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Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

The IT debacle at RBS has highlighted the dependency large financial organisations (and other companies) have on their IT infrastructure.  From what has leaked out into the press, the RBS issue relates to a piece of software called CA-7, used for mainframe batch job scheduling. When I first started in IT in 1987, CA-7 (and it’s sister product CA-1, used for tape management) were already legacy technology.  From memory, I believe CA acquired the products from another company; both had archaic configuration processes and poor documentation.  However they did work and were reasonably reliable. If it Ain’t Broke… There’s an old adage that says, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; meaning if the software works, why change it.  Any change inherently introduces risk; make no changes and you don’t introduce unnecessary risk.  However, IT infrastructure doesn’t run forever.  ... (more)

New White Papers

There are three new white papers available on the site that may be of interest.  They are: Create a Smarter Storage Strategy http://thestoragearchitect.tradepub.com/free/w_fnet24 Availability and the Cloud http://thestoragearchitect.tradepub.com/free/w_fnet22/ The Economic Impact of File Virtualization: Reducing Costs and Improving Efficiency for File-Based Storage http://thestoragearchitect.tradepub.com/free/w_fnet09/ As usual I welcome any feedback as to whether this part of the site is useful. Disclaimer:  For each subscription I receive a payment which goes to fund the runn... (more)

HP Cloud Now Available In Beta – A First Look

HP have joined the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market and released their HP Cloud service in public beta.  Here’s the announcement press release.  The services on offer are: Available Now as Public Beta Compute – on-demand server instances. Cloud Object Storage – object-based storage using RESTful APIs. Content Delivery Network – local distribution of web content. Still in Private Beta Cloud Block Storage – persistent data for compute images Relational Database for MySQL – managed cloud databases There’s also the HP Identity Service for managing key & token access managem... (more)

So.cl and Google+ Musings for a Monday

This morning I signed up and had a play with Microsoft Labs’ social media application, so.cl.  This was quietly released over the weekend with little attention as it’s a piece of experiment work rather than a new social media platform.  It’s early days to be commenting on whether so.cl will be useful; currently it appears to be targeted at students and search sharing.  I wonder whether the intention is to use the output to help improve the quality of Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Anyhow, the so.cl interface is reminiscent of Google+ (especially party invitations, that seem to... (more)

The Cyclical Nature of Storage

Perhaps I should have entitled this post “The Cyclical Nature of IT” because the same principles apply. Over time, storage moves back and forth between fully dispersed and fully centralized like a sine wave on an oscilloscope. The Evidence Look at the evidence.  In the 1950′s and 1960′s there was no choice but to be centralized. All we had was mainframe and dumb disk drives.  Storage needed a controller the size of a fridge to work and so was never going to be distributed to the masses any time soon. Then in the late 1970s, in comes Al Shugart and Seagate, giving us the first d... (more)