Your occasional storage digest with ScaleFlux, AWS, Dell and more

In this week’s roundup, computational storage says hello to Nvidia’s GPUDirect; AWS cuts Glacier prices by a smidge and Dell has upgraded a server line with AMD’s Milan and Intel’s Ice Lake CPUs.

ScaleFlux and GPUDirect

ScaleFlux makes the CSD 2000 Computational storage SSD which has an on-board processor and can compress and decompress data in real time. The drive supports NVIDIA Magnum IO GPUDirect Storage and the company says this is the first use of computational storage for AI/ML and data analytics with GPUs.

CSD 2000 components.

The compression/decompression is transparent to applications, requires no code changes, does not incur latency or performance penalties, reduces data movement, and scales throughput with storage capacity. It also expands the capacity per flash bit by 3-5x.

Hao Zhong, ScaleFlux co-founder and CEO, said the CSD 2000 “handles the decompression process and eliminates up to 87 per cent of the data loading time so the GPU can get to work faster on the training activity.”

We asked for performance numbers and a spokesperson said: “We will not be showing any specifics on run time reduction for the model training or capacity expansion with specific training data sets at this time. As we expand engagements with customers, we expect to gather that information and make a subsequent announcement in the coming months.”

Trivial AWS Glacier data movement price cut

A few days ago we ran this story – AWS slashes Amazon S3 Glacier data movement prices – about a 40 per cent cut in AWS S3 Glacier prices for Data PUTs and Lifecycle requests. The percentage cut sounded great but there were no actual numbers. Now we have them and the net effect is trivial.

We were told the S3 pricing page – aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/ – has a tab for Requests and data retrievals. There, you will find all the PUT and Lifecycle costs for every storage class.

AWS told us: “The price reduction for PUTs and Lifecycle transitions requests for S3 Glacier reduced prices by 40 per cent in all AWS Regions. For example, for US East (Ohio) Region we reduced the price from $0.05 down to $0.03 per 1,000 requests for all S3 Glacier PUTs and Lifecycle transitions.”

Gosh, we see a $0.02 cut per 1,000 requests. Colour us unexcited.

Dell brings AMD and GPU power to its servers

Dell has updated the PowerEdge server line with 17 models featuring AMD Milan as well as Intel Ice Lake gen 3 Xeon CPUs, and PCIe gen 4 bus support.

The core of the range is a set of rack servers, accompanied by edge and telecom models, a modular compute sled, GPU-optimised  and C-Series machines for HPC use cases.

The R7nn5 and R6nn5 systems use the Milan processors. An R750 server will use Intel’s Ice Lake gen 3 Xeon CPUs.

The XE8545 combines up to 128 cores of AMD Milan processors, four NVIDIA A100 GPUs, and NVIDIA’s vGPU software in a dual socket, 4U rack server. 

Dell XE8545 server.

The R750xa delivers GPU-dense performance for machine learning training, inferencing and AI with support for the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software suite and VMware vSphere 7 Update 2. It is a dual socket, 2U server with Ice Lake CPUs and supports up to four double-wide GPUs and six single-wide GPUs. It also supports Optane PMEM 200 storage-class memory.

Customers can expect the systems to begin rolling out soon. 

Shorts

Datadobi has released DobiProtect support for Azure Blob storage. The data migration company can now protect unstructured data by moving copies into Azure Blob storage.

Datto’s revenues in the quarter ended Dec 31, 2020, were $139m, up 16 per cent Y/Y, with $129m coming from subscriptions. There was a loss of $7.2m. These numbers beat Wall St expectations. Full year revenues were $485.3m, up 18 per cent Y/Y, with a loss of $31.2m. The company provides cloud data protection storage services sold by MSPs.

Cloud computing provider Linode has published a Cloud Spectator report revealing benchmarking data for cloud computing virtual machines (VMs) across Alibaba, Amazon Web Services (AWS), DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, Linode and Microsoft Azure. Linode’s cloud servers based on AMD performed better than competing instances running on Intel chipsets.

WekaIO this week said the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is using its software to run more and concurrent research jobs in a shorter amount of time. OMRF is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute with more than 450 staff and over 50 labs studying cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and diseases of ageing.

Open-E has released an update for its ZFS- and Linux-based Open-E JovianDSS Data Storage Software. The up29 version, which performs better and has more configuration options, is free of charge for all software users and is available for download on the company’s website.

SaaS-based data protector Druva has promoted Robert Brower to be SVP of Worldwide Partners and Alliances. He’s going to recruit new partners. Brower is currently VP of Strategic Operations and Chief of Staff.

AIOps-supplying Virtana has announced a SaaS-based Virtana Platform to estimate costs for migrating applications to the public cloud. It’s appointed Alex Thurber as SVP Customer Success and Channel Strategy and Jonathan (Jon) Cyr as VP of Product Management. 

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