Storage news ticker – May 26

Object storage software supplier Scality says its S3 Object Storage is available on the HPE GreenLake Cloud Services platform for on-premises use with cloud-like data services that meet data sovereignty requirements. HPE and Scality have co-deployed over an exabyte of storage, with hundreds of joint customers in more than 40 countries. The two say they provide freedom from being beholden to Amazon or the public cloud – therefore, no expensive data access or egress fees. Read up on the background here.

Amazon has added new file services to AWS. AWS Backup now allows you to protect FSx for NetApp ONTAP. Amazon EFS has increased the maximum number of file locks per NFS mount, enabling customers to use the service for a broader set of workloads that leverage high volumes of simultaneous locks, including message brokers and distributed analytics applications. Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is now SAP-certified for workloads including S/4HANA, Business Suite on HANA, BW/4HANA, Business Warehouse on HANA, and Data Mart Solutions on HANA. A Jeff Barr blog provides more details.

Data protector N-able announced N-hanced Services for its MSP partners with onboarding, support, custom solutions, and migration services to assist MSPs with integrating and consolidating remote monitoring and management platforms. Leo Sanchez, VP of support and services at N-able, said: “We know that our partners are struggling with challenges like labor shortages, security, and more and more devices in more increasingly complex environments. With this new offering, we’re putting our experts to work to help them get the most out of our solutions and optimize their current workforce so they can actually do more with less staff. They can leverage bespoke services that meet them where they’re at and get to a place where they see real value faster.”

NetApp has closed the acquisition of Instaclustr, a database-as-a-service startup. A blog by EVP  Anthony Lye said: “We just closed our acquisition of Instaclustr, marking a huge step in the transformation of NetApp. Think about it, in seven years, an on-premises storage company has built unique relationships with the three biggest clouds. Today, we’re offering a rich set of data services and hold a leading position in Cloud Operations (CloudOps).” He claimed: “Instaclustr allows us to deliver on our promise of more cloud at less cost.”

Nutanix has signed up the UK’s BUPA private health organization as a customer, providing a two-site IT platform (100 nodes in total) for BUPA’s 3,000-plus Citrix desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) users. BUPA has also begun using Nutanix Calm to automate management of its DaaS computing system and allow for deployment of this and other workloads to any public cloud. BUPA said: “Citrix modules that previously took half an hour or more to boot were now starting in seconds.” Read a case study here.

High-performance NVMe array supplier Pavilion Data announced a partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) to co-develop and evaluate the acceleration of analytics by offloading analytics functions from storage servers to the storage array, minimizing data movement by enabling data reduction near the storage. LANL is moving their I/O from file based to record or column based, to enable analytics using tools from the big data community. It  has shown 1000x speed-ups on analytics functions by using data reduction near the storage devices via their DeltaFS technology. We are told the data processing algorithms of Pavilion HyperOS coupled with the performance density of its HyperParallel Flash Array provides a fast computational storage array capability enabling analytics offloads at scale.

Qumulo has introduced non-disruptive rolling Core software upgrades across a cluster of nodes. It’s available immediately for Network File Storage (NFS) v3.x, with a planned expansion to support NFS v4.x this summer. The rolling update process within Qumulo Core allows for node reboots with no downtime to the cluster. Stateful requests can be handed off to other processes on an individual node, as other processes update. Full platform upgrades update underlying component firmware and operating systems, giving the administrator an option to perform the upgrade as a parallel upgrade (with minimal downtime) or as a rolling, non-disruptive upgrade (with one node going offline and upgraded at a time). Non-disruptive rolling upgrades give storage administrators the freedom to run upgrades during normal operating hours instead of during off-hours, weekends or holidays.

Data protector and security supplier Rubrik has hired Michael Mestrovich as CISO. At the Central Intelligence Agency, Mestrovich led cyber defense operations, developing and implementing cybersecurity regulations and standards, and directing the evaluation and engineering of cyber technologies. He also served as the Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer for the US Department of State where he was responsible for managing the department’s $2.6 billion, 2,500-person global IT enterprise.

Snowflake’s revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2023 ended April 30 was $422.4 million, up 85 percent year-on-year. Product revenues were up 84 percent to $394.4 million. The net revenue retention rate was 174 percent. It now has 6,322 total customers, up from 5,994 last quarter, and 206 customers with trailing 12-month product revenue greater than $1 million. Snowflake recorded a loss of $165.8 million. Chairman and CEO Frank Slootman said: “We closed the quarter with a record $181 million of non-GAAP adjusted free cash flow, pairing high growth with improving unit economics and operational efficiency. Snowflake’s strategic focus is to enable every single workload type that needs access to data.” Guidance for the next quarter is for revenues of $435-$440 million, compared to $272.2 million revenues in Q2 2022.

Snowflake’s revenue growth is accelerating


NAND industry research house TrendForce says NAND flash bit shipments and average selling prices fell by 0.5 percent and 2.3 percent respectively in Q1 2022, causing a 3 percent quarterly decrease in overall industry revenue to $17.92 billion. The market was oversupplied, resulting in a drop in contract prices in Q1, among which the decline in consumer-grade products was more pronounced. Although enterprise SSD purchase order volume has grown, demand for smartphone parts has weakened and inflation is rising. Looking to Q2, the same dynamics are expected to continue to slow the growth of consumption, however, the ongoing shift large North American datacenters to high-capacity SSDs will drive enterprise SSD growth by 13 percent. 

Virtium has announced a new StorFly XE class M.2 NVMe SSD product portfolio with up to 10x more endurance than TLC SSDs – because they use pseudoSLC flash, a hybrid of 2-bit per cell MLC using firmware to emulate the storage states of 1-bit per cell SLC, with up to 30,000 PE cycles. This pSLC NAND has much better data retention performance at higher temperatures, yet at a fraction of the cost compared to SLC. The XE class M.2 NVMe SSDs are configurable and include vendor-specific commands to tune critical parameters including power and capacity. They also provide extremely steady performance over the full SSD capacity and over the full -40 to 85°C temperature range, meaning they won’t suffer the frequent and erratic performance drops often found in client and enterprise-class SSDs.