Tag Archives: storage

For Sale – 128GB Crucial M4 SSD

been sitting in storage for years and have no use for it, 0 errors on drive, see photo for scans

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For Sale – 128GB Crucial M4 SSD

been sitting in storage for years and have no use for it, 0 errors on drive, see photo for scans

any questions just ask

£

Price and currency: £23
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Payment method: PayPal, BT
Location: Glasgow
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – 128GB Crucial M4 SSD

been sitting in storage for years and have no use for it, 0 errors on drive, see photo for scans

any questions just ask

£

Price and currency: £23
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Location: Glasgow
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Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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Bank opts for AI-infused data storage platform over cloud

When the Hitachi Vantara storage array used by Frost Bank approached its five-year mark, Dan King, vice president of IT operations for the San Antonio -based chain of banks, started looking at alternatives. Simply replacing the existing system with a newer version of itself would take six months of planning, cleaning out a rack and migrating the data over. King wanted to determine if newer technology might save money, boost performance or simplify operations.

He considered cloud options, including Amazon, but decided these were too slow and couldn’t give him the kinds of IT controls he was used to (see sidebar). He ended up going with a new all-flash storage array, delivered as service from Pure Storage. Data migration promised to be relatively painless. Pure Storage said that it could also replace the six-rack array with a single rack that was faster — and do so in a weekend rather than six months.

But what really moved him to make the choice, he said, was what other customers told him about the data storage platform’s management capabilities. Pure Software’s core offering, Pure1, included cloud-based management and predictive support. The company was also rolling out Pure1 Meta, which included predictive intelligence that automatically optimizes the storage array.

“The way Pure designed the storage software makes using and managing the systems much simpler,” said King, an attendee at Pure Accelerate 2018 conference in San Francisco. “The other systems are designed to sell storage.”

More than faster hard drives

Since the dawn of IT, storage has been perceived as a hardware commodity. Enterprises purchased storage as a capital expense and provisioned it across enterprise users through a complex system of rules-based software.

But enterprise storage vendors are starting to adopt the playbook of public cloud providers, selling private storage infrastructure as a service.

This in part explains the rapid rise of Pure Storage, a data storage platform provider founded in 2009. The company, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., sells against entrenched competitors like Dell EMC and Hitachi. Its focus on selling private storage as a service seems to involve more than just semantic juggling around recategorizing Capex as Opex. It has driven the company to explore better practices around upgrading, provisioning and optimizing storage at the hardware level. These are all functions that have typically been done outside of the hardware at the application level, which limits the speed at which the enterprise can make good on big initiatives like digital transformation.

“Storage has been an afterthought for most CIOs. It is not a place an executive or IT person thinks of to drive innovation for their architecture,” said Matt Burr, general manager of FlashBlade at Pure. But he said that attitude is changing; companies are being forced to digitalize their business models.

Baked-in AI, improved management

As companies look to repurpose their data for new applications, they are starting to connect legacy applications for storing the system of record to more nimble applications that have different patterns of reading and writing data, Burr explained. Not only can new data access patterns slow down performance, the interfaces between apps can break things in ways that are hard for IT organizations to diagnose.

To address this challenge, Pure’s data storage platform uses AI analytics to capture and analyze petabytes of data, with the aim of automating many of the traditional management challenges associated with keeping servers running — and doing that automation and optimization at the hardware level. This optimization at the hardware level leaves IT to innovate at the software level, with less fear of having to tweak the data management software to get good performance.

“We want to invest in technology that allows IT managers to anticipate problems before they happen,” Burr said.

Data dedupe at the hardware level

Frost Bank’s King has found Pure’s predictive approach helps identify signs of a problem early, before a failure cascades into other systems.

He said the vendor’s data storage platform has also made it much easier to migrate data. Before Frost Bank would have to get six rack spaces and develop a plan to install a unit, which would take six months. Afterward, they would have to deinstall the older storage array to make a hole for the next round of storage migrations.

Modern data stores tend to be highly redundant and reuse many of the same data structures across records. Traditional approaches to compression happen at the operating system level, which adds a lot of overhead. It also adds a bit of brittleness, making it harder to move to a better app that is more aligned with a digital transformation strategy.

But better compression and deduplication at the hardware level can dramatically shrink IT infrastructure with no overhead on the application itself.

For example, King observed that he was able to shrink at 150 TBs data storage infrastructure onto a 15 TB system on top of Pure. Same applications, same data, only Pure’s data storage platform was able to compress and deduplicate data on the fly without any additional burden on his IT team or new software to install.

Of course, vendors have experimented with deduplication at the app level, King pointed out, but he said that just added another level of complexity to manage at the software level, when the aim is to make things simpler.

For Sale – 128GB Crucial M4 SSD

been sitting in storage for years and have no use for it, 0 errors on drive, see photo for scans

any questions just ask

£

Price and currency: £23
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PayPal, BT
Location: Glasgow
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:

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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 – 128GB Crucial M4 SSD

been sitting in storage for years and have no use for it, 0 errors on drive, see photo for scans

any questions just ask

£

Price and currency: £23
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PayPal, BT
Location: Glasgow
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.

NetApp AI storage packages OnTap all-flash FAS A800, Nvidia

NetApp is jumping into the AI storage market with a platform that combines OnTap-powered All Flash FAS arrays with Nvidia supercomputers.

NetApp AI OnTap Converged Infrastructure is a validated architecture combining NetApp’s FAS A800 all-flash NVMe array for NFS storage with integrated Nvidia DGX-1 servers and graphical processing units (GPUs). NetApp said the reference design verified four DGX servers to one FAS A800, although customers can start with a 1-1 ratio and nondisruptively scale as needed.

 “The audience for this type of architecture is data scientists,” said Octavian Tanase, senior vice president of NetApp’s Data OnTap system group, during a live webcast this week. “We want to make it simple for them. We want to eliminate complexity (and give) a solution that can be integrated and deployed with confidence, from the edge to the core to the cloud. We believe they will be able to adopt this with a lot of confidence.”

The product is intended to help companies implement data analytics that bridges a core data center, edge computing and cloud environment, said Jim McHugh, a vice president and general manager at Nvidia Corp. He said Nvidia DGX processors build on the foundation of Nvidia Cuda GPUs developed for general-process computing.

“Every industry is figuring ‘we need better insights,’ but better insights means a new computing block,” McHugh said. “Data is really the new source code. When you don’t spend time writing all the features and going through QA, you’re letting data drive the solutions. That takes an incredible amount of parallel computing.”

The joint NetApp-Nvidia product reflects a surge in AI and machine learning, which requires scalable storage to ingest reams of data and highly powerful parallel processing to analyze it.

In April, NetApp rival Pure Storage teamed with Nvidia to launch an AI storage platform with DGX-1 GPUs and Pure’s scale-out NAS FlashBlade array.

Capacity and scaling of NetApp AI OnTap

The NetApp FAS A800 system supports 30 TB NVMe SSDs with multistream write capabilities, scaling to 2 PB of raw capacity in a 2U shelf. The system scales from 364 TB in two nodes to 24 nodes and 74 PB. NetApp said a 24-node FAS A800 cluster delivers up to 300 gigabits per second of throughput and 11.4 million IOPS. It supports 100 Gigabit Ethernet together and 32 Gbps Fibre Channel network connectivity.

The NetApp AI storage platform is tested to minimize deployment risks, the vendors said. A NetApp AI OnTap cluster can scale to multiple racks with additional network switches and storage controller pairs. The product integrates NetApp Data Fabric technologies to move AI data between edge, core and cloud environments, Tanase said.

NetApp AI OnTap is based on OnTap 9.4, which handles enterprise data management, protection and replication. Each DGX server packs eight Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs, configured in a hybrid cube-mesh topology to use Nvidia’s NVLink network transport as high-bandwidth, low-latency fabric. The design is intended to eliminate traffic bottlenecks that occur with PCIe-based interconnects.

DGX-1 servers support multimode clustering via Remote-Direct-Memory-Access-capable fabrics. 

Enterprises struggle to size, deploy AI projects

AI storage is a hot topic among enterprise customers, said Scott Webb, who manages the global storage practice at World Wide Technologies (WWT) in St. Louis, a NetApp technology partner.

“In our customer workshops, AI is now a main use case. Customers are trying to figure out the complexity. DGX and AI on a NetApp flash back end is a winning combination. It’s not only the performance, but the ability for a customer to start small and [scale] as their use cases grow,” Webb said.

John Woodall, a vice president of engineering at systems integrator Integrated Archive Systems, based in Palo Alto, Calif., cited NetApp Data Fabric as a key enabler for AI storage deployments.

“The speeds and feeds are very imp in AI, but that becomes a game of leapfrog. With the Data Fabric, I think NetApp has been able to give customers more control about where to apply their assets,” Woodall said.

Western Digital launches 15 TB enterprise SAS SSD

Ultrafast, NVMe-based PCI Express solid-state drives may represent the future of enterprise storage technology, but drive vendors still see a future in SAS SSDs.

Western Digital this week said it is shipping samples of its highest-density enterprise SAS SSD to OEMs. The new 2.5-inch Ultrastar DC SS530 can store up to 15.36 TB, doubling the capacity over the prior SS300 model, thanks to denser 64-layer 3D NAND flash that can help lower costs. The SS530 is due to be production-ready at the end of this quarter.

“There’s a lot of excitement around NVMe [nonvolatile memory express]. But SAS is still a very trusted, reliable interface. It’s an interface that lets you mix HDDs and SSDs,” said Eddie Ramirez, senior director of product management for enterprise SSDs at Western Digital, based in San Jose, Calif.

SAS SSD demand remains strong in enterprise storage arrays, and on the server side, growth is coming from hyper-converged infrastructure that combines compute, storage and virtualization resources in the same box, Ramirez said. SAS SSDs might serve as the caching layer in front of SAS HDDs, he added.

“For things like hyper-converged infrastructure systems, it’s still a very effective interface, particularly if you want to do hybrid arrays where you’re using both SSDs and HDDs within the same server,” he said.

The Ultrastar DC SS530 enterprise SAS SSD uses 64-layer 3D NAND flash that stores 3 bits of data per cell, known as triple-level cell (TLC). The prior model, SS300, used 32-layer 3D NAND, with TLC in a lower-endurance model and multi-level cell flash that stores 2 bits of data per cell in the higher-endurance options.

Ramirez said Western Digital can use TLC for all of its one-drive, three-drive and 10-drive writes per day (DWPD) SKUs. The one DWPD model targets read-intensive workloads, and the higher-endurance options are designed for caching and write-intensive workloads.

New SAS SSD boosts performance

Western Digital and Intel jointly developed the Ultrastar DC SS530. It improves random write performance by 60% over the prior model, delivering up to 320,000 IOPS in the 10 DWPD SKU. Random read performance is up by 10% to a maximum of 440,000 IOPS.

The new enterprise SAS SSD supports a data transfer rate of 12 Gbps. Western Digital’s roadmap calls for 24 Gbps enterprise SAS SSDs, but Ramirez declined to disclose the timetable.

Samsung’s 31 TB SAS SSD

The Ultrastar DC SS530 is Western Digital’s first SSD with a higher capacity than any of its HDDs. The company’s highest-capacity enterprise HDD is 14 TB. The SS530 is available at capacities ranging from 400 GB to 15.36 TB. But Samsung has Western Digital beat for capacity with its 30.72 TB SAS drive that uses 64-layer TLC 3D NAND flash, which the vendor calls V-NAND.

Ramirez said Western Digital will consider a 31 TB drive in its next-generation product, but “we don’t quite see the market adoption at that high a capacity at this point.”

Western Digital’s new Ultrastar DC SS530 enterprise SAS SSD is dual-ported, in contrast to the single-ported 12 Gbps SAS SSD that rival Toshiba introduced in June. Toshiba’s RM5 SAS SSD is designed as a SATA replacement and targets server-based applications, including software-defined storage and hyper-converged infrastructure. Toshiba claimed the single-port SAS SSD is close in price to SATA SSDs, which max out at 6 Gbps and are typically less expensive than SATA SSDs.

The Western Digital Ultrastar DC SS530 SSD can run in single-port mode, but dual-port SSDs provide redundancy and a performance boost, in some cases, Ramirez said.

“Currently, we feel the market in SAS is still very much looking at dual-ported capability,” Ramirez said. “Typically, in a SAS storage array, you’re using an HBA [host bus adapter] to talk to multiple drives, and you don’t want that HBA to be a single point of failure.”

Ramirez declined to disclose pricing for the SS530 other than to say there’s no difference in the cost per gigabyte in comparison to the prior SS300 model.

Enterprise SAS SSD market

Western Digital is third in the enterprise SAS market, behind Samsung and Toshiba in units and exabytes shipped, according to storage research firm Trendfocus.

Don Jeanette, a vice president at Trendfocus, based in Cupertino, Calif., said Toshiba leads the market, with more than 40% of the units shipped, followed by Samsung with 30% and Western Digital with 23%. Samsung leads in exabytes shipped, with 49% of the market, trailed by Toshiba at 35% and Western Digital with 12%.

Enterprise SAS SSD market share
Enterprise SAS SSD units that shipped increased 8% year over year, and exabytes shipped increased 15% in the first quarter of 2018.

Western Digital had close to half of the market three years ago in units and exabytes, Jeanette said. Samsung came on strong with an aggressive roadmap to pass Western Digital, he added. Western Digital entered the SAS SSD market with the acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in 2012.

Jeanette said there’s still a strong market for SAS SSDs, which have more than double the average capacity of PCIe and SATA SSDs.

“There are very few SSD vendors supporting SAS,” Jeanette said. “Everyone’s trying to move to PCIe. SATA’s a legacy protocol out there. But for the ones that did enter SAS a decade ago, they’re going to find that they will have healthy business for a number of years to come.”

Cloudian storage replaces tape at Vox Media

Needing more flexible and faster long-term storage than tape to deal with rapidly expanding data, Vox Media selected Cloudian storage to complement its Quantum StorNext primary storage.

Vox Media installed Cloudian object storage in early 2018 in its main New York office, with plans to expand it to other U.S. sites for disaster recovery.

Vox Media is a digital media company that runs online publications, including SB Nation, The Verge and Polygon. Its sites cater to an audience of tech, sports and video game enthusiasts. As the digital media landscape evolved, editorial content included more videos, streams and podcasts. With more than 1 PB of data, Vox Media’s on-site tape library was not archiving quickly enough to store the growing amount of rich media.

With Vox Media’s storage system filling up faster than it could be archived, it was vulnerable to data loss if there was a disaster. Sarah Semlear, director of post-production and technical operations at Vox Media, looked to object storage to patch that hole and discovered Cloudian.

Sarah Semlear, director of post-production and technical operations at Vox MediaSarah Semlear

Semlear first encountered Cloudian at a Sports Video Group event in 2017. Impressed with what she saw at the event, she then spoke with Chesapeake Systems, the company Vox Media uses for IT consultation and implementation. After seeing Cloudian in action and coming up with a proof of concept on how it would integrate with Vox Media’s existing SAN and media asset management system, Semlear purchased Cloudian storage.

Semlear looked at other object storage vendors, but said she selected Cloudian storage chiefly because it was the quickest and easiest to roll out. It also worked effectively with Vox’s installed infrastructure.

“A lot of the object storage was out of our price range or not completely set up yet,” she said. “We had talked to some other vendors that had made a lot of promises, but really hadn’t proven anything as far as capabilities go. They were saying, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll get it to you eventually.’ And we were like, ‘But we need it right now.'”

Semlear said she also found Cloudian storage easy to integrate with Vox Media’s infrastructure. Vox Media uses Quantum StorNext for its main storage system and Evolphin for its media asset management system, so Semlear needed a system that would play nicely with those products.

The amalgamation of different vendors that we’re working with helps us be flexible and helps us adapt to change.
Sarah Semleardirector of post-production and technical operations, Vox Media

“The nice thing about multiple vendors is that when you just have one system running everything, there’s less flexibility. The amalgamation of different vendors that we’re working with helps us be flexible and helps us adapt to change,” she said.

Ever since deploying Cloudian in early 2018, Semlear’s been impressed by its performance — especially relative to tape. Writing to the Cloudian archive and retrieving data from it took far less time than tape. Semlear stressed how important quick turnarounds were in the editorial world. “We live in a short-attention-span time period. Folks want their content right now,” she said.

With about 1.3 PB of data archived in a Cloudian storage appliance in Vox Media’s New York City office, Semlear plans to take advantage of Cloudian’s multisite feature eventually. Her plan is to install instances in the San Francisco and Washington, D.C., offices and have everything synced in an intelligent way. For example, she wants The Verge content to only live on the San Francisco and New York machines, while Vox site content should only be archived in New York and D.C.

As for the old LTO system, Vox Media is still pulling archived data off it, but slowly phasing it out entirely. “We’re not writing to tape anymore. We’re just writing to the Cloudian archive,” Semlear said. In the meantime, she said she’s searching for a longer-term cold storage option to which the existing Cloudian storage can push older content.

Dell EMC midrange storage systems nudge a little closer

Dell EMC today launched operating-system upgrades for its two main midrange storage arrays, and the vendor hinted it may eventually converge the platforms.

The storage market leader added data protection and mobility features to Unity Operating Environment (OE) 4.4 and capacity and performance improvements to SC Series Operating System (SCOS) 7.3.

Dell’s $60 billion-plus acquisition of EMC in 2016 left the combined vendor’s new enterprise IT division with multiple Dell EMC midrange storage platforms. Dell EMC has resisted phasing out either of its two main midrange systems, the EMC Unity and Dell SC (Compellent) brands, despite calls from industry experts to consolidate its product lineup.

Both Dell EMC midrange storage product lines are sold as all-flash or hybrid arrays. The Unity line integrates block and file support on a single array. It was launched in 2016 to replace VNX and VNXe midrange appliances. SC arrays provide a lower-cost midrange alternative. Dell EMC is winding down support for its midrange P Series storage arrays, formerly known as Dell EqualLogic.

In the near term, SC and Unity will run separate operating software, although Dell EMC has hinted at plans to consolidate them on a single management platform. Foreshadowing possible consolidation is an HTML 5 management interface and remote management added to SCOS, mirroring a similar user interface in Unity OE versions.

“Product transitions like this don’t happen overnight,” said Sean Kinney, a Dell EMC senior director of product marketing. “There may be a next-generation platform at some point in the future, but it will be a nondisruptive migration path for all of them.”

The latest Unity and SC upgrades are nondisruptive to customers, Kinney said, meaning the systems will remain available during the upgrades.

Unity bolsters data migration, replication and security

Dell EMC claims shipments of Unity have exceeded 1 EB of raw flash capacity since the product launched in 2016.

“We’re seeing continued quarter-on-quarter adoption of flash, as [an increasing] percentage of our total storage capacity shipped with Unity and SC. As the economics of flash come more in line with traditional spinning disk, more and more customers are saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to go with all-flash,'” Kinney said.

Product transitions like this don’t happen overnight.
Sean Kinneysenior director of product marketing at Dell EMC

Data protection in Unity OE 4.4 includes MetroSync array-based asynchronous and synchronous replication for transactional file applications. The feature is in addition to Unity’s existing block-based replication. MetroSync enables disaster recovery across long distances, using data aggregation and distribution to accelerate data recovery objectives.

Dell EMC enhanced its SAN Copy data mobility technology to let customers migrate their storage to Unity from other vendors’ block arrays. The addition of two-way Network Data Management Protocol helps to boost NAS backup by eliminating the need to go through the network to reach backup servers.

Kinney said performance enhancements for Microsoft include Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol to boost searchability and security.

SC Series: Dell EMC midrange storage for ‘price-sensitive’ customers

SCOS 7.3 is based on re-engineered code that Dell EMC claims doubles the maximum IOPS of each SC array. The latest software boosts SC array performance to as much as 100,000 IOPS on mixed workloads, Kinney said.

Data-in-place upgrades in SCOS 7.3 allow customers to double the raw storage of SC arrays by adding larger enclosures and higher-capacity drives. For example, the high-end SC9000 can expand from 3 PB to 6 PB in 2U and is rated to deliver 2.2 million IOPS.

Support for 25 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI has been made standard on SC arrays. Distributed sparing on SC arrays can increase I/O efficiency and accelerate RAID rebuilds, Dell EMC said.

According to a report in June by analyst firm IDC, Dell EMC midrange storage increased its market share by four percentage points over second-place Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the first quarter of 2018. IDC estimated Dell EMC’s first-quarter overall storage systems revenue at more than $2 billion.

Dell EMC executives said the quarter that ended in March saw its first storage market share gains since the 2016 merger. Midrange storage sales were cited as a sore spot in previous quarters.