Your occasional storage digest with MRAM, Commvault, Elbencho and more

Let’s start with GPUDirect.

GPUDirect storage benchmark

Elbencho, a new open-source benchmark for blocks and files, is the first tool to support Nvidia’s GPUDirect Storage (GDS). This gives people the possibility to assess performance for I/O-intensive GPU workloads by using GPUDirect – for streaming, random access in large files or lots of small files or when accessing a block device directly. Elbencho supports all these modes.

Support for GDS was announced during the current public beta/preview phase of GDS after official approval by Nvidia.

Elbencho was created as an easy-to-use unified replacement for several other storage benchmark tools like fio (focus primarily on block storage), ior/iozone (focus primarily on streaming and random IO in large files) and mdtest (focus primarily on lots of small files). Elbencho can handle all these cases and show live statistics to see how stable the throughput of a storage system is for certain access patterns,.

It shows min/avg/max latency of operations, can include GPUs in the benchmarks by transferring the reads or writes to/from GPU memory via CUDA or GDS, and also supports distributed benchmarks from multiple clients for shared storage systems.

Sven Breuner.

The elbencho test was created by Sven Breuner, Field CTO at Excelero, creator of the parallel file system BeeGFS and co-founder of ThinkParQ, the company behind BeeGFS.

Elbencho is available for download from github

Tachyum nears Prodigy tape-out

Tachyum, the developer of the AI-optimised Prodigy processor, has sent its hardware emulation design to a manufacturer to build FPGA emulation boards prior to chip tape-out. Prodigy chips will run legacy x86, Arm, and RISC-V binaries and outperform the fastest Xeon server CPUs at a 10x lower power consumption, according to Tachyum.

Tachyum Prodigy processor

They will beat Nvidia’s fastest GPUs on HPC, AI training and inferencin, according to the startup which claims Prodigy is the only chip that can switch between AI, and HPC workloads. This means more overall efficiency for hyperscale cloud providers. 

EMEA goes Metallic

Commvault has launched Metallic data protection SaaS in many EMEA countries including the UK, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden. Metallic supports customers’ data sovereignty and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance efforts. It can integrate Azure’s secure and compliance platform offering and tools to help address GDPR compliance, and is available through the Microsoft Azure marketplace.

Everspin’s MRAM selling results

MRAM developer Everspin has reported results for its third quarter ended September 30, 2020. Revenues increased 10.3 per cent Y/Y to $10.1m with a loss of $3.9m, up $200K from a year-ago. MRAM (Magnetic-resistive RAM) is byte-addressable, non-volatile memory with SRAM (Static RAM) and DRAM-class speed. It is claimed to be faster than competing technologies, such as 3D XPoint, but is more expensive to manufacture. This makes it compare badly on price-performance grounds and MRAM take-up is slow. 


Actian has proclaimed its Avalanche hybrid cloud data warehouse out-performed top competitors on speed and cost-performance in a recent GigaOm benchmark report. Avalanche beat out Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, Azure Synapse, and Google BigQuery in performance. Actian was found to be 8.5X faster than Snowflake and a fraction of the cost.

Datadobi was used by Computex Technology Solutions to migrate the data of a documentation management system (DMS) application for one of the largest financial and professional services providers in the world. It needed to migrate 100TB+ of data – from which a majority of the firm’s revenue was derived – to Dell EMC Isilon. The project took 10 weeks instead of a competitor’s 2-year estimate.

Cloud data lake analysis company Dremio has announced new software delivering sub-second query response times directly on cloud data lakes and support for thousands of concurrent users and queries. Dremio now integrates with with Microsoft’s Power BI data visualisation product. Users can launch BI  from Dremio and start querying data.

Odaseva, a France-based data protection services provider for big Salesforce customers, has raised $25M in a Series B round led by Eight Roads Ventures.

In-memory database supplier MemSQL has rebranded as SingleStore. The company raised $50m in debt financing in May.

Cloud file services supplier Nasuni is now a Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop Partner. Microsoft has validated that Nasuni’s file system for the cloud passed its technical certification process and would easily integrate with Windows Virtual Desktop.

Next Pathway has announced a self-service version of its SHIFT Migration Suite. This automatically migrates code from legacy sources, including Apache Hadoop, Teradata, Netezza, Greenplum, and SQL Server; and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools like Informatica and DataStage, to various cloud targets.

Panasas says The University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communications (ATEC), has deployed 740TB of ActiveStor storage. ActivStor supports direct and parallel data flow to 24 Red Hat Enterprise Linux blades at the ATEC Animation and Games render farm. At 100 per cent farm capacity, the render software can send renders for processing to Windows machines in ATEC classrooms.

Compute-on-storage startup Pliops will be at the virtual Flash MemorySummit  and demo how the Pliops Storage Processor enables RAID 5 protection 3x faster than RAID 0, and promote low-cost QLC drives to enterprise-class use.

Pliops storage processor

PoINT Software & Systems has released PoINT Data Replicator, which lets users replicate both files and objects in an S3 object or cloud storage system. It replicates file systems in an S3 bucket, using the file path as an object key so that standard S3 browsers display the original directory structure once replication is complete.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is using Quantum Scalar i3 tape libraries on the polar ship RRS Sir David Attenborough to back up scientific data collected at the Earth’s poles. Tape cartridges are carried by ship crew members on flights back to the organisation’s UK office.

Quest Software has announced enhancements to QoreStor and SharePlex. QoreStor adds “Object Direct,” an archive Tier allowing backup data to be sent from a QoreStor instance directly to a lower cost AWS Glacier storage. SharePlex can now can move Oracle data to Kafka for data streaming or SQL Server for offload reporting in near real time. 

Israeli startup Replix provides real-time data replication-as-a-service across geographical distances to multiple public cloud targets. It is a mesh network of data relays transporting data between cloud locations in real-time. The fabric spans across all public cloud regions, eliminating the operational complexity associated with setting up and maintaining data replication infrastructure.

Software-defined cloud storage supplier RSTOR offers RSTOR Space, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) S3 storage layer agnostic to cloud storage suppliers, and  optimised for storage efficiency and network throughput. Its decentralised cloud architecture uses geo-distributed erasure coding and a 100Gbit/s infrastructure. It will now support Spectrum Scale 5.1.

Tape and object data protector Spectra Logic has updated its StorCycle file lifecycle management software to add Scheduled Delete, Delete Migrate/Store Projects, Improved Support of Customer Symlinks,  Rerun Existing Jobs, CIFS/SMB Support with Linux, Restore Jobs Processed First, and Background Database Indexing.