Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Amazon Wants to Be Your Storage Provider--April 3, 2006

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1. Commentary
- Amazon Wants to Be Your Storage Provider

2. From the Community
- Backup Exec Reports Unusual Backup Sizes

3. New and Improved
- Infortrend Debuts 1U, 4-Bay RAID Subsystem
- SonicWALL Adds Bare-Metal Recovery to Its CDP Solutions
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources

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==== 1. Commentary: Amazon Wants to Be Your Storage Provider ====
by David Chernicoff, [email protected]

When you think of, you probably think of an online site that has decent prices on books, music, toys, and electronics. But if Amazon gets its way, IT professionals will think of as the key storage infrastructure for their Web-based development.

Why? Well, two weeks ago launched Simple Storage Service (S3), a Web-based storage service for Web-application developers (see ). S3 leverages the storage services that Amazon provides for its own Web sites, giving developers that purchase S3 a reliable and well-tested infrastructure.

S3 uses standard API sets such as Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and the default download protocol is HTTP. S3 also supports the BitTorrent protocol, to enable broader Web-application distribution. A developer can create storage objects ranging in size from 1 byte to 5GB, with each object containing metadata and object data. You can also create storage objects by defining the metadata. For example, you might want to add a customer-number tag to the metadata.

Because security is a high priority on most developers' lists, S3 supports Amazon Web Services authentication, and each storage object has an ACL to protect your private data. The authentication also permits anonymous access to your data, but the developer has complete control over how and when access is granted. Both individuals and groups of users can access data, although currently only Amazon-defined groups are supported. According to Amazon, though, S3 users will eventually be able to define their own groups.

I looked through S3's developer documentation and found its explanation of the S3 service to be straightforward. Any developer with SOAP or REST experience should have little trouble integrating S3 storage into Web-based applications. You can find the complete developer guide at .

One issue that might be problematic is the service's cost. The storage fee is $.15 per gigabyte-month (or the storage used per month; the developer guide provides a complete set of equations defining pricing). However, there's also a $.20 per gigabyte transfer fee, which means that an active Web site using this service could be spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per month paying for the bandwidth usage generated by Web-site traffic. Active sites could also run up a hefty bill if BitTorrent support is made practical because users would be transferring very large files to and from the site via BitTorrent.

As other vendors enter this market (look for Google, MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!), users will ultimately define success. But competition could also reduce the pricing of Amazon's online storage service, which at this time seems to be S3's Achilles' heel.

Author's note: Meet your favorite IT experts at Connections Europe in Nice, France, April 24-27

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==== 2. From the Community ====

Backup Exec Reports Unusual Backup Sizes

Storage/Backup/Recovery member "gregh" says that Symantec Backup Exec is reporting varying byte sizes (around 50GB) between his backup-job file and the actual backup file on the hard drive. If you can help him solve the problem, please join the discussion at

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, [email protected]

Infortrend Debuts 1U, 4-Bay RAID Subsystem

Today Infortrend announced the EonStor A04U-G2421 SCSI-to-Serial ATA (SATA) subsystem, the company's first 1U, four-bay RAID array. The new array, which is geared toward data-intensive applications such as digital media, broadcast, medical imaging, and security/surveillance, provides a SCSI-320 host channel and support for up to four SATA-II disk drives and allows a transfer rate of up to 320MBps per channel. Infortrend also announced that KODAK Service & Support, Eastman Kodak Company's worldwide service organization, will provide warranty service for Infortrend's line of EonStor RAID storage subsystems throughout the United States and Canada. EonStor systems now come with a one-year service package that includes 24 x 7 telephone support and next-business-day onsite parts replacement. For more information, contact Infortrend on the Web:

SonicWALL Adds Bare-Metal Recovery to Its CDP Solutions

SonicWALL announced that it has added bare-metal recovery and local-archiving options to its line of continuous data protection (CDP) solutions for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). SonicWALL Bare Metal/Local Archiving, which is based on Acronis True Image technology, lets administrators recover an entire system through a simple management interface and quickly restore the OS, settings, and applications on workstations and servers via a disk image. An administrator can also locally archive only the data partition of servers, to provide a single point-in-time image of data on the network. SonicWALL Bare Metal/Local Archiving starts at $299 for the server version and $30 for a single workstation license. For more information, contact the vendor on the Web:

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 4. Windows IT Pro Resources ====

Check out these links to a wealth of Windows IT Pro resources: white papers, eBooks, Web seminars, conferences, and other events.

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Special Offer Ends Soon!

Register now for DevConnections Europe, 24-27 April in Nice, France, and get a second registration for half price.

Learn the advantages of each alternative to traditional file servers and tape storage solutions, and make the best choice for your enterprise needs. Live event: Thursday, April 13.

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