Commentary
Content posted in August 2009
Top Trends in eDiscovery
Commentary  |  8/31/2009  | 
My time at ILTA '09 helped me to crystallize some important eDiscovery trends.
ILTA '09 And eDiscovery Trends
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
As an analyst, I spend most of my trade show time talking to eDiscovery vendors. Since a majority of these conversations are under NDA, if I told you what they said, I'd have to kill you. So I will share with you the market trends that I discussed with show vendors and attendees.
Interactive Data Management
Commentary  |  8/28/2009  | 
Unstructured data continues to grow almost unabated. Applying policies and classifications to this data has proven to be a daunting task. For the most part, going back after the fact and identifying what data should go where, how long and...
IBM Virtual Fabric: Emulex Wins Battle In 10 Gigabit War
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
IBM Virtual Fabric is made possible by 10 gigabit Ethernet switches from privately held Blade Network Technologies that are tightly integrated with 10 gigabit Universal Converged Network Adapters (UCNAs) exclusively from Emulex. IBM expects Virtual Fabric to be configured in a substantial percentage of BladeCenter systems that start shipping in Q4 of this year, which means Emulex has just won an important battle in the 10 gigabit CNA war.
RAID VS. SLED - Now With SSDs
Commentary  |  8/27/2009  | 
Twenty years ago academics proposed that a redundant array of the inexpensive drives PCs used could replace the high performance drives that made mainframe DASD farms look like laundromats. The dominance of STEC's ZEUS IOPS in enterprise storage battling it out with Pillar and Dell/Equallogic's whole shelves of lower cost Intel and Samsung SSDs reminds me of the RAID vs SLED battle of the past.
Cloud Insurance?
Commentary  |  8/26/2009  | 
Cloud compute and cloud storage providers all have some form of SLA. We all hope they are buying quality back-end storage platforms to store their data on and that they are taking appropriate measures to protect that data, but how do we know? What's needed is a third party service that can make those assurances in a digital fashion.
Cisco OTA Provisioning Vulnerability Reported
Commentary  |  8/26/2009  | 
AirMagnet's intrusion research team has reported a security vulnerability associated with two Cisco wireless LAN access-point devices. The potential exploit, which placed in context is relatively minor, could nevertheless enable rogue users to gain access to a user's wireless LAN, inject malicious packets, and potentially create a Denial-of-Service condition.
Halfway Through A Bad Year
Commentary  |  8/26/2009  | 
Allan Sulkin is out with his mid-year numbers for enterprise communications shipments, and as he previewed in a No Jitter blog a week or so back, the second quarter was a pleasant surprise, as revenues rose from 1Q09. However, the full report shows that we're a long
FreeBSD Boosts Routing Architecture, With Blue Coat's Help
Commentary  |  8/24/2009  | 
FreeBSD, the popular open-source server OS, is about to get an update -- to FreeBSD 8.0 -- with some help from Blue Coat Systems senior architect Qing Li. Li and FreeBSD developer Kip Macy have implemented a new routing architecture which improves network performance by parallelizing the routing stacks.
Is Videoconferencing Really Ready For SMBs?
Commentary  |  8/24/2009  | 
While many small and midsize businesses already make use of low-end point-to-point video communications, videoconferencing maker Polycom says new advancements are about to extend full multi-point videoconferencing and telepresence to SMBs.
On Large Drives And RAID
Commentary  |  8/24/2009  | 
Xyratex's recent announcement that they've qualified Hitachi's 2 TB nearline drive for their disk systems got me thinking about how the RAID techniques of the past don't really address the needs of systems with many ginormous drives. As drives get bigger I worry that basic RAID-5 protection isn't sufficient for these beasts.
The Challenges Of Wi-Fi Guest Access
Commentary  |  8/21/2009  | 
Earlier today, I was passing by a conference room in the building where I work on the Syracuse University campus. One of our business partners from a local technology incubator was sitting in the conference room working on his laptop computer, trying to make productive use of his time before a meeting. Performance was indeed abysmal, reminiscent of the days of dialup networking. Needless to say, it didn't leave our visitor, someone we very much want to spend time on campus, feeling very good abo
Brocade Q3: Sharp Vision And Execution
Commentary  |  8/21/2009  | 
During Brocade's Q3 conference call, CEO Mike Klayko sized up the "IP Ethernet Market" consisting of layer 2-3 switches, service provider routers and enterprise routers, at $34.5 billion. He pointed out that if Brocade wins 1% more of market share, it would grow by $300 million. All things considered, I believe that Mr. Klayko and Brocade are good for that 1% because they've demonstrated sharp vision and execution.
Now U See Me, Now U Don't
Commentary  |  8/21/2009  | 
After speaking with a number of storage and server vendors this week, it has become apparent to me that Emulex's much talked about "UCNA" is nowhere to be found. Some vendors who have standardized on Emulex's FC stack are growing increasingly concerned that their sole dependence on Emulex is causing them to be late to the game with FCoE. This means greater opportunities for Brocade and QLogic, who, as I mentioned in my previous blog, are well ahead of Emulex and its UCNA.
Cloud Storage as a Final Resting Place
Commentary  |  8/21/2009  | 
For most IT professionals, the concern around keeping specific copies of data occurs when that data has particular value. The motivation to pay attention to this data comes from a government regulation, corporate governance or there is potential for a...
Microsoft WINS Still Under Attack
Commentary  |  8/20/2009  | 
A Windows Internet Name Service vulnerability, which Microsoft has patched, remains in the news following an alert from the SANS Institute of what it believes is a rising level of attacks on TCP Port 42 (the port commonly used for WINS).
UC for Free
Commentary  |  8/20/2009  | 
Enterprise communications is always going to be a complex system--not a mere application or even a mere collection of applications.
Managing Archives for eDiscovery
Commentary  |  8/19/2009  | 
The e-Discovery identification/collection process is no slam dunk. With huge volumes of corporate data to search through - and little time in which to do it - identification and collection can be extremely challenging.
Cloud Storage Stability
Commentary  |  8/19/2009  | 
Every week or so one major internet service or another goes down for a moment, Amazon S3, Google Apps, Twitter etc... As a result I get a few emails using this as proof that the cloud is not reliable for business storage. While I agree that various providers have to improve their uptime, this does not mean that the whole cloud needs to be thrown out.
Zmanda Sees The Sunshine In Cloud Backup
Commentary  |  8/18/2009  | 
Among the rays of sunshine in the current economic climate are the innovations and acquisitions of the large information infrastructure companies. They are not immune to the recession, but they are taking advantage of the situation to better position themselves for the future. Smaller companies also contribute to this market dynamism in more targeted contexts. One of those companies is Zmanda which sees a silver economic lining in cloud backup.
The Hidden Value Of iSCSI Networks: Over $500 Million And Growing
Commentary  |  8/17/2009  | 
IT Brand Pulse gives credit for the rapid growth of iSCSI to Microsoft, who started shipping an iSCSI software driver with Windows in 2003. There will be 750,000 Ethernet host ports and 1.2 million Ethernet switch ports configured for iSCSI in 2009. An average sales price of $300 per port puts the value of the 1.95 million Ethernet iSCSI host and switch ports that will ship in 2009 at $585 million.
Cybersecurity Challenge: Is Your Network Safe? (Probably Not)
Commentary  |  8/17/2009  | 
Recent criticism of NIST's cybersecurity guidelines for federal agencies raises the logical question: If government networks are at risk, how do I ensure that my operation is protected? One place to start is US-CERT's IT Security Essential Body of Knowledge.
FCoE: It's The Network And It Ain't There Yet
Commentary  |  8/14/2009  | 
While the FC part of FCoE has been adopted by T11 the underlying enhancements to Ethernet still have to make it through the notoriously ponderous IEEE. FCoE won't live up to its hype of merging FC and Ethernet until networking vendors without skin in the storage game start shipping DCB enabled switches with something better than spanning tree and that will require additional standards.
10 Years Of Wi-Fi: Lessons Learned
Commentary  |  8/14/2009  | 
It's been about 10 years since I tested the first batch of 802.11 products for Network Computing. A lot has happened with Wi-Fi since then, almost all of it good. As a grizzled veteran of the broadband wireless industry, I reflect on some of the lessons I've learned.
Storage Applications vs. Storage Systems
Commentary  |  8/13/2009  | 
The current, predominant configuration for SAN or NAS storage is a dual controller RAID system to which storage system manufacturers add software that allows the storage to do things you really want it to do, like thin provisioning, snapshots, replication...
FCoE Storage From NetApp - No Surprise
Commentary  |  8/12/2009  | 
This week NetApp announced they'd start shipping filers with QLogic CNAs, adding FCoE to the long list of storage access protocols they support on their flagship platform. Since they've been demonstrating FCoE access with first generation QLogic CNAs for months, I wasn't surprised. The real questions are: how much will being first with FCoE help NetApp in their quest for block storage mindshare? And, does FCoE on the storage back end matter?
Is Legal Stepping Up To The eDiscovery Plate?
Commentary  |  8/12/2009  | 
If IT is unable to retrieve and protect the proper amount of relevant data - all within the short period of time mandated by FRCP - then it's not IT that suffers. It's the Legal department.
NetApp Steps Up To The Plate With The Big FCoE Bat
Commentary  |  8/12/2009  | 
NetApp is now able to deliver its unified storage strategy to customers--integrating Ethernet, FCoE, FC, and iSCSI all unified in a single system. It's time to start providing native FCoE connectivity and unify your storage connectivity message and bring a single 10Gb E offering out soon. Users see this as a requirement this year, and they will gravitate to storage vendors who bring this connectivity to market quickly.
Tape Will Outlive Disk
Commentary  |  8/11/2009  | 
I'm sure we have all been guilty of predicting the end of tape and saying that the whole world will be disk based in the future, myself included. Tape may indeed meet its demise, but it won't be at the hands of disk. Tape will outlive disk.
Windows 7 Spurs Interest In Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD)
Commentary  |  8/10/2009  | 
Interest in Microsoft's Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format is heating up, as Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 move out into the marketplace. So here's some VHD news you can use, in the form of pointers to two free online user guides.
IBM ProtecTIER - Plotting Strategy for the Data Deduplication Wars
Commentary  |  8/10/2009  | 
Data deduplication is one of those rare opportunities where the economic and technological benefits are well-recognized so it should come as no surprise that vendors are moving troops into this market as quickly as they can.
Emulex Q4: Carpe Diem
Commentary  |  8/9/2009  | 
Given that Emulex also gained Fibre Channel HBA market share in the December quarter, this marks the second time in the last 3 quarters that Emulex has gained market share. It appears that Emulex has indeed seized the day as well as put a stake in the ground in the competition for Fibre Channel HBAs.
Cloud Computing Isn't The Emperor's New Clothes
Commentary  |  8/7/2009  | 
There is a lot of BS being spewed in the press and by bloggers, analysts, and pundits about cloud computing. There is also the requisite back-lash that cloud is just hype. A commenter on W. David Gardner's news story "'Culture' Biggest Hurdle To Cloud Computing" said "'Cloud' is just the Emperors New Clothes, much like Utility Computing and ILM [information lifecycle management]. Why can't the vendors be honest and admit that 'Cloud Computing' is just outsourcing/hosting?'" Maybe beca
Psst, Wanna Buy Some Used Networking Gear?
Commentary  |  8/7/2009  | 
Cisco got enough grief this week, after announcing a big slide in sales and earnings in its fiscal fourth quarter. Yet you can't criticize the networking giant for its execution and focus, which is why I was surprised to see them dinged in the Wall Street Journal for bypassing the $2-billion market in used networking gear.
Fun With Electronic Redaction
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
In the good old days of simple paper production, redaction was simple. The reviewer read the documents with a black marker in hand and slashed away. Now redaction is a lot -- a LOT-- harder.
The Cloud As An Extension
Commentary  |  8/6/2009  | 
In my recent series of entries for Byte and Switch, I attempted to categorize cloud storage. Various companies are delivering sub-sections of cloud storage that when stacked together form the solution.
How NOT To Do eDiscovery - Especially If It's On Purpose
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
If the city of Washington DC could do anything to foul up eDiscovery then that's what they did. No one seemed immune to misconduct: not law enforcement, not the district attorney's office, not IT.
Imation Scanner Protects Tapes
Commentary  |  8/5/2009  | 
Tape vendors have been including a little bit of flash in their tape cartridges -- and over hyping the capabilities of that memory -- since Sony added MIC (Memory in Cassette) to AIT-1 in 1996. Imation's Secure Scan extends the real usefulness of the RF accessible cartridge memory beyond identifying unique tapes and tracking error data to securely locking tapes for transport.
Now Is The Time For Voltaire To Acquire The InfiniBand Business of Qlogic
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Qlogic has world-class InfiniBand ASIC technology that Voltaire needs. As for Qlogic, the company will generate about $30 million in InfiniBand switch revenue in 2009, less than 10% of overall revenue. Selling the InfiniBand switch business to Voltaire would allow Qlogic to focus on their core business of storage controllers and host bus adapters.
What's Holding Deduplication Back?
Commentary  |  8/4/2009  | 
Despite the recent jump in attention because of EMC's purchase of Data Domain, data deduplication is old news to the typical Byte and Switch reader. Interestingly though the overall penetration is not what you may think. Our research indicates less...
Homebrewers Abuzz Over Linksys Router Hacks
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
Want to turn a low-cost consumer router into a heavy duty piece of enterprise networking gear? Well, there's a large community of Linksys homebrewers who are ready to help you. I was turned onto this the other day by a Twitter tweet; read on for the details.
150 Million Reasons Why Cisco Is Targeting FICON
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
Customers are pausing at the 8 Gigabit technology inflection point to re-evaluate their installed base of storage networking products and vendors - including an installed base of FICON directors dominated by Brocade with old McData and Inrange products. IT Brand Pulse estimates that Brocade owns 75% of the FICON Director installed base.
Can Anyone Challenge STEC?
Commentary  |  8/3/2009  | 
just about every array vendor targeting the enterprise or high performance midrange market has integrated the ZEUS iops into their arrays. Do Dell Equallogic and Pillar have a better RAID approach to STEC's SLED? If not where's the second source?


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