Your occasional storage digest with MariaDB, HPE, WD, IBM and more

This week we have an improved MariaDB database, HPE’s Alletra array getting faster access, WD announcing a much faster 5G phone-embedded flash drive and IBM producing an all-IBM tape archive package.

There’s also an array of shorter items, customer wins, people moves and awards. Read on …

MariaDB improves relations

Relational database supplier MariaDB announced the general availability of MariaDB Community Server 10.6, a major release that brings significant advancements to the open-source MariaDB community. 

Version 10.6 adds features for developers with JSON table functionality, frees users from expensive proprietary ties with expanded PL/SQL compatibility, and adds powerful insurance for bad database days with atomic DDL that supports MariaDB’s multiple storage engine architecture. 

With this release, MariaDB adds JSON table functions, enabling a table view into JSON data stored in MariaDB. Queries are returned as a regular table using SQL. This release also adds several new community-developed PL/SQL compatibility functions to aid migration from Oracle to MariaDB.

Data Definition Language (DDL) is now atomic, increasing crash recovery by ensuring any DDL statement is either fully executed or not at all. Unlike MySQL, MariaDB implemented atomic DDL in the database layer, so it supports various workloads using different storage engines, with immediate support for InnoDB and Aria storage engines. Atomic DDL support for other storage engines is coming soon.

MariaDB’s columnar engine for powerful analytics received major upgrades for user experience and stability, and new features like disk-based aggregation.

MariaDB Community Server 10.6 will be available for free direct download at in early July.

HPE Alletra and NVMe-oF

The high-end HPE Alletra 9000 array now supports NVMe over Fabrics access. The Alletra 9000 is positioned as a follow-on from HPE’s Primera arrays, themselves a follow-on from its 3PAR array products.

The news was posted in a HPE Around the Storage Block blog by un-named HPE storage experts.

They write that NVMe-oF is “designed to deliver faster and more efficient connectivity between storage and servers, as well as a reduction in CPU utilisation of application host servers.” 

The Alletra 9000 supports NVMe over Fibre Channel and existing 16Gbit/s and 32Gbit/s FC HBAs should be capable of being used. HPE Alletra 9000 supports NVMe-oF across the entire system’s front end (ie, host connectivity) and back-end (ie, all-flash media). 

The bloggers write that “an all-NVMe HPE Alletra 9000 already pumps out over 2M IOPs and minimum average latencies below 250μsec in just 4U. That’s 3× more performance density than a Dell PowerMax.”

According to these enthusiasts, “We’re now at the precipice of the next major milestone. NVMe-oF holds the potential to drive the next performance boost by extending parallelisation from all-flash through the switch and on to the host.”

Alletra 9000 NVMe-oF should be generally available later this year.

Western Digital’s 5G flash drive

Western Digital has launched a gen-2 UFS 3.1 iNAND MC EU551 embedded flash drive for 5G smartphones. It is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities.

Compared to the gen-1 product, it delivers 100 per cent improvement in random read performance, up to 40 per cent on random writes, a 90 per cent improvement in sequential writes. and 30 per cent faster sequential reads.


The device is designed to meet the JEDEC UFS 3.1 specification requirements and uses the latest Write Booster technology based on Western Digital’s 7th generation SmartSLC. It also features Host Performance Booster version 2.0.

The iNAND MC EU551 UFS 3.1 embedded flash drive (EFD) is sampling now, with volume availability planned in July 2021. Access a product brief here.

IBM tape system

The IBM Converged Archive Solution integrates a TS4300 Tape Library, IBM Spectrum Scale, IBM Spectrum Archive Enterprise Edition, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on an IBM Power System S924 server to deliver a single distributed system with advanced storage management of unstructured active archive data for objects, file systems, big data, and more.

It centralises and simplifies deployment with an all-IBM hardware, software, and services solution. IBM also claims the following advantages:

  • Consolidates storage across traditional file and new-era workloads for object, Apache Hadoop, and analytics use cases;
  • Features Spectrum Scale and Spectrum Archive configured software that manages information lifecycle management (ILM) data to IBM tape;
  • Provides automated ILM data management across all storage tiers;
  • Boosts archive capacity without impacting data availability in a pool;
  • Enables collaboration and efficient sharing of resources among global distributed teams;
  • Improves data availability and total capacity with up to two exabytes of capacity for data with 11 nines of durability;
  • Offers IBM Client Experience services for a complete on-premises deployment;
  • Delivers data security and compliance through support for WORM media and flash, disk, and tape drive encryption;
  • Provides support for mixed environments of tape drives with respective supporting media —
    • LTO Ultrium 8
    • LTO Ultrium 7
    • LTO Ultrium 6
    • IBM TS1150 and IBM TS1160.

IBM says that, combined with top-level IBM Storage Lab Services client services, IBM Converged Archive Solution is the simplest enterprise supporting tape archiving available. Solution deployments of up to twelve tape drives attached to three high availability POWER9 servers, and supporting up to an exabyte of compressed data storage, can be deployed in less than five days.


Data protector Acronis announced the opening of an office in Herzliya, Israel, with plans to invest around $80 million into the country during the next five years. The new office will focus on conducting cybersecurity research and development, enabling Acronis partners with local sales, marketing, technical, and educational support, as well as, recruiting and activating new cloud partners.

Cloud storage provider Backblaze has a blog describing how a customer used Backblaze capacity in a Chia farming exercise. Backblaze has also refreshed its branding, with a brighter red, more use of red overall, and a serif logo — all to signify blazing heat and activity.

The Ceph Foundation has formed a Ceph Market Development Group, led by Canonical, Red Hat, and SoftIron. It will work to bring fresh collaboration towards evangelising Ceph to enterprises and other organisations.

CloudFlare announced new integrations with Microsoft Azure Sentinel, Splunk, Datadog, and Sumo Logic to make it easier for businesses to connect and analyse key insights across their infrastructure. It says businesses will be able to funnel security insight data from Cloudflare directly into their preferred analytics platform to analyse in the context of their entire technology stack — without the cost or complexity of building custom integrations.

The CRU Data Security Group has introduced DIGITSTOR Citadel self-encrypting SSDs with pre-boot authentication, certified to FIPS 140-2 Level 2 and Common Criteria (certification pending). They are available in M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors, and SATA and NVMe interfaces, for commonly used laptops, desktops, and tactical servers.

CTERA is partnering with with Varonis to integrate the Varonis Data Security Platform with the CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform. The joint product offers data classification, audit log processing, and auditing capabilities to defend sensitive data from theft, leakage, and loss.

SaaS data protector Druva announced a Managed Service Provider (MSP) program which brings partners a SaaS-based delivery model with a zero-touch onboarding experience and no infrastructure to maintain.

Backup and Archive supplier FalconStor announced the pricing of an underwritten registered public offering of 725,000 newly issued shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $4.10 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately $2,972,500. It will use the cash for  to expand marketing and distribution of its software products and supporting technology in the United States and abroad, to enhance its ongoing product development programs, to finance potential acquisitions of complementary businesses, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Hitachi Vantara has acquired Io-Tahoe, a provider of data-management software for data governance, quality, and regulatory compliance. Io-Tahoe is a subsidiary of Centrica and has a London location. Its software brings together data engineering, science, and analytics on an open, unified platform, enabling data teams to collaborate.

iXsystems, a supplier of open source NAS storage, announced the general availability of TrueCommand 2.0, the second major release of the single-pane-of-glass management system that simplifies the monitoring and control of fleets of systems running TrueNAS CORE, Enterprise, or SCALE.

Lightbits Labs announced it’s partnering with Shanghai-based ZStack so it can deliver its composable, disaggregated NVMe/TCP-based LightOS storage solution to address data intensive workloads in the ZStack Cloud, the private cloud solution arm of Alibaba Cloud.

SSD controller supplier Phison blogs that E1.S [short ruler] SSDs are optimised for rack storage, with Improvements over M.2 2280 format SSDs. The M.2 form factor is not hot-pluggable and M.2 form factor dimensions are not ideal to fully utilise the space available in a 1U rack shelf. E1.S drives are designed to fit perfectly within a 1U height rack storage server, can be hot-pluggable, have more capacity real estate, and better thermal efficiency.

Semiconductor IP company Rambus has set up a CXL Memory Interconnect Initiative to take advantage of disaggregated compute and memory architectures. Rambus is focusing its initial research and development on semiconductor solutions to support key memory expansion and pooling use cases. It says it’s engaging with the full ecosystem including cloud, system and memory companies, to accelerate the development and enablement of CXL memory interconnect solutions.

Quantum formally announced ActiveScale v6.0 software on June 24, along with the X200 Supermicro-based appliance.

Scale out file system supplier Qumulo has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Storage Competency. Keith Nargi, Qumulo Field CTO, said “Qumulo is natively built for the cloud. Enabling our customers to successfully manage their unstructured data as part of their digital transformation has never been more important. Attaining the AWS Storage Competency designation underscores our ability to consistently achieve that customer success in the cloud.”

StorCentric’s Retrospect business announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Blob Storage support for Retrospect Backup and Retrospect Virtual. The product allows businesses to leverage Azure as a backup destination as well as a cloud storage location to protect on-premise data. It has support for ransomware protection using Retrospect’s Immutable Backup.

Data protection supplier Rubrik partner Assured Data Protection announced new features for ProtectView that allow enterprises to raise, update and report specific incidents and service requests directly through the ProtectView platform to help better manage Rubrik estates.

Shenzhen-based TerraMaster has announced new 2- and 4-bay NAS systems for small office/home office needs. The F2-210 is a 2-Bay NAS with up to 36TB storage (capacity varies per RAID mode), up to 124MB/sec read/write speeds and a quad-core processor. It’s available on Amazon for $149.99.

The F4-210 4-Bay NAS has up to 72TB storage (capacity varies per RAID mode), up to 124MB/sec read/write speeds and a quad-core CPU. It’s available on Amazon for $259.99.

France-based research house Yole issued a report saying the NAND market is expected to grow to $81 billion in 2026, with a six per cent CAGR between 2020 and 2026. NAND market revenue grew 28 per cent in 2020.  In the 3D NAND business, Samsung is the market leader with fierce competition from WD-Kioxia, followed by SK hynix and Micron-Intel. In China, YMTC looms on the horizon as a new NAND supplier and threatens to disrupt the status quo. 


Cloud file services supplier CTERA was named HPE Edge-to-Cloud Momentum Partner of the Year for 2021 during the Partner of the Year Awards presented at HPE’s virtual Discover event.

Object storage supplier Scality was named HPE Storage Momentum Partner of the Year for 2021 during the Partner of the Year Awards at the annual and now virtual HPE Discover customer event.

Veeam has won the HPE Ezmeral Software Momentum MarketplacePartner of the Year 2021 for Modern Data Protection solutions growth and leadership.

Customer wins

Data migrator Datadobi said sports gear and equipment supplier Decathlon moved its entire IT operations into the cloud using DobiMigrate software.

Cloud file system and file sharer Nasuni announced strong growth within the industrial and manufacturing markets with customers like customer Aixtron, an equipment manufacturer in the semiconductor infrastructure supply chain. Other customers include American Standard, Caterpillar, SAS International, Movado and Western Digital,

Virtual San supplier StorPool has won Atos’ Virtual Oracle Computing (VOC) Hotel project as a customer.  The StorPool system will be deployed on standard servers fully stacked with NVMe SSDs.

BeeGFS supplier ThinkParQ announced the recent  installation of BeeGFS at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey.

People movers

Mainframe data manager Model9 has set up a Growth Advisory Board to help guide its global expansion and deepen industry awareness of its data movement and management capabilities. It includes Brian Householder, former President and CEO of Hitachi Vantara, Norm Judah, former Worldwide Services CTO at Microsoft, and Andy Walter, former SVP IT at Procter & Gamble.

Virginia Gambale

Virginia Gambale has been elected as the Chair of Nutanix’s Board, having only joined the Board in June 2020.

Diane Bryant

Kubernetes management plane SaaS supplier Platform9 has appointed Diane Bryant to its Board of Directors. She is currently the Chairman and CEO of the healthcare AI company NovaSignal, which is seeking to improve the outcome of stroke victims along with other brain illnesses. Prior to that she was COO for Google Cloud, with 30 years at Intel before that, finishing up as Group President of Intel’s Data Center Group.

Data protector Veeam has appointed Amaury Dutilleul-Francoeur as  VP of its EMEA Partner Network and Graham Crich as VP of EMEA Partner Services. Both are internal promotions.