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July 29, 2002—In this issue:
- SEC Compliance and Storage Management
2. NEWS AND VIEWS
- EMC and HP Announce Technology Agreement
- New Storage Security Group Launched
- Submit Top Product Ideas
- Enter the Windows & .NET Magazine/Transcender Sweepstakes!
- Windows & .NET Magazine Is Even Cooler in a Digital Version
- Tip: SQL Message About Abnormal Backup or Restore
- Thread: Lost Partition
- Storage Highlight: Backup and Storage for Mobile Users
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Choose a Storage System to Fit Your Needs
- Back Up Data
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Sheila Childs, [email protected])
With news of current corporate misconduct, accounting dishonesties, and previously unheard of corporate bankruptcies, regulatory and compliance concerns are taking on a new meaning. Corporations must protect themselves against litigation as never before. Consequently, storage administrators find themselves increasingly responsible for understanding the needs of the business in addition to such tasks as making sure capacity is available to users and applications. One area of specific concern especially to members of the stock exchange, brokers, and dealers but also to all companies listed on the exchange is the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) Rule 240.17 a-4(f), which outlines SEC regulations regarding management of and access to electronic records.
The numerous articles in the SEC Rule include provisions for managing classified electronic records that pertain to ongoing business or that have legal or compliance value. The business email messages that take place among brokers, dealers, and their customers are an excellent example of such records. Not only is the volume of email growing rapidly and significantly, the storage capacity needed to store these messages and attachments is increasing at an even faster pace because of rich media attachments.
In the 1930s, when the SEC first set parameters for maintaining and preserving records of transactions, the commission couldn't have imagined anything like the volume of electronic records and storage-management tasks that would accompany today's deluge of data. Since the original act, the SEC has updated its rules to emphasize several key points related to records retention. Although companies must meet many requirements that are part of Rule 17a-4(f), those of specific interest to storage administrators include these two: "Preserve the records exclusively in a nonrewriteable, nonerasable format," 17a-4(f)(2)(ii)(A), and "Store separately from the original a duplicate copy of the record stored on any medium acceptable under 240.17a-4 for the time required," 17a-4(f)(3)(iii). Numerous other requirements defining access to records and indexes associated with the records require not just sophisticated records-management software, but storage-management software as well.
The first requirement of the two requirements noted deals not only with media formats (nonrewritable, nonerasable) but also with retention periods. The rule requires that companies retain electronic records for 3 years (retention protection). "Nonrewritable, nonerasable" has traditionally meant write once, read many (WORM) optical media. Although debate periodically surfaces as to whether optical technology has a future, it remains one of the better, more cost-effective choices of media for SEC compliance. Although Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a potential replacement for optical storage because of its fast-access, near-line capabilities, NAS doesn't meet the "nonrewritable, nonerasable" requirement. In addition to optical, several WORM-tape solutions have evolved over the past few years (e.g., Sony's AIT WORM, StorageTek's Volsafe media) that let customers meet SEC requirements. EMC has also brought out a new content-addressable storage device called Centera (nonrewritable), designed specifically for fixed content.
Retention protection means that during the specified retention period, it's impossible to delete or otherwise destroy electronic media. In the case of WORM media, companies can't destroy that media until they've retained each individual record on the specific piece of media for the time period the SEC specified.
The second requirement quoted above, regarding duplicate copies, mandates that SEC compliance involves keeping two copies of each electronic record on an accessible storage medium. In addition to these two copies of each piece of data, many sites require an additional copy of the same data for disaster recovery protection. Retention periods the SEC requires for compliance might differ from retention periods a company requires for disaster recovery and general recovery purposes.
The obvious conclusion: A company must maintain solid storage management, especially with respect to electronic records. The number of copies of email that a business must manage to ensure SEC compliance and provide adequate disaster-recovery protection is only one facet to the need for solid storage management. In addition, other SEC Rules governing the need for record and index availability mean that any application-management software must provide functionality to access data and must interact with storage management applications to ensure data availability. As more and more electronic records and attachments fall into categories that SEC Rule 17a-4(f) governs, storage administrators whose companies must comply will find themselves not only managing storage, but also becoming more familiar with specific business and compliance needs.
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2. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])
To advance storage management interoperability, enterprise storage giants EMC and Hewlett-Packard (HP) have agreed to cross-license certain technologies, such as storage (APIs). The licensing will help both companies provide storage-management support for each other's products.
Under the agreement, EMC will license APIs to support the discovery and control functions of EMC Symmetrix and EMC CLARiiON storage systems. HP will license APIs to support discovery and control functions of the HP StorageWorks Virtual Array (VA) systems and the HP StorageWorks XP systems. The new agreement expands on a previous agreement between EMC and Compaq. Under that agreement, the companies shared APIs for EMC Symmetrix and EMC CLARiiON storage systems and Compaq StorageWorks Enterprise VA systems and StorageWorks Modular Array systems. Compaq merged with HP in May 2002.
In the past year, the storage industry has increased efforts to establish interoperability among vendors. Other initiatives in the industry include Common Information Model (CIM) and the technology code-named Bluefin, which uses Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM), Managed Object Format (MOF), and Common Information Model (CIM) to provide a common interface (i.e., API) for Storage Area Network (SAN) management.
The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) has created a new Storage Security Industry Forum (SSIF). The forum will focus on increasing the availability of robust storage security solutions and will include customer- and market-focused vendors. SSIF's mission will be to identify best practices for building secure storage networks and to promote these standards-based solutions. "Users of storage networks have identified security as one of their primary concerns. The SSIF will let SNIA members collaborate in a vendor-neutral environment and create a focal point for industry and user interchange on secure storage networks," said Brad Stamas, SNIA's chairman.
The forum is open to all SNIA member companies. Founding members of the SSIF include Adaptec, Brocade, Computer Associates (CA), Hewlett-Packard (HP), IBM, Infinity I/O, JNI Corporation, McDATA, NeoScale Systems, QLogic, Seagate Technologies, Spectra Logic, and Zyfer.
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(contributed by Neil Pike)
Q. Why am I getting a SQL Server error "The RAID set for database <xxx> is missing member number <x>. Backup or restore operation terminating abnormally"?
A. You've probably used SQL Server Enterprise Manager (EM) GUI to back up the database and have accidentally left more than one backup device in the destination list in the backup screen. SQL then stripes the backup to all devices. Therefore, all backup devices need to be there for a subsequent restore.
A reader's Windows 2000 server has one drive with three partitions. The user deleted partition E but now needs data that was on that partition. When the user tries to access partition E, Win2K asks whether he wants to format it. To read more about the problem or offer your expertise, use the following link:
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 Bob Chronister's "Backup and Storage for Mobile Users." Dr. Bob provides his recommendations for storage and backup devices that work well in the field for mobile users.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])
Dell announced enhancements to its PowerVault Network Attached Storage (NAS) servers that let you integrate them with high-end Dell and EMC Storage Area Networks (SANs). The NAS and SAN enhancements let you choose whichever system fits your needs and lets you expand for future growth. For pricing, contact Dell at 800-915-3355.
Sony Electronics announced PetaApp, a backup system based on Sony software and Digital Tape Format tape drives. PetaApp can back up data in Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage Area Network (SAN), and heterogeneous storage environments. Comprised of the Sony PetaSite Tape Library, DTF-2 tape drives, PetaBack software, and a Brocade Fibre Channel fabric switch, the PetaApp can back up as much as 2TB of data in eight hours. For pricing, contact Sony Electronics at 800-829-7669.
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