Storage news ticker – June 4

Startup AirMettle has joined the STAC Benchmark Council. AirMettle’s analytical data platform is designed to accelerate exploratory analytics on big data – from records to multi-dimensional data (e.g. weather) to AI for rich media – by integrating parallel processing within a software-defined storage service deployed on-prem and in clouds.

Catalogic has announced the newest version of its Catalogic DPX enterprise data protection software, focusing on enhancements to the DPX vStor backup repository technology. There are significant advancements in data immutability and recovery functionalities, and vStor Snapshot Explorer feature, all designed to bolster the security and flexibility of the company’s flagship enterprise backup solution. Users can now directly access and recover files on snapshots stored in vStor, simplifying the recovery process and reducing recovery time during critical operations.

Cloudera has acquired Verta’s Operational AI Platform. The Verta team will join Cloudera’s machine learning group, reporting to Chief Product Officer, Dipto Chakravarty. They will draw on their collective expertise to help drive Cloudera’s AI roadmap and enable the company to effectively anticipate the needs of its global customer base. Founded on research conducted at MIT by Dr. Manasi Vartak, Verta’s former CEO, and then further developed with Dr. Conrado Miranda, Verta’s former CTO, Verta was a pioneer in model management, serving, and governance for predictive and generative AI (GenAI). It addresses one of the biggest hurdles in AI deployments by enabling organizations to effectively build, operationalize, monitor, secure, and scale models across the enterprise. Verta’s technology simplifies the process of turning datasets into custom retrieval-augmented generation applications, enabling any developer—no matter their level of machine learning expertise—to create and optimize business-ready large language models (LLMs). These features—along Verta’s genAI workbench, model catalog, and AI governance tools—will enhance Cloudera’s platform capabilities as it continues to deliver on the promise of enterprise AI for its global customer base. 

Lakehouse supplier Dremio has confirmed support for the Apache Iceberg REST Catalog Specification. This is the foundation for metadata accessibility across Iceberg catalogs. With this new capability, Dremio is able to seamlessly read from and write to any REST-compatible Iceberg catalog, we’re told, and provide customers with the open, flexible ecosystem needed for enterprise interoperability at scale. This news follows Dremio’s recent integration of Project Nessie into Dremio Software where customers can now use a powerful Iceberg catalog everywhere they use Dremio.

ExaGrid, which says it’s only Tiered Backup Storage solution with Retention Time-Lock that includes a non-network-facing tier (creating a tiered air gap), delayed deletes and immutability for ransomware recovery, announced it’s achieved “Veeam Ready-Object” status, verifying that Veeam can write to ExaGrid Tiered Backup Storage as an S3 object store target, as well as the capability to support Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 using S3 directly to ExaGrid.

Mike Snitzer.

Hammerspace has appointed a long-time leader in the Linux kernel community – Mike Snitzer – to its software engineering team, where he will focus on Linux kernel development for Hammerspace’s Global Data Platform and accelerating advancements in standards-based Hyperscale NAS and Data Orchestration. He joins Trond Myklebust, Hammerspace CTO, as the second Linux kernel maintainer on the Hammerspace engineering staff. Snitzer has 24 years of experience developing software for Linux and high-performance computing clusters and will focus on Linux kernel development for Hammerspace’s Global Data Platform.

IBM has produced a Storage Ceph Solutions Guide. The target audience for this publication is IBM Storage Ceph architects, IT specialists, and storage administrators. This edition applies to IBM Storage Ceph Version 6. Storage Ceph comes with a GUI that is called Dashboard. This dashboard can simplify deployment, management, or monitoring. The Dashboard chapter features an Introduction, and then Connecting to the cluster Dashboard, Expanding the cluster, Reducing the number of monitors to three, Configuring RADOS Gateway, Creating a RADOS Block Device, Creating an image, Creating a Ceph File System, and Monitoring.

We asked the LTO organisation about tape endurance and customer tape copy refresh operations (re-silvering) frequency. It replied: “Life expectancy and migration serve distinct purposes in data management. The life expectancy of LTO tape cartridges is typically around 30 years under the conditions set by the tape manufacturer, and this ensures that the quality of archived data remains intact for reliable reading and recovery. However, individual tape admins may choose to migrate their data to a new cartridge more often than this.  

“Typically, migration is performed every 7 to 10 years, primarily due to evolving infrastructure technologies. When a customer’s tape drives start ageing, getting sufficient service and support can become more difficult in terms of finding parts and receiving code updates, and this is completely natural with any type of electronic goods in the market. Customers will therefore often take advantage of the highest capacities of the latest generations, so there are fewer pieces of media to manage, at the same time that slots are freed within libraries to include more cartridges and increase the library capacity without the need to buy more libraries or expansions. 

“Some tape admins might decide to retain drives to read older cartridges, and only migrate opportunistically as these cartridges are required to be read. For example, LTO-3 was launched back in 2005 – nearly 20 years ago – and yet today you can still buy an LTO-5 brand new tape drive which will read all the way back to LTO-3 media, enabling customers that have kept it all this time to still read it. 

“When it comes to TCO, customers will need to decide on their migration strategy in order to calculate the differences between tape and disk.”

AI is driving the need for a new category of connectivity devices – PCIe retimers – to scale high-speed connections between AI accelerators, GPUs, CPUs, and other components inside servers. Marvell expanded its connectivity portfolio with new PCIe Gen 6 retimers (in 8 and 16-lane) built on the company’s 5nm PAM4 technology. The Alaska P PCIe retimer product line delivers reliable communication over the physical distances required for connections inside servers. According to Marvell, the 16-lane product operates at the lowest power in the market today – it’s sampling now to customers and ecosystem partners.

Micron has achieved its qualification sample milestone for CZ120 memory expansion modules using Compute Express Link (CXL). Micron is the first in the industry to achieve this milestone, which accelerates the adoption of CXL solutions within the datacenter to tackle growing memory challenges stemming from existing data-intensive workloads and emerging AI and ML workloads. 

The Micron CZ120 memory expansion modules, which utilize CXL, provide the building blocks to address this challenge. These modules offer 128 GB and 256 GB densities and enable up to 2 TB of added capacity at the server level. This higher capacity is complemented by a bandwidth increase of 38 GBps that stems from saturating each of the PCIe Gen5 x8 lanes. Traditional SaaS enterprise workloads such as in-memory databases, SQL Server, OLAP and data analytics see a substantial performance increase when the system memory is augmented with CZ120 memory modules, delivering up to a 1.9x TPC-H benchmark improvement. Enhanced GPU LLM inferencing is also facilitated with Micron’s CZ120 memory, leading to faster time to insights and better sustained GPU utilization. 

William Blair analyst Jason Ader tells subscribers that MSP backup services supplier N-able is exploring a potential sale after attracting interest from private equity. While the news is yet to be confirmed, N-able is reportedly in talks with peers in the software sector and private equity firms, with specific mention of Barracuda Networks, a cybersecurity company owned by KKR. Barracuda, which specializes in network security, was acquired by KKR in 2022 from Thoma Bravo for $4 billion. Similarly, N-able was spun out of SolarWinds in 2021, which was acquired by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo for $4.5 billion in 2016, resulting in the two firms each owning about a third of N-able today.

Nvidia announced the world’s 28 million developers can download NVIDIA NIM inference microservices that provide models as optimized containers to deploy on clouds, data centers or workstations, giving them the ability to build generative AI applications for copilots, chatbots and more, in minutes rather than weeks. Nearly 200 technology partners — including Cadence, ClouderaCohesityDataStaxNetApp, Scale AI and Synopsys — are integrating NIM into their platforms to speed generative AI deployments for domain-specific applications, such as copilots, code assistants and digital human avatars. Hugging Face is now offering NIM — starting with Meta Llama 3. Over 40 NVIDIA and community models are available to experience as NIM endpoints on, including Databricks DBRX, Google’s open model Gemma, Meta Llama 3, Microsoft Phi-3, Mistral Large, Mixtral 8x22B and Snowflake Arctic.

Veeam backup target appliance Object First has announced expanded capacity of 192 TB for its Ootbi disk-based appliance. This means up to 768 TB of usable immutable backup storage per cluster. Ootbi version 1.5 is generally available today. General availability of the Ootbi 192 TB appliance is expected worldwide from August 2024. There are now three Ootbi models:

  • Ootbi 64 TB model: 10 x 8 TB SAS HDDs configured in RAID 6 
  • Ootbi 128 TB model: 10 x 16 TB SAS HDDs configured in RAID 6
  • Ootbi 192 TB model: 10 x 24 TB SAS HDDs configured in RAID 6

On June 4, RelationalAI, creators of the industry’s first knowledge graph coprocessor for the data cloud, will be presenting alongside customers AT&T, Cash App, and Blue Yonder at the Snowflake Data Cloud Summit. Its knowledge graph coprocessor is available as a Snowflake Native App on the Snowflake Marketplace. Backed by Snowflake founder and former CEO, Bob Muglia, RelationalAI has taken $122 million in total funding.

Enterprise scale-out file system supplier Qumulo is the first networked storage supplier to join the Ultra Ethernet Consortium (UEC). It is collaborating with Intel and Arista Networks to advance the state of the art in IT infrastructure at the intersection of networking, storage, and data management. These technologies enhance the performance and operations of Qumulo’s Scale Anywhere Data Management platform. Qumulo has deployed over an exabyte of storage across hundreds of customers jointly with Arista Networks EOS-based switching and routing systems. Ed Chapman, vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Arista Networks, said: “Qumulo joining the UEC is further validation that Ethernet and IP are the right foundation for the next generation of general purpose, cloud, and AI computing and storage.”

AI startup SambaNova has broken a record in GenAI LLM speed, with Samba-1 Turbo reaching a record 1,084 tokens per second on Meta’s Llama 3 Instruct (8B), according to Artificial Analysis, a provider of objective benchmarks & information about AI models. This speed is more than eight times faster than the median across other providers. SambaNova has now leapfrogged Groq, with the latter announcing 800 tokens per second in April. For reference, OpenAI’s GPT-4o can only generate 100 tokens per second and averages 50-60 tokens per second in real-world use. 

The Samsung Electronics Union is planning to strike on June 7. TrendForce reports that this strike will not impact DRAM and NAND flash production, nor will it cause any shipment shortages. Additionally, the spot prices for DRAM and NAND had been declining prior to the strike announcement, and there has been no change in this downtrend since.

The SNIA’s Storage Management Initiative (SMI) has made the SNIA Swordfish v1.2.7 Working Draft available for public review. SNIA Swordfish provides a standardized approach to manage storage and servers in hyperscale and cloud infrastructure environments, making it easier for IT administrators to integrate scalable solutions into their datacenters. Swordfish v1.2.7 has been released in preparation for DMTF’s Redfish version 2024.2, enabling DMTF and SNIA to jointly deliver new functionality. The release also contains expanded functionality for Configuration Locking.

Data warehouser and wannabee data lake supplier Snowflake announced Polaris Catalog, a vendor-neutral, open catalog implementation for Apache Iceberg — the open standard of choice for implementing data lakehouses, data lakes, and other modern architectures. Polaris Catalog will be open sourced in the next 90 days to provide enterprises and the entire Iceberg community with new levels of choice, flexibility, and control over their data, with full enterprise security and Apache Iceberg interoperability with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Confluent, Dremio, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce, and more.

Snowflake has adopted NVIDIA AI Enterprise software to integrate NeMo Retriever microservices into Snowflake Cortex AI, Snowflake’s fully managed large language model (LLM) and vector search service. This will enable organizations to seamlessly connect custom models to diverse business data and deliver highly accurate responses. In addition, Snowflake Arctic, the open, enterprise-grade LLM, is now fully supported with NVIDIA TensorRT-LLM software, providing users with highly optimized performance. Arctic is also now available as an NVIDIA NIM inference microservice, allowing more developers to access Arctic’s efficient intelligence. NVIDIA AI Enterprise software capabilities to be offered in Cortex AI include NeMo Retriever (info retrieval with high accuracy and powerful performance for RAG GenAi within Cortex AI) and Triton Inference Server with the ability to deploy, run, and scale AI inference for any application on any platform. NVIDIA NIM inference microservices – a set of pre-built AI containers and part of NVIDIA AI Enterprise – can be deployed right within Snowflake as a native app powered by Snowpark Container Services. The app enables organizations to easily deploy a series of foundation models right within Snowflake. 

StorONE will be showcased at VeeamON from June 3-5 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. StorONE seamlessly transforms into a backup target, integrating flawlessly with Veeam. The platform brings three distinct advantages to the backup and archival use case specific to Veeam:

  • Maximized Drive Utilization: More data can be stored on fewer drives without the performance penalty of de-duplication.
  • Built-In Security: From immutable snapshots to multi-admin approval, data security is managed at the storage layer for rapid recovery.
  • Fast Restores and Production Capability: StorONE is a fully featured array capable of fast restores and running as a production copy if required and has the necessary Flash resources.

“Veeam provides for backup data movement and cataloging along with security features, while StorONE adds an extra, complimentary layer of security, including multi-admin approval for changes,” said Gal Naor, CEO of StorONE. “StorONE also unlocks many advanced features of Veeam, as it is a fully-featured array that can be configured for backups and high-performance storage, allowing Veeam restores and data integrity features to operate efficiently yet at a dramatically less expensive price point than competing backup solutions.”

TrendForce reports that a reduction in supplier production has led to unmet demand for high-capacity orders since 4Q23. Combined with procurement strategies aimed at building low-cost inventory, this has driven orders and significantly boosted enterprise SSD revenue, which reached $3.758 billion in 1Q24 – a staggering 62.9 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. Demand for high capacity, driven by AI servers, has surged. North American are clients increasingly adopting high-capacity QLC SSDs to replace HDDs, leading to an estimate of more than 20 percent growth in Q2 enterprise SSD bit procurement. This has also driven up Q2 enterprise SSD contract prices by more than 20 percent, with revenue expected to grow by another 20 percent.

Western Digital says that on Monday, June 10, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific / 4:00 p.m. Eastern, Robert Soderbery, EVP And GM its Flash business and other senior execs will host a webcast on the “New Era of NAND.” They’ll share WD’s view of the new dynamics in the NAND market and its commitment to NAND Tech innovation. There’ll be a Q&A session and the live webcast will be accessible through WD’s Investor Relations website at with an archived replay available shortly after the conclusion of the presentation.

Software RAID supplier Xinnor is included in the Arm Partner Program. Xinnor’s latest solution brief, “xiRAID Superfast RAID Engine for NVMe SSD on Arm-Based BlueField3 DPU,” is now available at the Arm partner portal. “There is an insatiable amount of data being produced today, especially with advances in AI,” said Kevin Ryan, senior director of partner ecosystem marketing at Arm. “More than ever, these increasingly complex workloads require high-performance and efficient data storage solutions, and we look forward to seeing how Xinnor’s addition to the Arm Partner Program will enable greater innovation in this space.”