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August 12, 2002—In this issue:
- New Technology for Backup and Restore
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- StorageNetworks Updates Storage Management Software
- VERITAS Invests $1 Million in Patents, Announces Linux Strategy
- Time Is Running Out to Attend Our Free Storage Web Seminar!
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here For You
- Storage Highlight: Contain Data Growth
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Take Your Storage On-The-Go
- Automate Storage in Your Enterprise
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
In the wake of September 11, disaster recovery, business continuity, and related backup and recovery concerns became the prime topics of discussion in many IT shops. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the media was filled with stories about companies that needed weeks to reconstruct their corporate information. Meticulous adherence to excellent backup strategies doesn't help when the backup systems are destroyed as well.
Although events of the magnitude of a terrorist attack are rare, hardware failures and user errors that lead to data corruption aren't. In fact, according to a bit of commonly accepted folk wisdom, only two kinds of computer infrastructures exist: those that have experienced a disk crash and those that will experience a disk crash. Most industry observers agree that users are the single biggest source of data corruption.
Some disagreement exists about how seriously corporate managers have considered their companies' vulnerability with regard to backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and business continuity since last September. According to Nigel Stokes, chief executive officer of DataMirror ( http://www.datamirror.com )—a provider of data resiliency, availability, and mirroring products—companies have invested more lip service than money or action in backup and recovery. Other storage professionals with whom I've recently spoken echo those sentiments, reporting that they continue to have trouble getting the budget they need to put their business-continuity plans into action.
No one disagrees, however, that unplanned downtime is extremely expensive. According to statistics released by BMC Software ( http://www.bmc.com )—a vendor of enterprise data management and network management tools—downtime can cost a stock brokerage house $6.5 million per hour and a credit card authorization company $2.6 million per hour. An airline can lose $900,000 per hour of downtime.
With those kinds of numbers in mind, a host of companies ranging from start-ups to industry heavyweights are introducing new technologies that address backup, restore, disaster-recovery, and business-continuity concerns. For example, EVault ( http://www.evault.com ) has introduced an online backup utility that works over IP networks. EVault officials claim that this approach, which EVault will license to companies or provide as a service, is more efficient than traditional tape-based approaches. Ray Ganong, EVault's chief technical officer, told me that in one setting, a law firm needed a day and a half to restore its files using a traditional backup and restore approach. Using EVault technology, he said, the restore operation took only 30 minutes. Moreover, he argued, restoring individual files is difficult to do from tape backups but easy to do with EVault.
In addition to capitalizing on IP technology, EVault uses a proprietary algorithm that captures changes to data in the backup operations. Thus, the backup process doesn't clog the network with data traffic. The company also uses the System Independent Data Format (SIDF), a standard developed in the mid-1990s to provide data portability across different tape media and systems.
EVault alone doesn't provide a complete solution, however. The company recommends storing a year's worth of data online, then moving files to tape.
Start-up Vyant Technologies (http://www.vyanttech.com ) focuses on the restore part of the equation. According to company president Paul Parent, many companies that faithfully back up their data every day are rudely surprised when they try to restore it. The backup might be corrupted, or backup procedures might have failed without anyone realizing it. Even when the backup is fine, the restore process can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Vyant's RealTime data-restore product uses a unique method of data capture, journaling, and recovery designed to transform the backup-restoration paradigm from a multiple-hour point-in-time process to a continuous backup integrated with storage.
Start-ups aren't alone in trying to address business continuity concerns. EMC, with its TimeFinder and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility products (see URL below), and other major players have introduced new products to help enterprises ensure business continuity in the face of a disaster.
But new technology and products are only part of the solution. Company management still must take the lessons of September 11 seriously and invest in necessary technologies. Those that don't are putting their enterprises at risk.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
StorageNetworks has announced an upgrade to its STORos platform. The upgrade includes STORos StorageManager v5.1, a new version of the platform software. STORos StorageManager lets customers manage and support heterogeneous storage. The new version improves support for third-party technologies, such as IBM's Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) Shark Model ESS F20 and Tivoli Management Suite, EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) technology, and INRANGE Technologies switches. The update also includes uninterrupted access to information in the STORos StorageManager v5.1 application with automatic failover capabilities.
The storage industry continues to push toward developing and adopting storage standards for management. "Customers are demanding key functionality—such as provisioning, chargeback, autodiscovery of assets, backup reporting and expanded multivendor support—to drive immediate returns on their storage investments. Our solution provides this functionality today," says Peter Bell, chairman and CEO of StorageNetworks. The company plans to support the emerging standards in future products.
VERITAS Software has purchased a majority of Storage Engine's patents for $1 million. Storage Engine develops fault-tolerant storage solutions, such as its Synchronix Storage Area Network (SAN), Synchronection 2, and Raven systems. The patents relate to fault-tolerant storage, protection, management, and replication of enterprise data in complex networks. As part of the agreement, Storage Engine will retain a perpetual, royalty-free license to the patents. The investment will help VERITAS increase its range of storage-solution offerings.
In related news, VERITAS recently unveiled a wide storage-software strategy for Linux platforms. The first step in the new strategy includes the release of clustering and Network Attached Storage (NAS) software for Linux. VERITAS Cluster Server and VERITAS ServPoint NAS software join the previously released VERITAS Foundation Suite and VERITAS NetBackup products available for the Linux platform. The company plans to bring more mission-critical and management capabilities to Linux in the future. VERITAS has teamed up with Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM, Intel, and Red Hat to market its Linux solutions. Citing a Giga Information Group prediction that the Linux server market will grow from $2.5 billion in 2002 to $15 billion by 2007, VERITAS hopes its strategy will offer value to that growing server market.
While the cost of buying storage capacity continues to drop, the cost of managing storage and keeping it available continues to grow. Find out why this happens and how to address it by bringing your Windows storage under control. This important online seminar is scheduled for Thursday, August 15, so register now!
Register online for Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE! before this conference sells out. Network with the finest gathering of Windows gurus on the planet. This conference is chock-full of "been there, done that" knowledge from people who use Microsoft products in the real world. Register now and you'll receive FREE access to sessions of concurrently run XML Web Services Connections.
Each month, the Storage Admin channel highlights several articles about important storage topics such as backup and recovery, storage-related hardware and software, and application-specific storage. This week, take a look at Tom Clark's "Storage Resource Management." Tom discusses how you can use Storage Resource Management (SRM) applications to simplify storage processes and help control data growth.
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]
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Evergreen Technologies announced the fireLINE USB 2.0 Pocket HotDrive, which provides 40GB of high-speed external data storage for PC and Macintosh users. You can plug the device into your USB port to use at your desktop or laptop and back up data between multiple systems. The USB 2.0 Pocket HotDrive is hot-swappable and features daisy-chaining capability. Pricing for the 40GB unit is $259.99. Contact Evergreen Technologies at 541-757-0934 or [email protected]
Sony Electronics announced three new AIT libraries that provide automated and centralized backup and recovery for entry-level, distributed, and enterprise-level storage environments. The StorStation AIT library family now includes the LIB-302/A3, the LIB-302/A2, and the LIB-152E/A3 models. Designed in standalone and rack-mount configurations, the libraries scale from one to two drives and can manage the backup of email and Microsoft SQL Server databases. The LIB-302/A3 costs $11,250, the LIB-302/A2 costs $9500, and the LIB-152E/A3 costs $7750. Contact Sony Electronics at 866-335-7669.
6. CONTACT US
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