Storage UPDATE, January 6, 2003

Storage UPDATE—brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network
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January 6, 2003—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Back Up Remote Offices Without Using Tape

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • End of an Era for IBM

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The Microsoft Mobility Tour Is Coming Soon to a City Near You!
  • Get the New Windows & .NET Magazine Network Super CD/VIP!

4. INSTANT POLL

  • Results of Previous Poll: Storage-Management Policy
  • New Instant Poll: Type of Backup

5. RESOURCES

  • Synchronization to Prevent Disaster

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Protect Databases and Network Computers
  • Defend Against Data Loss
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Mark Smith, [email protected])

  • BACK UP REMOTE OFFICES WITHOUT USING TAPE

  • Maintaining a backup and recovery process when you manage remote offices is challenging. Typically, each office has one or more file servers to back up to tape, which is easy enough if you have an IT staff person on site but tricky if you have to beg a non-IT person to periodically change tapes for your smaller offices. Even worse, walking a non-IT person through a remote office restore process is like trying to drive the Los Angeles freeways blindfolded during rush hour.

    Replication software, which is normally used for geographically distributed clustering, is a reliable technology. In the June 2002 Windows & .NET Magazine article "Geographically Distributed Clustering, " Ed Roth compared three replication solutions, from Computer Associates (CA), Legato Systems, and NSI Software. Roth found that all three solutions work well for replicating data across a WAN and provide failover capability. But you can also use replication software as an enhanced alternative to the typical remote tape backup solution.

    Suppose you have 10 remote offices throughout the United States that are all connected to a central office in Cleveland through a VPN. At each remote office, you load a copy of replication software on the server. At the central site, you load a copy of replication software on a high-end Networked Attached Storage (NAS) server. Once configured, the software replicates changes on the remote servers to the central server in realtime. The volume of changes and the bandwidth of your VPN line will determine when your central server has a complete and current copy of each of the remote file servers. Because these copies are only of the remote data, you could back up the central server to tape at your leisure without worrying about a backup window and without the hassle of managing remote office tape libraries. And, at only $2500 per server, buying replication software is cheaper than having to buy a good tape device and tapes for each remote office. Best of all, if any of your remote servers go down, you can configure your central server to take over remote operations until you can recover the remote server. Remote office workers could get their data directly off the central server through the VPN.

    Typically, a disk failure in a remote office requires a file server restore; end users lose changes they made after the last tape backup, which is typically the night before the failure. If the failure occurs late in the business day, an entire day's work can be lost. With replication software, you can reduce data recovery time to 15 minutes or less.

    For even more thorough disaster prevention, you can create a complete copy of the central server at another hot site to replicate the central backup server to a remote location in, for example, New Jersey. If the entire central site goes down, you can reroute the remote office servers to a central backup disaster-recovery site in New Jersey. This scenario provides maximum data protection and availability to remote users' data.

    To find out more about the solutions mentioned in Roth's article, visit:

    CA at http://www3.ca.com

    Legato at http://www.legato.com

    NSI Software at http://www.nsisoftware.com

    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

  • END OF AN ERA FOR IBM

  • Last week marked the end of an era with the completion of an agreement between IBM and Hitachi to combine IBM's hard disk operations with Hitachi's. IBM began producing hard disks in the early 1970s. The agreement results in the formation of a new company: Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

    After gaining the necessary government regulatory approvals, Hitachi purchased the majority of IBM's hard disk drive (HDD)-related assets. According to terms of the agreement, Hitachi paid IBM 70 percent of the $2.05 billion purchase price. Hitachi will pay the remainder to IBM over the next 3 years.

    In June, IBM decided to sell its HDD-related assets after struggling with its disk drive business for the past few years. According to IBM, the business lost more than $500 million in the past 2 years due to the highly competitive, low-margin nature of the disk drive marketplace. Hitachi hopes to turn the business around and become the world's number-one disk drive manufacturer. The company aims to begin making the new venture profitable by April 2003.

    Hitachi Global Storage Technologies will be based in California with 11 offices around the world and 24,000 employees. Hitachi hopes to increase its sales from $5 billion in the next fiscal year to $7 billion by 2006.

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

  • THE MICROSOFT MOBILITY TOUR IS COMING SOON TO A CITY NEAR YOU!

  • This outstanding seven-city event will help support your growing mobile workforce. Industry guru Paul Thurrott discusses the coolest mobility hardware solutions around, demonstrates how to increase the productivity of your "road warriors" with the unique features of Windows XP and Office XP, and much more. You could also win an HP iPAQ Pocket PC. There is no charge for these live events, but space is limited so register today! Sponsored by Microsoft, HP, and Toshiba.
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/mobility

  • GET THE NEW WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE NETWORK SUPER CD/VIP!

  • Everyone can appreciate a bargain in today's economy. That's why we've introduced the Windows & .NET Magazine Super CD/VIP Web site. You get exclusive subscriber-only access to all our publications through our new VIP Web site. Plus, you get Super CDs delivered twice a year, and we'll even throw in a 1-year print subscription to the magazine! The Super CD/VIP is a $545 value for just $279. Subscribe today!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/rd.cfm?code=wvei272lup

    4. INSTANT POLL

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLL: STORAGE-MANAGEMENT POLICY

  • The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Network's Storage Admin Channel nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you have a corporate storage-management policy?" Here are the results from the 34 votes.
    • 12%—Yes
    • 44%—No, but we're developing one.
    • 44%—No

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: TYPE OF BACKUP

  • The current Instant Poll question is, "What type of backup do you use?" Go to the Storage Admin Channel home page and submit your vote for a) Backup to tape, b) Disk-to-disk backup, c) Mirroring and snap-shot technologies, or d) Other.
    http://www.storageadmin.com

    5. RESOURCES

  • SYNCHRONIZATION TO PREVENT DISASTER

  • If you don't have a backup strategy in place but you synchronize your PDA, you can use your mobile device to prevent data loss in the event of a disaster. Click the URL below to find out how:
    http://www.storageadmin.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=26052&action=showfaq

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • PROTECT DATABASES AND NETWORK COMPUTERS

  • Nexsan Technologies announced InfiniSAN D2D Professional, a disk-to-disk enterprise backup solution that combines RAID storage arrays with advanced storage management software. You can use InfiniSAN D2D Professional to seamlessly protect databases and all network computers. For pricing, contact Nexsan Technologies at 818-715-9111 or 866-463-9726.
    http://www.nexsan.com

  • DEFEND AGAINST DATA LOSS

  • Atypie Software released #1Backup, a program that lets you create backups of crucial files. The software also performs routine file synchronization functions between computers. #1Backup comes with a collection of predefined jobs that automatically back up your address book, email messages, My Documents folder, and the Windows registry. #1Backup runs on Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, and Windows 9x systems and costs $35. Contact Atypie Software at [email protected].
    http://www.backup2001.com

  • 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].

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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