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 April 2008

Live (Again) From Interop: Workshop A Success, But No Takers On Craps Lessons

The worst news from Interop is that my fat old body just can't handle the things I did easily 15 years ago when I made a living teaching 5-day NetWare administration seminars. My Disaster Recovery Cookbook workshop went well, with 80 of my now-closest friends spending the day listening to me pontificate on the relative merits of Cemaphore Systems' MailShadow over Double-Take or WANsync. I, however, was a wreck at the end of the day. Even more disappointing, no one took me up on my offer of free

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HP Upline Sets Back Cause Of Online Backup

It's no secret that I think online backup is the best solution for the SOHO market. Unlike tape, it gets the data off-site and it's set it and forget it. The backup client runs every night and will even pop up in your face if it can't backup your data for a few days. Problem is, convincing the SOHO owner. They're afraid it will stop working, someone will steal their data from the provider, it will be too slow, etc., etc., etc. Early this month, HP announced Upline, an online backup service that

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So The Rumor's True - IBM Snaps Up Diligent

In its third storage acquisition in short order, IBM proved the rumor mill right Friday by snapping up deduping VTL vendor Diligent Technologies for what Israeli business site Globes says was $200 million. For IBM's spin on the deal, see the release here. If rumors about EMC and Quantum making a deal for deduplicating backup hardware are

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ExaGrid Releases Deduping Gateway For iSCSI Disk

ExaGrid's been getting pretty good traction with its deduplicating NAS appliances for backup, with more than 200 customers. I wrote about ExaGrid's appliances just last month here. This week it's introducing a gateway model that lets you use iSCSI storage for your deduplicated data rather than buying an appliance with built-in storage. ExaGrid's tested the gateway with EqualLogic's iSCSI arrays and is p

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Blatant Self Promotion: Disaster Recovery Workshop At Interop

The editors at InformationWeek have told me I have to limit the blatant self-promotion to TechWeb-produced events, so I'm glad to announce that Interop is coming fast. On Sunday, April 26, I'll be presenting The Disaster Recovery Cookbook: Recipes for Recovery, a full-day workshop at the beautiful Mandalay Bay hotel casino and conference center in Las Vegas. Check out the program at

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Another CDP Vendor Bites The Dust. IBM Buys FilesX

2008 isn't turning out to be a good year for continuous data protection vendors. Mendocino Software closed it's doors, Double-Take Software snapped up TimeSpring for a nice bag of shiny beads and a few ax handles, and now IBM is buying FilesX for what Israeli business news site Globes reports to be $70 million to $90 million dollars. That would be a pretty good exit, as the VCs that funded FilesX only put in around $20 million. FilesX will be a good server complement to IBM's Tivoli CDP for File

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NetEx Speeds Data Transfers, Replication

Distance is the key difference between disaster preparedness and mere high-availability systems. Unfortunately, with distance comes latency, and latency can really kill the performance of TCP/IP applications. Add in even a tiny bit of data loss, say one in a million packets, and TCP/IP scales back its data-transfer window, dropping the effective data-transfer rate of your cross-country T-3 line to as little as 10 Mbps. NetEx's HyperIP appliances can boost link utilization for common replication

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Fujitsu Releases DR Disk Array Bundle

Setting up a disaster recovery site is a daunting task for most smaller IT departments. They'll need to find a site, contract for bandwidth between their office and the DR site, set up data replication, and learn how to babysit the whole thing, all while keeping the existing systems running. Sometimes, after I've managed the process for a client, I think changing the tires on a Greyhound bus as it rolls down the highway would be easier. Now Fujitsu Computer Systems has released a bundled solutio

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Sun Adds Data Deduplication To VTL Line

Just as the arrival of the first robin -- the bird, not Dick Grayson, fanboy -- is a harbinger of spring, adoption by three-letter vendors is an indication that a technology is moving from the revolutionary land of the startup to the mainstream. Sun's announcement today that it's adding deduplication to the StorageTek VTLPrime is just another indication that deduplication is mainstream, if not overdue.

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Bleary-Eyed In Orlando - Must Be SNW

Well, after the usual two-hour delay getting out of Newark I'm finally ensconced in my 1-star hotel and preparing for another Storage Networking World. I've already gotten a few interesting "pre-briefings" before tomorrow's big golf outing. For those that don't follow such things, SNW is run by SNIA (The Storage Network Industry Association) and they seem to think the most important part of the conference is the golf outing. They must, or they wouldn't always have it at a $300/night hotel with a

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Is Deduplication An Excuse To Be Lazy?

I was chatting with a three-letter storage vendor today about its upcoming entry into the data deduplication market. As its reps rattled off the usual benefits of data deduplication, they said administrators could stop running differential and incremental backups and just make full backups since the virtual tape library would deduplicate the data anyway. I see the logic, but the old-time admin in the back of my head is yelling "That's just wrong." What do you think?

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