Profile of Howard MarksNetwork Computing Blogger
News & Commentary Posts: 141
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
posted in September 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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.