Your occasional storage digest with Cisco Hyperflex, SoftIron, and more

2021 has started with a bang… but let’s talk about data storage. In this week’s news roundup we feature Cisco, Backup Assist and SoftIron. Also there are a flurry of people moves involving Cohesity, Commvault, Pure Storage, Quantum, and Rubrik.

Cisco HyperFlex software update looks imminent

Cisco’s hyperconverged, UCS server-based product is called HyperFlex and HyperFlex software 4.5 is soon to release. A Cisco document outlines its features;

  • iSCSI block support
  • N:1 replication for HX Edge 
  • Boost Mode to enable virtual CPU configuration change in HX controller VM
  • ESXi and vCenter 7.0
  • Secure boot with built-in hardware root of trust,
  • Hardened SDS Controller to shrink the attack surface and react to insecure admin credentials
  • New 2U, short-depth HX240 Edge server
  • ML-driven cluster health checks
  • Intersight Workload Optimiser
  • Intersight Kubernetes service
  • New validated workloads on HyperFlex, including:-
  • – Cisco ISE, 
  • – Cisco SD-WAN
  • – Epic Systems electronic health records (EHR) on HX All NVMe.

The HX240 has all-flash and hybrid disk-flash configurations. It has 1 or 2 CPU sockets, up to 3TB RAM, to 175TB storage capacity, and PCIe slots for GPUs.

Read a Cisco blog to find out more. We understand HyperFlex software will be available on its own, to run on commodity X86 servers.

BackupAssist adds Wasabi cloud back end

BackupAssist, a backup software supplier for SMEs, has extended support for backend Wasabi cloud storage to the Classic version. Previously, this feature was reserved for the company’s ER product.

Combined with Wasabi’s cloud, BackupAssist’s software provides backups for full system and granular recoveries anywhere, anytime, the company says. BackupAssist’s CryptoSafeGuard, combined with Wasabi’s object durability and data immutability, enables backup files to remain secure.

Linus Chang, BackupAssist CEO, said: “Clients have been asking for our recommended alternatives to the large first-generation public cloud providers, commonly inquiring about Wasabi specifically.”

Wasabi’s storage is one fifth the cost of Amazon S3 with no fees for egress or API requests, according to the company.

The Hut Group selects SoftIron

The Hut Group (THG), a big UK online etailer, uses SoftIron’s Ceph-optimised HyperDrive as the storage backbone for its global THG Ingenuity ecommerce platform.

According to THG, the platform delivers enterprise-class scalability and resiliency, is cloud-native, provides superior efficiency and exists within its carbon-neutral THG Eco initiative.

THG has 24 data centres across the UK, Europe, USA, and Asia, and will add more, CTO Schalk Van der Merwe, said: “We’re already operational with HyperDrive in the UK, Germany and the US and look forward to working together to deliver a new class of service and support for our customers across the globe.”

He added: “While open source solutions may seem like a ‘science project’ for non-tech companies – for us, being cloud-agnostic, free of lock-in, and achieving ‘Cloud Native Without Cloud,’ is all strategically important within our architecture. We love the ‘task-specific’ approach SoftIron is taking to make open-source Ceph deployable and manageable at scale for enterprises like ours, while at the same time creating efficiencies that reduce our environmental footprint.”

SoftIron CEO Phil Straw said: “We’ve engineered HyperDrive storage hardware from the source code and motherboard on up – a method which we call ‘task-specific.’ We’ve custom-built our hardware to support the source code first and have thus eliminated the inefficiencies that exist using the legacy ‘commodity’ approach.”


Robin Matlock

Cohesity has appointed former VMware CMO Robin Matlock to the Board of Directors. She brings more than 30 years of marketing, sales, and business development experience to the board spanning a variety of markets including enterprise software, cloud services, and security.

Coldago’s Jan 2021 Storage Unicorn listing – companies valued at $1bn or more – includes Acronis, Barracuda Networks, Cohesity, DDN, Druva, Infinidat, Kaseya, Nasuni, Qumulo, Rubrik, VAST Data, Veeam Software and Veritas Technologies. Its June 2020 listing included these plus Actifio (bought by Google) and Datrium (bought by VMware).

John Tavares.

Commvault has hired John Tavares, a 25-year EMC and Dell EMC exec, as VP, Global Channel and Alliances. His predecessor Mercer Rowe becomes Area VP for Japan, and will focus on growing Metallic, Commvault’s SaaS division, in the region and strengthening the company’s presence in APAC.

Coincidentally, Callum Eade, Commvault’s VP and Managing Director – Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), has resigned, apparently for personal reasons. Rachel Ler, Commvault’s current head of ASEAN, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan, becomes VP and GM for APJ, with responsibility for Australia and New Zealand, India, China and Japan. Mercer Rowe will therefore report to her.

Excelero’s NVMesh elastic NVMe storage software is being used in a GPU computing infrastructure at the University of Pisa’s Green Data Centre. This is the first customer deployment of USTI (Ultrafast Storage, Totally Integrated) from Excelero partner E4 Computer Engineering. USTI uses NVMesh’s a zero-latency storage infrastructure to power ML, DL, genomics and data analytics and can allocate GPU resources dedicated to scientific research applications.

HelpSystems has acquired FileCatalyst which supplies secure enterprise large file transfer acceleration. across global networks. This can be useful for broadcast media and live sports. Kate Bolseth, CEO, HelpSystems, said: “FileCatalyst is an excellent addition to our managed file transfer and robotic process automation offerings, and we are pleased to bring the FileCatalyst team and their strong file acceleration knowledge into the global HelpSystems family.” Terms were not disclosed.

MariaDB Corporation has announced general availability of MariaDB Connector/R2DBC (Reactive Relational Database Connectivity). R2DBC is an emerging Java standard which enables applications to use a stream-oriented approach to interact with relational databases. They can use R2DBC to take advantage of declarative programming techniques to create more powerful, efficient and scalable Java Virtual Machines. The MariaDB Connector/R2DBC exposes a non-blocking API that interacts with MariaDB databases, including MariaDB SkySQL, to create fully reactive solutions.

Data recovery specialist Ontrack reports 78 per cent of the data recovery requests it received in 2020 were for ageing or physically damaged hard disk drives (HDDs). This compares to only three per cent of requests being for solid-state drives (SSD), three per cent for RAID servers, three per cent for other servers, two per cent for flash recovery, and one per cent for USB sticks. The remaining 10 per cent were for mobile devices.

Ajay Singh.

Pure Storage has hired VMware’s Ajay Singh, GM of the Cloud Management Business Unit, as its new Chief Product Officer. Singh will have direct responsibility for all of Pure’s business units, and the Global Alliances team.

Rick Valentine.

Rick Valentine has joined Quantum as SVP & Chief Customer Officer. The veteran tape storage vendor has embarked on journey to transform into an as-a-service provider for unstructured data management, analytics and storage. Prior to Quantum, Valentine was Chief Customer Officer for Silver Peak Systems, where his work was instrumental in HPE’s $925 million acquisition of Silver Peak in 2020. Before that, he was Chief Customer Officer with Symantec and Veritas.

Rubrik CTO Chris Wahl has resigned after five and a half years with the startup.

Quest Software has acquired Erwin, a data governance company. The price was not disclosed. Erwin has Data Modeler, Data Intelligence and Evolve software products for big data application development, metadata management, and regulatory and industry compliance, respectively. Erwin appears the leader’s box in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Metadata Management and ha deployments in over 60 countries, with over 3,500 customers and over 50,000 users.

SingleStore, the company formerly known as MemSQL, has announced native support for AWS Glue. AWS Glue is a serverless data preparation service that makes it easy for developers, data analysts, and data scientists to extract, clean, enrich, normalise, and load data. The new integration will enable developers, data engineers, and data scientists to build with SingleStore on AWS more easily. The fully managed, scaled-out Apache Spark environment for extract, transform, and load (ETL) jobs provided by AWS Glue is matched to SingleStore’s distributed SQL design. It enables faster processing through parallel ingestion in AWS, much in the same way that SingleStore’s Spark Connector delivers these benefits in other environments.