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VeloBit tries to entice customers with trial caching software, SSD; more news

News briefs: VeloBit seeks customers by offering a free trial version of its HyperCache product and a loaner SSD through a partnership with Micron.

VeloBit tries to entice customers with trial HyperCache software, SSD

Trying to get customers to consider its caching software in a crowded field of contenders, startup VeloBit Inc. is offering a free trial version of its HyperCache product -- and a loaner SSD to use with the software -- through a partnership with solid-state drive (SSD) vendor Micron Technology.

HyperCache is server-based caching software for SSDs and solid-state PCI-Express (PCIe) cards that works with any block storage technologies (such as Fibre Channel, iSCSI or direct-attached storage). It keeps the most frequently used data on the server for recurrent user requests. VeloBit, which released HyperCache versions of VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer in August, last week also added a production version for Microsoft Hyper-V.

Read the full story on VeloBit’s free trial of HyperCache.

New Panasas ActiveStor HPC storage system mixes SSDs with SATA drives

Panasas Inc. last week introduced the latest generation of its ActiveStor scale-out network-attached storage (NAS) arrays, adding small amounts of solid-state drives (SSDs) for metadata and small files while incorporating 4 TB SATA drives for larger files used in high-performance computing (HPC) storage and "big data" workloads.

Panasas ActiveStor 14 is the vendor's first storage system with SSDs. Panasas varies the amount of SSD capacity according to the type of workload, balancing the requirements of small files that need high IOPS performance with larger files that depend on analytics that may take weeks to process.

Panasas’ scale-out architecture is based on a parallel file system designed to reduce performance bottlenecks by connecting each server client to a separate file system.

Read the full story on Panasas’ latest NAS arrays.

Alaskan firm relies on alternative data centers in the 'lower 48'

The Afognak Native Corp. IT team faces the triple crown of disaster threats -- earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. But the Alaska-based company copes by having an alternative data center in Chesapeake, Va., and other geographically dispersed failover sites.

Afognak began as a timber development company in Alaska in 1977 and now has 36 offices and project sites throughout the U.S. It performs security, IT, construction and other services for the federal government.

The corporation's main data center at its Anchorage, Alaska, headquarters is surrounded by four active volcanoes and the area has a history of earthquakes. The company's IT security manager, Fred Berestoff, is based on Kodiak, an island off the coast of Alaska that was devastated by a 1964 tsunami. That history of natural disasters makes Afognak's DR plan a large part of the IT staff's job.

Read the full story on how Afognak Native copes with natural disaster threats.

Lab speeds up test app with Kaminario K2 all-flash array

When Nick Mahmood discovered in May that his legacy storage area network (SAN) couldn't supply the necessary IOPS and lower latency required to support his network consolidation project, he turned to a 10 TB Kaminario Inc. K2 all-flash storage array.

Mahmood is the vice president of IT for environmental testing laboratory TestAmerica Laboratories Inc., which analyzes environmental samples and provides analytical reports using its TALS laboratory information management system.

Before the consolidation, synchronizing data across all of TestAmerica's 40 U.S. laboratories using a merge application with Microsoft SQL Server accounted for 30% to 40% of all TALS activity. And when TestAmerica's 2,200 test technicians would enter batch data into the system, report queries sometimes took 20 minutes, far too long for managers looking to produce customer reports.

Read the full story on TestAmerica’s use of the Kaminario K2 all-flash array.

Dell says having one IT vendor simplifies storage

Despite recent market trends to the contrary, Dell storage executives maintain customers want to buy storage and servers from the same vendor.

To make this case, they point to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting and sponsored by Dell. That survey of around 800 IT leaders and storage administrators in the U.S. and Europe shows that most see value in buying storage, servers, networking and IT services from one vendor.

That’s not how it’s been working out, though. Recent storage revenue tracking reports from IDC and Gartner -- as well as vendors’ earnings reports -- show pure-play storage vendors EMC, NetApp and Hitachi Data Systems have gained market share at the expense of Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard (HP). Pure-play storage vendors say that’s because they innovate more than server and infrastructure vendors that dabble in storage.

Read the full blog post on Dell's claim about single-vendor storage and server purchasing and then read an article about Dell's call for more partner training at Dell Storage Forum 2012.

Flash startup Virident pockets $26M and storage-savvy CEO

PCIe flash card startup Virident Systems closed a $26 million funding round last week and hired a CEO who signals the vendor is entering a new phase.

Former BlueArc CEO Mike Gustafson is Virident’s new boss, replacing founder Kumar Ganapathy. Ganapathy will remain with the company and work closely with the executive team on business strategy, new-product development and strategic partnerships.

Ganapathy’s background is in engineering, while Gustafson ran sales and marketing at Fibre Channel switch maker McData before moving to BlueArc in 2005 and selling the NAS vendor to Hitachi Data Systems last year. The change comes as Virident is ready to make its FlashMax II cards generally available following years of intense product development.

Read the full story on Virident's new CEO.

SimpliVity receives $25M to push its converged OmniCube

SimpliVity closed a $25 million funding round today, giving the startup ammunition to market its OmniCube converged storage stack due to ship later this year.

SimpliVity came out of stealth in August when it started its beta program for OmniCube, which has storage, compute and virtualization in one box. CEO and founder Doron Kempel said he expects the company to grow from 60 people to around 80 by the end of the year, and the new funding “gives us cash to fuel everything we want to do in 2013 in sales, marketing and engineering.”

One of the things Kempel wants to do is convince people that SimpliVity is unique among converged storage systems. He positions OmniCube as primary storage that can do just about everything, replacing the need for discrete devices for deduplication, backup, WAN optimization and cloud connectivity.

Read the full story on SimpliVity’s plans to market its OmniCube converged storage stack.

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