Thursday, June 06, 2024

In a few days, the 56th edition of The IT Press Tour will land in California

56, yes 56, incredible... but real. The next IT Press Tour will be the 56th edition continuing to deliver value to vendors and press with a unique model and format.

Organized in Silicon Valley, this edition will be dedicated to IT infrastructure, cloud, networking, security, data management and storage with 9 hot and innovative companies coming from various horizons:
I invite you to follow us on Twitter with #ITPT and @ITPressTour, my twitter handle and @CDP_FST and journalists' respective handle.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

DataCore unveils single node Swarm

DataCore, a reference in Software-Defined Storage, continues to market Swarm for various use cases and domains. This time, the company has announced a single node Swarm iteration dedicated to the edge. Globally, it's a surprise for the market to have a so reduced configuration for object storage as the initial goal was large configurations but it confirms that S3 has a role to play for such many small deployments. The downside of it is the absence of data protection based on erasure coding that is by essence a multi-node multi-disk model well promoted by classic Swarm software.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fujifilm has created Archive Services

Fujifilm Recording Media continues to extend its archiving solutions set and has launched Fujifilm Archive Services or FAS. It is a physical site with some tape libraries in it located in Kleve in Germany. There is no network connection to outside so no digital ingestion is possible just tape movement to place cartridges in the vault.

Multiple data formats are supported and the firm provides a web portal to control actions and interact with the facility. 

So how are tapes added or imported into the vault? They are sent physically to the data center, Kangaroo can also be shipped as a ready to use unit. For the retrieve process, as said the web portal can be used to make a recall request and then a ESFTP server can be instantiated or tapes can be shipped. This is fully secured. The site is ISO27001 and tapes are not copied, they're the original ones from users but of course other copies can be made as well.


Monday, April 22, 2024

BMC accelerates on Observability and AIOps

BMC, a leader in operations management, continues its journey to build a global comprehensive solution suite for IT observability. Market pressure invites the company to accelerate and the team decided to acquire Netreo, a specialist of IT network and applications observability, to extend Helix and its AIOps positioning.

Netreo plays in APM with its OpenTelemetry-based model, network monitoring and IT infrastructure management. With Netreo, BMC will face Cisco with is pending Splink acquisition with its Full Stack Observability approach and therefore CloduFabrix who develops an interesting complementary solution as well.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Cohesity received millions from IBM and Nvidia

Cohesity, one of the hottest companies in modern data protection surprisingly got $150M of investments from IBM and Nvidia in its Series F. We remember the recent Nvidia GTC where Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, speaking about Cohesity in his keynote. In total, Cohesity raised $955M according to Crunchbase. This IBM finance move confirms a deep relationship started in March 2023 with the announcement of their partnership around DataProtect.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Fujifilm Recording Media promotes Kangaroo

Fujifilm Recording Media, the tape manufacturer giant and industrial reference, joined The IT Press Tour last week in Rome. It was the opportunity for the vendor's team to detail Kangaroo, its data archiving solution, integrated in a pretty unique mobile unit. It came from the obvious fact that hybrid configurations are real and really liked by end-users able to mix both of best worlds.

It still is the case that cold data, typically backup and archived data, normally stored on secondary storage, are not systematically maintained on cold storage. This situation has a significant impact on the TCO of this protection environment. At the same time, volumes are accumulated especially when you consider archiving data with long retention period. And it appears obviously that one of the best media for that is tape being a passive media by nature. At the same time, the LTO roadmap was disappointed with capacity delivered not aligned with what was presented and expected. A LTO9 offers today 18TB raw and 45TB compressed with a optimistic 2.5:1 ratio. But he capacity advantage the tape had in the past disappeared, recent HDDs reach 28TB and even SSDs pass the 60TB barrier, of course cost is not aligned but it is worth mentioning that point.

Let's focus and detail Kangaroo. It starts with the idea that data archiving requires a cold storage approach able to deliver a very low TCO but also resiliency, scalability, efficiency and easy integration. And don't forget the ransomware protection with a natural air gap. Fujifilm team designs a very integrated solution coupling in-house software with partners hardware like servers, disk storage, IBM tape drives and BDT tape library or autoloader. The minimum capacity is 1PB so clearly it targets enterprises or SME who generate lots of data with the requirement to archive a significant volume. But it goes fast in that domain.

The software is Object Archive, a data management layer developed by Fujifilm, that connects data sources to secondary storage targets instantiated with tape libraries, remote sites and cloud instances via the S3 API. The service is exposed via multiple access methods - NFS, SMB and S3 - and could be controlled by any archiving, potentially backup, software in front of the Kangaroo device itself. This flexibility in terms of access methods both for ingest and offline writes offer a wide variety to use cases. Also the team has insisted of the Open Tape Format based on POSIX TAR that helps to read tapes without the software and be independent when tape are transferred across sites but also in the future.

Wishing to penetrate the market faster and as the solution could be a good fit for smaller companies, Fujifilm plans to introduce a Kangaroo lite model with capacity starting at 100TB.


Monday, April 15, 2024

Know & Decide for a comprehensive IT asset management approach

Known & Decide, founded in 2015 by Emmanuel Moreau, is a french company dedicated to IT asset management for enterprises. The annual turnover approaches $2 million. The idea came from the deep relationship with CIO the CEO cultivates for a few decades. All these companies have strong difficulties to track, control, manage and monitor their IT resources of all kind.

The Know & Decide solution is a pure software solution composed by 3 modules: the discover, the management and the reporting one.

The data discover module collects information thanks to more than 80 collectors via API and also a file import feature for all offline documents related to IT resources like financial or contractual files. The module also connects to ERPs and other similar reference catalog to feed the CMDB.

On the data management aspect, the solution embeds some correlation functions to identify clearly all associated information and avoid duplicates and reach a strong consistency level. The reporting also provides a global and central view of all IT discovered assets serving as a the reference or base of truth for the IT environment.

The product is deployed on-premises with collectors servers, central database and reporting/UI ones. It is designed to gather all info without any local agent that is very difficult to manage and maintain at the same level. Very configurable, the product also is a no-code solution.

The philosophy is to align the physical reality and the reporting with all contracts and reduced significantly the divergence between these 2 areas with a final goal to converge to the truth.

Five uses cases have been developed to illustrate how the solution can be applied and used. Use case #1 is about a global vision of all IT assets, use case #2 touches the quality of the CMDB, use case #3 is related to the the production plan, use case #4 covers the security plan and use case #5 details budget to streamline the cost model.

As of today, the product is deployed at very large customer sites in France, Belgium and Luxembourg and the firm is looking for new partners that can represent and penetrate some verticals markets. The pricing model used is a subscription plan for 3 years and is based on the annual cost of CIs and varies from 1 to 10€ per CI per year.

This solution also participates to the green and more globally the ESG challenge for enterprises.

Emmanuel Moreau told us that the next key features added to the solution will be AI to provide Natural Language Processing and easy access to all reports. We'll follow this story in the coming months as it is an interesting approach to a real challenge for companies especially for large ones.

Friday, April 12, 2024

CTERA unveils Vault 2

CTERA, the leader in Distributed File Storage for the enterprise, participated to the 55th edition of The IT Press Tour 2 days ago Rome. It was the opportunity to get an update on the company and product strategy with Oded Nagel, CEO, Aron Brand, CTO and Saimon Mickelson, VP Alliances.

2023 was an incredible year with new products, a new partner program, Hitachi Vantara partnership that is very active, 2x new business and 30% growth in ARR plus some receiving top rankings from analysts like Coldago Research and other bloggers comments.

The product continues to evolve essentially around data services even if it's already very comprehensive. It is more and more adopted as a central modern data platform for distributed enterprises to support various workloads, user groups and associated applications across a wide variety of industries and vertical segments. It is perfectly illustrated by a new series of successes in multiple domains beating NetApp and a few other classic NAS vendors unable to deliver this level of services.

Among recent features and services, CTERA delivered Migrate, Ransomware protection, Anti-Virus and WORM Vault plus the S3/NAS common content access and Analytics. To refresh our readers, Vault offers multiple modes to protect data at the cloud folder level: WORM, WORM + Retention in 2 flavors: Enterprise and Compliance mode.

Beyond these, CTERA executive team present in Rome reserved a good surprise with a live announcement about Vault 2. It brings 3 things: legal hold, object lock and chain of custody. Legal hold offers official capability for legal entities. Object lock operates at the file level and thus is more granular than the previous iteration. The last feature is a collaboration with Hitachi Vantara, a key partner for CTERA, to provide the full report related to data migration. Vault 2 will be available in Q2.

Announced during our last visit at the CTERA Tel-Aviv HQ in 2023, the ransomware protection is a must for all enterprises and the company's flavor leverages AI to deliver a fast and reliable detection and remediation. We expect that second news next week as we've got briefed during the same session, I will cover this in a few days to respect the embargo but again CTERA.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

QStar, a confidential leader with Archive Manager

Specialist in unstructured data archiving, QStar Technologies, founded in 1987, still is very confidential even if the company secured more than 19,000 installations since its inception. This level of adoption is unique in the domain confirming that the firm is profitable operating at its own pace.

QStar CEO, Riccardo Finotti, CTO, Max Finotti, and SVP Sales and Marketing, Dave Thomson, joined yesterday The IT Press Tour in Rome for a company and product update. They even launched a product I'll cover in a few days.

The team has developed a comprehensive product line with Archive Manager, the heart of the solutions set, Network Migrator, Archive Replicator and Object Storage Manager.

Archive Manager (AM) operates as a the archiver controller for data managing storage units dedicated to this behavior and the lifecycle of submitted files. Exposing multiple access methods like NFS, SMB or S3, the product could be seen as a gateway in front of tape libraries or cloud. Implementing a S3-to-Tape model, AM supports also any backup tool via S3 or file sharing protocols such as Cohesity, HYCU or Rubrik. AM introduced the notion of disk cache with a special file system designed by the company and also a special format on tapes. The AM server must have 32GB of RAM minimum for each volume "attached" with the destination storage units. A minimum of 1TB of space is needed for that cache and it appears to be pretty small especially today with 24TB HDD or even larger. Same remark as this size must also consider the largest file size submitted to AM and of course disk array with RAID, erasure coding with today NVMe could be the right choice. As the performance of the cache is key for the global quality of service, considering flash for the cache makes really sense.

Archive Replicator is in fact the same product with the capability to remote copy data sets synchronously to 4 other storage units. Network Migrator is a HSM working with agent, API or pull mode and replacing migrated files by stubs.

But it appears that for larger configurations, a single node for archive is not enough inviting users to multiple this single node configuration. We also anticipate some cluster mode for Archive Manager able to aggregate all nodes performance and deliver this needed performance boost to address large deployments with high volumes of data and huge number of files. More news soon.


Tuesday, April 02, 2024

In a few days, the 55th edition of The IT Press Tour will take place in Rome

The countdown is set, The IT Press Tour will land soon in Roma, Italy, for its 55th edition. This tour will be dedicated to IT infrastructure, cloud, networking, data management and storage with 6 hot and innovative companies coming from various horizons:

  • CTERA, the obvious leader in global file services,
  • Fujifilm, the reference in tape manufacturing with new data management solutions,
  • Know and Decide, a recent player in IT asset management,
  • Leil Storage, a young company dedicated to new generation of MAID solutions,
  • QStar Technologies, a pioneer in data management and archiving software,
  • and Quickwit, a fast growing actor in log management with a powerful indexing technology.

I invite you to follow us on Twitter with #ITPT and @ITPressTour, my twitter handle and @CDP_FST and journalists' respective handle.