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Fibre Channel Industry Association announces new standards for converged data center storage networks

The Fibre Channel Industry Association has announced this week that the T11 Technical Committee has issued new standards for converged data center storage networks. The technical committee is said to have made significant enhancements to the widely adopted FC BB-5 (Fibre Channel Backbone-5) in order to foster converged storage network technologies such as Fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

Fibre Channel Backbone-6 (FC BB-6) standards were finalized in December 2013, by the working group of FC BB-6. The group also announced the complements and advances of the existing FC-BB5 standard and officially forwarded it to the International Committee on Information Technology Standards (INCITS) for publication in Q3-2014.

Dr. J Metz, Board of Director for FCIA said that the new FC-BB-6 represents the ongoing evolution of the FC technology to leverage Ubiquitous data center resources such as Ethernet. He added that as the industry moves forward with the technology more creative and flexible solutions inside the data center can be fostered with the applicability of FC as a protocol for deterministic storage requirements.

FC-BB-6 will move forward with the enhancements, while preserving full compatibility of the earlier FC-BB-6 standard. This includes-

  • Support for VN2VN connectivity, where the establishment for direct point-to-point virtual links between nodes in an FCoE network is made possible. This enables simple configurations for smaller environments. Additionally, the need for Zoning will also be not needed in these network designs, resulting in lower complexity and cost.
  • Support for Domain_ID Scalability can also be gained with more efficiency, which enables larger converged network SANs. FC-BB-6 fully defines how to support the deployment of the distributed switch architecture over Ethernet.

“Fibre Channel is a proven protocol for networked data center storage that just got better,” said Greg Schultz- founder of Storage IO. He added that FC-BB-6 standard will help to unlock the full potential of the FC protocol that can be implemented on traditional FC as well as via Ethernet based networks. That means FC-BB-6 enabled FC protocol based networks provide flexibility, scalability and secure high-performance resilient storage networks to be implemented.

Mo Tahmasebi, CEO and President of StoneFly, Inc., welcomed this technological refreshment with A+ appreciation. Although, his company deals in iSCSI Storage, he felt excited that the data center storage world will now be enriched with a new FC-BB-6 protocol standard, which will help in making FC resources more ubiquitous and productive in an incredible way.

For all those IT executives, who want to know more about this technology can learn more from the Knowledge Vault launched by FCIA which opens up on how FC can deliver greater business value. This vault offers professional videos and an assortment of collateral that reinforces why FC is the purpose-built and proven network infrastructure for storage, engineered to meet the demands of today’s enterprise data centers.

Now get ready to store 1TB of data on liquid hard drives

Data Storage Medium is soon going to shift towards liquid state, if in case, the research carried out by experts of material sciences gets a breakthrough. The researchers conducted a research on microscopic particles suspended in liquid and tried to encode the same 1s and 0s stored on solid hard drive platters. They recently came to a conclusion that clusters of these particles could one day be used to store up to 1TB of data in one tablespoon of liquid hard drive.

Recently, the team of material science experts succeeded in making the called ‘Soft-Matter’ as viable data storage medium. The researchers concluded that the soft-matter can be liquid, foam, polymer or even a bio material. The ideology behind the use of soft-matter is that it has the property to exhibit physical behaviors at various temperatures- that means changing shape from molecular level.

Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are heading the team behind the liquid hard drive and have used a type of colloidal suspension of specifically designed dimpled nanoparticles in their research. The colloidal suspension means the particles are not permanently dissolved in the solution and still retain their expected properties.

So, when the liquid is heated up, the particles will reorient themselves in predictable ways. The nanoparticles used in this study were arranged in a group of 4 with a central sphere acting as a binding point for the cluster. By adding thermal energy to the system, nanoparticles can be made to shift around on the surface of the central sphere and adopt different configurations. The entire assembly is only about 5 micrometers across, but the team was able to visually verify the change.

The researchers observed that the nanoparticles were dancing when heated and were in a position to store data. That was possible due to the simplest four-particle cluster that had only two distinguishable configurations other than the default un-stimulated state. The other two shapes were similar to chiral molecules and were made of the same constituents, but were not in a position to be superimposed. These two states can be read as 1 or a 0 and thus each cluster of nanoparticles encodes a single bit of data.

Currently, the research has reached the first milestone and the team is now busy in finding a reliable way to lock the clusters into the right shapes across a larger volume of liquid and to read the stored data on a quick note.

However, at the same time, counting the bits with a microscope may also not be possible. A few months back, a team of researchers from IBM stated that they have managed to store a bit in just 12 atoms. But they later discovered that it was not feasible to read and write data with a scanning tunneling microscope. The liquid hard drive team believes that data density could be very high with the right techniques and that is where they could achieve the 1TB per tablespoon figure one day.

So, currently the hard drives will remain solid. But the hope remains intact that a day will come when a liquid storage medium to store 1TB or more of data in just a tablespoon will be available.

Laptop companies to offer Cloud Storage for free

Cloud storage is becoming popular among the home users these days and so all top branded laptop users are planning to offer their PC consumers a free usage to cloud. Those brands which have their own cloud storage (like Apple, Inc) are already into this practice. And those which do not have their own IP Storage services are making a tie-up with the known cloud storage customers in order to deliver the services for free.

One such brand which is looking to capitalize on this new trend is HP. The company is rumored to be releasing a Windows PC- a Chromebook Competitor called HP Stream that will come with a 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage for two years. After the said period the contract with the Microsoft Skydrive can be renewed for free.

Earlier, it was rumored that since HP Stream has only 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage, the company was planning to offer cloud storage services to those users who were interested in extra storage capacities. But now, as per a reliable source, HP plans to offer the free 100GB cloud storage not only to its ‘Stream’ users, but may extend this opportunity to other HP laptop users as well in coming months.

As per a reliable source, HP is planning to implement free cloud storage to all its PC users as an option and is in talks with Microsoft OneDrive. The company wants to present the free IP Storage option to all its PC users by this year end. For those, who are concerned about security and privacy of their data can stay out of it. Others can activate the cloud option and start using the service as usual.

Lenovo is also planning to present free IP Storage to all its users. It plans to first develop its Lenovo Cloud Solutions and wants to present the free online storage capacity to all its PC users.

Dell, the second largest laptop maker is also in talks with BOX cloud storage. Pretty soon, the company may announce a free cloud storage package from BOX to all its new laptop purchasers.

Therefore, in coming days, laptop users may get an increased storage capacity when they purchase some top brands of laptops. This is in addition to what they get on-board in the form of hard disk and SSD media.

Scale-out NAS Storage becoming main stream for the following reasons

Scale-Out NAS storage is becoming mainstream and this was revealed in a survey conducted by ESG for reasons that make good sense. Traditionally, Scale-up NAS is limited in terms of number of nodes that can be linked together. That often results in islands of NAS storage, between which there is no visibility or movement of data. Thus, it results the capability of a file system in accessing the file base.

On the other hand, Scale-Out NAS allows nodes of storage to be added, scaling capacity and/or performance and usually with a parallel file system that scales to billions of objects. In a world where unstructured data volumes are on a path of huge growth, this property becomes an essential commodity.

In a recent survey conducted by ESG-Global, Scale-Out NAS offers high-level scalability and relieves IT staff from time consuming tasks such as storage provisioning, reconfiguring LUNs and migration of data when a new storage is added to the system. As a result, the firm predicts that by 2015, scale-out NAS demand will grow to many folds and will bring in high revenues to its vendors.

The survey conducted by the research firm also predicted that Scale-Out NAS will be best suited for archiving and backup needs and will be much useful in high performance computing environments like media services, financial services, life sciences, cloud computing utilities and web-based applications and services.

Additionally, by deploying such highly scalable Network-attached storage appliances benefits such as reduction in IT management costs and data center space requirements can also be observed, along with reduction in power and cooling costs. For those who want a storage whose capacity can be utilized on a complete note, this storage seems to be an apt choice, as it offers more bang for the invested storage bucks.

Citing this trend on a preliminary note, many storage vendors are coming up with scale-out NAS option which usually differs on price point, target markets, capacity and performance. Flash is being used in such appliances on a major note and features such as storage tiering, data deduplication, thin provisioning and compression are also being offered on these platforms. One such vendor which is offering a super-scale out NAS as per this trend is StoneFly, Inc.

StoneFly SSO “Super Scale Out” NAS storage appliance deliver unprecedented performance, redundancy and scalability to its customers. It is designed as a powerful storage solution which can scale out storage capacity while scaling up performance. These appliance nodes can scale up to 36 drives and 216 terabytes of storage per chassis i.e. up to 256 drives per node. Additionally, the user will have the flexibility to scale out to multiple nodes on demand.

Thus, StoneFly SSO “Super Scale Out” NAS storage is perfect for storing and managing large quantities of unstructured data within a single global namespace and a single file system. This system is designed specifically for markets which need high bandwidth throughput or fast parallel throughput for very large files required for high performance computing in media and entertainment.

For more details please click on StoneFly SSO or call 510.265.1616

 

AMD enters SSD business with its Radeon R7 series Solid-State Drives

Advanced Micro Devices, well known as AMD, has entered SSD business on an official note this week. As predicted the company which deals mainly in processors and motherboards entered the solid-state drive business with the release of its Radeon R7 SSD family.

AMD Radeon R7 SSDs are powered with a Barefoot 3 M00, the same controller which is found in OCZ drives. AMD has targeted its new release specifically at gamers and is being assisted by OCZ, which will handle the building and distribution of the actual AMD drives. The performance of these drives is rated for 30GB of writes per day over four years and will be offered with a 4-year warranty.

Though, AMD is partnering with Toshiba owned OCZ storage systems, the former has conducted rigorous testing of its R7 drives towards the end. As per a reliable source, AMD performed intensive testing on these drives which includes 30,000 unplugs in one month to simulate sudden power failure.

AMD R7 SSD family will debut in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities and the pricing of these drives is at $100, $165, $300 respectively. These drives will be available on a commercial note from the end of next month in US and in selective parts of the world.

In early 2015, AMD plans to come up with 1TB and 2TB SSDs and may also plan to release 4TB drives by mid 2014.

 

Microsoft Azure Cloud services down!

Microsoft Azure Cloud users are experiencing outages and service interruptions from Monday this week. From the past one week or so, the services of this cloud computing platform are being offered on a wobbly note. But on Monday-August 18th, 2014 many of its users experienced a prolonged outage from 2PM EST and the issue remains unsolved yet for many.

Although, a team of experts from Microsoft are busy finding a remedy to this outage, they haven’t attained success on this note. For instance, Azure cloud users are still experiencing performance and availability issues in different parts of the world which includes US, Japan and Brazil. Simultaneously, Virtual Machines, which lets customers deploy Windows Server, Linux, or Third party software images to Azure, was struggling even more broadly in geographic terms, up only in two of the Azure global regions.

These problems are very bad news for Microsoft, which has identified the Azure infrastructure and platform-as-a-service cloud tools as key to its current and future access. Azure competes against very strong PaaS and IaaS vendors, including Amazon’s AWS division, Google, IBM and others.

As per our reliable sources, the outage is expected to be resolved by this weekend on a complete note.

Go for an integrated system recovery to original manufactures system image with DNF Lifeline

Dynamic Network Factory proudly presents its Lifeline Flashback software tool which allows the user’s of any system to make system recovery to original manufacturer’s system image in an integrated way. The highlight is that the user of this software tool can easily recover an entire system image within few minutes and can thus avoid downtime.

If in case your video server or your video management system crashes and the data and settings have to be brought back to life, this Lifeline software tool helps in doing it at the earliest. If this software is preinstalled, then it can bring back the system to life and can thus reduce operational and service call costs.

For those mission critical environments where business continuity in the form of video evidence is indispensable, DNF Lifeline Flashback will be good software to install and use as it is enriched with incremental system snapshots.

DNF Lifeline can be used on DNF Security intelligent digital or hybrid video management systems, video management engines, mobile surveillance systems, viewing workstations, and scalable IP storage. Additionally, it can also work on all ONVIF compatible systems such as DVRs, NVRs, Hybrid NVR/DVR and Video Management Servers.

To know more call 510.265.1122 or click on DNF Lifeline Flashback

 

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