Leap Year - Time to Talk Tape!?

On this 29th of February, there's the opportunity to do special-indeed, by definition, rare-things: if it's your birthday you actually get to blow out candles and of course there's the tradition that on this day it is OK for ladies to propose marriage to men. And today I celebrate by talking about tape! A few hours from now I'll participate in a webinar with Quantum (the details and registration can be found here if you're interested). Of course it will be available for replay afterwards if you're reading this blog after the event - I'm told it will even be available on days other than February 29th however! And I'll bet there will be backups and archives of it....

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Solid-state Chips Away At Spinning Disk

OK, I admit it....I'm beginning to run low on witty puns to act as headings for all the blogs I need to write dealing with the furious rate of news and evolution in the world of solid-state. I'm definitely understanding why some car manufacturers use (and re-use) just model numbers for their vehicles....so much easier than coming up with a name!

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Riverbed and Akamai Haulin' SaaS

I just spent an afternoon with Riverbed and Akamai in Cambridge MA, listening to how some of the best and brightest from their respective fields have teamed up to jointly develop a solution to accelerate SaaS traffic over the internet. They refer to their joint solution as the Steelhead Cloud Accelerator and the initial results are impressive. An oversubscribed beta program, testimonials from users wanting to deploy enterprise-wide before it was GA, and an end-user that flew over from Norway to talk about his results are all indications that they may be on to something here.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking

Who's To Blame? Sentiment Analysis Will Tell You

This week, several mobile carriers rolled out updates to older Android phones. The Android 2.2.x (Froyo) operating system has been out since May of 2010. Release 2.2.2 has been on a rolling release since January 2011 and is just now being pushed out to older phones, like my Samsung Galaxy Continuum, by Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile. For me, it has been a disaster with about 20% to 25% of my apps no longer working. How many apps are "not working" depends on whether you include random crashes or only immediate crashes. I apparently have gotten off lightly. Some customers are reporting problems where the phone app itself dies, turning the smartphone into a dumb brick.

Topics: Enterprise Mobility

Dell acquires AppAssure

Congrats to my friends in Round Rock ... and my other friends in Virginia ... you've done a good thing!

Is Now the Time to Invest in an Intelligent Management Aggregation Network for Your Environment?

As organizations continue to consolidate data centers and increase their use of virtual server environments, data center networks are rapidly growing in size and complexity. Plus, due to increasing throughput from greater Virtual Machine (VM) densities on physical servers, organizations are also converting to 10Gb Ethernet networks while consumerization of IT, increasing mobility, and rich content applications continue to drive more traffic through campus networks.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking

Data Center Network Security: Will Anyone Discuss This at RSA?

Less than a week before the RSA Conference in San Francisco and my telephones are ringing off the hook. People want to discuss a variety of topics including APTs, mobile security, cloud security, big data analytics, and so on.

Topics: Cybersecurity Data Protection Networking

Storage News is Solid Progress

There seems to be good news from many sides of the storage world lately; we've seen a flurry of good, consistent and genuinely impressive business results from many of the main vendors, which is encouraging. The world is high on 'big data' - which, let's face it, has to be kept somewhere (!) - VC money seems to be flowing, and solid-state storage is starting to really be embraced by vendors and users alike. As the Dow flirts with 13,000 I thought a potpourri of recent positive news would make for pleasant reading:

Topics: Storage Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure

Market Research: Reacting To Change

I love saying I told you so. It's one of the real pleasures in my business life. I never get to say it in my personal life, so I take it out on you.

Topics: IT Infrastructure

George Washington and Cybersecurity

As you may have noticed there's not much of an obvious direct link between George Washington and cybersecurity; but it's President's Day here in the US, so I figured something relevant might be good. While George Washington is revered as the father of the country, cybersecurity might easily be reviled as the mother of all contemporary digital issues [not that being a mother is bad per se, of course. But my semantic jollity doesn't work otherwise].

Topics: Cybersecurity

Consumerization: The Driving Force Behind Online File Sharing and Collaboration Adoption

I can't believe how much the online file sharing and collaboration space is heating up. Since we published our market landscape report in December, which covered the top 8 vendors in this space, including Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, Syncplicity, and Sugarsync, we seem to be hearing from at least one new (to us) vendor a week. Some are just coming out of stealth and launching, like FileTrek, some are expanding into this space from either consumer-focused or data protection focused offerings, like SOS Backup. Certainly the $250 and $81 million funding rounds scored by Dropbox and Box (respectively) last year got a lot of people's attention.

Topics: IT Infrastructure

Top 5 WAN Bandwidth Hogging Applications for ROBOs

In a recent ESG survey about remote offices and branch offices (ROBOs), we asked respondents "To the best of your knowledge, which of the following application types consume the greatest amount of available WAN bandwidth to/from ROBO locations over the course of a typical business day?"

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking

Informatica Making Big Data Manageable

As an analyst covering data management, a single day does not go by without a healthy discussion or debate on the meaning or impact of big data. It is quite comical in one sense, and quite inspiring in another. We are all intrigued by this concept of having access to information so that when we get THE question, we will find THE answer. And hopefully the answer is more than "42!" (that was for my son who is currently reading "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams - I couldn't be more proud).

Topics: Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI

Should Congress Pass Cybersecurity legislation? Let Us Know What You Think!

In my most recent note-to-congress-pass-cybersecurity-legislation-now/index.html">blog, I got on my soapbox and stated my opinion that Congress should pass cybersecurity legislation to better protect U.S. Critical Infrastructure as soon as possible.

Topics: Cybersecurity

Note to Congress: Pass Cybersecurity Legislation Now

Earlier this week, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) introduced a cybersecurity bill that would outline the Department of Homeland Security's responsibilities for overseeing cybersecurity at privately-owned critical infrastructure organizations.

Topics: Cybersecurity

The Evolution of Endpoint Security

Back in 2007, ESG asked 206 IT enterprise security professionals to respond to the following statement: Endpoint security has become a commodity market with little difference between products. A majority (58%) of respondents either "strongly agreed" or "agreed" with this statement.

Topics: Cybersecurity Enterprise Mobility

To My IT Loves On Valentine's Day

To my many loves in IT, my gifts to you:

Topics: IT Infrastructure

Oracle's Big [Tape] Data - Literally Big News

There was 'big' news today from Oracle regarding its StorageTek T10000C Tape Drive - or more accurately the media that runs on those drives. In the first 9 months of the T10KC (as it tends to be called) drive's release, Oracle has sold enough media to store over an EXABYTE of data; they've assumed a not-unreasonable compression ration of 2:1 to reach that number by the way. I've used capitals just now because an exabyte is a lot of data....in a very literal and traditional sense, that's 'big data!'

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI

The Intersection of Security Intelligence and Big Data Analytics

It's official, the security industry has jumped on the "big data" bandwagon with both feet. How do I know? Well, I'm participating in a panel discussion on this topic at RSA and I believe there are 2 other sessions on the topic. I guess anyone headed to San Francisco later this month should be prepared to get a big dose of big data.

Topics: Cybersecurity Data Platforms, Analytics, & AI

IT Networking Organizations In a State of Transition

In a number of recent blogs, I've described an ESG thesis called data center networking discontinuity. Simply stated, data center networking discontinuity describes the growing gap between data center scale and complexity on one hand and legacy data center networking equipment and manual management and operations on the other.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking

The day I discovered Acronis

A few weeks ago, I decided to upgrade my laptop with an SSD primary disk - and along the way, I discovered the magic that is Acronis. It was supposed to be a trivial upgrade. Especially for a guy who does backup & recovery for a living, right? My awesome Lenovo T420s allows for not only a standard SATA disk but also an mSATA slot, so my thought was to back up my System Volume and C:-drive and then restore them to the SSD. This would give me a fast OS and longer battery life, but keep my big data set on a 7200 SATA disk - sounds easy? Actually, no.

  • Attempt # 1 - I assumed that I could use the Windows Backup (WSB) utility, which after all enables a push-button system restore. But there were some limitations. WSB didn't want to restore my SYS and C partitions without also restoring my D (data) volume. Uggh !
  • Attempt # 2 - So, I figured out how to selectively back up the whole SYS and C partitions in WSB and then restore them selectively. But WSB wouldn't restore my 76GB C partition to the 74GB of free space on the SSD, even though there was lots of free space. Dang it !!
  • Attempt # 3 - I disabled Hibernation and the paging file. Rebooted. Then, I shrank the C partition by 3GB. Then I backed it up yet again with WSB. And the restore failed - with no actionable error message. $%@& !!!
  • Attempt # 4 - So, I tried to back up to an alternate media type with WSB and then restore from the System Restore Disk ... and the restore failed again. AGGHH !!!!

And then my IT guy sent me a CD with Acronis on it (am a remote user) - thanks Dan!

After booting from the CD, I used their very straightforward UI to get a copy of my C: to a USB disk - and then restored the backup to new partitions on the SSD. DONE !!!!! (now I remember why peripheral manufacturers ship OEM licenses of value-add software)

The results?

Topics: Data Protection

XIV Ups The Ante With Solid-state Caching

Keeping up with all the solid-state news is a consuming process. Aside from the simple avalanche of raw-specsmanship news (the ultimate game of techno-leapfrog right now), what is worth trying to capture are developing and shifting market trends. Earlier this week came the Lightning announcement from EMC, which was covered in my blog from Monday and (with a similar angle but in his own inimitable style...with added sprinkles!) by Steve Duplessie in his blog from yesterday. EMC's news made it explicit that it is putting solid-state of some sort throughout the storage stack. Meanwhile, yesterday's news from the XIV side of IBM makes it clear that everyone and every product that plays in networked storage is going to have solid-state implemented in some form or fashion.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Guidance Software Buys CaseCentral

Guidance Software announced its acquisition of SaaS review provider CaseCentral today. Let's look to the happy couple's future. Now that they've found love, what are they gonna do with it? Existing synergies The companies' recent roadmaps seem to have been on similar courses.

Symantec offering Better Backup for All

Today, Symantec held live events covering the upcoming BackupExec 2012 and NetBackup 7.5 releases. According to Symantec, "Backup is broken" (I tend to agree). And they intend to be the fix.

EMC VFCache/Lightning Strikes

As industry 'secrets' go, you'd have to say that EMC's 'Lightning' news today was no big surprise. But, as with its meteorological namesake, knowing there'll be lightning in a storm isn't half as important as determining the location and impact of the strike. It's also a bit of a shame that the name 'Lightning' doesn't apply officially to the new product, since 'VFCache' - as it's now formally known - doesn't allow for many great prose and pun word-plays. I so much wanted lightning from 'clouds'...'storms' on the storage horizon....EMC 'strikes' at the competition. The thesaurus can rest. Let's look at the impact of this new product announcement.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Software-Defined Networking Evolution (Not Revolution) Under Way

Is it too early or too late to declare 2012 the year of SDN? A few weeks ago, IBM and NEC introduced integrated technologies around OpenFlow for enterprise data centers. Last week, HP announced OpenFlow support with 16 switch models. Finally, early this week, Nicira went public with its Distributed Virtual Network Infrastructure (DVNI).

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking

Super Bowl, EMC Lightning, And Other Random Thoughts

My super bowl trip was 99% great, 1% crap. You can guess which part was crap.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure

Nicira "Opens" Up About its Virtual Networking Plans

Earlier today, Nicira publicly emerged as a company from stealth mode with more than just an idea, but with a product and several customers actually using it. While many find that approach old school, I like the fact that they are more than just PowerPoint slides and buzzword bingo press releases. I like that they waited to publicly announce the company until they had built a working product and actually sold it to some customers. I wish more companies would do that.

Topics: IT Infrastructure Networking Cloud Services & Orchestration

Anticipating the RSA Conference 2012

It's now February although you'd never know it from the balmy winter here in Boston. Aside from Valentine's Day, February is significant because it is when security geeks from around the world get together in San Francisco for the RSA Conference.

Topics: Cybersecurity

F5 Shakes Up the Firewall Market

The high-end of the firewall market has really been dominated by two companies: Crossbeam Systems (with Check Point Software) and Juniper Networks. Over the past few years, these two firms won most of the high revenue/high margin enterprise and service provider deals.

Topics: Cybersecurity

CommVault Simpana now offering "One Pass"

Click here to read a new ESG Analyst Brief on CommVault Simpana 9

Topics: Data Protection

Riverbed Granite extends iSCSI in a very cool way

This week, ESG Lab published its Lab Report on the new Riverbed Steelhead EX + Granite. It was a privilege to work with two ESG Lab Engineers, Tony Palmer and Ajen Johan, to do some hands-on with the new Riverbed technologies.

Topics: Storage