Object Storage – The next big thing in on-premise storage?

Historically when we have discussed shared storage it has always been about Block or NAS platforms, but now there is a “new kid on the block” in the form of Object Storage. To explain what it is, let’s start with a brief overview of each of the different storage platform types: Block Storage LUNs are presented to application servers, typically using the Fibre Channel or iSCSI protocols, with the host OS managing the file system. Network Attached Storage Presents file systems to clients, typically using the CIFS/SMB or NFS protocols, with each file having basic metadata (i.e. name, location, size, date created/modified/accessed, etc.). Object Storage Essentially a cross between an unstructured file system and a structured database, that can store traditional Continue reading

An introduction to Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) Object Storage

HDS has historically been best known for high-end Fibre Channel block storage arrays, but it is clear that they see that Object Storage is going to grow massively over the coming years as they are putting a major focus on the technology. So what are the features and capabilities of HCP? Massive scalability (up to 80 PB) Active data protection (backup-free) Encryption, retention, disposition and shredding services Meets governance and regulatory compliance needs Support for legacy, contemporary, and emerging web protocols Unique custom metadata gathering and search tools Cloud tiering with support for S3 or compatible, Azure, Google and Hitachi File de-duplication and compression to maximise storage efficiency Global content distribution with active/active access Easy to set up, manage, and upgrade (no forklift Continue reading

Riverbed Whitewater Cloud Storage Gateway is now SteelStore

Riverbed has recently gone through the process of bringing consistency to their product names, the ones of most interest to us are the storage solutions – SteelStore (formerly Whitewater) and SteelFusion (formerly Granite). Let’s have a quick re-cap of the capabilities of SteelStore: Eliminating tape is something organisations have wanted to do for many years, but the best most have managed is to only use tape for long-term retention (i.e. month and year-end backups). Removing tape for long-term retention has proved somewhat challenging as even with very sophisticated de-duplication algorithms the cost of disk is simply too high when compared to tape. In recent years we have seen the introduction of cloud storage platforms such as Amazon S3, but even these cannot compete with Continue reading

This is 2013, why do I still need tape?

One thing that has continued to amaze me over the last several years is the persisting requirement for Tape. Sure you CAN remove tape – but as soon as you want to keep data for yearly backups, there are a consistent number of hurdles and obstacles: The quantity of disk storage required for 5 years is huge, even with industry leading de-duplication Off-siting, means doubling the storage requirements, therefore doubling the outlay Backup to the cloud requires robust, expensive links and can be slow when attempting large backups and restores Even with big links, it’s takes a long time to send terabytes of data off site And I know from experience – buying an off-site cloud based service means you Continue reading

Why consider CommVault Simpana for data protection?

Protecting data has become considerably more challenging over the last few years due to the enormous growth in data and the need to minimise the use of tape. In addition there are more and more pressures on IT departments to do more with less and low end solutions are often just not good enough for anything but the simplest of environments. Most of the traditional enterprise class solutions have become very long in the tooth and are typically based on many different non-integrated code bases (as a result of product acquisitions). Enter CommVault, who appear to be the one vendor who is doing it right – one state-of-the-art-solution that delivers all the capabilities that you are ever likely to need from a single code Continue reading