Your occasional storage digest with ransomware, sustainability, InfiniBand spec update, and lots of shorter news stories

Ransomware rules the waves in this digest. Prepare to be numerically amazed by the number of ransomware attacks and then read good news about Active Directory recovery from ransomware. We also cover Delphix’s sustainability initiative and an InfiniBand spec update.

Ransomware prevalence

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, ransomware attacks are up 151 per cent in the first half of 2021, compared to the same time in 2020. The United States is the most ransomware-threatened country by a significant margin.

The report shows that:

  • In the first half of 2020, there were a total of 121.4 million ransomware attacks across the world.
  • The first half of 2021 has already reached 304.7 million ransomware attack attempts, making it the worst year ever recorded.
  • The United States is a prime target for most hackers, as the country has experienced 227.3 million ransomware attack attempts.
  • The second most targeted country is the UK, as it encountered 14.6 million ransomware attack attempts.

We find these numbers simply amazing. There is a concerted and sustained ransomware Blitzkrieg (or should that be Mолниеносная война) going on.

Quest updates Active Directory DR

Quest Software has updated its Disaster Recovery product which has a very long name:  Recovery Manager for Active Directory (RMAD) Disaster Recovery Edition (DRE). We are highly amused by Quest’s use of two separate acronyms — RMAD and DRE — and agree that combining them into RMADDRE looks, well, crazy. So RMAD DRE it shall be.

RMAD DRE v10.2 adds functionality to protect Active Directory (AD) backups from malware, and the ability to restore AD to a clean Microsoft Azure virtual machine in the cloud. 

Michael Tweddle, President and General Manager, Quest Microsoft Platform Management, said: “Ransomware is the number one security threat today, with 69 per cent of businesses suffering an attack in 2020 alone, and an average downtime of 21 days. Following an attack, business operations cannot be restored until Active Directory is functional again.”

Many ransomware strains like SaveTheQueen and DopplePaymer compromise AD and leverage it to spread throughout the target organisation’s systems.

The Secure Storage functionality provides a hardened server that is isolated from the network according to IPSec rules with regular checks to confirm backup integrity.

Delphix and sustainability

Data ops supplier Delphix says it will increase its corporate commitment to environmental sustainability.

Jedidiah Yueh, founder and CEO at Delphix, said: “Climate change is a preventable crisis. Our platform helps customers reduce their data footprint and carbon impact by 10x for enterprise applications, so environmental sustainability is core to our value as a company.

“We are building a sustainability strategy that includes creating a Sustainability Board, appointing a Director of Sustainability, measuring our company and platform impact, and collaborating with our customers to achieve common environmental goals.”

Delphix says this adds to the company’s foundation of social giving and its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. It has a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Council with several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) catering to specific interest groups. Since 2015, these ERGs have led company-wide programs to celebrate diversity, including International Women’s Day, Juneteenth, Pride, Asia-Pacific heritage month, etc.

The company recently announced an increase in its overall employee diversity rates from 29.5 per cent in Q4FY21 to 31.7 per cent in Q1FY22 — a growth of over two per cent over the previous quarter. It also saw an increase in its female workforce from 22.8 per cent in Q4FY21 to 24.7 per cent in Q1FY22 — nearly two per cent up on the last quarter.

Supermicro’s storage boxes

Server and storage server supplier Supermicro has announced top-loading (60-bay and 90-bay) and Simply Double storage systems.

Both 60-bay and 90-bay top-loading architectures are optimised for enterprise and cloud-scale storage environments, and available in single-node, dual-node, and dual-node high availability (HA) configurations.

The dual-node HA and single-node configurations control access to all drives in the systems. The dual-node configuration evenly split the drive control access between each node. With a modular, tool-less design, all critical onboard systems — hot-swap server nodes, expanders, fan modules, power supplies, and drives — are fully optimised for easy serviceability by one technician.

Supermicro’s top-loading and Simply Double enclosures.

These 4U systems feature 60 or 90 hot-swap 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SAS3/SATA3 bays plus two onboard PCIe M.2 slots and two internal slim SATA SSD slots. The single-node system also supports two rear hot-swap 2.5-inch bays for OS mirroring and four optional NVMe U.2 bays for fast caching. The system supports 1.6 petabytes of cost-optimised storage at the maximum configuration, plus up to 60TB of SSD flash via the rear-accessed NVMe compartment.

The single- and dual-node systems use 3rd-Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors in a dual-socket configuration with 16 DIMM slots per server node.

Simply Double storage systems promise to enhance the serviceability and performance of that design, while maintaining the same dense storage footprint. Up to four rear hot-swap U.2 NVMe bays are supported, allowing users to add flash without sacrificing any of the 24 SAS/SATA 3.5-inch storage bays. The system can be configured with the options of PCIe 4.0-based RAID or IT mode SAS controller.

The systems support PCIe Gen-4 or SAS. Supermicro says they are good for cloud-scale and HPC workloads.

InfiniBand Trade Association updates spec

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) announced IBTA Specification Volume 1 Release 1.5, with support for Memory Placement Extensions (MPE) to significantly reduce latency in Persistent Memory (PMEM) applications.

The specification includes key features that address industry demand for higher bandwidth and lower latency connectivity:

  • Memory Placement Extensions — enable hardware OEMs and software developers to implement the MPE operations RDMA Flush and RDMA Atomic Write and reduce overall latency by 10x;
  • Support for NDR — allows 400 Gbit/sec speeds on a four-lane port configuration.
  • Quality of Service enhancement via an updated VL Arbitration mechanism — allows a user to specify minimum bandwidth on physical ports and control virtualized port arbitration by setting rate limiting and bandwidth sharing


Aerospike ran a petabyte-scale benchmark of its Real-time Data Platform delivering four million to five million transactions per second (TPS) with sub-millisecond latencies for read-only and mixed workloads on a 20-node Amazon Web Services (AWS) cluster using Xeon SP CPUs. It claims the Aerospike Database performs with hundreds of nodes less than other databases, saving up to $10 million per application in infrastructure costs.

AWS announced general availability of Amazon MemoryDB for Redis — a fully managed, Redis-compatible, in-memory database. It is claimed to enable customers to achieve ultra-fast performance with high availability and durability for their business-critical applications that require sub-millisecond response times.

Cisco results for its Q4 FY2022 quarter showed its Infrastructure Products group revenues were  $7.55 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year. All businesses in the grew double digits except for the data centre segment, which declined due to weak server revenue. Management attributed this to server market contraction but William Blair analyst Jason Ader suspects Cisco market share loss might be a factor as well.

Cloud-native data linking Confluent has announced its Q321 release of software, its first quarterly release. It adds data mirroring to cluster linking for near-time DR, ksqlDB pull queries to simplify stream processing architectures, fully managed connectors for Salesforce and Azure, and Infinite Storage for Google Cloud, after initially launching for AWS.

Fermín Serna.

Incredibly well-funded Databricks has hired a Chief Security Officer, Fermín Serna. He comes from Citrix with a near-eight-year stint at Google working on security before that. He will will lead Databricks’s high-impact network, platform and user security programs along with governance and compliance efforts. 

SaaS data protector Druva has hired Ash Parikh to be its CMO. He comes from Informatica where he was an SVP and Global Head of Marketing. Parikh replaces Thomas Been, the previous CMO at Druva, who has gone off to join DataStax as its CMO. Parikh, now a ‘Druviuan’, has written a blog about his first few days at the company.

An independent evaluation and analysis by Customer Relationship Management Institute LLC (CRMI) has certified Druva’s record-high NPS score of 89 and has awarded the company the NorthFace ScoreBoard Award for the third consecutive year.

SaaS data protector HYCU has added Devoteam to its Cloud Services Provider Program. Devoteam operates in EMEA and is a Premier Google Cloud reseller and services partner. Joint customers adopting Google Cloud now have a cost-effective and easy way to store on-premises backups and an efficient DR platform.

Mainframe VTLer Model9 has bought a z15 mainframe. Gil Peleg, Model9 CEO, said: “The Model9 z15 will be a powerful asset for our product development and quality assurance programs.” Model9 says it has been growing massively through the pandemic period, tripling its size both in number of customers and headcount, as organisations seek to maximise the value of their mainframe investments while also leveraging the capabilities of the cloud.

The Nutanix Certified Professional — Multicloud Infrastructure certification is eighth in the top 15 list of top-paying certifications by Global Knowledge. That means it is amongst the most in-demand skills and technology areas for organisations today and, crucially for employees, the average salaries associated with them. 

Nutanix and Cyxtera have partnered to launch the first Nutanix Federal Innovation Lab, powered by Cyxtera’s digital exchange and Enterprise Bare Metal. The lab, located in a Cyxtera data center in Northern Virginia, provides US Federal customers as well as industry partners with an environment to build proofs of concept and test mission-critical applications using Nutanix software.

PNY has announced Performance DDR5 4800MHz Desktop Memory for desktop PC and gaming systems. Available in the third quarter, it will start at 16GB per module and feature the JEDEC standard frequency of 4800MHz. DDR4 operates at 3200MHz. Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs launching later this year will be the first to support DDR5 memory. DDR5 will likely overtake DDR4 in popularity by 2023. 

Spectro Cloud announced the release of an open-source CNCF Cluster API contribution supporting Canonical’s MaaS interface. It enables organisations to deploy, run and manage Kubernetes clusters directly on top of bare metal servers, increasing performance and minimising cost and operational effort.

Storage conglomerate StorCentric has signed up TechnoBind as a value-added distributor (VAD) in India. TechnoBind will supply StorCentric’s Drobo, Nexsan, Retrospect, Vexata and Violin Systems products in its territory.

Storage stack rewriter and accelerator StorONE has signed a strategic distribution agreement with Daiwabo Information System Co., one of Japan’s leading technology distribution firms. DIS will be the first firm in Japan to offer StorONE’s pioneering platform for deploying any combination of workloads (file, block, object), supporting all storage protocols, and utilising any mix of media and applications.