Storage news ticker – March 27

DataStax has integrated with Microsoft’s Semantic Kernel to help developers build retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) applications and vectorize data with Astra DB and Semantic Kernel’s extensible open source SDK for AI applications and agents. Any C#, Python, or full-stack application developers can build RAG apps and AI agents for their enterprise data using Semantic Kernel’s features for managing contextual conversations, multi-step functions, and connections with the Microsoft AI ecosystem. Semantic Kernel lets developers build agents that can call to existing code and be used with orchestration models like OpenAI, Azure OpenAI, GitHub Copilot, and Hugging Face. Key features of Semantic Kernel include semantic functions, chaining capabilities, planners, and connectors for various enterprise applications and data sources.

Data lakehouse supplier Dremio announced general availability of Dremio Cloud on Microsoft Azure, claiming lakehouse flexibility, scalability, and performance at a fraction of the cost of traditional data warehouses. Dremio Cloud on Azure dynamically and automatically optimizes resources and capacity based on usage. It has end-to-end TLS encryption and no customer data resides within the Dremio environment. Customers can control their data within their own Azure tenant, in storage services such as Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS).

FileShadow is a SaaS service that connects user content from wherever those files are located – cloud storage, email, mobile devices, hard drives etc. – to a FileShadow Library. It can be used on a desktop, a browser, or a mobile device, and users can share their content with others through it. FileShadow has announced person detection and object identification in user images, allowing them to tag individuals (or other objects). It can help photographers organize images of a shoot, group images associated with an event, and label names of buildings or animals.

InterSystems has added vector search to its IRIS data platform to enhance its functionality for natural language processing (NLP), text, and image analysis tasks. This capability allows the IRIS software to manage and query content and related dense vector embeddings – particularly as it enables RAG integration to develop generative AI-based applications.

Storage exec Michael Sotnick, Nasuni
Michael Sotnick

Cloud file services supplier Nasuni has appointed Michael Sotnick as its SVP of business and corporate development. He joins Nasuni from Pure Storage, where he served as the VP of alliances and business development for eight years. Sotnick assumes responsibility for Nasuni’s global partnerships including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud, and will also drive new strategic technology partnerships.

According to a source, a visiting NetApp senior exec told people at an Australian event last week that Dell could offload its storage business. Both Dell and NetApp declined to comment when asked. 

Nvidia’s AI Enterprise software platform is generally available. It includes microservices such as NIM to speed up Gen AI application deployments, cuOpt for routing problems, and AI Workbench to create, test, and customize pre-trained Gen AI models and LLMs on a PC or workstation and infrastructure management enhancements. Check out the announcement blog for more information.

Media workflow NAS supplier OpenDrives has a forthcoming Atlas product and workflow-centric business model to be unveiled at NAB 2024 in Las Vegas, April 13–17. It will let Atlas customers adjust their capabilities based on their creative workflow requirements, with a straightforward process for upgrading or downgrading.

Samsung unveiled the expansion of its Compute Express Link (CXL) memory module portfolio and showcased its latest HBM3E technology at Memcon 2024 in Santa Clara, California. It introduced its CXL Memory Module – Box (CMM-B), a CXL DRAM memory pooling product that can hold 8x CMM-D E3.s devices and provide up to 2TB of capacity with up to 60GB/sec bandwidth and 596ns latency.

A CXL Memory Module Hybrid for Tiered Memory (CMM-H TM) that combines DRAM and NAND media in an Add-in Card (AIC) form factor was introduced as part of Project Peaberry with Broadcom’s VMware unit.

A CXL Memory Module – DRAM (CMM-D) technology, validated with Red Hat, has DRAM integrated with CXL to facilitate connectivity between an x86 CPU and memory expansion devices. Samsung also demonstrated its HBM3E 12Hi chip. 

SIOS LifeKeeper storage product
SIOS LifeKeeper Web Management Console screenshot

High availability supplier SIOS has a new web console for its LifeKeeper for Linux product. LifeKeeper protects apps such as SAP HANA, Oracle, and others from downtime and disasters. The LifeKeeper Web Management Console (LKWMC) features:

  • Simplified processes and intuitive interfaces to save time and reduce errors in configuration and ongoing management;
  • Set up Progress Tracking to monitor the installation process in real time;
  • Self-Help “Information Cues” simplifying configuration and management;
  • Self-Contained system simplifying the deployment process and reduces maintenance overhead, with no need for Java or X Window System installation on the server;
  • Language localization support initially available in both Japanese and English;
  • Simplified firewall management requiring only two TCP ports;
  • Access and functionality across a range of devices, including tablets and smartphones;
  • Support for leading platforms, operating systems, and enhanced SAP integration.

SMART Modular Technologies introduces its ultra-high reliability memory solution, Zefr ZDIMM memory modules, offered in both DDR4-3200 and DDR5-5600 form factors and available in mainstream densities. “The industry standard for defective parts per million, or DPPM, for DRAM modules is in the 3,000 to 5,000 range,” said Tom Quinn, SMART’s SVP of business development. “Typical Zefr ZDIMM module DPPM ranges from 200 to 300. This ultra-high reliability is valuable in critical data processing environments where uptime is paramount and downtime costs can quickly escalate.” Learn more at DDR4 ZDIMM and DDR5 ZDIMM microsites.

SMART Modular Technologies storage product

SQream, which supplies a scalable GPU data analytics platform, and Qantm AI, an advisory service for AI strategy, AI governance, and AI architectures, have announced a collaboration to provide SQream’s technology to Qantm AI’s customers.

StorPool Storage was named as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies according to a Financial Times report, which ranked organizations by the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2019 and 2022. The biz was 842 on the list, with a CAGR of 42.4 percent during the time period. StorPool was one of only 147 tech companies in the survey – and the only company from Bulgaria – to be ranked in each of the past three years.

Storage exec Rick Scurfield, VAST Data
Rick Scurfield

Synology says its Active Backup and C2 Backup offerings have achieved a milestone, safeguarding over 20 million SaaS user accounts, endpoints, servers, and VMs worldwide.

VAST Data has appointed its first CRO: Rick Scurfield, who comes after a short break from being NetApp’s chief commercial officer. Scurfield, who spent 20-plus years at NetApp, takes over sales from VAST president Mike Wing.

UK-based channel-first cloud and DR specialist VirtualDCS  has launched CloudCover Guardian for Azure, powered by Veeam, which it claims is the world’s most comprehensive Azure backup service, protecting more than 250 configurable items in an established Microsoft 365 estate. It’s an alternative to Keepit, OwnBackup, and other Microsoft 365 SaaS backup services. CloudCover 365 offers more backup time slots than any other Microsoft 365 Backup solution in the market, where organizations can backup and protect data up to 12 times a day, providing a two-hour RPO window for business-critical data.

Western Digital has spread its 24TB HDD technology to its Red Pro NAS drives. The Red Pro has a 2–24TB capacity range, a 550TB/year workload, 600,000 load/unload cycles, 2.5 million hours MTBF, 6GB/sec SATA interface, 7,200rpm spin speed, 287MB/sec sustained transfer rate at the 24TB capacity level, and OptiNAND technology with iNAND UFS embedded flash drive for 20, 22, and 24TB capacities.

XConn Technologies announced the release of early production samples for its “Apollo” CXL 2.0 switch. It says the Apollo switch is the industry’s first and only hybrid CXL 2.0 and PCIe 5 interconnect product. 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. XConn’s Apollo will be the central component of a real-world use case demonstration of a CXL Memory Pool with Samsung during MemCon 2024, March 26–27, in Mountain View, California.