by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

How To Lower Virtualized Data Center Expense With USB Flash

One of the little known or little explored secrets with servers running VMware ESXi 5.x is they can be booted off of USB or SD flash media. In such a scenario, enterprises could dump HBAs or RAID cards and the hard drives or SSDs that are used to boot the servers. Going this route yields a CAPEX benefit for new systems, the cost of flash media for boot is insignificant compared to the drives and storage adapter cards required to spin up a server. There are also gains in OPEX; the implications of moving to USB or SD flash media have a big advantage when considering the power required for a small flash media drive for boot vs. the more common practice of adapters and drives. 

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

HGST Ultrastar Helium 6TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review

The Ultrastar Helium Platform (He6) hard drive family is HGST's latest effort to provide the next step up in capacity for enterprises that are faced with ballooning data volumes. The Helium drives are offered at a single 6TB capacity point, which offers a 50% boost over today's leading 4TB capacity offerings, and they are available with either a SATA or SAS 6Gb/s interface. The drives offer a spindle speed of 7,200 RPM, on disk buffer of 64MB and drive sustained throughput of 177MB/s. The fun technology part though is of course the fact that this is a sealed drive, with helium inside for reduced friction. HGST dubs this technology HelioSeal, which essentially reduces air disturbances caused by the disks and heads and allows for more platters to be sandwiched in the standard 3.5" hard drive form factor. The reduction in friction also means less power is required, 23% less at idle by HGST's measurements, netting cost of ownership benefits as well. HGST uses 7 platters, compared to four or five in most 4TB drives today, to drive the 6TB capacity in the Helium. Interestingly, this suggests there is more capacity up-side for the platform with more dense platters making Helium potentially a very compelling bridge to the next generation mainstream hard drives that will use HAMR technology (SMR has limited use cases) to increase density and drive capacity.

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by Lyle Smith

Samsung 1.6TB NVMe SSD Featured In The New Dell PowerEdge R920 Server

Samsung has announced that its 1.6TB NVMe (non-volatile memory express) SSD is featured in the new Dell PowerEdge R920 server. Samsung and Dell, who both worked closely to optimize the storage capabilities of the PowerEdge R920, are the first companies in the world to ship PCIe SSDs using an NVMe protocol, allowing customers to get faster results.

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by Josh Linden

HP Expands Entry-Level MSA Storage Systems StoreEasy and StoreOnce Backup Solutions for SMBs

HP has announced a suite of storage devices, software, and other products engineered and priced for SMBs who are adopting shared storage or require scaling functionality in the future for IT initiatives such as consolidation, virtualization, application hosting. According to HP, the new MSA 1040 Storage system can achieve up to 50 percent better performance than its predecessor and will be offered at a 25 percent lower starting price.

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by Lyle Smith

Actifio Secures $100M in Oversubscribed Funding

Actifio has announced that it has secured an oversubscribed $100M funding round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from current their investors: North Bridge, Greylock IL, Advanced Technology Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Technology Crossover Ventures. With these funds, Actifio plans hasten their expansion of market coverage, global brand development, and produce feature enhancements in data management solution for virtualized and Cloud IT architectures.

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by Josh Linden

SolidFire Announces Element OS Version 6 “Carbon”

SolidFire today announced Element OS 6 Carbon, the latest version of the operating system that powers the company's lineup of all-flash storage arrays. The enhancements include an optimized metadata layout for increased usable capacity, reatime replication, integrated backup and recovery with a REST-based API, 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s Fibre Channel connectivity, as well as VAAI primitives XCopy and ATS to offload data management operations to SolidFire arrays in VMware environments.

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by Lyle Smith

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) Now Generally Available

VMware has announced the general availability of VMware Virtual SAN, VMware’s first Software Defined Data Center product. A webcast event was held last week which detailed new information and pointed to this week for GA, however VMware did not release licensing and pricing information. Today VMware makes good on last week's promises by announcing pricing VMware Virtual SAN which is priced at $2,495 per processor and Virtual SAN for Desktop at $50 per user.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Fusion-io ioDrive2 Duo MLC Application Accelerator Review

The Fusion-io ioDrive2 Duo MLC is a full-height half-length (FHHL) application accelerator that provides up to 2.4TB of capacity via x8 PCI Express slot. Fusion-io cards are notorious for their throughput performance as well as their low latencies, the combination of which drives some of the best responsiveness in the industry. Fusion-io's ioDrive2 cards are all fundamentally all the same, with hardware differences that differentiate. In this case, the ioDrive2 Duo combines a second controller and doubles the NAND pool compared to a standard ioDrive2. Fusion-io is also using MLC in this iteration, meaning users can get twice the capacity when compared to the SLC versions of the drives. Performance wise the MLC and SLC ioDrive2 Duo cards perform pretty similarly, the most obvious differences come in read latency, 68µs for the MLC and 47µs for the SLC, and endurance.

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by Lyle Smith

QNAP Partnership With Seagate and New Turbo NAS Solutions Announced

QNAP Systems has announced at a partnership with Seagate Technology at CeBIT 2014 to demonstrate a new series of Turbo NAS and storage expansion solutions with its new QTS 4.1 NAS operating system, VioStor NVR firmware QVR 5.0, and more. 

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by Josh Linden

Panasas Releases PanFS 5.5 for ActiveStor NAS Appliances

Panasas today released PanFS 5.5, the architecture, filesystem, and operating system for its ActiveStor lineup of NAS appliances. PanFS 5.5 features improved support for Windows environments, including the replacement of open-source Samba components with a licensed Microsoft CIFS/SMB implementation to improve interoperability with Windows storage and application infrastructures.

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