Archive for category News

DataSlide re-invents the Hard Drive

Posted by on Tuesday, 16 June, 2009


UK-based data storage start-up DataSlide has announced potentially revolutionary hard drive technology, and a Partnership Network agreement with Oracle for the Berkeley Data Base to be embedded into the device.

DataSlide’s Hard Rectangular Drive (HRD) does not use read-write heads moving across the recording surface of a spinning hard disk drive (HDD). Instead an ultra-thin, 2-dimensional array of 64 read-write heads, operating in parallel, is positioned above an piezo-electric-driven oscillating rectangular recording surface, and delivers 160,000 random IOPS with a 500MB/sec transfer rate.

For comparison, a STEC ZEUSIOPS SSD, as used by EMC, IBM and others, with up to 320GB capacity, can provide 220MB/sec read bandwidth, 115MB/sec write bandwidth and 45,000 random IOPS. There is no read-write asymmetry, typically found with SSDs, with the HRD because it uses a standard hard disk drive recording medium and not flash memory.

Charles Barnes, DataSlide’s CEO, said: “DataSlide’s Massively Parallel architecture with 64 heads per surface could saturate a 32-lane PCI express bus. The Hard Rectangular Drive has the industry reliability and cost advantages of Hard Disk Drives with superior performance and lower power then Solid State Drives.

“The HRD uses over 60 per cent lower power than HDDs and during idle the media has zero power dissipation making it the green storage winner.”

The technology is also more shock-resistant than hard drives. This could be described as a solid-state drive with none of the well-known NAND flash problems, such as read-write asymmetry and write endurance.

Oracle’s Embedded Global Business Unit stated: “DataSlide provides a high bandwidth, low latency, magnetic storage device whose architecture lends itself to vastly improved database throughput and latency reduction.”

There is a description of the DataSlide technology here (PowerPoint deck pdf). Literally, it is non-revolutionary, using oscillations to move the magnetised bits to and fro underneath the read-write heads so that they can use magnetism value changes at the bit edge just as a read-write head on a spinning hard drive does, but where the recording layer passes continuously under the heads. There is no seek time access delay with the HRD.

The Embedded Global Business Unit at Oracle has an OEM charter and Data Slide meets its requirements by incorporating the Berkeley DB into the actual storage device to make what it calls a ‘smart’ storage device. It says potential applications are many and varied. Examples include TCP/IP-based systems and video applications requiring multiple concurrent streams. The company says media indexing, fast positioning, forward, back, skip, and scene/track operations will have significant performance improvements with its technology.

DataSlide is a privately-held company with locations in the United Kingdom, France and United States. It has affiliations with academia from Carnegie Mellon University/DSSC, and the Universities of Cambridge, Exeter, Sussex, Sheffield and Brighton in the UK, and Paris-Sud in France, and is backed by angel investors. It has a management team with experience from companies such as Seagate, Connor, Quantum, Maxtor and HP.

The technology is proven in a research and prototype sense, and the company emphasises that it uses standards-based mature process technologies from LCD, HDD and semiconductor manufacture. There is no need to design and tool-up a new manufacturing process.

DataSlide is currently in discussion with a number of storage and system OEMs and can provide more details under a non-disclosure agreement. It will be holding private meetings at the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency from June 22-25 during the Memcon 2009 conference.

10 Free Linux Ebooks For Beginners

Posted by on Monday, 11 May, 2009

Thanks to the great guys at for this fantastic list! and Peter Reutemann from WLUG

1) Introduction to Linux – A Hands on Guide

Author: Machtelt Garrels
Format: HTML

2) Bash Guide for Beginners

Author: Machtelt Garrels
Format: HTML

3) Rute User’s Tutorial and Exposition

Author: Paul Sheer
Format: HTML

4) The Linux Starter Pack

Author: Paul Hudson
Format: PDF

5) FLOSS Manuals

Author: FSF
Format: HTML & PDF

6) The Easiest Linux Guide You’ll Ever Read

Author: Scott Morris
Format: PDF

7) Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial

Author: James Mohr
Format: PDF

8) Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference

Author: Keir Thomas
Format: PDF

9) Linux Newbie Administrator Guide

Author: Peter and Stan Klimas
Format: HTML

10) Slackware Linux Basics

Author: Daniël de Kok
Format: HTML

Orcon lays of 23 Staff and doubles the price of excess bandwidth

Posted by on Tuesday, 5 May, 2009

So a couple of days back i got the email saying that excess bandwidth was going to be costing $2 per GB rather than the usual $1 per GB.  Effective as of May 23 … this is darned lucky because our roll over is 21st or 22nd, and so far as have done 40gb of our 30gb cap due to an unfortunatly accident (reconfigured the proxy and left it open … luckily whoever used it was locked down good with dans guardian!)

Now it seems that there is a new email out saying they are laying of 23 staff. So if anyone needs some IT staff, i can point you to the right direction!

Media statement
5 May 2009

Statement from
Scott Bartlett
CEO, Orcon Internet Limited

Although on target to meet current year profit objectives, Orcon anticipates a more challenging year ahead.
The company has therefore revised its growth targets for the next period and as a consequence will also be reducing the business cost structure.

Orcon is today entering into consultation with employees across the company to reduce staff levels by approximately 23 positions (of a total of 144), with numbers subject to change as a result of consultation.

The current proposal involves staff across all levels and divisions of the business.
Orcon is introducing several measures to assist any affected staff find new jobs. Measures include:

  • working closely with employment agencies to ascertain what levels of vacancies exist in similar fields;
  • allowing staff time off to attend interviews during their redundancy notice period, and
  • access to employment assistance programmes and financial advice via WINZ.

Orcon operates in a fast moving industry. Restructuring the company to meet market conditions and balance risk is a natural part of business.

Because the consultation process is now underway, no further comment will be made by Orcon.

Ironicly, ever since Kordia took over Orcon it appears to have been going steadily downhill. Both service and prices. Does this mean we should make up new T-Shirts saying “I got made redundant by Orcon and all i got was this purple shirt” or similar?

Anyone care to post their fav ISP and pricing options?