Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ATTO Technology now shipping Thunderbolt 3 Enabled ThunderLink to 40GbE Devices

ATTO’s ThunderLink 3401 and 3402 represent the first new Thunderbolt 3 devices to offer 40GbE connectivity

ATTO Technology, Inc. is pleased to announce the availability of new ThunderLink® 3401 and 3402 devices, allowing 40GbE connectivity from new Thunderbolt 3 enabled platforms to networks and storage while also providing backwards compatibility to Thunderbolt 2 devices and 10GbE infrastructures.
With single- and dual-output options and speeds truly doubling that of Thunderbolt 2, the new ThunderLink devices provide sufficient bandwidth for 4K video workflows via a single cable. ATTO’s Thunderbolt 3 devices enable higher performance and permit large bandwidth-intensive transfers via all major Ethernet protocols.
As always, ATTO’s ThunderLink devices feature proprietary Advanced Data Streaming (ADS) technology for the smoothest data transfers, eliminating dropped frames and providing the most consistent time-to-data for high-performance applications or mobile workstation users.

The new ThunderLink devices, and all Thunderbolt 3 enabled products, utilize a USB-C connector, which will ease connectivity to a wider variety of platforms.
For the first time, one computer port connects to Thunderbolt devices, every display, and billions of USB devices.
ATTO’s Thunderbolt 3 ThunderLink series includes:

  • ThunderLink 3401 Thunderbolt 3  to single-port 40GbE devices
  • ThunderLink 3402 Thunderbolt 3 to dual-port 40GbE devices
Contact us at for all your ATTO Thunderbolt connectivity. 866 801 2944

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NEO Agility LTFS Archive Appliance by Overland Storage Now Available at

With the new NEO Agility, users can effortlessly manage, share and protect valuable data files utilizing Linear Tape File Storage (LTFS) technology. Providing advanced archiving capability, and serving as a compliment to NEO Series tape libraries, NEO Agility allows users to capitalize on the reliability, portability and affordability of tape-based storage while benefiting from the ease of data access associated with disk-based storage.

The NEO Agility support the Overland Storage Tape Libraries NEOs T48, NEO xl80 and NEO 8000e.  Contact us at and discuss which NEO Agility Appliance is right for your Organization.  The NEO Agility is also compatible with other brand tape libraries.  Call us at 866 801 2944 for your Tape storage and archive needs including LTFS hardware options with the NEO Agility.  

Models include: NEO Agility 48, NEO Agility 80 and NEO Agility 160.  The NEO Agility 48 is available in SAS connectivity, the NEO Agility 80 is available in both SAS and FC (Fibre Channel) Connectivity) and the NEO Agility 160 is available in FC connectivity.

ATTO Technology Announces Support for macOS Sierra

ATTO Technology, Inc., a global leader of storage, network connectivity and infrastructure solutions for data-intensive computing environments for nearly 30 years, today reaffirmed its commitment to Apple technology innovations by announcing driver support for macOS Sierra, released today. The newest Mac OS operating system improves user’s online experience, allows them to work more seamlessly between devices, and also help free up valuable storage space. 

Today’s announcement makes ATTO the only high-performance connectivity provider with a full range of storage and network connectivity solutions to support Apple’s newest Mac operating system. Customers can download the new drivers immediately from the ATTO website. 

With nearly 30 years of experience powering high-performance workflows, ATTO’s network and storage connectivity products support Apple markets, including Pro Apps, education and business. The new OS meets the increasingly demanding needs for those industries.

Apple has long been a platform of choice for creative professionals, and applications such as HD and 4K digital production and video editing have expanded file sizes and project complexity, pushing users to grow their storage footprint exponentially. ATTO has continued to innovate and provide the most reliable products powering these high-performance infrastructures, including the most demanding applications in media and entertainment, government and education, scientific and large data-block environments. 

As Apple evolves to integrate portable and cloud computing, ATTO continues to provide the storage and network connectivity tools to enable this shift. ATTO’s commitment to the Apple ecosystem will allow users to continue to access high-performance storage and networks in their application workflow.

Products included in ATTO’s portfolio of macOS Sierra supported solutions:
  • Celerity 32Gb/s (Gen 6), 16Gb/s (Gen 5 and Gen 6) and 8Gb (Gen 5) Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) with MultiPath Director
  • ExpressSAS 6Gb SAS/SATA HBAs and 6Gb RAID adapters
  • Thunderbolt enabled ThunderLink and ThunderStream devices
  • FastFrame 10GbE and 40GbE Network Interface Cards (NICs)
  • Software including ATTO ConfigTool, CLI Tools, Xtend SAN iSCSI Initiator, Express NAV and QuickNAV

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sphere 3D Simplifies VDI Adoption and Expands Addressable Market with V3 Appliance Family

Integrated, turnkey hyperconverged appliances specifically designed for distributed virtual desktop environments now available through
Story Highlights
  • Provides one of the industry’s most comprehensive and complete solution portfolios that takes aim at making VDI accessible and appropriate for any customer, any workload with the ability to scale in any increment, whether it be 10 users or thousands.
  • Purpose built for VDI, V3 delivers a simple turnkey appliance family for use cases including Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO), Small/Midsize Businesses (SMB) and distributed enterprise environments.
  • Seamlessly integrates with existing VMware solutions and existing VDI investments for streamlined deployment and enhanced VDI capabilities.
  • Starts small with a list price of $15,000 and scales through workload optimized appliances that address a variety of workloads, including everything from simple task workers to professional graphics users.
  • Integrates Sphere 3D’s Desktop Cloud Orchestrator (DCO) software with VMware and NVIDIA technologies, providing desktop orchestration and automation from a centralized management platform.
  • Built for desktop administrators to decentralize virtual desktops and provide an enhanced user experience.
  • Introduces a Distributed Desktop Hyperconvergence (DDH) architecture to better align VDI with real world use cases.
  • Slated to be able to leverage the VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode capabilities for increased flexibility and expanded cloud capacity as part of VMware’s hyper-converged appliance partnership. (See joint company video
The V3 appliance family comes pre-provisioned with Sphere 3D’s Desktop Cloud Orchestrator (DCO) software and also leverages VMware’s VMware vSphere virtualization and server management software, and VMware Virtual SAN enterprise-class shared storage solutions, along with GPU technology from NVIDIA, to take aim at making Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) accessible and applicable to business and branch offices of any size. The V3 all-flash appliances can start with a single appliance for VDI use or a 3-node configuration for a Virtual SAN cluster. Designed to stand alone or extend and simplify existing VMware customer environments, the V3 appliances can deliver key performance and capacity advantages from a single product family with one point of support.

Sphere 3D’s DDH architecture is designed to simplify virtual desktop deployment and management for ROBO installations, and also reduces the cost and necessary infrastructure to support VDI. DDH reduces VDI management overhead and complexity while creating desktop resilience and decreasing branch office infrastructure. DDH is also road-mapped to use application containerization to shift the focus from storage onto end user computing, resulting in an improved user experience.

Organizations can start small, with as few as 10 virtual desktops, and easily and non-disruptively scale to thousands of users with a predictable, ‘pay-as-you-grow’ approach. The V3 appliances, available in a broad set of configurations, are workload optimized to ensure that typical over provisioning in VDI can be eliminated, while also providing multiple scale points. With the preinstalled DCO software on each appliance, organizations can also overcome the performance degradation of VDI in widely distributed deployments and eliminate distance limitations of traditional VDI architectures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

External HDD Primary Option for Backup - Survey of Customers who lost valuable data

Most businesses and consumers have a backup solution in place.

Results from a survey of customers who lost valuable data confirm that traditional external HDDs still prevail as the primary option for backup
The majority of businesses and consumers are taking steps to backup their data, but unintentional gaps in protocols continue to prove costly. 86% of respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss. Of those respondents who had a backup solution, 16% currently backup to the cloud, 58% use an external HDD and 20% implement a tape/NAS solution.

With 48% of respondents backing up their data on a daily basis, why are companies still losing data? Minor oversights or an inadvertently non-functioning backup can render backup procedures ineffective.

This year's data shows that of those who had a backup in place at the time of data loss:
  • 22% describe their backup solution as not operating correctly
  • 21% report their device was not included in backup procedures
  • 21% say their backup was not current, reducing the likelihood of retrieving relevant data
It's no longer enough to have a backup solution where you hope for the best, as survey results indicate year-over-year, conducting backups is just one step in the entire backup strategy. Regularly ensuring your backup solution works effectively and the data is accessible is also essential.

Obstacles to Backup Adoption
Among the 528 respondents across North America, Europe and Asia, over half (54%) of people who did not have a backup solution in place cite time to research and administer as their primary reason for not seeking a backup solution (up 4% from 2015). However, 7% fewer people in 2016 (24%) report the expense of a backup solution as their primary reason for not leveraging a backup. Other findings include a 6% increase in the number of survey participants who report daily backups this year (48%).

As storage devices are packing more and more data into smaller and more complex systems - which not only requires IT teams to dedicate significant time to actually backup the data, but even more time to verify the backups worked properly - IT teams face an impressive balancing act.

Additional Statistics
Additional findings from the 2016 survey include a 6% increase in the number of survey participants who report daily backups this year (48%), and almost no changes in the numbers of people who report weekly (26%), monthly (22%) and annual (3%) backups.

When asked how often they test or validate their backups, only 28% report weekly tests (down from 35% last year). However, exactly half of respondents said they validate monthly - an increase of 14% from 2014. Only 14% claim to never test backups, which is down from a survey-high of 20% last year.

Take the time to invest in a backup solution and set a backup schedule for all identified devices and media
  • Ensure that backups are running regularly in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Check backup reports for errors or failure
  • Test backups on a regular basis to validate that data has been accurately captured and files are intact

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sphere 3D SnapSync: Enterprise File Synchronization and Share Software: Starts at $1,795 for private cloud bundle with SnapServer appliance with first year of SnapSync licenses for minimum of 25 users.

Sphere 3D Corp. announced SnapSync, a secure, private, and fast file sharing software product for the enterprise and the SMB.

It uses peer-to-peer data distribution technology, runs on the company's SnapServer and cloud-based SnapCLOUD storage products, and is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS clients.

The SnapSync integrated offering for private and hybrid cloud storage deployments enables users to synchronize, share and access files and folders of any size from anywhere on any device - regardless of the storage limit of the target client device. The newly-released and advanced service offerings are delivered at a fraction of the cost of typical public cloud-based 'box' storage products. More important, SnapSync provides security features and sophisticated centralized IT control of client data while providing immediate DR and backup. 

"At San José State University's Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, we had specific criteria for the security of our data as well as a need for a robust backup and DR infrastructure. Our faculty and staff store large amounts of research data and protected student data on their office machines," said Malu Roldan, associate dean of undergraduate programs, College of Business. "By having a secure and redundant node in the peer-to-peer network, our users have been able to selectively and automatically sync key sensitive data while being assured that it is well protected and can be quickly replicated should there be a glitch anywhere in our network. I am pleased to say that we have been able to use SnapSync to address these stringent requirements." 

"We have designed SnapSync to not only make it available for new customers, but to also extend its capabilities to the large number of Snap storage units that have been shipped to companies across the globe," said Eric Kelly, CEO, Sphere3D. "Our go-to-market strategy and tactics will continue to leverage our increasingly large installed base, which will accelerate adoption of our integrative offering. Additionally, we will continue targeting new vertical markets, like education, that demand a high level of security, flexibility and world-class service." 

According to a market study from Osterman Research, 75% of IT decision makers and influencers are concerned about the level of use of consumer file sync and share tools within their organizations, and consider their lack of security and IT management control to be a major problem. For example, popular cloud file storage products allow the user to send an email link to share their files, which enables the recipient to access data that can be forwarded again and again, and allows that data to easily be captured by non-approved parties. 

"IT decision makers are frustrated with the lack of centralized control for corporate data landing in the Cloud, which continues to increase with mobile workforces that use their personal devices for work tasks. With SnapSync, the originator of the file share authorizes access to other parties, enabling improved data control and a content IT manager," said Mark Bowker, analyst, ESG. "SnapSync's security and control features like encrypted keys, provide the document originator the ability to remove access for a particular user if the access is no longer required. This ensures the data remains secure within the enterprise." 

Most competing storage systems only backup on a periodic basis - daily, weekly, etc. - and information can take days or weeks to be retrieved by the equipment provider following a system meltdown. Organizations leveraging SnapSync private cloud benefit from fast DR and BC with almost complete recovery of that data if they are synchronized with the company's central Snap storage-based infrastructure. This is made possible by the Snap storage site-to-site continuous replication features that help ensure the latest data is always backed up, recoverable and available. 

"In today's agile business world, enterprise users are looking for always-on, cloud-integrated, mobile-ready and secured access of corporate information without always requiring a VPN connection. SnapSync, along with our Snap storage products, provides enterprises and SMBs with a value proposition that features the lowest TCO, most secure and most scalable configuration to share and store data, with the knowledge that if there's a critical system failure they can be up and running within minutes with a close to zero RPO," noted Nilesh Patel, VP, product management and marketing, Sphere 3D. He concluded: "We believe this is a game changer for companies that are looking for the most versatile and secure environment while still meeting the mobility requirements of their workforces."

Sphere 3D (Overland Storage and Tandberg Data) complete $20 million debt financing

Sphere 3D Corp., parent company of Overland Storage and Tandberg Data, has entered into a $20 million debt financing, consisting of a $10 million revolving credit facility and a $10 million term loan facility, with Opus Bank.

Eric Kelly, chairman and CEO, Sphere 3D, commented: "We are coming off a year where we have undertaken a significant transformation and have positioned the company for growth in 2016. In preparing for this growth, we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Opus Bank, whose strength, leadership and experience in working with leading technology companies, provides us with the necessary foundation to capitalize on our opportunities."

Kevin McBride, senior MD and head of the technology banking division at Opus Bank, stated: "Sphere 3D has developed differentiated hybrid cloud solutions and partnered with leading global technology companies to help organizations modernize their IT infrastructure in a flexible and affordable way."

He added: "The senior debt solution provided by Opus Bank is an example of Opus' technology experience and capability to deliver needed financing to middle-market technology companies like Sphere 3D. Opus is pleased to have the opportunity to become Sphere 3D's lead commercial bank."
Opus Bank's technology banking division serves later stage, venture-backed, private equity, and public middle-market technology companies that focus on IP, software, hardware, and IT services.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

President Dan Jan Left Qualstar Company's fiscal year-end changed to December 31 from June 30

Qualstar Corporation has approved a change in the company's fiscal year-end to December 31 from June 30.

As a result of the change, the company's next fiscal year-end will be December 31, 2016. In addition, the company will file a transition report on Form 10-K for the six month period ending December 31, 2015. This change is being made by the company to better align the company's financial reporting calendar with its customer base.

"We changed our fiscal year-end to be aligned with our customers and suppliers, most of which utilize a calendar fiscal year-end of December 31," said Steven N. Bronson, president and CEO, Qualstar.
As the company begins the new year, management continues to reduce expenses and personnel to focus on profitability.  As part of these changes, Daniel K. Jan, president, will be leaving the company effective December 31, 2015 and Steven N. Bronson, CEO, assumes the additional title and responsibilities of president of Qualstar effective January 1, 2016.

Jan joined Qualstar in April 2014 to focus on providing customers with an expanded set of storage archival solutions and to re-engineering operations, while maintaining excellent service worldwide that is Qualstar's tradition. In addition, he played a key role in forging new OEM supplier relationships. He has been promoted to president of the company, as of May 2015, after having served as EVP since April 2014. He joined Qualstar from BDT Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Germany’s BDT Media Automation GmbH, in OEM tape automation. He served as president at BDT, spearheading growth in BDT’s worldwide sales for its tape and storage business. With over 25 years of industry experience spanning semiconductor memory to hard disks, optical, and tape storage technologies, he’s held leadership roles in Silicon Valley, where he spent 12 years, in companies ranging from high-performance blade server start-ups, optical storage designers, to IBM in their storage and peripheral devices groups who were deeply involved in HDD, tape, and RAID subsystem technologies.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Storage Trends and Predictions for 2016

First of the storage trends is for 25/50/100 GbE. The first products have just reached availability, so in 2016 we will see wide adoption of these. For our segment 25 GbE will be especially popular because it is a single-lane technology (like 10G, not like 40G), It is backwards compatible with 10G (uses the same SFP-type connector) and has a low cost for NICs, cables and switches. By the end of the year the cost difference between 10 and 25 will be minuscule, so the choice of 25G should be obvious for any new deployment during 2016.

All-Flash Arrays (AFA)
All-flash memory has been gaining market share during the last few years. In 2016 even late adopters will switch to flash for their primary storage needs. It still has to go through a row or price reduction to become affordable.

ARM servers
ARM servers are coming up with players like Broadcom. AMD and Samsung are also going to try their chances of gaining (share) of the ARM server chip market.

Non-Volatile Memory (NVM)
NVM is a new class of storage media. It is faster than NAND flash, slower than RAM, but it is non-volatile. We expect to see first productized 3D XPoint memory by Intel/Micron. Also HP/SanDisk (now WD) announced cooperation around memristors but it is unsure if we'll see a product in 2016. The first product will be a 3D XPoint PCIe card to be released in Q1 2016. At the beginning, prices will be higher than the ones of NAND flash, but in the long run, non-volatile memory can replace flash entirely. As a result, NAND flash is going to become the new disk, while NVM will take the role of flash. This means a new crop of storage vendors focusing on the new storage tier, like it happened with NAND flash. We expect first players to be announced in 2016.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI)
Hyper-converged solutions are going to get wider adoption as they reduce complexity. However they are still costly and by concept are best suited for smaller deployments of 2-5 nodes and thus for the SMB/ROBO segment. At larger scale HCI is not the solution of choice for cost and manageability reasons.

Hot in the storage trends will be Software-Defined Storage (SDS)
SDS has been in the storage trends and hot topic during last couple of years, however the majority of deployments were PoC/tests. 2016 is the year when SDS becomes widely used in production deployments. The technology has reached a good level of maturity, developed by early adopters and now mainstream companies are going to deploy it in order to get the benefits delivered by software-defined storage and distributed storage.

Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) drives
SMR drives will be one of the storage trends of 2016. The economics of this new class of media are clear already - SMR HDDs are nearly half the cost of the closest regular HDD available. Other than that, the attraction of SMR drives is the ability to have an online archive at very reasonable cost rather than an offline tape archive. Also, the software stacks and products incorporating them are just coming into place. They fit between tape and HDDs, at the same time displacing both to a degree. Tape will be dead as a backup technology of the mass market and SMR drives will make it really dead.

New tiers
The NVM and SMR drives will create new tiers of storage. NVM will fit between flash and RAM, displacing the highest end of the flash arrays, and enabling a small segment of new applications. SMR drives will fit between tape and regular HDDs, displacing both to a degree. For me tape is dead now. Adding SMR drives for cold storage to the mix makes it very dead.

Further systems specialization
At the medium scale (100TB-1 PB) there is an increasing realisation that you probably need several different systems for the different needs. The best architecture for an archival system is very different for the best architecture for primary storage. So in 2016 mid-sized storage users will look even more to solve different requirements with different systems.

Death of HDD-only and steep decline of cached-HDD systems
Enterprises finally realize that HDD systems, even when cached and centralized architectures don't work for their virtualized workloads. We still see quotes by major vendors offering HDD-based systems, where the customer clearly stated they want high performance. This will not fly anymore in 2016. This is all part of the specialization trend: different problems = different solutions.

The pursuit to reduce complexity
Complexity is a major pain point, getting worse with all the latest technologies that companies have to keep up with and manage. Hyper-convergence promises to address these issues to a large degree, but only in the smaller storage deployments. cloud operators also help a lot by hiding the complexity of their infrastructure behind an easy-to-use web interface. On a larger scale - when you have to build a public or a private cloud - the sensible solution is to consider software-defined technologies. Most of them rely on standard hardware (and standard skillset), thus they reduce complexity as well as vendor lock-in. This promises to be one of the huge storage trends in 2016.

Pricing of storage systems changes
It is not about storage anymore - compute network and storage become one integral system. This has considerable impact on how you compare solutions - it is not $/GB and $/IO/s of the storage system anymore. Rather companies have to compare functionality and the total cost of their alternative stacks before choosing.

New approach to backup and DR
There is an increased interest for multi-site deployments. In the larger cloud deployments, the general approach seems to be multiple sites connected over the Internet, with exposed choice to the customer where the cloud should keep backup copies of their data. We don't see any interest in tape libraries. The modern approach to backup and archiving seems to be large HDDs with wide erasure coding. So backups will be either online or nearly online (withins of powering up the HDDs). We also see increased interest in being able to run applications from the backup system even with decreased performance. The line between backup and DR is blurring.

Storage trends and predictions - Summary
On the highest level there is a paradigm shift from 'storage as a separate subsystem' (i.e. stand alone SAN box) to 'software-defined storage'. Companies will grasp the interplay between applications, compute, network and storage. Storage is becoming an integral part of the entire stack and tightly integrated with network and compute (and applications running on top).

Performance requirements are rising and SSD-level of performance is now the standard. Use cases multiply which drives further specialization of storage systems and new tiers of storage.
With impact lower than the paradigm shift new technologies are adding functionality, but also complexity, which the end users are trying to manage, while innovating to keep their competitive edge.