Part One -- SMB Lessons
As I've been following the devastating floods in the Midwest and specifically Iowa, I can't help but say something from a disaster recovery viewpoint. Clearly my heart goes out to the personal losses being suffered by thousands of people in the area, but part of my nature is always to look for ways that companies survive. I have seen a number of stories with company's stock price being affected by not being able to maintain business operations. In some cases, this makes sense, especially in agri
Overland Buys Snap, Adaptec Gets Out of NAS Biz
Today Adaptec dumped their money loosing Snap Appliance division, once as much a mindshare leader in NAS as NetApp, to Overland Storage for $3.6 million after buying it just 4 years ago for $100 million. Overland gets a quality line of NAS appliances to add to its mix of tape libraries, REO VTL/disk backup appliances and Ultamus Fibre Channel RAID arrays along with a sublet of Snap's plant and around 50 employees. Adaptec will keep the top of the line 700 series iSCSI arrays and get to concentr
Cloud Storage 101 - Part One
It seems like the hype-o-meter on cloud computing and cloud storage has been turned up a few notches lately. How real is this emerging market and how will the players begin to settle in? At its most simplistic, cloud storage is disk at the end of a wire that resides outside of your data center. It creates a "storage as a service" model that is delivered over the Internet. Many are positioning this as storage for your older digital assets, essentially an archive.
3 Ways That Storage Virtualization Can Save You Money
Storage virtualization is often billed as what I call a "Time To" product, meaning that it reduces the time it takes IT to respond to demands on the business. Virtualization shortens the amount of time that it takes to respond to a provisioning request, allowing for more rapid deployment of storage assets. IT departments also should consider storage virtualization if they need to flatten or shrink their budget.
Agent-Based Data Movers
In last week's entry I discussed Global Name Spaces as a data mover for moving data to and from a disk-based archive. In addition to a Global Name Space there are other tools to move data to and archive. I find that the other solutions typically fall into one of two camps; Agent-based data movers or crawl-based data movers. There's also another category of monitoring tools that don't actually move the da
Global Name Spacing
In speaking with an IT manager the other day, he was complaining about running out of drive letters and the difficulty that moving away from using drive letters was causing his users. He was looking into Microsoft DFS and was looking for other solutions since he had a mixed environment of Unix and Windows. Global Name Space solutions like those available from Acopia or built into OnStor NAS products are ideal for solving the
Solid State Disk And Green
I saw a recent claim by Sun that Solid State Disk Drives (SSDs) consume 20% of the energy that traditional storage systems do. While I can't verify that to be the case, it makes sense. Texas Memory Systems, the veteran of the SSD space, recommends that for real power savings, companies should compare a SSD with a storage array that is configured to deliver the same level of performance that an SSD can.
Storage Consolidation, The Foundation
As a business grows and the demands on IT increase, there comes a point where the young data center has to consider such initiatives as server virtualization, advanced backup software, disk-to-disk backup, and deployment of its first SAN or NAS. Storage consolidation via a networked storage solution (be it SAN, NAS, or both) provides a foundation for those other early initiatives and is a logical first step.
Reducing Backup Windows, Part III
In this third segment on reducing backup windows, the focus will be on getting rid of the data that no longer needs to be backed up. If you're like most of the customers we speak with, well over 85% of the data that you backup during your full backup hasn't changed since the last backup and 70% hasn't changed in the last few years. Yet, every week, it's methodically backed up. If you could eliminate this data, that means in a 10 TB environment you could reduce your full backup set to 1.5 TBs, or
Flash Vs. RAM Solid State Disks
As major vendors ready for entry into the solid-state disk (SSD) market with Flash memory systems, don't count out the traditional RAM SSD. Even though RAM SSDs are more expensive per capacity, companies like Texas Memory Systems are seeing continued growth in RAM-based SSD systems. Why? RAM SSDs have two advantages: speed and reliability.
Keeping Secrets And Finding Clues In Data
Your company (probably) has rules about how frequently systems get backed up, e-mail gets deleted, and other data-retention issues. But would those policies hurt if your company was suddenly yanked into litigation, especially noncompete, patent infringement, or trade-secret cases?
In a recent entry I pronounced 'speed is dead' as it relates to solving the backup window problem. As the entry indicates, the NEED to reduce the backup window continues to be a desire. The ABILITY to reduce the backup window is the challenge. Due to the network infrastructure, the ability of the servers being protected to send that data fast enough, as well as a host of other issues, are the big limiters no
Open Source Data Recovery Tools To The Rescue
Disasters happen to the best of computers. Luckily, open source apps like SystemRescueCD, dd, Partedmagic, BackTrack, Security Tools Distribution, Helix, and TestDisk can help recover important data and bring dead systems back to life.
Sepaton Boosts VTL Speed And Capacity
Answering the question "Why would anyone want to dedupe as a post process" with a data-ingestion rate of a whopping 9.5 GB/s (Yes, that's GigaBYTES per second), Sepaton announced its newer, bigger faster virtual tape library, imaginatively named the S2100-ES2 VTL Series 1000 at the Symantec (formerly Veritas) Vision conference in Las Vegas this week.
In storage, there's always discussion about consolidation; taking all your dispersed storage assets and consolidating them to a single storage system. But there's a different kind of storage fragmentation going almost unnoticed in metadata, or data about data. Many applications create metadata -- backup systems, data movement or archive applications, data management applications, and content search applications -- but only a few consolidate them.
InPhase Lays Off 40, Holographic Storage Still SciFi
Despite well-received demos at the NAB show in April and promises then to ship its long-awaited Tapestry holographic storage drives and media in May, InPhase Technologies has once again missed a delivery date and is now promising drives and media for December. Since the first promised delivery date was back in 2006, I'm not holding my breath. It's too bad, as we could really use a high-capacity, random access, WORM storage device that didn't dra
Finding The Needle, Part Three
In our final entry about finding emerging technology, I'll look at the third motivating factor when selecting an emerging technology company -- going with a company that is solving a problem that's not entirely unique, but they are just flat out doing it better.
SMB Data Protection
A friend of mine runs a small insurance company and they only have two servers, but that data is as critical to them as the hundreds of terabytes that Exxon Mobile stores is to them. While he does backups, it is to another disk drive, and he doesn't take the hard drive home with him. In fact, to be honest, the second drive is installed internally inside one of the servers. What if his office catches on fire or gets flooded?
Finding The Needle Article, Part Two
In the first entry about deciding on an emerging technology company, I discussed the issue of price being a key motivator. In this entry I'll discuss selecting an emerging technology company because it is the only one that's solving a problem you have.