Storage news ticker – September 20

Storage news
Storage news

Data protector Acronis has announced Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office (formerly Acronis True Image) with a suite of features that integrate secure backup and AI-based security, making it the “ultimate must-have solution” for individuals, families, home office users, and small businesses. It includes AI capabilities to proactively identify and neutralize potential threats, while providing an added layer of security against cyber-attacks including automated recovery from ransomware attacks. Enable the two-factor authentication (2FA) functionality to maximize your security. It also includes Backup and Cloning, Remote Management, a mobile app, and backup. 

Airbyte, creators of the fastest-growing open source data integration platform, says that its community has built more than 1,500 connectors in just three months using its no-code connector builder. It says that over the last six months the Airbyte engineering team has made significant progress on performance – multiplying the speed by up to 10 times for popular PostgreSQL and MySQL source connectors.

An Arcserve survey has revealed that healthcare was the most targeted industry by ransomware last year. Some 45 percent of healthcare respondents suffered a ransomware attack in the past 12 months. Two out of three paid the ransom and 82 percent of healthcare IT departments do not have an updated disaster recovery plan.

Sarv Saravanan

Data protector Commvault has appointed Sarv Saravanan as its first chief customer officer. He comes from Microsoft where he led its Global Delivery Center, which engages with the company’s biggest customers and their strategic partners to accelerate cloud transformations. Saravanan said: “In an industry facing threats that are more autonomous than ever before, customers are looking for unparalleled cyber resiliency know-how and an aggressive roadmap that harnesses the power of AI with the ease of SaaS. By continuing to redefine data protection, Commvault will widen its competitive advantage while furthering its customers’ advantages.” 

Edge-to-cloud file services supplier CTERA has published some ransomware stats saying 85 percent of organizations suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months. Over 93 percent of ransomware attacks explicitly target backups. After an attack, the average time to recovery stands at 3.4 weeks. This means businesses typically face a downtime of 136 hours at an astonishing cost of $300k per hour. Alarmingly, one in four organizations pay the ransom and never recover their data. CTERA says it and Scality offer unbreakable ransomware protection, data immutability, and operational efficiency. 

Cosmetics house L’Oréal is using Databricks to power its global Beauty Tech Data Platform as part of a multi-cloud strategy to improve customer experience across the globe. The Databricks Lakehouse will unify data across all of L’Oréal’s cloud data platforms. The Lakehouse will provide a complete view of the consumer’s data, from inquiry to purchase, from shipment to care, and from the online to offline experience. Etienne Bertin, Group CIO, stated: “L’Oréal operates in 150 countries, selling over 7 billion cosmetic products to more than 1.2 billion consumers every year, so having a data architecture that is unified, open, cloud-agnostic, interoperable, secure and scalable, is integral to our success. Leveraging the Databricks Lakehouse is enriching our global Beauty Tech Data Platform, and we are excited to see the partnership evolve in the years ahead.”

Real-time AI database supplier DataStax has announced a new JSON API for Astra DB database-as-a-service built on the open source Apache Cassandra. Available via the open source data API gateway, Stargate, the JSON API lets JavaScript developers use Astra DB as a vector database for their large language model, AI assistant, and real-time generative AI projects. It provides a way to work with Astra DB as a document database and has compatibility with Mongoose, the most popular open source object data modeling library for MongoDB. This makes it simple for JavaScript developers to build generative AI applications with vector search using MongoDB. 

Cloud file services collaboration supplier Egnyte has strengthened its partnership with Microsoft. Customers now get real-time document collaboration and sharing features through Microsoft 365 and a Microsoft Teams integration. Customers can share and upload files directly within Teams or directly into Egnyte. Customers can co-edit documents in real time through an enhancement to the existing Egnyte integration into Microsoft 365. Co-editing enables users on the same Egnyte account to collaborate in real-time on Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents, whether they are in Office desktop or web. Customers now have the ability to default to Egnyte as their file storage location for all of their files uploaded and shared in the Teams app.

Decentralized storage provider Impossible Cloud has been certified by Veritas as a target for Backup Exec. Impossible Cloud has also become an Elite Partner in the Veritas Technology Ecosystem program. “This is a major step in the growth and development of Impossible Cloud, and in the delivery of cloud services to global corporations seeking to leverage the many efficiencies, cost-savings and security benefits of decentralized cloud infrastructure,” said Kai Wawrzinek, CEO and co-founder. “Veritas is a global leader, and Backup Exec – which is an ideal fit with Impossible Cloud’s storage solutions – is trusted by more than 45,000 businesses worldwide. We look forward to working with Veritas as we help drive the web3 B2B revolution to transform cloud storage.”

Kinetica has announced a native LLM that allows users to perform ad-hoc data analysis on real-time, structured data at speed using natural language. Unlike with public LLMs, no external API call is required and data never leaves the customer’s environment. This announcement follows Kinetica’s integration of its analytic database with OpenAI.

File data management supplier Komprise has revealed the results of its 2023 State of Unstructured Data Management survey. It finds that IT and business leaders are largely allowing employee use of generative AI but the majority (66 percent) are most concerned about the data governance risks from AI, including privacy, security and the lack of data source transparency in vendor solutions. Preparing for AI is the leading data storage priority in 2023 followed by cloud cost optimization.

  • The majority (40 percent) will pursue a multi-pronged approach to manage AI risk, encompassing storage, data management and security tools
  • Organizations managing more than 10PB of data grew from 27 to 32 percent this year, a 19 percent increase
  • Half of organizations are managing 5PB or more of data, similar to 2022
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) are spending 30 percent or more of IT budget on data storage and protection, measurably higher than 67 percent in 2022
  • The top unstructured data management challenge is moving data without disrupting users and applications (47 percent) followed closely by preparing for AI and cloud services (46 percent)
  • Most (85 percent) say that non-IT users should have a role in managing their own data and 62 percent already have attained some level of user self-service for unstructured data management
  • Monitoring and alerting for capacity issues and anomalies led the pack for important future unstructured data management capabilities (44 percent)

Microchip Technology has an analog memory technology, the memBrain neuromorphic memory system, based on its SuperFlash technology and optimized to perform vector matrix multiplication (VMM) for neural networks. It uses an analog in-memory compute approach, enhancing AI inference at the edge. As current neural net models may require 50 million or more synapses (weights) for processing, it becomes challenging to have enough bandwidth for an off-chip DRAM, creating a bottleneck for neural net computing and an increase in overall compute power. In contrast, the memBrain solution stores synaptic weights in the on-chip floating gate – offering significant improvements in system latency. When compared to traditional digital DSP and SRAM/DRAM based approaches, it delivers 10 to 20 times lower power and significantly reduced overall BOM.

Microchip is partnering with Intelligent Hardware Korea (IHWK) to develop an analog compute platform to accelerate edge AI/ML inferencing. Using Microchip’s memBrain nonvolatile in-memory compute technology and working with universities, IHWK is creating a SoC processor for neurotechnology devices.

A researcher from Safe Breach was able to leverage Microsoft’s OneDrive as ransomware. The DoubleDrive ransomware attack primarily targets personal OneDrive accounts and takes advantage of the synchronization behavior. This attack demonstrates a potential security weakness where files outside the OneDrive sync folder are still vulnerable, even when stored on a cloud service. ThreatLocker’s Cybersecurity Research team has been able to replicate this attack on the latest version of OneDrive. OneDrive client versions 23.061.0319.0003, 23.101.0514.0001, and later are vulnerable. There is a proof of concept with updated info on Double Drive Ransomware here.

Massive scale analytics database storage supplier Ocient has released its annual Beyond Big Data Report showcasing how companies will treat their growing data. Data Quality (47 percent) was the top analytics priority of 2023 for IT Leaders, closely followed by streamlining AI and increasing flexibility. Key insights from the report include that 80 percent say their organizations have started advancing with LLMs or generative AI technologies; 90 percent of IT and Data Leaders are planning to remove or replace existing big data and analytics technologies in the next 6 to 12 months; 46 percent cite lack of proper IT, data engineering, DBA, and other technical talent/staff remains as a top-three challenge to business transformation; 34 percent of IT leaders say their data analytics roadmap for the next 12 to 18 months will include a hybrid cloud and an on-premises strategy. The full report is available for review here.

Oracle is adding semantic search capabilities using AI vectors to Oracle Database 23c.  There will an AI Vector Search feature set, with a vector data type, vector indexes, and vector search SQL operators. This will enable Oracle’s database to store the semantic content of documents, images, and other unstructured data as vectors, and use these to run fast similarity queries. A new AI vector similarity search allows the combination of search on semantic and business data resulting in highly accurate answers quickly and securely. The integrated Vector Database features will augment Generative AI and, Oracle claims, dramatically increase developer productivity.

RAID Incorporated today announced a scale-out and scale-up software defined product, Grid Storage Manager. It enables enterprises to create scalable, flexible, and cost-effective storage infrastructures. With support for all major file, block, and object protocols including iSCSI/FC, NFS/SMB, and S3, Grid Storage Manager storage grids may be configured to address the needs of complex workflows which span sites and datacenters. It is available as a pre-configured appliance that combines hardware and software. It is integrated with enterprise-grade open storage technologies, and supports a wide range of deployment scenarios, including on-premises, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud environments. More info here.

Western Digital introduced SanDisk Professional brand products at IBC2023. The SanDisk Professional G-DRIVE PROJECT has a Thunderbolt 3 interface, compatible with USB 3.2 Gen 2, and a 7,200rpm Ultrastar disk drive with capacities up to 22TB and 260MBps read/write speed. Available now starting at MSRP $369.99 for 6TB in the United States with a five-year limited warranty. The SanDisk Professional G-RAID MIRROR has up to 44TB of max capacity (22TB in default RAID 1) on two 7200RPM Ultrastar drives. Change to JBOD or RAID 0 by flipping a switch. Pre-order the device now from the Western Digital Store. MSRP in the United States starts at $659.99 for 12TB with a five-year limited warranty. The SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CFexpress Type B card has minimum sustained write speeds of 1,400MBps and lets users capture cinema-quality 8K video without dropping frames. Pre-order the device now from the Western Digital Store. MSRP in the United States starts at $399.99 for 320GB with a limited lifetime warranty.

Interconnect technology supplier XConn Technologies said it will demonstrate the complete Compute Express Link (CXL) 2.0 ecosystem, from end-to-end, at Intel Innovation, September 19-20, in San Jose Convention Center, booth 229. It will showcase the CXL 2.0 specification in action, from host to device, for the ability to scale up to 15 TB to support “Just a Bunch of Memory” (JBOM) applications needed by HPC and AI environments. Its Apollo Switch which supports CXL 2.0 interoperates with Samsung DRAM Memory Expander supporting CXL, Micron CZ120 memory expansion module, Memory eXpander Controller (MXC) for CXL from Montage Technology, and the high-speed CPU interconnect (CMM) for CXL from Smart Modular Technologies. The Apollo switch is the industry’s first and only hybrid CXL 2.0 and PCIe Gen 5 interconnect solution. On a single 256-lane SoC, the XConn switch offers the industry’s lowest port-to-port latency and lowest power consumption per port in a single chip at a low total cost of ownership.