Friday, August 31, 2012


Looking out of the window,  (well, not my window!) seems like summer has come to an unexpected and early end here in Zurich. So the warm evenings are over, school is on again, traffic is heavy and it's back to business as usual for everybody...

Here's a couple news that drew my attention during the past couple weeks:

There's rumblings at Brocade: Their SVP WW Sales Ian Whiting left in June as it seems and CEO Mike Klayko announced his planned departure as well. Plus there seems to be reorganizations going on inside the company on all levels. Hard to say what's next for Brocade. For the time being, they still have a very solid lead in the legacy Fibre Channel market and recently seem to have a renewed focus on that part of their business (after being distracted too long with their Foundry-based Ethernet portfolio)!

IBM announced their plans to make it's next acquisition in Storage: Texas Memory Systems (TMS) is based in Houston, TX (as the name implies!) and has been in the solid-state storage market long before the industry invented flash memory! The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2012, see details here.

Amazon made some waves with frozen water this month: Glacier is the (code?) name for their most recent cloud offering: This is a new type of storage cloud - aimed at the archive market and not inteded to provide split-second response times and data retrieval! Amazon claims to be able to offer this service at 10$ per TB per month. The jury is still out if they use tape in the backend or not...

And lastly some learning topics: SMB 3.0 (aka SMB 2.2) is being finalized and will be part of Windows 8 and Microsoft Server 2012. Looks like this protocol has the potential to definitely tilt the preferred Windows attach method from block to file!
And -together with Windows OS based services like "Storage Spaces"- make some HW based technology (like RAID) obsolete along the way! So watch out for this!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Very accurate positioning of Big Data and Cloud, two of the most beloved buzzwords of our industry today!
Couple additional comments: related to the "creation of information" I sometimes wonder where all these numbers come from and if taking blurry snapshots at a Saturday night party to be posted on Facebook really constitutes an act of "creating information"?!

To quote Jon Toigo: "I know of no empirical research that demonstrates with any validity the rate of data growth in a business. That’s because no one knows how fast their data is growing; they only know how much storage they’re buying year over year. The latter isn’t an indication of data growth rates, but of data mismanagement, pure and simple."

The New York Times just last week had an article about where and when Big Data started off, read it here.

Big Data involves analytics and data retrieval as we all know, and here's a report about recent IBM research related to that subject. SSD (solid state disk) plays an important role in the concepts and architectures to quickly retrieve and process data in a near real-time fashion.
Today, SSDs are still a rare sight in enterprise systems but this might change, once the industry is able to lower the price by reaching massive volumes.
And obviously, massive volumes can only be driven by consumer demand (like iPads and Laptops). This may be a couple more years away as this CW report and the recent Western Digital HDD sales numbers indicate!

Nevertheless, the SNIA has recently established a TWG (technical work group) to assess and define the impact of SSD to storage system architectures. Read here what Netapp has to say about this.

And lastly a listing of a few more recent articles, trends and events worthwhile noticing:

Leadership shuffle between VMware and EMC
LSI and Xyratex: 12 Gbps SAS is arriving!
Oracle: New tape library
IBM: How to tie PureSystems into your existing network
HDS: New Book: Storage Concepts: Storing and Managing Digital Data