Google, AWS Boast 6x Energy Efficiency Over Average Data Centers
Many global companies have begun to tackle climate change by investing in on-site renewable energy. While Google, AWS and Microsoft Azure are large purchasers of renewable energy and renewable energy credit offsets, these cloud computing leaders are also tackling climate change by reducing their overhead energy consumption. To be sure, energy efficiency is an often neglected yet incredibly important piece of climate change action. While data centers as a whole have become more efficient over time, hyperscale data centers have outpaced smaller data centers in energy use reduction.
Alongside the rise in cybersecurity positions has been a rise in cybercrimes, with the largest cyber crimes ever being the LinkedIn breach causing the loss of 700M records in 2021, and the 2022 Shanghai police data breach of one billion records that we expand on more in this newsletter. What is responsible for the worldwide rise in cybercrimes? It appears that crime levels have risen due to remote work because of the COVID pandemic and increased IOT device connectivity, increasing the number of attack vectors by which hackers can gain entry into company systems.
Flash Memory Summit returned to in-person and was well attended with many breakout sessions and keynotes filled to standing room only. Companies highlighted new products and innovation and attendees embraced the opportunity to network with old and new friends and colleagues.
SNIA won the Most Innovative Memory Technology Award and their Computational Storage Technical Work Group Received an Award for Computational Storage Architecture and Programming Model
Splunk, AWS and Symantech are the leaders in the new Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) that was revealed last week at BlackHat USA 2022. The Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework is an open-source project, delivering a framework for developing schemas, along with a vendor-agnostic core security schema. Vendors and other data producers can adopt and extend the schema for their domains. Data engineers can map differing schemas to help security teams simplify data ingestion and normalization, so that data scientists and analysts can work with a common language for threat detection and investigation.
Tuesday, May 17
The first in-person NAB Show since 2019 was quite a success this past weekend in Las Vegas, NV. 52,468 attendees visited the Las Vegas Convention center to see the newest advancements in media, film, software, storage and ancillary industries. Cloud integration stole the show, with the entertainment and media industries needing to share and upload 4K/8K content taking center stage, alongside media archiving for data management and storage.
Thursday, February 17
Assisted and Self-Driving Vehicles are Mobile Datacenters
5-20TB of Data Will Be Consumed Per Day Per Vehicle
The evolution of cars to assisted and self-driving creates the need for cars to serve as mobile data centers with the computing power to process data in real-time. Managing this data effectively and quickly creates new challenges for the enterprise storage industry.
“For decades, most of the electronics on a car were encased in electronic control units, segmented by function such as braking and infotainment. As more safety features were added and centralized, they were organized by distinct software stacks and automotive OSes based on different domains communicating with each other through a centralized gateway, which is what most new vehicles use today.
Monday, January 24
Cybersecurity is a people problem, driven by our perception of risk. Tools help. In fact, tools are incredibly necessary but tools are also only as good as the people implementing them. Also, the work culture has a huge impact on behavior because employees tend to gravity toward the middle of the group, modeling their behavior to fit in, and be accepted as part of the team – for better or worse from a security best practices standpoint.
67% of security breaches are due to human behavior, not the failure of tools.
People have to digest a lot of information and success often means navigating that information efficiently, making decisions quickly – like to avoid getting in an accident on the freeway. But, that quick decision-making is not helpful during a cyberattack.
Monday, January 10
Ameca is said to be the world’s most advanced humanoid robot. CES attendees have the unique opportunity to view and interact with Ameca up close. This robot looks like a person, with facial features that move and flex to indicate expressions and mimic emotion and eyes that accurately track movement. Engineered Arts designed Ameca with as realistic facial features as possible to help scientists and engineers study and improve human-robot interactions. People connect by reading facial cues, so having a robot with life-like expressions and responses is expected to be beneficial in hospital and hospitality uses where communication interactions are integral to success.
Wednesday, January 12
The semiconductor chip shortage highlights a major infrastructure problem for the US – 75% of semiconductors are manufactured in Asia. Twenty-five years ago, the US produced 37% of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing in the US but today only produces 12%. In our June 2021 enterprise storage newsletter, we highlighted the chip shortage and, in particular, the impact on the automotive industry. Even the most basic gas-powered car now has over 100 chips, while the latest electric vehicle may hold more than 1,000. The chip shortage has resulted in few available gaming consoles, cars with limited features, and a reduced production of iPhones.
Tuesday, December 7
KIOXIA America, Inc. announced the addition of the BG5 Series that is intended to bolster its lineup of PCIe® 4.0 solid state drives (SSDs). It is designed to balance performance, cost and power for gamers and PC users. The KIOXIA BG5 Series is built with a PCIe® 64 GT/s interface (Gen4 x4 lanes) and accelerated by the company’s fifth-generation BiCS FLASH™ 3D flash memory technology and is available in capacities of 256, 512 and 1024 gigabytes (GB).
Tuesday, November 23
Department of Justice officials announced the arrests of five members of the ransomware criminal enterprise, REvil. REvil has been tied to over 7k ransomware attacks and hundreds of millions in ransoms, including the attack on meat supplier JBS and Miami-based technology company Kaseya. JBS paid $11M in ransom but Kaseya refused to negotiate with the cybercriminals. The arrests were part of an international investigation, Operation GoldDust, involving law enforcement agencies from 17 countries. Members of REvil were identified through wiretapping and seizure of REvil infrastructure – and, exploiting REvil tactics against its members.
Friday, November 12
Storage Review’s analysis of Intel P5510 vs Samsung PM9A3 Enterprise SSDs was thorough and intensive. While Brian Beeler was quick to politely comment on each and talk about the giants amongst us, and phew, what a whirlwind it was, we won’t hesitate to declare a winner. Intel crushed Samsung – especially if you are actually looking for a bottom line, instead of a participation trophy for each. This is business and competition drives, motivates, propels companies to greatness (or demise). Let’s not hesitate to call it like it is – for everyone’s good, including the competitors.
Monday, December 13
Extreme Networks was established by three LAN switching industry veterans, Gordon Stitt, Herb Schneider, and Stephen Haddock, to target the development of third-generation LAN switches based on emerging Gigabit Ethernet technology. Extreme Networks is based in San Jose, with over 2700 employees and over 50k worldwide customers.
Monday, November 29
Muon Space will launch a fleet of satellites designed to analyze Earth’s atmosphere, land, and water in fine detail using measurements from its own equipment and publicly available satellite data. Muon’s satellites will use thermal infrared sensors, infrared spectroscopy, and low-frequency radar to gather data and apply its algorithms to existing image databases and calculating soil moisture levels, snow depth, and standing water in various locations. Their integrated remote sensing platform is expected to provide accuracy and integration of data to more effectively combat climate climate.
Wednesday, November 17
Infinidat persuaded thirtyfive-year enterprise storage veteran, Eric Herzog, to serve as Chief Marketing Officer after nearly seven years as CMO and VP of Global Storage Channels at IBM Storage Solutions where he was responsible for worldwide product marketing and management for IBM's storage systems, software-defined storage, hyper converged infrastructure, and global storage channels. Eric Herzog has managed all aspects of marketing, product management, and business development in both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.
Tuesday, October 19
Why watch the movies when you can actually visit the lair..
Jon Karlung, CEO at Bahnhof, took inspiration from James Bond movies, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back, Logan’s Run, and Silent Running in converting a nuclear bunker in Stockholm, Sweden into the world’s most physically secure datacenter. The front entrance can be reached only by tunnel, the doors are nearly 16 inches of steel, located below 100 feet of solid granite, and designed to withstand a hydrogen bomb. They kept its code name, Pionen White Mountains.
The facility has simulated daylight, walls covered with plants, conservatories, man-made waterfalls, and massive saltwater fish tank. There is space for 6k servers and heat generated by servers is recycled to
James Bond Inspired Datacenter
heat the facility and area housing. Two German submarine engines serve as backup power.
Thursday, October 21
Technology, including special effects in movies, as truly evolved. How have datacenters evolved in movies – not just as a background prop but as a central feature? We highlight a few movies below…
2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester – A quest to find mankind’s origins with help from supercomputer H.A.L 9000
The main character must disassemble the AI villain inside the datacenter. And, while datacenters did not make it to space by 2001, that technology is well underway for the near future. The movie is iconic in reflecting much of the technology we take for granted today.
Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood – A young man finds a backdoor to a military central computer and game play is blurred with reality and the potential threat of WWIII. Okay, fair enough, no datacenter. But, it gets an honorable mention at that start of this evolution because President Reagan
Wednesday, October 13
Darkside and REvil ransomware groups spawned BlackMatter, an evil ransomware group claiming to have inherited the best features of its parent organizations. BlackMatter attacked NEW Cooperative Inc., shut down its operations, and demanded $5.9M ransom. NEW Cooperative, Inc is a member-owned farmer cooperative with 60 operating locations throughout north, central and western Iowa. They have been in business since 1973 and generate over $424M annual revenue. NEW Cooperative Inc, operates grain storage elevators, buys crops from farmers, sells chemicals, and owns technology platforms for farmers that provide agronomic advice to maximize harvest. Their software provides for management of 40% of grain production and 11 million animals feed schedules. The company created temporary workarounds to receive grain and distribute feed.
Monday, September 27
A car can generate about 25GB of data every hour and as much as 4TB a day, according to some estimates. This data is estimated to be worth as much $750B by 2030. Even without autonomous vehicles or everything electrified, cars have many computer systems and technologies controlling and storing data. DRAM and NAND solutions to handle these processes.
DRAM tends to be faster, with greater bandwidth for adaptive driving technologies while NAND is slower, nonvolatile memory - integral to navigation, customization, accident and collision information.
The largest NAND flash memory manufacturers: Samsung – 29.9%, Kioxia – 20.2%, Micron Technology– 16.5%, Western Digital (SanDisk) – 14.9%, SK Hynix – 9.5%, Intel – 8.5%.
Friday, October 1
Conventional electric grids have limited measurement and control capabilities. A smart grid optimizes the generation, distribution, and consumption of electricity though shared information and communication technologies. Smart grid big data is characterized by high volume, wide varieties of structured and unstructured data, varying velocity from real-time upward, veracity inconsistencies such as redundancies and missing data, and varying values. It is necessary to process large volume and varieties of real-time and historical data to make meaningful data-driven decisions. Smart grid data analytics provide opportunities for efficient operation, controlling grid assets, distributed energy resources, end user energy consumption in real time, planning processes, and new business models.
Tuesday, September 14
Cyber insurance premiums are going way up, and Evan Greenberg, Chubb CEO, warns that those increases do not capture the actual risk of a catastrophic cyber event. Prior to the prevalence of ransomware attacks, insurance companies focused on privacy, such as keeping and storing records, versus business interruption costs. Ransomware has radically altered the landscape of cyber insurance and now accounts for 75% of cyber insurance claims. The increase in claims far exceeds the bump in insurance costs. And, there is not a clear path to reducing the risks and capturing the true costs of a breach.
Is paying ransom to criminals driving up insurance costs as the insurance companies themselves feed the cybercriminal enterprise? Companies may focus less on cybercrime prevention knowing that demands will be met; hackers see companies with solid insurance coverage as highly desirable targets for easy payouts.
Thursday, September 16
Cybercriminals try to trick employees into clinking links to infiltrate and exploit system weaknesses via phishing emails. Additionally, a new approach by a Nigerian criminal enterprise takes a more direct approach. If they cannot trick employees into clicking on links in phishing email, perhaps they can be upfront, and invite them to orchestrate the breach. This group is offering employees a cut of the ransom, initially offering as much as $1M, if employees help sabotage their employer by installing DemonWare on their network. They identify prospective employee targets using LinkedIn.
Researchers at Abnormal Security posed as prospective willing accomplice employees. The criminal group promised the prospective accomplices they would not be caught by their employer because the ransomware would encrypt everything on the system.
Tuesday, September 21
Tech giants, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple have pledged major investments to bolster private and public cybersecurity infrastructure following a meeting with President Biden. The Biden Administration established voluntary cybersecurity goals and is pushing G7 countries to update NATO cyber policy and to aid in a collective effort to hold nations accountable for harboring ransomware criminals.
Amazon – Will provide its internal employee security awareness training directly to individuals and businesses at no charge. They will offer a multi-factor authentication device to AWS account holders to protect against phishing and password theft and the ability to use that device to access applications such as Gmail, Dropbox, and GitHub.
Google – Investment of $10B over the next five years to expand zero-trust programs, help secure the software supply chain, and enhance open-source security.
Wednesday, August 25
Is the sky falling?
Well, I suppose that would help.
Bezos, Musk, NASA, Intel, NVIDIA, Netflix, Amazon, Google, and many others are helpless without it. Crippled, done, nada. What is this “magic” ingredient that is so necessary for their current success? Helium. Not just for kids balloons and silly voices, helium is integral to our major technological advances today. Netflix stores its data on 36 helium-filled drives that hold about 100TB of data. Helium increases hard drive storage capacity by 50% and reduces power consumption while doing it.
There have been numerous articles about depletion of helium reserves, increasing global demand, and other doom and gloom, the sky is falling, rhetoric. The fact is there are many advances in global production. And, worst case, the moon is full of Helium-3, which is extremely rare on Earth but 100 million times as abundant on the moon. So, a few more rocket launches, and we can tap that resource along with all the other unique minerals available there.
Monday, August 30
Pay $125K to fly into the Stratosphere in a Hydrogen Balloon?
It’s like a bad “Fact or Crap” question.
And, yes, you may reserve a seat on the Spaceship Neptune for $125K, courtesy of Space Perspective, space flight company, which is proposing this idea. The six hour flight goes 100K feet up (1/3 of the way to outer space), high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. A football field sized balloon tows a 16-foot-wide capsule with 9 seats (8 passengers and a pilot), bathroom, bar, Wi-Fi, communications devices to allow live streaming, and a splashdown cone at base for landing. Touted as a “radically gentle voyage”, the airship travels at 12mph, two hours to reach cruising level, drift for hours and descend to land in the Atlantic Ocean. A recovery ship will pick up the passengers from there.
Thursday, September 2
Data Storage, Servers, and Data Center Infrastructure in Space
Data storage is moving from the ground to the cloud to outer space. The exponential growth in data supports increased capacity and technological advances for each. Currently, the focus is on satellites. In 2020 1,283 satellites were launched, the highest number of satellite launches in a year. This year, more than 850 satellites have already been launched. The growth in the number of satellites over the last decade was mainly driven by the development of the smaller CubeSat, which allows a large number of small sized satellites to launch at the same time, earlier rockets were used only to launch one or two satellites at a time. SpaceX launched 172 Starlink satellites in just three launches.
Google has partnered with SpaceX to use the Elon Musk’s space company’s satellite internet service, Starlink. SpaceX will install Starlink terminals at Google’s cloud data centers around the world. Starlink customers can use the cloud and Google can use the internet serve for its enterprise cloud customers.
Wednesday, August 11
VCs Banking on Threats, Breaches, and Accelerating Cybersecurity Market
The cybersecurity market is flush with VC funding at a record high with over $7.8B invested in 2020. Cybersecurity venture funding has been increasing over the last decade with 1500 companies receiving funding since 2017, including 58% seed-stage opportunities. Over $3.7B has already been invested in by April of this year. Over 75% of 2020 funding went to US companies, at $5.9B.
Top investors include Accel, Insight Partners, Techstars, Y Combinator, Ten Eleven Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Clearsky, ForgePoint Capital, Intel Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.
Friday, August 13
Windows Facial Recognition
Authentication Hacked –
In May 2020, Microsoft reported that Windows Hello had over 150M users and that 84.7% of Windows10 users sign in using Windows Hello. This vast facial recognition user base drew the interest of CyberArk. The system works only with webcams that have an infrared sensor in addition to the regular RGB sensor, but does not even look at the RGB data.
“We created a full map of the Windows Hello facial-recognition flow and saw that the most convenient for an attacker would be to pretend to be the camera, because the whole system is relying on this input.”
Monday, July 19
10 Hot Semiconductor Startups
CRN picks for the “10 Hottest Semiconductor Startups of 2021 (So Far)” are Ampere Computing, Cerebras Systems, EdgeQ, Fungible, Mythic, Pliops, SambaNova Systems, SiFive, Tachyum, and XSights Labs. We take a look at each awardee below.
Ampere Computing; Renee James, CEO
Ampere is moving toward a full custom microarchitecture core design from the ground up, in their view to achieve better performance and better power efficiency ...
Thursday, July 22
Human Factors and Cybersecurity
Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum (ISF), explains that “Cybercriminals have a deep understanding of human psychology and stress-related pandemic issues. In 2020 alone, Google registered a record two million phishing websites whereas ransomware attacks increased by sevenfold.”
Some of the obstacles to security sound organizations, related specifically to people and not the technology, include the disruption of following secure protocols, ...
Monday, July 26
Expect to Pay Again.
As we know, ransomware attacks are on the rise and the ransoms are getting higher. In the first half of this year, there were more than 226.3M attacks. Of course, the real number is unknown and companies and insurance companies go to great lengths to avoid report of the breach.
Ransomware criminals are now, not only attempting to extract money from their victims, but coming back a second time to extort more. Yonatan Striem-Amit, CTO and co-founder of Cybereason, explains, “Ransomware cybercriminals are constantly innovating on better ways to get companies to pay more.
Tuesday, June 15
$53B SD-WAN Market by 2030
Persistence Market Research report indicates SD-WAN market growth reaching $53M by 2030. The top five vendors in revenue share for the full-year 2020 were led by Cisco, followed by VMware, Fortinet, Versa and HPE/Silver Peak and account for nearly 2/3rds of the market. Top reasons for adoption include auto-failover and redundancy (66.8%), simplified management (61%), and cost savings over MPLS (57.7%).
Tuesday, June 22
EVOTEK Cybersecurity Predictions - Hit or Miss?
EVOTEK leadership, Matt Stamper, CISO, Executive Advisor, and Macy Dennis, CSO, provided 2021 cybersecurity predictions to CSW. Now that we are halfway into the year, let’s look at whether industry movement matches expectations.
Matt Stamper - “2021 will be the year of SOAR and investments in enhanced detention technologies including deception. I am cautiously optimistic that the improvements in security automation, ...
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Colonial Pipeline Attack &
Why You Should Not Hoard Gas in Plastic Tubs
A ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline by hacking group DarkSide crippled gas and jet fuel supplies to nearly half the east coast. The pipeline is 5,500 miles long and can carry 3M barrels of fuel each day. The pipeline is owned by the Koch Industries (28%), South Korea’s National Pension Service and Keats Pipeline Investors LP (23.44%), CDPQ Colonial Partners, LP (16.55%), Shell Pipeline Company, LP (16.55%), and IFM Colonial Pipeline (15.8%).
Thursday, May 27, 2021
RSA Conference 2021
COVID & the Expanded Attack Surface
RSAC Virtual 2021 kicked off on Monday May 17th with a keynote titled “A Resilient Journey” from Rohit Ghai, RSA’s CEO. Unsurprisingly, one of the big themes of the keynote was how COVID-19 forced IT and IT security to rethink how we approach remote workers, trust, resiliency, and hacks when most of the workforce of a variety of companies were forced to work remotely.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Social Media, Blue Leaks, & Suspicious Activity Reporting
2 Views – ACLU versus NSA
Where there is collection of data, there is always the prospect of great use and/or bad abuse.
And, much of the data culled has been packaged and delivered directly from the individual user, via social posts about getting vaccinated, vacation plans, new purchases, 10 year challenge photos (assisting in AI facial recognition), attendance at protests, and check-ins at every restaurant, workout, and airport - complete with selfies, food photos, and Fitbit results.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Building Storage Solutions for HPC
High-Performance Computing (HPC) originally started out in defense and research domains, such as universities and government agencies. The workloads that the initial HPC solutions were used for included particle physics, fluid dynamics, nuclear weapons modeling, and research and aerospace projects – and, obviously, the space program. What we have seen in the last several years is HPC being applied to new problems in commercial enterprises.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Security Hack of F-35 Results in J-31. DOD Says NO MORE in Cybersecurity Enforcement Push
China’s J-31’s is “modeled after” the F-35. That is a nice way of referring to the Chinese hack of F-35 data in 2007 through contractor Lockheed Martin, to build their jet fighter, J-31. Contractors are required to meet standards regarding security protocols but those requirements have not been verified in the past.
Friday, February 19, 2021
Flash or Cache?
Deep Dive on SSD versus HDD (plus cache) for Arrays
In storage systems (and in particular storage arrays), the conventional wisdom has been that flash storage in the form of solid-state drives (SSDs) are necessary for high performance, and NVMe® SSDs provide the highest performance of all storage media. However, a recent interview in Blocks and Files by Infinidat (started by a number of ex-EMC alumni) would like to be the start of a rewrite to this narrative.
Monday, February 8, 2021
AI & Stock Trading
High frequency and algorithm trading has moved from 60-70% of trading in 2010 to 90% in 2017.
While AI is being largely utilized, the proof seems far into the future Don’t we need a recession or major market correction to test the stock trading models?
Monday, February 1, 2021
Balancing Servers and SSDs
How can datacenter systems and application architects rebalance the relationship between server needs and storage capacity for typical enterprise workloads? Balancing the relationship between servers and SSDs is critical to datacenter cost, operational efficiency, and performance.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
U.S. Capitol Security Issues - January 6, 2021
Our AI & Cybersecurity Newsletter typically covers topics such as ransomware attacks, exploits, security issues facing major companies such as Zoom, & security breaches such as the Solarwinds attacks on Nuclear Labs, the U.S. Treasury, & Pentagon. However...
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Will 2020's Hot Topics Still be Hot in 2021?
Here is a look at three topics for 2021 - storage-class memory, computational storage, and composable infrastructure - what they promised to deliver, to what extent they have lived up to their promise, and what to expect in the coming decade.