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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)

How Viable Is Cloud Storage?

This week has seen announcements from two companies I’ve been interested in and following for some time. Nasuni Nasuni makes a storage appliance that stores all of a customer’s data in “the cloud”.  It’s available either as a physical device (effectively a server running their software) or as a virtual machine.  What makes their product interesting is that both the data and filer configuration reside on the cloud and can be reconstituted anywhere if for some reason the filer is lost (for example if the appliance is down or power was lost).  The only piece of data the customer ne... (more)

Optimizing Storage Architectures for SSD

Last week I attended Hitachi’s 2012 Blogger Day.  Aside from catching up with some old friends, we were presented with some NDA stuff which will see the light of day soon.  In the meantime, I want to talk about a press release Hitachi made while I was still on holiday (and clearly missed as I returned, somewhat jet lagged). Previously I’ve discussed how solid-state arrays need to be optimized in their design to get the best out of the technology.  Traditional arrays were designed to cope with the hard drive as the slowest component in the architecture.  IP was built around squee... (more)

The Evolution of Solid State Arrays

In the first wave of solid-state storage arrays, we saw commodity style SSDs (solid state drives) being added to traditional storage arrays. This solution provided an incremental benefit in performance over spinning hard drives, however the back-end technology in these arrays was developed up to 20 years ago and was purely focused around driving performance out of the slowest part of the infrastructure – the hard drive.  Of course SSDs are an order of magnitude faster than HDDs so you can pretty much guarantee SSDs in traditional arrays results in underused resources, but is prem... (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)