September 5, 2014

An Omaha city employee recently gained unwanted public visibility after they sent twelve filing cabinets containing a hundred years of irreplaceable original building permits from the basement of City Hall to the county dump. It turns out that the head of the permits and inspections division decided to get rid of the cabinets as part of cleaning out its basement storage area. They did not realize that other city employees regularly pulled the permits, which dated from the 1880s through the 1980s. They were also apparently unaware that a local preservation group was developing a plan to move the permits to a new facility in order to make the permits more secure and accessible to the public.
Like Omaha’s City Hall, businesses often face what appear to be incompatible priorities. IT departments are expected to keep spending in check and know that only 10-20 percent of data is ever accessed after 60 days of its creation. But knowing which data to keep available and which data to delete or archive can be a challenge. This type of dilemma is one of many drivers in the development of a new group of storage systems–public cloud gateways.

July 25, 2014

As DCIG prepares to release its forthcoming DCIG 2014-15 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide, it has unveiled a number of changes in the features offered on virtual server backup software and the ways in which they offer them. While support for VMware and its various capabilities certainly remain a focal point, support for other hypervisors, connectivity to public storage clouds and even tape support are becoming a bigger part of the conversation. Here are five early insights that DCIG has gleaned from the research that it has completed in recent weeks and months.

July 11, 2014

There is literally a divergence occurring right now in data storage solutions. On one hand, a number of storage providers seek to deliver highly differentiated storage solutions that work with a broad set of applications and operating systems. On the other, a few providers focus on delivering a storage solution that tightly integrates with one or more applications to deliver unparalleled levels of application performance and ease of management. The latest Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance ZS3 Series with its new OS8.2 provide the best of what both of these categories of storage systems currently have to offer to deliver a storage platform that truly stands apart.

May 30, 2014

As the role of IT changes from functioning as specialists to generalists, many IT staff members find themselves in the role of a Business Technologist. In this new role, they serve a two-fold purpose. First, they must understand and document the specific needs and requirements of the business by interfacing with key end-users and product managers. Once they document these needs, they then map those requirements to a specific technology solution that solves them.

May 23, 2014

As I attended sessions at Microsoft TechEd 2014 last week and talked with people in the exhibit hall a number of themes emerged including “mobile first, cloud first”, hybrid cloud, migration to the cloud, disaster recovery as a service, and flash memory storage as a game-changer in the data center. But as I reflect on the entire experience, a statement made John Loveall, Principal Program Manager for Microsoft Windows Server during one of his presentations sums up to overall message of the conference, “Today it is really all about the integrated solution.”

May 16, 2014

At TechEd 2014 in Houston, TX this week, Microsoft made it clear that it is no longer content to just send customers to storage array vendors to meet their storage needs, especially when it comes to embracing a cloud-oriented approach to infrastructure. In the process of improving Windows storage technology, Microsoft is effectively delivering the benefits of–and addressing the barriers to–the adoption of server SAN technology.

May 1, 2014

There is backup and then there is backup. To meet the backup and recovery needs of today’s organizations, they need to verify that the selected backup appliance includes the features needed to protect their environment today and positions them to meet their needs into the foreseeable future. In this third installment of DCIG’s interview with STORServer President Bill Smoldt, he describes the new must-have features that backup appliances must offer.

April 7, 2014

Arrived in Las Vegas last night to spend three (3) days and nights with a forecasted 90,000 other attendees at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show. As one of NAB’s opening events – and my first stop at the show – was the ShowStoppers event at the Wynn Hotel and Casino near the Las Vegas convention center. There analysts and press got to spend a couple of uninterrupted hours talking with select providers about numerous emerging technologies, one of which was software defined storage.

March 19, 2014

In this final blog entry from our interview with Nimbus Data CEO and Founder Thomas Isakovich, we discuss his company’s latest product, the Gemini X-series. We explore the role of the Flash Director and how it Gemini X-series appeals to enterprises as well as cloud service providers.

March 14, 2014

One of the more difficult tasks for anyone deeply involved in technology is the ability to see the forest from the trees. Often responsible for supporting the technical components that make up today’s enterprise infrastructures, to step back and recommend which technologies are the right choices for their organization going forward is a more difficult feat. While there is no one right answer that applies to all organizations, five (5) technologies – some new as well as some old technologies that are getting a refresh – merit that organizations prioritize them in the coming months and years.

March 11, 2014

DCIG is pleased to announce the availability of its DCIG 2014-15 $50K and Under Converged Infrastructure Buyer’s Guide. In this two Buyer’s Guides, DCIG weights, scores and ranks 10 converged infrastructure solutions from six (6) different providers. Like previous DCIG Buyer’s Guides, this Buyer’s Guide provides the critical information that all size organizations need when selecting a converged infrastructure solution to help expedite application deployments and then simplify their long term management.

November 19, 2013

Anyone who managed IT infrastructures in the late 1990′s or early 2000′s probably still remembers how external storage arrays were largely a novelty reserved for high end enterprises with big data centers and deep pockets. Fast forward to today and a plethora of storage arrays exist in a variety of shapes and sizes at increasingly low price points. As such it can be difficult to distinguish between them. To help organizations sort them out, my blog entry today provides a primer on the types of storage arrays currently available on the market.

November 14, 2013

Archiving or backing up large amounts of data to the cloud is very appealing until one starts to examine the mechanics of actually sending or retrieving that data from the cloud. Waiting minutes or hours to send or retrieve data is no longer acceptable to today’s end-users who are rapidly becoming accustomed to near-instant response times. In this fifth and final part of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, he explains how sending or retrieving data in a piecemeal fashion to the cloud is the fastest and most effective way to do so.

November 6, 2013

Storing archival and backup data in the cloud is high on the list of priorities of many organizations if for no other reason is that the data remains accessible and available without organizations having to bear the burden of managing the data locally long term. But as more organizations use cloud storage gateways to store this data, they will find distinct differences in how these appliances manage data in the cloud with differences sometimes existing even between appliances from the same vendor. In this fourth part of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, he reveals the various methods that the BridgeSTOR NAS and VTL cloud gateway appliances store, access and manage this data locally and in the cloud.

October 29, 2013

Ask any large organization how many tapes they have sitting around in local storage or at Iron Mountain or some other third party storage facility and odds are they have more tapes – and are likely spending more money storing these tapes – than they would like to admit. This opens up a unique opportunity for a third party provider to solve this dilemma. In this third part of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, we discuss how using the BridgeSTOR VTL cloud gateway appliance organizations can move their tape museums into the cloud.

October 17, 2013

NAS gateway appliances that connect to backend public storage clouds are still not a “dime a dozen” but they are definitely more prevalent than they were even a few years ago. However a new class of gateway appliances that provides a virtual tape library (VTL) is now available from BridgeSTOR. In this second part of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, we discuss the inner workings of its VTL interface that it is making available this month on its cloud gateway appliance.

October 2, 2013

Storing data in the cloud is on almost every company’s radar screen. However what remains a little hazy is the best way for them to store data in the cloud. The use of public cloud storage gateways as a means to store and retrieve data from public storage clouds is rapidly emerging as the preferred option to do so. In this first blog entry of my interview series with BridgeSTOR’s CEO John Matze, we take a look at some of the different gateways solutions available for accessing public storage clouds and how they differ.

September 9, 2013

Security, security, security. The word rings loud and clear in the ears of corporate business owners when it comes to the data and information stored on mobile devices. Allowing employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) may increase productivity but an organization needs to make sure their sensitive information does not become public. In the fourth and final part of my interview with Amtel, Inc. CEO, Pankaj Gupta, we examine the growing trend in enterprises adopting BYOD and the scope of systems management being offered by organizations like Amtel.

August 30, 2013

On my flight home last night from San Francisco to Omaha I had the opportunity to reflect a bit on what I learned and saw at VMworld 2013 this past week. In particular, I spent a fair amount of time thinking back as to what were the most transformational technologies I saw while at VMworld. Having now thought about it, I have to classify those offered by Amazon, Avere and Oracle as having the most promise to transform how the data center is delivered and designed sooner rather than later.

August 26, 2013

In the arena of mobile data storage a business has a few options. In choosing which solution is best a company may ask itself, “Is keeping data on premises or putting it in the cloud more cost-effective?” and “Do we feel comfortable using the cloud for our storage needs?” During my first installment with Amtel, Inc. CEO, Pankaj Gupta, we chatted about how companies can adopt an open attitude in the corporate world of bring your own device (BYOD). Now, in my second segment with Amtel’s CEO, we discuss the benefits of storing data in the cloud, how secure cloud storage really is, and how accepting midmarket companies and larger enterprises are of putting their data in the cloud.