Tag: storage

Chinese eye up Sandisk and Toshiba

Samsung DRAMA report said that state owned Tsinghua Unigroup, which alread owns a 15 percent stake in Western Digital, has its eyes set on other acquisitions too.

Tsinghua has already attempted to take over US DRAM manufacturer Micron, but a takeover is probably out of the question. However, according to a report in Digitimes, it will try and take a 10 to 20 percent stake in Micron instead.

Sandisk and Toshiba, which both make NAND flash technology, are both being eyed up by Tsinghua, according to the sources.

One problem with taking a stake in Micron is that its technology apparently uses patents licensed from third parties. But that wouldn’t happen if it managed to take over Toshiba’s flash technology and Sandisk’s.

The Chinese government has a five year plan to create its own semiconductor industry for storage, including hard drives, DRAM and NAND flash memory.

Sandisk, Toshiba and Micron haven’t commented on the report, which you can read here.

IBM buys yet another firm

IBM logoWe’ve lost count of how many companies IBM has acquired in the last 18 months, but be that as it may, here we go again.

This time it said it will buy Cleversage with the aim of “propelling object storage into the hybrid cloud”.

It’s a privately held company so IBM doesn’t need to say what it paid for it. But it develops object based storage software and appliances.

IBM said the acquisition will strengthen IBM’s position in storage and hybrid cloud, and so the unit will be integrated into its IBM Cloud business unit.

Cleversafe was started in 2004 and has over 350 patents in object based storage letting customers scale to exabytes of storage.

Isn’t this the second acquisition in seven days? Yes, it is.

Cloud IT infrastructure sales soar

cloudsA report from International Data Corporation (IDC) said that cloud revenues from sales of infrastructure products – that’s server, storage and ethernet switches rose to be worth $6.9 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 25.7 percent year on year.

These figures incude both public and private clouds.

And while this sector showed steep growth, non cloud IT infrastructure fell by 3.5 percent in the quarter.

Kuba Stolarski, research director for the segment, said cloud IT deployments drove overall growth, with customers modernising their workloads.

“As cloud service providers continue to expand their datacentre footprints to meet growing cloud services demand, they increasingly rely on a bariety of as a service offerings and traditional hosting,” said Stolarski.

Revenues grew fastest in Japan, Asia Pacific, Canada and the USA.

The top five players are HP, Dell, Cisco, EMC and Lenovo. But other significant players include NetApp and original development manufacturers (ODMs) selling their products directly to customers.

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.

Samsung releases 2TB SSD

Samsung-SSD-ActivatedSamsung announced what it is calling the first multi-terabyte SSD drive for people,

The 850 Pro and 850 EVO SSDs double the maximum capacity of their predecessors and offer 2TB (terabytes) of capacity in a 2.5-in. form factor (size) for laptops and desktops.

The tech involved Samsung’s 3D V-NAND technology, which stacks 32 layers of NAND atop one another to offer greater flash memory density. Additionally, the drives take advantage of multi-level cell (MLC) and triple-level cell (TLC) (2- and 3-bit per cell) technology. Believe that, if you will.

The 850 SSD Pro and EVO drives remain in the same 7mm, 2.5-in. aluminium case as their predecessors did. The capacities include 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB models.

The 850 Pro is more for power users and client PCs that may need higher performance with up to 550MBps sequential read and 520MBps sequential write rates and up to 100,000 random I/Os per second (IOPS). The 850 EVO SSD has slightly lower performance with 540MBps and 520MBps sequential read/write rates and up to 90,000 random IOPS.

Of course the price is not cheap. The 2TB model of the 850 Pro will retail for $999.99 and the 850 EVO will sell for $799.99 so you will really need to have access to lots of data to justify that price.

However dropping down the book list the prices start sounding a little more reasonable. The 1TB EVO SSD will sell for $399; the 500GB for $179; the 250GB for $99 and the 120GB for $69. The 1TB 850 Pro will retail for $499; the 512GB model for $259; the 256GB model for $144.99 and the 128GB model for $99. We don’t know what the prices are in Greek drachmas, sorry.

Samsung guarantees the 2TB 850 Pro for 10 years or 300 terabytes written (TBW), and the 2TB 850 EVO for five years or 150 TBW. But then it would, wouldn’t it?

Enterprise back up appliance sales stay strong

EMC logoFactory revenues in purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) amounter to £719.3 million in the first quarter of this year – growing 6.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

EMC is the king of the PBBA market and has 52.4 percent share of the market, followed by Symantec (18.5%), IBM (5.2%) and HP (4.5%).

That’s according to a quarterly survey from IDC, which said Barracuda, Quantum and Dell had 3.5%, 3.3% and 2.9% market share, respectively.

This is all good news said Liz Conner, a senior analyst who minds storage systems at IDC.

“Vendors continue to focus on enhancing and updating their PBBA product portfolios. The results are more flexible, agile and now, typically hybrid, products that are helping to meet a wider range of data protection needs.”

Worldwide PBBA capacity in the first quarter reached an astonishing 647 petabytes, up 32.3 percent compared to the same quarter of 2014.

Enterprises buying more server based storage

EMC logoFigures for the first quarter of this year show that factory revenue from enterprise storage systems worldwide rose by 6.8 percent, quarter on quarter, year on year, to stand at $8.8 billion.

IDC said that total capacity shipments rose 41.1 percent year on year to stand at 28.3 exabytes. An exabyte is one quintillion bytes, or one billion gigabytes (GB).

IDC said that spending on “traditional” external arrays fell during the quarter but demand for server based storage and hyperscale infrastructure rose strongly.

EMC help the pole position in the storage rat pack, collecting 17.4 percent of all spending in the quarter. HP was second with a 14.6 percent share, while Dell had 10.2 percent share.

But original design manufacturers (ODMs), such as Taiwanese firms like Quanta selling directly to data centre customers was 12.6 percent during the quarter.

As far as external disk storage systems are concerned, EMC was the clear leader (27.3%), followed by Netapp (13.6%), and HP and Hitachi holding 9.1 percent and nine percent share of worldwide revenues.

Personal storage shipments fall

Hard driveThere was a decline in the number of personal and entry level storage devices shipped in EMEA during the first quarter of this year and much of that can be attributed to the increasing use of the cloud for data back up.

According to IDC, the decline in shipments was 8.8 percent, compared to the same quarter last year. However, there’s a greater decline in revenues with a fall of 14.7 percent.

Revenues in the EMEA region amounted to $512 million.

IDC said that hard drive vendors dominate the sector, with shipments of 1TB to 3TB accounting for 70.28 percent of the entire sector.

Here are IDC’s figures for the sector for the first quarter.

Entry level storage Q1 2015

Apple readies new rash of iPhones

Apple blossom, Mike MageeWhile Apple, along with other vendors, is seeing a decrease in sales of tablets, the outlook is rosy for the iPhone and it appears the company is set to launch two models next month.

Market intelligence company Trendforce said 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch version whill ship in the third quarter of this year, and Apple is hoping that as many as 24 million units will shi[ in that quarter.

And the fourth quarter is likely to be even better, with estimates that 50 million phones will ship.

Trendforce thinks that as many as 230 million units will ship this year, a growth fgure of 20 percent compared to 2014.

New features on the new lamps for old include a shift in memory from LPDDR3 to LPDDR4 and memory capacities of 2GB.

That is causing Samsung and SK Hynix to ramp up production of the memory modules, and will mean they’ll have to create an extra 20,000 silicon wafers a month, using either 25 anometre or 20 nanometre manufacturing processes.

Minimum storage will be 32GB and the amount of sales Trendforce is anticipating means that 18 percent of all NAND flash production will be due to Apple shipments.

Cloud hits storage market

Cumulus clouds - Wikimedia CommonsPersonal and entry level storage shipments fell in the first quarter of this year by 6.4 percent – with 17.6 million units shifts.

According to market research company IDC, the size of the market hasn’t changed that much for the last two years, but the decline is due to people using public clouds and because there’s a change in the way people use media.

Jingwen Li, an analyst at IDG, said that while this sector has shown a decline, there are growth opportunities, particularly for personal and entry level NAS units.

Even though the overall market showed a decline, dual interface products grew by 56.7 percent year on year. This sector consists of USB-Thunderbolt and USB-WiFi products.

An IDC chart shows the way things have changed in this market, which is still worth a great deal of money.

Storage market Q1 2015