EMC’s Project Liberty

We have long noted that NetApp is a software company that wraps hardware around its software. While this is an intentional over simplification, it makes the point that NetApp’s primary value add is ONTAP (their OS/Filesystem).

This wasn’t noted about EMC, partly because it owns VMware and partly due to ignorance. But EMC may be no different from NetApp in this respect. EMC has unbundled their VNX software from their hardware. Read about it here.

Such a move is dramatic. It opens the way for complete commoditization of hardware. It is not clear how this will shake up the industry. Hopefully, it leads to healthy competition resulting in lower prices and greater choices for consumers. Of course that is not EMC’s motivation. It may be reactive because they feel the sun is setting on enterprise SAN (and NAS) and this is the best way for VNX to remain relevant.

The Return of Tape Storage

Sony has increased bit density of tape to 148GB per square inch up from the previous record fo 29.5GB. That is about 6 Blu-ray DVDs per square inch. A single tape cassette can hold 185TB.

Tape storage will still be a niche because access is slow and non-sequential access is death. Read more here.

SSDs may not catch up with HDDs

We all know SSDs are more expensive than HDDs. Although, SSDs out perform HDDs  in IOPS/$, they are far behind in other dimensions, especially, GBs/$. However, it has been predicted that SSD cost-performance will pass that of HDD in all dimensions soon. According to a new report this may not be true.  “Most of these assumptions were made in early 2012. So far they have turned out to be partially true at best and wrong at worst.” Read the whole thing.

MIT Prototypes Zippy Flash-FPGA Hybrid Storage Array

From article:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with funding from server maker Quanta and flash chip maker Samsung, are combining flash storage and field programmable gate arrays in a new way that is yielding a peppy and scalable storage cluster that rivals that bandwidth and low latency of very high-end storage area network or clustered file systems.