Category: Storage

MongoDB picks up disgruntled Oracle customers

mongoOracle is alienating its customers who are apparently rushing to MongoDB in droves – at least according to the chief Mongo.

Chatting to Diginomica, MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria claimed that MongoDB is increasingly encroaching on Oracle’s database lead – with enterprises becoming more and more confident with the maturing NoSQL technology.

Ittycheria said that MongoDB had invested heavily in making the product ‘enterprise ready’ – with advanced management capabilities, better performance and better integrations. Now it is picking up a big chunk of migration work.

He claimed a third of MongoDB’s business is migration off existing workloads to us when two years ago it was 5 per cent.  Ittycheria claimed that punters were ditching Oracle “and others, but mainly Oracle”.

“There’s a large bank, whose logo you would recognise instantly, they had a very sophisticated equities trading platform. The problem was that the compliance rules changed after the credit crisis, where they had to track so much information around for auditing, that the impact on the relational database was so large that they realised that it would quickly run out of gas,” he claimed.

Instead the bank re-platformed that on MongoDB, side by side for a while and now they’ve started moving everything off.

Developers are now beginning to hold MongoDB in the same regard that they used to Oracle, with Oracle falling out of favour.

The NoSQL market is highly competitive and that there are a bunch of players all neck and neck to take on Oracle. He claims that this might have been the case two or three years ago – with “Oracle printing money hand over fist and ankle biters fighting over each other – but now MongoDb has really separated itself from the pack, he said.

Mongo is now a nine figure business and is doing eight figure deals with large companies that are standardising on its technology, he said.

Snowden squashes Trump’s conspiracy theory

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong KongEdward Snowden has squashed a Trump conspiracy theory which claimed the “dark forces that be” had stepped in to save Hillary Clinton from arrest in the latest email scandal.

Orange comedy candidate Donald Trump claimed that the FBI clearing Hillary Clinton in a last-minute email scandal was impossible because there was no way anyone could have reviewed 650,000 new emails in eight days.

However, Edward Snowden, the fugitive whistle-blower said that it is a doddle and can be done with database scanning software.

FBI Director James Comey’s said that a search through a laptop used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin turned up nothing to change “our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton”.

In other words, the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails remains closed, with no charges sought.

The news was met with relief from the Clinton campaign, and disbelief from Trump’s advisers – including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency:

Trump said: “Right now, she is being protected by a rigged system. It’s a totally rigged system,” he said. “I’ve been saying it for a long time. You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days. You can’t do it, folks.”

The FBI finished scanning the emails over the weekend. Many of the emails were personal messages or duplicates of messages that had been examined previously.

Snowden not only showed the code as to how it was done but also revealed a hack he had heard about which could game voting machines. To be honest it is pretty obvious. If the NSA is scanning billions of emails a day, then 650,000 over a weekend could probably be done on a laptop.

Flash Memory Summit 2016 – Consolidation?

FMS2016_BannerAd_300x250The Flash Memory Summit 16 will be convening at the Santa Clara Convention Center over August 9 -11, 2016. Flash memory is now established as a key technology enabling new designs for many products in the consumer, computer and enterprise markets.

Storage Crossover

The industry is at a critical juncture where the total cost of ownership for flash based SSD’s achieved crossover with hard disk drive equivalents last September as the enterprise storage medium of choice.

The fact that the number of producers is limited has altered the landscape of consumption with some analysts indicating that serious shortages will exist for some time to come. An interesting, but mitigating fact is that most of the analysts are not technical – the ones that we’ve talked to that have a technical bent are not so sanguine about the availability mix. One item that stands in the road to profits is the need for this next generation storage device to not only retain data but do so interactively without losing bits. The unrecoverable bit boogie man is now staring the industry down. The ability to store immense amounts of “ready data” for execution now depends on the technologies ability to reliably retain data.

All Flash Array producers are now entering the “really big data storage array” market – the battle has dropped down to the cost of storage per dollar creating a whole new category of marketing lows. 3D Flash is now so dense that failure modes are now dependent upon being aware of “how and when” the bits were used during the entire lifetime of the device.

Cork, Ireland NVMdurance was the first to understand this phenomenon and is now firmly embedded in their first customer Altera (now Intel). Pure and Nimble Storage are offering their services for their AFAs – seems that leasing AFA memory is a probable in the future of solid state storage. We’re still left reading the indemnification clauses of their contracts.

Poison Pill

Micron Technology filed with the SEC a poison pill last Friday. The buzz is that the company is once again in play. The likely suitor is none other than Intel according to the lead rumor. We will be talking with Micron and Intel at FMS 16 and although they’ll not say anything about what’s going on we’ll at the very least get to look into their pupils while they’re telling us…,

Seagate makes killing and then decimates staff

decimationSeagate has announced that its Q4 revenue would be $2.65 billion, beating expectations of $2.34 billion, and up from the $2.3 billion guidance. But that has not stopped the outfit decimating its staff by more than 14 percent. That’s more than decimation.

On the face of it, everything is brilliant for Seagate. The company also reported gross margin of 25 percent and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 25.8 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter 2016, up from the previous 23 percent forecast.

But this news was so brilliant the outfit was forced to lay off 14 percent of it workforce, or some 6,500 people. This is odd really because the Romans used to decimate its army ranks when they performed poorly in battle as an incentive to those left.  It looks like Seagate’s staff, having won the battle, were decimated any way. We guess that the remaining staff will probably lack the motivation to go the extra mile ever again, knowing that they will be fired whatever they do.

The company said that it had another restructuring plan for “continued consolidation” of its global footprint across Asia, EMEA and the Americas. The plan includes reducing the Company’s global headcount by approximately 6,500 employees, or 14 percent of its global headcount by the end of fiscal year 2017.

The total pretax charges for the plan – that’s redundancy money – will be approximately $164 million in fiscal year 2017. The restructuring activities and global footprint consolidation underway should let the outfit to be operating within its targeted Non-GAAP product gross margin range of 27-32 percent by the December 2016 quarter.

Whatever that means in Seagate lingo.

 

US’s ZTE ban backfires

Great-Depression-Unemployment-Line-It seems that the US’s daft ban on ZTE gear is doing more harm to its home-grown businesses which are suffering more.

The U.S. Commerce Department decided to punish ZTE for selling coms gear to the Iranians years ago and issued an export ban on the outfit. However that seems to be punishing a lot of US companies who depend on ZTE’s components or business.

Jose optical-parts maker Oclaro saw its shares plummet because it sells multiple products to ZTE, a maker of mobile devices and telecoms systems.

Chipmaker Integrated Device Technology said the Commerce Department’s ruling “could cause changes to revenue trends” in its quarter ending July 3 its shares fell 1 percent.

Among other suppliers whose shares fell were Lumentum, down 3.3 percent; NeoPhotonics Corp, down 8.6 percent; Fabrinet, down 5.3 percent; Finisar Corp, down 7.7 percent; Inphi Corp, down 7.3 percent; and Skyworks Solutions Inc, down 4.1 percent.
ZTE distributor Avenet fell 1.5 percent.

Qualcomm slid 1.58 percent while its rival MediaTek Inc rose three percent. Any switch by ZTE to replace Qualcomm as a supplier might take several months, because of the need to work out need specifications.

However the worse it yet to come. The worst fallout for US suppliers around ZTE’s telecommunications-infrastructure equipment rather than its handset business.

Still while the US tech industry suffers, at least they can be re-assured that by stuffing themselves up they will be punishing that naughty Chinese telco for breaking a US embargo when the Americans hated the Chinese.

Adesto Technologies Launches IoTs Memory

Adesto-Logo

Sunnyvale, CA – Adesto Technologies is introducing an ultra-low power memory solution with the ability to aid in the design of Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications that can run for years on a single battery.

Adesto also announced that the new 45nm based CBRAM Products will be manufactured by TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor Company  (TPSCo), 300mm, Hokuriku, Japan Fab.

There’s much to like with their selection of “Moneta” for the branding name. Moneta is the goddess of memory and money – also prosperity and finances. In fact the English word “Money” derives from this lovely goddess’s name.

Adesto went public last October on the NASDAQ Exchange with the call letters IOTS, a straight forward play on the companies intentions. Long thought a takeover target by many analysts the company seems to have convinced acquisition suitors that they are much better off by leaving Adesto an independent entity – this gives the company the ability to adapt their Resistive Conductive-Bridging Random Access Memory (CBRAM) to a multiplicity of special design requirements for the rapidly expanding IoTs segment. Adesto, in effect, has been able to dodge the takeover bullet by being much more useful by remaining small while offering their products through multiple avenues from discrete devices through BEOL SoCs.

Adesto, having completed their developmental stage, is now transitioning to the commercialization and expansion phase of their technology. Several analysts expect that the company will continue to capture a significant portion of the non-volatile memory outside of the commodity data storage market and enjoy profitable royalty licensing from a number of other markets.

The newly introduced memory is entering “…, a hardware landscape (that) is changing quickly,” according to Narbeh Derhacobian, chief executive officer of Adesto. “Off the-shelf memory products were appropriate for the smartphone and PC markets, but they cannot satisfy the requirements of a new world of connected things. Unless we can dramatically reduce power consumption, the cost of changing batteries will prevent the IoT from becoming a reality. At Adesto, we are focused on this emerging market, and Moneta demonstrates our ability to execute and deliver next-generation products to meet its requirements.”

Adesto is a case book example of a company that has been “tinkering away” with a technology that the greater market paid little attention to. Gaining traction has been a continuing mantra of Adesto’s management. Along the way they gathered a number of “Black Swan Outliers” helping them to steer their way to, and carve out an unoccupied niche in the ultra-low power, non-volatile memory for the Internet-of-Things market – a market that is now enjoying a sudden and near explosive growth rate. Let us all remember that there is no such thing as an “easy” technology.

Flash beats HDD areal density

flasherCoughlin Associates has said that NAND flash memory has surpassed hard disk drive (HDD) technology in areal density for the first time. Believe it or not.

The market researchers told the assorted throngs at the 2016 IEEE International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco that areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77Tbpsi for its 3D NAND. That compares with the densest HDDs of about 1.3Tbpsi.

Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates’ president, said that hard drive products from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of 2015 had an increased areal density of about 60 per cent, So HDDs have not stopped evolving.

“On the other hand, flash memory is getting denser with technology announcements of 2.77Tbspi, higher than any announced HDD areal density. This is a new development. So flash is developing and certainly getting competitive in terms of areal storage density, but the chips are still more expensive to make than disks and the raw costs of storage will likely remain less for HDDs for some time to come.”

The highest areal density for today’s HDD products is about 1.3Tbpsi, according to Coughlin. Most HDD products, however, are well below that. For example, Seagate’s desktop hard drives have a maximum areal density of 850Gbpsi; those drives use shingled magnetic recording (SMR), which overlaps the magnetic tracks for greater density.

Samsung has already announced what would be industry-leading 15TB 2.5-in solid-state drives (SSDs) are already on the horizon.

However the price is not likely to reach parity with hard drives any time soon. The factories to build flash are still a lot more expensive to build than the hard drive factories, Coughlin said.

But Micron and Intel are opening new plants or are revamping older NAND facilities to increase their 3D production, which is driving prices down.

 

Western Digital buys SanDisk for $19 billion

Sandisk extreme SSDsHard disk drive maker Western Digital has agreed to buy SanDisk in a $19 billion deal which will see it in a strong position to make Flash drives for the known world.

The deal is pretty complex, which makes it less attractive to shareholders who think it will make them a quick buck.

Western Digital said the value of the transaction hinges on the closing of an investment in the company by Unisplendour which is a unit of Chinese government’s state-backed Tsinghua Holdings.

Unisplendour said it would buy 15 percent of Western Digital for $3.78 billion, a deal that is likely to face regulatory scrutiny amid national security concerns.

Western Digital Chief Executive Steve Milligan said in an interview that the SanDisk acquisition will ultimately dilute Unisplendor’s stake and that he was confident it would be approved by regulators.

“There’s always a risk and you’re not done until you’re done, but we were careful and consulted with US government experts,” he said.

Research firm Gartner said in October that worldwide semiconductor sales are expected to fall for the first time in three years in 2015, due partly to increasingly saturated market for smartphones.

Western Digital needs access to SanDisk’s NAND technology to better compete in the market for SSDs used in cloud computing, data centres, smartphones and laptops.

Western Digital said it had the support of SanDisk partner Toshiba which had some rights that could block a deal.

SanDisk has an intellectual property sharing joint venture with the Japanese company and uses its foundries to make chips.

Toshiba spokeswoman Midori Hara said in an email that the deal would not have a negative impact on that joint venture.

 

Qualcomm is testing its server chips

qualcomQualcomm has been explaining how it is going to get its chips into the server market and is apparently testing its Server Development Platform (SDP)

Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president of Qualcomm demoed its SDP and chatted about the company’s progress within the server market.

Apparently Qualcomm is sampling its chips into tier-one data centres using a pre-production 24-core SoC based on the ARMv8-A instruction set and built using advanced FinFet technology.

Qualcomm claims that the use of its chips in server set ups can reduce costs by more than 40 percent.

Qualcomm is “partnering” with Xilinx to create heterogeneous computing solutions for data centres using Qualcomm’s server processor and Xilinx FPGAs;

Another of its chums is Mellanox which is designing cost effective platforms for servers and storage using interconnect for data transfer and analysis with Qualcomm’s server CPU and Mellanox’s Ethernet and InfiniBand interconnect;

Chandrasekher said the release of Qualcomm’s evaluation system is a milestone.

“As data centres evolve to support the exponential growth and innovation in data, connectivity and cloud services, Qualcomm Technologies is creating an ecosystem to meet the needs of these next-generation data centres with Qualcomm-based server technologies,” he said.

Customers were testing the Server Development Platform and porting their software. Qualcomm was incorporating their feedback into the product offering with the goal of ensuring system and software readiness by the time we are in full production.

 

Data centres drive storage growth

EMC logoThe enterprise storage systems market was worth $8.8 billion during the second quarter of this year – growing 2.1 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

IDC said that revenues were spurred by original design manufacturers (ODMs) which sell their wares direct to hyperscale data centres. That segment of the market grew by 25.8 percent in the quarter, year on year, and accounted for $1 billion worth of revenues.

The trend is for enterprises to buy storage tech cutting cost and complexity – that means a move towards cloud storage, software defined storage, flash optimised systems and integrated systems.

Despite the move towards buying from ODMs, EMC remained on top of the vendor pile, although its revenue growth fell by four percent year on year. It holds 19.2 percent of the market.

HP grew by 8.7 percent in the quarter, with 16.2 percent market share. Third was Dell with 101 percent market share, and IBM held fourth position with 8.1 percent share.