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Toshiba launches 6TB Enterprise hard drives with 7200rpm spindle speed

Toshiba Corporation launched a 6TB Enterprise Hard Drive with 7200rpm spindle speed on Thursday this week. The new HDD will be added to MG04 series hard drives, which are specifically designed for midline and nearline business critical workloads, introduced earlier this year.

Toshiba MG04 6TB HD has features such as Serial ATA-6GB/s (MG04ACA) or SAS 12 GB/s interfaces and offers a highlight of 7200rpm spindle speed and 128MB cache. It is unclear whether the new MG04 HDDs are based on six 1TB platters or five 1.2TB platters.

The new enterprise hard disk drives support both industry standard 4K native and 512e advanced format sector technologies for optimum performance in the latest generation servers and storage systems. Emulated 512e AF sector technology performs best in legacy applications requiring 512 sector lengths using aligned-write environments.

The new MG04 family of hard drives will support optional persistent write cache technologies that help to protect against data-loss in the event of sudden power loss, while also helping to improve performance and data reliability.

Currently, power consumption figures for the drives were not revealed by Toshiba. Maximum power consumption of other MG04 hard drives is 11.3W, in idle mode the drives consumes 6W-6.2W.

Toshiba plans to release the sample drives of 6TB MG04ACA SATA and MG04SCA 12Gb/s SAS models in Q1 2015. The cost of these drives will be disclosed in Q3 of 2015 when the drives are available commercially.


Learn why iSCSI Storage is infiltrating enterprise data centers!

iSCSI Storage has long been regarded as a perfect fit for small and medium scale businesses, than enterprise data centers. This was due to the fact that many storage seekers were in an opinion that iSCSI performance still comes up short compared to FC over the past few years.

But in recent times, things have changed and are favoring iSCSI storage technology to a vast extent. This is due to the fact that, over a couple of years, a number of factors have converged to propel iSCSI storage to a greater presence among enterprises than in the mid market.

According to Framingham based IDC, iSCSI market grew by 23% of the total networked storage market in the third quarter of 2014, while Fibre Channel market share has dropped by 26%.

Factors like market dynamics, advancements in iSCSI gear and related technologies, and the economy have contributed to the increasing adoption of this storage networking protocol.

An IT admin from University of Alaska Fairbanks is willing to speak further on why his organizations chose to transform its database from NFS to iSCSI. Due to some reasons, the name of the admin has been withheld. According to the IT Administrator, iSCSI offers enthralling benefits which are lined up below -

  • ISCSI SAN performance and efficiency has gained a lot of audiences in virtual server environments. If iSCSI SANs are implemented with the best practices, then they can surely yield more than a storage experts expectations.
  • A Fibre channel SAN needs special switches and expertise, whereas, iSCSI implementation and management is like a breeze.
  • Server Virtualization trend has also contributed to iSCSI’s growth. Many of the advantages of virtual servers come from having a networked storage and these servers already have Ethernet connections. Another boost is the rise of multiprotocol, or unified storage systems packed into a single box which offers iSCSI and Network attached storage for block and file storage.
  • First time SAN users are turning into patrons of iSCSI, as they do not have to invest in the training and expertise which is otherwise required in FC infrastructure.
  • For companies where price becomes more of an issue, iSCSI storage is like a boon, as they can get the best storage infrastructure for a nominal cost. They are many companies which turned up towards more of a commodity solution like iSCSI, due to the high costs involved in FC infrastructure.
  • A gradual replacement of Gigabit Ethernet with 10 GbE and probably with a 100 GbE in coming years will surely boost the sales of iSCSI in coming years.
  • With today’s available technology, iSCSI storage can be benchmarked with 90% performance capability of Fibre Channel at a fraction of cost.
  • As said in earlier paragraphs, iSCSI can not only support converged infrastructures, but can also blend hyper-convergence into its protocol operations. Features such as Thin provisioning, Deduplication, Synchronous replication, Asynchronous replications can also be obtained on an iSCSI Storage.
  • Software Defined Storage which is an on-demand trend among storage seekers can be availed on iSCSI storage.
  • iSCSI SAN finally proves worthy alternative to FC SAN for the mainstream IO. This is due to the fact that iSCSI SAN usage fuels cost advantage, eases the management concerns and its performance is utmost when it comes to virtual servers.

Due to these reasons, iSCSI SANs are getting some respect in enterprise data centers, along with their SMB counterparts. Analysts expect that the upward trajectory will continue for iSCSI in coming days.

Thoma Bravo completes acquisition of Riverbed and Compuware

Thoma Bravo, a private investment firm will now be considered as the owner of Compuware Corporation and Riverbed. In a surprising media revelation, the investment firm announced on late Wednesday that it has completed its acquisition of Compuware Corporation in a transaction valued at approximately $2.4 billion, or an aggregate value of $10.75 per share.

Additionally, the same investment firm will also stay as a acquiring partner of Riverbed, in a joint agreement made by Teachers Private Capital-the private investor department of Ontario Teacher’s Pension plan. Under the terms disclosed to the media, Riverbed stockholders will receive $21.00/share in cash or a total approximate amount of $3.6 billion. The agreement was unanimously approved by the entire board of directors (except 1 person) following a review of strategic and financial alternatives that the company announced in October 2014.

Getting into the records, Thoma Bravo is a highly regarded private equity firm with deep experience in the technology industry and a 30-year old track record of helping companies to flourish. The investment made on Riverbed is said to be the largest in the history of Thoma Bravo, and it makes a continued emphasis on and confidence in companies that deliver mission-critical technologies for an expanding, global customer base.

The transaction agreement of Riverbed with Thoma Bravo is expected to close in the first half of 2015 and is subject to approval made by Riverbed Stockholders, regulatory approvals, including antitrust review in the US, Germany and Taiwan and review and clearances by the Committee of Foreign Investment in US and other associates. As of now, there are no financing conditions associated with the proposed agreement.

Riverbed CEO Jerry Kennelly will be retained in the same post and the whole of the staff of the said company will remain on the rolls of Riverbed. Currently, there is no news on whether Thoma Bravo will change the name of Riverbed or will keep the old name intact.

Coming to Compuware’s acquisition, Thoma Bravo is said to close in the transaction by early next year. It is estimated that more than 7,100 companies, including many of the world’s largest organizations, depend on Compuware and its generation approach to performance management. Thoma Bravo has announced that it will retain the same name and employees of Compuware hereafter.

Graphene wrapped Lithium Sulfur batteries may replace Lithium Ion Batteries soon!

Lithium Ion batteries may phase out soon, as a new efficient substitute known as “Graphene wrapped Lithium Sulfur battery” is said to replace them in coming years. With the growing demand for long lasting batteries, the future of graphene wrapped lithium sulfur batteries looks bright.

Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) batteries are known for high energy densities of about 500 W.h/Kg. These rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries will be relatively light in weight and will be less expensive as compared to the lithium ion batteries. But currently, the working of these batteries is filled with caveats.

One of the reasons that Li-S batteries have not been used on a wider scale till now is due to the fact that they are struggling with performance related issues such as low efficiency and capacity degradation.

In order to address these issues and make them commercially viable, a team of researchers led by Dr. Vasant Kumar at the University of Cambridge and Professor Renjie Chen at the Beijing Institute of Technology have designed a novel sulfur cathode at nano-level.

In the research, the team referred the Metal Organic Framework (Mofs) whose study is developed from the study of Zeolites. They produce conductive porous carbon cage that has sulphur as its host, when the electrochemical reactions take place in the storage units of sulfur-carbon nanoparticle.

The MOFs has been known recently for its wide range of applications such as sequestration of carbon dioxide, gas purification, gas separation and so on.

Kai Xi, a research scientist from Cambridge and who is working on this research says that the cycling stability and high efficiency further becomes better as the active materials present within the carbon scaffold are confined to it. His team further found that if they enclose the composite structure of sulphur-carbon storage unit with a fine sheet of flexible grapheme then the speed of electrons and ions increases.

The interconnected graphene network along with high electrical conductivity improves the capacity along with cycle stability of the battery. This design will be a gateway for fabrication of non-topotactic reactions based energy carrying systems.

Currently, the research work is in a nascent stage, but the team expects that in future this research of them will yield effective results and will lay a foundation in producing cost-effective and long lasting Li-S batteries. Mr. Kai Xi said that by paying attention to the fabrication of hybrid free-standing sulfur cathode systems, a vigorous boost to electrochemical performance of batteries can be obtained.

More details on this research are published in the APL Materials Journal.

Video Server expansion made easy with DNF Security Raven 806G

Are you looking to expand the current storage of your mission critical video surveillance environment? If that is what you are looking for, then DNF Security offers Raven 806G as a storage expansion system which will provide needed capacity to your video monitoring server irrespective of its make and model.

DNF Security, a subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory offers Raven 806G storage expansion system which looks like a directly connected disk drive to a video server. It will prove as a cost-effective high speed storage expansion with a capacity ranging from 4TB to 24TB storage capacity.

Raven 806G of DNF Security will be offered with 4x SAS Host ports. It can look like a single device to a single server or many devices to many servers. And the highlight is that it is compatible with both Windows and Mac Operating systems.

In order to offer redundancy to your stored data, Dynamic Network Factory’s Raven 806G storage expansion is enhanced with the capability of RAID levels 0,1,1E,3,5,6,10,30,50,60 and JBOD. The whole system, depending upon your storage requirement can have eight hot-swappable 1000GB RAID certified 6Gbps SATA 7200RPM disk drives. Therefore, with the presence of RAID levels, you can easily swap the faulty drives with a new one and recover the data from the faulty drive. As a result, your concern for data loss gets eliminated on a permanent note.

If in case, the requirement is for 32TB capacity, then you can go for another product Raven 803G with similar features. DNF Security Raven 803G is a storage expansion system meant for surveillance related video servers operating with Windows and MAC operating systems. This system is enhanced with a 3Gb eSATA interface to facilitate connectivity to external storage systems. The system also has a USB 3.0 port, an USB 2.0 port, iSCSI/AoE interface and Firewire 800 Host Connectivity.

Moreover, you will get an out-of-band Ethernet interface for remote status monitoring & configuration. That means, you can easily monitor this storage system from a remote server or from the comfort of your home or office PC.

To know more details click on DNF Security Raven Universal Storage Expansion or call 510.265.1122


Microsoft planning to release Windows 10 a bit early in USA and UK

Microsoft is all set to release its much awaited Windows 10 operating system a bit early in USA and UK. The software giant’s Windows 10 beta version’s license will end in April 2015 and so the company is planning to commercially offer its Win 10 OS by May next year.

Earlier, it was estimated that the release will take place in September next year and the OS loaded PCs will be available for the next thanksgiving.

But recently, the business development team took a decision to launch the operating system in the specified regions a bit early than rest of the world.

According to our sources, Microsoft isn’t happy with the way its Laptop sales are taking place. The demand for its Windows 8/8.1 loaded PCs were far less to the company’s expectations and that is because users are not at all happy to embrace the jinxed Win 8/8.1 OS anymore.

Moreover, Microsoft has started to feel the heat of Chrome in this holiday season and so wants to overshadow the market as soon as possible with the latest version of its products.

Therefore, Microsoft is intending to commercially release its Win 10 operating system a bit early than expected in the said region and after a month will present the said OS loaded PCs to the users.

It is planning to release its Windows 10 OS in September 2015 for the worldwide market and will come up with the OS loaded PCs in the same month.

So, currently, as per the latest update, the populace of USA and UK will have the special privilege to lay their hands on the new OS a bit early than the rest of the world.

Crossbar to commercialize its RRAM facilitating terabyte of storage on the size of a postage stamp

Crossbar, the makers of new non-volatile RAM said that their new memory is ready to move from a prototype to a fabrication facility, where 1TB chips the size of a postage stamp. The Silicon Valley start-up expects that its 3D resistive RAM or shortly called as 3D RAM, will be out in early 2016 as memory in wearable devices, with high-density storage devices like solid-state drives arriving within 18 months after that.

The first look of RRAM was presented to the world by a team of experts from Crossbar in August 2013. The concept is simply advantageous over NAND Flash, which has been approaching a density dead end. RRAM is natively denser than NAND, with high performance. It also has a high native endurance, with the ability to sustain 100,000 write cycles, according to Sylvian Dubios, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Crossbar.

It is because of its greater density, RRAM can be used as silicon wafers that are half the size used by current NAND flash fabricators. In a single chip, it has nearly 10 times the capacity of NAND flash and uses 20 times less power to store a bit of data. It also sports 1000 times lower latency than NAND flash meaning performance is massively improved. And because RRAM is fully compatible with the standard manufacturing process already used in NAND fabrication, no changes will be needed in manufacturing facilities.

Now, to those who think, RRAM is only filled with advantages, here’s an update. The major challenge to RRAM is “error causing electron leans between memory cells”. Crossbar refers this error as a “sneak path current” which is inherent in RRAM memory.

Generally, this is a common problem in non-volatile memory and even in today’s NAND Flash Solid-state drives. As the size of transistors shrinks below 20 nanometers and chip density is increased, bits stored in tiny cells leak through to adjacent cells, creating data errors.

Samsung, Micron, Intel and other SSD manufactures have increased error connection code on their devices to address the problem. And more than one company has turned to 3D NAND, which stacks cells up to 32-layers high to increase density, offering some capacity breathing room without requiring a further cell size reduction.

The densest process of creating silicon flash memory cells to store data on planar (2D) NAND is between 10 nanometer and 19nm in size. To give some idea of how small that is, a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, and a human hair is 3K times thicker than NAND flash made with 25nm process technology. There are 25 million nanometers in an inch.

NAND Flash uses transistors or a charge to trap and store a bit of data in a silicon cell. By comparison, RRAM uses tiny conductive filaments that criss-cross and connect silicon layers to represent a bit of data.

In RRAM, the top metal layer creates a conductive electrode, the middle is an amorphous silicon switching medium, and the lower layer is nonmetallic. When the programming voltage is applied between the two electrodes, the nano- particles of the top electrode diffuses in the switching material and creates a filament. It is then the memory cell becomes conductive when the filament contacts the bottom electrode. When a reverse voltage is applied between the two electrodes, the filament is pushed back and disappears. The memory cell is non-conductive.

Recently, Crossbar has found a solution to its ‘sneak path current’ issue. It invented a way to hide adjacent cells from those being programmed to store data, thereby insulating them from unintentional changes. It did that by setting a specific voltage range for cells. Cells programmed between -1 and +1 volt are ignored and anything outside that range can be programmed to hold new data.

This technique is called as Field-Assisted Super-linear Threshold (FAST) selector device and it has suppressed the sneak path current. Thus, this marked another significant milestone needed to commercialize RRAM memory for high-density data applications. It is predicted that RRAM has the potential to influence the storage industry to the utmost level, when its commercial version starts to take the market.

More details will be published in 1Q of 2015.


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