Your occasional storage digest, including Violin, Lenovo and more

It’ s time to listen to some Violin practice and find out about Lenovo file tiering plus a host of news snippets from the storage industry. Read on.

Violin Systems re-org

All-flash array pioneer Violin Systems has decamped from Silicon Valley to Colorado where it is (a) saving money and (b) developing a new product.

CEO Todd Oseth told Blocks & Files office rents in Colorado are a twelfth of their San Jose equivalent and electricity is 30 per cent cheaper. “We’re healthy and doing better than we’ve ever done.”

Violin merged with Xiotech last year when it separated from the Axellio business. Violin is co-located with Axellio in the old Xiotech facility in Colorado.

The new product combines the attributes of Violin’s 7000 series and the VXS 8. The VXS 8 is effectively the old Xiotech ISE array.

Oseth said this next generation product: “combines the best of both companies. We will have a platform that has performance and all of the enterprise features of both product lines and will add some new technology that our great Richie Larry has developed that will give us some wonderful new features for the industry.“

There is a software focus so Violin “can use the multitude of NVMe platforms coming on line next year”.

Axellio CEO Bill Miller is on Violin’s board along with two people from the Soros organisation; The Soros group owns 90 per cent of Violin. Mark Lewis, who was executive chairman, has moved on to other things. He thought Oseth was better placed to execute the new product strategy and so resigned, the company told us. CMO Gary Lyng is on the hunt for a new opportunity.

Lenovo adds file tiering with Data Dynamics reselling deal

Lenovo wants to clear out old files from filers onto its own storage and is reselling Data Dynamics software as a means to that end.

Data Dynamics’ StorageX is the software and it locates old, less accessed files on NAS systems and migrate sthem to less expensive storage. On top of that it provides file data indexing and tagging for analytics processing.

StorageX was developed as file virtualization technology by Nuview Systems. It aggregated files across filers into a single namespace and could move files between the systems. Nuview itself was founded in 1996 by CEO Rahul Mehta. Brocade, a supplier of storage networking systems, bought Nuview and its StorageX product in 2006, thinking it could sell file virtualization running on its network switches.

This was not successful and Brocade closed the product down in 2012. Data Dynamics then bought the IP and made a go of it as a file replication and migration product, quietly developing it into a file lifecycle manager and analyser for large enterprises.


Acronis has announced a $10 million investment in its service provider incentive program. Partners who sign up for a cloud service provider contract at the Acronis Cyber Summit will get six months of free usage. Acronis will also fast-trackdevelopment of products in its Cyber suite.

Cobalt Iron has changed the name of Adaptive Data Protection ot ‘Cobalt Iron Compass’. It is planning a series of updates over the next 12 months for the SaaS- enterprise data protection platform

Databricks has teamed up with visual analytics supplier Tableau. A new Databricks Connector, released in versionTableau 2019.3, is optimized for performance and leverages integration with Delta Lake, an open source storage layer that makes existing data lakes reliable at scale. Tableau users can now access and analyze massive datasets across the entire data lake with up-to-date and real-time data.

Dell EMC PowerVault ME4 Series is to support CloudIQ, the company’s free storage application that lets customers monitor, analyze and troubleshoot a storage environment from anywhere. It will also have new 3.84 TB SAS SSD for read-intensive operations. There is additional software and Host OS support; XenDesktop 7.1, OME 3.2, RHEL 8, VMware 6.7 U2, SRM 8.1.x and vCenter Plugin 6.7.

Dell EMC Virtual Storage Integrator is a plug-in that extends the VMware vSphere Client, allowing users of the vSphere Client to perform Dell EMC storage management tasks within the same tool they use to manage their VMware virtualised environment. VSI 8.0 was the first release to support the new vSphere HTML 5 Client.

Druva has been awarde three patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its deduplication technology and data search capabilities. Patent No. 10,275,317 covers moving aged backup data to lower cost storage while maintaining deduplication benefits. Patent 10,387,378 covers network bandwidth and storage optimisation deployed while backing up multiple versions of the file. Patent 10,417,268 is about extracting the most relevant phrases from given unstructured data.

Excelero has been assigned US patent #10,372,374 – its fourth US patent – governing an approach that better addresses the “tail latency” experienced by large-scale private cloud operators with demanding application workloads. This IP can enable developers to achieve better storage efficiency and performance from shared NVMe Flash resources across an enterprise.

Chinese SSD controller supplier Goke demonstrated its prototype 2311 series drive at FMS19. It uses Kioxia’s XL-FLASH, a 3D NAND SLC technology with an overall 4K random read latency under 20μs and the final drives will offer a 4K random read latency in less than 15μs. They support up to 4TB capacity with a maximum write bandwidth of 1GB/sec and read bandwidth of 3GB/sec through a PCIe Gen3 x 4 interface. They will also support SM2/3/4 and SHA-256/AES-256 with built-in security engines. Blocks & Files thinks PCIe gen 4.0 would be a better fit to the basic speed of Toshiba’s NAND.

IBM Spectrum Scale has a new offering for persistent storage for containers ,which is based on Container Storage Interface (CSI) specification. This is available at as open beta. It provides static provisioning, lightweight dynamic provisioning, fileset-based dynamic provisioning, multiple file systems support and remote mount support.

Kioxia America, Toshiba Memory America as was, demoed TrocksDB, an open-source improvement to RocksDB, at September’s Storage Developer Conference in Santa Clara. The demo used Kioxia SSD storage. TrocksD uses key values more efficiently with SSDs to enable improvements in storage and DRAM usage. It reduces the repeated data rewriting caused by application-generated write amplification and runs on any Linux HW supported by RocksDB.

Micron is working with Xilinx to boost the boot and dynamic configuration performance of Xilinx’s Versal, described as the industry’s first adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP). Versal will use Micron Xccela flash and other Micron memory technology to reduce system startup times and increase system responsiveness in automotive, industrial, networking and consumer applications that use artificial intelligence.

Percona Backup for MongoDB v1 is the first GA version of Percona’s MongoDB backup tool. It is designed to assist users who don’t want to pay for MongoDB Enterprise and Ops Manager but who do want a fully-supported community backup tool that can perform cluster-wide consistent backups in MongoDB.

RAID Inc has launched Pangea, a turnkey Lustre on ZFS appliance. It involves a partnership with Whamcloud and uses commodity hardware. Its ZFS Online Operating Module allows users to locate failed devices, scan subsystems, show inventory and more.

Retrospect has released Backup 16.5 with granular remote management functionality through the Retrospect Management Console and macOS Catalina support. The release marks the 30th anniversary of Retrospect Backup. the company is rolling out worldwide subscription pricing, online and through distribution, starting at $3.99 per month for a single computer. 

Cloud storage company Wasabi is partnering with LucidLink for object storage. Customers can buy Wasabi storage bundled with LucidLink’s monthly managed storage service or bring their own Wasabi storage account,