Your occasional storage digest. It’s a Rap

Storage can be fast, storage can be slow.

The disks can be vast  and tapes a no-no.

Storage is easy, storage is hard,

It leave you scarred, get you riled.

Get the smarts; read Blocks and Files


After that eccentric introduction – can you do better? – here is a collection of recent storage news bytes.

AtScale scales up funding

Data warehouse virtualizer AtScale did well enough this year to get a $50m funding round. Its products connect business intelligence tools with either on-premises or in-cloud data warehouses. AtScale supports cloud data platforms like Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift and Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

AtScale and Amazon RedShift

It was founded in 2013 and has this funding history.

  • September 2013 – $2m Seed round
  • June 2015 – $7m A-round
  • May 2016 – $11m B-round
  • October 2017 – $25m C-round
  • December 2018 – $50m D-round

Total funding is $95m over five years. The new cash will be used to develop its product, strengthen third-party supplier relations, and boost sales and marketing headcount.

This year it registered more than 50 new customers, entered the European and Asian geographies, and set up partnerships with Cloudera, Microsoft and Oracle.  That helped in procuring the D-round.

NAND glut persists

TrendForce’s DRAMeXchange says NAND industry shipped capacity (bit output) was higher than expected in 2018 because 64-layer production yields were strong. However demand for NAND slumped because of fears about the looming trade war between China and the US, the shortage of Intel CPUs, and the lower-than-expected sales of new iPhone devices, despite the year-end busy season.

Flash foundries are trying to slow down planned production expansion but DRAMeXchange thinks that oversupply of flash will persist due to high inventories and low seasonal demand , despite  

Contract prices of NAND Flash products in 1Q19 are expected to drop by around 10 per cent, as will client SSD contract prices. Enterprise SSD contract prices will fall by more than 10 per cent due to stronger competition in the sector. DRAMeXchange also thinks the market situation for module makers in 1H19 will also be tough, as they have to clear inventories each month.

World’s most popular storage OS gets updated

FreeNAS has had over 10 million downloads, making it the world’s most popular storage OS. 

V11.2 of the software ,which supports file, block and object access, has been released by iXsystems.

It features a new Angular-based and device-independent web interface, incorporating Google’s JavaScript framework. There are new virtualization and container subsystems, plus support for Self-Encrypting Drives (SED.)

The updated plugin and virtualization infrastructure simplifies the integration of third-party applications by using the FreeBSD bhyve hypervisor and iocage Jail management subsystems. Both have web interfaces and REST APIs.


Plugins enable FreeNAS to deliver application and network services like Bacula, ClamAV, Plex, Nextcloud, Gitlab, Jenkins, and Zoneminder, all with OpenZFS integration.

Vendor-agnostic CloudSync services have integration to AWS, Azure, Backblaze,, Dropbox, and Google. There is data encryption both in-flight and at-rest with most providers. FreeNAS supports S3 so it can function as a local S3 object store.

Users can manage FreeNAS via REST and WebSockets APIs.

Rozo goes up the Amazon

Scale-out NAS software supplier Rozo Systems has made its RozoFS filesystem available on AWS.

RozoFS has clustered nodes and  supports billions of files and petabytes of capacity, according to CEO Pierre Evenou. He says its code has the performance of scale-out NAS and cost-efficiency of object storage. It uses Mojette Transform-based erasure coding  and says its implementation makes it fast;  ten times faster than Scality’s back in 2015.

Rozo diagram.

On-premises RozoFS-using apps can use the AWS version without modification. Rozo says RozoFS uses its “very fast metadata services” to provide asynchronous incremental replication between an on-premises storage system and a AWS-based copy.

Incremental changes in the on-premises file system can be quickly computed, without lengthily scanning the file systems. The source Rozo cluster uses all its nodes to parallelise synchronisation of the two clusters. The cloud copy can be automatically updated as frequently as desired without, Rozo claims, affecting application performance.

This reduces production dead times due to lengthy data synchronisation between on-premises and cloud filesystems.

RozoFS in Amazon has a claimed 10-minute setup time and requires a minimum of  four storage and two metadata nodes. It scales out by adding storage nodes. 

Tintri flies again

DDN-owned hybrid and all-flash array supplier Tintri had announced  Tintri Global Center (TGC) v4.0 software, the first major release since DDN bought Tintri for $60m  in September.

TGC 4.0 enhances VM and VMstore visibility, analytics and diagnostics across a multi-VMstore environment. It enables users to take global actions across a pool of arrays, and improved algorithms deliver more accurate recommendations for VM placement.

This is based on TGC tracking granular VM metrics in the hypervisor to optimise VM placement in the array and manage performance.

Admin staff can relocate Virtual Machines (VMs) from one Tintri array to another, with near-zero impact on the host, storage or network. Storage-level snapshots and policies are migrated and preserved as part of the process.  Such migrations are completed an average of 10x faster than traditional Storage vMotion operations.

Tintri TGC 4.0 is now available to Tintri by DDN customers.

Wisdom about workloads

Virtual Instruments has announced the v6.2 version of WorkloadWisdom, its production storage workload modelling and performance validation platform.

WorkloadWisdom provides workload modelling, workload creation, performance reporting, and test management across major storage technologies.

WorkloadWisdom example of imported production application workloads with immediate user visualisations of behaviors and placements directly from SMBv3 workloads.

VI has teamed up with SANBlaze Technology, a supplier of storage emulation technologies, and so this release delivers non-volatile memory express (NVMe) workload modelling and testing over Fibre Channel (FC). That means end-users and storage vendors, can test the effects of NVMe and FC-NVMe technologies to their data centre and products.

Modelling is based on customers’ production workloads and is integrated with Virtual Instruments’ VirtualWisdom infrastructure performance management and analytics platform.

V6.2 adds a new and improved analysis policies for NAS performance probes and SAN/NAS performance probes. There is a new single-click data verification option built into workload models that enables byte-level data verification and error reporting. It also adds DFS, a new option for SMB workloads to perform testing on a distributed SMB file system.

Short notes

Acronis’s data protection is being used by the NIO Formula E racing team, and Acronis now sponsors teams in Formula 1, Formula E, Formula 2, Formula 3, Supercars, and other motorsport series. It has also signed multiple partnerships with teams in other sports, including the English Premier League (Manchester City.)

Cloudian has announced certification of its object storage with XProtect video management software from Milestone Systems. 

Backup provider HYCU has announced HYCU-X which provides 1-click auto deployment and auto-configuration for secondary storage using Nutanix Storage Dense nodes. It’s available through the Nutanix CALM Marketplace. HYCU has also added SAP HANA support for production environments, with impact-free backup. It’s also added support for Nutanix Volume Groups and  enhanced reporting.

Kaminario all-flash array storage, with its Cloud Fabric composable infrastructure and consumption pricing scheme, has been bought by razorblue,  a UK IT managed services, consultancy, ISP and hosting supplier.

Rubrik has a case study with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team. It protects the 500GB or so of data  generated every race weekend from the Merc team’s cars. The team used tape before adopting Rubrik and had a full-time employee managing backups, dealing with 50 tapes/day, and taking 2 hours to recover data. Now it takes seconds and the full-time employee isn’t needed.

People moves

Jonathan Chadwick, former VMware exec and a longtime independent board member and advisor to enterprise technology brands, has joined Cohesity’s board of directors.

Liem Nguyen has become VP Marketing for InfiniteIO. His background includes marketing stints at Dell, Commvault and being an SVP at Touchdown PR in the USA.

Read Fenner has been appointed as VP of Global Sales for StorCentric-owned Nexsan. He’ll direct sales there and oversee Drobo sales as well Previously, he worked at Buffalo Technology. Mark Walker joined the Nexsan team earlier this year as Channel Sales Director for UK and Ireland.