Your occasional storage digest with Dell EMC, AWS Outposts, a PCIe 5.0 switch and more

The University of Pisa relies on multiple Dell EMC Power-something arrays for its storage needs. AWS has given its on-premises public cloud presence local backups, Microchip has brought out the fastest PCIe switch to date while data protector and file manager Quantum has sidestepped a potentially nasty lawsuit.

University of Pisa is a Dell EMC Power user

Italy’s University of Pisa uses a raft of Dell EMC storage technologies.

Leaning tower of Pisa.

A PowerStore system stores scientific computing applications for genomics and biology, plus chemistry, physics and engineering. It delivered a 6x performance improvement on a previous unnamed storage system.

The University uses the system to support remote learning. CTO Maurizio Davini, said: “As we transitioned to remote learning, we needed reliable, scalable technology to provide our 53,000 students and faculty with quick, easy access to critical data and applications at all times, from any location. Dell EMC PowerStore is … a game-changer.”

The university supports VDI and remote workstations and database workloads with a PowerMax storage array. A PowerScale all-flash system handles artificial intelligence and bare metal high performance computing (HPC) workloads, The university expects unstructured data volumes to double within a year.

AWS Outposts gets local backups

Amazon’s on-premises appliance AWS Outposts now supports local snapshots for Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes. This makes it easier to comply with data residency and local backup requirements.

Until now, Amazon EBS snapshots on Outposts were stored by default on Amazon S3 in the AWS Region. EBS Local Snapshots on Outposts is a new capability that enables snapshots and Amazon Machine Image (AMI) data to be stored locally. The feature is handled through the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), and AWS SDKs. You can also continue to take snapshots of EBS volumes on Outposts, which are stored in S3 in the associated parent region.

AWS said customers can easily migrate, replicate, and recover workloads from any sources directly into AWS Outposts, or between AWS Outposts devices, without requiring the EBS snapshot to data to go through an AWS Region. This also allows CloudEndure Migration and Disaster Recovery services to copy data locally, improving recovery times and assisting customers with strict data residency requirements. 

Microchip’s PCIe Gen 5 switch

PCIe gen 4 is just arriving in products, giving the twice gen 3 PCIe bus speed and now Microchip brings out a PCIe Gen 5 switch, doubling speed again.

PCIe Gen 5 runs at 128GB/sec across 16 lanes. PCIe Gen 4 does 64GB/sec and PCIe Gen 3 operates at 32GB/sec.

Microchip PCIe Gen 5 switch

Microchip’s PFX Switchtec supports 28 to 100 lanes and up to 48 non-transparent bridges (NTBs). It comes with XpressConnect retimers, which extend the physical distance PCIe Gen 5 supports using copper wires. The switch comes with a suite of debug and diagnostic features.

Dr. Debendra Das Sharma, Intel fellow and director of I/O technology and standards, said in a statement: “Intel’s upcoming Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors will implement PCI Express 5.0 and Compute Express Link running up to 32.0 GT/s to deliver the low-latency and high-bandwidth I/O solutions our customers need to deploy.”

Starboard Value sues former Quantum execs

Starboard Value has dropped its law suit against Quantum. However, in an amended filing, the activist investment fund, is still suing Jon Gacek former Quantum CEO, and former CFO Paul Auvil in the California Superior Court in Santa Clara County, alleging mis-representation and fraud.

In a 10-Q Filing, dated 27 January, Quantum said it “expects to continue to incur expenses related to this litigation, subject to potential offset from insurance. At this time, the Company is unable to estimate the range of possible outcomes with respect to this matter.”

Starboard bought Quantum shares between 2012 and 2014 and gained board seats. It agreed not to seek more control and to support Quantum’s slate of directors if company performance objectives were met.

Jon Gacek

Starboard alleges Gacek and Auvil artificially inflated Quantum’s earnings in its fiscal 2015 year to meet these objectives. Gacek and Auvil resigned in November 2017. Initially, Starboard included Quantum as a defendant, but Quantum rebutted this and Starboard has filed an amended complaint that mentions Gacek and Auvil onlyk

Shorter news items

Amazon S3 now supports AWS PrivateLink, providing direct access to S3 via a private endpoint within the customer’s virtual private network. This eliminates the need to use public IPs, configure firewall rules, or configure an Internet Gateway to access S3 from on-premises.

Videocams are watching you – and Scale Computing has software to store the images. It has announced HC3 hyperconverged infrastructure options for video surveillance, security and IoT edge applications.

Veeam has launched Veeam Backup for Google Cloud Platform, claiming ultra-low RPOs and RTOs. The software automates Google-native snapshots to protect VMs across projects and regions. Backups are stored in Google Object Storage for long-term retention.

Database virtualizer Delphix says a Covid-19-caused surge in demand accelerated its annual growth rate by over 85 per cent for the fiscal year ending January 2021, pushing it into non-GAAP profitability. Delphix also achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 89 during the year. The company now presents itself as a supplier of programmable data infrastructure.

NVMe-over-TCP supplier Lightbits Labs said it increased sales in 2020 by more than 500 per cent through a significant uptick in IaaS, SaaS, financial services, and video gaming customers.

We’re hiring!

VAST Data has hired Helen Protopapas as VP of finance, Tom Whaley as VP of sales, and Rick Franke as VP of global customer success, services and support. VAST said it is experiencing hyper-growth with accelerated global expansion and customer adoption. Whaley comes from NetApp and Franke from VMware.

Cloud storage service supplier Backblaze has hired Frank Patchel as Chief Financial Officer. Patchel has worked for multiple software as a service (SaaS) technology companies and overseen the successful sale of two businesses to public companies while serving as their president.

Isabelle Guis

SoftIron has appointed Phil Crocker as VP business development and channel with a focus on HyperDrive, the company’s software-defined storage system, which is based on Ceph. He joins from HPC storage supplier Panasas.

Commvault has appointed Isabelle Guis as CMO, to replace the departing Chris Powell. She was previously Salesforce’s VP for product marketing at Sales Cloud.

Database supplier SingleStore has appointed Oliver Schabenberger, former COO and CTO of SAS, as Chief Innovation Officer. SingleStore recently announced an $80m Series E investment round and a strategic partnership with SAS.