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Micron ships high density SATA-based SSDs for data centers

Micron Technology is bucking the trend of moving to PCI Express-based storage and releasing a new SATA III-based SSD with ultradense memory storage and read optimized for faster data access.The SATA interface has been around since the beginning of the century, but it has progressed much slower than the PCIe interface and with nowhere near the leaps in performance. Among gamers, who are as obsessed with performance as someone doing AI models, PCIe drives are standard issue, and SATA drives are at best used for storage.That’s because SATA III has a throughput of about 550MB/s, while PCIe 4.0 has more than 10 times the throughput.To read this article in full, please click here

The Linux fold command breaks up text, drives loops

The Linux fold command enables you to break a string of characters into same-size chunks, but it can also be used to provide a series of characters or strings to drive a loop. This post reviews the basic command and then demonstrates how you can use it to loop through the characters or strings that it creates.The basic use of the fold command is to take long lines of text and break them into shorter pieces. One common use is to shorten lines in a text file so that they display well in a terminal window. Lines wider than the terminal width might otherwise wrap in inconvenient places.The fold command can also be used to create a narrower file from a file with lines that are inconveniently long.To read this article in full, please click here

Open-sourced tool speeds up Linux scripts via parallelization

MIT has open-sourced pa.sh (also called pash), a tool that can dramatically speed up Linux scripts by using parallelization, saving time and without risk of introducing errors.The process of parallelization first examines a script for code that can be run separately and independently, so not all scripts can benefit from the tool. But when pa.sh does find portions that can run independently, it runs them in parallel on separate CPUs. It also uses other techniques to get the code to run faster.Below is a demonstration I ran on my home Fedora box, first running a script on its own and then again using pa.sh. Note that this script was provided with the pa.sh tool and lends itself to parallelization. It’s not nearly as demanding as scripts that might process gigabytes of data in a scientific or artificial-intelligence lab, so the results are not dramatic.To read this article in full, please click here

New PCI Express spec doubles the bit rate

The latest PCI Express (PCIe) specification again doubles the data rate over the previous spec.PCI Express 7.0 calls for a data rate of 128 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) and up to 512 GB/s bi-directionally via x16 data lane slot (not every PCI Express slot in a PC or server uses 16 transfer lanes), according to PCI-SIG, the industry group that maintains and develops the specification. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The slower, previous spec, PCI Express 6.0 has yet to come to market, and doubling the rate with each version has become the norm.To read this article in full, please click here

Linux Foundation works toward improved data-center efficiency

Organizations exploring the use of data-processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) got a boost this week as the Linux Foundation announced a project to make them integral to future data-center and cloud-based infrastructures.DPUs, IPUs, and smartNICs are programmable networking devices designed to free-up CPUs for better performance in software-defined cloud, compute, networking, storage and security services.To read this article in full, please click here

Counting the days on Linux

Have you ever wondered how many days it’s been since you started your diet, begun your daily jogs, or were first working with Linux? If you can remember the start date, a simple Linux script can count the days for you. All you need is the date command and a calculation that turns your dates into seconds, subtracts the start date from the end date and then divides the result by the appropriate number to turn the seconds into the corresponding number of days.Why seconds? The reason for the conversion to days is that the date command can display a date as the number of seconds since the start of the Linux epoch—10=970-01-01. This is the only option date provides for looking at the time difference between two calendar dates.To read this article in full, please click here

StorONE enables HDD connectivity over NVMe-oF

StorONE has introduced what it claims is the first storage platform to enable connectivity between standard mechanical hard disk drives (HDD) and flash drives over NVMe-over Fabric (NVMe-oF) infrastructures, which it says can reduce the cost of an NVMe solution by tenfold or more.Storage arrays have traditionally been separated by drive make. You have all-flash arrays and all-hard-disk arrays but not a mix of the two. Typical operation is to put “hot” data, or data that is frequently accessed, on the much faster SSDs, and put less frequently accessed data on the slower HDDs. That approach requires two or more separate arrays, plus the connection between them.To read this article in full, please click here

Data archiving: It doesn’t have to be on tape

Long-term storage—archiving—requires a very different approach than backup and recovery where throughput and deduplication are the main concerns. Archiving calls for storing data for long periods without becoming corrupted, so when it is retrieved, it is exactly what got stored 10 or 20 years ago.For most organizations that reach a certain size, standardized linear tape open (LTO) magnetic tape is the best choice. But for those that cannot justify the cost or believe tape is a thing of the past, there are three viable alternatives: object storage in the cloud, on-premises disk storage, and optical media.To read this article in full, please click here

High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) delivers impressive performance gains

IT vendors typically race to deliver incremental improvements to existing product lines, but occasionally a truly disruptive technology comes along.  One of those disruptive technologies, which is beginning to find its way into enterprise data centers, is High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM).HBM is significantly faster than incumbent memory chip technologies, uses less power and takes up less space. It is becoming particularly popular for resource-intensive applications such as high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI).To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco data-center switches promise 800Gb Ethernet, deliver 400GbE today

Cisco is prepping its high-end data-center Nexus switch family for high-speed Ethernet  that will better support high-bandwidth applications such as AI and cloud-native.  The vendor rolled out five new Nexus data-center switches that include improved support for 100/400Gb Ethernet networks, but its flagship box—the 9800—now includes a migration path to support 800GbE requirements. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The new modular data-center switch product family with 14.4Tb/s fully encrypted bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Nexus 9800 Series features eight-slot and four-slot chassis that can scale from 57Tb/s to 115Tb/s with a combination of various first-generation line cards and fabric modules. Each line card slot can support 400GbE or 100GbE or 10/25/50GbE ports. The eight-slot option could support up to 288 400GbE ports, well above the current 9000’s 32-port capacity.To read this article in full, please click here

AMD ups its supercomputer components

AMD is working on an accelerated processing unit that will outperform its current top APU that powers the world’s first exascale supercomputer.At its recent analyst day, the company introduced a new high-end accelerator, the Instinct MI300, an APU that combines Zen 4 CPUs, the latest generation of GPU technology, plus AMD’s Infinity Cache and Infinity architecture in one package. It will deliver eight times the AI performance of AMD’s current high-end ACU, the MI250, and will be available next year.A pool of high-bandwidth memory on the ACU is shared between the CPU and the GPU allowing them to communicate freely without the performance or energy overhead of redundant memory copies.To read this article in full, please click here

Removing duplicate characters from a string on Linux with awk

The awk command can make it easy to remove duplicate characters from a string even when those characters aren’t sequential, especially when the process is turned into a script.First, the awk command that we’ll be using starts by running through each letter in the string. In a more common command, you might see awk doing something like this:$ echo one:two:three | awk ‘BEGIN {FS =":"} ; { print $2 }’ two [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ]   The FS portion of that command specifies the field separator—the character that is used to separate the fields in the string so that they can be processed separately.To read this article in full, please click here

Pure Storage upgrades AI platform built on Nvidia DGX systems

Pure Storage announced updates to its AIRI//S line of AI-ready infrastructure, which it co-developed with Nvidia.The two vendors launched AIRI in 2018, claiming it was the first AI-oriented reference architecture that simplified the process of building an AI infrastructure by connecting compute with storage. AIRI is essentially a combination of Pure’s scale-out FlashBlade//S and Nvidia’s DGX ultra-dense GPU box. Pure provided the storage, and Nvidia provided the compute.This latest move, unveiled at the Pure//Accelerate techfest22 conference in Los Angeles, is quite an advancement, however.The new release of AIRI//S is powered by Nvidia DGX A100 systems, featuring end-to-end networking provided by Nvidia’s Quantum InfiniBand and Spectrum networking. A DGX A100 system comes with eight Ampere-generation A100 GPUs and up to ten ConnectX-6 network adapters from Mellanox.To read this article in full, please click here

AWS turns-up mainframe-migration service

Amazon Web Services has officially opened its mainframe-migration service that promises to help Big Iron customers move apps to the cloud.AWS Mainframe Modernization, which since last November had been in preview, is available now and offers the tools, infrastructure, and software to manage migration of  mainframe applications to the cloud, AWS stated. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The service includes tools to refactor workloads written for mainframes in legacy programming languages such as COBOL to Java-based cloud services. Or customers can keep their workloads as written and re-platform them to AWS with minimal code changes, AWS stated.To read this article in full, please click here

Using htop to check performance on Linux

While it's one of the best tools for examining performance on Linux, htop still requires some explanation before you'll be ready to take advantage of all the data it displays. It’s an excellent tool, but you need to understand the coloring scheme, how to scroll up and down through the processes displayed, and how to change your view of what’s happening on the system.It may take some time to get used to the type of information shown and be ready to quickly notice performance problems. That, of course, means that you have to know what normal behavior looks like on your system, and this generally requires spending time with the tool on a relatively frequent basis. In other words, use htop when you’re not at all concerned about how your system is performing and you’ll likely be able to make good use of it when you are.To read this article in full, please click here

RSA: Intel reference design to accelerate SASE, other security tasks

Intel has introduced a reference design it says can enable accelerator cards for security workloads including secure access service edge (SASE), IPsec, and SSL/TLS.The upside of the server cards would be offloading some application processing from CPUs, effectively increasing server performance without requiring additional server rack space, according to Intel. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] The announcement was made at RSA Conference 2022, and details were published in a blog post by Bob Ghaffardi, Intel vice president and general manager of the Enterprise and Cloud Division.To read this article in full, please click here

Connecting to your Linux system with your Android phone

While using your cell phone to connect to your Linux system might not seem like much of a priority, it is possible and you might have a good reason to do this from time to time. If you have an Android cell phone, you can install a tool that will allow you to connect, open a terminal session on your Linux box and run commands just like you would if you were sitting in front of the system. Well, almost.The tool that I recommend is called JuiceSSH. It installs easily and leaves an icon with an image of a lemon with its name below it on your screen. Click on that icon and select Quick Connect to set up your connection.To read this article in full, please click here

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