Your occasional storage digest featuring Nvidia, InfiniteIO, Memverge, Nutanix and Sony’s PS5 SSD

It’s all about more and more speed and faster disaster recovery in this week’s roundup. Read on,

Nvidia DGX A100 GPU server

Nvidia has launched its third generation DGX GPU server, the DGX A100. This has encouraged third party suppliers to announce DGX support.

Iguazio, which supplies a high-speed, high-capacity storage platform for analytics-type workflows, including AI, was quick off the blocks. It says its data science platform technology supports GPU-as-a-service and has been certified DGX-ready by Nvidia.

Data scientists and engineers can work on a single self-service data science platform, which has horizontal scaling and dynamically allocates GPUs to workloads for greater resource efficiency. Iguazio’s open source projects, Nuclio and MLRun, serverless and orchestration frameworks respectively, manage GPU resources, and support stateful and distributed workloads.

Iguazio’s GPU-as-a-Service offering is part of the Nvidia DGX-Ready Software program.

HPC and general enterprise storage supplier DDN supports the DGX A100 with its A3I product. This originally paired DDN’s AI200 and AI400 all-flash arrays, running Lustre-based Exascaler software, with Nvidia’s DGX-1.

The A3I now works with NVIDIA’s DGX A100 and Mellanox switches and NICs. DDN says that A1400X-based A3I systems are deployed in Nvidia’s own data centre to provide high-performance and scalable shared file access for the DGX A100-based SuperPOD. This SuperPOD uses 140 DGX A100 systems.

DDN and Nvidia plan to release new reference architectures based on A3I and DGX A100.

Nvidia has said Dell, IBM, NetApp, Pure Storage and VAST Data storage lines will support the DGX A100.

InfiniteIO and Google Cloud Platform

InfiniteIO is now an official Google partner whereby its Hybrid Cloud Tiering software can be used to move infrequently accessed files from on-premises storage to GCP, saving on-premises file space and cost, but with no change to application access. The InfiniteIO system does all the file metadata processing usingFile Metadata Engine accelerator software and hides the file movement from applications.

InfiniteIO supports all four classes of Google Cloud Storage: standard, nearline, coldline, and archive. The upcoming v2.5 software release supports Native File Format for files tiered to object storage. Native File tiers whole files instead of storing the data in a proprietary format and allows customers to access tiered files directly via Google Cloud Storage.

The mdtest benchmark tests metadata performance of parallel filesystems using various simulated metadata workloads. InfiniteIO Blogger Kris Meier has described how an mdtest benchmark for a single-node InfiniteIO/Google Cloud Platform configuration reduced latency from about 1ms to 40μs.

InfiniteIO announced Hybrid Cloud Tiering functionality last month. It supports Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud Platform. Currently supported on-premises NFS- and S3-based private cloud platforms include Cloudian, Dell EMC, HPE, NetApp, Scality and Western Digital. 

InfiniteIO is planning an announcement on Microsoft Azure once it formalises the business partnership.

Memverge Big Memory Computing

Memverge, a supplier of in-memory computing software, has closed a $19m funding round led by Intel Capital, taking total funding to $43.5m.

The California startup today announced the Big Memory Computing scheme, a combination of DRAM, Intel Optane persistent memory and its own Memory Machine software technologies. It says it has a roadmap to achieve petabyte scale at nanosecond-speed.

Eric Burgener, research VP at IDC, said: “Without requiring any existing application rewrites, Big Memory Computing delivers the highest category of data persistence performance with the enterprise-class data services needed for the real-time, mission-critical workloads that will increasingly drive competitive differentiation for digitally transformed enterprises.”

Memverge’s technology includes instant and non-disruptive ZeroIO Snapshot for data persistence. Charles Fan, CEO and co-founder of MemVerge, said: “We founded MemVerge on the premise that every application should run in memory. There are clear use cases in AI/ML and financial market data analytics today.” 

Brad Anderson, EVP of NetApp, which is a MemVerge investor, said: “MemVerge’s software combines persistent memory, hyperconverged architecture, and container orchestration, all critical components to support data-intensive applications including AI, machine learning and intelligent analytics. Our investment in MemVerge supports what we feel is the next step in the evolution of storage technology.”

MemVerge Memory Machine software will be available to select customers as part of the Early Access Program this quarter.

Nutanix improves disaster recovery

Nutanix has added new disaster recovery facilities for its AHV hypervisor:

  • Multi-Site Disaster Recovery: This helps customers to recover from the simultaneous failure of two or more data centres, while keeping applications and data available to users. It uses automation technology to eliminate the complexity of DR installation and on-going orchestration.
  • Near Sync Disaster Recovery: Nutanix now supports near sync replication with an RPO of only about 20 seconds, a 3x improvement from before. 
  • Synchronous Data Replication is now natively supported and can be used by customers to deliver a highly available service for workloads, such as virtual desktop infrastructure, databases, and general server virtualization.
  • DR Orchestration with Runbooks.

Nutanix reckons it is the only leading HCI vendor to offer a 20-second RPO – Cisco, Dell EMC, VMware, HPE and NetApp can’t match it, in other words.

The new DR capabilities are included in Nutanix HCI software and are generally available.

Sony PlayStation 5 SSD

Tim Sweeney CEO of Epic, the games developer, discusses the new SSD inside Sony’s PlayStation 5 gaming console, in interview with The Verge He said it has a “multi-order bandwidth increase in storage management”. 

This drive is an 825GB NVMe M.2 format SSD that holds compressed data and has 5.5GB/sec of raw data bandwidth; 9GB/sec compressed, according to TweakTown. That media outlet says this Sony SSD has a 12-channel controller and a PCIe gen 4 interface

It will use decompressed data for real-time processing and loading. Games will boot in a second with no load screens. The drive can load 2GB of date in 0.27secs.

Sweeney said the SSD will enable a virtual game world, tens of gigabytes in size, to render on screen in less than a second because the drive can transfer information so fast: “The storage architecture on the PS5 is far ahead of anything you can buy on anything on PC for any amount of money right now. It’s going to help drive future PCs. [The PC market is] going to see this thing ship and say, ‘Oh wow, SSDs are going to need to catch up with this.”

Shorts

Copy data manager Actifio has announced its strongest Q1 to date, with record revenue and double digit Y/Y growth. It recorded several seven-figure deals from some of the hardest-hit Covid-19 regions around the globe (Northern Italy, UK, New York).

IaaS provider Priseda will offer cybersecurity-enabled private cloud DRaaS, using Asigra software, to business customers. The new GridObserver (GO) solution will be sold through the IT channel and provide full-service DRaaS and network management services.

Cloud backup and storage supplier Backblaze has provided its latest hard disk drive reliability stats in one of its regular blogs.

Hitachi Vantara, The American Heart Association, and Burst IQ& have announced a COVID-19 data challenge to accelerate understanding of the correlation between other health conditions or health disparities and COVID-19 mortality. The challenge gives researchers access to The American Heart Association’s Precision Medicine Platform, developed by Hitachi Vantara, and Burst IQ’s global COVID-19 datasets.

The US Commerce department has decided that semiconductor chips manufactured overseas using US software or hardware cannot be shipped to Huawei or any of its subsidiaries without US government permission. Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers told subscribers: “We … believe that there is long-term potential for a technological decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese semiconductor industries, creating a worldwide bifurcation of semi technology.”

B&F suggests this means non-X86 standard CPUs could emerge from China along with separate DRAM and NAND technology. US-operated semi fabs in China, such as Intel’s Dalian facility, could be the target of any Chinese response to the US Commerce department move.

The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) and the Gen-Z Consortium today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance industry standardisation of open-source fabric management. The MOU creates the framework for a series of technical exchange meetings between the two organisations to determine future activities. In April the CXL and Gen-Z groups announced a memorandum of understanding, which opened the door for their future collaboration.

MariaDB today announced the immediate availability of its database-as-a-service MariaDB SkySQL through the Google Cloud Marketplace.  SkySQL has a cloud-native, Kubernetes-based architecture.

Nvidia’s Mellanox unit has launched the ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC, a 25/50 gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet smart network interface controller (SmartNIC.) It uses software-defined, hardware-accelerated engines to offload security and network processing from host CPUs. The card provides RDMA over converged Ethernet (RoCE), advanced virtualization and containerisation, and NVMe over Fabrics functionality.

The chip incorporates IPsec in-line cryptography, hardware Root of Trust, and a 10x performance improvement for Connection Tracking. ConnectX-6 Lx is sampling now, with general availability expected in Q3 2020.

Portshift, which supplies cloud-native workload protection, announced it has received Red Hat’s Container certification. This expands the availability of Portshift’s workload protection across Red Hat’s hybrid cloud portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, to help provide more secure and compliant containerised application deployments.

OSNEXUS, a supplier of grid-scale software-defined storage, has released QuantaStor 5.6. New features include NAS storage-tiering to cloud platforms, S3 Reverse Proxy capabilities for IBM Cloud Direct Link, scale-out Ceph technology upgrades, and enhanced hardware enclosure visualisation capabilities for Ceph.

Quest Software has announced NetVault v13 to help organisations simplify data protection and recovery strategies across cloud environments and workloads. The software includes a new Rest API interface and support for Office 365 Teams.  

Redis Labs has teamed up Microsoft to deliver Redis Enterprise as new, fully integrated tiers of Azure Cache for Redis. The service is available today in Private Preview. The functionality includes Redis on Flash, modules, and, in the future, the ability to create an active geo-redundant cache for hybrid-cloud architectures. 

Seagate has announced a limited time offer for buyers of its PhotoDrive backup device at Walmart stores. It will include a complimentary, three-year Mylio Create plan. This includes automatic multi-device syncing for up to 50,000 photos, editing features, and cloud-optional backup storage. 

SIOS has announced general availability of its v9.5 Protection Suite for Linux. This software is aimed at complex high-availability SAS S/4HANA environments and provides application-aware monitoring, cloning, and failover orchestration. It can be used on-premises and by MSPs and public cloud providers. V9.5 includes support for the latest Linux operating systems and databases, including RHEL 8.1, CentOS 8.0, CentOS 8.1, Oracle 8.0, and Oracle 8.1.

Tape library and unstructured data storage suppler Spectra Logic has launched a Remote Installation Programme to support customers during the global coronavirus outbreak. This is for customers who are restricted from having outside personnel step onsite, enabling them to receive remote assistance with installation, set-up, testing and service.

Syncsort has rebranded itself as Precisely, following its December 2019 acquisition of the Pitney Bowes software and data business. Precisely says it is a world-class business with leading software and data enrichment products, annual revenue in excess of $600m, 2,000 employees, and 12,000 customers in more than 100 countries, including 90 of the Fortune 100.

CEO Josh Rogers said: “Put simply, better data means better decisions, and Precisely offers the industry’s most complete portfolio of data integrity products, providing the trusted link between data sources and analytics that helps companies realize the value of their data and investments.”

Google has announced its Google Cloud VMware Engine, whereby customers can run applications on VMware Cloud Foundation in Google Cloud. The GC VMware engine will be generally available this quarter. DR supplier Zerto supports the GC VMware Engine and says customers can use Google Cloud as a replacement for their Disaster Recovery site. It says it provides 24×7 availability with its continuous data protection and fast RTOs (minutes) and RPO (seconds).

People

Database copy manager and data ops supplier Delphix has hired Alex Hesterberg as chief customer officer, and Deron Miller as SVP of Americas Field Operations. Hesterberg, ex-Riverbed and Pure Storage, will be responsible for Delphix’s solution consulting, implementation, pre-sales, customer success, support, education, and other services functions.

NetApp CEO George Kurian has hired ex-Microsoft exec Cesar Cernuda to be NetApp’s President, a role formerly held by Kurian. Cernuda will be responsible for NetApp’s global world-wide go-to-market operations including sales, marketing, services, and support. At Microsoft Cernuda was president of Microsoft Latin America (and a Corporate VP and looked after Microsoft’s products, services, and support offerings across Latin America.

There has been speculation that Kurian is about to leave and Cernuda is his replacement. ESG founder Steve Duplessie thinks this is wrong. Before Kurian became NetApp CEO the job was carried out by Tom Georgens. He had previously been NetApp’s President for several years, reporting to the then-CEO Dan Warmenhoven.

Nutanix has promoted Christian Alvarez to SVP w-w Channels.

Quest Software has appointed Patrick Nichols, ex-CEO at Corel, as its new CEO. His predecessor Mike Kohlsdorf is joining Francisco Partners Consulting as President.

Scale-out file storage supplier Qumulo has appointed Craig Bumpus as its chief revenue officer. Previous incumbent Eric Stollard has moved into an executive advisory role for Qumulo for the next year. Berry Russell has been appointed SVP and GM  of cloud and Michael Cornwell as CTO.

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