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Data Storage

NAND Flash Density Surpasses HDDs', But Price Is Still a Sticking Point (computerworld.com) 157

Lucas123 writes: With the introduction of 3D or stacked NAND flash memory, non-volatile memory has for the first time surpassed that of hard disk drives in density. This year, Micron revealed it had demonstrated areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77 terabits per square inch (Tbpsi) for its 3D NAND. That compares with the densest HDDs of about 1.3Tbpsi. While NAND flash may have surpassed hard drives in density, it doesn't mean the medium has reached price parity with HDDs — nor will it anytime soon. One roadblock to price parity is the cost of revamping existing or building new 3D NAND fabrication plant, which far exceeds that of hard drive manufacturing facilities, according to market research firm Coughlin Associates. HDD makers are also preparing to launch even denser products using technologies such as heat assisted magnetic recording.
Data Storage

Storing Very Large Files On Amazon's Unlimited Cloud Photo Storage 228

AmiMoJo writes: Last year Amazon started offering unlimited cloud storage for photos to customers who subscribed to its "Prime" service. Japanese user YDKK has developed a tool to store arbitrary data inside a .bmp file, which can then be uploaded to Amazon's service. A 1.44GB test image containing an executable file uploaded at over 250Mb/sec, far faster than typical cloud storage services that are rate limited and don't allow extremely large files.
Data Storage

Triple M.2 NVMe RAID-0 Testing Proves Latency Reductions 73

Vigile writes: The gang over at PC Perspective just posted a story that looks at a set of three M.2 form factor Samsung 950 Pro NVMe PCIe SSDs in a RAID-0 array, courtesy of a new motherboard from Gigabyte that included three M.2 slots. The pure bandwidth available in this configuration is amazing, breaching 3.3 GB/s on reads and 3.0 GB/s on writes. But what is more interesting is a new testing methodology that allows for individual storage IO latency capturing, giving us a look at performance of SSDs in all configurations. What PC Perspective proved here is that users often claiming that RAIDs "feel faster" despite a lack of bandwidth result to prove it, are likely correct. Measurements now show that the latency of IO operations improves dramatically as you add drives to an array, giving a feeling of "snappiness" to a system beyond even what a single SSD can offer. PC Perspective's new testing demonstrates the triple RAID-0 array having just 1/6th of the latency of a single drive.
Data Storage

OCZ RevoDrive 400 NVMe SSD Unveiled With Nearly 2.7GB/Sec Tested Throughput (hothardware.com) 117

MojoKid writes: Solid State Drive technology continues to make strides in performance, reliability and cost. At the CES 2016 show there were a number of storage manufacturers on hand showing off their latest grear, though not many made quite the splash that Toshiba's OCZ Technology group made with the annoucement of their new RevoDrive 400 NVMe PCI Express SSD. OCZ is tapping on Toshiba's NVMe controller technology to deliver serious bandwidth in this consumer-targeted M.2 gumstick style drive that also comes with a X4 PCI Express card adapater. The drive boasts specs conservatively at 2.4GB/sec for reads and 1.6GB/sec for writes in peak sequential transfer bandwidth. IOPs are rated at 210K and 140K for writes respectively. In the demo ATTO test they were running, the RevoDrive 400 actually peaks at 2.69GB/sec for reads and also hits every bit of that 1.6GB/sec write spec for large sequential transfers.
Data Storage

Tech Segments Facing Turbulence In 2016 (dice.com) 72

Nerval's Lobster writes: David Foote, an analyst who accurately predicted the tech industry's job growth in 2015, is back with some new predictions about which segments will do well in 2016 (Dice link). At the top of his list: DevOps, cloud and software architects, and cybersecurity experts. Those that won't perform well? SAP specialists, storage 'gurus,' and network managers could all face some headwinds. 'Companies are continuing to outsource infrastructure and that will reduce the need for network specialists except for network security which will remain in-house,' he says. Whether or not he's right about which parts of the tech industry will do better than others, there are also increasing signs that things could get very tight from a funding perspective for startups, as even the so-called 'unicorns' risk seeing investor money (and customers) dry up.
Data Storage

Netflix To Re-Encode Entire 1 Petabyte Video Catalogue In 2016 To Save Bandwidth (variety.com) 285

An anonymous reader writes: Netflix has spent four years developing a new and more efficient video-encoding process that can shave off 20% in terms of space and bandwidth without reducing the quality of streamed video. With streaming video accounting for 70% of broadband use, the saving is much-needed, although the advent of 4K streaming, higher frame rates and HDR are likely to account for it all soon after. Netflix video algorithms manager Anne Aaron explained to Variety that certain types of video benefit little from the one-size-fits-all compression approach that Netflix has been using until now: "You shouldn't allocate the same amount of bits for My Little Pony as for The Avengers."
Microsoft

Microsoft Backs Down, Lets OneDrive Users Keep Their Free 15GB of Storage 80

New submitter Farfetched619 writes: In November, Microsoft revealed that they would be reducing free OneDrive storage from 15GB to 5GB for all users, current and new. Microsoft mentioned that some subscribers were hosting movies and large files on the service, which has prompted the company to make this drastic change. Now, after community feedback, Microsoft is allowing free OneDrive users to retain their 15GB of free storage space.
Data Storage

Low Redundancy Data Centers? Providers Adapt As Tenants Seek Options (datacenterfrontier.com) 57

1sockchuck writes: Data center providers are offering space with less power infrastructure than traditional mission-critical facilities, citing demand from customers looking to forego extra UPS and generators in return for more affordable pricing. The demand for "variable resiliency" space reflects a growing emphasis on controlling data center costs, along with a focus on application-level requirements like HPC and bitcoin mining. Data center experts differed on whether this trend toward flexible design was a niche, or a long-term trend. "In the next 12 months,data center operators will be challenged to deliver power to support both an HPC environment as well as traditional storage all under one roof," said Tate Cantrell, CTO at Iceland's Verne Global. "HPC will continue the trend to low resiliency options." But some requirements don't change. "Even when they say they're OK with lower reliability, they still want uptime," noted one executive.
Media

Sony To End Sales of Betamax Tapes Next Year 103

AmiMoJo writes: In March 2016 Sony will finally end sales of its Betamax video tapes. The firm revealed on its website that it will also stop shipping the Micro MV cassette, used in video cameras. Sony launched the format in 1975, a year before JVC's rival the VHS cassette — which eventually became the market leader after a long battle between the two brands and their fans. Although many felt Betamax was the superior format, most cite the longer recording length of VHS tapes — three hours versus one — and the cheaper manufacturing costs for VHS machines as the main factors as to why VHS eventually won out. When my dad stops buying VHS tapes in bulk, maybe that market will finally wither away, too.
Cloud

Ask Slashdot: Secure, Yet Accessible E-mail Archive Storage? 74

New submitter mlts writes: As of now, I just leave E-mail in a 'received-2015' subfolder on my provider's server, adding a new folder yearly. With the rise of E-mail account intrusions (where even though I'm likely not a primary target, but it is a concern), what is a secure, but yet accessible way to archive E-mail? I'm far less worried about the FBI/NSA/Illuminati, as I am about having stuff divulged to all and sundry if a mass breach happens. A few alternative I've considered: 1) Running my own physical IMAP server. The server would run on a hypervisor (likely ESXi), have Dovecot limited to the VPN I use, and use other sane techniques to limit access. 2) Archive the E-mail files through a cloud provider, with a client encryption utility (EncFS, BoxCryptor, etc.) In this case, E-mail would be stored in a different file a week. 3) Move it to local storage on a virtual machine, and if access is needed, use LogMeIn or another remote access item to fire up Thunderbird to access it. What would be a recommended way to secure E-mail that sits around, for the long haul, but still have it accessible? Even if you're not specifically worried about it, keeping older email around on a provider's server opens you up to warrantless access by U.S. law enforcement officials.
Data Storage

Samsung 950 Pro Brings NVMe To M.2, Over 2.5GB/s 36

Vigile writes: Samsung just released its first non-OEM, consumer level NVMe enabled SSD, the 950 Pro series. This drive will ship in an M.2 form factor rather than a 2.5-in drive size that is the standard for users today, allowing installation into notebooks, small form factor PCs and desktop PCs that have at least one M.2 slot on-board. It peaks at 512GB capacity today but Samsung promises a 1TB version using 48-layer VNAND in 2016. The NVMe protocol allows much better performance directly over the PCIe bus without the overhead of the AHCI protocol used in hard drives and previous SSDs. PC Perspective's review has performance breaking the 2.5GB/s read speed level while also introducing an entirely new type of performance evaluation for SSDs centered around latency distribution of IOs. By measuring how long each IO takes, rather than reporting only an average, the performance of an SSD can be determined on a per-workflow basis and drives can be compared in an entirely new light. There is a lot of detail on to be read over and digested but again the new NVMe Samsung 950 Pro impresses. Hot Hardware takes a similarly data-dump-heavy look at the same drive.
Data Storage

Not Just Paris: Community Activists Target Data Centers (datacenterfrontier.com) 151

1sockchuck writes: This week's case in which a Paris data center lost its license isn't an isolated incident, but the latest in a series of disputes in which community groups have fought data center projects, citing objections to generators or power lines. Data center site selection is often a secretive process, with cloud builders using codenames to cloak their identity. Community groups are using social media, blogs, research and media outreach to bring public attention to the process and voice their concerns. Protests from a Delaware group led to the cancellation of a data center project that planned to build a cogeneration plant. In Virginia, a coalition has organized to oppose a power line for an Amazon Web Services data center. Everyone wants their Internet, just not in their backyard.
Data Storage

Samsung Demos PCIe NVMe SSD At 5.6 GB Per Second, 1 Million IOPS (hothardware.com) 88

MojoKid writes: Samsung decided to show off their latest SSD wares at Dell World 2015 with two storage products that are sure to impress data center folks. Up and running on display, Samsung showcased their PM1725 drive, which is a half-height, half-length (HHHL) NVMe SSD that will be one of the fastest on the market when it ships later this year. It sports transfer speeds of 5500MB/sec for sequential reads and 1800MB/s for writes. Samsung had the drive running in a server with Iometer fired up and pushing in excess of 5.6GB/sec. The PM1725 also is rated for random reads up to 1,000,000 IOPS and random writes of 120,000 IOPS. The top of the line 6.4TB SSD is rated to handle 32TB of writes per day with a 5-year warranty.
Data Storage

Noise Protests Close Paris Data Center (datacenterdynamics.com) 157

judgecorp writes: Data center firm Interxion has been ordered to close a data center in Paris over protests from residents. The local group complained about noise and large quantities of stored diesel fuel at the site, saying that the consultation which allowed it to open in 2012 was flawed. Now Interxion's license has been revoked and it has two months to appeal
Data Storage

How a Frozen Neutrino Observatory Grapples With Staggering Amounts of Data (vice.com) 49

citadrianne writes: Deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, sensors buried in a billion tons of ice—a cubic kilometer of frozen H2O—are searching for neutrinos. "We collect...one neutrino from the atmosphere every ~10 minutes that we sort of care about, and one neutrino per month that comes from an astrophysical sources that we care about a very great deal," researcher Nathan Whitehorn said. "Each particle interaction takes about 4 microseconds, so we have to sift through data to find the 50 microseconds a year of data we actually care about." Computing facilities manager Gonzalo Merino added, "If the filtered data from the Pole amounts to ~36TB/year, the processed data amounts to near 100TB/year." Because IceCube can't see satellites in geosynchronous orbit from the pole, internet coverage only lasts for six hours a day, Whitehorn explained. The raw data is stored on tape at the pole, and a 400-core cluster makes a first pass at the data to cut it down to around 100GB/day. A 4000-CPU dedicated local cluster crunches the numbers. Their storage system has to handle typical loads of "1-5GB/sec of sustained transfer levels, with thousands of connections in parallel," Merino explained.

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