Stories by Anne Skamarock

EchoView enables auto backup of changes

What would you say if I told you I recently saw a product that, basically, creates intrinsically backed-up data? What I mean by that is, every time data is modified, the modifications are time-stamped and saved to a "back-up" storage system at the same time the data is written to the primary disk. Does this sound interesting to you?

When to move management into the storage network

The past few weeks have been busy with announcements involving intelligent switches. Cisco and Brocade each made prominent partnerships announcements validating their bids to move "more intelligence into the network." Meanwhile, HP has moved intelligence into the network with its Continuous Access Storage Appliance, or CASA, and FalconStor continues to improve its IPStor product. The question net executives should ask is how much and what types of intelligence make sense in the network and what type of platform should provide these services.

Improving NAS capacity and performance

Previously, I've discussed the technologies being used in conjunction with traditional network-attached storage appliances to improve performance and scalability of NAS. In this article, we will investigate NAS solutions that focus on addressing the scalability issues of both capacity and performance that are associated with "traditional" NAS environments. Specifically, we will look at what is called NAS aggregation or clustering.

Where does application data management fit in?

If you haven't intuited from my articles yet, I have a strong bias that application data management goes hand in hand with storage management. Unfortunately for most of IT, both seem to be relegated to "afterthought" status, if data and storage management enters the consciousness at all. In the business best practices book, application data and storage management should be highlighted. Why? Proper management of data and storage assets will save companies large amounts of money over time.

Sun rises in storage

Three cheers for Mark Canepa, Sun's vice president of networked storage and his team. The once black sheep of the Sun product family, storage is coming home as the prodigal son. Over the past year, Sun has expanded its storage offerings to address the entry-level and enterprise markets and is steadily growing its overall storage market share.

Three trends converge to advance storage mgmt.

I often liken the information management evolution to
mathematics. You have to understand addition before moving on to
multiplication and then to algebra, etc. Similarly, you have to
be comfortable with your storage management to feel confident in
your data management and to understand your requirements for
information management. I see three trends in the market that
are converging to move information management to the next level.

Happy 50th birthday to tape storage

Tape storage technology this year is celebrating 50 years on the market. I can hear the groans of all the antitape coalition. "Tape is Dead!" Well, no, it's 50 years old and still kicking. Like all technologies that have developed along with the computer, tape and tape drives have taken elements of the original designs and implementations and improved on them over the years.

Storage management shouldn't be separate

With the silo-like alignment of IT organizations in the not-too-distant past, where storage and systems groups worked together but were separate, the lines between the two were clearer. However, storage-area networks blur the lines.

What makes a SAN guru?

I received an interesting note from a recruiter who happened upon my articles when surfing the 'Net. He was doing some research into storage-area networks because he needed to hire a SAN guru. He said he wanted to get a better understanding of the concept, skills, and background of such an individual.

Charge back frustrations

I was speaking with an IT director of a large insurance agency last week about his environment. I asked him what was the biggest frustration regarding storage management and without a moment's hesitation, he replied, "Charge back!" He went on to explain that he grew up in the mainframe world where usage statistics were part of the operating environment.

Network Appliance supports SAN and NAS connectivity

Last month, network-attached storage leader, Network Appliance announced its foray into the storage-area networking environment. While at first glance, this may not seem too interesting, as there are several storage vendors that support SAN and NAS storage (like IBM, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, to reel off a few high-powered vendors), I'd like to present a couple of reasons why this announcement is worth a second look.

Faster, faster

Every once and again, I like to go back to old articles I have written one, maybe two years ago to see what was the exciting news of that time and gain some perspective on how far we've come, or not. It just so happens that at this time last year, I was writing about the Direct Assess File System Collaborative.

I have a dream...

Every now and again it's healthy to rise above the hottest new storage technologies and try to gain a broader perspective. I like to call this perspective "Business Value."

TOEs help storage step up to the next level

A lot of noise has been made by me and others about the value of Transport Offload Engines or supercharged network interface cards for increasing network performance and efficiency of
storage applications like iSCSI (IP storage). While iSCSI may have been one of the primary motivators for the development of TOEs, let's not lose sight of the fact that all network traffic, as well as application servers, will benefit from the use of TOEs.

A year in storage

It's August, and almost a year since the attacks of Sept. 11. There has been a great deal in the press about business recovery and disaster avoidance over the past 12 months but have businesses changed their IT processes? What did Sept. 11 teach us, with regards to our data and storage management?