Storage UPDATE--October 20, 2003
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1. Commentary - Mobile Backup's Vexing Challenges
2. News and Views
- EMC Buys Documentum, Strikes Deal with BMC Software
- IBM Releases Advanced Storage Software Technology
- New Windows & .NET Magazine Web Site Unveiled!
- Microsoft IT Forum 2003, November 11-14, Copenhagen, Denmark
- RSA Conference 2003, RAI Congress Centre, Amsterdam, November 3-5, 2003
- Backup Exec Intelligent Recovery Problem
- The Secret Costs of Spam
6. New and Improved
- New HBAs for Sun StorEdge Open SAN Environments
- Dual-Controller Storage Array Now Available Worldwide
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
7. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
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==== 1. Commentary ====
by Elliot King, [email protected]
Mobile Backup's Vexing Challenges
Among storage administrators, consolidation is generating much discussion and action. Administrators are installing Storage Area Networks (SANs) to help them more efficiently use storage resources and are exploring storage virtualization technologies as a way to obtain a unified view of the storage infrastructure.
But while administrators are trying to centralize their control of storage functionality, a countervailing trend is emerging in the enterprise. An increasing number of people are untethering themselves from the network by moving to laptops as their primary computing device.
A few numbers illustrate the magnitude of this trend. According to market researchers Gartner and IDC, laptop computers now account for more than 20 percent of all PC sales, and that percentage is growing. In second quarter 2003, with PC sales still generally sluggish, sales of laptop computers jumped nearly 10 percent over first quarter 2003 and more than 22 percent compared with second quarter 2002. Although consumers are purchasing more laptops, businesses represent the largest laptop market. Even low-end laptops have a standard storage capacity of 30GB, so this trend translates into more people storing increasing amounts of enterprise data on laptop computers.
This development raises a serious problem for storage administrators. Left to themselves, many end users simply don't back up their data or send it to a central server. Relying on the goodwill of end users to back up their data isn't good security policy. Further heightening the risk, as many as 7 million laptops a year are badly damaged, lost, or stolen, according to IDC. Reconstructing data from a lost or stolen laptop can be arduous and expensive, if not impossible.
Over the past couple of years, several products have emerged to facilitate backing up mobile data. These products include Computer Associates' (CA's) BrightStor Mobile Backup, NovaStor's NovaNet-WEB, Novell iFolder, and Storactive's LiveBackup. These software tools basically capture and store changes in files in a local cache while a laptop is disconnected, then transmit those changes to a server for storage after the laptop connects to the network.
Widespread acceptance of such products has been slow, however, and for good reason. First, they require a fair amount of configuration to ensure that companies don't use their central storage space to back up all their end users' favorite MP3 files. Second, administrators are concerned about the strain that the backup process might place on the network. For their part, end users worry about the length of time the backup process takes. Users who become impatient and disconnect from the network in the middle of a backup can cause significant headaches for administrators. Finally, some products still require that backups be initiated from the client side--in those cases, administrators are still dependent on users to carry out backups.
A more sophisticated technological approach to the problem is emerging in which vendors bundle mobile backup software with other backup technologies. Sony released one of the first products to use this approach last month when it introduced the StorStation Laptop Data Protection (StorStation LDP) system. This system combines Sony's 720GB StorStation FSV-M5 servers with CA's BrightStor Mobile Backup software. After you specify which files to back up and the backup schedule, the StorStation LDP automatically detects when a laptop is connected to the network and initiates backup. And because the system captures changed data in cache, network traffic is reduced. According to Doug Stringer, director of storage solutions at Sony, the entire process is transparent to the end user.
Other companies are developing products with similar functionality. For example, VERITAS Software's NetBackup Professional can automatically detect and back up laptops after they're plugged into the network. And NewTech Infosystems (NTI) plans to add automatic detection of laptops to NTI Backup NOW! 3 Deluxe Suite in the future.
But new tools are only part of the solution. The first step is for storage administrators to face the problem and accept that users will generate and store more corporate data outside corporate networks as time goes by. Administrators need to develop mobile information policies, then educate end users to take those policies seriously. Only then can technology help solve the problem.
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==== 2. News and Views ====
by Keith Furman, [email protected]
EMC Buys Documentum, Strikes Deal with BMC Software
Continuing its buying spree, EMC will acquire content management software company Documentum for approximately $1.7 billion. Documentum's software helps enterprises manage unstructured content of all types, from audio/video (A/V) files to electronic documents. According to EMC, the acquisition will let it offer customers a complete information lifecycle management solution. The solution will cover every aspect of content management from creation and use to archiving and disposal.
Documentum stockholders will receive 2.175 shares of EMC for each share of Documentum. The transaction is expected to be completed in first quarter 2004. After its acquisition, Documentum will operate as a software division of EMC. Current CEO Dave DeWalt will continue to lead the company, which will maintain its headquarters in Pleasanton, California.
EMC also announced this week that BMC Software has named it a Foundation Partner for storage. EMC will work with BMC Software to integrate its ControlCenter family of storage-management software with BMC Software's enterprise management solutions. The first phase of integration, which is complete, integrates EMC's ControlCenter with BMC Software's PATROL Enterprise Manager (EM).
IBM Releases Advanced Storage Software Technology
IBM has announced new software technology designed to work with and automate data management in heterogeneous Storage Area Networks (SANs). Based on the IBM Research Division's Storage Tank technology, which has been in development for years, the IBM TotalStorage SAN File System is designed to manage files and databases as a centralized resource through a single point of control. "IBM's SAN File System has the potential to become to an organization's data what the Dewey Decimal System is to a library. It is a highly dynamic and autonomic product that reinvents the way information is filed, managed, shared, and accessed within an organization," said Dan Colby, general manager of storage systems at IBM.
The SAN File System, built with autonomic and Grid technology from the IBM Research Division, introduces a software virtualization layer that changes the way data is organized in network storage systems. The file system lets multiple servers access the same data without creating copies of it. The SAN File System also incorporates policy-based file provisioning, distributed file locking, and a file-based FlashCopy function. IBM TotalStorage SAN File System will be available on November 14, 2003, for $90,000 for a starter configuration.
IBM also announced updates to other storage products. The next version of IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller storage software will support disk storage arrays from non-IBM vendors, such as HP and Hitachi. The updated software will be available on IBM's Web site on November 14, 2003. The company also announced SAN Volume Controller storage software for Cisco Systems' MDS 9000 family, providing the benefits of IBM's virtualization software embedded within the Cisco MDS 9000 Series Caching Services Module. In addition, IBM has enhanced IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software to integrate more tightly with the IBM TotalStorage family of products.
==== 3. Announcements ====
(from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
New Windows & .NET Magazine Web Site Unveiled!
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Microsoft IT Forum 2003, November 11-14, Copenhagen, Denmark
Explore best practices for managing your systems and strengthening your security, gain effective guidance for planning and implementing rollouts of a host of Microsoft products and technologies, including Exchange Server 2003, Windows Server 2003, and others in the Windows Server System. Save 300 EUROS, register today.
RSA Conference 2003, RAI Congress Centre, Amsterdam, November 3-5, 2003
Whether you are deploying, developing, or investigating data security or cryptography products, make sure you attend Europe's leading information security conference and exhibition! To register or for more information, please click here.
==== 4. Resource ====
Backup Exec Intelligent Recovery Problem
User SP_KOJI is running VERITAS Software's Backup Exec 8.0 and wanted to experiment with the product's Intelligent Disaster Recovery Option. The user ran the Intelligent Disaster Recovery Preparation Wizard on a test machine to create Windows 2000 boot disks and an Intelligent Disaster Recovery disk, destroyed the test machine, then attempted to restore the system from the backup server. After restoring 99 percent of the system, Backup Exec failed because many files were skipped. The user rebooted the test machine as prompted and tried the restore again, with the same result. The backup log says that the access for files in Documents and Settings is denied. If you can help SP_KOJI, please click the link below.
==== 5. Event ====
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==== 6. New and Improved ====
by Renee Munshi, [email protected]
New HBAs for Sun StorEdge Open SAN Environments
JNI announced that Sun Microsystems has completed compatibility and integration testing of JNI's FibreStar host bus adapters (HBAs). FibreStar HBAs are now available for use in all Sun PCI servers operating in Sun StorEdge Open Storage Area Network (SAN) environments and are listed on Sun's price list. For more information about JNI products, visit the company's Web site.
Dual-Controller Storage Array Now Available Worldwide
Nexsan Technologies' dual-controller version of the InfiniSAN ATAboy2 storage array, designed for digital video, streaming media, and other high-demand, throughput-intensive applications, is now shipping in volume to customers worldwide. The ATAboy2 with dual Fibre Channel controllers delivers sustained throughput of more than 340MBps. The compact design lets you mount two 1.75TB RAID sets in just 3U (5.25") of rack space, providing 3.5TB of high-performance storage supporting up to 32 LUNs per controller. For more information, please see Nexsan's Web site.
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