Commentary
Content posted in July 2009
Commit To Standards: Drop Proprietary Protocols
Commentary  |  7/31/2009  | 
I'm a big proponent of standards and standards conformance, which opens up the marketplace to innovation and competition. Standardization is good whether you are a user or producer, but standards development is slow compared to how quickly a company can create a product or feature. Once a standard is available, vendors should stop promoting their proprietary protocols and migrate to the standards implementation. That shows commitment to standards.
Records Management and eDiscovery
Commentary  |  7/31/2009  | 
Records management has always been painful but now it's nearly impossible given the unending growth in ESI. Since corporations are infamous for keeping every stick of data, we're looking at hundreds of terabytes of data just in the data center with many more hundreds of TBs on servers, SAN, NAS, tape, and workstations scattered throughout the enterprise. These terabyte-to-petabyte levels represent a lot of records to manage for multiple business needs including eDiscovery, compliance and data re
Do We Need Consolidated Deduplication?
Commentary  |  7/31/2009  | 
In my last entry, "Can We Get to a Single Point of Deduplication?", I looked at who had the capabilities for a single point of deduplication, essentially consolidating the deduplication engine so that only one supplier and one dedupe engine...
In Packet Inspection Race, Cisco Sees FPM As Key To Network Security
Commentary  |  7/30/2009  | 
Cisco has an interesting tease for an upcoming Webcast entitled "Defending Your Router in 256 Bytes or Less." The thesis is that "the increase in accuracy and performance of network security products has pushed hackers to create attacks within the first 256 bytes of code that slip into networks under the radar." The upshot is that Cisco is pitching Flexible Packet Management (FPM), a technique it developed as a more effective way to block attacks than the deep packet inspection methods that are
The Cloud and eDiscovery
Commentary  |  7/30/2009  | 
As far as eDiscovery goes, cloud-based computing primarily presents as a cloud-based hosting site with eDiscovery services running over the hosted data.
Can We Get to a Single Point of Deduplication?
Commentary  |  7/29/2009  | 
With the EMC-Data Domain acquisition seemingly moving along, a new point of debate is going to arise; can we get to a single point of deduplication? Meaning can you have all your data tiers; primary, archive and backup deduplicated by...
Will You Change Vendors?
Commentary  |  7/28/2009  | 
Vendor relationships, and enterprise buyers' approach to them, are probably more uncertain than they've ever been.
Network Solutions Data Breach Proves Savvy Aren't Always Secure
Commentary  |  7/27/2009  | 
The data breach at Network Solutions, where hackers broke into the company's servers and stole info on 573,000 credit cards, shows how vulnerable even the presumably Net savvy can be. Hey, if a domain registrar and Web host can have their systems breached, is anyone safe?
Fusion-io Makes SSDs More Affordable
Commentary  |  7/27/2009  | 
Solid state drive (SSD) technology is generally expected to grow in importance in enterprise-class storage as the performance tier of choice. In fact, over time, while tier 1 FibreChannel (FC) and serial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives will not be entirely displaced. The SSD market will bifurcate into a performance tier and a capacity tier that will coordinate with each other.
LSI buys OnStor, VCs take Bath
Commentary  |  7/27/2009  | 
In a continuation of the busy storage industry M&A season LSI has snapped up midmarket NAS vendor ONStor for $25 million in cash. While I'd consider selling DeepStorage Labs for $25 million a success; the venture capitalists that put over $130 million into OnStor over its 9 year life it was just a way to get away with something. At $25 million it may be a good deal for LSI but the waitresses on Sand Hill Road will take yet another hit on their tips.
Network Computing Is Back!
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
You read that right. Network Computing, the only IT magazine For IT, By IT is back with the first digital issue on WAN optimization and application delivery in a virtualized data center. Sure, IT is changing due to economic pressures forcing IT departments to cut costs and maximize investments, but the interesting changes are occurring due to the technology itself. That's where Network Computing steps in to shed light what's new and shaking, and what it means.
Blade, Intel Push Parallel Programming, Software's Holy Grail
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
The two vendors are teaming up to teach parallel programming to students, on the heels of the release of Intel Parallel Studio. (I know, you're thinking they should teach them regular programming first.) But maybe such mainstream tools will help us bridge the shocking gap between multithreaded, multicore processors and poorly parallelized software.
Plowing the Road: Mapping and eDiscovery
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Retention policies should do three things: protect business value, comply with regulations, and an infrastructure that streamlines content searches. This is IT's domain but impacts the legal arm as the attorneys are often the bearers of the torch for compliance,...
What Should Cloud Storage Software Do?
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
Unfortunately cloud storage is often thought of as a big holding tank, where you dump data in case you need it some day, but the truth is that even today you can do much more with it. Assuming that we want the cloud to be more than a data dumping ground somewhere on the internet, what should you expect cloud storage software to do?
Speculation About Avaya's Plans Are Just That
Commentary  |  7/24/2009  | 
I should have expected this. The buzz about what Avaya is going to do with Nortel's switching and routing business is fodder for discussion. Frankly, it's all wild speculation. Avaya winning the stalking horse bid is very, very far from a done deal.
Mellanox Q2FY10 Earnings: Blasting thru the Macro
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Yesterday Mellanox announced second quarter revenues of $25.3 million for the period ended June 30, 2009. The company's results shine brilliantly through dreary global economic conditions that are smothering their competitors. After declining for two consecutive quarters that correspond with the bail-out period; Mellanox revenue bounced back onto the growth track with a strong 12% quarter over quarter increase.
Managing Early Case Assessment
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
Early case assessment (ECA) is an excellent tool to decide the merits of a civil case. However, in a world of fast-growing electronic data and shrinking review times, ECA has become one cumbersome process.
Cloud Storage Arms Race
Commentary  |  7/23/2009  | 
The reason that cloud storage and cloud compute are confusing terms is that they are broad in what they could mean. In the last two entries I have tried to define some of the sub categories that cloud storage contains. In this last installment we will discuss the arms merchants, the companies that will supply the infrastructure's next wave of providers.
The Sun Also Sets
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Just as 62% of Sun's shareholders last week approved Oracle's takeover offer multiple stories crossed my desk, OK my screen, relating to the combination of data deduplication technology and Sun's ZFS file system. Add in speculation about Oracle's plans for Sun's various product lines and what Larry Ellison will do when he controls two unrelated storage (Sun and Pillar) companies and Sun seems to be on everyone's mind.
Qlogic Q1FY10 Earnings: Growth Engine Needed
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
Since peaking at $171.2 million in Q2FY09, Qlogic revenues have declined for the third consecutive quarter by a total of $48.4 million. In my opinion the magnitude of the decline is an indicator that it's not all due to "the macro." I believe slowing Qlogic revenues also reflect the continuous decline of the Fibre Channel market thus the need for the company to build or buy an engine for growth.
IBM and Juniper Tighten Bond
Commentary  |  7/22/2009  | 
IBM and Juniper extended their recent partnership so IBM will now be reselling Juniper EX 4200 and 8200 series of Ethernet switches and MX series of Ethernet routers. In addition to providing another distribution outlet for the Juniper gear, the agreement underscores changes in data center product design and the scrambling that vendor have been doing to position themselves to take advantage of that change.
How Big Will Avaya Go?
Commentary  |  7/21/2009  | 
Could Nortel just be an appetizer for Avaya?
Data Domain's DD880 - Not SMB Backup
Commentary  |  7/20/2009  | 
Face it all the other makers of VTLs and other disk based backup targets are a little jealous of Data Domain. With their mindshare in the dedupe space, and $2.1 billion of EMC's dollars, who wouldn't be. In the past they've tried to paint Data Domain as an SMB player, too small and too slow to be taken seriously in the enterprise data center. Now that the DD880 can suck up over 50TB of data during a 12 hour backup window it's getting harder to make the SMB label stick.
Avaya Antes Up $475 Million For Nortels Networking Line
Commentary  |  7/20/2009  | 
Light is finally being seen in the dark tunnel that Nortel customers recently experienced. Avaya plans to acquire its rivals network equipment business unit and establish itself more firmly as a top provider of unified communications products to small and medium businesses. However, the fate of Nortels switch and router product lines is less clear.
HP Snaps up IBRIX
Commentary  |  7/18/2009  | 
Just when I thought the spring M&A frenzy was shaking out with EMC winning the Data Domain bidding war and Emulex fighting off Broadcom's advances HP announced this morning that they're buying cluster file server and scale-out NAS vendor IBRIX for an undisclosed sum. HP now has multiple scale-out solutions since they bought Windows scale-out specialist Polyserve in 2007.
Cloud Storage Infrastructure's Next Wave
Commentary  |  7/17/2009  | 
Cloud infrastructures are the back-end to the cloud. They are what the providers of the customer facing cloud service will eventually host their applications or services on, store their data on and they are what local applications like backup and archive software will augment as an additional tier of storage.
Disposing of old media
Commentary  |  7/16/2009  | 
Discovering boxes of old backup tapes and hard drives when a client finally got around to cleaning out their PC graveyard and a press release pitching an NSA certified CD declassifier have me thinking about the process of media disposal. While I've always found a little thermite to be effective I understand that violent exothermic reactions aren't everyone's cup of tea. So how should you dispose of old tapes and disks?
Storage Virtualization 3.0
Commentary  |  7/15/2009  | 
Server virtualization is so new and the rate of deployment is so red-hot that people are saying it's going to drive a similar trend of storage virtualization. But the fact is logical representations of physical storage have been around for a long time - we just haven't used the term "storage virtualization." To put the evolution of storage virtualization in perspective, I propose there are two distinct eras that we've already experienced and a third well-defined era on the way.
The Exponential Growth of the Cloud
Commentary  |  7/15/2009  | 
Unlike many I don't think that we will see a downturn or consolidation in cloud related services for years and in fact I expect that the cloud will expand exponentially over that timeframe.
Asking the Right Questions
Commentary  |  7/14/2009  | 
The point is to take each eDiscovery stage and clarify how your company treats it now and how they might treat it for minimum risk and maximum efficiency.
Acronis Seeks to Disrupt the Enterprise Backup-Restore Software Space
Commentary  |  7/14/2009  | 
After all these years where companies have used backup and restore software products, you would think that some market equilibrium among the vendors would have been achieved and that there would be little room for market shifts. That may not...
Tape Vendors say "We're not dead, yet"
Commentary  |  7/13/2009  | 
Rocked by the decline in the SMB/SME tape market Overland Storage and Tandberg Data are attempting to redefine themselves as disk backup vendors before they run completely out of cash. Are RDX, CDP and VTLs for SMBs one TLA (three letter acronym) too many?
Broadsoft Builds "App Store" For VoIP Applications
Commentary  |  7/12/2009  | 
These days, application stores are all the rage for smartphone vendors ranging from Apple to Blackberry. Now Voice over IP vendor Broadsoft is trying to extend the concept to VoIP applications for your company's main communications systems.
NetApp's Next Move
Commentary  |  7/9/2009  | 
Well, possibly the long dance is finally over, it looks like NetApp is taking its break up fee of $57 million and leaving the party. EMC for its part is paying over $2 billion for the privilege of staying. So now what is NetApp's next move?
Why eDiscovery SaaS Can Be a Good Idea
Commentary  |  7/8/2009  | 
In a hosted/Software as a Service model, an eDiscovery vendor secures collected data in a highly secure hosted infrastructure. The vendor provides the eDiscovery SaaS to process and analyze data, and to provide tiered views, tagging and access rights to potentially hundreds of different reviewers.
What EMC Really Wants with Data Domain
Commentary  |  7/7/2009  | 
The news of EMC's announcement of raising the stakes in the bidding war has the Data Domain stock holders smiling. What does EMC really want from Data Domain? It could be exactly what they say it is or it could be they have another motive; the destruction of their biggest competitor, NetApp.
Startups Bring Unified Storage to SMBs
Commentary  |  7/7/2009  | 
Every few years we hit a "Great Minds Think Alike" moment where products based on the same idea appear within months of each other. In Hollywood this gives us "Dante's Peak" and "Volcano" or "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon". Here in Byte and Switch's storage world we had Lefthand, Intransa and Equallogic all releasing iSCSI clusters and now we have startups Prana and Scale Computing both announcing scale out unified storage systems for the SMB market.
Round And Round It Goes
Commentary  |  7/7/2009  | 
Where it stops, nobody knows... The recent events in the on-going saga of the purchase of Data Domain certainly have a lot of heads spinning. While many thought the FTC may have been a worry for EMC in its acquisition efforts, they may have actually cleared the way for a further bidding war.
Cymphonix adds iPhone Support to Management Tool
Commentary  |  7/7/2009  | 
As small and medium businesses adopt cloud computing, the need for different network management and security products becomes clear. Cymphonix has been building a business delivering such products and recently upgraded its Cymphonix Network Composer with better reporting features and support for a wider range of end user devices.
Larry Roberts Says 'Net Broken, Proposes Flow Management
Commentary  |  7/6/2009  | 
Lawrence Roberts, the illustrious engineer who led the development of ARPAnet, is back with a provocatively titled IEEE Spectrum article, "The Internet Is Broken". The piece makes the case for his long-standing proposal to ease Internet congestion with a bandwidth-management technique called flow management.
Primary Storage and The Cloud
Commentary  |  7/2/2009  | 
A fellow Byte and Switch Blogger recently wrote about Emulex's new Cloud Adapter and I think correctly nailed it as essentially a write splitter. While I as hung up on whether or not they get to call this a Cloud...
A Quick Look at Concept Search
Commentary  |  7/2/2009  | 
With most meet-and-confer still concentrating on keyword and Boolean searches, is concept search worth the investment in supporting products and time? The answer is sure -- if you know what you're doing.
Microsoft Offers No Response On Response Point
Commentary  |  7/2/2009  | 
If you were wondering about the future of Microsoft's Response Point small business VoIP system, you can keep wondering. The system's future has been in doubt for months, and the company declined to clear up the confusion at a meeting with Voice over IP resellers this week.
Why VMWare Won't Follow In Novell's Footsteps
Commentary  |  7/2/2009  | 
VMWare shares only surface features with Novell and won't follow the latter's path to oblivion.
Cisco's UCS Next Year's Servers This Fall
Commentary  |  7/1/2009  | 
When the rest of the blogosphere went crazy over Cisco's UCS announcement pronouncing it the biggest change in the data center since the microprocessor I was skeptical to say the least. While others touted they had management software that did the admin's job for him and revolutionary networking that made IBM and HP blade servers look like Model T Fords. I failed to understand the excitement.
Green Active Primary Storage
Commentary  |  7/1/2009  | 
How do you make primary active storage green? If you followed the advice of archiving old data as we discussed in Archiving Basics and have moved all that old data from primary storage to a less expensive tier of storage, you should be left with a much smaller but very active data set.


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