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Your occasional storage digest with MariaDB, Chief Data Officers and more – Blocks and Files

The digest this week is cloud-centric with MariaDB updating its SkySQL product and Nutanix refreshing its Era database management offering. But we’re also startled to learn that Chief Data Officers are a thing.

Chief Data Officer

We note that a new BPI Network report, entitled “Bringing Simplicity to Multi-Cloud Complexity: Advancing Data Connectivity, Logistics and Value,” highlights the growing importance of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) in the C-suite and the need to expand the value and accessibility of data and analytics across distributed enterprise organisations. It says CDOs of large and mid-sized companies are gaining competitive advantage through analytics and activation of cloud-based data repositories.

Who knew CDOs existed? It’s yet another example of Chief-something- Officer title creep away from CEO and CEO to lesser corporate responsibility beasts such as CIO, CTO, CSO (Strategy), and CPO (Product or People).

Is there no end to this? Will all EVPS and SVPs end up with a Chief-something-Officer title? Will I someday be called the B&F CWO – Chief Word Officer? Title-creep is fun to watch.

MariaDB updates SkySQL

MariaDB’s SkySQL cloud database has its core software updated to Maria DB Platform X5 to add distributed SQL and more capabilities.

Michael Howard, MariaDB’s CEO, issued a quote about first generation cloud databases: “The current landscape requires a smorgasbord of cloud services to get a single job done – AWS RDS for simple transactions, Aurora for availability and performance, Redshift for cloud data warehousing and Google Spanner for distributed SQL. SkySQL gives you all these capabilities in one elegant cloud database that delivers a consistent MariaDB experience regardless of the way you deploy it.”

SkySQL supports the latest versions of MariaDB Enterprise Server, advanced database proxy MaxScale and smart engines ColumnStore and Xpand and offers:

  • MariaDB Platform for distributed SQL: Xpand is a new smart engine that delivers distributed SQL through MariaDB Enterprise Server. This functionality is now also available in SkySQL with elastic scale and it automatically rebalances data hotspots for optimum performance.
  • MariaDB Platform for analytics: SkySQL includes a distributed cloud data warehouse that provides massively parallel processing (MPP) for scalability and high availability on large datasets. 
  • End-to-end security: SkySQL now enforces secure SSL/TLS connections for any database access, avoiding exposure of data due to insecure defaults or configuration choices.
  • Reduced complexity for application development: SkySQL provides a single connection point for applications rather than exposing individual database instances, primaries or high availability replicas. It manages read/write-splitting, failover and application session migration.
  • Expanded monitoring: SkySQL monitoring shows the status and all vital metrics for database instances and is highly customisable. The monitoring tool is updated to support the new topologies enabled in this new release of SkySQL such as Xpand for distributed SQL.

SkySQL’s pricing is all-inclusive with no up-charges for high availability setup, failover, backups or a database proxy for a single connection point.


Cyber-and-data-protector Acronis has released Acronis Cyber Infrastructure 4.0 with more than 350 new capabilities and enhancements. These include erasure coding which improves writing performance and latency for hybrid and all flash tiers up to 50 per cent. Enhancements to storage networking have increased the performance of multi-thread workloads – with random reads improving up to 40 per cent. 

DDN, announced Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has selected its A3I AI400X all-NVME flash appliance storage for its Advanced Computing Lab. The AI400X will be used to provide a collaborative environment for scientists and technologists from government laboratories and academia agencies. 

Long-term retention supplier Falconstor has a support and migration program for IBM ProtecTIER customers. IBM is end-of-lifing its ProtecTIER virtual tape library (VTL) snf yjhr process has been made difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic.  FalconStor’s StorSafe product will send deduped backups previously handled by ProtecTIER directly to IBM on-premises storage systems and IBM COS.

Taiwan’s Gigabyte Technology has announced six new rack and high-density servers with AMD EPYC processors, PCIe Gen 4, boosted flash capacity, and support for tri-mode Broadcom storage adapters. They support PCIe, SAS or SATA devices in bays connected via an adapter in a PCIe slot. 

Memory cached disk drive array supplier Infinidat says it has nearly 400 global channel partners. It has held over 60 virtual events for the channel during the last six pandemic-affected months with a pivot to 100 per cent virtual and launched a new partner portal.

Digi-Key Electronics has added Netlist to its Marketplace. Netlist provides Digi-Key customers with a range of 2.5-inch U.2, half-height, half-length (HHHL) and M.2 NVM Express (NVMe) SSDs.

Nutanix has announced v2 of its Era database management offering which runs cross clouds and clusters and enables database to be delivered as a service. Era supports support for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and MariaDB, and now has support for Postgres and SAP HANA.

Object storage supplier Object Matrix announced a reseller agreement with Content Networks in Poland.

The UK’s Storage Made Easy (SME), announced its renewal for the Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud 12 scheme. Employees of government affiliated bodies can continue to access existing data sources and in-house servers and exploit public services such as Amazon S3, Azure, Office 365; remotely, safely and securely.


MariaDB Corporation announced the appointment of Amir Ameri as Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Jenkinson as Board Member and Audit Committee Chair. This news comes after MariaDB’s $25m cash raise in July to grow its SkySQL database-as-a-service platform.

Hybrid cloud data warehouse company Yellowbrick Data has hired Mark Cusack to be its CTO. He was previously VP for data and analytics at Teradata where he spent 6 years.

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