Profile of Howard MarksNetwork 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: http://www.deepstorage.net/NEW/GBoS
Articles by Howard Marks
posted in August 2008
With the biggest investment in disaster recovery and business continuity infrastructure since SunGard bought Comdisco's Availability Solutions business unit for $825 million in 2001, IBM has declared its intention to be a disaster recovery service provider worldwide. It is building 13 new "Business Resilience Centers" to expand its services beyond the mainframe-based services it is known for.
Because it has just shipped the 20,000th unit of its midrange Scalar i500 tape library. Even with disk-based solutions, including Quantum's own DXi line, taking most of the mindshare for backup destinations, the fact that Quantum could sell 20,000 Scalar i500s in two and a half years is proof there's still some life in old-fashioned tape.
Disk-to-disk backup appliance vendor Revinetix updated the RevOS software on its dedicated backup appliances to store just a single copy of a file or e-mail message across multiple locations and backup sessions. Their PR folks then sent out a press release saying they were adding data deduplication. The semanticist in me says "That's not deduplication, that's single-instance storage." I reserve the term deduplication for processes that reduce duplicate data contained in similar, not just identic
After a history of poor service and multiple cases of lost user data, the online backup vendor known as MediaMax and, finally, The Linkup went belly up this month, leaving users in the lurch. More important, how can you avoid losing your data when, or if, a storage service provider fails?
Yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the biggest electrical blackout in North American history. Some 50,000,000 people from Ohio to D.C. to Ontario (Canada, not California) were without power for up to four days. The mainstream media is covering the big picture and lessons the power industry can learn to make the grid more resistant to trees knocking down power lines. I wanted to take the opportunity to address the questions this event raises for IT.
This morning VMware infrastructure users worldwide discovered that VMware's update 2 for ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 decided that their ESX licenses had expired when they attempted to start up virtual machines or use Infrastructure's Vmotion or DRS to move a VM from one ESX host to another. To put it bluntly, VMware customers had their VMware product stop working because VMware doesn't trust them and the copy protection code VMware built into its product did way more harm than any good it would ever do
Apparently there's some bad blood between Toronto-based Asigra and Robobak, based in Atlanta, as Asigra has filed suit against Robobak claiming that Robobak maliciously made false statements about Asigra and its products. While I'll stipulate that the releases did tweak Asigra's nose, I'm disappointed to see our Canadian cousins adopting the lawsuit.
Introduced with Windows Server 2003, the volume shadow copy service (VSS) has vastly improved the lives of those of us whose lot in life includes backing up Windows machines. By providing a standard mechanism for creating and managing snapshots, VSS lets backup applications get data-consistent backups of complex data stores like Active Directory and Exchange or Oracle databases. Why isn't there an equivalent for Linux?
Ever since its 2001 acquisition of Comdisco Availability Services SunGard has been the dominant player in the disaster recovery business offering a wide array of services, all based on physical hardware. Now, through partnerships wit VMWare and Double-Take, they're entering the twenty first century with a disaster recovery solution using virtual servers at the DR site to receive host based replication data.
When I describe data deduplication to users for the first time, the first two questions they ask always are, "Is this for real?," sometimes rephrased as "You're kidding me, right?," followed quickly with "What kind of deduplication ratios can I expect?"