You may not need HP Workspace at all to make use of the Elite x3, it runs some UWP surprisingly well. It’s just that many applications are missing in UWA format – as we found when we tried to use Continuum for real work.HP has built a comprehensive hardware and software package around the promise of Windows 10 – including a laptop dock (basically a shell of a laptop with a 12.5 inch HD display – pdf), and a desk dock. Orders can be placed with HP for the phone but Microsoft has yet to fulfil its side of the bargain, as Continuum remains resolutely single window for now.Comment Red Hat is the biggest – and one of the oldest – companies in the Linux world, but despite the difficulty of accurately measuring Linux usage figures, Ubuntu and its relatives seem to be the most popular Linux distributions. Red Hat isn’t sitting idle, though. Despite its focus on enterprise software, including virtualisation, storage and Java tools, it’s still aggressively developing its family of distros: RHEL, CentOS and Fedora.Fedora is the freebie community-supported version, with a short six-month release cycle, but it’s still important. Although RHEL is the flagship, it’s built from components developed and tested in Fedora. According to Fedora Project Lead Matthew Miller told this year’s Flock to Fedora conference this summer its future looks bright.After the major "Fedora.next" re-focus in early 2014, Fedora's numbers are up. Both new downloads and updates to installed systems are rising. External involvement – that is, from non-Red Hat staffers – is sharply up: two-thirds of Fedora's contributors are from outside the company these days. And yes, that's counting 'Hatters using non-company email addresses.
It's getting better as a distro, too, benefitting from the improving fit-and-finish of Linux and its manifold supporting components: desktops, applications and their less-obvious underpinnings. Fedora 24 is significantly more usable than it was five or six releases ago. Rather than just being the testbed for future RHEL releases, the project now has wider aspirations – Miller identified the project's primary target as developers.I must confess, I lean more towards Ubuntu, only periodically dipping a toe into the waters of the RPM world. So when looking at Fedora, it’s sometimes irresistible to draw comparisons with the more orangey-purple side of the fence.And these days it's a family rather than a single distro. The old structure of Fedora Core plus additional rings of functionality has been discarded in favour of multiple "flavours", "spins" and "labs"."Flavours" are akin to Ubuntu's editions: as well as the standard GNOME 3 desktop, there's Fedora Server plus the ultra-minimal Fedora Cloud. Fedora's "spins" resemble Ubuntu's remixes, offering KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Maté-Compiz and Cinnamon. An interesting addition is SOAS, a live USB drive with the One Laptop Per Child's Sugar environment.Fedora's Labs are a more versatile equivalent to Ubuntu's handful of special-purpose editions. Labs are pre-assembled bundles of functionally related software, which can be installed as standalone distros or added into existing installations. Finally, COPRs are directly analogous to Ubuntu's PPAs: ad-hoc supplementary repositories to facilitate adding new software that isn't part of the main distro.The overall structure of the software is changing, too. Platform Architect Langdon White’s talk at the conference introduced the Modularity initiative, an attempt to restructure the entire project down into functional modules which can be installed and updated independently, in different ways – for instance as classic RPM packages or container images.Atomic Workstation represents another possible future direction – a smartphone-like OS, with a read-only root partition, installed and updated via OSTree, with all applications in Docker containers.
As of the version 25, standard Fedora will support the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. Fedora is an all-FOSS distro, with no proprietary drivers, firmware or plugins, so it doesn't support the Pi 3's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as these require binary blobs. (We're told there are efforts underway to help people install closed-source components, such as Chrome, by the way.)There are still downsides to Fedora relative to Ubuntu. There are no long-term support releases, as that's the role of the technologically much more conservative CentOS. Ubuntu's more pragmatic attitude to including proprietary binaries means more hardware works out of the box, and installing the "restricted extras" package enables Flash, MP3 and so on in one easy operation. But the Red Hat family has come a long way. The 7mm 2.5-inch drives are for standard laptop drive bays, while the 15mm ones are for desktops. We're led to believe that these thicker, higher-capacity 2.5‑inch drives will feature in upcoming external storage products.Seagate says all disk drives in the BarraCuda family have Multi-Tier Caching Technology (MTC) to speed data reads and writes. This uses a hierarchy of NAND Flash, DRAM and media cache technologies to optimise the data flow.
Apparently the drives have new firmware that checks how data accesses are operating and spins the platters down when it can, to reduce power consumption without affecting performance. This might seem of not that much consequence to consumers and small businesses, but it matters more to larger businesses with bigger electricity bills.The 2.5‑inch BarraCudas spin at 5,400rpm, have a 6Gbit/s SATA interface, transfer data at up to 140MB/sec and come with a 2‑year limited warranty. Get a PDF data sheet here. The 7mm thick 2.5‑inch drive has two platters, and the 15mm model has five 1TB platters.The 3.5-inch BarraCudas and BarraCuda Pros are faster, spinning at 7,200rpm, and have a longer, 5‑year warranty. Seagate claims the BarraCuda Pro is the fastest 10TB desktop drive available.The 500GB – 4TB BarraCudas have 1, 2 or 3 1TB platters, a 64MB cache and 55TB/year workload rate limit. The highest sustained transfer rate is 210MB/sec (180MB/sec for the 4TB model). Get a PDF data sheet here.BarraCuda Pros have either 6 platters (6TB and 8TB) or 7 (10TB). Their maximum sustained transfer rate from the data sheet [PDF] is 210MB/sec, while the workload rate limit is 300TB/year.The FireCuda 2.5-inch accelerated drives can be viewed as 7mm BarraCudas with added 8GB cache. Their sustained transfer rate is the same as the BarraCuda; 140MB/sec, though. Seagate isn't revealing the spin speed in the data sheet [PDF], but we figure it's 5,400rpm again.
Sticking these FireCudas in a 3.5‑inch case gets you a 7,200rpm spin speed and a 210MB/sec sustained transfer rate.FireCudas have a 5‑year warranty and, like the BarraCudas, use MTC to speed their operation. They are not given a workload rate limit by Seagate.FireCuda drives operate in the performance gap between basic disk drives and SSDs. We can't expect them to get significantly faster, particularly as the per‑GB cost of flash is dropping with 3D TLC NAND. Caringo has updated its Swarm object storage software and will flog the code on appliances based on Dell PowerEdge servers.Deployments of Caringo's object storage is used for applications such as bulk storage, analytics, archiving, backup, cloud storage and content distribution. The software provides NFS, SMB, S3, HDFS and Rest APIs for native object storage access methods to data.Swarm 9 is the latest release of Caringo's software. It has an NFS protocol converter and the OEM hardware platform in addition to its availability in software-only form. The software features:Data is managed through creation to expiration via administrator-defined policies called Lifepoints, which are stored as metadata that automatically manages the number of replicas, erasure-coding scheme, and deletion.
There can be metadata annotations, made without modifying the reference object, and these are searchable through the SCSP API.The company says Swarm Servers are a fully-supported hardware and software system starting at 288TB and scaling linearly in 96TB increments (just add another S-Series server) to hundreds of petabytes of capacity with a pay-as-you-grow pricing scheme.The system includes M-Series Management Servers and S-Series Storage Servers. The M-Series is a 1U, rack-mountable appliance with a Dell PowerEdge R630 inside it. It has a Xeon E5-2695v4 processor with 18 cores, 128GB DDR4 DRAM, 8 x 1TB, 7,200rpm SAS disk drives, 2 x 10GbitE data access ports and a 1GbitE management port. VMware's ESXi is booted off an internal SD module.The management software is Swarm VMware APP, with a vCenter Server Appliance and ESXi 6.0U2. There is a scale-out, stateless NFS protocol converter for high performance and high availability.The 2U, rackmount, S-3000 Storage Servers use a PowerEdge R730xd platform, with CPU, memory and network resources, plus 96TB capacity. The CPU resource is 2 x Xeon E5-2640v4 10 core processors; 20 cores total, plus 128GB DDR4 DRAM and 12 x 8TB, 7,200rpm SAS disk drives. There are 2 ports of 10GbitE (Intel x540) for data access and a 1GbitE management port.