In my recent article on data deduplication on InformationWeek's sister site, Byte and Switch, a question of speed impact came up. As we talk to customers throughout the storage community about backup priorities, a surprising trend continues: the importance of shrinking the backup window has become less of a priority for disk to disk backup solutions. Why?
Finding The Needle, Part One - Saving Money
In the last week another new storage startup is launching a new product, another just received another round of founding, and still another announced it was being purchased. This happens almost every day with technology startup companies, especially in storage.
Server virtualization helped justify and broaden the use of the SAN by leveraging networked storage to enable features like server motion. In similar fashion, companies such as Scalent Systems are using infrastructure virtualization to further justify and broaden the use of a SAN by bringing those server virtualization capabilities to nonvirtualized systems: the ability to move or start new application instances in a matter of minutes after powering on and bo
Do iSCSI-Only Systems Make Sense?
When iSCSI first began to appear, there were several companies -- LeftHand Networks, EqualLogic (now owned by Dell), and others -- which developed storage solutions based solely on the protocol. But what these companies had really developed was a storage software solution that probably could have run on any protocol, although they choose iSCSI. My opinion is that this was as mu
An Inconvenient Data Retention Policy
I recently met with a client that had a 45-day retention policy for ALL data. I've heard of this kind of policy for e-mail, but I don't recall ever hearing of it for all the data in the enterprise. Is this realistic and can you get away with that short of a data retention policy? Not really, and here's why.
EMC's Own Not-So-Little World
After last night's party, which featured the Goo Goo Dolls, EMC World is in full swing. The morning keynotes said about what you'd expect them to say, talking about the huge growth in stored data and all the value that can be gotten from that data. Then, of course, there was a lot of talk about new products. And while I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, I was disappointed to hear almost nothing about interoperability or standards.
In a recent briefing with a Storage Resource Management Software manufacturer I heard the quote that I have now heard 1,001 times; "Excel is the No. 1 Storage Resource Management software." People are using Excel to do SRM work more often than specific SRM tools. They are manually inputting storage capacity, storage used, and other storage information into Excel spreadsheets.
Grid Vendors Shut Down Whole Nodes To Be Really Green
As I talk to vendors about storage solutions for non-OLTP applications, from backup and archiving to supporting massive, object-based Web applications like photo sharing, I've been seeing more solutions based on the RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes) architecture.
Optimizing Primary Storage
Data deduplication has done much to optimize disk backup storage, but can those same efforts be successful in primary storage? Primary storage is, of course, different than secondary storage. Any latency can cause problems with applications and users. Thin provisioning, which I wrote about last week, can help a great deal, but once the data is actually written, the space is allocated. How can you make primary storage take up less space?
The current poll on InformationWeek's sister site Byte and Switch, "Sun Down," paints a very bleak outlook for Sun storage. The final question, "Do you think they should exit the storage hardware business?" has a surprising 57% say that it should. Can Sun save itself? Probably not, but I can ...
As the economy slows down and budgets tighten up, once again IT professionals are being asked to do more with less (does anyone remember when you were allowed to do less with more?). How can you tighten up your storage processes one more time? The first technology that I would count on to help is virtualization. For virtualization to truly pay off it must be more than just server virtualization.
Data Moveage: How To Move Data And Live To Tell About It
In a previous entry I wrote about the importance of moving data from primary storage to another platform. The roadblock is how to move that data from expensive storage to secondary storage. The traditional approach of deploying an agent on every server that monitors all the files and then moves files that haven't been accessed to a lower class of storage hasn't worked well in the enterprise. There are a variety of reasons, but most of the issues are the deployment and management of that many age
How To Kill Array Vendor Lock-In? An iSCSI Replication RFC
A few years ago it was easy to divide IT organizations into haves and have nots. The haves used Fibre Channel SANs and array replication to dedicated disaster recovery sites over high bandwidth dedicated links or dark fiber. The have-nots used SCSI DAS (Direct Attached Storage) on their servers and, if they did real time replication at all, used server-based replication solutions like Double-Take or CA's WANsync.
NFS Saved By VMware?
Will NFS become the predominant storage deployment method for VMware implementations?
NFS didn't need to be saved, but because of VMware its use has been broadened beyond the traditional Unix implementations. Instead of creating a LUN for each VMware Virtual Disk (VMDK), with NFS you manage multiple VMDK files on a single NFS Volume. This makes sense because VMDK's are files, not actual disks.
Your servers are probably bloated with data that is years old and yet despite your retention policy, if you have one, you keep it all. The relatively inexpensive price of disk capacity has made it easier to keep everything on primary disk storage. When you think of primary storage, you think of active data, databases, current documents, e-mail, etc. -- but because of the affordability of storage, it basically also has become the archive. Data is kept on disk, "just in case." It seems easier to s
Stimulus Checks And Storage
With stimulus checks on the way, the question I'm sure you're asking is how you can use yours to help out the storage industry. You are, aren't you?
Data Deduplication Will Not Become A Feature
As data deduplication matured last year, the constant question I was asked by industry analysts was "Isn't this just a feature?" The question implied that anyone that was specifically in the data deduplication space was going to be erased by the larger manufacturers as they added deduplication to their offerings. It seemed logical, but hasn't occurred. The major manufacturers have struggled putting together viable strategies for data reduction and, to some extent, it's really not in their best i
Plug Storage Leaks With Data Access And Leakage Tools
Your storage has holes and the data is leaking right out of it...
Lost tapes continue to capture headlines. Recently I meet with a client that had 300 GB of data worth $500K stolen. How did they know it was worth $500K? That's what they paid for it. The disk was encrypted and the network was pretty well locked down. So how did the master thief hack into the network and steal the data? Through the front door -- with a USB hard drive in his pocket.
'Greening' Primary Storage With Thin Provisioning
Welcome to the Storage Blog at InformationWeek. As I take over the reins from Terry Sweeney, who has moved on to be editor in chief at TechWeb's Internet Evolution site, the first order of business is a quick introduction. I am a veteran of the storage area from the late '80s. I have worked at almost every angle of the storage space, from customer to supplier to integrator and now finally as analyst and writer. As founder of Storage Switzerl