Storage news ticker – November 1

MSI (Micro-Star International), a gaming company based in Taiwan, has developed a PCIe Gen 5 M.2 add-in interface card which fits on a Intel Z690 chipset-based motherboard. It’s mentioned in a YouTube video at the 1:27:509 time point:

MSI Video screengrab.

The screengrab shows the card has fan-assisted cooling so it will run hot. PCIe Gen 5 will provide 128GB/sec of bandwidth across 16 lanes – four times faster than PCIe Gen 3’s 32GB/sec. This has been built to enable gamers to use PCIe Gen 5-supporting NVMe SSDs when they arrive. It’s a sign of things to come. Tom’s Hardware notes the card with its 16 lanes actually fits in an 8-lane slot on the motherboard.

Canonical announced support with Microsoft for Microsoft SQL Server with Ubuntu Pro on Microsoft Azure. This is based around the Ubuntu Pro 20.04 LTS operating system. Customers on Microsoft Azure can launch fully supported instances of SQL Server 2017 or SQL Server 2019 – Web, Standard and Enterprise editions – on both Ubuntu Pro 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu Pro 20.04 LTS. The SQL Server on Ubuntu Pro Azure solution offers, the two say, an extremely cost effective alternative for enterprise data management.

STAC recently performed STAC-M3 Benchmarks on the first stack to hold five years of data (57TiB) in Optane Persistent Memory (PMem). The stack under test (SUT) was KX’s kdb+ 4.0 database system configured to run in sharded mode on a 10-node cluster of 2-socket DELL PowerEdge R640 servers, each with 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6240L (Cascade Lake) 18-core CPUS @ 2.6GHz and 6TiB Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory 100 Series. The PMem was configured in Storage over App Direct Mode with Filesystem-DAX namespaces. The SUT used Compatibility Revision H of the kdb+ STAC Packs. Intel chose to highlight that this system:

  • Outperformed all publicly disclosed results in 16 of 24 STAC-M3 Kanaga benchmarks and seven of the benchmarks had speed-ups exceeding 2.2x compared to the previous best result.
  • Was faster in 20 of 24 Kanaga benchmarks than a solution involving a parallel filesystem with 14 database servers and 18 storage servers, with 57x to 60x speed-up in the four 10-user market snapshot benchmarks, 3.9x to 7.0x speed-up in the five single-user 12-day VWAB benchmarks and 4.8x speed-up in the 50-user year-one 12-day benchmark.

Seagate tells us it’s been a year since it started working with Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) – a Shannon-based smart city test bed where Seagate and some other companies like JLR, Red Hat, Cisco partnered to contribute to the development of smart technologies for future mobility, like for example autonomous vehicles. The data storage infrastructure of the test bed is managed by Seagate. It’s provided the campus with Lyve mobile arrays SSDs which are integrated to Jaguar I-PACE vehicles converted into self-driving prototypes.

These prototypes are set to complete a series of live on-road trials, interacting with the connected roads, smart junctions and local infrastructure to gather data. This data is processed at the edge where Renovo’s Insight node is powered by Seagate’s Exos X 2U24 with Nytro SSDs, allowing the Lyve Mobile Arrays to offload the data directly into the storage system to be staged for immediate processing and screening. In FMCI, the primary hybrid cloud datacentre is powered by Seagate’s high-density Exos E5U84 (Seagate Exos HDDs) and Red Hat Ceph, to provide a secure and scalable long-term repository for data at the core.