Data Efficiency in the News

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How storage is changing in the age of big data

| TechCrunch
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Many of us never pause to consider what that means, but data is growing exponentially — with no end in sight. There are already more than a billion cellphones in the world, emitting 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data every month. As more devices continue to connect to the Internet of Things, sensors on everything from automobiles to appliances increase the data output even more.

By 2020, IDC predicts that the amount of data will increase by a thousandfold, reaching a staggering 44 zettabytes of data. The only logical response to this data deluge is to create more ways to store and maximize all this information.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become major areas of research and development in recent years as a response to this data flood, as algorithms work to find patterns that can help manage the data. While this is a step in the right direction in terms of learning from data, it still doesn’t solve the storage problem. And while interesting advances are being made in data storage on DNA molecules, for now, realistic data storage options are still a little less sci-fi sounding. Here are four viable solutions to our storage capacity woes.

The hybrid cloud

We all understand the concept of the cloud. Hybrid cloud storage is a little different though, in that it uses both storage in the cloud as well as on-site storage or hardware. This creates more value through a “mash-up” that accesses either kind of storage, depending on the security and the need for accessibility. 

A hybrid data storage solution addresses common fears about security, compliance and latency that straight cloud storage raises. Data can be housed either onsite or in the cloud, depending on risk classification, latency and bandwidth needs. Enterprises that choose hybrid cloud storage are drawn to it because of its scalability and cost-effectiveness, combined with the option of keeping sensitive data out of the public cloud.

Bigger data, smarter storage

While the sheer volume of data continues to grow exponentially, so too does its perceived value to companies eager to glean information about their consumers and their products. Data storage needs to be fast, intuitive, effective, safe and cost-effective — a tall order in a world where data now far outpaces the population. It will be interesting to see which method can best address all these needs simultaneously.

Interesting view from someone that’s been in the storage industry for many years. Thanks Don!

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Fiscal 2Q16 Financial Results

| storagenewsletter.com
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Maybe HPE is doing better than most of its biggest competitors, but into a shrinking global market .

Officially, the company stated that quarterly storage revenue was $752 million for the period, up 2% Y/Y, up 5% in constant currency, and down 7% Q/Q.

The problem here is that, once more, HPE has modified the figures of the preceding quarters for its storage revenue. For the former 1FQ16, the firm announced $863 million for the three-month period, now it’s only $810 million. It’s curious to see a public company doing this kind of manipulation to diminish the percentage of decrease in revenue.  

If we consider the $863 million figure, storage sales of HPE are down 13% Q/Q, not 7%.

Finally, the reality is that storage is a stabilized business since 2013. $752 million for the most recent quarter is the lowest quarterly revenue since 1FQ13 – not including 2FQ15 ($740 million)

Based this time on $752 million for the most recent quarter, the company stated that converged revenue was $406 million, +14% Y/Y, and traditional revenue of $346 million, -10% Y/Y.

It seems that HPE may have a different view of financial reporting!

As the opening sentence mentions, the storage market is shrinking! Perhaps HPE wants to be the lead dog in a contracting market?

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Permabit looks to reduce Linux storage in hybrid clouds

| searchcloudstorage.techtarget.com
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Permabit is aiming the latest version of its host-based data reduction software at enterprises building hybrid clouds with Linux storage.

VDO 6 for Hybrid Cloud, which Permabit plans to ship in June, will be sold directly to large data centers building open source hybrid clouds. As in previous Permabit releases, version 6 includes inline deduplication, compression and thin provisioning.

VDO 6 adds optimized archive and backup of nonaligned 4K data formats, including Oracle RMAN backup and recovery, tar and zip files. Permabit’s latest edition is deployed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and supports various flavors of Linux storage.

Permabit VDO 6 can be installed in the Linux hypervisor or run in the kernel underneath virtual machines (VMs). It also can be deployed as a VM itself. When implemented, VDO 6 presents itself to the system as a block device driver. It supports block, file and object storage with OpenStack, Ceph and Gluster.

“The ecosystem of the cloud is built on efficiency,” Cook said. “We’re seeing Linux and other open source hybrid clouds starting to take hold. The real cost is not storage, compute or networking, but the cost of building out the data center. We wring out tremendous cost by increasing storage density through our deduplication and compression.”

Ashish Nadkarni, program director for enterprise server and storage at IDC, said Permabit is trying to distinguish itself by focusing broadly on open source environments.

“The differentiator for Permabit is that they can do data reduction for Linux storage across the board, rather than just one flavor. They offer a third-party software platform that works across all storage modules,” Nadkarni said.

“Permabit is talking about it for hybrid cloud storage, but there’s no cloud issue here,” Nadkarni said. “VDO is a data reduction module for software-defined, server-based storage. It can work in the cloud, but it can work in any noncloud environment, too.

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WD is not a disk drive company – and not a moment too soon

| storagemojo.com
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While you weren’t looking Western Digital stopped being a hard drive company, morphing into a storage company. Such transitions are nothing new for a company that started life making calculator chips in the 1970s, morphed into SCSI, ATA and graphics in the 80s, and built its disk drive business in the 90s and 00s.

The closing of the SanDisk deal puts an exclamation point on the transition, but it started in 2011 with the acquisition of HGST. The acquirer of IBM’s disk operations has since acquired Skyera – winner of 2012’s content-free announcement award, Amplidata and server-side flash vendor Virident (wonder how integrating that with SanDisk’s Fusion-io will go?).

Amplidata’s software is the basis for the HGST Active Archive System object store. Since the web site refers to “Systems” we can expect more system products from HGST.

The StorageMojo take
It’s B-school chestnut: the railroads thought they were in the railroad business – instead of transportation – so they lost out to truckers. Cheap flash IOPS has destroyed the value of HDD-optimized array controllers – which has dramatically reduced the cost of entry into storage systems.

Add to that advent of sophisticated remote management – much advanced over 90’s “call home” features – and much of the rationale for a costly enteprise sales and support force goes away. That further lowers the market entry bar – and rips even more value out of legacy vendor infrastructure – not that Michael Dell is likely to notice for a few years.

Expect to see Seagate follow suit. Samsung and Toshiba might as well, but both are distracted by other problems.

Congratulations to the WD exec team on yet another well-executed pivot to a larger market. This will be fun to watch.

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Bimodal IT and @TheEbizWizard | @CloudExpo #IoT #DevOps #Microservices

| Home | SYS-CON MEDIA
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As enterprises around the world struggle with their digital transformation efforts, many are finding that innovative digital teams are moving much faster than their hidebound IT organizations. Rather than struggling to convince traditional IT to get with the digital program, executives are taking advice from IT research firm Gartner, and encouraging existing IT to continue in their desultory ways.

However, many CIOs are realizing the dangers of following Gartner’s advice. The central challenge with bimodal IT is that it encourages IT management to shift their transformation efforts away from ‘slow’ IT to ‘fast’ digital efforts.

As cloud computing becomes a standard part of the IT repertoire, however, the bimodal divide begins to break down. True, ‘fast’ IT takes the cloud for granted, but even ‘slow’ IT finds substantial value in the cloud as well.

The result: enterprise cloud efforts become the common platform and frame of reference for all speeds of IT, breaking down the bimodal pattern that is so dangerous for organizations as they become increasingly digital.

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Hyperconverged Integrated Systems to Grow 79% Reaching $2 Billion in 2016 – Gartner

| storagenewsletter.com
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The market for hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS) will grow 79% to reach almost $2 billion in 2016, propelling it toward mainstream use in the next five years, according to Gartner, Inc.

HCIS will be the fastest-growing segment of the overall market for integrated systems, reaching almost $5 billion, which is 24% of the market, by 2019.

Although the overall integrated systems market is growing, other segments of the market will face cannibalization from hyperconverged systems, Gartner analysts said.

Speaking ahead of his keynote presentation at the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summit in Sydney, Australia, Andrew Butler, VP and distinguished analyst, Gartner, said the integrated systems market is starting to mature, with more users upgrading and extending their initial deployments.

We are on the cusp of a third phase of integrated systems,” said Butler. “This evolution presents IT infrastructure and operations leaders with a framework to evolve their implementations and architectures.”

The third phase of integrated systems will deliver dynamic, composable and fabric-based infrastructures by also offering modular and disaggregated hardware building blocks, driving continuous application delivery and continuous economic optimization.

Despite high market growth rates, HCIS use cases have so far been limited, causing silos with existing infrastructure, according to Gartner. Its progression will be dependent on multiple hardware and software advances, such as networking and software-defined enterprises.

Ultimately, the underlying infrastructure will disappear to become a malleable utility under the control of software intelligence and automated to enable IT as a service to business, consumer, developer and enterprise operations.

HCIS is not a destination, but an evolutionary journey,” said Butler. “While we fully expect the use cases to embrace mission-critical applications in the future, current implementations could still pose constraints on rapid growth toward the end of the decade.”

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Dell helps its own storage arrays see eye to eye

| Computerworld
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Making storage systems work together can be a headache even if they’re both from the same vendor. Dell is taking some steps to ease that pain.

New operating systems will help to bridge the gap between Dell’s Storage Center and EqualLogic PS arrays, giving administrators a single management interface and a way to replicate data between the two systems. Storage Center OS 7, announced Thursday, and PS 9.0 will roll out as free upgrades over the next few months.

SCOS 7 also comes with other improvements, including better data reduction and tools to ensure applications get the right quality of service from SC arrays. But the PS integration caps years of development that Dell would have liked to finish sooner, said Alan Atkinson, vice president and general manager of Dell Storage.

The same trend has led to a focus on how storage serves particular applications. To meet that demand, Dell has added quality-of-service features to SCOS 7. These let administrators set up SC arrays to automatically allocate resources to meet business needs. The new OS also works with VMware VVols (virtual volumes), so IT can provision and manage storage at a virtual-machine level.

For data reduction, Dell has increased compression for the SC arrays and added data deduplication. Together, these tools can bring capacity savings of as much as 10:1, with a typical gain of 4:1 or 3:1, the company said. That can help bring down the cost of SC arrays to less than US$0.45 per gigabyte on an all-flash tier and less than $0.10 per gigabyte on hard-disk tiers, according to Dell.

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Dell Storage Centre: Following more than one of our series? Here’s the remote

| The Channel
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Dell says its Storage Center OS v7.0 adds deduplication and compression to make more efficient use of flash memory.

It also adds common management and cross-replication for SC and PS series kit. SC, or Storage Center, is the operating system software for Dell’s SC series arrays, originally branded Compellent, and generally Fibre Channel SANs. PS arrays used to be known as EqualLogic storage products, and are typically accessed over iSCSI.

 

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Digital Transformation Brings Disruption, Tipping Points, And Business Opportunities

| forbes.com
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We are seeing it on a daily basis. Digital transformation of legacy processes, cloud-based SaaS app proliferation on a scale unimaginable just a short time ago, and slow-moving market leaders being diminished as smaller, more nimble upstarts do more than just nip at their heels. It is critical to get in front of this wave, or be left behind in the foaming aftermath of opportunity.

Take the taxi industry for example. On a recent business trip I hopped in a legacy cab to take me from the airport to my hotel. In the seat-back pocket in front of me was a laminated card extolling the convenience and ingenuity of a “new” way to order a cab through my mobile device. The advertisement was nothing more than a knockoff of Uber that had long since disrupted the taxi industry, leaving the yellow vehicles in the dust of disruption. The tipping point was unseen until too late and the business advantage was lost.

Staying ahead of change is an art best embraced by successful entrepreneurs. Here’s how they do it:

Be the disruptor, not the disruptee. Change will always produce winners and losers. In Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma a typical disruption cycle begins with a smaller, newer competitor taking the low end of the market away from a larger market leader, who initially doesn’t much mind because, after all, “it’s just the low end of a larger market and we (the established company) still have the lion’s market share of the more profitable business.” However, the disruption continues as the smaller company moves up the ladder to take more and more of the business through better technology, lower prices and higher quality. Paradoxically, it may be that the best disruption strategy is to be both disruptor and disruptee, as a company self-disrupts before others can do it to them.

Time the tipping points. Disruption has a timeline and a recognizable pattern of events that open up a window through which to jump. Market demand begins to shift. Customer requests, reasons for buying, bigger problems in need of better solutions, all begin to surface with greater urgency. And existing business models start to reach maturity and are unable to serve markets adequately, as they once had. A tipping point, where customers become more willing to look at new solutions, can be discovered only with the divining rod of customer inquiry. Knowing what the customer really needs is the early-warning system for product and service development and disruption.

Take advantage of business opportunities. Its critical to have all business ducks in a row. Is your message, value proposition, pricing model, sales force, go to market strategy, financing, customer awareness and leadership poised to convert a tipping point into market share gains and increased revenue? All of this takes a tremendous amount of planning and consideration.

Business Case

Advances in data storage technology have created a disruptable environment in the storage industry, and large storage vendors are feeling the pinch. Although the cost of storage has been going down steadily for years even while demand exploded, traditional storage vendors have continued to base profits on selling more high-margin storage capacity.

The arrival of cloud computing has changed everything, however. Born out of the realization that great economies of scale could be realized by cutting costs and centralizing infrastructure, cloud has become the storage industry’s great disruptor, and companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are in a race to make storage an essentially free commodity. What matters most to these disruptors is not selling more capacity but keeping costs low as they build giant data centers around the world.

The cost of building a new data center (about one-third of which is dedicated to data storage) is around $3,000 per square foot. That’s extremely expensive. When you consider the additional cost of powering, cooling and maintaining such a center, reducing the amount of data that needs to be stored starts to look like an inevitability. Permabit Technology Corporation is a company that reduces the footprint of data by four times or more through patented data deduplication and compression software technologies. Permabit President and CEO Tom Cook explains, “Companies can get more for less by managing their data better. This is a fundamental shift in the data storage industry.” Now, enterprise companies have begun employing the same techniques as Amazon and Google, building private clouds that interoperate with large public clouds, and creating what are referred to as hybrid clouds.

According to Cook, the tipping point has been sneaking up on the industry for years, and accelerating in the past eighteen months as cloud technologies and acceptance matured. While traditional suppliers were hesitant to embrace data efficiency because of the established growth model of simply supplying more capacity “that has all changed with the arrival of the hybrid cloud,” states Cook. “The whole cloud ecosystem of IT leaders, software and service providers is now all about cost savings versus providing more storage. Fortunately, we saw the change coming and built our business model around this approach.” This trend could save $1.2T in data center investment alone by 2020 if widely embraced. That’s a business opportunity worth taking advantage of.

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Cloud Computing Technology Expected to Witness a Significant Rise in its Adoption During the Period 2016-2020

| Home | SYS-CON MEDIA
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Technavio research analysts are forecasting positive growth for many segments of the global cloud computing market over the next four years as several markets including backend as a service (BaaS),cloud management for OpenStack, and network as a service (NaaS), will witness an increase in revenues.

According to Technavio, the need to reduce complexities in application development will accelerate the growth of the global backend as a services market and post a massive CAGR of almost 102% during the period 2016-2020. Application of BaaS solutions makes it easier for developers to set up, use, and operate a cloud backend for creating their mobile, tablet, and web apps. IT vendors in this market are offering advanced solutions that exempt complex coding, thus vastly improving front-end tasks that include design and development of content. The growing demand for mobile apps with additional features and functionalities will continue to boost the demand for BaaS over the next four years.

Another evolving segment is the growth of the global cloud management for the OpenStack market. The ability of OpenStack to enhance interoperability and integration by allowing the addition of new components as per the end users’ requirements has predicted this market to grow significantly and post a remarkable CAGR of over 30% during the forecast period. The deployment of OpenStack helps users to effectively manage private and public cloud computing platforms. It also enhances visibility and control over resources by optimizing networks, bandwidth, and disk I/O.

Some of the key vendors for cloud computing technology include Appcelerator, IBM, and Kony for backend as a service, Cisco, Juniper Networks, and VMware for network as a service, and BMC Software, HP, and Red Hat for cloud management for OpenStack.

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