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Chris Evans

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Top Stories by Chris Evans

August seems to have been the month for a huge raft of storage-related announcements and I’m still getting to grips with the detail, after being away on holiday for the whole month.  As I start to pick out the news and make sense of how it fits into the storage landscape, I thought I’d start with a few straightforward ones to ease me back into things gently. Pure Storage Pure Storage FlashArrays were originally Fibre Channel only devices (see my review after TFD#8 last year).  In today’s unified world, that could be seen as somewhat limiting, so Pure have announced support for iSCSI and 10GbE in their latest hardware release.  Software enhancements have also been made to reduce snapshot overhead, support VAAI and manage FlashArray via a vCenter plugin.  Full details can be found in the press release.  The addition of VAAI support is an interesting one.  Previous demo... (more)

How Often Should You Check Your Backups?

We are regularly told that checking our own bodies for signs of change is a good thing.  Early diagnosis of disease gives more of a fighting chance of curing the problem.  So, in the IT world, where we assume all of our backups have been taken successfully, how often should we be checking the results and ensuring the backup will work on the fateful day we need to do a restore?  This question was posed by Federica Monsone on Twitter this week.  Here’s an attempt to provide an answer. First of all, let’s consider the whole point of taking backups.  Excluding the inappropriate use ... (more)

Alternative to Hybrid Drives – OCZ Synapse SSD

It’s hard to believe that over three years ago I asked a question on where hybrid drive technology had reached.  I was thinking of the Enterprise market at the time and as far as I am aware, at this stage, no Enterprise storage array manufacturers have yet integrated these devices into their products.  At the consumer level, of course there are products out there, most well known being Seagate’s Momentus XT drive.  But there is another approach to speeding up the hard drive and that’s to use SSD as a cache but in a slightly different manner.  A good example of this is the OCZ Syn... (more)

Storage Wars: Could XtremIO Steal EMC’s Thunder?

If the weekend IT press is to be believed, EMC are on the verge of acquiring solid-state array vendor XtremIO in a deal worth around $450 million.  This would be a remarkable outcome for a company that is still technically “in stealth mode” and has no obvious revenue or customers. Why would EMC do this?  Their normal acquisition process is to look for targets that have well established customer bases, such as Isilon or Greenplum.  XtremIO’s technology is unvalidated in the marketplace and there are already many other competitors out there; Violin Memory and Pure Storage to name ... (more)

Is Google Drive Too Late to the Party?

Like many people, the other week I downloaded and installed Google Drive.  This is the long-awaited competitor to services like Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive, offering free online storage with the ability to upgrade to higher capacity at a cost.  Dropbox and the various other lookalikes have been around for some time, so is Google coming to this market too late and is the party already over? Cloud Storage The concept of Cloud Storage is pretty simple.  Services like Dropbox allow you to share a local folder on your PC or Mac and have that data replicated into “the cloud”.  Fr... (more)