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Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--Risky Storage Behavior--September 26, 2005

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1. Commentary
- Shockingly Risky Storage Behavior

2. From the Community
- Problem with Tape Backup from an SBS 2000 Server
- Vendor Briefing: DataCore Adds "Diskless Boot" Option to iSCSI SANs

3. New and Improved
- NovaStor Offers Free 30-Day Offsite Storage to Firms in Hurricane Rita's Path
- Ontrack Provides Free Evaluations of Storm-Damaged Storage Media
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources

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==== 1. Commentary: Shockingly Risky Storage Behavior ====
by Elliot King, [email protected]

After a summer filled with tales of data theft, natural disasters, and executives going to jail in part because of email messages they wrote, you'd think IT pros who oversee storage matters in their organizations would be totally focused on mitigating the real risks they and their companies face. But a series of research reports from the UK and Germany indicate otherwise. In fact, according to these studies, many companies haven't yet implemented adequate business continuity plans, have failed to address email-compliance issues, and are ignoring the danger posed by widespread use of USB memory sticks. Disasters, compliance, and data theft are known risks. Yet many companies apparently still like to pretend they don't exist.

Inadequate Business Continuity Planning
Perhaps the most shocking report comes from AXA Group, a UK-based international insurance company. AXA's research reveals that 46 percent of UK companies don't have a business continuity plan. This statistic is particularly distressing because 17 percent of the companies surveyed have been affected by a disaster. Around 20 percent of those companies needed more than 1 week to get up and running again, and 8 percent needed more than 6 months.

Of course, establishing a business continuity plan is only the first step. After all, the folks in New Orleans had a plan to deal with a catastrophic hurricane. It just didn't work. According to AXA, fewer than half the companies that developed business continuity plans used professional advice in doing so, and only 30 percent had ever tested the plan. Of companies that had tested their plan, 20 percent say they've tested their business continuity procedures only once, and 40 percent test their plan only once a year. The net result: Only 42 percent of the companies that have business continuity plans and also actually faced a disaster felt that their plan had been effective.

Ignoring Email Compliance
In the same way that companies have ignored the need to have a well-conceived, well-rehearsed business continuity plan, many companies are also apparently turning a blind eye to the compliance dangers that email poses. In a survey of 100 CIOs by Cryoserver, a UK-based email-compliance company, 80 percent say that they have little or no confidence that their email systems are in compliance with major regulations. At the same time, 68 percent indicate that they've had to retrieve email to resolve a regulatory or compliance issue.

The Cryoserver survey results paint a complex picture. On the one hand, virtually all the CIOs acknowledge that the misuse of email could hurt their companies, and only 18 percent feel that they're sufficiently investing in appropriate email technology. On the other hand, 75 percent of the CIOs said they had no idea how vulnerable their email system might make their company, and only around 25 percent have ever had their email systems assessed by third-party experts. Finally, the Cryoserver report shows that CIOs greatly underestimate the costs they could incur from a lawsuit that arises through the misuse of email. The report cited the example of Perot Systems, which said it spent more than $7 million sifting through 5 years of email to defend itself against the claims of a former employee.

Memory Sticks and Data Theft
The loss of data stored on USB memory sticks is the third area to which storage pros seem to be oblivious. According a survey by Steganos, a German data-encryption company, 41 percent of respondents say that they store company data on memory sticks. Of that group, 83 percent say that they don't use any data encryption. Without data encryption, if a memory stick were lost or stolen, anyone could extract, copy, edit, and transmit the data on it.

Laptop users, who are big users of memory sticks, are only slightly more likely to encrypt data, with 76 percent claiming to do so. Of course, many people find memory sticks a convenient, easy way to transport data. But memory sticks are easily lost or stolen. Many companies, the Steganos report argues, don't yet have adequate policies governing the use of memory sticks or encrypting them.

Business continuity, email compliance, and the use of portable memory devices are known risks. Although many storage pros focus primarily on ensuring that systems meet their service level agreements (SLAs), storage pros have an important role in shaping data-protection policies--including disaster recovery (which includes creating and testing a business continuity plan), email archiving, and protecting data in portable storage devices. Storage administrators should take the lead in mitigating the ongoing risks to data and the risks of the misuse of data to their companies.

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

Problem with Tape Backup from an SBS 2000 Server

Storage/Backup/Recovery forum participant "ashranch" is using NTBackup to back up a Small Business Server 2000 system to tape and is getting "media is full" and "unrecognized media" errors. If you can help, join the discussion by going to , scrolling down to the Other Computing section, and clicking Storage/Backup/Recovery.

Vendor Briefing: DataCore Adds "Diskless Boot" Option to iSCSI SANs
by Anne Grubb, [email protected]

Traditionally, SAN products fall into two groups: at the low end, iSCSI SANs, aimed primarily at small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), and at the high end, Fibre Channel SANs, geared toward enterprises. DataCore Software President and CEO George Teixeira says that the company wants to buck this trend and give SMB customers Fibre Channel's advanced features at iSCSI prices. Earlier this year, DataCore announced partnerships with several vendors to improve its storage-virtualization offerings. Then in mid-September, DataCore announced that, through a partnership with emBoot, it's adding a feature to DataCore SANMelody software that lets Windows servers remotely boot off an iSCSI SAN.

"Diskless boot offers a 'poor man's' way to do disaster recovery," says Teixeira. "You keep your copy of the boot drive in the SAN, then reboot off the SAN if your desktop fails." The diskless boot feature gives iSCSI users another feature typically reserved for pricier SANs: thin provisioning. Using this capability, says Teixeira, "I can serve up virtual disk drives to applications, and systems never run out of disk space."

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

NovaStor Offers Free 30-Day Offsite Storage to Firms in Hurricane Rita's Path

NovaStor, a provider of data-backup solutions, announced that it will offer free offsite storage for 30 days to any small business or system integrators working with small businesses located in the expected path of Hurricane Rita. NovaStor will back up critical data of small businesses in Louisiana or Texas and in the Hurricane Rita area and store data in encrypted form in NovaStor's data center facility in southern California. For more information about the special offer, go to

Ontrack Provides Free Evaluations of Storm-Damaged Storage Media

Ontrack Data Recovery, a provider of data recovery software and services, has responded to numerous inquiries about handling and recovering data from storage devices damaged in Hurricane Katrina by offering free evaluations of damaged media and specially designed media shipping kits to help customers properly package and ship damaged media to data-recovery firms. Ontrack also provides a variety of tips for handling damaged media on its Web site. For more information about Ontrack Data Recovery's data-recovery services for hurricane victims, go to

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

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected].


==== 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.

==== Resources and Events ====
(brought to you by Windows IT Pro)

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Are You Walking the Tightrope Between Recovery and Continuity?

There's a big difference between the ability to quickly recover lost or damaged data and the ability to keep your messaging operations running normally before, during, and after an outage. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn what the technical differences are between recovery and continuity, when each is important, and what you can do to make sure that you're hitting the right balance between them.

Streamline Desktop Deployments - Free Web Seminar and White Paper!

Managing desktop software configurations doesn't have to be a manual process, resulting in unplanned costs, deployment delays, and client confusion. In this on-demand Web seminar, find out how to manage the software-package preparation process and increase your desktop reliability, user satisfaction, and IT cost-effectiveness. Plus - register today and receive a free industry white paper on standardizing the software-packaging process.

Deploy VoIP and FoIP Technologies

Voice over IP (VoIP) is the future of telecommunications, and many companies are already enjoying the benefits of using VoIP networks to significantly reduce telephone and facsimile costs. Join industry expert David Chernicoff for this free Web seminar to learn the "ins and outs" of boardless fax in IP environments (Fax over IP--FoIP), tips for rolling out fax, integrating fax with telephony technologies, and more!

==== Featured White Paper ====

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