activities, and to expand relationships with cloud and technology partners, it said.

The firm said it had also upgraded its Imanis Data Management Platform (IDMP), adding point-in-time backup for Couchbase and launching v3.3, which includes ThreatSense Ransomware detection, disaster recovery for Hadoop, and Recovery Sandbox which allows administrators to test recoverability quickly with no disruption to production workloads.

Lenovo goes private clouding

Lenovo and Cloudistics have developed the ThinkAgile CP Series composable cloud, a "cloud-in-a-box" which they said offers the conveniences of a public cloud environment secured behind the customer's own data centre firewall.

We're told the ThinkAgile CP Series has fully integrated infrastructure, application marketplace and end-to-end automation of software-defined network, compute and storage to deliver a cloud experience that can be centrally managed from anywhere through a SaaS portal.

Other features include integrated high availability, backup, remote replication, usage metering, live support and multi-tenant security.

Customers can access a curated application marketplace (which they can extend with their own products) for rapid deployment.

They get simple, plug-and-play scale-out of disaggregated units of compute and storage capacity.

Lenovo said its ThinkAgile CP Series was aimed at midmarket and enterprise customers.

Pure FlashBlade FlashStack and AIRI Cisco gear available

Pure has announced the availability of its Cisco-based FlashStack with FlashBlade and AIRI systems with Cisco switches as an alternative to the original Arista ones.

FlashStack is a Cisco-Pure converged infrastructure reference architecture system that integrates Pure's primary storage FlashSystem array with Cisco UCS servers, fabric interconnects, and Nexus switches.

In May, Pure said it was being extended by having a FlashBlade version added, positioned as a data warehouse and Big Data analytics-type system, with AIRI as the dedicated AI system.

Pure has also announced that Cisco Nexus switches are available for its AIRI and AIRI Mini AI systems, which pair FlashBlade with Nvidia DGX-1 GPU servers.

Spectra Logic's Tape Library and BlackPearl tweaking

Spectra L has updated the operation of its enterprise tape libraries:

  • TAOS or Time-Based Access Ordering System speeds up recall times for the Spectra TFinity ExaScale and T950 Tape Libraries by reordering recalls from LTO tapes
  • TAOS also reduces wear on tapes and drives
  • Zoning allocates a library territory for each robot in the dual-robot TFinity ExaScale library, giving it a performance lift without partitions as the two robots move media freely within the tape library – using both LTO and IBM's TS tape technology
  • Users can load up to 10 drives from a single TeraPac with intelligent move queues, improving performance in the TFinity ExaScale
  • ASM Platinum (Assisted Self Maintenance) allows customers to self-repair TFinity ExaScale and T950 Tape Libraries via custom maintenance plans, extra spare parts onsite, technical account managers and personalised repair training for IT staff
  • Spectra Certified Media have a Spectra Certified Media lifetime guarantee that warrants Spectra LTO and IBM's TS tapes to be defect free (in materials and workmanship) for the life of the media.

Spectra also added object storage updates to its BlackPearl converged storage systems. They get self-healing, with healing of all file copies across all media if a problem is detected. There is automatic consolidation of data on fragmented tapes, reclaiming deleted tape storage capacity, and data can be migrated from one storage type to another.

S3 object versioning enables multiple versions of the same file to be uploaded and saved on BlackPearl, pre-empting data loss. Intelligent Chunk Aggregation reduces tape mounts and improves tape throughput. Data Staging enables pre-staging of data from tape to disk, reducing wait times to use assets while taking advantage of tape's cost savings; in other words, carry on using slow - compared to disk - tape.


AOMEI has released a beta of its (SaaS)-based online data backup program, eBackupper 1.0 Beta. Currently, it enables users to backup and restore websites (FTP/SFTP) as well as databases (MySQL) to their own cloud drives. More features will be available in the future. AOMEI said webmasters can manage their online websites, databases etc. in a worry-free way.

BOHH Labs, which secures sensitive data in a separate storage facility, has a partnership with Teradata Corp to provide data warehouse access facilities with sensitive data protected.

Hortonworks Data Platform 3.0 is now available for IBM POWER9. There's a reference architecture doc here and a reference architecture with IBM Elastic Storage Server here. Data Flow 3.2 is expected to be available from Hortonworks later in August and will also include POWER9 support.

IBM Spectrum Scale has been used by the German Juelich Supercomputing Centre in an extended capacity tier accessed by NSD, NFS and S3 across a 100GbitE link. It has 10PB nodes, each with a pair of Lenovo ThinkSystem SR650 servers and 4 x Lenovo ThinkSystem DS6200 storage systems (with 3 x D3284 expansion trays), each with with 252 nearline 10TB SAS disk drives. It will move to 12PB nodes in the fourth quarter and 14PB nodes in the second half of 2020.

Ingenico is using the MapR Data Platform to serve as the foundational data layer for its payment processing systems that handle 5.1 billion transactions, across over 300 payment types and 170 countries.

Innodisk has self-encrypting solid stated drives (SED) which use a hardware-based encryption mechanism, located in the controller. It claims the data is next to uncrackable and operation will have zero impact on CPU loading. To simplify the process of implementing these devices, Innodisk has created iOpal, intuitive software for easy SED management.

Micro Focus announced that Data Protector now offers comprehensive protection for applications deployed in HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack.

Email and data security company Mimecast announced the launch of its early adopter program for existing Mimecast customers for its new Domain Name System (DNS) Security Gateway. This cloud-based service guards against malicious activity initiated by user action or malware while blocking access to websites deemed unsafe or inappropriate based on each organisation’s objectives and policies.

Rubrik has achieved AWS Storage Partner Competency for both Backup & Recovery and Archive products.

SwiftStack users can now trigger a data copy, archive, or migration with the addition of object metadata. This allows them and applications control over data placement across multiple clouds at the object layer.

The UK's Zeta Systems with its Zetastack hyperconverged software product has added support for Wasabi. It's an S3 compatible cloud storage that is claimed to be 80 per cent cheaper than Amazon. All restores are copies. No existing data is overwritten. This means you can perform the restore while the original image is in use. ®

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