Storage UPDATE, May 19, 2003

Storage UPDATE, May 19, 2003


Storage UPDATE--brought to you by the Windows & .NET Magazine Network



Dantz Development Corporation

Precise SRM Software Solutions (below COMMENTARY)


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May 19, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Closing the Backup Window

2. NEWS AND VIEWS - EMC Announces New Software Offerings - HDS Prepares New Backup and Array Offerings

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - How Can You Reclaim 30% to 50% of Windows Server Space? - Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards!

4. EVENTS - Security 2003 Road Show

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Automate Your Small Business's Backup Processes - Manage Your Storage Environment - Submit Top Product Ideas

6. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.




(contributed by Elliot King, [email protected])

* CLOSING THE BACKUP WINDOW Technology that provides a competitive edge for one aspect of business can create problems for another business aspect. For example, consider the array of enterprise-level applications (ELAs) such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). These applications are intended to help companies get a better understanding of their customers and their business operations. However, from another perspective, these applications are simply additional large-scale transaction-processing systems that have data you must store and maintain.

The charm of ELAs is that they're perceived as mission-critical applications. Most companies would be in trouble if all their CRM data disappeared. The growth of ELAs has led to a significant rethinking about storage-backup procedures. As the amount of data that companies need to back up grows, the time necessary to complete backup operations has also increased. Another problem is that as companies move to 24 x 7 operations, the window available to complete backup operations has shrunk.

Backing up more data in less time is only part of the problem. Because captured data is often crucial to the enterprise's operation, storage administrators have to worry about the time intervals between backup procedures. How much data can an organization afford to lose--1 day's worth? 1 hour's worth? 1 minute's worth?

Many typical backup approaches no longer seem suitable. The most traditional backup process is straightforward offline backup. A company might choose specific applications to shut down for a certain period of time while the backup takes place. Unfortunately, offline backup is no longer viable for many applications. An airline reservation system, for example, can never close for a backup process to occur.

Consequently, many applications now support online backup so that the application can keep running as the backup occurs. With an online backup, the database continues to perform read operations, but journals write applications while the backup takes place. The database later updates itself by performing all the write operations that it stored during the backup process.

Although online backup eliminates the need to shut down an application, the process has drawbacks. First, the production database and the backed-up data are never entirely the same. Also, when the backup process is underway, the database is no longer operating in real time.

Over the past several years, large organizations have begun using data-replication technologies to aid in the backup process. With data replication, the system either mirrors all the data to a second storage system or periodically stores snapshots of the data on a second system. Replication, however, is a failover technology, not a substitute for backup procedures. If the database is corrupted, the replicated data is also corrupted.

Recently, companies have begun to offer real-time or windowless backup. Taking advantage of low-cost ATA disk arrays, a backup appliance timestamps and journals each update, creating a virtual view of the data. If a system should crash, the virtual view of the data lets administrators roll back the system to the moment in time just before the crash and restore the data from that point.

According to officials at StorageTek, which has one of the early entries in windowless backup technology, this approach protects data against hardware and software failure, environmental disasters, malicious viruses, and end-user errors such as unintended overwrites and deletes.

Windowless backup is a response to problems created by technologies that are considered solutions in other contexts. Considering its relatively low cost and its harmony with the rise of the concept of data lifecycle management, windowless backup will likely elbow its way into the backup and archiving hierarchy over the next several years.

~~~~ SPONSOR: PRECISE SRM SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS ~~~~ Join the other 3500 companies who have used StorageCentral SRM to reclaim up to 50% of their Windows storage space! With its intuitive, web-based ActiveReports, you're just two clicks away from cleaning out gigabytes of junk files including MP3s, movies and games. Plus, StorageCentral SRM will help you keep your servers clean with real time enforcement of file type blocking and TruStor quota limits. Download your free trial and get immediate results today!!




(contributed by Keith Furman, [email protected])

* EMC ANNOUNCES NEW SOFTWARE OFFERINGS The trend toward online software subscription services has hit the storage market. In its continued push to further strengthen its software offerings, EMC has released two new online software products, EMC SAN Architect and EMC AutoAdvice. The Web-based products are part of EMC ControlCenter and are available under subscription licensing.

EMC SAN Architect provides tools for Storage Area Network (SAN) design, modeling, and validation. Customers will be able to use the tool to model new SANs or change existing SANs. EMC is targeting the template-driven product to customers who rapidly change their SAN environments. The software leverages best practices and data from EMC's E-Lab interoperability lab. The product is available immediately as a 1-year subscription and starts at $2400.

EMC AutoAdvice provides customers access to performance and resource utilization for their applications, databases, servers, and storage systems. The new product expands EMC ControlCenter's reporting and monitoring capabilities to servers, databases, and applications. According to EMC, customers who use the new product will be able to isolate problems, identify future problems and--just as in EMC SAN Architect--leverage best practices and data from EMC's E-Lab. AutoAdvice is available immediately as a 1-year subscription. Pricing for the product depends on how many systems the product will monitor. The price for a single CPU is $400, but the company offers volume licensing.

* HDS PREPARES NEW BACKUP AND ARRAY OFFERINGS According to an "eWeek" report, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is preparing a slew of new products to better compete with its rivals. The report states that HDS is working on new backup appliances, IP storage software, management software, new hardware, and other bundled services. The new products, expected by the end of 2003, include object-based storage and switch-resident software. Due in early 2004 are new storage arrays that use inexpensive ATA drives instead of the more expensive SCSI drivers in most storage arrays. HDS will target the new arrays toward customers looking for slow, inexpensive online storage and or disk-based backup solutions. HDS is also working on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) blade for Lightning, which is code-named eNAS.

On the software front, HDS is working on new products for its HiCommand storage management suite. These products include Policy Manager, which will enable workflow automation and the ability to create and manage policies; Protection Manager, which provides scheduling and automation of data replication and backup/restore options; and Provisioning Manager, which automates application requirements. The company has $660 million dollars allocated toward software acquisitions and development and is currently exploring different options.,3959,1075040,00.asp



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

* HOW CAN YOU RECLAIM 30% TO 50% OF WINDOWS SERVER SPACE? Attend the newest Web seminar from Windows & .NET Magazine and discover the secrets from the experts. We'll also advise you on how to reduce storage growth and backups by 30% and how to reduce storage administration by 25% or more. There's no charge for this important Web event, but space is limited so register today!

* CAST YOUR VOTE IN OUR ANNUAL READERS' CHOICE AWARDS! Which companies and products are the best on the market? Tell us by nominating your favorites in the annual Windows & .NET Magazine Readers' Choice Awards survey. Click here!



(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

* SECURITY 2003 ROAD SHOW Join Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott as they deliver sound security advice at our popular Security 2003 Road Show event. For more information, go to the following URL.



(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

*AUTOMATE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS'S BACKUP PROCESSES Sony Electronics is helping small businesses automate their backup processes with AIT desktop autoloaders. The new solutions house one AIT-1, AIT-2, or AIT-3 drive and eight tape cartridges and can store more than a week's worth of high-capacity backup without daily manual tape changes. Pricing starts at $2900 and goes as high as $5600.

* MANAGE YOUR STORAGE ENVIRONMENT TeraCloud introduced enhanced capabilities into its SpaceNet 3.0 Storage Resource Management (SRM) software. TeraCloud is announcing Network Attached Storage (NAS) support in SpaceNet to optimize current storage systems and provide for growth. SpaceNet lets you manage your storage environment by recording important storage events and metrics, as well as identifying the need for and initiating automated actions to manage the storage enterprise. For pricing, contact TeraCloud at 425-709-2900 or [email protected]

* 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]



Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

* ABOUT THE COMMENTARY -- [email protected]

* ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL -- [email protected] (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)


* PRODUCT NEWS -- [email protected]



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