Content posted in December 2011
Transferring DNS Registrars Not A Problem
Commentary  |  12/29/2011  | 
It's Dec. 29, and I have started to transfer personal DNS domains from GoDaddy. The company's position on SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)—its reversal notwithstanding—was the nudge that pushed me over the edge. Frankly, GoDaddy has been acting poorly during the last few years, and I decided to move my domains elsewhere. So far, the transfers have gone well, with nary a hiccup.
iWave Raises The Flag For Storage Automation
Commentary  |  12/27/2011  | 
One of the fascinating things about the IT industry is its role as an ongoing incubator of innovation that impacts the lives of individuals, organizations and society. Now, if Raymond Kurzweil is to be believed, that trend will continue with no foreseeable end in sight. One hotbed of IT innovation is automation, particularly storage automation. And iWave plans to be a trend setter in storage automation.
Hey, Broadcom: Will 2012 Bring Us Gigabit Ethernet?
Commentary  |  12/26/2011  | 
We've come a long way since the early days of wireless networking. On the right 802.11n network today, you can see data rates of 300 Mbps and real throughput that tops Fast Ethernet speeds. But things change quickly in the wireless space, and after a recent conversation with chipmaker Broadcom, I can smell ridiculously fast wireless off in the distance.
All I Want For Christmas Is 10Gbase-T
Commentary  |  12/23/2011  | 
Dear Santa: The best present you, and the networking industry, could give me is general availability of 10GBase-T across switches and NIC/CNAs. Once I can just order my 10gig network gear with 10Gbase-T, I can stop worrying about how to pay for optical transceivers at $350 to $1,200 a pop, as well as about the never-ending compatibility problems with both optics and twin-ax direct connect cables.
Holiday Fun With Personal Collaboration
Commentary  |  12/22/2011  | 
Use your free time to explore new consumer-driven products--and maybe pick up some valuable IT skills.
Does E-Commerce On Social Networks Pay Yet?
Commentary  |  12/22/2011  | 
E-commerce firms search for the right way to retail on social networks, especially Facebook.
Ignoring BYOD Spells Disaster!
Commentary  |  12/22/2011  | 
Last week in a blog titled "BYOD--Bring Your Own Disaster," I urged caution and scope for BYOD projects. This week I'm playing devil's advocate with myself. A conversation with Greg Knieriemen got me thinking of the consequences of ignoring BYOD. Let's dive into the risk of burying your head in the sand and ignoring the BYOD push.
Move Data Closer To Apps
Commentary  |  12/21/2011  | 
The future of location-based storage tiering will be dependent on vendors being able to orchestrate movement of active data closer to the application.
IBM's STG Is On Track With Smarter Computing
Commentary  |  12/20/2011  | 
IBM's Systems & Technology Group (STG) represents, among other things, the hardware heritage of IBM, such as the mainframe, open systems servers and storage. But STG is deeply aligned with the company's software and services capabilities. IBM's annual STG analyst meeting is designed to bring industry (not financial) analysts up to speed on the group's strategy and direction.
Data Tiering By Storage Location
Commentary  |  12/20/2011  | 
Tiering systems in the future will move data within storage systems, to different storage systems, and even into the server hosting the application.
Most Of Our Benchmarks Are Broken
Commentary  |  12/20/2011  | 
For years, we in the storage industry have relied on a fairly small set of benchmarks to measure the relative performance of storage systems under different conditions. As storage systems have included new technologies-- including data reduction, flash memory as cache or automated tiering--our existing portfolio of synthetic benchmarks are starting to report results that aren't directly comparable to the performance that this new generation of storage systems will deliver in the real world.
Don't Let Broadband Scrooges Ruin the Gift Of Cloud Backup
Commentary  |  12/19/2011  | 
It's the time of year for giving gifts. If you're the go-to techie in your family (like me), my shopping advice is this: Give some cloud this holiday season--specifically, cloud backup. It's good for you and good for the recipient. But there are challenges, largely because of the FCC's spectacularly unambitious broadband plan.
Networking APIs Should Be A Critical Feature
Commentary  |  12/16/2011  | 
When you are looking at your next network equipment refresh, be sure to take a long, deep, look at the APIs the vendors are exporting and importing. Integration features should be near the top of your must-have feature list.
The Cable Conundrum Continues--Vendors Respond
Commentary  |  12/15/2011  | 
After my initial adventures with 10 Gigabit Ethernet cabling, as recounted in "The 10 Gigabit Ethernet Cable Conundrum," I realized I needed to research this matter further. I put together a few simple questions about 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection technologies and sent them to some leading vendors to see what challenges a system administrator building a multivendor network would face in the real world.
Are Storage Vendors Shopping For SSD Companies?
Commentary  |  12/15/2011  | 
This is the beginning of a larger trend where storage systems vendors get serious about integrating solid-state storage companies into their portfolios.
UC In The Smartphone Era
Commentary  |  12/14/2011  | 
In this age of IT consumerization, dedicated, centrally managed enterprise voice infrastructure is inconsequential.
BYOD: Bring Your Own Disaster
Commentary  |  12/14/2011  | 
In keeping with the tradition of the last three to five years, 2012 is being touted by analysts and vendors alike as "the year for VDI." This year there is a slightly new twist to the hype and marketing, and that's Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It's a simple concept: Employees own devices that they like to use and are most productive on; IT should support the apps and services used to run the business on the employees' devices.
Will Solid-State Storage Kill Tiering?
Commentary  |  12/12/2011  | 
Even when solid-state storage dominates the data center, mechanical storage and tape will still have a major role to play in your storage infrastructure.
Dell Compellent: Third-Quarter Report Card
Commentary  |  12/12/2011  | 
In February, Dell acquired Compellent Technologies, a pioneer in virtualized storage. Are Dell customers better off? And are Dell shareholders getting their money's worth? Here are my third-quarter grades for the acquisition.
Hard Drives Get Squeezed
Commentary  |  12/9/2011  | 
A number of developments are speeding the transition to solid-state storage.
Crossroads' StrongBox: Securing the Future of Data Archiving
Commentary  |  12/9/2011  | 
If you were asked which storage product--hard disk drives (HDDs) or tape--would decline precipitously in market share during the next five to 10 years, you would probably be one of the vast majority of people who said tape. You would also be wrong. Winning storage technologies have to excel on at least one dimension, either performance or capacity, and tape excels on capacity.
Thanks For Nothing, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)
Commentary  |  12/8/2011  | 
There are bad ideas, and then there are terrible ideas. The American citizenry is about to be dealt a doozy, courtesy of Lee Terry, the honorable Republican representative from Nebraska, and the rationale provided thus far on a bill that opens the door for abuse of our cell phone accounts is simply nonsensical. It's no secret that when politicians meddle in issues of technology, we common folk frequently end up paying for it. Unfortunately, we’re all on the fast track to being on the losin
Hybrid Cloud's Burst Bubble
Commentary  |  12/7/2011  | 
One of the more hyped use-case examples for hybrid cloud is cloud bursting. And why not? It's truly the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario. During normal business operations, your systems run in-house on private cloud infrastructure, and during unforeseen or unpredictable peaks, your services burst to excess capacity at your public cloud provider(s) of choice. It's IT utopia, right? It’s the comfort of maintaining your own systems with the insurance of endless available capacity for th
The Mighty Pen Will Change How We Do Mobile
Commentary  |  12/6/2011  | 
I remember getting my first stylus-equipped handheld computing devices. Back in the salad days of my multitouch input youth, a plastic-tipped pencil-looking thing that made chunky letters was slick stuff. Fast forward to today, and the tea leaves tell us that we may be on the edge of a new pen and multitouch input technology explosion, enabled by slick "active pens" that are a far cry from stylus devices of old.
Is A Hybrid Disk Drive In Your Future?
Commentary  |  12/5/2011  | 
Seagate this week announced an updated version of its Momentus XT hybrid disk drive. By combining flash and a spinning disk, hybrids promise most of the performance of an SSD at the cost per gigabyte of a hard drive. The new version comes pretty close to delivering on that promise.
Welcome To The Hyper Wars
Commentary  |  12/2/2011  | 
The quiet world of virtualization is getting messy as vendors fight for market share. Are you ready for VM heterogeneity?
Let's Get Metaphysical About Enterprise Collaboration
Commentary  |  12/2/2011  | 
You can't swing a leg warmer without hitting yet another SaaS startup touting the next great idea in enterprise collaboration. But don't get so focused on form that you forget function.
IBM's Broad, Deep Data Protection And Retention Portfolio Strategy
Commentary  |  12/2/2011  | 
That there is a data explosion is well-known. However, it is not simply an increase in volume for existing data and applications; it also involves new types of data for new applications. The resulting mix does not support all the same data protection and retention requirements businesses are used to, so a comprehensive portfolio of data protection and retention products and services is necessary to cover all requirements. IBM is one vendor that offers such a comprehensive portfolio.
Must-Have Features In Your Next Storage System
Commentary  |  12/1/2011  | 
Storage managers should prioritize capabilities like thin provisioning, snapshots, replication, and cloning--along with price.
The 10 Gigabit Ethernet Cable Conundrum
Commentary  |  12/1/2011  | 
As we enter the 10 Gigabit Ethernet era in the data center, we're facing some difficulties regarding cables and optics. While I'm happy all the vendors have settled on SFP+, eliminating the nightmare of figuring out if a given device uses XFP, Xenpack or X2 optics to make 10 Gigabit Ethernet affordable, we're going to have to use copper cables for the 10-Mbps or shorter connections within the data center. I just wish that was as easy as grabbing a cable that meets industry standard specs and plu

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