Storage UPDATE, May 5, 2003

Storage UPDATE, May 5, 2003


Storage UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network



Dantz Development Corporation

Precise SRM Software Solutions (below COMMENTARY)


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May 5, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Theory and Practice in Backup and Archiving

2. NEWS AND VIEWS - EMC and Microsoft Expand Storage Partnership - Cisco and EMC Team Up for Next-Gen SAN Technology

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Time Is Running Out to Join Our Storage Solutions Road Show! - Get Windows & .NET Magazine at 25% Off!

4. INSTANT POLL - Results of Previous Poll: Do You Use a SAN? - New Instant Poll: Is Backup and Archiving Important?

5. RESOURCES - No Unused Media Available

6. NEW AND IMPROVED - Optimize Your Storage Hardware Investment - Submit Top Product Ideas

7. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.




(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])

* THEORY AND PRACTICE IN BACKUP AND ARCHIVING For years, backup and archiving have been relegated to the back stage of the storage infrastructure while increased storage capacity, access speed, and efficient primary storage management have commanded users' and senior technical staffs' attention. Backup and archiving just didn't generate the same kind enthusiasm. Some industry experts argue that although most storage administrators talk a good game, backup processes have often consisted of a hope and prayer as much as a well-tested, robust infrastructure. As for archiving, it was thought that archived data was put away for a long period of time, if not forever. Not many people anticipated rummaging through their metaphorically dusty data archives for the last 5 years' worth of email messages.

Over the past couple of years, backup and archiving have begun to move closer to center stage. Several factors have fueled the new interest in backup and storage. First, new technologies such as low-cost hard disks are now considered efficient backup technologies, and companies are promoting new approaches to backup processes. Second, the implementation of large-scale enterprise applications has generated the need to more effectively manage the data produced. Many companies have found upgrading to the latest enterprise application versions requires archiving large amounts of data.

As various recent high-profile court cases have demonstrated, archived data today is accessed more frequently than in the past and needs to become easier to access. And the introduction of Storage Resource Management (SRM) tools has led to the emergence of an interest in handling data life-cycle concerns more cost-effectively. Storage administrators want to be able to put policies in place that automatically move less frequently used data to less expensive storage repositories.

Vendors promoting products to address users' needs have ballyhooed each technology development. But how far have the changes actually penetrated the corporate world? Peripheral Concepts, a market research company, recently surveyed more than 1000 organizations that had a combined total of 320 petabytes (PBs) of disk storage and 1050PBs of near online storage. The results were intriguing. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that only 40 percent of the companies surveyed back up all of their file and application servers. Although many companies don't back up their application servers (rather, they reinstall the application software in the wake of a major malfunction), Peripheral Concepts' findings indicate that organizations still have too much data that can be lost and never retrieved again. Using backup technology is similar to carrying insurance: You hope you never have to use it, but prudent administrators know that major crashes are virtually inevitable.

Peripheral Concepts also found that although organizations show a growing interest in using low-cost hard disk technology for nearline and offline storage, most organizations still rely primarily on tape as the backup medium of choice. About 60 percent of the respondents indicated they're using hard disks for some backup applications, but those applications accounted for only about 20 percent of their data. The findings also show that respondents often use hard disk technology primarily as a staging area as data moves from online storage technology to tape. The most significant barriers to the increase in the use of hard disk technology for backup are users' reliability and performance concerns.

The findings also indicate that another significant trend is the conceptual separation of backup and archiving operations. Historically, organizations have managed such applications together, but that's no longer the case. Approximately 50 percent of the respondents indicated that they treat archiving as a separate application from backup, and another 21 percent stated that they plan to set up archiving as a separate application within the next 2 years.

The Peripheral Concepts survey shows that the development of best practices in storage management is a top-down process. The largest enterprises are often the first to adopt new technologies and techniques, which then migrate to smaller organizations. The final analysis is that new technologies and techniques have generated renewed attention to backup and archiving over the past couple of years. But many organizations have still yet to take advantage of these new opportunities.

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(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

* EMC AND MICROSOFT EXPAND STORAGE PARTNERSHIP At the EMC Technology Summit in Las Vegas last week, EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci was joined by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to announce plans to build on a strategic global alliance their companies formed in February 2000 and to extend their partnership. The partnership between the companies includes technology sharing and product licensing. Starting this summer, EMC will offer Windows Powered Network Attached Storage (WPNAS) systems, starting with a new product called EMC NetWin 200. EMC joins the ranks of many other companies in the storage industry, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and IBM in licensing Microsoft's NAS OS. The NetWin 200 will range in price from $7000 to $50,000. EMC will continue to offer its high-end Celerra NAS systems.

Other key points of the expanded relationship include additional technology sharing. EMC will integrate Microsoft's new Windows Server 2003 storage APIs into its storage platform, including its ControlCenter open storage management applications. The two companies will also work together to support development of the emerging storage management standards. EMC and Microsoft will both ensure support for enterprise deployment of EMC products in Windows environments, which includes EMC licensing technology from Microsoft to enable protocol interoperability between EMC's storage devices and Windows client PCs. The companies plan to initiate joint sales and marketing efforts to sell customers on the benefit of integrated Microsoft and EMC technology in networked storage environments and drive adoption of EMC's new Windows Powered NAS (WPNAS) solutions.

* CISCO AND EMC TEAM UP FOR NEXT-GEN SAN TECHNOLOGY Microsoft isn't the only company EMC is expanding its relationship with. The storage giant has announced that it will also expand its relationship with Cisco Systems to help deliver next-generation Storage Area Network (SAN) technology. Under the new agreement, EMC will resell and support the Cisco MDS 9000 family of multilayer directors and fabric switches as part of its storage solutions. EMC will also develop software applications hosted on the MDS 9000 platform. The Cisco MDS 9000 family is an intelligent multiprotocol storage networking solution that helps customers more efficiently manage and use their storage resources for Fibre Channel-, iSCSI-, and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP)-connected networks.

EMC's plans to develop storage management solutions for the Cisco MDS 9000 family are part of the company's Automated Information Storage (AutoIS) management strategy. EMC's E-Lab is finishing testing to qualify the Cisco MDS 9000 family for use with the EMC Symmetrix and EMC CLARiiON networked storage systems and hopes to have testing complete by the end of May 2003. The Cisco MDS 9000 family will be available from EMC in second quarter 2003.



(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

* TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO JOIN OUR STORAGE SOLUTIONS ROAD SHOW! Attend the HP & Microsoft Network Storage Solutions Road Show, and learn how existing and future storage solutions can save your company money--and make your job easier! Attendees have lots of chances to win incredible prizes. There is absolutely no fee for this event, but space is limited. We've just added Minneapolis to our list of cities, so register now!

* GET WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE AT 25% OFF! Every issue of Windows & .NET Magazine includes intelligent, impartial, and independent coverage of security, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, and much more. Our expert authors deliver content you simply won't find anywhere else. Subscribe today at 25% off, and find out what over 100,000 readers know that you don't!



* RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: DO YOU USE A SAN? The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you use a SAN in your environment?" Here are the results from the 51 votes. 67%--Yes 33%--No

* NEW INSTANT POLL: IS BACKUP AND ARCHIVING IMPORTANT? The current Instant Poll question is, "Have you found that backup and archiving have become more important during the past couple of years than in the past?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, or b) No.



* NO UNUSED MEDIA AVAILABLE Forum member Jack has a Windows 2000 Server and wants to automate his daily backup operation. When he puts a tape into the tape drive and begins backing up his hard disk, a Windows prompt announces that no unused media is available in the drive. To lend a helping hand, join the discussion at the following URL:



(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* OPTIMIZE YOUR STORAGE HARDWARE INVESTMENT Spinnaker Networks announced that its SpinServer 3300 Network Attached Storage (NAS) platform now supports ATA disk storage so that users can deploy storage for applications such as online backup and recovery, data archival, and storage of fixed content and reference data. You can deploy a SpinServer 3300 or multiple SpinServers with Fibre Channel disk storage, Storage Area Network (SAN)-based storage systems, and ATA disk systems. Contact Spinnaker Networks at 412-968-7746 or [email protected]

* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]



Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)


* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]



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