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In the Lab: NetApp ONTAP 9.4 Upgrade

NetApp announced ONTAP 9.4 in May and last week it became generally available. It's our preference to keep production systems up to date so we can explore the new features/enhancements that come in each release. In this case that means taking the resident NetApp A200 that handles the bullk of our storage needs from ONTAP 9.3 to ONTAP 9.4. The NetApp software upgrade process is as easy and foolproof as they come and is non-disruptive, meaning the storage stays online during the upgrade process. The process stages the files on each controller, updates one, brings it back online, and once it is confirmed safe, starts the process again on the other controller. In this walkthrough we take you through the steps of upgrading our A200 to ONTAP 9.4, without skipping a beat.

Seagate BarraCuda SSD Announced

Seagate has announced the newest addition to their BarraCuda portfolio, simply dubbed the BarraCuda SSD. Designed for speed, reliability and versatility, this affordable 2.5” form factor SATA 6GB/s drive is built for everyday computer use and for those looking to upgrade their system to solid-state technology.

Dell Technologies To Go Public Again

Dell Technologies announced that it is once again looking to go public (the company, then just DELL, went private in 2013). The company intends to exchange outstanding V tracking stock for Class C common stock of Dell Technologies or an optional cash choice. This will bring common stock of Dell Technologies to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company has already reached an agreement with its Special Committee of independent directors about the exchange.

QNAP TS-1635AX NAS Now Available

QNAP had announced the immediate availability of their TS-1635AX NAS, directly replacing the versatile TS-1635. The new NAS solution is highlighted by its slick-looking build, 16 drive bays (twelve 3.5-inch and four 2.5-inch), dual 10GbE SFP+ ports, Marvell ARMADA 8040 ARMv8 Cortex-A72 64-bit quad-core 1.6 GHz processor and two M.2 SATA SSD slots (2280 form factor). It also supports Linux virtualization, SSD caching, and Qtier 2.0, which opens it up to a range of different use cases.

NetApp's ONTAP 9.4 Hits GA

Announced back in May 2018, NetApp ONTAP 9.4 has officially entered General Availability (GA). It is now available for download at ONTAP 9.4 is a data management software designed for cloud-based enterprise all flash systems. Touted as a non-disruptive upgrade ONTAP 9.4 provides new business capabilities in three main categories: new intelligent cloud services with FabricPool; fast all-flash performance with enterprise end-to-end NVMe support; as well as efficient and secure enterprise storage.

IDC Releases 1Q18 Converged Systems Tracker; Dell EMC/VMware Remain At Top

The International Data Corporation (IDC) ran its quarterly Converged Systems Tracker this quarter and saw that worldwide converged systems market revenue increased 19.6% year on year to $3.2 billion for the first quarter of 2018. This shows a slightly faster uptick in HCI over the last quarter’s 9.1% jump. Dell EMC continues its lead slightly pulling away from the other competitors and VMware pulls even farther away from Nutanix to keep its lead.

PCI-SIG and the SD Association Partner to Develop SD Express Memory

PCI-SIG and the SD Association have announced a partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to advance the new SD Express memory card as a component in the PCIe ecosystem. SD Express technology is equipped with both an SD legacy protocol and a PCIe interface, claiming transfers rates of up to 985MB/s. It is also backward compatible with existing SD hosts in the market.

Western Digital Makes Several Data Center Storage Enhancements

At its Media and Analyst event in San Jose, California, Western Digital Corporation (WDC) made several additions to its data center solutions. These new solutions include the ActiveScale 5.3 object storage system, expansions to its IntelliFlash N Series family of all-flash arrays, and the new Ultrastar Serv60+8 hybrid storage server platform. All-in-all, these solutions address object storage, NVMe, high-performance storage, and SDS server and storage solutions to drive up performance while creating a better TCO.

GIGABYTE H261-Z60 2U 4 Node Server Announced

GIGABYTE has announced the release of the 2U 4 Node H261-Z60, the first model from the Density Optimized Server Series that features an AMD EPYC processor. Each node supports dual AMD EPYC 7000 series processors with up to 32 cores, 64 threads and 8 channels of memory per CPU, meaning that they can feature up to 64 cores and 128 threads of compute power. The H261-Z60 also comes equipped with 4 individual hot pluggable sliding node trays that seamlessly slide in and out from the rear of the unit, and features shared cooling and power for the nodes with a dual fan wall of 8 (4 x 2) easy swap fans and 2 x 2200W redundant PSUs.

Violin Systems FSP 7650 Review

Violin Systems isn't exactly a new company; we have been covering them for six years now. The company began as a pioneer in the all-flash arena and ran into a few woes after going public. However, the company has risen from the ashes with new investors backing the firm and has new deployment options along with the same cadre of high performing gear. We've been working with Violin in the lab for some time now; today we are looking at the 7650 array, which is the “extreme performance” all-flash model in the Violin Flash Storage Platform (FSP).