166 posts • joined Saturday 16th April 2011 17:10 GMT
Old SIGs never die they just fade away!
Why bother? Ethernet has won!
This is a big plus for Intel, even if very belated. They are finally moving from their view that Wintel is the center of the universe to a much more sensible position. Despite the jokes about Chrometel and the rest, their direction is coming together, but they have a lot of ground to make up in some areas.
This will help enliven a computer industry that was rapidly becoming white box and commoditized. In the end, the losers are the proprietary CPU chip makers, and Microsoft.
Re: Took a long time...
There's now room for US hardware manufacturing as well as design companies. On-shoring, especially in niche markets, makes a lot of sense for smaller startups.
IPCC blaming heretics again?
It looks like climate change disaster scenarios are moving from the horror section to the comedy section of the store.
No heat since 1995, no melting glaciers, no ice falling off Greenland, and a really quiet Sun. All those spenders of billions for green energy got the story wrong. Now we'll need a new reason to wean ourselves off oil use!
HMC by another name!
When Intel pulled out of the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, the reckoning was that they intended to roll their own version, and this is it! It's probably put together with Micron as a partner, and is close to, but not exactly the same as, HMC.
The high end will be interesting. NVidia is in to HMC, AMD is likely working up the idea, too.
And the idea of memory stacking fits the mobe market as well, so ARM is in the game!.
Roll on persistent carbon nanotube memory. That will upset the applecart again!
HMC talks to Terabyte/second speeds, so it will be a big impactor on performance.
InfiniBand is not an escape route
Mellanox is trying to convert itself to an Ethernet provider with RoCE. I think the writing is on the wall for both FC and IB, as Ethernet surges, and as blockIO gives way to object access modes. Supporting object storage is the only way Brocade could move into a growth area.
IPCC doesn't help
I think Lewis hit the nail on the head. We need nuclear power, though I'd like a push for Thorium-cycle molten salt reactors, because they are cheaper, safer and create almost no long term waste. Thorium supplies run to thousands of years already, which gives us a bit of extra time to do fusion!
Of course, IPCC's fatuous insistence that we are heading toward climate disaster misses the point. We'll run out of oil and gas first. Their insistence on orthodoxy in thinking is constipating the debate. We need to talk to the fuel supply issues and not to Gaia-centric irrelevances.
I'll end with the standing disclaimer, cos I don't want to lose my grants. "Irrespective of any facts, and based on a model that is known to be totally inaccurate, Anthropogenic Global Warming will possibly happen sometime on a planet near Earth."
MTBF is a fiction?
With an 11.8 percent AFR in any of the four years, never mind earlier failures, the MTBF cannot be even close to the 2 million hours claimed by vendors. The number would be worse than 0.2 failures in 35,000 hours, which is 150,000 MTBF.
BlackBlaze may be using consumer drives in an enterprise mode, which increases duty cycle, but decreases start-stop. You have to read the small print. Even so, the drives don't seem to meet spec.
I'd believe SSD MTBFs, though. They should meet or exceed 2 million hours without a problem, except for early life failures due to manufacturing.
IPCC is really good at headlining doom and pushing the missing parts of the story under the table. Having done that for decades, they are now hoist on their own petard, when they can't explain why the model that had such dire prognostications no longer ties to reality..
This is so clearly a case of crying wolf!
Some ral science at last
So many climate reports are based on those flawed IPCC models that it makes you wonder if "science" is the right term to use. Clearly, the IPCC models are broken, and no amount of political correctness and word-smithing of reports can hide that anymore.Now we have yet another factor that the models don't know about. It appears the Sun affects Earth's climate! And it cycles in intensity!
IPCC is leading the "Green" charge to cover Europe in wind farms, and we in the US are saved only by the current government gridlock from a similar fate. It looks like it ain't necessarily so, and in a big way, and if the science is right, we have 30 years before things start warming again. Given the impact of CO2 in that timeframe will be ameliorated by the response of plants to having more food, maybe we are out to 2060 before things get warm. IPCC should be ashamed of there behaviour. Perhaps the political nature of the committee and vested interests pushing for huge CAPEX are to blame.
Doesn't 9GB stem from a comment by Teradata's CTO in the mid 90's that 9GB drives were best for databases. How that turned into 9GB LUNs escapes logic, though I suspect it was a lack of real thinking.
Explains why object stores and SSD escape some data center architects completely!
It's all politics
IPCC has demonstrated that it isn't really a scientific body. They are intensely partisan on AGW, cherry-pick data to support it, and have a huge reluctance, to the point of malevolence, to accept alternative data and theories.
This is the type of science where you decide waht you want to prove, then "fix" the experimental results to prove it. All it takes to understand this is to follow the money. No-one will pay for climate non-events. We need a dire prognostication to raise the cash to the current levels. This debate is all about rice-bowls, and not the ones people eat from!
Super-fast hard drive? Now that's an oxymoron!
Seagate had me cheering right up to the point where they said they are developing a new fast drive for enterprise blade servers. Despite their bluster, that market is heading to flash fast, simply because of raw performance.
A new 10K RPM drive aimed at being a market segment leader doesn't make any sense. It's like GM announcing today that they've just developed the world's biggest steam-driven truck!
Temp data is "adjusted"
It seems that there are serious aberrations caused by thermometers near cities, which report higher temperatures due to local heating from power output and more importantly the concrete surfaces. The siting of these might account for a good portion of the world-wide warming,
Older measurement sites would not be changed by citification, and many of the European sites would fall into this category. What the study is saying is that the new city sites in the developing world may be biasing the data to appear like warming.
What's wrong with the IPCC model:
Doesn't handle current hiatus in warming
Over-estimates carbon dioxide impact
Over-estimates ice melt/sea level rise
Over-estimates warming rate (by own admission)
Doesn't handle Sun variations
Period of warming used to justify story is shorter than the hiatus
The head of IPCC makes $5million per year from consulting...go figure!
Nile is two years out!
Nile is a pre-announcement. It's two years out. In that time, expect 10TB drives and perhaps more. Seagate is working on shingle and HAMR, and may have "2D" storage too. WD is working on technologies as well. Helium-filled drives may have 50% more platters, and they are looking at shingle and HAMR.
Furthermore, the Nile architecture will involve a lot of head nodes on those VNX arrays. I'm going to predict that exabyte-class systems are almost all Ethernet-accessed Object storage, with localized zones of BlockIO. They won't be jumbo SANs.
First 8 drive 1U NAS box?
The Seagate box looks really close to units we were shipping from Verari in 2006!
Plus ca change!
Seagate running out of options?
Seagate isn't moving fast enough to gain a position in the future flash game. They are running low on candidates to buy. Fusion-IO is clearly one, but they seem a bit discombobulated recently, since Dave Flynn was forced out.
Perhaps Seagate sees too much of a disconnect in businesses with flash and is focusing on the box business instead. After all, most all of the design will come from third parties, some of whom sell to the same customers.
Speaking in tongues
EMC's issue is they are speaking a range of protocols, storage modes and interfaces, as well as management options. ViPR is an attempt to converge the management that fills a huge void in their offering.
NetApp has one solution, but it is clearly the leader in its class. The adding of Object Storage will make them really solid, though Storagegrid may not be the answer.
In both cases, they are a big step away from Unified Storage on the Ceph model. This is the real future of storage, and I understand that EMC has announced a Unified platform just today. I think they perceive a real risk in the blockIO business and are protecting themselves against a relatively rapid transition to more scalable solutions.
Reinventing the wheel
My local medical group in the US (just 100 doctors) has quietly extended their IT system to provide electronic prescriptions direct to the local pharmacies. I suspect they paid a little bit less than $1.5 Billion for the service.
Why does the British government persist in setting up massive central software schemes when they could do this much more efficiently on a distributed local system. Heck, they could buy the US system, run it on local hospital servers, and probably have a billion dollars left over for medical care.
And what's more, it would be much more flexible, since the US system has a good many more insurance and other services to manage, so it would be easily a superset of the UK needs.
HP epitomizes what happens when you just become a rice-box reseller. All the big customers buy direct, then the noodle stores open up in the US and sell to the smaller fry. Then you end up boasting about turn-rounds with software and services.
Painful, but the only way out is to figure a new architecture and make it yourself!
And the polar ice caps growing didn't help?
The two polar ice caps have shown strong growth, reversing recent trends, especially in the Arctic.
We may indeed be tipping over into a Little Ice Age, and this could account for the reversal of sea-level rise.
Blame it on the Sun, which is running cool!
CLOUDS are SAFE?
AWS seems to be doing a better job than most enterprises on security. They tackled it from the start as a high-priority issue, given their deployment model and multi-tenancy.
NSA could learn from them!
Given this deal underpins a huge portion of government IT, since Bureau of the Interior provides services across a lot of other departments, this is a big issue, and I'm sure it will be heavily scrutinized.
Did IBM get the Government's COBOL cloud?
With so many legacy apps written in COBOL, did IBM get their piece of this deal based on being the best host for those apps. After all, they consider mainframes as ideal cloud machines, and for COBOL it's Hobson's choice.
Of course, most of us don't consider COBOL+mainframe as even close to cloudy, so maybe IBM is crowing only to the few lovers of COBOL who are left!
(Remember IBM is trying to get out of the COTS server business!)
Time to bring manufacturing home?
With all these negatives from Foxconn, Apple needs to work on their image -a lot!
Since Foxconn is going to roboticise away it's workforce. This might be a good time for Apple to move manufacturing back to robot factories in the US, where the higher standards will protect their name.
Maybe the Feds will give them a tax break on all that foreign cash if they do that?!!?
This weather balloon is clearly a close relative of the one at Roswell. Reporters need to check if it actually said "Take me to your Leader", and if the truck took it to the White House.
Congress should ask NSA for a transcript of all the conversations at the site.
The people need to know, so that the proper shrine will be set up at the site!
There is a reality show planned for Fox TV already.
Let's stay scientific!
Recent reports indicate major back-pedalling on AGW by its supporters, and the predicted "ENDOFTHEWORLD" has been delayed a few centuries. Sea levels will rise inches not feet, and the computer models appear to be a little less than accurate, with nearly 20 years of predicted temperature rises missing from the world-wide actual record.
Perhaps it was those apocalyptic predictions that triggered Sen Inhofe's bible-waving rant.
Personally, I'd rather stick with facts, and even IPCC's error prone predictions beat out 4000 year old mythology any time!
Since Fukushima, we've discovered that the number of deaths expected is ZERO.
Nuclear fusion is getting a lot safer, and these new designs look much better still.
We can expect the thorium cycle version of the molten salt reactor to work just as well, and we have fuel for thousands of years. No more wind power systems. Let's do this right!
Wings coming off?
The PC market fall is accelerating, which has to lead to a price war to get rid of excess inventory. This will choke new ultrabook intros, which likely will hit Intel
Negativenees on 8.1 seems universal. MS has a big problem!.Slaes of Chromebooks are rising fast, too.
If drives mainly fail through a head no longer working, or a limited bad patch on one disk, this idea makes a huge amount of sense. I suspect there is prior art on this though, so Seagate probably only has a short-term lock and no patent. This needs RAID controller code to work properly. too.
Bringing Titan to Its Knees
I worked with the Lab team and Titan in my senior year in Physics, and managed to write a radio-astronomy program that brought Titan to its knees every night. Finally, the Lab took pity on all the experimenters I locked out, and showed me machine loop coding! Fun days, a great group to work with, and they were patient. If I did this today, I'd probably just get a nice message saying "over allocation. Come back next month!"
The result was I decided to be a computer engineer and not a radio-astronomer!
Is Wintel the next "mainframe"?
To be a winner, you have to provide enough value to keep customers loyal, and occasionally do a brilliant end run on the competition.
Intel needs a high-core-count low power solution with virtualization that runs like an ARM. They've got such a product in their Lab, with 80 cores and a 62W profile. That could be an ARM-buster.
But x86 and Windows have a problem. On the one hand an expensive and perhaps tired OS (getting terrible press on the desktop) and on the other a complex architecture that either costs a lot or uses a ton of power.
If the ARM64 supports KVM well, that may become the vitualized high-core-count server of the future, with a very large premium for VMware, Windows and x86.
This will be a much bigger issue if HMC memory melds with those ARM devices. A single module with KVM and a terabyte of DRAM, mounted in a micro-server chassis with 45 modules? That's potentially 256 VMs per module and 11,000 VMs per server box.!
Enter the Clouds
The best solution for long term storage is the Cloud. With a business model that replaces gear every 4 years, the core technology of the cloud is regularly refreshed. That replacement process includes copying the data to a new storage system.
This will hold true even for archived data, though maybe the replacement cycle will be a bit longer.
This way we don't get to the "One drive left to read that data, and it is broken right now" problem that has plagued tape.
The real message is that the main players are tightly grouped, which suggests pricing will be the go-forward determinant in winning.
IBM is sliding back, HP has lost leadership and will struggle to get it back.
And AWS challenges all, but not this week!
Are we to assume the solar power system will be run using the light from Las Vegas neon signs at night?
Gartner struggles with anything changing radically. Their approach tends to underplay any radical movements in the market. The recent decline of the desktop caught them by surprise, for instance.
Reality is the disk market will decline much faster, especially the "high performance" products. Why buy a spinner when SSD is 1000 times faster?
Join the Boy Scouts
Whatever happened to "articulating a clear story"?
It may make the politicians and marketing weenies feel good to have "overlaps", but 4 Object store stories is 3 too many.
All it tells you is that they really haven't a clue!
Has Carl got a driving license for this?
At least, Mike Dell knows how to run a computer company. Carl will just see stripable assets, expensive employees and some less than cost effective businesses, such as the cloud and PCs. Oh well!
Imploding a franchise
In the history of computing I don't see any mistakes as bad as this one. Alienating your user base for any reason is bad. Doing it for a Start sequence that only adds value to touchscreen desktops is insane, since there aren't any!
Redesigning a limousine to sell in cheap markets isn't smart either, but that was RT, and the reason for the Metro interface.
All in all, MS management really lost it. The pain will be great, with Android as the new "Windows", FirefoxOS as the new "Linux" and Windows 8 as the "mainframe" that was. The rollover into the hardware world is tremendous too. Desktops and notebooks being replaced by tablets and phones. i86 servers being replaced by ARM and GPUs. No room for Windows there either.
All in all, a bad time in Redmond.
Different drive classes
The weak random write performance of shingled drives is a huge issue. But that is only true if we treat them as disk drives.
The better model is to use SSD for data that will be overwritten, and use shingle drives for WORM. Most of the data in a system is actually WORM, since we use snapshots for data integrity and actually don't overwrite blocks too often. And all that code is WORM.
Shingle drives actually fit the new SSD-centric model better than HDD.
Why change. DEC still does maintenance!
Suspension of disbelief is important in such situations. Here are a few more like it:
1. The on-board redundant computers for the space shuttle were 16-bit 2901 bit slice products designed in the 70's. They took an age to program, using toggle switches, and had the compute power of a wristwatch, but they were radiation hardened after 17 years of testing. Now you know why astronauts carried iPads!
2. The air-traffic control systems in the US use computers developed in the 60's to drive the system. Every attempt to fix this has failed because the planners attempted to create new grandiose Star Wars displays etc, instead of focusing on reliable replacement.
3. Well into the 80's, the ATM systems on the East Coast ran off old NCR mainframes. Most PCs are faster today. I'll bet they mainframes are still there. I heard a rumor that the app source code was lost!
4. Speaking of lost code, I did a program for the CIA in the 80s to deliver a write-only printer-shredder. They had a super-secret app that ran a print job once a day, and they didn't want the printout to be seen. With no source code, the only option was to print the report and feed the paper directly into a shredder. The unit met Tempest standards!
Supercharger on a lawn-mower?
So the drive now does 250 IOPs. Wow! Big deal!
I think this is an exercise in denial. So the drive is 125 IOPs closer to the 96,000 on a fast SSD. Only 95,750 to go!
Certainly, hybrids are faster, but they just aren't much faster, and it just doesn't seem worth the effort, especially in the enterprise space. A big SSD cache in front of the disk would be much better, like you get with LSI RAID controllers that can use a large SSD as a fast cache.
Are drive makers finally getting a little bit concerned that SSD might impact their business?:)))
HP must feel like they are in a marathon where the other runners have a 20 mile start!
Systemically declining unit count, a price war and lousy margins, plus an OS vendor intent on hara-kiri won't make it easy!
Rain from the Cloud
Cloud storage systems are much better utilized than in-house. On-demand and virtualized, they have a higher percentage of used capacity. Large CSPs expect a very good discount on drives, too.
Fast drives have mainly converted to SSD, and WD is a tiny part of that market, with Samsung, Sandisk and Micron the clear winners.
The tablet transition is now unstoppable. Desktops are heading toward history fast, and notebooks, too. Ultrabooks may stave off the inevitable for a while, but sales haven't been spectacular, in part because Win8 is a bit of a flop.
Anyway you look at it, WD is putting lipstick on a pig here. Disk drive sales are on a systemic down-curve.
The traditional method of buying ICT for governments was a clear failure. Long schedules, very high prices and full custom solutions.
Cloud initiatives in most countries are breaking that problem down. SaaS in government clouds is saving a great deal of upfront money, and getting shorter schedules to boot. Savings are as much as 60 percent over the old method.
SaaS and the cloud are making sense for government. Gartner is likely underestimating the drop that will occur as migration starts in earnest.
Buy the kid a phone!
Kids get more IT training from using a phone. Advanced level is using a tablet.
All schools can offer is a turn at the computer lab once a week, and "Keyboarding" which involves tapping on a sheet of cardboard.
No wonder our kids aren't turned on to learning. We still primarily use 1860's methods of teaching.
SGI is unlikely. Their one major market is government and they would lose that. If Dell drops its servers, that leaves them as a software and systems company without software. Supermicro has great technology, and could be built into a strong Lenovo brand, but it brings no big enterprise customer base, and no storage.
IBM was near perfect, but after their showing in the last quarter, especially in Europe, Lenovo was right about the price.
Doesn't leave too many choices!
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