News Precis #2 – 17 January 2020

News Precis #2 – 17 January 2020

Chris EvansNews

Here are news, articles, podcasts and tweets from this week that I’ve found interesting and worthy of a second look.

  • Enmotus and Phison announce SSD Hybrid Device. We’ve had hybrid drives before (using NAND to complement HDD) but I don’t think we’ve seen two different NAND types on the same device that are managed via the controller (QLC drives typically treat a portion of the drive as SLC). The MiDrive incorporates Enmotus software IP, which is currently marketed as FuzeDrive. Hybrid drives have been a challenge because they can be cost sensitive. Adding even a small amount of NAND to an HDD can make the cost unattractive. It will be interesting to see if there’s an enterprise future for this technology.
  • Veeam gets acquired by Insight Partners. In a deal valued at $5 billion, Insight will acquire Veeam to add to their stable of other data management/protection companies. This move is interesting because Veeam is challenged by being a non-US company and access to strategic US accounts. There’s also a technical challenge here in that this market is really competitive, so Veeam needs to ramp up on Enterprise-class features and functionality.
  • VAST Data announces support for CSI. The Container Storage Interface provides APIs to connect “traditional” storage to containerised environments. If you’re creating thousands of containers with persistent storage, you need responsive and highly parallel storage capabilities. When you have a container-based client, the access path for storage doesn’t have to be via traditional NFS or iSCSI. This affords a bit more control over features likes security and performance.
  • Red Hat announces Container Storage 4.2. This upgrade includes the Multi-Cloud Object Gateway based on technology from the NooBaa acquisition. I don’t really see the use of Ceph, Rook and NooBaa as enterprise-class storage. Certainly, unless NooBaa has changed significantly since I last ran a test installation, then it certainly can’t deliver true multi-site with data portability/mobility. I do wonder how many customers install OpenShift then simply replace the storage components.
  • Linus Torvalds took a swipe at ZFS. This is probably the best article I’ve read on the topic. Admittedly ZFS has it’s challenges (I remember landing in Tokyo in 2010 and reading an article on ZFS litigation). However, it seems here the comments are no more than a random rant.
  • VMware completes the Pivotal acquisition. The ugly stepchild, previously banished to the attic, is now back in the family fold. This technology was spun out in 2012 and from my view has achieved little (other than racking up losses) in the past 8 years. I expect the technology will slowly dissolve into other projects (like Tanzu) and be a dim and distant memory in 5 years time.


  • Oxide Computer are a new start-up with some well-known faces and looking to bring us hyperscaler-style infrastructure for the data centre. This podcast episode from Screaming in the Cloud is interesting because it summarises many of the challenges I’ve seen in a 30+ year career in IT. Nothing changes, we deal with the same issues in the same form every year. Worth a listen.

On The Twitters

Never believe what your vendor says! Solid guests, you say, well, one of them might be, the other two are just chancers…. (that’s me and you, Greg).

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