Enterprise Storage Strategies

Stephen Foskett

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Top Stories by Stephen Foskett

Ocarina's Carter George continued the conversation on backups, asking if the conventional backup paradigm was obsolete, and if file copies could serve the same purpose. As mentioned in our "What Is a Backup?" post, this is the same question posed by EMC's Scott Waterhouse recently. Putting Copies To The Test George suggests a copy-based scenario: "Why not just move files that are candidates for being backed up to a separate tier of storage, keeping them as files in their native format, and organizing them in time coherent views?" To determine whether this is truly a backup, let's apply our new rules to determine when a copy becomes a backup: A copy is, by definition, a copy of a set of data. This copy is not mentioned as being protected or offline, which worries the IT admin in me. Could they be overwritten or corrupted? Would they disappear along with the primary data... (more)

Is a Private Cloud Worthwhile?

Much discussion in the cloud computing world has focused on a simple question: Is a private cloud infrastructure worthy of the name? It's been posed in many ways, with some going so far as claiming that there is no such thing as a private cloud. Although discussions like these are all too common in many areas, the question really amounts to little more than counting angels dancing on pin heads. The key issue is whether private cloud-style infrastructure can deliver real benefits like public clouds can. First, let's set out some definitions: The draft NIST definition, perhaps the ... (more)

Cloud Storage, Storage in the Cloud, and Cloudy Storage Systems

As I discussed in my previous post, What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?, today's cloud storage is unique from the SAN and NAS (and even CAS) that has gone before. Beyond the cost and flexibility benefits inherent in public cloud computing resources of all sorts, cloud storage is unique in its openness, programmability, and the possibilities it opens for distribution and collaboration. These compelling benefits, along with an explosion of cloud hype, have led every company with a product even remotely "cloudy" to jump into the market. In my corner of ... (more)

How to Comply with Data Encryption Laws

In my last blog post, I pointed out the new laws in Massachusetts and Nevada that require all personal data in transit to be encrypted. That post generated lots of discussion, including thoughtful responses from Steve Duplessie and Joseph Martins, and I urge you to read those as well. Two key questions remain: What exactly do these laws demand and how will you actually comply with them? Sure, encryption technology is widely available, but actually implementing it has been a slow uphill climb for most IT organizations. Let's examine the implications! What the Law Requires In my ye... (more)

Why Isn't Storage Getting Cheaper? Part 2: Too Much to Manage

As discussed yesterday, the incredible growth of storage capacity led to an attitude that storage was too cheap to manage. Excess data capacity seemed always to absorb any new demand. But the unchecked growth of data led to the serious issues that storage managers face today: Difficulties in protecting massive data sets, concerns about compliance and litigation, and storage budgets that refuse to shrink. Why isn't storage getting cheaper? This series of articles attempts to answer this question: Too Cheap to Manage Too Much to Manage Tiered Storage The Glass Floor Storage as a ... (more)