NetApp customers and tiered storage; Neuxpower releases primary storage data reduction software

Headlines: NetApp customers say the company's arrays are still vital to their tiered storage strategies; Neuxpower releases a server version of its primary storage data reduction software that cuts the size of JPEG and Office files.

Storage channel news roundup for May 13 to 19, 2010

Tiered storage still important, even with NetApp customers

This February, NetApp Inc. CEO Tom Georgens caused a to-do when he forecasted the extinction of tiered storage as a result of flash solid-state drives (flash SSDs) and SATA hard disk drives, but NetApp customers say the company's arrays are still vital parts of their tiered storage strategies.

MarketLive Inc., the eCommerce software vendor, holds its most sensitive Oracle website and database content data on a combination of NetApp and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) disk arrays. An AMS1000 and a number of WMS arrays from HDS keeps most of the company's Oracle database data, while log files and unstructured Web content is retained on four NetApp FAS3040 disk arrays. MarketLive employs scale-out NAS from Scale Computing for tier 2 data.

"I don't want to have all my database eggs in one SAN basket," said Marty Boos, chief information officer (CIO) of MarketLive.

MarketLive's primary environment retains about 10 TB of utilizable capacity and supports approximately 300 servers that handle a combination of Windows and Linux operating systems.

Read the full story on tiered storage among NetApp customers.

Neuxpower releases primary storage data reduction software NXPowerLite for File Servers

Neuxpower Solutions Ltd. has just released NXPowerLite for File Servers, a server version of its primary storage data reduction software that considerably reduces the size of JPEG and Microsoft Office files.

NXPowerLite for File Servers operates the same file optimization technology that Neuxpower has incorporated in its NXPowerLite Desktop Edition software, which comes with advanced scheduling and additional management features. Neuxpower says that its software is utilized by greater than 1 million end users, such as the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy; U.S. Department of Defense, British Ministry of Defence and Canadian National Defence.

Balesio AG, a Switzerland-based vendor, uses comparable technology in its FILEminimizer Suite, even though this technology is not as familiar in the networked storage field as data deduplication or compression for primary storage sold by vendors inclding EMC Corp., Exar/Hifn, NetApp, Ocarina Networks Inc., Permabit Technology Corp. and Storwize Inc.

Read the full story on Neuxpower's release of NXPowerLite for File Servers.

EMC updates MozyPro 2.0 with local backup, remote data backup performance enhancements

Mozy, EMC Corp.'s online data backup subsidiary, recently released MozyHome and MozyPro 2.0, including support for local backup, enhanced performance and a more efficient user interface for the end-user and small business software.

Mozy chief marketing officer Russ Stockdale says that the new versions encode data within the Mozy data center vendor instead of on a customer's computer unit or server. "The initial backup experience will be shorter and faster," said Stockdale. "Ongoing backups will be faster and involve less processing."

Furthermore, Mozy is now supporting backup to a local hard drive in addition to online backup to its cloud data center, a feature called 2xProtect. Stockdale said this upgrade will automatically duplicate data to an external local drive and from that drive to the cloud. The client will support almost any average hard drive, but there is no particular integration with EMC'sIomega external hard drives with this launch.

Read this tip on migrating customers to online backup services.

Prevent common mistakes with care and handling for your backup tape storage

"Tape is not dead," says Staples Technology Solutions Category Manager Steve Suesens, a 20-year veteran in IT positions. "As long as data continues to double every 12 to 24 months, tape will be around for a long time," he said. Actually, observed Suesens, backup tape storage could have some reliability advantages over disk backup storage, but it is important to keep the media safe and protected and to have a comprehensively thought-out backup strategy. It needs to consist of steps such as tape care and handling and proper management of operations inside the data center that could have an effect on tape.

Thus, if tape will be present for awhile, it follows that we should learn how to enhance tape's functionality. Suesens provided several straighforward "care and feeding" tips to facilitate this process, such as not stacking cartridges greater than six in height to decrease the likelihood of edge damage and dropping.

Read the full story on common backup tape storage errors.

Tape still reigns with data archiving, but disk and cloud storage are on the rise

Data backup and data archive are in fact different functions, although many in the data storage arena are inclined to use the phrases in the same contexts, said Brian Babineau, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst. Data backup is data frequently required for production, and data archive signifies data retrieved infrequently and held mainly for compliance causes.

An archive, as definied by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), is "a collection of data objects, perhaps with associated metadata, in a storage system whose primary purpose is the long-term preservation and retention of that data." That description suggests additional differentiation. Archived data is not typically anticipated to be immediately searchable. Consequently, if you have an abrupt need, for instance, for a chain of emails dating five years back -- you might have to consider what you will be required to do to find and peruse that information.

Karen Grost, business contingency/security plan administrator for NuUnion Credit Union inLansing, Michigan, recognizes the distinction between archiving and backup. Her company has lately started utilizing the STORServer Backup Appliance to leverage backup and also to facilitate archive management.

She said that, from a backup standpoint, "We chose tape because it is easier and less expensive for us to move data to an offsite facility that way."

See the full story on tape, disk and cloud storage for data archiving.

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