Non-volatile memory conference next week

March 3, 2016

I’m looking forward to attending the 7th Annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop 2016 at UC San Diego next week. I couldn’t make FAST 16 this year – darn it! – so this will be my Q1 storage wonk fix. My focus is on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets, and it is clear that non-flash NVM […]

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How engineers – and anyone else – can figure out how good their marketing is

February 23, 2016

I spent years working closely with engineers at DEC, Sun and other companies – and I always felt a bit sorry for them. They’d get flayed for every decommit and slip. They’d sweat blood figuring out solutions to hundreds of subtle problems. Then, after 2 to 3 years of effort, they’d deliver the product to […]

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EMC’s costly battle against upstarts

February 12, 2016

A few weeks ago Nimble Storage CEO Suresh Vasudevan flagged EMC’s aggressive sales tactics as a key problem for Nimble’s enterprise penetration. We can now put a number on how much this is costing EMC. For the full year, EMC’s Information Storage group product revenues dropped from $10.785B in 2014 to $10.2B – an almost […]

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Snow on the rocks

January 18, 2016

Dial-a-climate People are often surprised to learn that it snows in Arizona. While much of state is low Sonoran desert – it rarely gets below freezing in Phoenix – altitude is the primary determinant of climate in Arizona. That’s why it can be freezing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and in the 70s […]

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Paul Graham’s naiveté – MLK day, 2016

January 18, 2016

In Economic Inequality, Paul Graham – of Ycombinator fame – posted an astonishingly naive essay on income inequality. While many others have written take-downs (see here and here, of Mr. Graham’s factual and logical flaws, there’s another that deserves attention. The role of entrenched wealth in creating a less just society The stagnating incomes and […]

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Gödel Machines, deep learning and the limits of AI

January 13, 2016

If, like me, you’re interested in AI and deep learning, you’ll like this. Neural networks are all the rage in AI, but there is a newer technology – Gödel machines – that is now a standard part of the AI toolset. What is a Gödel machine? From the abstract of the paper A Family of […]

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Market share: HP & Others up – everyone else down

January 4, 2016

IDC’s Worldwide Total Disk Storage Systems Market for Q3 2015 had some interesting results. The thumbnail is the title of this post. But there are a couple more details. ODM vendors – who sell direct to the hyperscale data center customers – had the fastest revenue growth of any supplier at 23.4%. HP’s revenue growth […]

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New year’s eve & new year’s day hikes

January 3, 2016

I was under the weather for much of November and taking it slow in December. But for the new year I took a couple of short hikes of 2-3 miles. On the 31st I parked on Chapel Road and walked the Chapel Trail. The spires in this picture are the Two Nuns. The Chapel in […]

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When will SSDs kill the 2.5″ disk drive?

December 15, 2015

Probably never. Here’s why. DRAMeXchange is predicting that in 2017 some 41% of laptops will sport SSDs. As the per gigabyte price difference between disk and flash shrinks, the price differential becomes irrelevant at ever-higher capacity points. Most people have little idea how much storage they use or need. Compulsive music/photo/video folks will use terabytes, […]

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How storage is changing the world

December 2, 2015

Cheap storage is changing the world. Whether it is in the cloud, on a dash cam, or embedded in an app, cheap – as in inexpensive – storage is enabling new relationships between individuals, and with culture, power, and groups. Facebook is the most prominent example of a storage-powered app. All apps use storage of […]

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Mr. Dell’s eyes fixed on the rear-view mirror

November 16, 2015

Zigging when others are zagging can be smart. Dell buying EMC to create a large computer company could be genius – or the last hurrah of a failing business model. Dell’s perspective is simple: ≈50% of Dell’s revenue comes from PCs, a rapidly shrinking market. Dell needs to get into higher margin, non-shrinking markets if […]

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Is AWS trying to throttle back its growth?

October 22, 2015

I was hoping to go to this year’s Amazon Web Services re:Invent conference, as I did last year, but no joy. Not enough press passes to go around, I was told. But then I learned that AWS limited press and analyst passes to fewer than 30, much to the disappointment of exhibitors, who love to […]

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Dell buys EMC & Tucci wins

October 16, 2015

EMC’s Joe Tucci has long been the smartest CEO in storage. While not every one of his bets has paid off, enough have done well, while the VMware $625M buy was a monster smash. Since VMware accounts for some 70% of EMC’s market cap, it is really the only deal that matters. So what to […]

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Hike blogging: Cibola trail

September 24, 2015

Fall is finally starting in the high desert. October is a wonderful month for a visit. This picture, taken from near the top of the Cibola trail, imperfectly captures one of my favorite views. Several vertical rocks and spires create a tense, 3D arrangement of unpeopled skyscrapers that never fails to enthrall. I haven’t figured […]

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Inifinite io’s network storage controller: what is it?

September 23, 2015

Infinite io’s Network Storage Controller (NSC) is a rarity in enterprise storage: an original and unique device. It turns your file storage network into a software defined resource. But it’s not a file server, a caching controller or an intelligent front end to existing storage resources. The NSC differs by applying deep packet inspection and […]

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