IBM and NetApp

Open systems storage marriage possibilities and problems

There is storage industry speculation that IBM intends to do more with its NetApp-sourced N series than simply have it run alongside its DSx000 storage line, like transition completely. Could it do that?

IBM is late in bring technologies such as thin provisioning to its storage arrays. Indeed, from the open systems server and storage perspective it may look as if nothing much is happening with IBM’s own disk storage. As IBM is reselling all of NetApp’s storage products, a 1+1=3 back-of-the-envelope conspiracy theory says IBM is gearing up to save lots of R&D and engineering dollars by transitioning over to NetApp products lock, stock and barrel.

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What’s best, unified storage or point products?

EMC’s or NetApp’s approach?

What’s best? Is it better to have a unified storage product line or point products? Are channel firms better off with a NetApp or an EMC on this score?

EMC has point products: Symmetrix; Clariion; Celerra; and Centera, and has had terrific success with them. NetApp has a unified product line in which different products are personalities layered onto the same underlying products. Customers can be really enthusiastic about this and NetApp has pretty consistently grown at 20 percent plus a year. But EMC is a much larger company
than NetApp and has arguably outsold it in the NAS space, NetApp’s home turf.

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Floods drown 138 Morphy Richards PCs

Data retrieved by Seagate Recovery Services

Domestic appliance manufacturer Morphy Richards had 138 PCs drowned in flash flooding in June, 2007. Within two hours its 21-acre site was under six feet of water. The company needed to get the data back from the PCs. Most of it had been backed up but some had not. (There’s a lesson here but we won’t go into it.)

Morphy Richards staff couldn’t just use one of the company’s own hair dryers. Such drying leaves a sticky residue on platters which causes head crashes. So it asked its local reseller, Q-tron, for help. It put Morphy Richards in touch with Seagate Recovery Services (SRS). As soon as the flood waters receded Morphy Richards staff recovered the affected hard drives and handed them over to SRS.

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Weill Cornell Medical College

Chooses Spectra Logic tape library

Weill Cornell Medical College stores more than 30TB of data from files, server configurations and databases. Weill conducts nightly backups of more than 600 GB of data.

The college’s previous backup system was having performance issues, so they decided to research updated libraries to simplify and improve their backup process. Weill Cornell Medical College also wanted to add encryption functionality to help safeguard sensitive patient data and comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations.

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The steadily more upstanding Pillar

A work in progress: SSD plans revealed

Pillar Data is surviving and prospering and extending its product offer. Customer numbers are growing and any early doubters of its products and technology have had to reassess the company and where it is going. It is responding to the current server virtualisation surge and has a good green story too.

CEO Mike Workman landed in the UK for a day or two and we managed to get an hour or so of his time to get an update of what Pillar is doing. (Some of his answers have been abridged for editorial reasons and these sections are indicated by elipsis marks, like this …)

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Accountancy firm glad to have changed to Televaulting

After tape backup failed Asigra’s online backup delivered the goods

Accountancy firm A. Desaur & Co. of Hampton, Middlesex, England, has not been lucky. In April last year a server failure and resulting backup problem resulted in 20 percent of its data becoming lost. An accountancy firm has huge amounts of detailed historical information about its clients. Such a loss was devastating.

The firm, with IT supplied by Qualitas-IT, changed to an Asigra online backup product. In October last year a Windows update to a serbver went wrong and the server crashed. Oops! It nearly lost its data again. Fortunately the Asigra product did its stuff and the data was recoverable.

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