Commentary
Content posted in November 2009
Email Archiving And How To Sell It?
Commentary  |  11/30/2009  | 
Even with under 50 percent penetration, the Email archiving market is starting to shake out. Two vendors are trying to build new identities for themselves, to establish new market niches and change from being the number 8 product in a 22 player field and be thought of as first, second or third in the market they define for themselves. Metalogix went the value route, reducing the price of their Professional Archive Manager for Exchange (PAM) to $15/user while releasing a new version. ZL Technolo
BLADE: Juniper Networks' Trojan Horse
Commentary  |  11/30/2009  | 
While many are delighted by the availability of products from Juniper, a frontal assault on the biggest data center switch opportunities can bring together the corporate networking team and incumbent vendors to fortify their defenses against the barbarian. In these accounts Juniper now has a stealthy and powerful new weapon for penetrating data center networks, and for standing out in a crowded switch market: Ethernet blade server switches designed by BLADE and running Junos.
Q&A: Intel CTO Justin Rattner
Commentary  |  11/28/2009  | 
In the unexpurgated version of my InformationWeek interview with the chip giant's chief technology officer, Rattner dishes on multicore processors as data-center-class solutions, Internet-wide subnets for cloud security, HPC trickle-down, and building Gigabit-class routers out of standard parts.
Will They Make It? Examining The Team
Commentary  |  11/25/2009  | 
We have all been there. Sitting across the table are representatives from a new company that until five minutes ago you never heard of. They are talking to you about a new product and technology that solves a definite problem that you have and you are trying to decide if it is worth the risk investing the time and money in their solution. Assuming that the technology is almost as good as the vendor says it is (it's never really as good as they say it is), and it solves a problem that you are str
Spectra Logic: Taking Tape To Infinity
Commentary  |  11/24/2009  | 
Many would agree with the following assertions: the IT hardware business is not a good one to be in especially during trying economic times; tape is dead; and only large vendors can be successful in the enterprise-class space, especially at the very high-end. Spectra Logic is a counter example to the first two assertions and, as we will see, is very likely to be a counter example to the third.
Drobo Elite - Ready For The Server Room If Not The Data Center
Commentary  |  11/23/2009  | 
Ever since Data Robotics came out with the Drobo it's been the darling of some in the storage blogosphere. While I found the original 4-slot Drobo cute, I didn't understand why serious storage guys like Curtis Preston and my friend Stephen Foskett were so excited about a consumer product. The Drobo Pro, an 8-port DAS array with an iSCSI interface didn't make any more sense. The new Drobo Elite on the other hand seems like a great first SAN array for the SMB market.
eDiscovery And The Law Firm
Commentary  |  11/23/2009  | 
Outside law firms are uncomfortably aware that their eDiscovery clients are making tracks and taking their pocketbooks with them. The trick is for traditionally tech-averse law firms to change, and fast.
WAN Optimization On Cell Phones? Why Not?
Commentary  |  11/23/2009  | 
Innovation doesn't have to come in big paradigm shifts. Innovation can be small in scale, something that that makes life easier, simpler, or better. Last week at the Riverbed launch, I was talking to Apurva Daveacute about WAN optimization and where the pain points are. It's one of those conversations I often have with vendors about big sky stuff. But I got a Droid last week, so my interest in mobile computing is piqued. "When are you [Riverbed] going to make a client for the Android?" I
Is ILM Finally Ready For Prime Time?
Commentary  |  11/20/2009  | 
It's an undeniable fact that most organizations are drowning in unstructured data. Yet despite the general acceptance of the concept that files should be stored in ways commensurate with their changing value over time, few organizations really manage their files well. Vendors have made several attempts at making a buck with tools that automagically manage unstructured data, calling it HSM then ILM, with little acceptance and even less profit.
Just Say No To Proprietary Cryptographic Algorithms
Commentary  |  11/20/2009  | 
I was eavesdropping on the conversation while scanning email and I heard Smail say the product uses a proprietary polymorphic algorithm. Sorry, you lost me at proprietary, and I blurted out "It isn't secure," which completely derailed the conversation.
Encryption Is Cloud Computing Security Savior
Commentary  |  11/19/2009  | 
I'm beginning to think that fears about cloud security are overblown. The reason: an intellectual framework is already in place for protecting data, applications, and connections. It's called encryption. What's evolving now, and isn't anywhere near fully baked, is a set of agreed-upon implementations and best practices. Today's post talks about some relevant and interesting work from Trend Micro and from IBM.
The First Mover Disadvantage
Commentary  |  11/19/2009  | 
There is always an advantage to being first to market with a new product or technology, except it seems, in storage and networking. It seems companies that are the first in the space have the most difficult time staying viable. Certainly there are exceptions but it seems that there is a first mover disadvantage in technology.
Interop 2009 Day 1: Vendors, Vendors And More Vendors
Commentary  |  11/19/2009  | 
One of the main reasons I come to shows it is to get some face time with people I have spoken with on the phone and then catch up with new vendors not yet on my radar. Yesterday, I spent the day in a room meeting a stream of vendors. It was like speed dating, but more fun. There are definitely some interesting products coming out of large and small vendors alike.
HP's Vision: Virtual Resource Pools In Its Converged Infrastructure
Commentary  |  11/19/2009  | 
The vision thing is "in" among IT vendors. Recently, HP made a big splash with its Converged Infrastructure announcements just a day after Cisco, EMC and VMware launched their Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition. Meanwhile, IBM's Smarter Planet through Dynamic Infrastructure pervades radio and TV, as well as the online and print media. Is this flood of visions a good thing? Optimism is warranted, but some skepticism is justifiable since saying is easy but doing is hard, especially over
No Doubt: Network Connectivity Is A Heavyweight Bout
Commentary  |  11/18/2009  | 
Last week was a busy week in the world of network connectivity, and this week appears to be shaping up to be a watershed moment for the connectivity market as a whole. Last week, my colleagues at the Dell'Oro group published their market share estimates for Fibre Channel connectivity products and made mention, via caveat, of some FCoE volume estimates. Some of the vendors mentioned in the Dell'Oro report subsequently sent out press releases heralding their respective successes.
IBM Continues To Upset Conventional Wisdom On Storage
Commentary  |  11/17/2009  | 
There is a natural tendency to want to create a sense of order out of disorder. Even within a product family, products can be dissimilar. Analysts, in particular, may find this mystifying (aren't there efficiencies at all levels from manufacturing to sales from having a unified product line being lost?). Nonetheless, we soldier on trying to create some product order even when there isn't any. However, the truth of the matter is that product diversity is probably a good thing as it prevents a ven
QLogic Positions Itself As Next InfiniBand Citadel
Commentary  |  11/16/2009  | 
Today, with a certain amount of sangfroid, QLogic announced what can arguably be called a clean sweep via OEM relationships with HP, IBM, and SGI. The tier one systems vendors will build in the QLogic 7300 Series 40Gb/sec QDR InfiniBand host channel adapters and 12000 Series QDR switches and directors. Additionally, I have learned that QLogic has formed a collaborative relationship with Dell that will enable Dell users to deploy the 7300 adapter and 12000 switches as they build out their IB infr
Is Cloud Storage Getting Hijacked?
Commentary  |  11/16/2009  | 
I'm taking a bit of a break from the dedupe discussion to wrap up a few re-interviews and to time the continuation of the series with a upcoming special feature on deduplication that Network Computing will be running. In the meantime let's see if we can get this whole cloud storage thing sorted out. I had a supplier suggest to me the other day that the term cloud storage is getting hijacked. I disagree.
SQL Injection: The Fastest-Growing Security Threat
Commentary  |  11/16/2009  | 
Few things make a CIO's eyes glaze over like the mere mention of SQL injections. Unless they cut their teeth in security or SQL programming, chances are that the folks who control the purse strings don't understand these increasingly common attacks. That's a real issue because you're probably making decisions that could exacerbate the problem.
Don't Swap One Management Problem For Another
Commentary  |  11/16/2009  | 
It's all about defining and adhering to change management.Utility computing is useful and cool, but before committing to a system, I'd have a real heart to heart with the software vendor about potential failures and recovery steps, and I'd want demos of both.
Western Digital Returns To Enterprise Drives
Commentary  |  11/12/2009  | 
It would be a stretch to say that Western Digital's announcement of their S25 line of SAS drives was a surprise. Ever since they released the VelociRaptor early last year, I've been waiting for someone over there to slap an SAS interface on the little sucker. Now that they have, and a 600MB/s one to boot, I got Tom McDorman, who runs WD's enterprise storage group, on the phone to explain how SAS drives from WD fit in the datacenter market. The conversation changed my views on the drive market a
Cloudy Thinking: eDiscovery In The Cloud
Commentary  |  11/12/2009  | 
The phrase "eDiscovery in the cloud" is so vast as to be meaningless. You have got to pin down your definitions of what kind of cloud you're talking about before you can talk about doing eDiscovery in it.
Radar Picks Up CNA Growth In Q3
Commentary  |  11/12/2009  | 
On November 11, Emulex and QLogic issued press releases announcing their respective Fibre Channel HBA market share gains in Q3CY09. Emulex highlighted a 4 percent gain in the standalone 8Gb HBA segment while QLogic emphasized their strength in blade server mezzanine cards that led to a overall 1.9 percent gain in market share. As the two giants in the Fibre Channel HBA market slug it out for a percentage or two each quarter, the new market for CNAs is quickly appearing on the radar.
HP's 3Com Buy Adds To Its SMB Networking Arsenal
Commentary  |  11/11/2009  | 
Consolidation is the watchword in the data center marketplace. Companies are collapsing their network, storage, and server equipment into single-function devices. The consolidation theme also applies to vendors, as one noteworthy networking supplier leaped into HPs arms today.
Arkeia Makes Waves In Backup/Recovery
Commentary  |  11/10/2009  | 
Vendors are always using innovative developments to differentiate themselves from their competition, but also to justify purchases of their products by cost-challenged IT buyers. CA, EMC, HP, IBM and Symantec all have well-recognized, well-respected and well-accepted products in the backup/recovery software space, but that hasn't prevented competitors from successfully challenging them. Backup/recovery software is not all that is involved in this part of the data protection space. FalconStor, Qu
Brocade: NOT FOR SALE
Commentary  |  11/9/2009  | 
I'm told at the Brocade sales meeting last week in Las Vegas, CEO Mike Klayko put up a slide that read "NOT FOR SALE." I for one am joining the Brocade sales team in taking it at face value and moving on. It's not going to happen, at least not now.
Netgear Adds Features To Unmanaged Switches For SMBs
Commentary  |  11/9/2009  | 
The company hopes to differentiate its new ProSafe Plus "unmanaged switches" with a few key network monitoring and configuration features, including support for Virtual LANs (VLANs), Quality of Service (QoS), and cable testing.
Our First Virtual Event: Next Generation Networking
Commentary  |  11/9/2009  | 
On November 12th, we will be hosting our first virtual event covering next generation networking. You can register here. We have a great line-up of speakers, including a keynote by Rob Roy, CEO of Switch Communications, which runs the SuperNAP in Las Vegas. The rest of the day includes presentations on key networking topics delivered by IT practitioners and experts as well as sponsors. I've seen the presentations, and like what I see.
Vendors Should Do No Harm
Commentary  |  11/8/2009  | 
Like most technogeeks I have an affection for new products, technologies and even new versions of Windows (except for Vista and Windows ME). I do, however, have a bone to pick with vendors who decide to change how their products work just for sport. I'm now asking tech vendors to adopt the Hippocratic Oath's "First do no harm" and resist retiring perfectly good commands from their CLIs.
ServerEngines For Sale? A New Land Grab May Be In Play
Commentary  |  11/8/2009  | 
Industry sources in the investment community have told me that Ethernet NIC vendor ServerEngines may be looking for a buyer. ServerEngines is one of the key providers of 10GbE NIC connectivity. Apparently, there are a number of companies interested in acquiring the vendor, with LSI as the top suitor. LSI, which has seen its adapter business ramp up in recent quarters, wants to capitalize on a window of opportunity and gain market share from established vendors such as Emulex, QLogic and to some
ZFS Gets Deduplication
Commentary  |  11/5/2009  | 
While the financial press is speculating about how the EU's anti-trust concerns may put the kybosh on the OraSun (or is it Sunacle?) merger, Sun blogger and ZFS creator Jeff Bonwick announced this week that ZFS now includes inline deduplication. While we've been waiting since July for Sun to get their deduplication working, I'm intrigued by both the details of how ZFS dedupe works and the ramifications of including deduplication in reasonably priced server based storage solutions.
Deduplication's Replication Mode
Commentary  |  11/5/2009  | 
According to every deduplication supplier that I talk to, replication has a high attach rate for deduplication products. In most cases over 50 percent of their systems are sold with the replication module or capabilities enabled. Over the next couple of entries I'll review some of the specific vendor's claims and name names as it relates to replication. If your in the dedupe space and I have not spoke to you, please reach out to me so I can include you in the conversation.
Lines Blur Between Voice and Social Networking
Commentary  |  11/4/2009  | 
Siemens Communications will integrate Twitter with its Unified Communications (UC) platform, and PBworks announces plans to offer voice alongside its collaboration and social software services.
Emulex Goes Elephant Hunting
Commentary  |  11/4/2009  | 
It appears the Emulex strategy is to be first-to-market with OEMs in the soon-to-be massive DCE-based NIC market, then build-out FCoE storage networking capabilities in a way that customers can deploy via field upgrades. This aggressive Elephant hunting strategy gives Emulex the highest probability of disrupting the status quo of the rapidly growing 10Gb segment of the NIC market.
Cisco Blurring Lines Between Enterprise, Consumer Net
Commentary  |  11/3/2009  | 
Analysts who've lately focused on a Cisco's decade-long buying binge will surely weigh in on the networking powerhouse's Monday announcement that it plans to acquire Hong Kong set-top-box maker DVN. Yet most of these financial musings, which focus on Cisco's stock price, are missing the point. It's all about bandwidth, stupid.
Deduplication's Five Modes
Commentary  |  11/2/2009  | 
I want to back up a bit in our deduplication discussion. I have had trouble bracketing the deduplication field thus far, and maybe there is a different approach. Let's discuss the modes of deduplication. I think there are five: deduplication, replication, maintenance, rest and restore. There is a sixth mode, move to tape, which is still relevant for most data centers. I am going to pick these modes apart one at a time and I may spend several entries on a single mode. If I don't cover every aspec
Riverbed's Steelhead Mobile Controller 3.0 Adds Windows 7 Support And Extends "Branch Warming"
Commentary  |  11/2/2009  | 
The WAN optimization vendor says the latest version also includes HTTP and HTTPS acceleration and support for 64-bit applications.
IBM's Continuing Information Infrastructure Journey
Commentary  |  11/2/2009  | 
IBM held its Information Infrastructure Analyst Summit in Boston last week, building on the initiative it launched a little over a year ago. While the original launch articulated IBM's direction, it was also very product oriented. This time, the Summit was primarily focused on strategy. Thus, product announcements can be separate and distinct, and can serve as instances of how IBM is actually executing according to its announced direction. But a direction -- in the sense of the vision of where a
Juniper's Plan To Win: It's The Application
Commentary  |  11/2/2009  | 
One of Juniper's constant points is the single OS, Junos, that runs across their entire product line. When the company announced their EX switch line last year, having the same OS on both routers and switches was novel, but not a real deal maker. However, Juniper has more products other than just routers and switches. They also sell SSL VPN, WAN optimization, Intrusion Detection/Prevention and firewall appliances none of which run Junos. I keep hearing "It's coming, it's coming," but I have yet


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