This week in storage climbs aboard Europe’s climate-neutral data centre pact

In this week’s data storage news roundup, Dell EMC adds sync replication-based high availability to PowerStore arrays; Delphix adds ransomware protection; and Europe data centre firms aim for climate neutrality by 2030.

European Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact

Twenty-five cloud infrastructure providers and data centre operators and 17 associations have signed the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, an initiative to make data centres in Europe climate neutral by 2030. They say this is an historic and unprecedented commitment by an industry to proactively lead the transition to a climate neutral economy.

The Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact establishes a Self Regulatory Initiative which has been developed in co-operation with the European Commission. It supports both the European Green Deal, which aims to make Europe the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050, and the European Data Strategy.

The Self Regulatory Initiative sets ambitious goals that will facilitate Europe’s essential transition to a greener economy. It commits signatories to ensuring their data centres are climate neutral by setting ambitious measurable targets for 2025 and 2030 in the following areas:

  • Prove energy efficiency with measurable targets
  • Purchase 100% carbon-free energy
  • Prioritise water conservation
  • Reuse and repair servers
  • Look for ways to recycle heat

Progress towards achieving climate neutral data centres will be monitored by the European Commission twice a year.

PowerStore Metro Node

Dell EMC has announced a Metro Node for its PowerStore array line. This is an active-active failover scheme. Both nodes, separated by metro-level distances, are fully mirrored and can simultaneously write at both sites. 

The metro node is a 2U cluster; a pair of 1U systems with 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel connectivity.

That means a LUN at one site can be synchronously replicated to the other. The Metro Nodes support zero time Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recover Time Objectives (RTO). That means there is no data loss and no time to recovery; instant failover. The failover is accomplished by using virtual machine witness technology. 

There is a metro round trip (RTT) boundary limitation of under 10ms. Different Dell EMC arrays can be connected in this way via Metro Nodes. There is no performance impact on the arrays at either end of the metro link of the ongoing replication.

A PowerStore metro node also supports local configurations for continuous application availability, and data mobility to non-disruptively relocate workloads. It can enable a storage technology refresh without application downtime. Metro Node supports consistency group add/delete operations without disruption. 

Delphix adds ransomware detection and fix

Delphix has announced an immutable data time machine that will not overwrite data and a so-called open-box approach to ransomware detection and recovery.

It says analytics from storage or backup systems often treat data as a closed box and leave blind spots that can be hidden behind normal change data patterns. Companies have resorted to manually provisioning, testing, and validating data at a claimed incredible cost. This can take weeks or months. Delphix says it enables “programmable data” to enables data testing and validation as if it were in an “open box.”

Jedidiah Yueh.

Jedidiah Yueh, CEO of Delphix, said: ”You can drive a truck through the holes in legacy ransomware solutions. Once-a-day backups are insufficient. Companies can’t afford to lose a day’s worth of transactional data. In addition, closed-box backup approaches fail to safeguard against undetected attacks, sometimes for months. Companies need an open-box detection approach, especially for mission-critical data.”  

The company claims that Delphix Data Platform open box testing and validation can greatly reduce windows of undetected data loss, while also drastically reducing operating costs and complexity.

Delphix also claims air gap isolation for its stored data, but this is a virtual air gap. The company states: “With flexible replication configurations, Delphix can isolate data and provide a highly secure network implementation as well as advanced security for identity and controls—enabling a cyber data air gap to prevent data loss and tampering.”

Translate cyber air gap as a virtual air gap; one not involving physical offline separation of stored data media, such as tape, from any IT networked device.

Eat your shorts

Data Dynamics has an Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform product which is a file lifecycle management product. V8.4 adds Object to Object Replication with automated data movement.

A coalition of leading Europe-based technology companies, research institutions and not-for-profit organisations, has launched Data Sovereignty Now, to lobby European policy makers to ensure that control of data remains in the hands of the people and organisations that generate it.

Total fines of €272.5m, about $332.4m, have been imposed for a wide range of infringements of Europe’s GDPR data protection laws, according to law firm DLA Piper. The figure is taken from the law firm’s latest annual General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines and data breach report of the 27 European Union Member States plus the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Italy’s regulator tops the rankings for aggregate fines having imposed more than €69.3m (about $4.5m) since the application of GDPR on 25 May 2018. Germany and France came second and third with aggregate fines of €69.1 million and €54.4 million respectively. 

IBM has containerised Spectrum Scale, its high-performance, parallel file system software. A blog by IBM Lab Services Consultant Ole Myklebust says: “We now can containerise the Spectrum Scale cluster and run this on top of OpenShift.”  Client clusters running on the Red Hat Open Shift Container Platform (OCP) don’t need any internal storage or internal filesystem. They can access storage/filesystem on any non-containerised Spectrum Scale storage cluster at the level of code. The separate Spectrum Scale Storage Cluster could be virtual, physical or even an ESS (IBM Elastic Storage Server). 

N2WS announced backup monitoring with new Datadog integration and security enhancements in the latest release of N2WS Backup & Recovery for AWS. The SW gets support for Amazon FSx for Windows File Server and Amazon FSx for Lustre, nNew file and folder level recovery for archived data stored on Amazon S3, and enhanced security capabilities for Disaster Recovery Accounts on Amazon Web Services. 

By the way N2WS is an initialism for “Not 2 Worry Software.”

Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman has co-written a second book with freelancer Steve Hamm, “Rise of the Data Cloud.” It basically says Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse is wonderful, the world needs it, and you should buy its services at once.

Nimbus Data has announced Tectonic, a bring-your-own-SSDs business model for its ExaFlash al-flash array. CEO Thomas Isakovich tells us: “We provide our ExaFlash all-flash array – the system, all software, and 24×7 support — as a flat rate subscription – but let customers choose their own SSDs. This way, customers can slash the cost of the most expensive part of the all-flash array: the SSDs. They can bypass the 5-10x mark-up and get SSDs for the actual market price. If customers still prefer to buy the SSDs from us, they can – and we charge a price per GB that is directly mapped to the market price of flash (as documented by TrendFocus in DRAMeXchange). This model gives customers freedom from lock-in and guarantees customers the lowest cost always.”

The Canadian Pacific Railway has deployed Intel Optane PMem to bulk out its DRAM in its SAP system. It now uses three times fewer SAP production nodes. An Intel slide shows the benefits;

UK (Wales)-based media industry object storage supplier Object Matrix has partnered with  PoINT Software & Systems to enable efficient lifecycle management with MatrixStore. PoINT Storage Manager identifies inactive data which can be automatically migrated to MatrixStore, reducing the load on primary storage. At the same time, customers maintain fast and easy access to their entire archive. 

Respondents to VAR survey by William Blair analyst Jason Ader emphatically endorsed the notion that COVID is an accelerant to cloud adoption. That said, hybrid cloud models will continue to be the norm for most organisations. Customers are espousing a cloud-first, SaaS-first approach. COVID has made a strong case for IT moving from cost centre to revenue/productivity driver, boosting the CIO’s stature in the organisation. This realisation, coupled with increased IT infrastructure required to support hybrid in-office/WFH environments in a post-COVID world, bodes well for 2021 IT budgets.

In-memory compute supplier GridGain Systems, said it had great momentum coming out of 2020. This included its drvrnyh consecutive year of revenue growth, net-new business growth of 53 per cent with just 6 per cent churn, a 63 per cent increase in the number of transactions over $250,000 compared to 2019, and more than 500 per cent sales growth in Apache Ignite support subscriptions.

Scale-out NAS supplier OpenDrives has raised $20m in its B-round of funding, bring the total raised to $30m. It will use the capital to grow the company, accelerating product development to introduce modern high performance computing (HPC), on-premises and hybrid cloud capabilities for global businesses in enterprise, media and entertainment, pharmaceutical, and federal government agency markets. 

Backup-as-a-Service data protector Rewind has closed a $15m A-round of funding led by Inovia Capital. Rewind has more than 80,000 business customers around the globe. Rewind backs up SaaS applications like BigCommerce, QuickBooks Online, Shopify, and Shopify Plus The cash will accelerate its product development pipeline, bringing new data protection offerings to market faster than any current BaaS provider. Rewind will also use the new capital to strengthen its R&D, sales, marketing and customer service teams to support its global market expansion. 

Platform9, which provides open-source SaaS-managed software for private and edge clouds, announced multi-version Kubernetes support, enhanced cluster deployment options, and upgraded manageability. Use cases span Technology, Retail, Telco, Media, and Entertainment verticals.