Howard Marks - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Howard Marks

Profile of Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger
News & Commentary Posts: 141

Howard Marks is founder and chief scientist at Deepstorage LLC, a storage consultancy and independent test lab based in Santa Fe, N.M. and concentrating on storage and data center networking. In more than 25 years of consulting, Marks has designed and implemented storage systems, networks, management systems and Internet strategies at organizations including American Express, J.P. Morgan, Borden Foods, U.S. Tobacco, BBDO Worldwide, Foxwoods Resort Casino and the State University of New York at Purchase. The testing at DeepStorage Labs is informed by that real world experience.

He has been a frequent contributor to Network Computing and InformationWeek since 1999 and a speaker at industry conferences including Comnet, PC Expo, Interop and Microsoft's TechEd since 1990. He is the author of Networking Windows and co-author of Windows NT Unleashed (Sams).

He is co-host, with Ray Lucchesi of the monthly Greybeards on Storage podcast where the voices of experience discuss the latest issues in the storage world with industry leaders.  You can find the podcast at:

Articles by Howard Marks
posted in February 2008

Fireproof Storage? I Don't Get It

Over the past couple of years ioSafe, Sentry, and Schwab have introduced a new generation of backup targets, fireproof storage. A Frankenstein like crossbreeding of USB hard drive or NAS and fireproof safe, they can protect your backups against fire, flood (as they're waterproof, too) and gloom of night. Last Interop our own Steve Hill drove out to the desert with the friendly folks from ioSafe, poured a flammable liquid on one of there NAS boxes and had himself a nice little computer barbecue s

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EMC Boosts Mozy Pro Prices Up To 300%

In an e-mail sent to MozyPro resellers this week, EMC announced new pricing for online backup of servers via its MozyPro division effective March 1. Users that purchase plans under the current pricing will be grandfathered in, so if you were thinking that MozyPro was the right answer for your servers, sign up now. Of course, you also may want to consider another provider, like Intronis Technologies' eSureIT or IBackup Professional, now that MozyPro is in their price range.

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EMC Updates RecoverPoint SAN CDP/Replication Engine

The new 3.0 version of its RecoverPoint CDP/Replication appliance extends the technology EMC acquired with Kashya in 2006. The version provides both local replication to a CDP volume and journal on the same Fibre Channel SAN as the primary storage and remote asynchronous replication via IP to another array at the same time. Unlike array-based replication options, the source and destination arrays need not be the same type, or even from the same vendor.

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Symantec Protection Network -- Online Backup, How Innovative?

This week Symantec released the first services from its previously announced Symantec Protection Network (SPN) and, as Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise," online backup. Symantec Online Backup is a middle of the road service for small businesses that should have some appeal, especially after Symantec takes the time to add a few features the competition already has. Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec, on the other hand, breaks new ground providing online off-site backup cap

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Tough Times in CDPland - Has Mendocino Bit The Dust?

Just two years ago it looked like Continuous Data Protection might actually replace the weekly full backup, nightly incremental backup tedium that's ruled the data center since T.Rex walked the earth. Microsoft's Data Protection Manager endorsed the concept, but was so limited it did more to open the market for other players like TimeSpring and FilesX than box them out. At the high end, Revivio, Mendocino Software, and Kaysha had Fibre Channel appliances that would split off writes to even the b

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Data Domain's DD120 Brings De-Duping Down To Branch Offices

In the four short years since Data Domain introduced their original DD240 appliance, hardware data de-duplication in the data center has evolved from interesting technology to accepted, if not yet standard, practice. While big enterprise data centers with petabytes of data and hundreds of terabytes of nightly backups are still more interested in raw speed than storage efficiency, most of us could improve our backup infrastructure significantly with de-duplication. With the new DD120, Data Domai

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MessageOne EMS -- Mail Management From The Cloud?

MessageOne's whole premise is that it's easier and possibly cheaper to provide e-mail filtering, continuity, and archiving from the Net than for organizations to use software and appliances and roll their own solutions. For many organizations, especially those with many distributed servers, it may be. Let's take a look at how each of their services looks against the popular alternatives.

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Dell Buys Brother's Company MessageOne For $155 Million

Dell coughed up $155,000,000 for e-mail continuity specialist MessageOne, a company that just happened to be founded by Michael Dell's little brother, Adam. The official press release describes all the hoops Dell jumped through, including throwing a small pile of money at Morgan Stanley to bless the price, to make this look like an arm's length transaction. After all, various Dell family investment vehicles owned almost 10% of MessageOne. While I suspect no one at Dell would have gone looking fo

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When A Key Vendor Goes Away; Or, Choose Your Encryption Well

Reacting to the seemingly endless conga line of companies announcing one of their employees lost a laptop or tape that held un-encrypted customer data, some organizations rushed into encryption solutions that may have caused more problems than they solve. While pundits recommended SAN encryption appliances for performance, the market turned out to be smaller than expected, forcing vendors Kasten Chase and NeoScale out of business in the past 18 months. Customers of these defunct vendors have a

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HYDRAstor De-Duplicating Grid Storage For Backup And Archive From NEC? Yes, NEC

Much as I always respected the engineering of NEC's products in the past, the one thing you wouldn't call them is exciting. The short form of the review of the S2500 disk array I wrote a couple of years ago in Network Computing would have read "Solid modular disk array has all the features you'd expect, but mothering unique. They sell a lot of them in the home market, so don't worry about being a guinea pig." Well, with HYDRAstor, it has something unique.

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Hitachi Data Systems Releases De-Duping VTLs

Expanding on its existing resale arrangement with Diligent Technologies, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is now shipping preconfigured virtual tape libraries combining Diligent's ProtecTEIR software and HDS' AMS modular Fibre Channel disk array. Based on customer feedback that indicated customers would rather buy, and VARS would rather sell, preconfigured systems than server, software, disk storage, and the inevitable professional services separately.

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Whitepaper Says Disk Backup Risky If Dropped

Every once in a while a vendor comes up with a catchy title for a white paper. Today, Cybernetics' "The Risk of a Disk-Only Backup Strategy: The Case for Disk and Tape" crossed my desk. Being an open-minded kind of guy, I figured I'd give it a read. After a couple of sensible pages about how hard drives fail in use and tapes on the shelf are pretty stable, it tries to prove its point with laboratory tests of how well hard drives and tapes work after being dropped. This begs the question

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Holographic Data Storage -- Too Kewl For School?

Two events in the past few weeks drew my attention back to holographic data storage. InPhase Technologies announced it raised $20 million in a D round of financing. Its Tapestry 300 GB disk and drive has been about a year away for about 18 months. Now, development delays are nothing new in technology development, ask Microsoft about just about any version of Windows, and Turner Broadcasting has been using the InPhase drives in a pilot for a while, so it probably will ship it eventually.

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Backup MX - It's The Least You Can Do

When I ask organizations to list their mission critical applications, e-mail is always on the list. While organizations are investing in all sorts of high-availability solutions for their e-mail servers, I'm amazed at how often they skip the inexpensive steps that will insure that legit e-mail doesn't get bounced if the e-mail server is down. When your mail server, or Internet connection, is down, a backup MX, or mail exchange, server will accept mail for your domain and forward it automatically

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D'oh! -- I Should Have Made A Backup #2

In our last installment, a disgruntled employee deleted files from the computers at the small office where she worked. Her boss should have known better, but we don't expect Florida architects to be IT mavens. In episode 2, cable TV operator Charter Communications, whose chairman and largest stockholder is none other than Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, accidentially deleted 14,000 e-mail accounts and their contents.

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