Chris Evans

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, with two lots of travelling in different directions.  Last week I was in Barcelona at the HP Converged Infrastructure (CI)Event and the week previously at HDS’s launch of the new VSP (Virtual Storage Platform).  Both HP and HDS released their new platform at the same time (HP as the P9500, HDS as the VSP) and both originate from Hitachi in Japan.  As is usual with these releases, both companies claim to be integral to the product’s development and perhaps they were in different areas.  Lots of other things have been happening too. The Rise of 3Par – HP used the CI event to place 3Par firmly at the front of their storage strategy.  In fact so much so, that the p9500 release seemed overshadowed as a result.  I have more to talk about on this later, but we can be assured, we will see more of the 3Par product  and the 3par team ... (more)

Managing Risk in IT

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 reasonabl... (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)

Amazon Delivers Cloud Archive Storage with Glacier

At the end of August 2012, Amazon Web Services released their latest service offering – a long-term archive service called Glacier.  As a complement to their existing active data access service S3, Glacier provides long term storage for “cold” data – information that has to be retained for a long time but doesn’t require frequent access. What Exactly is Glacier? Many organisations need to retain data in archive format for extended periods of time.  This is for regulatory or compliance purposes or may simply be part of their normal business process.  Good examples are medical, h... (more)

APIs: Essential for Delivering Storage in Enterprise Cloud Infrastructures

It’s pretty easy to pick holes in the current legacy storage products, especially when it comes to integration within both public and private cloud deployments.  However it’s worth discussing exactly what is required when implementing cloud frameworks, as the way in which storage is deployed is radically different from the traditional model of storage operations.  In this post we will look at why traditional methods of storage management need to change and how that affects the way in which the hardware itself is used.  This leads to a discussion on APIs and how they are essential... (more)