See You At Flash Memory Summit

August 2, 2013


Piper Jaffrey Says Fusion-io and OCZ Poised for Major Success Due to Romley Processor

February 21, 2012

Andrew Nowinski  Storage Analyst from Piper Jaffray & Co:

(repost from Wall Street Transcript)

Third, and I would say the area that I am most excited about, is the PCIe flash storage market. The upcoming launch of the Romley processor this quarter will dramatically improve server performance, which in turn will exacerbate the need for high-performance storage. Storage performance just really hasn’t kept pace with server performance over the last five years, which means servers sit idle, and are essentially underutilized while they wait for data from the external storage array. So to eliminate that bottleneck, vendors like Fusion-io and OCZ have developed solutions based on PCIe flash storage.

Barclays Believes In Violin Memory

February 20, 2012

Violin Memory – All Flash Memory Arrays Seeing Increased Interest

Violin Memory is a privately held emerging player in storage, offering all SSD Flash storage arrays for primary data. Violin’s storage arrays connect to servers and provide significantly improved performance over traditional HDD/SSD hybrid storage arrays. The company’s solutions are used in environments that require high power and capacity with little to no latency. According to Violin, its SSD arrays can help accelerate the performance of applications in database environments (for reporting and transaction acceleration), Web servers, scientific computing (HPC), and Tier 0 storage. In June of 2010, Violin acquired Gear6, a company focused on Memcaching, a distributed memory caching system for web and cloud environments, which helps increase utilization among server and storage assets. The company has key strategic relationships with Toshiba (a supplier of its NAND Flash) and Juniper, who have each made significant investments in the company over the past several years.

Violin’s go-to-market strategy consists of its direct sales force, key VARs, and co-branded joint-selling agreements with HP (to compete against Exadata) and IBM to deploy IBM’s GPFS file system in clustered, scale-out environments. Violin’s solution is seeing significant interest in databases running Oracle, DB2 and SQL. Violin has previously stated that it expects to exit its current fiscal year (ending in January 2012) with $100mm in trailing revenue, with a go forward run-rate of $40 million-$50 million per quarter. We believe the company is looking to fill out its solution set with feature-rich software and could look to acquire new point products or develop these capabilities internally. Violin’s technology already includes data management tools but the company seems to be looking at adding increased features and functionality over time. We believe that both all-flash memory arrays and flash-based PCIe-based server storage represent the next wave of technologies that are altering the landscape of the storage industry. We believe that customers can find compelling use cases for these solutions and that Violin Memory (as well as companies such as Fusion-io) will continue to gain share within this growing market.

(Copyrighted Material from Barclays Capital Equity Research)

The One Place You MUST BE Next Week

August 9, 2010

Too good to be true? Make me prove it…

April 19, 2010


Taking disruptive technology to early adoption is in my DNA — the very fabric of who I am.  I’ve had the privilege to engage with great technologists — many of whom remain colleagues today.  As many of you know, I am recently on board at Xiotech, some of which was part of Seagate until a few years ago and is still an integral part of our ownership and our IP.  The messaging in the storage space can be confusing — here are some ideas that may help break through the noise.  So here’s your challenge:


Q:  What do IBM, HP, Dell, EMC, NetApp, 3Par, Compellent and Xiotech have in common?

A:  We all use disk drives manufactured by Seagate.

No matter which storage vendor you deploy, Seagate drives are at the heart of the technology.  Now let me share with you Xiotech’s Integrated Storage Element (ISE).  We take the very same Seagate technology to the next level — after all, we know these drives better than any other storage vendor.


PLAN #1:  Deploy 100 $20k storage subsystems of [INSERT YOUR BRAND HERE] each costing  15% to keep under maintenance in years 4 & 5 (assuming 3 year warranty) = $600,000. 

PLAN #2:  Acquire xiotech ISE @ 30% less initial acquistion cost/space/energy to produce the same performance (or better) and pay $0 in hardware maintenance over 5 years. 

          or – use the comparable acquisition cost to get 30% more performance from the start

          or – use the NPV of the maintenance to get more performance/density

If you’re a former client from FileTek, Agilis, Sensar, Verity, Immersion or Fusion-io, you’ve seen what I’ve seen:  disruptive technology making a significant difference — and Xiotech ISE is no different.

Don’t believe me?  MAKE ME PROVE IT!


LUG 2010 This Week in Stunning Monterey!

April 12, 2010


Lustre Advanced User Seminar 2010 Agenda

Wednesday, April 14 – Seascape Grand Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast – Riviera Room, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
9:00 – 10:30 Lustre Tips and Tricks

Andreas Dilger, Oracle
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
11:00 – 12:00 Administering Lustre at Scale, Lessons Learned at ORNL

Jason Hill, ORNL
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch – Riviera Room, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
1:00 – 2:30 A Look Inside HSM

Aurelien Degremont and Thomas Leibovici, CEA
2:30 – 3:00 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
3:00 – 5:00 A Deep Dive into Lustre Recovery Mechanisms:

Johann Lombardi, Oracle

LUG 2010 Agenda

LUG 2010, a two-day event, will feature a workshop and numerous presentations on select Lustre features, upcoming enhancements, site-specific experiences using Lustre, and much more.
Thursday, April 15 – LUG Day 1 – Seascape Grand Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast – Riviera/Bayview Rooms, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
9:00 – 9:30 LUG Kickoff

Peter Bojanic, Oracle
9:30 – 10:00 Lustre Development

Eric Barton, Oracle
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
10:30 – 11:30 Lustre 1.8 Update

Peter Jones, Oracle
11:30 – 12:00 Lustre 2.0

Robert Read, Oracle
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch – Riviera/Bayview Rooms, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
1:00 – 1:30 Getting the Best from Lustre in a NUMIOA and Multi-rail IB Environment

Sebastien Buisson, Bull
1:30 – 2:15 What RedSky and Lustre Have Accomplished

Steve Monk, Sandia
Joe Mervini, Sandia
2:15 – 3:00 Lustre at the OLCF: Experiences and Path Forward

Galen Shipman, ORNL
3:00 – 3:30 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
3:30 – 4:00 Comprehensive Lustre I/O Tracking with Vampir:

Michael Kluge, ZIH
4:00 – 4:30 Lustre Deployment and Early Experiences

Florent Parent, Clumeq
4:30 – 5:00 Indiana University’s Lustre WAN – Empowering Production Workflows on the TeraGrid

Stephen Simms, Indiana University
5:00 – 5:30 LCE: Lustre at CEA

Stephane Thiell, CEA
5:30 – 6:30 Break
6:30 Dinner Reception – Seascape Resort: To be announced at Thursday’s event

Friday, April 16 – LUG Day 2 – Seascape Grand Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast – Riviera/Bayview Rooms, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
9:00 – 9:30 Lustre SMP Scaling Improvements

Liang Zhen, Oracle
9:30 – 10:00 Lustre/HSM Binding

Aurelien Degremont, CEA
Hua Huang, Oracle
10:00 – 10:30 Lustre Enabled WAN in Government, NRL

Jeremy Filizetti, NRL/SMSi
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
11:00 – 11:30 Hedging Our Filesystem Bet

Kent Blancett, BP
11:30 – 12:00 Analysis and Recovery from Lustre Faults/Failures on Ranger

John Hammond, TACC
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch – Riviera/Bayview Rooms, 3rd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
1:00 – 1:45 Kerberized Lustre 2.0 over the WAN

Josephine Palencia, PSC
1:45 – 2:15 Reaping the Benefits of MetaData

Nic Cardo, NERSC
2:15 – 2:45 Coffee Break – Foyer, 2nd Floor, Seascape Conference Center
2:45 – 3:15 Porting Lustre to Operating Systems Other than Linux:

Ken Hornstein, NRL
3:15 – 3:45 Lustre and Community Development

Daniel Ferber, Oracle
3:45 LUG 2010 Concludes

DESKTOP HPC RECIPE: Start with 1ea OSS-PCIe-SYS-IS-2.4-9270-4

February 20, 2010

How to cook up a desktop HPC server

Ingredients List


OSS-PCIe-SYS-IS-2.4-9270-4                1ea (w/4 AMD 9270 GPU’s)
SAS Drives                                              4ea (LSI RAID Controller Included)
DRAM                                                      96gb
ioDrive Duo 640                                      4ea
Xiotech ISE                                             2 ea
Xiotech ISE High Perf DataPacs             4ea


Linux OS
Lustre File System

Someone plesae cost out this configuration and pass it along.


Xiotech CEO Sends 2010 Signals

January 10, 2010

Full Disclosure:  I started with XIOTECH this week here in the Bay Area.  As if on cue, WIKIBON publishes the following:

I received an email blast yesterday from Alan Atkinson, the new CEO of Xiotech. It was a teaser to keep the company on people’s radar screens. I wrote about Xiotech back in November after I met with Alan. As I said at the time, Atkinson would both shake up Xiotech and get more marketing value out of its big name people assets. He’s doing just that.

In his note he pointed out that Xiotech has made several additions to its management team, including Jim McDonald as Chief Strategy Officer and Brian Reagan as SVP of Marketing and Business Development. Atkinson also announced that Richie Lary has been appointed corporate Fellow. McDonald worked with Atkinson at Goldman Sachs and then WysDM, which was later sold to EMC where he did a stint after the acquisition. Reagan is former EMC, IBM (via Arsenal Digital) and Richie Lary is a scary smart dude who looks like Cosmo Kramer and is generally accepted as the Father of Digital’s Storageworks. Atkinson also pointed to Steve Sicola, Rob Peglar and Mark Glasgow to underscore the depth of Xiotech’s bench.

I went digging to find out a bit more about what’s going on at Xiotech. First, Atkinson mentioned a good second half of 2009 but he didn’t give any specifics. Indications are that second half revenues were up nearly 40% year on year. I’m sure the comparison is against a miserable 2nd half of 2008 but that’s still good progress which is largely attributed to the growth of Xiotech’s ISE architecutre. Some of the growth supposedly came from Wall Street where both Atkinson and McDonald know 99% of the IT guys from their tenure at Goldman. I couldn’t confirm Goldman as an account yet but it’s an obvious bet that Atkinson and McDonald will get Xiotech in the door.

One of the things Atkinson said when we met last fall is that he wanted to get his OEM business going. I mean it’s a no-brainer strategy, right? You have some good IP with an architecture that is cost effective and since 2008 has had like four drive failures in the field over a sample of more than 30,000 disk drives. According to the Carnegie Mellon study you’d expect two orders of magnitude more failures annually than Xiotech customers are experiencing. Some OEMs will be interested in these types of results because it will keep their costs down. But the OEM business will take time to build and I don’t expect tons of noise this year on that front. Xiotech has been talking about being qualified behind IBM’s SAN Volume Controller but that’s only a baby step; although it’s another avenue for Xiotech’s reseller channel.

Another point Atkinson made in his letter was “We also will position ISE as the storage answer to dilemmas in virtualization, cloud and other performance-starved applications.” I’m not entirely clear on what this means but about a month ago, Jim McDonald wrote a blog that touched on the role of the hypervisor and how increasingly complex array-based function is moving back toward the host. Interesting perspective. I picked up on this trend back in November and used it for a blog on flash threats and opportunities. A key here will be how well Xiotech is able to integrate with the vStorage APIs announced by VMware in 2008. So far very few vendors have stepped up to this task. It’s a big resource commitment that further underscores the importance of OEMs that can provide resources to get integration work done.

For too long Xiotech’s been a ship at sea without a clear navigation plan. I have no doubt Atkinson is bringing focus and I’m interested in hearing more about the company’s vision, messaging and strategy later on this year.

Stay tuned.

reposted verbatim from wikibon

Self Healing Storage Explained (again)

December 25, 2009

(Repost from Tech Target)

Xiotech Corp. Emprise 5000 and 7000 systems

Xiotech’s Emprise systems are put together using a building block it calls the Intelligent Storage Element (ISE). ISE is based on Advanced Storage Architecture technology which Xiotech acquired from disk drive maker Seagate Technologies Inc. in November 2007. According to Xiotech, an ISE reduces the two greatest causes of drive failure — heat and vibration — to provide more than 100 times the reliability of a regular disk drive enclosed in a typical storage system drive bay.

Xiotech’s product can power-cycle disks, perform diagnostics and error correction on bad drive sectors, and write ‘around’ them if necessary. Xiotech also claims its product will incur zero service events in five years of operation, and guarantees this under warranty.

Xiotech’s system comes in three models. The dual-controller Emprise 7000 SAN system supports up to 64 ISEs and includes the same management features as the Xiotech Magnitude 3D 4000 platform, including intelligent provisioning and a replication suite. Like the Magnitude 3D, the Emprise 7000 supports Fibre Channel or iSCSI. It scales to 1 PB.

The single-controller Emprise 7000 Edge is positioned targeting branch offices and the midmarket. It supports up to 10 ISE for a total maximum capacity of 160 TB. The Emprise 5000 is a DAS system that consists of one ISE. It supports Fibre Channel only. Both the 7000 Edge and the 5000 can be upgraded to a Model 7000.

What users are saying about self-healing storage

Since Xiotech introduced ISE at Storage Networking World in the spring of 2008, the new technology has rapidly come to account for more than 80 percent of the company’s revenue. Scott Ladewig, manager of networking and operations for Washington University in St. Louis, traded in an older Xiotech model, the Magnitude 3000, for an Emprise 7000 last summer.

“In the past, it’s not like we’ve spent hundreds of man-hours on drives, our whole SAN is 24 TB or so,” he said. “But if a drive failed, we’d have to spend a Saturday night watching it rebuild, and drives are growing larger and larger, and taking longer periods of time to rebuild, when they’re vulnerable to a double disk failure.”

The five-year warranty offered by Xiotech included in the cost of the ISE system proved irresistible to Rick Young, network systems manager at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, who also replaced a Magnitude 3D 3000 with an Emprise 5000. “Right now we spend around $11,000 a year to maintain disk trays on the 3D,” he said. “Multiply that by five years on the Emprise system, and it’s no small amount of savings. We can put what we would’ve spent on maintenance towards our next refresh.”

For Richard Alcala, chief engineer of New Hat LLC, a post-production firm in Santa Monica, Calif. more typical scale-out storage products with clustered file systems proved too cumbersome to manage in a performance-intensive environment. “The highest priority for us is the number of real-time streams” the system can feed to artists working on videos. With the older system, “we spent a lot of time doing maintenance, trying to heal the system and recover data,” he said. “Once every three months we’d spend about four hours running diagnostics.” Alcala replaced that system with Data Direct Networks’ S2A 9900.

Xiotech has been “going gangbusters” in the enterprise with ISE, according to Data Mobility Group’s Harris, but generally, Harris said he thinks the most advanced self-healing storage products will get the most traction in specialized vertical markets like media and entertainment and high-performance computing (HPC). “That said, how hard is it to power-cycle a hard drive?” he said. “That ought to be SOP for every disk array out there.”

IT’S OFFICIAL: ClusterStor Now Out of Stealth Mode

December 17, 2009

Yesterday I got a call from Kevin Canady, former VP of Cluster File Systems to let me know that he is resurrecting Lustre support for the HPC community under a new entity called ClusterStor.  This looks to be a good move insuring there is viable open support for Lustre users.  They are also embarking on next generation storage tech for Exascale. Keep an eye on these guys:  they have some of the best pedigree in the industry.  Here is the update from Kevin:

“ClusterStor is pleased to offer full Lustre support and development services, worldwide, 24×7!

The Lustre File System is a leader in I/O performance and scalability for the world’s most powerful and complex computing environments. With constantly increasing demands on IT organizations, managing such sophisticated systems makes it challenging to identify and resolve product issues quickly.

At ClusterStor, we’re committed to maximizing the performance, security, and availability of your Lustre systems. The ClusterStor team combines the agility of a focused company with the in-depth architectural, development and implementation skills of over a hundred years of combined Lustre development and customer support experience. We will both enhance your support and save you money.

ClusterStor was founded in early 2009 by Peter Braam who founded and lead the Lustre project. It employs leading Lustre architects and developers. ClusterStor does not sell systems or storage hardware and will support Lustre for end-users, systems and storage vendors alike. Its goal is to enhance Lustre as an open source, community accepted product.

If you would like to explore Lustre Linux and Windows support options and large scale I/0 solutions, give us a call and compare!”  You can find out more here:

P. Kevin Canady
Vice President, Strategic Relationship Sales
ClusterStor Inc. (Formerly Horizontal Scale)

I know a lot of folks who have been waiting for this announcement — good luck to Kevin and Peter!