George Crump

Profile of George Crump

President, Storage Switzerland
Blog Posts: 328
George Crump is president and founder of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. With 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for datacenters across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS, and SAN. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one the nation’s largest storage integrators, where he was in charge of technology testing, integration, and product selection. George is responsible for the storage blog on InformationWeek's website and is a regular contributor to publications such as Byte and Switch, SearchStorage, eWeek, SearchServerVirtualizaiton, and SearchDataBackup.
Articles by George Crump
posted in March 2010

Deduplication Backup Software - Avamar

As we begin our dive into deduplication backup software, we will start with the guys that started it all: Avamar. Since the early part of this decade, Avamar, originally a standalone company, and later as part of EMC, has been working to convince people that delivering deduplication in the backup software and starting the process at the client, is the way to go. It seems like over the past few years they have been gaining steam, driven mostly by a clear articulation of where their source-side te

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SNW Predictions, Part Two

If there is one word you are going to hear a lot at SNW this year, it's "cloud." Everyone is going to have something going on with cloud storage. Even companies that really don't have anything new to offer will suddenly have a "cloud offering." In addition to the whole cloud conversation, I think there is going to be some heated discussion around SAS-2 vs. Fibre. SAS-2 brings a 6-Gb/s transfer rate, a standardized expander zoning and backward compatibility. How will SAS as an infrastructure be a

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Predictions For Spring SNW 2010

With SNW 2010 only three weeks away, my briefing calendar is already filling up, but I am trying to determine what some of the key themes are going to be this year. While we can't say the economy is rocking and rolling again, it does seem that IT Professionals are on the hunt to solve some specific challenges in their data centers. Here are my predictions of what is going to come out of SNW 2010.

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Thinly-Provisioned Bandwidth

Thin-provisioning of storage came about to address the issue of having to hard-allocate storage capacity to servers. This leads to more efficient utilization of a resource that many data centers have plenty of, but prior to thin-provisioning, most of it was allocated but not used. As we move into an era of increased datacenter bandwidth, we are going to need the ability to do the same thing. Think about it. Today most bandwidth is hard allocated to a single server.

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Source-Side Deduplication

In our next series of entries, we will begin to look at companies that do source-side deduplication. Actually, we already looked at one: Atempo. Source-side dedupe means that the redundant data is eliminated prior to it traveling across the network to the backup server. If you draw this technique up on the whiteboard, it seems like this would be the most logical place to eliminate redundant data, but it is not without its challenges and we will try to address those as we go through them.

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Migration Migraines

One of the problems with ever-increasing storage volumes is moving that volume of data to a new storage system. When that nice, new storage system is added to a row in your data center, after you turn it on, make sure everything lights up and finish connecting servers that at some point are going to have to migrate data from the old storage platform to the new one. New storage systems bring new technologies like thin provisioning and automated tiering. How do you make sure your migration does no

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Will Cloud ISVs Determine Cloud Storage Winners?

Cloud storage providers are all actively pursuing Independent Software Developers (ISVs) to support their cloud at the back-end. The idea is to make cloud storage a simple option to your storage application of choice, making the use of cloud storage skyrocket. The provider with the most ISVs in their pockets wins. Will that strategy work?

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Issues With Automated Tiering

While the industry, myself included, has been busy extolling the virtues of automated tiering, it's important to understand that it's not a be-all-end-all for the storage manager. Certainly there is plenty to like but, there are a few caveats that you should be aware of. From a performance perspective most (if not all) automated tiering systems leverage SSD or RAM to accelerate I/O and reduce latency. The upside of this, as we have discussed, is that it provides an automated way for storage mana

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The Types Of Automated Tiering

Automated tiering, the transparent movement of data between tiers of storage, has several methods of delivery. There is some disagreement as to which is the "real" automated tiering. I'm not sure if from a storage manager's perspective it matters, but understanding the types of automated tiering will help you select the best method for your data center.

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Is All Storage Hype Bad?

Cloud Storage, Automated Tiering, FCoE and deduplication are the current over-discussed technologies in storage. At some point, a technology gets discussed so much that it becomes over-hyped. The reality is that most of the potential users of any of these technologies are not even close to adopting them. Especially right now, most IT professionals are just trying to keep their heads above water. Is all storage hype bad, though?

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Automated Tiering: Cost Savings Or Performance Enhancer?

One of the questions that came up quite a bit in response to my last entry was whether or not Automated Tiering Systems (ATS) were designed to drive cost savings or to be a performance enhancers. In that entry, I took the stance that ATS is a performance enhancer, while some of the comments and emails suggested that it was a cost enhancer. The real answer is that it's what you make of it.

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