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 Howard Marks
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Profile of Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger
Member Since: 4/4/2014
News & Commentary Posts: 141
Comments: 11

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.

He has been a frequent contributor to Network Computing and InformationWeek since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of Networking Windows and co-author of Windows NT Unleashed (Sams).

He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.  You can find the podcast at: http://www.deepstorage.net/NEW/GBoS

Articles by Howard Marks

Store More With Virtualization

8/22/2012
Even small IT shops can now afford thin provisioning, performance acceleration, replication, and other features to boost utilization and improve disaster recovery.

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D'oh, I Should Have Made A Backup

2/6/2009
In yet another chapter in our continuing series bringing further embarrassment to poor souls that were foolish enough to not have a viable backup plan, we have the sad tale of blog hosting firm JournalSpace. It managed to survive six years using RAID as a substitute for backups. But then data corruption struck and business failure soon followed.

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White House E-Mail Down

1/27/2009
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced at a 1:45 p.m. press briefing yesterday that he was unable to send out the customary week-ahead memo as the White House e-mail system was "not working so well." D.C. reporters got their next e-mail from the White House around 8:30 this morning indicating that the outage lasted most of a day.

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Elephant Drive Best Bet For Xdrive Users

12/11/2008
While online backup vendors like SpiderOak are offering discounts for displaced Xdrive users and AOL lists Dropbox, Carbonite and Box.net along with Elephant Drive as replacements for Xdrive users I agree with Matt K Olsen who commented on my last blog post on this issue the Elephant Drive was the best replacement for Xdrive users.

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Oh Boy, A Survival Kit For The Holidays

11/30/2008
Welcome to the silly season, when marketers decide their company's products make great holiday gifts. As InformationWeek's Master of Disaster, I get e-mail from all sorts of folks who think I should say nice things about their products in this here blog. Sometimes they try just a little too hard to make their products topical.

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Mozy Sez: Back The F:\ Up!

11/28/2008
At least the T-shirts they're giving away at backthefup.net do. As the site says, "Screw Klondike® Bars, What Would You Do For A Back The F:\ Up T-Shirt?" Turns out what you have to do is something that promotes EMC's Mozy backup service, like writing a blog entry.

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AOL Throws Xdrive On Ash Heap - Users Scramble

11/21/2008
It's no surprise to readers of this here blog that the online backup market is hot. Even so, AOL has managed to fail at it and will be closing the pioneering Xdrive, founded in 1999 and acquired by AOL in 2005 for a reported $30 million. It will be shut down on Jan. 12, 2009.

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Brocade/Foundry Deal On The Rocks?

11/20/2008
The merger of Brocade, the clear leader in enterprise Fibre Channel switching, with Foundry Networks, one of the group with Extreme and Force10 that keeps Cisco honest at the high end of the Ethernet switching market, seemed like a good match back in August. With Cisco and the HBA vendors (Emulex and QLogic) pushing FCoE as the best thing since Fibre Channel itself (iSCSI's just for kids, you know) Brocade had to team up with an Ethernet switch vendor to try selling FC/FCoE switches that users p

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Hard Times In Tape Business

11/11/2008
Between the shift to disk backup and the economy rolling downhill, times are tough for tape library vendors. While IBM and Sun can shift their sales from tape libraries the size of a small Winnebago to their home-built VTL, the makers of midrange tape libraries are having a tougher time as much of their sales came through OEM deals with EMC, HP, or HDS and those vendors' VTLs don't pay Quantum or Overland's rent. Even media vendor Imation is hurting.

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Dell Announces Dedupe Strategy - No Product Yet

11/6/2008
Dell's backup portfolio is still a bit thin at the high end, lacking both a virtual tape library and deduplication (no, the CommVault-provided single instance storage on the DL2000 doesn't count). Currently, Dell customers looking for deduplication can buy The Data Storage Group's ArchiveIQ source deduping backup software for Windows or an ExaGrid gateway to an EqualLogic array through Dell's reseller arrangements with those vendors.

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Overland's REO Compass Adds Replication Dedupe

11/5/2008
Overland Storage's new REO Compass appliances take a unique approach to the ROBO (remote office, branch office) backup problem using data deduplication, encryption and compression to replicate backup data to a central site. Unlike Quantum's DXi or Data Domain's appliances, the REO Compass doesn't actually serve as a backup target storing your data but instead replicates data, through a partner, Compass, from one real or virtual tape library to another.

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Imation Finds Scary Data On "Recertified" Tapes

10/29/2008
Last month I wrote about my general misgivings about selling used data tapes for reuse. My New Yorker's general skepticism left me dubious that the few dollars I got for sending a box of tapes via UPS or FedEx to Joe the used tape salesman was worth the risk that some of my data might make it to Christopher the identity thief. Today I got a press release from Imation reporting that they purchased around 100 "recertified" tapes from "leading recertifyers as found on Google" and found recoverab

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Storwize Boosts Compression Appliances

10/23/2008
All the attention that storage punditry, including this humble reporter, has given data deduplication in the past few years has pushed that old, reliable data-reduction technology compression toward the dust bin of used up technology in the minds of many storage users. That's too bad, as loss-less compression is still an important data-reduction tool. One vendor, Storwize, has made a nice little business for itself making NAS compression appliances and now it's claiming each appliance can handle

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Disasters Strike Sports Broadcasts - Fans Frantic

10/20/2008
In a coincidence so large I'm sure Richard Belzer is starting a conspiracy theory about it, both the San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills game this Sunday and game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday were knocked out by technology failures. What is the world coming to? If the proletariat isn't feed a constant stream of sports entertainment to take their minds off the events of the day, the workers will rise up to seize the means of production, or vote. That, and PR folks have

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Nevada Law Requires Encryption - Vendor Press Release Exaggerates When

10/13/2008
A new Nevada law (NRS 597.970) effective Oct. 1 requires that businesses in Nevada encrypt personal information whenever it is electronically transmitted outside the business by any means other than fax. Predictably, I got a press release from an encryption software vendor that said "Even if a business never sends customer information via e-mail, the business will be at risk if a server, desktop, laptop, or electronic storage device is lost, stolen, or compromised." The real problem is

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Plasmon Falls Into Administration - Is Enterprise Optical Storage Dead?

10/12/2008
Not so many years ago, optical storage looked like the future. While hard drives held 200MB, magneto-optical disks stored 650 MB and that could be WORM (Write Once Read Many), making optical jukeboxes the only storage medium that could meet the not deletable, not modifiable requirements of the regulations Wall Street broker dealers and other assorted deep-pocket customers had to comply with. Now it looks like optical disks may join head-per-track disks on the scrapheap of storage.

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Dell Enters Backup Appliance Market

10/9/2008
Dell's new DL2000 backup appliances represent the company's first backup appliances aimed at the midmarket, providing those SMBs that view Dell as their primary technology vendor with a turnkey backup-to-disk solution. Dell is bundling a 2U server (that looks a lot like a PowerEdge 2900 to me) with its MD1000 SAS attached SAS/SATA JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) external cabinets and enhanced versions of either Symantec's Backup Exec or CommVault's Simpana backup.

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NOAA's Tracking Site Shows Historical Storm Activity

10/5/2008
While, as the mutual fund ads always say, past performance is no guarantee of future performance, knowing your area's hurricane history can help you with your Disaster Recovery plan. NOAA's new historical hurricane tracking site displays hurricane and other major storm tracks for past 150 years

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Drop-Testing Drives

10/5/2008
I don't know if the it was the heat or just a lack of better things to do, but drop-testing drives seems to have replaced Vespa jousting as the geek sport of the month in August. First Popular Mechanics magazine ran a portable USB hard drive drop test, subjecting several drives to higher and higher drops until they failed. Video here. Then Samsung tossed one of its laptop SSDs off the roof of its building in sil

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HP Acquires LeftHand Networks For $360 million

10/1/2008
LeftHand Networks was one of the first vendors in the iSCSI market and has always had the best of the iSCSI solutions that runs on standard x86 server hardware. It has transitioned over the past couple of years from selling whitebox servers with its SAN/iQ software bundled in to primarily selling SAN/iQ as software, upping the ante this February by releasing SAN/iQ as a VMware virtual appliance.

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Living With NAC In An EDU World - Part Two

9/26/2008
My last blog entry on our NAC experience at Purchase College resulted in the expected emails and phone calls from NAC vendors convinced that we would be ready to junk StillSecure's SafeAccess and adopt their products just because I used the line "while it's not going as well as we hoped, it is going better than we feared." Well folks while we do have a few bones to pick with StillSecure, which I'm not getting into today, most of our headaches are more about how NAC is harder in the EDU space th

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Brocade Encryption Misses Boat - For Now

9/25/2008
Anyone who's read this blog even occasionally knows that my mantra includes "Encrypt your tapes." At first glance, Brocade's announcement of a 32-port encrypting Fibre Channel switch and 16-port encrypting blade for its DCX directors provides a new option for storage admins looking for high-performance tape encryption. However, as I read the FAQ on Brocade's site I discovered that the initial release only supports encrypting data at rest on disk.

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Atempo Brings Data Management To Mac Platform

9/23/2008
Organizations that have adopted Macintoshes as their primary platform have long suffered when it comes to enterprise-class data management tools. Low market share, Apple's lack of enterprise focus, and a Mac system admins lack of knowledge of what they were missing have left this niche underserved. Seeing this opportunity, Atempo and BakBone Software ported their backup applications to OSX a couple of years ago and now Atempo's spread Macintosh support across its whole product line.

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Double-Take Livewire - Real Time Protection For Less

9/22/2008
Double-Take's eponymous flagship product was one of the first high-availability solutions for Windows providing asynchronous replication and failover even before Windows NT 4.0 hit the mainstream. Over the years, it has fine-tuned the data capture and replication core of the product while adding features to simplify the process of recovering common applications, making Double-Take Software the market leader for host-based replication.

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How Do You Dispose Of Old Tapes?

9/12/2008
Now that we've all agreed that, while selling your used backup tapes on eBay or to a recycler may be good for the environment, it could also be hazardous to your employer and/or your career, the question remains: How do you dispose of old backup tapes? Do you just keep them squirreled away in storage, hoping to retire before you have to deal with it? Or do you just throw them in the trash, secure in the knowledge that the data is AES-encrypted?

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EqualLogic Releases Bigger Array, New Software

9/11/2008
In the first announcement of new products since Dell acquired EqualLogic in January, EqualLogic's new PS5500E holds 48 SATA disk drives, boosting the maximum size of a single EqualLogic storage group to more than 500 TB. It also announced that it would release a software update for all EqualLogic arrays to support RAID-6 and software to offload the snapshot process from VMware Infrastructure hosts to the array.

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Recycling Backup Tapes - Green Or Just Scary?

9/10/2008
I got an e-mail today with the subject We Buy Used Tape Media, which got me thinking. In today's environment, where lost backup tapes get companies, and their storage administrators, in the newspaper, and possibly the unemployment line, who in their right mind would sell their old backup tapes?

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NEC Updates HYDRAstor Deduping Grid

9/9/2008
When NEC first briefed me on its Hydrastor product last year I loved the idea of a deduping backup target that used the RAIN (redundant array of independent nodes) architecture based on standard Xeon servers. Now NEC's releasing new storage and accelerator nodes that boost capacity to 12 TB (raw) on each storage node and the data ingestion rate to 300 MBs for each acceleration node.

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Living With NAC - A Report From The .EDU Trenches

9/8/2008
As readers of my earlier blog entries will know, SUNY's Purchase College, where I work my day job keeping the network and Servers humming peacefully along, has had a rather checkered past with network admission control systems. This fall we're making our third attempt to implement a NAC system that will keep our student's systems safe from malware without making their lives too miserable.

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More Blatent Self Promotion: DR Workshop At Interop NY

9/3/2008
Once again, on Monday, Sept. 15, for one day only, I will be performing my latest one-man show, The Disaster Recovery Cookbook: Recipes for Recovery, as a workshop at Interop at the fabulous Jacob Javits (a New York liberal, Republican senator, and Lantzman. You don't see those together very often anymore) Convention Center in The Big Apple (New York). Over the day we'll explore how to make your organization's IT infrastructure disaster tolerant with an emph

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HP Signs On For ProStor's RDX Disk Cartridge

9/3/2008
Tape vendors have been having a hard time lately and nowhere worse than in the SMB market. In the 1990s, small businesses backed up to DDS/DAT tapes. But as the 20 GB (native) capacity of DDS4 became too small for even SMB full backups, no clear replacement emerged. ProStor System's proposing its RDX hard disk in a cartridge system as a good alternative and HP's jumped on the bandwagon, offering RDX docks in Proliant servers and XW workstations along with 160-GB and 320-GB HP-branded cartridges.

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IBM Spends $300 Million For 13 New DR Sites

8/28/2008
With the biggest investment in disaster recovery and business continuity infrastructure since SunGard bought Comdisco's Availability Solutions business unit for $825 million in 2001, IBM has declared its intention to be a disaster recovery service provider worldwide. It is building 13 new "Business Resilience Centers" to expand its services beyond the mainframe-based services it is known for.

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Don't Tell Quantum Tape Is Dead

8/27/2008
Because it has just shipped the 20,000th unit of its midrange Scalar i500 tape library. Even with disk-based solutions, including Quantum's own DXi line, taking most of the mindshare for backup destinations, the fact that Quantum could sell 20,000 Scalar i500s in two and a half years is proof there's still some life in old-fashioned tape.

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Revinetix Adds 'File-Level Deduplication' To Backup Appliances

8/24/2008
Disk-to-disk backup appliance vendor Revinetix updated the RevOS software on its dedicated backup appliances to store just a single copy of a file or e-mail message across multiple locations and backup sessions. Their PR folks then sent out a press release saying they were adding data deduplication. The semanticist in me says "That's not deduplication, that's single-instance storage." I reserve the term deduplication for processes that reduce duplicate data contained in similar, not just identic

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The Linkup Online Backup Goes Belly Up -- Lessons?

8/23/2008
After a history of poor service and multiple cases of lost user data, the online backup vendor known as MediaMax and, finally, The Linkup went belly up this month, leaving users in the lurch. More important, how can you avoid losing your data when, or if, a storage service provider fails?

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5 Years Later - Lessons From The Blackout?

8/15/2008
Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the biggest electrical blackout in North American history. Some 50,000,000 people from Ohio to D.C. to Ontario (Canada, not California) were without power for up to four days. The mainstream media is covering the big picture and lessons the power industry can learn to make the grid more resistant to trees knocking down power lines. I wanted to take the opportunity to address the questions this event raises for IT.

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VMware License Enforcement Bug Causes Chaos

8/12/2008
This morning VMware infrastructure users worldwide discovered that VMware's update 2 for ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 decided that their ESX licenses had expired when they attempted to start up virtual machines or use Infrastructure's Vmotion or DRS to move a VM from one ESX host to another. To put it bluntly, VMware customers had their VMware product stop working because VMware doesn't trust them and the copy protection code VMware built into its product did way more harm than any good it would ever do

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Asigra Sues Robobak - Can't We All Get Along

8/11/2008
Apparently there's some bad blood between Toronto-based Asigra and Robobak, based in Atlanta, as Asigra has filed suit against Robobak claiming that Robobak maliciously made false statements about Asigra and its products. While I'll stipulate that the releases did tweak Asigra's nose, I'm disappointed to see our Canadian cousins adopting the lawsuit.

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Why Is There No VSS For Linux?

8/11/2008
Introduced with Windows Server 2003, the volume shadow copy service (VSS) has vastly improved the lives of those of us whose lot in life includes backing up Windows machines. By providing a standard mechanism for creating and managing snapshots, VSS lets backup applications get data-consistent backups of complex data stores like Active Directory and Exchange or Oracle databases. Why isn't there an equivalent for Linux?

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SunGard Offers Virtual DR Serivice

8/5/2008
Ever since its 2001 acquisition of Comdisco Availability Services SunGard has been the dominant player in the disaster recovery business offering a wide array of services, all based on physical hardware. Now, through partnerships wit VMWare and Double-Take, they're entering the twenty first century with a disaster recovery solution using virtual servers at the DR site to receive host based replication data.

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Sepaton Puts Money Where Its Deduping Mouth Is

8/1/2008
When I describe data deduplication to users for the first time, the first two questions they ask always are, "Is this for real?," sometimes rephrased as "You're kidding me, right?," followed quickly with "What kind of deduplication ratios can I expect?"

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Geeks 1, Rapist 0

7/30/2008
It's not often that the geeks get to help put a bad guy in the slammer but as eWeek reports, the geeks at Seagate Recovery Services managed to recover the video of a rapist's confession that was badly burned in the transfer from the original camcorder tape. The poor DA didn't have the original tape and couldn't read the CD. Defense council claims the DVD has exculpatory evidence so

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Do Most Restores Really Fail?

7/30/2008
Every once in a while I see some analyst, usually talking about some backup to disk product, say "X% of all attempts to restore from tape fail" where X is some ridiculous number like 62.7. While I've been involved in my share of restore disasters from OnStream tapes and no OnStream drive to "We found tapes 1-3 and 5-8 do we really need tape 4 of that set" 95% were due to stupidity of some sort. So tell me folks what percentage of your restores fail? Good restore war stories also welcome.

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Sony Bundles Spare Backup With New PCs

7/29/2008
From the good news/bad news desk Sony has joined Packard-Bell (they still buy them in Europe) to bundle Spare Backup's agent and online backup service with every PC they sell. On the good news front this means more of the fashonistas that buy Sony PCs at retail will backup their data online.

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EMC Drops MozyPro Server Prices

7/29/2008
In an e-mail to Mozy resellers, EMC this week announced that it was dropping the price for server backups via MozyPro from the $1.75 per GB per month level they reached in February (see Previous Blog Entry) to 50 cents per GB per month, curiously the same amount it was charging before the price hike earlier this year. Server coverage is still $6.95 a month for each protected server, up from the $3.95 pri

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DAT/DDS The Tape Format That Will Not Die

7/23/2008
After an absence of five or six years, and two generations, DDS trademark owner Sony is rejoining HP in supporting the seventh generation of DDS/DAT drives, DAT320, targeted at the SMB market. DAT320, like HP's DAT160s, abandons the Digital Auto Tape cartridge, and its 4-mm-wide tape, using 8-mm tape in a two reel cartridge instead.

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SteelEye Replicates Xen Servers

7/22/2008
Host-based data replication has long been key to disaster recovery planning in the midmarket. They just couldn't justify building the duplicate SAN at their DR site that array-based replication required. More recently, server virtualization has revolutionized how the midmarket plans and builds disaster recovery sites by letting them replace the DR site with 3 to 5 hot standby servers that they would have needed five years ago with a single virtual server host.

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New Retrospect-Mozy Bundle For Iomega -- Synergy For EMC?

7/20/2008
When EMC bought consumer storage vendor Iomega a few months ago, I asked why in this blog. This week, the 800-pound gorilla of the storage industry answered my question, for users at least, by announcing new software bundles for owners of Iomega storage gear. The new bundles, free for new and current Iomega owners by download, include versions of Retrospect and Mozy which came to EMC, like Iomega, throug

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If Tape Is Dead, Why Did IBM And Sun Put 1 TB On A Cartridge?

7/15/2008
Every once in awhile a vendor, or a fellow member of the brotherhood of storage industry bloggers, pundits, and blowhards, pronounces that disk-to-disk backup, data deduplication, the virtual tape library, or some other disk-based technology spells the death knell for tape in the data center. While I wouldn't go so far as Adam Osborne and claim that the tape-less data center is as likely as the paperless bathroom, I don't see tape disappearing altogether for a good little while. Apparently, Sun

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Atempo Archives To The Cloud With Nirvanix

7/8/2008
Backup software vendor Atempo, now run out of the U.S. by CEO Neal Ater, formerly of Veritas but maintaining a bit of a French accent, entered the archiving market in February by acquiring Lighthouse Global Technologies. It has since released new versions of both the e-mail and file archiving solutions. Now, at the beginning of what I hope is a major trend, it has added the ability to use Nirvanix cloud storage SDN service as an archive repository for files with storage costs of just two bits pe

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300 Year Archival Life, 9 Bits/Pit, And Other Strange Optical Disk News

7/5/2008
For some reason my desk today seems to be covered with press releases announcing cool breakthroughs in optical disk technology. In reality, it's covered with 4 disk drives, empty Chinese food containers, my daughter's sick laptop, beer bottles, cigar stubs, and the TARDIS USB hub, but I did see a bunch of optical disk news that ranged from "cool" to "and why would I buy that" to just unbelievable.

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Packard Bell Makes Backup Standard

7/2/2008
I never thought I would be supporting a PC vendor for including more software on consumer PCs. For years, most retail computers have come with so much crapware pre-installed that geeks like me who support their friends and families have been reinstalling Windows fresh rather than trying to uninstall the WonderCalc-LE and Whahoo-Photo. Packard Bell -- yes, Packard Bell, which used to have real talent for making the worst computer using any given model processor you could find on the shelf -- i

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Overland Buys Snap, Adaptec Gets Out of NAS Biz

6/30/2008
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

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CrashPlan Takes Backup Peer-To-Peer

6/25/2008
Anyone that's read this blog even occasionally knows I'm a big fan of online backup for the SOHO to SMB market. After seeing literally hundreds of backup failures as small businesses tried to use tape drives and applications you and I would consider easy to use, like Retrospect and Backup Exec, I've come to the conclusion that tape drives, like backhoes and heart/lung machines, should be left to professionals. If you aren't a certifiable geek and don't have a full-time IT staff, you shouldn't ha

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HP Joins Data Deduplication Club With Agressive Pricing

6/23/2008
HP officially joined the data deduplicators club today after several alert storage news sites including our own Byte and Switch broke the news from a premature update of HP's Turkish website. As expected they're adding Sepaton's DeltaStor, which they're calling Accelerated DeDuplication, to the VLS VTLs they've been OEMing from Sepaton for the past few years. More interesting are the new D2D2500 and D2D4000 appliances HP is targeting at what if you're HP or EMC is the SMB market but to those o

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BakBone Gives Away NetVault To Red Hat Users

6/23/2008
Following Red Hat in giving the software away and charging for support, BakBone Software is giving away a special free-use edition of its NetVault backup software. The free-use edition can handle backup for up to two client servers and up to 500 GB of disk through NetVault's built-in software virtual tape library, which makes standard disk emulate a tape library.

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MXlogic Offers Free Service To Flooded Companies

6/17/2008
In a shocking demonstration of good citizenship, Colorado-based e-mail management vendor MX Logic is giving two months of free service to businesses and organizations in the flooded-out Midwest. Busineses can reroute their e-mail to MX Logic's servers and use MX Logic's spam, virus, and other filtering services, in addition to giving their users fully functional Webmail until their e-mail infrastructure can be restored. Once users have rebuilt their infrastructure, MX Logic will forward all the

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NEC Replication/Failover Supports All Three Leading Hypervisors

6/15/2008
NEC has been quietly selling its Express Cluster for Windows and Linux servers for more than 10 years while noiser competitors like Double-Take Software and CA XOsoft have gotten most of the attention. NEC's sold more than 10,000 copies of Express Cluster. Granted, some of that was in the Japanese home market, but it still put them in the top 5 in the market segment.

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ioSafe Fireproofs Individual Drives

6/13/2008
I've talked about ioSafe's fire-resistant USB hard drive and NAS solutions in previous posts and even posted the response I got from the company's CEO. Last week they took me out for lunch and offered a Riverside Drive barbecue, which I, afraid of how Hoboken's finest would respond, politely declined. The motivation for this was their newest product, the ioSafe 3.5, which wraps a 2.5-inch hard drive in shiny steel and fireproofing to enable it to survive 1,400 degrees F for 15 minutes and waterp

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MessageOne's Emergency Alert System Goes Global

6/13/2008
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem. Since IT was the only group that included disaster recovery and/or business continuity planning as a line item on our budgets, senior management has let the geek squad (that's us, not the guys from Circuit City) run with the ball. We can manage to keep all the data safe, keep the applications up and running, and even set up a virtual desktop and SSL VPN environment so the users can run their applications from the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, but how many of you

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Sepaton Boosts VTL Speed And Capacity

6/10/2008
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.

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InPhase Lays Off 40, Holographic Storage Still SciFi

6/7/2008
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

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ProStor Boosts RDX To 500 GB

6/3/2008
Taking advantage of the new 500-GB, 2.5-inch laptop drives recently released by Hitachi, Samsung, and Fujitsu, ProStor Systems is boosting the maximum capacity of its RDX removable disk cartridges, making them an even more viable alternative to tape for SMB backup and archival storage.

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Learn From Other's Mistakes - Encrypt Your Tapes

6/2/2008
In the most recent of what seems to be an endless litany of mistakes by people who should know better Bank of New York Mellon has used a third party carrier to transport data tapes from one of their sites to another and as Gomer Pyle would say "surprise, surprise" the courier lost the package. Twice. On February 27th they lost a box of tapes with data on over 4 million customers, on April 29 they lost another tape. In addition to responding with the usual, patently untrue, platitude "Protectin

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ClickFree Makes Backup Stupid Simple

5/29/2008
Like many other members of the geek brotherhood, I provide informal tech support services for my friends and neighbors. In return they take care of Dr. Humphrey D. Dogg, DCS (Doctor of Canine Studies), when I fly off to Interop or TechEd. A few weeks ago one of my dog-run buddies was lamenting the lack of a good backup program for his Mac that would save his data to recordable DVDs. Given that he had an older PowerPC-based Mac and couldn't run Time Machine, I didn't have a better answer for him

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EMC Announces 3 Deduping Backup Targets

5/20/2008
Monday at its EMC World conference, EMC announced a line of three deduplicating backup targets that are the product of its long-rumored collaboration with Quantum. While the 3D disk libraries bear some resemblance to Quantum's own DXi line, EMC has done more than just OEM Quantum's product. In addition to using EMC Clariion disk arrays, which gives them greater scalability, and RAID 6 for enhanced reliability, they use Western Digital's GreenPower 1 TB drives that draw half as much power as stan

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Atempo Adds Mac, Linux Support to Live Backup

5/19/2008
Do you rely on your road warriors to backup their laptops? Is that working out for you or are you just blaming the victim when they're machines are lost, stolen or just break down after being sent through the airport X-ray machine one time too many? Once you accept the fact that users, especially Sr. executives won't take any action at all to backup their data on a regular basis you'll start looking for an automated solution. Atempo's Live Backup has been that automated solution for Windows f

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Grid Vendors Shut Down Whole Nodes To Be Really Green

5/17/2008
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.

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IBM Says FalconStor SIR Didn't Cut The Mustard

5/14/2008
In what seems to me to be kicking a perfectly good supplier when it's down, Beth Pariseau at SearchDataBackup.com reports that IBM stated that FalconStor's SIR deduplication add-on for their virtual tape library didn't make it through the validation process. Given the fact that IBM recently bought Diligent Technologies for its ProtecTIER deduping VTL software, it's no surprise that someone at IBM wasn't convinced that Single Instance Repository, or SIR, was the best thing since sliced bread.

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VMware Site Recovery Manager Is A Game Changer

5/14/2008
VMware announced this week that its Site Recovery Manager would be available to real users like you, dear reader, next month. Click here for our crack InformationWeek news department report on the announcement. From where I sit, Site Recovery Manager could be as big a game-changer for SME disaster recovery planning as server virtualization itself.

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Virtualization For Disaster Recovery - SunGard Gets It

5/11/2008
It should be clear to most of us by now that server virtualization changes the disaster recovery game dramatically. Rather than having to maintain a server at your DR site for each server in your production environment, you can replicate physical, and/or virtual, servers from your production site to virtual servers at your DR site, reducing the cost of protecting production systems or increasing the number of servers you can protect.

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How To Kill Array Vendor Lock-In? An iSCSI Replication RFC

5/8/2008
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.

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CommVault Offers Tape eDiscovery Service Using Index Engines

5/1/2008
While heavily regulated and leading-edge organizations use dedicated systems to store their archival data, if you asked most IT managers where their archives were they'd point at a shelf of old backup tapes or the logbook of tapes at Iron Mountain. Similarly, legal hold meant taking a group of tapes out of the rotation and putting them on the shelf. When someone actually wanted all the documents and e-mail messages related to "The Incident," some poor backup boy had to restore all those tapes an

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Live (Again) From Interop: Workshop A Success, But No Takers On Craps Lessons

4/30/2008
The worst news from Interop is that my fat old body just can't handle the things I did easily 15 years ago when I made a living teaching 5-day NetWare administration seminars. My Disaster Recovery Cookbook workshop went well, with 80 of my now-closest friends spending the day listening to me pontificate on the relative merits of Cemaphore Systems' MailShadow over Double-Take or WANsync. I, however, was a wreck at the end of the day. Even more disappointing, no one took me up on my offer of free

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HP Upline Sets Back Cause Of Online Backup

4/23/2008
It's no secret that I think online backup is the best solution for the SOHO market. Unlike tape, it gets the data off-site and it's set it and forget it. The backup client runs every night and will even pop up in your face if it can't backup your data for a few days. Problem is, convincing the SOHO owner. They're afraid it will stop working, someone will steal their data from the provider, it will be too slow, etc., etc., etc. Early this month, HP announced Upline, an online backup service that

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So The Rumor's True - IBM Snaps Up Diligent

4/19/2008
In its third storage acquisition in short order, IBM proved the rumor mill right Friday by snapping up deduping VTL vendor Diligent Technologies for what Israeli business site Globes says was $200 million. For IBM's spin on the deal, see the release here. If rumors about EMC and Quantum making a deal for deduplicating backup hardware are

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ExaGrid Releases Deduping Gateway For iSCSI Disk

4/16/2008
ExaGrid's been getting pretty good traction with its deduplicating NAS appliances for backup, with more than 200 customers. I wrote about ExaGrid's appliances just last month here. This week it's introducing a gateway model that lets you use iSCSI storage for your deduplicated data rather than buying an appliance with built-in storage. ExaGrid's tested the gateway with EqualLogic's iSCSI arrays and is p

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Blatant Self Promotion: Disaster Recovery Workshop At Interop

4/15/2008
The editors at InformationWeek have told me I have to limit the blatant self-promotion to TechWeb-produced events, so I'm glad to announce that Interop is coming fast. On Sunday, April 26, I'll be presenting The Disaster Recovery Cookbook: Recipes for Recovery, a full-day workshop at the beautiful Mandalay Bay hotel casino and conference center in Las Vegas. Check out the program at http://www.interop.com/lasvegas/

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Another CDP Vendor Bites The Dust. IBM Buys FilesX

4/14/2008
2008 isn't turning out to be a good year for continuous data protection vendors. Mendocino Software closed it's doors, Double-Take Software snapped up TimeSpring for a nice bag of shiny beads and a few ax handles, and now IBM is buying FilesX for what Israeli business news site Globes reports to be $70 million to $90 million dollars. That would be a pretty good exit, as the VCs that funded FilesX only put in around $20 million. FilesX will be a good server complement to IBM's Tivoli CDP for File

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NetEx Speeds Data Transfers, Replication

4/14/2008
Distance is the key difference between disaster preparedness and mere high-availability systems. Unfortunately, with distance comes latency, and latency can really kill the performance of TCP/IP applications. Add in even a tiny bit of data loss, say one in a million packets, and TCP/IP scales back its data-transfer window, dropping the effective data-transfer rate of your cross-country T-3 line to as little as 10 Mbps. NetEx's HyperIP appliances can boost link utilization for common replication

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Fujitsu Releases DR Disk Array Bundle

4/9/2008
Setting up a disaster recovery site is a daunting task for most smaller IT departments. They'll need to find a site, contract for bandwidth between their office and the DR site, set up data replication, and learn how to babysit the whole thing, all while keeping the existing systems running. Sometimes, after I've managed the process for a client, I think changing the tires on a Greyhound bus as it rolls down the highway would be easier. Now Fujitsu Computer Systems has released a bundled solutio

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Sun Adds Data Deduplication To VTL Line

4/7/2008
Just as the arrival of the first robin -- the bird, not Dick Grayson, fanboy -- is a harbinger of spring, adoption by three-letter vendors is an indication that a technology is moving from the revolutionary land of the startup to the mainstream. Sun's announcement today that it's adding deduplication to the StorageTek VTLPrime is just another indication that deduplication is mainstream, if not overdue.

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Bleary-Eyed In Orlando - Must Be SNW

4/7/2008
Well, after the usual two-hour delay getting out of Newark I'm finally ensconced in my 1-star hotel and preparing for another Storage Networking World. I've already gotten a few interesting "pre-briefings" before tomorrow's big golf outing. For those that don't follow such things, SNW is run by SNIA (The Storage Network Industry Association) and they seem to think the most important part of the conference is the golf outing. They must, or they wouldn't always have it at a $300/night hotel with a

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Is Deduplication An Excuse To Be Lazy?

4/2/2008
I was chatting with a three-letter storage vendor today about its upcoming entry into the data deduplication market. As its reps rattled off the usual benefits of data deduplication, they said administrators could stop running differential and incremental backups and just make full backups since the virtual tape library would deduplicate the data anyway. I see the logic, but the old-time admin in the back of my head is yelling "That's just wrong." What do you think?

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Fujifilm's Tape Tracker - GPS For LTO

3/31/2008
As expected, the seemingly constant stream of news stories revealing how one organization after another has lost, misplaced, or allowed evil hackers (which some of you want me to call crackers) to access personal data about its customers, employees, and/or clients has spawned a new product. Fujifilm's Tape Tracker combines a GPS receiver and cellular modem to create a James Bondian tracking device cleverly disguised as an LTO tape. All you have to do is slip a Tape Tracker into each Turtle of ta

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Death To Brick-Level Backups!

3/30/2008
Friends, readers, fellow backup geeks, lend me your eyeballs. I come to bury mailbox by mailbox (brick-level) backups, not to praise them. Exchange server administrators shall not backup mailboxes individually via MAPI for it is so slow it causes thy tape drive to shoeshine, takes several times the disk or tape space as an information store backup, is prone to errors, and causes your backup jobs to fail, claiming disabled mailboxes are corrupted. The time has come to throw brick-level backups o

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GoVault - It's The Software, Stupid

3/30/2008
Simplicity is the key to products for the SOHO market. Small business owners are like one-armed paperhangers; accounting, technology, and other administration tasks will always take second place to doing enough business to make next week's payroll. The backup software bundled with Quantum's GoVault uses this year's hot technology, data deduplication, to make backup to GoVault's removable hard drive cartridges simple as any I've seen. All you have to do is pick the folders to backup and set a sch

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Cemaphore MailShadow Google Edition Syncs Exchange

3/26/2008
I've previously mentioned Cemaphore's MailShadow Exchange server continuity software. Today, Cemaphore's announced a MailShadow Google Edition that bidirectionally syncs data from an Exchange mailbox to Google's Gmail and Calendar. The sync is complete enough to allow cross-platform appointment booking and to keep read/unread state so your Exchange mailbox will reflect that you read Big Jim's message on

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ExaGrid's Scalable Data Deduping NAS

3/25/2008
Aiming for the SME market, ExaGrid System's built a line of data deduping NAS appliances with 5 models designed to protect from 1 Tb to 5 TB of source data. A year ago a vendor coming out with a deduping NAS would have been noteworthy on its own, but this market moves fast and I'm not that easily impressed any more. What makes the ExaGrid boxes intriguing now is that you can stack up to 5 appliances into a single grid with 34 TB of disk space and a data ingestion rate of over 2 TB per hour.

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Network Appliance Rechristens Itself NetApp, Picks Bad Logo

3/24/2008
In a stunning demonstration of branding over substance, Network Appliance, the market leader in corporate NAS, has decided that its biggest problem is that its target market of the top 5,000 storage-using organizations in the world had never heard of it. To address this problem it, like FedEx before it, adopted the company's nickname of NetApp as the official name and decided to use the worst stylized N logo since NBC in the '80s. Various other bloggers have compared it to Stonehenge, a staple,

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From The Rumor Mill -- IBM To Buy Diligent

3/23/2008
Israeli business news site Global Online reported last week that negotiation for IBM to buy data deduplicating VTL software vendor Diligent Technologies for $200 million had reached an advanced stage. http://globes-online.com This would follow on IBM's acquisition of Israeli grid storage startup XIV a couple of months ago. Considering that XIV Executive Chairman Moshe Yanai remained a director of Diligent after it

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