Tag Archives: store

Tape storage capacity plays important role as data increases

As the amount of new data created is set to hit the multiple-zettabyte level in the coming years, where will we store it all?

With the release of LTO-8 and recent reports that total tape storage capacity continues to increase dramatically, tape is a strong option for long-term retention. But even tape advocates say it’s going to take a comprehensive approach to storage that includes other forms of media to handle the data influx.

Tape making a comeback?

The annual tape media shipment report released earlier this year by the LTO Program showed that 108,000 petabytes (PB) of compressed tape storage capacity shipped in 2017, an increase of 12.9% over 2016. The total marks a fivefold increase over the capacity of just over 20,000 PB shipped in 2008.

LTO-8, which launched in late 2017, provides 30 TB compressed capacity and 12 TB native, doubling the capacities of LTO-7, which came out in 2015. The 12 TB of uncompressed capacity is equivalent to 8,000 movies, 2,880,000 songs or 7,140,000 photos, according to vendor Spectra Logic.

“We hope now [with] LTO-8 another increase in capacity [next year],” said Laura Loredo, worldwide marketing product manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, one of the LTO Program’s Technology Provider Companies along with IBM and Quantum.

The media, entertainment and science industries have been traditionally strong users of tape for long-term retention. Loredo pointed to more recent uses that have gained traction. Video surveillance is getting digitized more often and kept for longer, and there is more of it in general. The medical industry is a similar story, as records get digitized and kept for long periods of time.

The ability to create digital content at high volumes is becoming less expensive, and with higher resolutions, those capacities are increasing, Quantum product and solution marketing manager Kieran Maloney said. So tape becomes a cost-efficient play for retaining that data.

Tape also brings security benefits. Because it is naturally isolated from a network, tape provides a true “air gap” for protection against ransomware, said Carlos Sandoval Castro, LTO marketing representative at IBM. If ransomware is in a system, it can’t touch a tape that’s not connected, making tapes an avenue for disaster recovery in the event of a successful attack.

“We are seeing customers come back to tape,” Loredo said.

LTO roadmap
The LTO roadmap projects out to the 12th generation.

Tape sees clear runway ahead

“There’s a lot of runway ahead for tape … much more so than either flash or disk,” said analyst Jon Toigo, managing partner at Toigo Partners International and chairman of the Data Management Institute.

Even public cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure are big consumers of tape, Toigo said. Those cloud providers can use the large tape storage capacity for their data backup.

Tape is an absolute requirement for storing the massive amounts of data coming down the pike.
Jon Toigochairman, Data Management Institute

However, with IDC forecasting dozens of zettabytes in need of storage by 2025, flash and disk will remain important. One zettabyte is equal to approximately 1 billion TBs.

“You’re going to need all of the above,” Toigo said. “Tape is an absolute requirement for storing the massive amounts of data coming down the pike.”

It’s not necessarily about flash versus tape or other comparisons, it’s about how best to use flash, disk, tape and the cloud, said Rich Gadomski, vice president of marketing at Fujifilm and a member of the Tape Storage Council.

The cloud, for example, is helpful for certain aspects, such as offsite storage, but it shouldn’t be the medium for everything.

“A multifaceted data protection approach continues to thrive,” Gadomski said.

There’s still a lot of education needed around tape, vendors said. So often the conversation pits technologies against each other, Maloney said, but instead the question should be “Which technology works best for which use?” In the end, tape can fit into a tiered storage model that also includes flash, disk and the cloud.

In a similar way, the Tape Storage Council’s annual “State of the Tape Industry” report, released in March, acknowledged that organizations are often best served by using multiple media for storage.

“Tape shares the data center storage hierarchy with SSDs and HDDs and the ideal storage solution optimizes the strengths of each,” the report said. “However, the role tape serves in today’s modern data centers is quickly expanding into new markets because compelling technological advancements have made tape the most economical, highest capacity and most reliable storage medium available.”

LTO-8 uses tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) for tape heads, a switch from the previous giant magnetoresistance (GMR). TMR provides a more defined electrical signal than GMR, allowing bits to be written to smaller areas of LTO media. LTO-8 also uses barium ferrite instead of metal particles for tape storage capacity improvement. With the inclusion of TMR technology and barium ferrite, LTO-8 is only backward compatible to one generation. Historically, LTO had been able to read back two generations and write back to one generation.

“Tape continues to evolve — the technology certainly isn’t standing still,” Gadomski said.

Tape also has a clearly defined roadmap, with LTO projected out to the 12th generation. Each successive generation after LTO-8 projects double the capacity of the previous version. As a result, LTO-12 would offer 480 TB compressed tape storage capacity and 192 TB native. It typically takes between two and three years for a new LTO generation to launch.

In addition, IBM and Sony have said they developed technology for the highest recording areal density for tape storage media, resulting in approximately 330 TB uncompressed per cartridge.

On the lookout for advances in storage

Spectra Logic, in its “Digital Data Storage Outlook 2018” report released in June, said it projects much of the future zettabytes of data will “never be stored or will be retained for only a brief time.”

“Spectra’s projections show a small likelihood of a constrained supply of storage to meet the needs of the digital universe through 2026,” the report said. “Expected advances in storage technologies, however, need to occur during this timeframe. Lack of advances in a particular technology, such as magnetic disk, will necessitate greater use of other storage mediums such as flash and tape.”

While the report claims the use of tape for secondary storage has declined with backup moving to disk, the need for tape storage capacity in the long-term archive market is growing.

“Tape technology is well-suited for this space as it provides the benefits of low environmental footprint on both floor space and power; a high level of data integrity over a long period of time; and a much lower cost per gigabyte of storage than all other storage mediums,” the report said.

What’s New in Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17692

Windows Server 2019 is set to launch later this year – but exactly what’s in store for the latest version of the popular Microsoft operating system?

We now have access to a new Windows Server 2019 preview build, and this one has some things for Hyper-V users. You can read their official notification here. If you haven’t yet gotten into the preview program yet, you can join up and test out it out – sign up to be an Insider. You might want to put this one directly onto hardware if you have the opportunity. Otherwise, try to use a system capable of nested virtualization. I’ll go over the new offerings released on the latest version: insider preview build 17692.

Ongoing Testing Request

As a reminder, Microsoft has made a request for specific items to test in each build, they want users to specifically test:

  • In-place upgrade from WS2012R2 and/or WS2016
  • Compatibility with applications

I’ve done a little bit of my own testing down this avenue with positive results. My process started from a checkpoint of the original system. For each new build, I revert to the creation point of that checkpoint and install the new build. If you take the effort to do the same, don’t forget to report your findings! To do so you can use the Feedback Application on your Windows 10 desktop, select the server category and then choose the applicable sub-category for your feedback.

Build 17692 Feature 1: Dedicated Hyper-V Server

Hopefully, this is common knowledge now, but Hyper-V ships in its own SKU separate from Windows Server. Up until now, the preview builds of Windows Server 2019 only included the full server product. Insider preview build 17692 now has the separate Hyper-V Server product.

17692 does not include any specific functionality changes for Hyper-V. If you will use Hyper-V Server in your environment, you can start testing it now.

Build 17692 Feature 2: System Insights

In the shortest form, the System Insights feature automates a lot of the difficulty in gathering performance data and using it to predict future behavior and needs. Azure offers similar functionality and features, but Systems Insights requires nothing external. The free Windows Admin Center (formerly Project Honolulu) will give you nice charts on current and anticipated performance. You can extend the reporting functionality with response scripts.

Additional Download: Server Core App Compatibility Features on Demand

While not contained within the main bits of the build yet, this has to be one of the coolest features we’ve seen added. Insider preview build 17692 includes the ability to install a Feature on Demand package that will add several of the main Windows Server Management tools that we’ve come to rely on over the years. All of this on Server Core, and without the additional requirements and bloat from the full GUI installation!

insider preview build 17692

Current tools available with this feature are:

  • Performance Monitor (PerfMon.exe)
  • Resource Monitor (Resmon.exe)
  • Device Manager (Devmgmt.msc)
  • Microsoft Management Console (mmc.exe)
  • Windows PowerShell ISE (Powershell_ISE.exe)
  • Failover Cluster Manager (CluAdmin.msc)
  • Process Monitor (Procmon.exe) and other Sysinternals
  • SQL Server Management Studio

Commentary on Windows Server 2019 Insider Preview Build 17692

First, a bit about the split-out of Hyper-V Server. That was an expected move as we near release. Microsoft has not signaled any intent to end SKU separation. Organizations using Hyper-V Server can now start previewing 2019 in the same way that they use previous versions today. You can expect Hyper-V Server to start extending down the same paths as Windows Server. Of course, the Windows Server features won’t appear in Hyper-V Server, but management and reporting capabilities will.

On to the bigger topic of System Insights. If you were looking for a good reason to make the jump to 2019, this might be it. In the past, we had to either guess at utilization or become comfortable with the various performance monitoring tools. Guesses nearly always result in overspending. Proper performance monitoring consumes a lot of time, especially during the analysis phases. Systems Insights eases the data-gathering process. Even better, it leverages modern machine learning technologies to help predict what will sort of needs you’ll have in the future. Windows Admin Center will make the whole thing easy to use.

My primary hope for System Insights is that it will put a knife into one of my personal pet peeves: predatory “consultants” and incompetent “admins”. I commonly see unscrupulous outfits peddling a one-size-fits-all design as a magic bullet to every customer they have. Of course, it always does everything that those customers need because it can handle many times more work than they’ll ever reasonably throw at it. The “consultant” never needs to spend any time on analysis, which saves them money. The “consultant” gets more commission from the bigger system, which makes them money. Their customers don’t know enough to even realize that they’ve been robbed. I see similar behavior from a lot of in-house “admins”. They just tell the business owners to overbuy and their bosses don’t know any different.

Now, with System Insights, the owner of that four-user shop who was conned into buying a full 10GbE infrastructure will be able to open up Windows Admin Center and see how his network utilization only averages .5 Mbps. The operations manager who trusted his IT staff will quickly be able to see that the 40TB system they “absolutely needed” to buy only has 2TB of usage. Sure, the liars will exert more effort and come up with better lies, but they’ll be less effective. And, as time goes on, business owners become more technologically savvy. I hope that we’re seeing the beginning of the end of those unsavory practices.

Of course, not all consultants and admins behave that way. Many genuinely want to perform their duties to the best of their ability, and System Insights will make their jobs much easier. They’ll be able to use it to quickly show their customers and bosses how well they’re doing and use its predictive capabilities to stay ahead of problems — the exact intent behind the feature. I look forward to System Insights as a powerful tool that improves everyone’s experience with Windows Server 2019.

The addition of some of the core management utilities into Windows Server Core is also a welcome addition. The lack of these tools on Server Core frustrated some admins and stifled adoption of Core as the primary server SKU. With them available now it seems Microsoft has seen this gap and is moving to address it.


Overall, another solid release. Things are looking up for when 2019 officially hits the shelves! What are your thoughts on the features and capabilities this build brings? Will you be utilizing these features inside of your datacenter? Whatever direction Windows Server 2019 goes from here, rest assured we will be providing our expert insight and analysis throughout the development and at launch. Watch out for more Windows Server 2019 content on our blog and upcoming content.

Let us know in the comments section below!

‘There are great things out there for you’: Q Johnson went from having to hide parts of herself to helping others embrace who they are – Microsoft Life

The Microsoft retail store employee faced a lack of acceptance until she found a community and the support to be herself 

By Natalie Singer-Velush

Q Johnson knows what it’s like to not be fully accepted for who you are. She felt the tension as a teenager, growing up in a family that didn’t tolerate the idea of same-sex love. After she graduated high school, her mother found out she was gay. “She told me, ‘That’s not allowed in my house. If you’re going do that, you need to leave,’” Johnson said. When Johnson returned from a trip out of town, she found that she’d been locked out of the house. She couldn’t get her belongings, and she had nowhere to go.

Then Johnson had to conceal her reality while she was homeless, living in her car and trying to get back on her feet after being rejected by her family. When few people were around, she would shower at night at her 24-hour gym, hiding her homelessness, and she ate meals at her job at a fast-food restaurant.

Not long after that, Johnson met the love of her life and joined the military. But in 2011, prior to the US Supreme Court’s 2013 reversal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, her marriage to her wife wasn’t recognized. So, she was required to live on base in the barracks with other unmarried soldiers. She kept an apartment off base with her new family—her wife and daughter—walking a tenuous line between desperately wanting to be fully herself and having to be the pretend version of herself that was required to do her job.

Eventually, her hidden life was discovered, and to be with her family Johnson left the military and her identity serving her country behind.

She decided she would try to reinvent herself in Oklahoma City, where she grew up, and maybe this time things would be different.

“Technology’s always been a passion of mine,” Johnson said. “I saw an inventory control position open at a Microsoft store, and I applied. I’ve been here two years. Coming into a new job, you’re nervous; you don’t know what to expect. Right when I interviewed I learned someone I would be working closely with is a lesbian. So I was like, it’s ok. I was relaxed—at ease, you know? I later learned other people working around me were gay, too. It was a relief.”

It was the first time in a very long time that she felt accepted for who she was, that she felt like she could just be Q.

“I felt like I could come in and be myself. I didn’t have to worry about judgment from my family anymore.

“You shouldn’t have to go to work pretending to be something you’re not. I shouldn’t have to be ashamed of being married to someone of the same sex. I should be able to come in and say, ‘This is my wife. This is my daughter.’ Here, I’m comfortable being myself.”

Now Johnson speaks to groups of LGBTQ+ military members and veterans, who often attend anonymously, telling them her story and helping them see that it’s possible to come out of hiding, to live a happy life and be fully accepted.

“There are people out there facing similar things. Talk to them; get that support. Don’t give up on your life because there are great things out there for you.”

“There are people who suffer from PTSD of all different types, who face the same things I face. I can go share my story and just, you know, just be human,” she said.

“It took me a long time to be able to share my story without crying. And it was my wife who told me, ‘You know, if you let it out you might feel better.’ And I thought, well if I’m going to let [my feelings] out, maybe there are other people who feel like me. Talking about these experiences with veterans is so important. It’s giving something back to them, after they serve their country.

“Being able to walk into a room and not be judged is so important. Because that’s who we are at the end of the day.”

Nowadays, Johnson says, she finds strength from her struggles and feels empowered to help others around her as much as she can. And she’s done hiding.

“I would say to anybody going through the same types of things I went through: Just one day at a time. It may be tough, whatever the situation is. But don’t get your hopes down, because it gets better. There are people out there facing similar things. Talk to them; get that support. Don’t give up on your life because there are great things out there for you.”

XPS 15 9560 wanted

Hi All, looking for an XPS 15 9560
i5 or i7
256GB+ SSD

I’m keeping an eye on the Outlet store, but nothing with the right spec has come up
Thought I’d check here if anyone was thinking of upgrading to the 9570 when it eventually appears ?

Location: Worthing, West Sussex

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XPS 15 9560 wanted

Satya Nadella email to employees: Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge

From: Satya Nadella
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2018 7:29 AM
To: Microsoft – All Employees; All MS Store Employees FTE
Subject: Embracing our future: Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge


Today, I’m announcing the formation of two new engineering teams to accelerate our innovation and better serve the needs of our customers and partners long into the future.

Over the past year, we have shared our vision for how the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge will shape the next phase of innovation. First, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. Second, AI capabilities are rapidly advancing across perception and cognition fueled by data and knowledge of the world. Third, physical and virtual worlds are coming together to create richer experiences that understand the context surrounding people, the things they use, the places they go, and their activities and relationships.

These technological changes represent a tremendous opportunity for our customers, our partners — everyone. With all this new technology and opportunity comes a responsibility to ensure technology’s benefits reach people more broadly across society. It also requires that the technologies we create are trusted by the individuals and organizations that use them.

Today’s announcement enables us to step up to this opportunity and responsibility across all our Solution Areas.

With change comes transition, and one transition we have been planning for is for Terry Myerson to pursue his next chapter outside Microsoft. Terry has been instrumental in helping me arrive at this new organizational structure, and I deeply appreciate his leadership and insight as we’ve worked through the opportunity that lies ahead. Over the past several years, Terry and the WDG team transformed Windows to create a secure, always up-to-date, modern OS. His strong contributions to Microsoft over 21 years from leading Exchange to leading Windows 10 leave a real legacy. I want to thank Terry for his leadership on my team and across Microsoft. He will work with me on the transition over the coming months.

Moving forward, Rajesh Jha will expand his existing responsibilities to lead a new team focused on Experiences & Devices. The purpose of this team is to instill a unifying product ethos across our end-user experiences and devices. Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go. These modern needs, habits and expectations of our customers are motivating us to bring Windows, Office, and third-party applications and devices into a more cohesive Microsoft 365 experience. To further this vision, we are making the following leadership changes:

  • Devices: Panos Panay will now serve as our Chief Product Officer and will lead our devices vision and further our product ethos across hardware and software boundaries for our first-party devices, while creating new categories and opportunities for the entire ecosystem. He will be the key leader ensuring end-to-end devices business execution excellence.
  • Windows: Joe Belfiore will continue leading our Windows experiences and will drive Windows innovation in partnership with the PC and device ecosystem. The future of Windows is bright as we continue to innovate across new scenarios and device form factors, and more deeply connect to our Microsoft 365 offerings. Joe will share more about the Windows roadmap at Build.
  • New Experiences and Technology: Kudo Tsunoda will continue to lead this team to define how we engage users with high-value experiences to help them achieve more.
  • Enterprise Mobility and Management: Brad Anderson will continue to lead our Windows Enterprise deployment and management efforts with even tighter alignment across Microsoft 365 and will partner closely with the EMS teams within Cloud + AI Platform.

Second, Scott Guthrie will expand his existing responsibilities to lead a new team focused on Cloud + AI Platform. The purpose of this team is to drive platform coherence and compelling value across all layers of the tech stack starting with the distributed computing fabric (cloud and edge) to AI (infrastructure, runtimes, frameworks, tools and higher-level services around perception, knowledge and cognition). To facilitate these new capabilities, we are making the following leadership changes:

Azure: Jason Zander is being promoted to executive vice president, Azure, and will lead this team. The Windows platform team led by Harv Bhela, Henry Sanders and Michael Fortin will join Jason’s team. Windows platform is already a core part of Azure across both the cloud and edge, and this shift will enable us to accelerate our efforts to build a unified distributed computing infrastructure and application model. Roanne Sones will continue to lead our technical engagement with OEMs, ODMs and silicon vendors, and her team will also join Jason’s team.

  • Business AI: The Customer Service, Marketing and Sales Insights teams, previously led by Gurdeep Singh Pall, will join James Phillips’ Business Applications Group. I am thankful for Gurdeep’s leadership in building these new AI solutions that are going to help differentiate Microsoft in this area. This is a notable example of taking research breakthroughs to start new product efforts grounded in customer needs and then mainstreaming them.
  • Universal Store and Commerce Platform: Eric Lockard and his team will also join the Cloud + AI Platform team to both help with our own digital transformation and add new capabilities to our business application efforts.
  • AI Perception & Mixed Reality (MR): Alex Kipman will lead this new team, which brings together all our speech, vision, MR and additional perception capabilities into one team. This team will continue to build first-party products and the core building block cloud services for third parties on Azure. XD Huang, Yu-Ting Kuo and their teams will join this group, as well as Gurdeep’s Ambient Intelligence team. Alex and team will take guidance on all AI-related areas from Harry Shum and work very closely with AI + Research (AI+R).
  • AI Cognitive Services & Platform: Eric Boyd will lead this new team and drive our AI Platform, AI Fundamentals, Azure ML, AI Tools and Cognitive Services. Joseph Sirosh and team will join this new group. Eric and team will take guidance on all AI-related areas from Harry Shum and work very closely with AI+R.

Harry Shum will continue to lead our third engineering team, AI + Research, which is instrumental in the key technology advances required across all our product teams. When we established AI+R nearly two years ago, our primary goal was to accelerate the adoption of AI innovations from research into product, and the changes we are making today reflect our strong progress. In fact, just yesterday I spent time at TechFest and came away inspired by all the innovations and most importantly how quickly they were making their way into our products. We will continue to drive investments in AI+R across research and AI breakthroughs that are key to our long-term success.

As we make technological progress we need to ensure that we are doing so responsibly. To this end, Harry and Brad Smith have established Microsoft’s AI and Ethics in Engineering and Research (AETHER) Committee, bringing together senior leaders from across the company to focus on proactive formulation of internal policies and how to respond to specific issues in a responsible way. AETHER will ensure our AI platform and experience efforts are deeply grounded within Microsoft’s core values and principles and benefit the broader society. Among other steps, we are investing in strategies and tools for detecting and addressing bias in AI systems and implementing new requirements established by the GDPR. While there is great opportunity, ensuring we always act responsibly for our customers and partners will continue to be a hallmark of our work.

To truly get the best impact from our efforts, we will have to push ourselves to transcend Conway’s law. Having a deep sense of customers’ unmet and unarticulated needs must drive our innovation. We can’t let any organizational boundaries get in the way of innovation for our customers. This is why a growth mindset culture matters. Each one of us needs to push on what technology can do for people and for our world. It will take courage to keep learning and growing together — encouraging one another’s individual strengths, building more diversity and inclusion across our teams, and collaborating as One Microsoft. It’s amazing what we have been able to accomplish together, and yet I still believe we are in the very early days of what is possible.

We’ll talk more about these changes at the Q&A next week and the important work ahead.


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