CTR Exclusives

The Active Archive Alliance and the Burden of Education

The Active Archive Alliance and the Burden of Education

By Mark Ferelli

Recently, four companies in the archiving business launched the Active Archive Alliance, dedicated to informing a doubting IT industry that archives are not just files that are well-nigh forgotten. Archives need to be readily available, for reasons of corporate governance, regulatory compliance and litigation support (colloquially known as e-discovery). Spectra Logic, QStar, FileTek and Compellent are uniting to enlighten data center management and sell product that will keep archives available and usable in day-to-day operations. I expect other firms to join in the effort.

Consortia like the Active Archive Alliance are nothing new, but deliver value to the industry as a whole.  Veterans of the storage industry will remember the organization built around the Travan tape technology, ably helmed by Michael Stevens of what was 3M and became Imation. Those same veterans will recall the AIT Forum, sponsored by Sony and organized by Marty Foltyn. Finally, they will remember format neutral organizations like the Tape Technology Council, managed by Rich Harada. With Computer Technology Review now in its 30th year of operation, and considering our in-depth coverage of tape technology, we have seen a great many groups rise and retire.

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Compression? De-duplication? Single Instancing? Their Roles In Email and Email Archiving

Compression? De-duplication? Single Instancing? Their Roles In Email and Email Archiving

 

By Dave Hunt

Each technology referenced in the headline gives different benefits in various stages of the lifecycle of email, and depending upon your requirements and solutions of choice, the benefits may or may not be complementary.

The lifecycle begins at the creation of an email, through adding any attachments, the sending of the email to a server, for storage and then onward transmission, either to a local client or to another server as a final destination or a routing point in a longer trail. Upon reaching its destination the email is stored on another server and possibly where off-line clients are supported on a laptop as well. Then, after a period of time, the email is likely moved from the mail store to a longer term location either a local personal storage file (the dreaded PST!) or to an email archive if you are using a third party email archiving solution. In the latter, the solution is likely to employ one of these data reduction techniques for reducing the storage burden.

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HSM, not as old as it used to be

HSM, not as old as it used to be


By Dave Thomson

When it comes to maximizing Return on Investment, Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) solutions continue to be one of the top performers, yet there is a negative connotation associated with HSM. Perhaps, when you have lived through some of the shambolic first generation solutions, it is clear to see why. But the premise, to move aged files to lower cost storage technology, making room for new files and, at the same time, reducing backup, remains true today as it was in the early 1990s.

It is well known that mainframe systems used HSM technology successfully for many years before the concept was tried in the PC / server environment. HSM is normally described as a policy-based process that identifies files using their metadata as candidates for migration.  At an appropriate time, often identified by disk full watermarks, files are migrated. This process leaves a stub file behind, with the original file attributes and a pointer to the new location of the file. This is referred to as “Stub and Migrate”. Alternatively, files could be moved, leaving no stub behind, or copied to their new location, usually to disk or tape.

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Deduplication: From Point Solution to Data Center Strategy

Deduplication: From Point Solution to Data Center Strategy

 

By Carter George

Deduplication has been a hot topic in storage for several years now. Most of the focus has been on dedupe appliances sold in the backup market, by companies like Data Domain and Diligent (now IBM ProtecTIER).There have been dozens of articles written explaining the basic concepts, and comparing the implementations by various vendors.    

Dedupe is also becoming more prominent in primary storage, with NAS market leader NetApp including a basic dedupe feature on every node.  EMC followed with whole file dedupe on its Celerra family of products.  Other vendors are now introducing dedupe as a feature on block storage arrays, in the cloud, and on nearline and archival storage.   

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10 Steps To Deploy New Storage

 10 Steps To Deploy New Storage


By Ralph Hennen

A lot can transpire between the time you take delivery of your new storage and the day it’s fully integrated into the data center. Good things can happen—like getting faster performance for virtual servers, higher utilization because of resource consolidation, and savings from features like thin provisioning. Unfortunately, so can bad—like stalled applications, lost data, business disruptions, and immobilized end users.

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