Your occasional storage digest with NetApp, VxRail and more

A mixed bag in this this week’s roundup, with NetApp changing its logo – and trying to redefine HCI to suit itself, a new report on backup, and Dell EMC VxRail getting close to Tanzu so it can run containerised apps.

HCI = ‘Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure‘?

Brad Anderson, NetApp GM, claims in this blog that analysts are ‘seeing the benefits of disaggregated architectures, and other vendors now agree that HCI should stand for hybrid cloud infrastructure.”

What do the competitors say?

Dell Technologies products webpage defines HCI as Hyperconverged Infrastructure. And Nutanix? Its products webpage shows Hyperconverged Infrastructure.  Cisco? Its HyperFlex product is defined as Hyperconverged Infrastructure. HPE? Its integrated systems webpage says HCI is Hyperconverged Infrastructure.

Dell, Nutanix, Cisco and HPE account for about 80 per cent of the HCI market. So who is Anderson referring to when he says “other vendors now agree that HCI should stand for hybrid cloud infrastructure”?

Incidentally, Tim Doering, a NetApp senior product manager, has an HCI demo where HCI means “Hyper Converged Infrastructure.”

VxRail gets Tanzu’d

Dell EMC has integrated VxRail HCI systems with the latest VMware HCI software and Tanzu offerings. Tanzu enables vSphere to run virtual machines and containers in the same server. The company says VxRail delivers “Kubernetes at Cloud Speed” with multiple, fully-integrated HCI infrastructure options to run vSphere with Tanzu. It claims to be the only HCI supplier doing this.

Customers can develop on a validated platform-as-a-Service or container-as-a-service with Tanzu Architecture for VxRail. Alternatively, they can get started with a Kubernetes deployment of vSphere with Tanzu on VxRail. They can also deploy Kubernetes at scale on a turnkey private cloud deployment, using VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu on VxRail.

NetApp: Black is the new Blue

NetApp is changing its logo colour. Emily Miller, VP for Brand and Influence Marketing at NetApp, blogs: “As part of that process, we are launching a new look, tone, and feel, including moving away from NetApp blue – Pantone 300 – and making our logo all one colour, black. 

Old NetApp blue logo – now not incredibly cool

“What does this change give us?  A cleaner, more contemporary look, and a freer, more flexible way to bring in colour, imagery, and animation. See for yourself in this identity reel. I hope you’ll agree: it’s incredibly cool.”

The identity reel video declares NetApp is now the Cloud Storage Specialist; “In a world full of generalists, NetApp is a specialist. We are relentlessly focused on helping you get more out of cloud than you ever thought possible. Whether on premises, in the cloud or anywhere in between, no one integrates, secures and connects your storage like NetApp does.”

Data Protection report

Storage architect Chris Evans has published “Essential Capabilities for Modern Data Protection”. The 22-page buy-and-download report is aimedT professionals, CTOs and CIOs, and suggests they should have four key questions in mind when evaluating suppliers.

  • Can my provider offer inclusive protection for on-premises, cloud (IaaS) and SaaS-based data?
  • Can my provider offer a holistic view of all my data management needs?
  • Can my provider offer flexible licensing that matches the data type or usage profile?
  • Can my provider offer data mobility and ensure applications can be protected/recovered wherever the data moves to? 

Evans notes that “where data and applications were once intrinsically commingled, the use of containers and serverless frameworks has decoupled data from the application code.”

The report looks at the data protection background, drivers and challenges and presents a brief history of backup. Evans discusses essential capabilities for modern data protection and looks at deployment models. Finally it looks at seven vendors: Clumio, Cohesity, Commvault, Druva, HYCU, Rubrik and Veeam.

Short items

Sumo Logic raised $325.6m in an IPO this week, valuing the data analytics company at $2.17bn.

Backblaze explains here how it built and authenticated its S3-compatible APIs for its cloud storage service.

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers notes Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp (YMTC) China’s national NAND flash provider, gets 80%+ of its chip manufacturing equipment from US & Japan. YMTC plans to invest $22 billion in its Wuhan fab for the production of 3D NAND. Rakers highlight the shared view of AMAT & Lam Research that domestic China memory players could not successfully build a fab without US tools. He points out that increasing restrictions on the supply of US equipment would devastate the Chinese semiconductor industry.

Kingston Digital Europe has announced the availability of the 128GB DataTraveler 2000 encrypted USB flash drive. This has an alphanumeric keypad so users can lock the drive with a word or number combination. An auto-lock is activated when the drive is removed from the host device without being properly shut down. 

Redstor, a UK cloud data management supplier, has launched Redstor Marketplace, the industry’s first self-service portal for MSPs. It makes it easier for MSP organisations to deploy backup, recovery and archiving offerings to manage their customers’ on-premises and cloud data, including Microsoft 365 and G Suite.