Expert Analysis
Content posted in February 2010
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Double-Take Takes Disaster Recovery To The Cloud
Commentary  |  2/26/2010  | 
I've spent a lot of time developing disaster recovery plans for mid-size companies with 200-2000 users and 10-100 servers. These companies don't have the multiple data centers and dark fibre that the big boys use to enable array-to-array replication. They make do with servers at a co-lo site and use host or application replication. Double-Take Cloud has extended host-based replication and application recovery to Amazon's public cloud.
How Hot Is Automated Tiering?
Commentary  |  2/26/2010  | 
Last week, a CEO at a large storage manufacturer predicted that automated tiering, the process of moving data between different tiers or classes of storage, was over-hyped. The executive's comment quickly brought responses from other storage manufacturers claiming the contrary. Most vendors position automated tiering as a "must have," and as is often the case with this type of topic, a digital food fight broke out.
Virsto Shrinks Virtual Storage
News  |  2/26/2010  | 
Any day now, storage managers should get happier - a lot happier. Virsto Software is due to ship Virsto One, the first hypervisor-based storage solution that aims at reducing the size of VMs while improving their performance. This implies a lot of things, one of which is that it will radically shrink the size of VMs by 80 or 90 percent. For an IT organization swamped in VMs, that can only be a good thing.
VMware Acquires EMC Management Apps
News  |  2/26/2010  | 
EMC announced that VMware has agreed to acquire management apps from EMC's Ionix division, beefing up VMware's management offerings. The applications are Application Discovery Manager, Server Configuration Manager, Server Manager and IP from FastScale, which provides thin provisioning of virtual machines. The deal is closing at $200 million, and EMC and VMware expect to close in Q2 2010.
Does WLAN Management Really Need To Be In The Cloud?
Commentary  |  2/25/2010  | 
After talking with vendors over the past year, I can't say I am completely on board with the notion of WLAN management tools as a software as a service (SaaS). The premise of cloud management is simple: instead of deploying yet another server in the data center, redirect the enterprise wireless controllers and access points at a vendor-hosted solution. WLAN management services have all the trappings of the current cloud hype.
Gigamon GigaVUE Stamps, Slices, and Masks At 10Gbps
News  |  2/25/2010  | 
Capturing data for security, application performance, or just plain old monitoring, is a requisite function for IT. As network speeds increase, the need to capture data at line rate increases accordingly, so it's natural that network taps will increase in capacity. However, not all analysis methods need access to the full packet. Gigamon has enhanced its GigaVUE-2404 platform to time-stamp packets using a GPS time source, slice off the payload and mask bit patters in the payload prior to sending
IBM Aids British Library With Web Archive
News  |  2/24/2010  | 
Using a technology called BigSheets, IBM is assisting in the British Library's effort to preserve the U.K.'s online culture.
F5 Enters The Virtual ADC Market With LTM Virtual Edition
News  |  2/24/2010  | 
F5 Networks is dipping it toe in the virtual application delivery controller market with a free 90 trial edition of their Local Traffic Manager Virtual Edition (LTM VE). LTM VE is a VMware virtual appliance that is targeted at non-production developer use. F5 does plan on releasing a production version of LTM VE in the first half of 2010 and is withholding pricing until that product is available.
Dot Hill Doubles Fibre Channel Bandwidth
News  |  2/24/2010  | 
Storage hardware OEM Dot Hill Systems today unveiled the 3000 series, an all-new line of rack-mounted storage area network arrays that support the 8Gb/s Fibre Channel speed variant as well as dual-interface models that add 1Gb/s iSCSI support, effectively bridging the two protocols without the need for a second network. The 3000 series is available now to OEMs and will begin shipping under the Dot Hill brand next week.
Do SMBs Need More Fiber Connections?
Commentary  |  2/24/2010  | 
Good news/bad news. The good news is a growing number of companies now are able to connect to telecommunications service provider via fiber optic lines. However, the bad news is the carriers have focused on meeting the needs of large enterprises at the expense of small and medium businesses.
The Services Of Storage Replacement
Commentary  |  2/24/2010  | 
Last year, I was working with a user through the process of a storage replacement. They basically had run up against a wall with their current storage, and our team was helping them through the selection process. One of the areas that simply amazed me was how ill-prepared some of the vendors were when it came to guiding the customer through the replacement. They had about 30TBs of storage on the old platform and none of the initial proposals gave any consideration to guiding the customer through
Windows 7 Rolling Review: Avocent LANDesk Management Suite 9
News  |  2/24/2010  | 
Last up in our rolling review of Windows 7 deployment solutions is Avocent's LANDesk Management Suite 9. Installation of LANDesk was relatively painless. The core management server, along with the database and Web management engine, can all be installed on a single box. LANDesk supports SQL Server 2005, 2008, and Oracle versions 10 and 11g for the back-end database. If you have fewer than 1,000 clients under management, you can get away with using SQL Express. As you scale beyond 3,000 clients,
Cisco Delivers Redundant Arrays Of Independent Datacenters: The New RAID
Commentary  |  2/23/2010  | 
On February 8, Cisco announced the introduction of new products that are part of an industry-wide continuum of cloud infrastructure development. One Cisco product, Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV), stands out by dramatically simplifying the deployment of Layer 2 connections between datacenters to form Redundant Arrays of Independent "Datacenters" (RAID).
Shuttle Sparks Panic In Central America
News  |  2/23/2010  | 
Endeavour's sonic boom over El Salvador sent residents into the streets and put local authorities on high alert.
SaaS Collaboration Software Gets Upgrade
News  |  2/23/2010  | 
Central Desktop has launched Central Desktop 2.0, the latest version of the company's SaaS collaboration product. The 2.0 version offers tighter integration with e-mail and an upgraded user interface. The software lets users create collaboration workspaces that include components such as discussion forums, blogs and wikis. Users can also create and track tasks, exchange messages and files and link to outside services such as Twitter and Facebook.
Seagate Ships 2TB Enterprise Drive
News  |  2/23/2010  | 
The nearline storage device retrieves data from a tape library or other device and makes it available online.
Doing IT On The Cheap
Commentary  |  2/23/2010  | 
I was having a chat the other day with a senior exec at one of the cloud storage vendors. He said they were closing a big deal with a service provider to OEM their services as the service provider's other option, which involved a major vendor's private cloud hardware. I started wondering how it was that a huge service provider, with lots of smart engineers and the economies of scale of building a multi-petabyte system couldn't get their costs down to competitive with a third party, who is of co
AppDynamics Pushes Application Performance Management to the Cloud
News  |  2/23/2010  | 
Yap Inc., a Web company that runs its automated voice-to-text transcription business on a cloud computing infrastructure, needed a way to monitor and manage just how long it takes to receive voice mails from customers and turn them into e-mails or text messages. So it turned to start-up AppDynamics, which this week unveiled its application performance management (APM) software built from the ground up to manage applications running in the cloud, virtual and service-oriented architecture (SOA) en
Break The Storage Racket
Commentary  |  2/23/2010  | 
The storage industry has carved out a lucrative space for itself by forcing customers to purchase from approved equipment lists and qualified vendors and VARs.Vendors argue that storage is so sensitive to latency, jitter, and packet and frame loss that equipment qualification is needed to ensure the SAN fabric works.
Upstarts Keep Data Warehousing Competitive
News  |  2/22/2010  | 
Announcements from Aster Data, Kognitio, ParAccel and Vertica highlight a healthy and growing market for data analysis alternatives.
IronMountain Buys Archive Appliance Maker, But The Future Is Online
Commentary  |  2/22/2010  | 
IronMountain announced today that it will pay $112 million for Mimosa Systems, which makes archiving appliances for e-mail, SharePoint and files. The purchase gives IM Digital both a premises archiving product as well as a SaaS-based e-mail archiving service. The SaaS archiving offering uses technology from Mimecast, a UK-based company.
Rich Get Richer in Ethernet Switch Marketplace
Commentary  |  2/22/2010  | 
Consolidation has been the watchword in the Ethernet switch market. With growth rates slowing and competition increasing, vendors have been trying to gain size in order to weather the changes. Such an outlook is being made for good reason. Market research firm Delloro Group found that revenue for giants Cisco, HP, and Juniper increased $600 million in the last quarter, leaving few leftovers for the remaining suppliers.
MySpace Finds Unique Use For SSD Technology
News  |  2/22/2010  | 
Companies in the IT industry can be ingenious, sometimes jerry-rigging different technologies to meet their own unique computing needs. MySpace, a well-known provider of social networking software and services, fits into that category. The company applied SSD technology, not to one of its typical uses, such as speeding up disk storage, but as a replacement for servers that acted as RAM cache for data intensive applications. By making the change, they reduced server requirements significantly.
DRAM Market Expected To Soar In 2010
News  |  2/22/2010  | 
The improving market for dynamic random access memory coincides with a healthier PC market.
PGP Offers Enterprise Key Management To Consolidate Encryption Control
News  |  2/22/2010  | 
PGP Key Management Server, announced today, aims to consolidate key management across third-party applications and devices, including custom applications, which typically lack built-in capabilities. PGP says enterprises are struggling with managing disparate certificates authorities for e-commerce,payment systems, file transfers and other processes. Wireless access points are another problem area, as large enterprises often use WLAN gear from multiple vendors, requiring separate key management f
SSD Reliability Isn't An Issue
Commentary  |  2/22/2010  | 
Why is there ongoing concern about SSD reliability? I know of several vendors who have this concern, but more often than not, this worry is due to lack of experience and a lack of understanding about SSD. SSD reliability shouldn't be an issue anymore, especially if you are using enterprise-class memory.
Windows 7 Rolling Review: Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager R2
News  |  2/19/2010  | 
In the next edition of our rolling review of Windows 7 deployment solutions, we test a product that has the inside track on Windows 7: Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SSCM). The product was relatively easy to deploy because Microsoft delivered Configuration Manager to us inside a pre-built virtual machine (Hyper-V, of course). Normally, the product is delivered as a traditional software package. Smaller and medium-sized IT shops can run Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 on single s
HP & Cisco: It's All Fun And Games Until Someone Loses A Partnership. . . .
Commentary  |  2/19/2010  | 
The battle for the hearts, minds and most importantly, pocketbooks of data center managers, escalated yesterday as HP announced they were OEMing a couple of Qlogic fiber channel switches and Cisco ceremoniously booted HP from their premier reseller program. Tensions have been growing ever since Mark Hurd and the rest of HP management decided to stop treating ProCurve like a red-headed stepchild, and Cisco entered the server market with their UCS.
Intel And Microsoft Overhaul iSCSI For The Enterprise
Commentary  |  2/19/2010  | 
I recently attended a webcast where Jordan Plawner of Intel and Suzanne Morgan of Microsoft described how the combination of Intel Ethernet Server Adapters, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Intel Xeon processor 5500 series-based servers are integrated to optimize iSCSI performance and scalability. I came away from a follow-up briefing with Jordan and Suzanne impressed with the potential benefits to large data centers, as well as the breadth of integration between Intel and Microsoft products
Competitors Weigh In on Oracle's Single-Stack Plan
News  |  2/19/2010  | 
SAP says it's a fantasy while IBM asks "what took you so long?"
Alcatel Preps Android Handset
News  |  2/19/2010  | 
The OT-980 is Alcatel's first Android device and the first Alcatel handset to offer advanced smartphone features.
Deduplication Replication - CommVault
Commentary  |  2/19/2010  | 
CommVault was one of the first enterprise back-up software vendors to integrate deduplication into their product offering. While it wasn't a surprise that they did this, it was a surprise that they were able to add the ability to deduplicate to tape. In my most recent regular blog post on Network Computing, I covered the trend to deduplicate on media other than traditional disk-based systems. CommVault's hybrid approach is a unique compared to how others perform deduplication, and worth examinin
AT&T To Offer Android Smartphone
News  |  2/19/2010  | 
Android phones are a growing competitor to the AT&T-exclusive Apple iPhone.
Cisco Kicks HP To The Curb
News  |  2/19/2010  | 
In a stunning move, Cisco has announced that it will not renew its System Integrator contract with HP. HP will no longer be a Cisco Certified Channel or a Global Service Alliance Partner after April 30th, 2010. If there was any confusion that Cisco and HP were on a crash course, this move by Cisco should clear that up. Cisco's dropping HP follows the rumor, confirmed by Dell, that Cisco has also stopped plans to manufacture the Nexus 4001d Blade Switch for Dell's M1000e chassis.
NASuni Turns Object Cloud Into Endless NAS
Commentary  |  2/19/2010  | 
After almost 30 years in the business, needless to say, I have become a bit jaded. Pitch me a left-field idea like holographic storage or even Fibre Channel over Ethernet and it will take more than a good PowerPoint presentation to get me to buy in. So I was surprised at my own reaction when the folks from NASuni explained that their virtual appliance would cache public cloud storage and make it usable as an SMB or ROBO NAS.
Workhorse Smartphones Put To Pasture
Commentary  |  2/19/2010  | 
With Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week, the announcements from wireless carriers, handset manufacturers and operating system makers are coming at a fast and frantic pace. Two of these announcements, however, stand out in terms of the impact of IT consumerization and the changing face of enterprise mobility. The first and most dramatic, of course, is Microsoft's announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series. The second is Research in Motion bringing Blackberry Enterprise Server E
Practical Analysis: The Storage Stockholm Syndrome
Commentary  |  2/18/2010  | 
Bleeding your customers dry rarely works as a long-term business strategy. So something's gotta give.
Shockwaves In The Fibre Channel Switching Space
Commentary  |  2/18/2010  | 
Earlier this week I saw an article from the Motley Fool advising investors to be bearish on Brocade (to sell), highlighting the competitive challenges facing the company. Then, this morning I saw the challenges only get worse for Brocade, as HP and QLogic announced an OEM pact for Fibre Channel edge switches.
Data-Centric Security: Mix Technology, Process
News  |  2/18/2010  | 
Aligning protection with data involves navigating corporate politics and business requirements and seeking out knowledge owners. A few key technologies can help, too.
Data-Centric Security: Mix Technology, Process
News  |  2/18/2010  | 
Aligning protection with data involves navigating corporate politics and business requirements and seeking out knowledge owners. A few key technologies can help, too.
HP Upgrades SMB SAN products
News  |  2/18/2010  | 
HP has upgraded its StorageWorks product line with two new models targeted at small-to-medium-sized businesses, now including features more typical of enterprise-level equipment. The HP P2000 G3, starting at $15,000, and the P4000 G2, starting at $30,000, are aimed at customers who may be making their first venture into establishing a storage area network (SAN) in their data centers.
Toshiba Unveils Big Capacity In Small Form Factor
News  |  2/18/2010  | 
A 2.5-inch laptop hard drive with a capacity of 6GB was once state of the art. Today Toshiba Storage Device Division unveiled a series of hard drives in the same 2.5-inch form factor capable of storing as much as 100 times that amount. Bearing the first fruit of its acquisition of Fujitsu's hard drive business, Toshiba introduced the MFB series of small form-factor, serial-attached SCSI drives that max out at 600GB, use up to 28 percent less power than similar models and can optionally self-encr
Qwest 4Q Profits Sink; FTTN A Bright Spot
News  |  2/17/2010  | 
Aggressive deployment of fiber to the node (FTTN) and 80,000new fiber customers were cited as highlights of the quarter.
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