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May 13, 2002—In this issue:
- Storage Resource Management
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Enhanced Backup Solutions Initiative Formed
- EMC Shareholders Express Their Disgust
- SQL Server Magazine—Get a Free Sample Issue
- Featured Thread: Clustering
- Tip: NT Backups
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Securely Store Email
- Protect Your Data
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Tom Clark, Storage UPDATE Contributing Editor, [email protected])
Today's unprecedented growth in data forces systems administrators to find new ways to manage storage capacity and use. Storage Area Networks (SANs) have provided some relief to the data explosion by enabling more servers to access larger storage arrays. SANs, however, only consolidate storage resources. Without storage-management applications, a SAN infrastructure can't determine what kinds of data are stored or identify where data should be placed.
Storage Resource Management (SRM) operates on a client/server model. The client is a small software utility installed on each file or application server. The SRM client software monitors the types of files and applications installed on the host system. The server is an SRM workstation that gathers information from each client and compares the results, making it possible to identify which clients have duplication of files or applications. The SRM workstation also makes it possible to monitor over- or underutilization of storage space.
Duplication is a major contributor to data growth. For example, a business might spread multiple copies of applications, databases, and files throughout its network. To remedy such inefficient use of storage capacity, storage administrators can use SRM applications to help them determine where resource duplication exists. (It's important to make a distinction between SRM and volume management—volume management only defines storage capacity; it doesn't identify duplication of files or applications.)
SRM applications are a natural complement to shared storage networks. Whereas SANs provide an efficient means to access storage, SRM tools ensure that redundant files or applications don't fill shared disk space. Minimizing data duplication also streamlines tape backups. Because administrators must often calculate the ongoing cost of administering storage on a per-gigabyte basis, any reduction in the volume of data to manage contributes to a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Combining SAN technology with SRM helps ensure that IT departments can administer useful data more economically.
SRM also complements storage virtualization. The value of hiding the complexity of physical storage through virtualization is compromised if redundant applications and files glut the virtualized storage. Theoretically, it's possible to tightly couple SRM with storage virtualization so that an intelligent virtualization engine automatically allocates storage capacity as needed and monitors the types of data stored. (This capability remains theoretical because automated virtualization and SRM have not yet been combined on a single platform.) By automatically eliminating redundancy, future versions of virtualization can contribute to lower administrative overhead and hardware costs.
HighGround Systems, which Sun Microsystems acquired in 2001, pioneered SRM software, basing its innovative approach to storage management on intelligence gathering by software agents installed on each server. Each SRM software agent constantly monitors storage use on disk arrays under a server's control. Each server reports information on the types of applications, databases, and files to a central-management platform. By processing the information gathered from servers, the SRM platform can identify duplication, and storage administrators can determine the best way to eliminate redundant applications and data.
One of SRM's initial drawbacks was the requirement that software agents run on each server in the network. IT departments don't like to load third-party software onto their servers, even if the software serves a useful purpose. If a server fails, for example, someone must remember to reload the proper version of SRM software. A new release of SRM agent software also requires a lengthy installation process on multiple servers. As with volume management, the resolution to this problem is to integrate SRM functionality into the OS. You can then automate updates more easily because installation occurs as part of a typical service pack upgrade.
Over time, storage administrators will benefit from the convergence of SAN management, volume management, storage virtualization, and SRM applications. As Microsoft's announcements at last month's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) show, OS vendors are recognizing the key role that storage continues to play in enterprise networks. Integrating intelligent SRM agents into the OS simplifies the storage process and helps contain the unrelenting growth of data.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
Last week at the NetWorld+Interop tradeshow in Las Vegas, Quantum announced the formation of a new coalition dedicated to providing business with emerging backup hardware and software technologies for improved data protection. The coalition is calling the initiative the Enhanced Backup Solutions Initiative (EBSI). Founding members of EBSI include Atempo, Legato Systems, Network Appliance (NetApp), OTG Software, QLogic, and Quantum. According to Quantum, "The EBSI is a coordinated effort to address \[backup challenges\] with the industry's most innovative approach to backup through disk-based solutions that complement tape libraries, optimize backup performance, and provide seamless interoperability while preserving customers' existing investments in backup hardware, software, and operational procedures."
EBSI members are working together to test, integrate, and certify their products to enable enhanced backup solutions. In the future, some of the solutions that members plan to initiate include serverless archive, to allow data to back up directly to a backup target without needing to go through a server; synthetic full backup, to allow incremental backups to reconstitute into a synthesized full backup at a future time; distributed backup targets and centralized backup archives, to allow the distribution of disk-based backup targets throughout an enterprise and varying geographic locations while consolidating archives in a single manageable location; virtualization of tape systems, to allow the life of existing investments to be extended by reducing the need for archive-system upgrades to occur at the same rate as backup target upgrades; and backup data post-processing, to allow the reformatting or reorganizing of backed-up data so that users can restore data faster when needed.
At EMC's annual shareholder meeting last week, shareholders approved a shareholder-submitted proposal that requests that the company increase the number of members on its board of directors who don't have direct ties to the company. The proposal, submitted by shareholder activist group Walden Asset Management of Boston, represents the first time EMC shareholders voted on resolutions that weren't sponsored by the company's management. The shareholder action is a sign of increased shareholder activism during a time when many companies aren't as strong financially as in past years.
EMC's board currently consists of seven members, and according to shareholders supporting the resolution, only three of those members are not connected to the company in some way. EMC's board includes Joseph Tucci, EMC CEO; Michael Ruettgers, EMC chairman and former CEO; John R. Egan, son of the company's co-founder Richard Egan; W. Paul Fitzgerald, a former EMC CFO; Michael Cronin, Windle Priem, and Alfred Zeien.
The resolution is nonbinding, but shareholders are hopeful that EMC will honor the shareholders' request. Ruettgers said the resolution was consistent with his own views, but part of the resolution would bar executives from companies that have done business with EMC from serving on the board. According to Ruettgers, enforcing this part of the resolution would eliminate most of the qualified candidates.
The shareholders voted down another shareholder resolution that called for an increase in board diversity. Currently, all seven members of EMC's board are white males.
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(One message in this thread)
Alex wants to create a cluster for his Exchange servers in different cities using NSI Software's GeoCluster or Double-Take. He wonders whether any of our readers have used either of these products with Exchange. To read more about his question or offer your expertise, use the following link:
( contributed by John Savill, http://www.windows2000faq.com )
Q. What types of backup does NT Backup support?
A. NT Backup supports the following five types of backup.
- Normal—Backs up the files you select and marks the files as backed up.
- Incremental—Backs up the files that changed since the last backup and marks the files as backed up.
- Differential—Backs up the files that changed since the last backup but doesn't mark the files as backed up.
- Copy—Backs up the files you select but doesn’t mark the files as backed up.
- Daily—Backs up the files that changed that day but doesn't mark the files as backed up.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mascarenas, [email protected])
BridgeHead Software released MailStore, an application that stores all incoming and outgoing email in a secure store and organizes corporate email into a secure information archive. Users can access the information store to search for individual messages and recover them to their Inbox. MailStore comprises Archiver, Enforcer, and GUI Server. For pricing, contact BridgeHead Software at 781-939-0780.
McDATA announced its family of 2Gbps storage-infrastructure solutions, the Intrepid 6000 Series Directors and Sphereon 3000 Series 16- and 32-port fabric switches. The Intrepid 6000 Series products provide interoperability with other noncore Storage Area Network (SAN) equipment. The Sphereon 3000 Series products provide SAN building blocks and a midsized SAN backbone switch for port count, scalability, and management. For pricing, contact McDATA at 303-460-9200.
6. CONTACT USHere's how to reach us with your comments and questions:
(please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)
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- PRODUCT NEWS — [email protected]
- QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR Storage UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION?
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