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    Linear Tape File System Now an International Standard

    June 9th, 2016

    By David Pease, Co-Chair SNIA Linear Tape File System Technical Working Group

    In 2011 the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) earned IBM an Engineering Emmy Award after being recognized by FOX Networks for “improving the ability of media companies to capture, manage and exploit content in digital form, fundamentally changing the way that audio and video content is managed and stored.”  Now, the International Standardization … Continue reading

    Podcasts Bring the Sounds of SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference to Your Car, Boat, Train, or Plane!

    May 26th, 2016

    SNIA’s Storage Developer Conference (SDC) offers exactly what a developer of cloud, solid state, security, analytics, or big data applications is looking  for – rich technical content delivered in a no-vendor bias manner by today’s leading technologists.  The 2016 SDC agenda is being compiled, but now yousdc podcast pic can get a “sound bite” of what to expect by downloading  SDC podcasts via iTunes, or visiting the … Continue reading

    Open Source Software-Only Storage – Really.

    May 24th, 2016

    Virtually any storage solution is more parts software than hardware. Having said this, users don’t care as much about the percentage of hardware vs. software. They want their consumption experience to be easy and fast to start up, with a pay-as-you-grow model and with the ability to scale without limits. So, it should not be a shock that real IT organizations are using software-only on standard servers to deliver storage to their customers. What’s more, this type of storage can be powered by open source.

    At the upcoming SNIA Data Storage Innovation Conference, we are looking forward to discussing software-defined storage (SDS) from a user experience perspective with examples of OpenStack Swift providing an engine for building SDS clusters with any mixed combination of standard server and HDD hardware in a way that is simple enough for any enterprise to dynamically scale.

    Swift is a highly available, distributed, scalable object store available as open source.  It is designed to handle non-relational (that is, not just simple row-column data) or unstructured data at large scale with high availability and durability.  For example, it can be used to store files, videos, documents, analytics results, Web content, drawings, voice recordings, images, maps, musical scores, pictures, or multimedia. Organizations can use Swift to store large amounts of data efficiently, safely, and cheaply. It scales horizontally without any single point of failure.  It offers a single multi-tenant storage system for all applications, the ability to use low-cost industry-standard servers and drives, and a rich ecosystem of tools and libraries.  It can serve the needs of any service provider or enterprise working in a cloud environment, regardless of whether the installation is using other OpenStack components.

    I know what you are thinking, storage is too critical, so it will never work this way. But the same was said >25 years go when using RAID was seen as too risky given solutions would acknowledge writes while the data was in cache prior to being written to disk. The same was also said >15 years ago when VMware was seen as not robust enough to run any manner of demanding or critical application. Replicas and Erasure Codes are analogous to RAID 1 and RAID 5 respectively, and the uniquely as possible distribution of data behind a single namespace abstracts standard hardware like server virtualization.

    Interested in hearing more? Come check out my DSI session, “Swift Use Cases with SwiftStack,” where we look forward to sharing how this new type of storage can work, and to suspend your disbelief that this storage can be enterprise-grade.


    Hitachi Data Systems’ Hu Yoshida Featured in Keynote at SNIA Annual Members Symposium

    January 18th, 2016

    The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Annual Members Symposium is a must attend event for both SNIA members and interested colleagues. Held at the Westin San Jose in San Jose California from January 19-22, 2016, the Symposium offers four full days of collaboration, networking, and knowledge about the latest advances in cloud storage, Ethernet storage, solid state storage, storage management, green computing, and more. Register … Continue reading

    New Webcast: The Life of a Storage Packet (Walk)

    November 10th, 2015

    Wonder how storage really works? When we talk about “Storage” in the context of data centers, it can mean different things to different people. Someone who is developing applications will have a very different perspective than someone who is responsible for managing that data on some form of media. Moreover, someone who is responsible for transporting data from one place to another has their own view that is related to, and yet different from, the previous two.

    Add in virtualization and layers of abstraction, from file systems to storage protocols, and things can get very confusing very quickly. Pretty soon people don’t even know the right questions to ask! That’s why we’re hosting our next SNIA Ethernet Storage Webcast, “Life of a Storage Packet (Walk).”

    Join us on November 19th to learn how applications and workloads get information. Find out what happens when you need more of it, or faster access to it, or move it far away. This Webcast will take a step back and look at “storage” with a “big picture” perspective, looking at the whole piece and attempting to fill in some of the blanks for you. We’ll be talking about:

    • Applications and RAM
    • Servers and Disks
    • Networks and Storage Types
    • Storage and Distances
    • Tools of the Trade/Offs

    The goal of the Webcast is not to make specific recommendations, but equip you with information that will help you ask the relevant questions, as well as get a keener insight to the consequences of storage choices. As always, this event is live, so please bring your questions, we’ll answer as many as we can on the spot. I encourage you to register today. Hope to see you on November 19th!

    A Deep Dive into the SNIA Storage Developer Conference – The File Systems Track

    September 9th, 2015

    SNIA Storage Developer Conference (SDC) 2015 is two weeks away, and the SNIA Technical Council is finalizing a strong, comprehensive agenda of speakers and sessions. Wherever your interests lie, you’re sure to find experts and topics that will expand your knowledge and fuel your professional development!SDC15_WebHeader3_999x188

    For the next two weeks, SNIA on Storage will highlight exciting interest areas in the 2015 agenda. If you … Continue reading

    SNIA’s Events Strategy Today and Tomorrow

    December 5th, 2013

    David Dale, SNIA Chairman

    Last month Computerworld/IDG and the SNIA posted a notice to the SNW website stating that they have decided to conclude the production of SNW.  The contract was expiring and both parties declined to renew.  The IT industry has changed significantly in the 15 years since SNW was first launched, and both parties felt that their individual interests would be best served … Continue reading

    Flash Webcast Q&A

    October 3rd, 2012

    Our recent Webcast: Flash – Plan for the Disruption was very well received and well attended. We thank everyone who was able to make the live event. For those of you who couldn’t make it, it’s now available on demand. Check it out here.

    There wasn’t enough time to respond to all of the questions during the Webcast, so we have consolidated answers to all of them in this blog post from the presentation team. Feel free to comment and provide your input.

    Q. Are you going to cache both read and writes in NetApp FlashCache?
    A. Flash Cache is a level 2 Read cache and it is used to accelerate random read operations. NetApp offers an additional capability called Flash Pool which caches both random reads and random overwrites. Both technologies are part of the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier family within the Data ONTAP operating environment.

    Q. Is eMLC flash available today?
    A. Yes, a number of Flash vendors are shipping eMLC today.

    Q. Also can you review the write cycle performance of SLC vs. MLC?
    A. Write cycles for SLC are typically around 100,000. With eMLC, write cycles of 30,000 per bit can be achieved.

    Q. Has specific analysis been conducted on what applications and relative data can be cached at the server versus at the storage controller (tolerance for latency, user patience, etc.)?
    A. This varies but server caching will typically be used for applications with the most hot spots such as databases. If there is a particular requirement for ultra low latency such as in OLTP environments, server caching may be appropriate. Server caching can also yield significant benefit to increase VM density. Generally, server caching will be deployed to accelerate a specific application while storage controller caching will be used to accelerate storage which is shared across multiple applications.
    Q. Does the data running over the network storage PDUs or Ethernet Layer2/IP traffic?
    A. Ethernet Layer 2 in this demo, thought it could have been scaled to for L3 IP routed traffic.
    Q. What is the difference between flash tier and flash cache?
    A. A flash tier is persistent storage whereby datasets are pinned to flash technology for some period of time (or permanently). In Automated Storage Tiering, data may be migrated to and from the flash tier based on the temperature of the data. A flash cache, on the other hand is a caching technology in which the most frequently accessed data is copied to flash for data access but then evicted as the data cools down. Data is copied to the flash cache either on the basis of calculated data temperature or on a first-in first-out basis.
    Q. Given the large advantages of flash on power (direct), cooling, and DC footprint, why do enterprise data centers not just completely switch out their HDDs? It seems like there is a good ROI even without considering performance. Is it the operational complexities that make this challenging?
    A. For many applications, this is not cost justified given the significant price difference of the SSD and HDD devices. Since hot data typically amounts to less than 20% of total data, a small amount of flash can be deployed successfully. In the caching case, this can be around 1%.

    Flash Webcast – Are You Ready for the Disruption?

    September 12th, 2012

    There’s no doubt that flash is a game changer. Even a relatively small percentage of flash can drive a significant improvement in peak storage performance. How are you planning for the disruption? Join me and my SNIA colleague, Paul Feresten, for a live Webcast next week, Thursday, September 20th (11:00 a.m. ET, 8:00 am. PT) as we discuss the impact of flash. We’ll take a look at how flash is being deployed in storage systems, key considerations and tradeoffs, performance benefits, trends in non-volatile memory and more. And because it’s live we’ll take your questions on the spot. We hope to see you there. Register now.