Tag Archives: Flash

Quantum F-Series line expands with entry-level NVMe flash

Quantum Corp. expanded its F-Series line of NVMe flash arrays this week with an entry-level option for businesses that maintain large media and entertainment files.

The F-1000 is the second array in the Quantum F-Series product family, following the 2019 launch of its F-2000 NAS. The F-Series servers run Quantum StorNext file system software in a scale-out file storage cluster for unstructured data.

For the F-1000, Quantum said it reworked commodity server hardware to create a lower-cost option, reducing the amount of memory needed to compute RAID. The 1U server contains a single controller and supports up to 10 NVMe SSDs, with RAID 10. By comparison, the 2U F-2000 has two controllers and takes 24 dual-ported NVMe SSDs.

Quantum F-1000 is offered in two capacity models: 39 TB and 77 TB, with 32G Fibre Channel and 100 Gigabit Ethernet via iSCSI extensions for remote direct memory access

“This innovation stems directly from Quantum’s strategy of focusing on video data. They have tailored a cost-optimized offering for a specific solution, rather than trying to sell you a general-purpose NVMe storage server,” as other storage vendors have done, said Scott Sinclair, a storage analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

Quantum F-Series takes software-defined approach

Nonvolatile flash memory (NVMe) transmits data across PCI Express lanes instead hopping of between network components. NVMe provides faster data access and high parallelization, making it attractive for high-resolution video rendering and streaming media. NVMe flash media also comes with premium pricing, putting it beyond the reach of many organizations.

The Quantum F-Series marks the NAS vendor’s intention to adopt a software-defined storage approach, said Eric Bassier, a Quantum senior director of technical marketing. Quantum F-Series customers include major movie studios, government agencies and private corporations that need to capture, edit and store data for visual effects and computer-generated imagery.

This innovation stems directly from Quantum’s strategy of focusing on video data.
Scott SinclairStorage analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Quantum targets the F-1000 for IT teams that need NVMe flash performance, but with moderate density. “It’s pretty cool to be able to port the same [StorNext] software to bring F-1000 server to market so quickly” after its debut in April, Bassier said.

Storage for unstructured data still growing

Organizations are dealing with a surge in newly created data, much of it unstructured data. Media content, particularly image and video, is a prime contributor. According to an ESG report on storage trends, nearly one-quarter of organizations cite digital media as a top driver of projected on-premises storage growth over the next several years.

“The idea that the data center is dying because of the cloud is not the case,” Sinclair said.

Quantum bills the F-1000 as a lower-cost alternative for dense media. It did not disclose pricing, but Bassier said Quantum F-1000 NVMe storage will cost roughly the same as its hybrid SAS arrays.

“We believe SAS SSDs are going to become obsolete rather quickly,” Bassier said.

In addition to StorNext-powered storage, Quantum sells ActiveScale object storage, DXi backup appliances, R-Series storage for in-vehicle storage, VS-Series video surveillance systems and Scalar tape storage systems.

The F-1000 is Quantum’s first product launch since resolving a dispute with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Quantum in December agreed to a $1 million settlement related to a series of earnings misstatements dating to February 2018. The SEC found that former Quantum executives booked revenue from multiyear contracts, but failed to disclose the revenue in financial reports. Quantum had previously agreed to pay $8 million to settle shareholder lawsuits arising from the probe.

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Kioxia expects fab fire will have no flash production impact

Kioxia expects no impact to NAND flash production in the aftermath of a fire this week at its Fab 6 semiconductor manufacturing facility in Yokkaichi, Japan, a company spokesperson confirmed today.

Kioxia — formerly Toshiba Memory Corp. — notified customers that the fire took place on Jan. 7 at about 6:10 a.m. local time. Firefighters contained the blaze to a single piece of machinery at the Fab 6 plant, and all machines other than the damaged one are now operating, according to the company spokesperson.

Western Digital, Kioxia’s joint venture (JV) partner, issued a statement confirming a “small fire” that “local firefighters quickly extinguished.” The company said that no employees sustained injuries.

“We are working closely with our JV partner to promptly bring the fab back to normal operational status. We expect any supply impact to be minimal,” Western Digital stated.

Analysts predict no supply, market impact

Don Jeanette, a vice president at Trendfocus, a data storage market research and consulting firm, met this week with multiple Kioxia employees. He said they told him the impact would be minimal, and the fire affected only a small portion of a clean room at the Fab 6 plant, which produces 3D NAND flash.

Likewise, Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights, said his checks confirmed the impact was small, and there should be no market impact and no major disruptions in NAND flash supply to customers.

“Most NAND suppliers continue to carry above normal inventory levels,” Wong said.

Unrelated NAND flash prices increase

NAND flash prices have been on the rise. But Joseph Unsworth, a research vice president at Gartner, attributed the price increase to strong demand for solid-state drives (SSDs) from hyperscale and PC markets and lean supply due to fab delays and 3D NAND technology transitions. He said the NAND price increase has no relationship to the Kioxia fire or a recent Samsung power outage.

Samsung’s semiconductor facility in Hwaseong, Korea, experienced a power outage on Dec. 31, 2019. A Samsung spokesperson said power was “immediately restored,” and the facility resumed normal operation.

Jim Handy, general director and semiconductor analyst at Objective Analysis, said he has seen no market impact from the recent Samsung power outage and he expects none from this week’s Kioxia fire. He said a June power outage that interrupted production at Toshiba’s Yokkaichi plant also had “almost no impact.”

“We’re in a big oversupply right now,” Handy said. “The prices have gone up a little bit because there is an inventory build going on. Some Chinese NAND buyers are worried that the trade war is going to cut off their source of supply, so they’ve been building a little bit of a stockpile. And that’s given the illusion of a shortage. But when you compare real demand against real supply, there’s still an oversupply.”

Handy said he views the current NAND price increase as a temporary blip, and he predicts prices will follow costs and remain low this year. Handy expects the price trend will extend through 2021, thanks to new Chinese manufacturer Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. coming online and causing the NAND oversupply to continue.

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Enterprise flash adoption poised for new uses, experts say

Flash storage appears poised for greater adoption in enterprise data centers during 2020.

A developing NVMe flash ecosystem and new quad-level cell (QLC) NAND SSDs will extend enterprise flash storage to workloads previously relegated to disk. Edge computing will to spur interest in storage class memory and customers will start experimenting with persistent storage for AI and containers.

Those conclusions surfaced from interviews with flash analysts and storage vendors. Here is a summary of what enterprises should watch for in 2020.

Flash isn’t only for big companies

Enterprise flash arrays first appeared around 2008, incorporating solid-state media to replace electromechanical hard disk drives. Vendors first aimed all-flash arrays at high-end enterprises that could justify the premium cost to support performance-heavy applications. Hybrid arrays that combine HDDs and SSDs followed for midrange and smaller organizations.

Flash was at such a premium in early days of enterprise use that it was limited mostly to large organizations and the most important applications. But prices consistently dropped over the past decade. Steve McDowell, a senior analyst for storage and data center technologies at Moor Insights & Strategy, said falling flash prices have made the technology a realistic option for more organizations.

“Nearline storage is pretty much all on flash right now, at least as far replacement cycles happen. Companies may not be ripping out their disk systems now, but they realize flash gives you better efficiency and density per rack unit,” McDowell said.

Prices have dropped enough that there is little difference between enterprise flash and high-performing hard disk drives, said Eric Herzog, the vice president of worldwide storage channels at IBM Storage.

“In many cases, it doesn’t pay to use disk arrays or even hybrid anymore. The price of all-flash arrays now is basically on par with high-performance disk, plus you get better total cost of ownership,” Herzog said.

NVMe set to dominate enterprise flash storage

Tiering is in vogue again

Nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) flash is expected to further make inroads in the data center. Intel Optane SSDs combine dynamic RAM and flash memory. The Optane drives are based on 3D XPoint memory technology that was initially developed by Intel and Micron Technologies, a partnership that ended in 2018. Micron in October 2019 launched its own 3D XPoint products.

Major storage vendors are adding NVMe flash to their arrays, usually in conjunction with SAS or SATA SSD connectivity. NVMe SSDs use PCI Express lanes to enable faster communication between applications and storage.

QLC is a lower-cost alternative to TLC NAND SSDs, and vendors see it as suitable for read-intensive and light write workloads. While QLC has 25% greater capacity than TLC, it has poorer performance and write endurance. Storage vendors are retooling their data management software to support QLC, NVMe and persistent memory in the same system, said Eric Burgener, a research vice president of storage at analyst firm IDC.

“We are starting to see the return of tiering for high-performance applications,” Burgener said.

Although fabrication plants are still ramping production of QLC NAND, vendors are designing systems that place a tier of superfast persistent storage on the controller, backed by a standard tier of NVMe SSDs. Examples include Dell EMC PowerMax, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Primera, the Hitachi Vantara Virtual Storage Platform VSP5000, NetApp MaxData and Pure Storage FlashArray//C.

Flash for backup, object storage

AI at the edge is also expanding flash use cases, said Sudhir Srinivasan, CTO at Dell EMC storage.

Srinivasan said more customers have moved to flash due to its operational simplicity, even for traditionally disk-based workloads.

“Most backup is still on disk, but we do have customers placing certain primary data sets on secondary devices for analytics. And that data needs a higher level of performance,” Srinivasan said.

Backup and rapid recovery is an unexpected use for Pure Storage FlashBlade all-flash NAS. The product’s massively parallel bandwidth helped Domino’s Pizza reduce dependence on disk-based backup, said Dan Djuric, a Domino’s vice president of global infrastructure and enterprise information systems. 

“Anytime we have to share file systems, we launch FlashBlade. We also use Pure FlashBlade as the framework for all our data capture, so it’s more than just backup and recovery,” Djuric said.

Flash is also penetrating converged systems, said Octavian Tanase, a senior vice president of the NetApp OnTap software and systems. NetApp FlexPod is a converged infrastructure based on NetApp FAS storage and Cisco compute and networking. Roughly 60% of FlexPod sales were for all-flash systems, Tanase said.  

McDowell said all-flash is also coming to object arrays to help enterprises analyze unstructured data created in edge environments.

“Some data never leaves the edge. Some gets consumed in the cloud, and object is the language it speaks. It’s an object-centric world and all-flash is a natural fit,” McDowell said.

Don’t write off disk yet

IDC’s Burgener said demand for NVMe all-flash will grow 67% during the next five years, with SCSI-based flash arrays growth approaching 11%. IDC expects the market for hybrid arrays to contract by 2%.

Still, enterprise flash is not in every data center. Nearly one-third of companies have no plans to install flash, according to a recent survey by 451 Research Group. The survey of nearly 500 data center administrators found that 48% of enterprises have flash, while 6% are running proofs of concept and 13% plan all-flash purchases within two years.

“There are a surprisingly high percentage of enterprises that haven’t even looked at flash yet, so there is a ways to go” before the arrival of an all-flash data center, said Tim Stammers, a senior analyst for storage at 451 Research.

Stammers said high-capacity disks are hitting the market as larger enterprises deploy converged systems and archive data to the hybrid cloud. “Disk isn’t dead,” he said. “With so much data going to the cloud, disk has a long and healthy future” as archival storage.

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Amazon buys NVMe startup E8 Storage to boost public cloud

Another NVMe flash startup has been acquired — this time by a public cloud storage giant.

Amazon confirmed it will acquire E8 Storage and deploy its rack-scale flash storage in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

Amazon said the transaction includes “some assets” that include hiring the E8 Storage team. E8 Storage CEO Zivan Ori reportedly will join Amazon in an unspecified executive capacity.

Israeli news outlet Globes first reported the story, citing unnamed sources who estimated Amazon will pay between $50 million and $60 million to acquire E8 Storage. A separate report by Reuters said the purchase price is much less, citing another source with knowledge of the deal. Amazon did not publicly disclose the acquisition price.

Amazon’s move comes two weeks after its public cloud rival Google bought file storage software startup Elastifile and nearly one month after holding company StorCentric acquired NVMe array hopeful Vexata.

The Amazon-E8 Storage marriage signals growing interest in NVMe flash. There is widespread industry belief that the NVMe protocol will eventually replace traditional SCSI-based storage. SCSI traffic makes several network hops along the network. By contrast, NVMe allows applications to talk directly to storage across multilane PCIe devices.

For Amazon, the deal highlights the competition it faces from enterprises seeking an AWS-like alternative that costs less than AWS and is managed on premises. It will be worth watching to see if Amazon integrates E8 Storage gear with AWS Nitro compute instances, which use NVMe as the underlying media with Elastic Block Store.

By acquiring E8 Storage, Amazon gains a storage operating system optimized for NVMe flash, said Eric Burgener, a research vice president of storage at analyst firm IDC.

“E8 has an NVMe-over-TCP implementation integrated in its software. It’s not that Amazon couldn’t have built that, but E8 already built it and it works. TCP is clearly the future of NVMe-over-fabrics-attached storage. That’s where the volume is going to be,” Burgener said.

Ori and Alex Friedman founded E8 Storage in 2014. Both previously had worked in management positions at IBM Storage. Friedman was E8’s vice president of R&D. E8 Storage emerged from stealth in 2016, with a dense block-based array that combines 24 NVMe SSDs in a 2U standard form factor.

The E8 Storage software targets analytics and similarly data-intensive workloads that require extreme performance and ultralow latency. E8 received more than $18 million in total funding, including a $12 million Series B round in 2016.

In addition to E8 arrays, customers have also been able to buy E8 Storage software on reference architecture with servers by Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo. The vendor this year added parallel file storage to target high-performance computing.

E8 Storage was an early entrant in end-to-end NVMe flash. The E8 architecture is based on industry-standard TCP over IP. Other NVMe startups include Apeiron Data, Excelero and Pavilion Data Systems.

Burgener said he wouldn’t be surprised to see more consolidation in NVMe storage. After ceding ground early, Burgener said legacy storage vendors have aggressively pushed into NVMe.

“Most of the majors have gotten their marketing acts together around selling NVMe for mixed workload consolidation, but they also want to go after the same kind of dedicated workloads” first targeted by NVMe startups, Burgener said.

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For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Macbook Air 13 inch (Early 2015) 1.6GHZ 8GB RAM | 256GB Flash Storage

Bought direct from Apple 3 years ago. I’ve had zero issues with it, or repairs.

It’s been in a case 100% of the time, so it’s in fantastic condition.

The laptop always had Kaspersky and/or Norton antivirus software on it. Although, I have since wiped everything and reset to its factory settings—ready for you to use!

There is a tiny scratch on the bottom-left of the screen (scratch, not crack), but its barely noticeable. Honestly. It’s as thin as a hair. (See zoomed-in photo).

Also, and I wasn’t going to point this out as it’s so small but wanted to be transparent—if you look at the back of the Mac (from the photo), there’s a tiny ‘dent’. Dent is an over-exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. It’s more like a spot. Located middle/top right.

Photos demonstrate the laptop booting up and working.

Comes with:

  • Working charger
  • Original box
  • Cables
  • Manual

£450 + postage.

Price and currency: 450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PayPal
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.