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September 9, 2002—In this issue:
- Have Businesses Learned the Lessons of September 11?
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- IBM Acquires Storage Management Software Company
- SNIA-Supported Solutions Forum Announces Open SAN Initiative
- Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott Are Bringing Their Security Expertise to You!
- UNIX, Linux, and Windows: Managing the Unholy Trinity
- Featured Thread: NT Backup and Open Files
- Event Highlight: Brocade SAN Basic Training
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Back Up Your Files in Realtime
- Defragment Your PDA
- Back Up Your Data
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])
Now that a year has passed, what impact have the events of last September 11, 2001, had on companies' business-continuity and disaster-recovery plans? Many anecdotal reports, particularly from vendors of storage-related technology, suggest that although 9-11 focused senior management's attention on the need for an effective business continuity plan (BCP), management hasn't backed that interest with budgeted dollars. Several recent surveys support this view.
This summer, AT&T surveyed more than 1000 businesses nationwide, each with 100 employees or more. AT&T reported that 25 percent of the midsized and large companies that it queried still don't have BCPs and disaster-recovery plans in place. Moreover, of the companies that have BCPs, 27 percent haven't reviewed or evaluated those plans in the past year, and 19 percent haven't tested their BCP within the past 5 years. (You can read an executive summary of the report at the URL below.)
SunGard Availability Services conducted a similar survey this spring. (SunGard Availability Services is a division of SunGard that provides availability systems and solutions—see the URL below.) SunGard's survey indicated that 80 percent of US companies don't have sufficient solutions in place to address network outages or systems failures that interrupt the flow of mission-critical data. New York research firm David Michaelson & Company conducted SunGard's poll, and SunGard CEO Jim Simmons observed that of the 200 companies that had sales of more than $5 million, few planned, prepared, and tested backup systems to keep business data available. SunGard also reported that 39 percent of the companies with sales of less than $20 million don't have written BCPs. In contrast, 74 percent of the companies surveyed with sales of more than $100 million have written BCPs.
Why do so few companies have business-continuity strategies in place, and who's responsible for a BCP? Strohl Systems Group, a provider of continuity planning software and services, conducted a survey that indicates that a BCP is a relatively new idea for many enterprises. Of the 836 respondents, 64 percent indicated that their companies had had a BCP in place for 5 years or less, and 21 percent reported that they had developed a BCP in the past year.
At present, organizations often assign responsibility for a BCP to different departments. So although 36 percent of the Strohl survey respondents identified IT as the department responsible for their BCP, 18 percent created BCP departments. Others assigned the BCP to risk management (11 percent), security (8 percent), or the financial department (6 percent).
In 15 percent of the organizations, the chief information officer (CIO) was the executive in charge of the BCP, and in 30 percent, a vice president was responsible. According to the Strohl survey, BCP budgets are small, with 53 percent of those queried revealing that the BCP budget represented less than 4 percent of their overall IT spending. Overall, the survey indicates that the BCP can fall through the cracks in many organizations.
So what are some of the key discoveries that companies made following the events of 9-11? According to a study the consulting arm of Deloitte & Touche conducted (see the URL below), among the most serious shortcomings that companies found in their BCP was that company directories and human resources (HR) databases were inaccurate, incomplete, or inaccessible. These shortcomings would make it very difficult for companies to account for their employees and to reestablish communication throughout the organization in the event of a disaster.
Technologies that businesses once considered noncritical have proven to be vitally important. Although many companies were able to recover their major data-center operations within a reasonable time frame, other companies found it more difficult to recover data distributed throughout the enterprise—particularly data stored on laptops and PCs. But investment in continuous availability technologies paid off. According to Deloitte & Touche, companies that had realtime failover capabilities in place were able to return to operation sooner.
The most important lesson businesses learned is that they have available technology to implement effective business-continuity and disaster-recovery programs. Now, management needs to step up to the plate.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
IBM has noticed the importance of storage management software, and the company hopes to enhance its product offerings with its latest move. IBM has acquired TrelliSoft, a privately held Storage Resource Management (SRM) software company. The acquired company is now part of IBM's Software Group, and its products will be available from the IBM Tivoli Software unit.
TrelliSoft's products provide automation tools for storage infrastructure in several areas including asset management, availability, capacity, event, and performance. Its software is designed for Java and Web-based resource management and supports AIX, HP-UX, Red Hat Linux, Windows 2000, Windows NT, and others. The software will complement the storage software that IBM is already developing.
Robert LeBlanc, general manager at IBM Tivoli Software, said, "\[With t\]his acquisition, we will accelerate our ability to deliver a high-quality product that meets our customers' needs for storage management. This enables customers to more effectively and efficiently manage their storage resources, and, as a result, improve their return on investment."
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) announced Open SAN, the first major interoperability initiative launched as part of its SNIA Supported Solutions Forum (SSF). The Open SAN solution set will enable data mirroring between geographically dispersed sites for backup and recovery and let remote Storage Area Network (SAN) islands connect and create a single fabric. SNIA members participating in the initiative include Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), INRANGE Technologies, IBM, LEGATO Systems, Storage Technology (StorageTek), and VERITAS Software.
According to SNIA, the Open SAN solution will benefit customers with the following business requirements: the need to maintain 24 x 7 operations with the ability to switch to a remote location for disaster recovery; the need to run mission-critical IT applications and mirror databases for business continuity; a highly available, reliable, scalable SAN with the flexibility to add ports on demand without disrupting service or sacrificing performance; aggregate storage systems that use independent software-vendor offerings for path failover and load balancing; using and/or consolidating tape storage; connecting remote SAN islands into a single fabric; and requiring local or remote LAN-free backup and recovery with drive sharing while supporting a full disaster-recovery environment. You can find more information about the solution at the SNIA Web site.
Windows & .NET Magazine Network Road Show 2002 is coming this October to New York, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco! Industry experts Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott will show you how to shore up your system's security and what desktop security features are planned for Microsoft .NET and beyond. Sponsored by NetIQ, Microsoft, and Trend Micro. Registration is free, but space is limited so sign up now!
Sign up for our latest Web seminar at which we'll discuss the concerns associated with managing a heterogeneous server environment. You'll learn more about the management characteristics of each platform and about existing management solutions and how well they work. Sponsored by NetIQ. There's no charge for this online event, but space is limited so register now at
A reader is trying to back up his profile server, but NT Backup skips the open files. His server is up 24 x 7, so taking the server down to back it up is not an option. To read more about the problem or offer your expertise, use the following link:
Dates range from September 24 through October 17, 2000
Learn the ABCs of storage networking at this FREE workshop taught by Storage Area Network (SAN) experts. SAN Basic Training will show you how SANS help companies meet their business-critical needs including reduced backup windows, application and data availability, disaster recovery, business continuance, better use of existing storage resources, and more efficient infrastructure management. For more details, visit the Brocade Web site.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Event
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])
Storactive announced Storactive LiveServ, a realtime backup solution for small to midsized companies. Storactive LiveServ complements your schedule-based backup solutions, compresses data, and eliminates duplicate files. You can place a LiveServ server between a server farm and an existing backup server to protect three to six other servers, which means you can back up fewer servers to tape. LiveServ captures every version of every file so you can recover any version. Prices start at $795. Contact Storactive at 310-302-7270 or 888-352-9140.
SoftWinter released StorageTools 1.4 for Pocket PC, storage card-management software that provides defragmentation capability for your PDA. The software lets you manage your wireless device's storage media. The new version includes large volumes support, defragmentation speed improvement, and enhanced verify and repair capability. StorageTools works with ATA-compliant memory cards, CompactFlash (CF) cards, PC Cards, and MicroDrives. The price is $14.95. Contact SoftWinter at 815-361-3723.
The August 26 edition of the Storage UPDATE newsletter contained incorrect contact information for NovaStor. NovaStor's NovaBACKUP 6.7 and InstantRecovery 3.1 products provide backup and disaster-recovery software for small businesses and home users. Contact NovaStor at 805-579-6700 or 800-668-2786.
6. CONTACT US
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