Pure Storage’s coming high-end array: We have the details

Good post by Chris Mellor (thank you) over at El Reg

We can tell you a few more juicy details about Pure’s coming high-end array, and we’re deducing that SolidFire has a product capacity refresh coming.

What we knew was that the new range-topper would boast up to 1.5PB usable capacity using 4 and 8TB 3D NAND modules (SSDs). It would have always-on QoS, support thousands of virtual machines and be priced at less than $1GB/usable capacity.

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Where VSAN doesn’t shine: Sources explain EMC’s ScaleIO purpose

Good post by Chris Mellor (thank you)

EMC introduced its scale-out ScaleIO Node virtual SAN a couple of weeks ago, with hybrid flash-disk and all-flash server chassises. It overlaps as a product with EMC-owned VMware’s VSAN, and therefore EMC’s EVO:RAIL implementation of that, and also competes with scale-out all-flash arrays.

Discussions with sources have clarified EMC’s thinking on the topic, and showed that the overlap is less than originally thought.

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The State of Deduplication in 2015

Good post by George Crump (thank you)

At its core, deduplication is an enabling technology. First, it enabled disk based backup devices to become the primary backup target in the data center. Now it promises to enable the all-flash data center by driving down the cost of flash storage. Just as deduplication became the table stake for backup appliances, it is now a required capability for flash and hybrid primary storage.

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Flash market skyrockets as big boys get in on the action

Post by Hannah Breeze (thank you)

Market value reached $11.3bn in 2014

The flash market is no longer being driven purely by aggressive startups, according to IDC, which has pointed to a flurry of storage giants that have cottoned on and helped propel the market to new heights.

In 2014, the global flash-based array market grew to $11.3bn (£7.43bn) – $10bn from the hybrid-flash array (HFA) market and the rest coming from all-flash arrays (AFAs).

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Should you be able to turn All-Flash Deduplication off?

Good post by George Crump (thank you)

Deduplication, along with compression, provides the ability to more efficiently use premium priced flash capacity. But capacity efficiency comes with at least some performance impact. This is especially true on all-flash arrays where data efficiency features can’t hide behind hard disk drive latency. This has lead some all-flash vendors, like Violin Memory, to claim that an on/off switch on all-flash should be a requirement. Is that the case?

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Flash Arrays need high performance compression

What's the Difference Between Compression, Deduplication, and Single-Instance Storage?

Post by George Crump (thank you)

Startups like Nimble, Pure Storage, SolidFire and Tegile are starting to take business away from the traditional tier 1 storage vendors. Their key differentiator, and often the winning point, has been their ability to efficiently use flash storage. Making flash compelling to IT professionals requires a high performance architecture with the ability to use flash efficiently: at the right price point (effective cost) and effective capacity. Many tier 1 vendors have the high performance, but lack the effective cost and effective capacity. This is a direct result of the lack of compression, deduplication and thin provisioning capabilities. This is enabling independent all flash array vendors, as mentioned above, to encroach their accounts with better cost and capacity capabilities.

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EMC XtremIO Review

Good Post by Justin Warren (thank you)

Getting a clear picture of what XtremIO was about from EMC’s presentation was a significant challenge. It’s taken me a few re-watches of the video, and triangulation from other sources (including Solidfire’s presentation, ironically) to figure out how it works.

XtremIO ‘X-bricks’ are dual-active controllers connected to 25 eMLC flash SSDs in a separate drive shelf. The logical path to the SSDs has two logical lookups: firstly its metadata (such as the ultimate location of the data block) and the data itself. Data (and metadata) is stored on the SSDs using a form of wide-striped 23+2 parity-RAID, which EMC call XDP because they don’t want to call it RAID for some reason. Differentiation from competitors, I assume. It looks, walks, and quacks like parity-RAID to me.

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Is SolidFire the Symmetrix of the Cloud era?

Good Post by Enrico Signoretti (thank you)

EMC Symmetrix was introduced in 1990 (as a Mainframe storage) and it has quickly become one of the most successful enterprise Tier1 storage ever (Now the VMAX). It’s big (now supporting up to 3200 disks and 2048GB of cache) but its architecture is outdated and so are its features. What was good enough to sustain Mainframe and large Unix server workloads is no longer when having to manage thousands (or tens of thousands) of VMs.

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Dispelling the FUD around iSCSI

Good Post by Keith Townsend (thank you)

One of the interesting things in enterprise storage has been the FUD around iSCSI vs. Fiber Channel (FC). iSCSI has consistently been looked upon as the lesser option of the two storage transports. It’s debatable if it’s traditional enterprise storage vendors or “old guard” storage engineers resistant to change spreading the misinformation. It may be a combination of both but the consistent message has been the iSCSI is not an appropriate platform for large enterprises. The primary knock has been that IP based storage isn’t a mature platform with few examples of large enterprises with tier 1 applications running over iSCSI.

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Greybeards talk all-flash arrays with Dave Wright, CEO and founder of SolidFire

Good Post (and Podcast) by Ray Lucchesi (thank you)

Welcome to our eight episode where we discuss all-flash storage with Dave Wright, CEO and founder of SolidFire. The Greybeards  just talked with Dave at the SDDC14  and Storage Field Day 5 in San Jose, CA last month.

In this podcast, we learn a lot about SolidFire and other storage arrays from a leading light in the all-flash storage industry. Dave seems to have been around a lot longer than his years and has worked extensively in the cloud gaming and service provider industries. All of which gives him a unique perspective on the needs of storage today.

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